50 Words or Less
The Scotty Cameron Special Select Del Mar putter brings back a head shape that has a strong cult following. Not the most aesthetically pleasing version of this putter. Excellent feel.
Every time Scotty Cameron rolls out a new series of putters, you can bet that there will be a Newport and a Newport 2. Newer models like the Squareback have also become reliable standards. Also, we usually get one model that’s a bit unexpected, and for the Special Select line, that putter is the Del Mar. Will this version of the classic heel shafted design please traditionalists or should they stick to scouring eBay for older Scotty models?
Perhaps more than any other traditional head shape, the Del Mar creates strong opinions about what makes a particular version good or bad. Some people prefer a more symmetrical shape, others like a bulkier toe. Should the top line be flat or should the toe be high? Your preferences on these questions will determine your feelings about the Scotty Cameron Special Select Del Mar.
This version of the Del Mar is nearly symmetrical with a flat top line. Both of these things run counter to my preferences, so it’s a miss for me. Additionally, I dislike the line that crosses that flange, and I find that the shoulders end too abruptly.
Beyond the shaping of the head, however, I think the Special Select Del Mar shows Cameron’s typical high level of taste. The “cherry rings” in the cavity look sharp and signal that you’re rolling a Scotty. I particularly like the engraving on the sole and the choice to leave much of the sole blank.
Sound & Feel
The main reason that the Special Select putters have created a stir is that they are a turn away from multi-material construction (at least temporarily). Even devoted Cameron fans found many of the multi-material heads lacking in feel.
The Special Select Del Mar is milled from solid 303 stainless steel and has excellent feel and feedback. Impact is soft and solid with a sound somewhere between a “thud” and a soft “click” depending on the ball you use. When you move off the center of the face, the feel does firm up noticeably.
The primary reason that putters like the Del Mar are only released occasionally is that they offer so much toe hang. The Scotty Cameron Special Select Del Mar has toe hang of approximately 5 o’clock, meaning it’s best suited to players with very arced putting strokes. While my stroke doesn’t have a strong arc, I found myself putting brilliantly with this flat stick. I enjoyed the pronounced opening and closing of the face; it gave me a sense of being less robotic and more in touch with my feel.
Like all the putters in the Special Select line, the Del Mar has interchangeable stainless steel weights in the heel and toe. Official weight kits aren’t cheap, but it is a nice way to customize the feel without covering your putter in lead tape.
Finally, the forgiveness of the Special Select Del Mar is akin to an Anser-style putter. Small misses will turn out okay, shots deep in the heel and toe will not. In my opinion, the forgiveness of this putter style is a little underrated as golfers blame a lack of forgiveness for an inability to manage the face rotation.
While I don’t think the Special Select Del Mar is the most beautiful version that Scotty has turned out, I’m happy to see this model back in the line up. While so many golfers line up behind massive, face-balanced mallets, I’m left to wonder if a good number of them wouldn’t putt better with a flat stick that gave them more feel. If you’re struggling on the greens, it’s probably worth a trip to your pro shop to give something new a try.