By Dave Wolfe
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Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ’em
You’ve probably read enough of my stuff to know that there was no chance that we were going to make it through an article about a putter named Hammer without at least one MC Hammer reference. Prepare yourself for a none too subtle Zolex reference somewhere as well.
Yesterday, we got to know a little more about Bputters as a company, hearing from it’s owner Antonio, and checking out some of the amazingly diverse putters that they build. When you consider the variations with the metal, model, finish, and other options, you get possible combinations somewhere in the hundreds.
Today, we are going to take a closer look at the Bputters Hammer that Antonio customized to my playing specs and preferences. You’ll get to see how Bputters customized the Hammer for me, and at the same time likely visualize what options you would select for your custom Hammer.
Specifications: Bputters Hammer
- Material: 1-piece CNC Milled 303 Stainless
- Head weight: 330g
- Loft: 4°
- Lie: 71° (2° Flat)
- Toe Hang: 4:30
- Length: 34.5 inches
- Dexterity: Right
- Offset: Full-shaft
- Grip: Italian Leather Pistol Grip
- Shaft: Chrome True Temper
- Price: Starting at 339 € (about $390 US)
This Hammer was finished with Bputters’ Black Pearl finish. You should be able to get a pretty good vibe for the finish from the photos, but the photos don’t completely do justice to the subtle hues found within. It’s stunning. There is some real depth in the darkness. It’s a darkness that is punctuated by color.
When you look at the putter from different angles, you pick up all kinds of reds, greens, yellows, and more. It is, again, stunning. The polish is mirror-like. Just look at the cavity lettering reflecting on the flange.
Glare is not the issue that you might think when you look at the glossy finish. The Black Pearl isn’t distractingly bright or reflective, even in full sun. Check out the gallery below to see shots taken in direct light. In the photos, as well as in person, the putter actually appears darker in sunslight. Perhaps the finish should be renamed Black Hole, as not even light can escape it. Of course, you can get a sun reflection off it, if you hit it at the right angle. It’s just tougher to get that reflection than one might think.
Outside of the finish, the geometry of the Hammer is unique. The Hammer sweeps up from the bumper and the heel to the shaft, while being more rounded at the toe. The top edge is thick and quite blocky when compared to the sweeping edges at the edge of the cavity. It still has the Anser pedigree common to most of today’s heel/toe weighted putters, but the Hammer takes that classic design in a new direction.
The Hammer has the classic 303 Stainless Steel feel. It’s not as soft as carbon, giving a bit more pop when you roll the ball. What I found much more interesting about the Hammer was the feedback that the Hammer provides. You get a bit of that forged-iron feedback with the Hammer. Strike the sweet spot and it is as buttery smooth as any other putter I’ve rolled. Miss that spot, and you know it immediately. After you putt with the Hammer for a while you can fine tune this awareness. It’s almost like it has a built in training aide. You know if you were even slightly heel or toe with the strike.
Yep, I said it. I sometimes miss the sweet spot when I putt. Maybe some of you do too. The Hammer lets me know, and that knowledge should lead to improvement.
Oh no! Someone forgot to put at sight line on the putter!
That’s right, this Hammer is naked. No dot, no line. Nothing to distract from the nice thick top, the square line of the face, and the edges of the bumpers. As one who prefers all things naked, I was very excited to see that no alignment aides was an option with the Hammer. (Someone really needs to make “I Putt Naked” t-shirts…)
Should you be one that likes a line, or a dot, Bputters can take care of you as well.
Though it doesn’t really fall under the heading of alignment, that address photo above shows how the heel and toe sections visually blend together, even though the bumpers are quite different. Overall, you get a nice rectangular shape at address.
I’ve already mentioned the feedback that one feels when putting with the Hammer. Though I made it sound like I was hitting the ball all over the face in that section, I actually found it quite easy to put repeatable strokes on the ball with the Hammer.
It definitely gates through the stroke, perhaps more than it’s toe hang implies. Eyeballing the Hammer, one can see that the front end of the putter is a little blockier, and likely more massive than the sweeping-edges rear. Regardless, that toe does swing. Not so much that I’d call this a strong-arc putter, but with a bit more emphasis than some of the other similar putters that I have swung.
My Hammer came gripped with the Bputters red leather pistol grip. The grip is not as tacky as a perforated leather grip, but it is not slick, even in the current cold and damp weather. It has a real interesting shape as well, with a small diamond-like feature at the lower hand position. While I’m not sure of the diamond’s design intention, I found that it was very helpful in ensuring that my hands held the grip in the same spot each time. Anything that promotes consistency with the putter should improve consistency when putting.
This Bputter’s Hammer putter fits a Slight Arc Stroke, but a different shaft could fit both strong and straight strokes as well.
Final Thoughts: Bputters Hammer
I am very impressed with the Bputters Hammer. The finish is amazing. Communication with Antonio about my specs and customization was easy and prompt. Putter aside, I love to use gear from companies where you can feel the company’s personal investment. Bputters are special because Antonio takes the time to make them special.
With a price tag approaching $400, the Hammer is not cheap. I’m sure that some of you would be quick to let me know how you putt great with your $3 Goodwill putter, thinking that a $400 putter won’t make you play any better. To you I would say this, you could have a point, but perhaps not. Here are a couple of things to consider.
Price aside, you may actually putt better with a custom putter. If you know your ideal putter specs, and you get a putter made to match those specs, how can you not putt better? It’s like putting your size 34 waist into size 34 pants. Proper fit equals proper performance. Bputters can make a putter that fits you. Putting better with that fit putter seems logical.
In terms of price, let’s look to another Italian company, Lamborghini. When I was younger, I was in love with the Lamborghini Countach. It was my dream car, generating lots of fantasies of owning one and driving everywhere. Low and behold, I have yet to own one as they are more expensive than I can afford. Do I decry the existence of Lamborghini, going online to say that people should just drive to the store in less expensive Civics? Of course not. Instead, I daydream about the Countach.
The Hammer from Bputters is not even Lamborghini expensive. It’s got a premium price tag, that’s true. However, its price is in the ballpark with milled, off-the-rack Camerons and milled Odyssey putters. Moreover, when you buy a putter from Bputters, Antonio takes care of you personally, meaning it’s not off the rack. It was made for you. I know that these putters are out of the price range for some, but based upon what you get I don’t think that they are overpriced by any stretch.
Pre-emptive price rant aside, the Hammer from Bputters is a great looking and feeling putter, and Bputters should be part of the conversation for anyone looking to pick up that special, custom fit putter.
As I said before, Italy is only a keyboard away.
Win a Custom Bputter
Bring a little bit of Italy to your very own golf bag. One lucky commenter below will be chosen at random in a week to win a custom Bputter. To win, all you need to do is head over to the Bputters site and check out the options available, and then leave a comment below describing how you would build your custom putter. Only one entry per person.
Tap into your inner putter designer and make something amazing!