Titleist Cameron California Putters

May 15, 2012

From GOLF Magazine ClubTest 2012 (June, 2012)

Category: Midsize Mallet
Price: $350 

WE TESTED: 34”, 35” shaft length
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The 303-stainless steel head offers a sweet feel, while the deep-milled face creates a soft sound. Two adjustable sole weights (tweaks made by Titleist) enable you to get properly fit shaft lengths and weights.

OUR TESTERS SAY: One of the higher-rated putters. Near the top in all categories.

DISTANCE CONTROL: Very consistent roll and distance, whether putting from 5 feet or 30; extreme misses are rare—toe and heel hits roll out to the hole; exceptional feel and balance gives it a nose for the hole on putts of 5 feet or less.
FEEL: Contact is surprisingly soft for a metal face; while forgiving on mis-hits, off-center contact is easily recognizable; heavier sole weights stabilize the putter for improved accuracy.
LOOK: Elegant, high-end satin finish; prominent heel-toe weighting and a muscular body that presents a confident look; exaggerated Anser-shaped head sets up square with little effort.

Some testers find the grip too narrow and would prefer it built up a little more to quiet the hands; less-accomplished putters might want to see a bigger sweet spot and more forgiveness.

Titleist Cameron California Putters

(Clockwise from top, left) Del Mar, Monterey, Fastback

From The Shop Blog (October, 24 2011)
The Scotty Cameron California putters first appeared on the practice green at the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine. Their classically shaped heads were far from radical, but they did came with a unique gold finish that Cameron called, "Honey Dipped."

In the latest generation of Cameron's California putter family, that finish has been washed away and replaced with a more conventional, non-reflective chrome look called, "Sea Mist."

A second noticeable difference in the new model can be seen in the face. The original California putters had a smooth face, but the new California line features deeper milling that produces a noticeably lower and deeper sound at impact. Cameron says that the deeper milling has no effect on the ball and doesn't make it roll any differently.

Scotty Cameron California line has five different models:

•    Monterey: A classic heel-toe weighted blade with an plumber's neck and one sight line. (above)

•    Monterey 1.5: An identical head to the Monterey, but featuring a smaller, curved neck.

•    Del Mar: A heel-shafted mid-mallet with a slightly enlarged toe section and one sight line.

•    Fastback: A beefy blade that is slightly shorter from heel to toe and comes with a rounded back flange and three sight lines.

•    Sonoma: A compact, D-shaded mid-mallet that features a round neck that curves directly into the head.

Like the Studio Design putters, the California putters now feature three red dots (which “Cameron crazies” refer to as Cherry Bombs) on the back. Each putter is milled from a block of 303 stainless steel and available in 33-, 34- and 35-inch versions. To ensure that the head weight is optimized to the putter's length, weight screws are affixed into the sole of each club at the factory. Golfers cannot adjust the weights, but they can order heavier versions of some models.

Shape eyes will also notice that Cameron has decided to build the California putters using a step-less shaft and positioned the shaft band in a position so it is hidden from view in the address position. These adjustments were made to reduce visual distraction and let your eyes naturally focus on the ball.

The black pistol-style grip was inspired by handle of a hammer that Cameron picked up at a hardware store. Not only is it larger than the pencil-thin Cameron grips of old, the budging area at the top naturally engages the pinky and ring finger of your top hand, encouraging your wrist to stay firm throughout your stroke.

All of this style doesn't come cheap. Look for Scotty Cameron California putters to retail for $375 in pro shops starting in November. To help you get over the sticker shock, remind yourself that you'll be using a putter made by the same guy who creates flatsticks for Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney and lots of other PGA Tour stars.