ORLANDO, Fla. — Deane Beman is in my face. I mean, inches away. And he is so animated and chatty and excited that I can hardly believe he’s the same relentless, tough-guy negotiator who played hardball 24/7 when he was PGA Tour commissioner. Maybe two decades of retirement will mellow any man. Besides, he’s working on a labor of love.
Our faces are this close on the practice carpet at his company’s booth at the PGA Merchandise Show because Beman can’t wait to tell me about this new putter, The Cure, made by his new company, Veritas Golf. He’s not kidding when he says his company (technically, he’s only the vice president) is new. “We just became official last Thursday,” Beman says.
His enthusiasm is palpable. I’m not sure the man smiled this much in two decades at Tour headquarters.
“Look, I’ve been golfing longer than I want to remember,” Beman tells me. “This next thing here is more important to golf than the Prince racquet was to tennis or the big driver was to golf. I need to show you this. It’s a game-changer.”
His claim is a reach but I get it. He is passionate about this project and when dealing with media types, you’ve got to get their attention. He’s got mine because after a run-through with putter designer Steve Davis, who co-founded Veritas with PGA professional Jeff Ryan, I’ve already learned that The Cure putters, Rx1 and Rx2 (Rx as in prescription, see?) are innovative as hell. And wild-looking.
The Cure is a long, elongated, rectangular-shaped bar. It is center-shafted but attached to a circular connection, and the angle can be adjusted across the putter-head horizon. Need a flatter lie or more upright lie? No problem. Jack the connection all the way across and you can putt left-handed. Very clever. The putter has adjustable weights, which helps give this putter virtual super-powers of MOI (Moment Of Inertia) that no other club on the market can match.
The putter head is made from aircraft grade aluminum and stainless steel. Davis and Ryan came up with the original silver-colored head for the Rx1. Here’s where Beman came in. He made the Rx2’s head black and added a silver disc on each end of the blade to improve alignment. It was a subtle change but it makes all the difference.
With the putter addressing the ball, the discs allow the user’s eye to connect the dots and form a triangle. I didn’t know why it was so easy to line up the Cure Rx2 until Beman explained the triangle theory. It’s how our brain works, how our dominant eye works, Beman says. He must be right because you instinctively line up correctly with this putter.
That alone would be enough to make the putter a winner, but there’s more. Forget the technical science involved and why it works, but the fact is, putts hit anywhere on the face roll just as true and as far as if they’re hit in the center. It’s uncanny.
“One LPGA player told me her putter’s sweet spot was the size of a pen,” Davis said, using a pen’s tip to make the point. “I told her our sweet spot is also the size of a pen.” Then he turned the pen to stretch its length across the putter face.
Here’s the proof: Hit a putt off the uppermost tip of the blade, Beman tells me. I do. It rolls like a normal putt and into the cup. It doesn’t feel like a mis-hit at all. It feels normal. Now hit one off the lowermost tip of the blade, Beman says. Ugh, it’s repulsive to even try this. It’s like trying to hit a shank on purpose. But I do. This one dives into the cup, too. That is un-be-liev-able.
Would you have used a putter this odd-looking in 1969, I ask Beman? He laughs and answers, “I wish I had.”
You did O.K. on the greens in your day, I say. “I didn’t do bad,” he admits, grinning.
The Cure Rx1 will retail for $199, the Rx2 (black with Beman’s aiming discs) for $269.
It’s hard to believe that Beman is 75. He’s got a spring in his step and he’s clearly having a blast with this remarkable putter. Maybe he’s found The Cure for aging, too.