Get to Know: SWAG Golf

They Don’t Lack Confidence

“We couldn’t find a truly bada$$ putter, so naturally we had to make our own.”

This is the first thing you’ll read on the SWAG Golf website, and it sets the tone for who the brand is.  Bold, brash, loud, unapologetic.  It’s right there in the name: SWAG.

Whether the style draws you in or turns you off, this is a putter company that is doing things that no one else in the industry is doing.  And it’s about far more than the attitude.

Learning from the Biggest Names

The man behind SWAG Golf is Nick Venson.  Nick grew up outside Chicago, and his life was changed forever the first time he saw a Scotty Cameron putter.  After acquiring that first Scotty, he went to work for the man himself selling high-end putters.  Later he switched to his hometown brand, Bettinardi, in a similar role.  To say that he knows the putter industry is a little bit of an understatement (listen to our interview with him HERE).

Over those 14 years, Nick had a lot of ideas.  Some of those ideas were used by Cameron and Bettinardi.  Others weren’t, and they became the initial stockpile of ideas for SWAG Golf.

An Unorthodox Debut

As an industry veteran, Nick had been to the PGA Show numerous times.  He had seen the standard approach to launching a brand.  Send out tons of emails to every media outlet.  Have a booth with pamphlets and cheap giveaways.  Show everyone everything that you’ve done.

Nick wanted to do something different.  He did buy a booth, but he wasn’t in it.  In fact, there wasn’t much in it at all – just three head covers and a partially revealed putter in a glass case.  There wasn’t a shred of literature about the brand or anyone to answer questions.

His gambit paid off.  The buzz coming out of the show was substantial.  Golfers were excited to know what SWAG Golf was and what they would be doing next.

Making Putters Differently

When you look at The Handsome One, SWAG’s first putter, you might think, “Oh, another Anser-style putter.”  On one level, you’re not wrong, it is an Anser-style putter.  On another level, you’re entirely wrong.

Here’s a quick lesson in how most putters are made.  A block of metal is put into a CNC milling machine.  The mill runs a program that turns the block of metal into something close to a putter.  Then the metal is removed, and the final shaping is done by hand.

While this is a fine process, Nick and SWAG believe it can be done better.  Their focus is to eliminate the handwork and have a putter go straight from the mill to assembly.  Why?  There are a few reasons, but chief among them is consistency.  Even the greatest craftsmen can’t reproduce the exact same shape time after time, but a CNC mill can.  There’s also a level of precision that a CNC mill can achieve that human hands cannot.  You can see this in the fine details of The Handsome One like the perfectly smooth edges around the neck (above) and the absence of a line in the flange (two pictures up).  They also hope to eliminate bending putters by programming specific loft and lie specs right into the CNC code.

Making Putters Everything Differently

SWAG’s commitment to making the best products doesn’t stop at the putter head.  Each putter comes with a black shaft – something other manufacturers typically upcharge for.  SWAG’s grip offerings are premium.  Each putter is individually numbered.

Then there are the head covers.  Every element of SWAG’s head cover game is on another level.  The designs are awesome.  The stitch counts are unbelievable.  Hell, the bag the head cover comes in (specifically the label on the back) is cooler than many company’s head covers.

The Next Step

So far, SWAG has had great success with their covers and The Handsome One, but they’re far from done.  They’ve built a putting studio in the Chicago suburbs where they plan to fit putters and host gatherings in the near future.  There are seven – yes, seven – models lined up for future release.  And that’s just what Nick would share with me.  After 14 years of planning, I think we can all look forward to many great, creative things from SWAG Golf.

Check out SWAG Golf HERE

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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6 Comments

  1. Good info about this newer company. One thing I noticed is that their prices are pretty high for entering a saturated market.

    Matt, with all your journalism over the years, do you know have an idea on how much a basic Anser style putter would cost to make in materials excluding the labor? Some of the inflated prices just blow my mind when milled putters are talked about.

    • Matt Saternus

      Brad,

      Regarding the price, it depends how you look at it. Nick isn’t comparing his putters to retail models, he looks at it like he’s giving golfers a putter that is equal to or better than a Tour Bettinardi or Cameron for 1/2 or 1/4 (or less) of the prices that those command. With regard to saturation, I don’t think it’s saturated at all based on the success of many new putter companies.

      Regarding the cost of materials, I have a very rough idea from different numbers that have been thrown around, but I don’t know if those numbers do or do not include the time on the CNC machine.

      Finally, your use of “journalism” for what I do made me laugh. Thank you. :)

      Best,

      Matt

      • Matt,

        Good response and I totally understand what you mean.

        It seems like you fill a lot of different roles so at the time “journalism” seemed worthy. Ha

  2. Great looking product with great attention grabbing graphics. Price, if the milling is unique and total all in upgrades will IMO sell. I own the Rife ER2 similar lines and milling but I hate the 2 as I’m a mid mallet style guy when it comes to how I see the ball and alignment. Interesting to see and demo the next series of projects. How would one go about demo in the future??

    • Matt Saternus

      There isn’t a demo program currently, but you could contact SWAG to see if that’s something that will be on the horizon.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Nice interpretation of a classic model. I like the price point. Nick is right, the idea that there are other boutique putter mfg co. that are doing similar work, but charging over $1000 to start makes his product very tangible and approachable. I like the Carbon Handsome model. Rust will help with coefficient of friction. Any amount helps promote overspin. Keep pushing. Nice work!

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