Putting used to be considered the most artful of golf skills, and putters were the paintbrushes. Think Ben Crenshaw and his Cézanne-like stroke, with the equally elegant “Little Ben” blade in hand. Nowadays, it's all about maximized moment of inertia, tight tolerances and CNC milling. On the greens as elsewhere, golf can feel almost numbingly sterile at times, with engineering trumping aesthetics. The Real Mother Goose, a Portland gallery featuring the work of American artists and craftspeople, including woodworkers, Converse, a lifelong golfer and whittler, had a Eureka moment: Build putters out of burl wood. Bradley Putters took its first baby steps, the company has a handful of craftsmen—armed only with saws, sanders and a drill press (and, when requested, dyes for stunning colors and a laser for personalized engraving). They make locally sourced, bespoke flatsticks for players who appreciate art—and performance. philistine could fail to see the beauty of a Bradley (which start at $600); the surprise is in the playability. The wood is stabilized and waterproofed with a vacuum process that removes water and replaces it with a chemical hardener, yielding a soft, feel-enhancing clubface and a club that doesn't have to be babied. Each wood block is also analyzed for density and hardness, which allows the builder to precisely weight the end product with hidden lead plugs to achieve the desired specs.