Scotty Cameron Special Select Putters (2020)
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Scotty Cameron Special Select Putters (2020)

Scotty Cameron Special Select Putters (2020)

I’m always inspired by the putters that result from working directly with the best players in the world. With Special Select, I wanted to get back to the pure-milled shapes and faces that I’ve been crafting for tour players for more than two decades. We’ve brought those designs into the modern era with new setups, necks, faces, grips and weights. Every aspect of every putter has been redone. When it all came together, it was pretty special. -Scotty Cameron

Well, Isn’t That Special?

Quotes from Scotty Cameron are always my favorite part of Cameron putter press releases. Usually, you get a poetic recounting about how the supple surf softly suggested shapes and styles. Sadly, this time the Cameron quote is far more down to business. Scotty Cameron has been making putters for tour players for twenty years, and with his new Special Select line, he used his inspirations from tour putters that he likely made, to make new putters.

But then a couple of sentences later, he takes all of these inspirations, modernizes them, and basically redoes every aspect of the putter. It’s a weird vibe this time. We are going back to the classics, but these will be new, and thus not like the classics. Anyone else feeling stuck in a logic loop?

Anyway, regardless of the release script, when the perennial putter powerhouse that is Scotty Cameron releases a new line of putters, the golfing public, myself included, will want to know what these new putters are all about. With that in mind, let’s dive into the new versions of the Selects, and see if we can’t identify what makes them special.

A Return to the Mill

For me, the big deal with the Special Selects is a return to fully milled stainless-steel construction. While the 2018 Select lines all featured either a 303 stainless or 6061 aircraft aluminum inlay (insert), these putters are fully milled and thus inlay free. This means you no longer will have a vibration-dampening layer behind the face, likely resulting in a dramatically different feel and sound profile in these new Special Selects. On paper, I’d expect that these new putters are going to feel firmer and sound a bit louder than the 2018 models.

This is not a good or bad thing, as golfers prefer both ends of the sonic spectrum when putting.

The sole of the putter has also been changed with a new soft Tri-sole replacing the 2018 four-way balanced sole. I’m curious to see the in-hand differences here, too. Both soles are touted as helping the putter sit better (more square) at address. I found this to be true for the 2018 Laguna. It is an amazingly balanced putter and just sits effortlessly behind the ball. This has not been my experience with true tri-sole putters where resting the putter on one of the three sole angles dramatically changes where my hands want to be at address.

For me, the classic tri-sole variability leads to instability but that may be the exact thing that Scotty is addressing here with the soft part of the descriptor. Perhaps the angles between the three planes of the sole are not as severe as those found in the classic tri-sole, resulting in a softer transition between them.

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Another interesting redesign in the Special Select line is the new take on the plumber’s neck. Scotty has shortened the neck and in doing so has increased toe flow. No, this is not the first time that a short plumber’s neck has ever been featured on a putter but it does represent a subtly significant change in the design and, perhaps, playability. Based upon the description, the new neck on the Special Select should give a 2020 Newport 2 a different toe flow than the 2018 Newport 2. To me, that means someone who has played a 2018 Newport 2 may find this new neck does not fit their stroke. The flip side is that some golfers now will fit the new 2020 Newport 2 whereas in the past they would not have.

I can’t wait to roll 2018 and 2020 models head to head to see if this neck change is perceptible, in feel and/or performance.

2020 Aesthetics

It’s not a secret that I go bold is beautiful when it comes to putter aesthetics. Even so, I can still appreciate the subtle simplicity of a stainless steel putter done right. I still think the 2018 Scotty Cameron Select putters were some of the best-looking stainless steel putters that Scotty Cameron, or any putter maker, has ever produced. They were clean, classic, and they looked, for lack of a better word, significant.

I’m not quite that enthusiastic about the looks this time around as something about the 2020 Special Selects just feels visually off to me. I know the whole “special” name rubs me the wrong way a bit, but I think that the layout on the sole is done quite well. That looks like a classic Cameron, crown and all.

I think my main gripe is the Milled In USA milling above the cavity, along with the Titleist milling on the neck and edges. It’s not that I don’t appreciate that it is milled in the USA. I do. It’s more so that it looks like an afterthought addition and it just doesn’t fit well in that spot on the putter. It’s muffin-top milling, spilling over the edges a bit, detracting from the overall design. Maybe I’m too picky but I know I will probably not buy one of these because of the cavity milling. Remove that milling and you again have a sleek, classic putter that catches my eye.

But, hey, maybe that’s just my opinion. Let’s take a look at the Special Select models. Camp Cameron has done a great job here of providing a blade or mallet to match the stroke needs of most golfers, providing a great complement to the Phantom X large mallets.

If Everyone is Special…

Perhaps I’ve come across a little harsher than usual with regards to this Cameron release, but I find the Special Selects a bit disappointing. Admittedly, I’m running on first impressions here, basing opinions on photos and reported text. In the past, though, photos and descriptions were enough to make me try and cobble together new Cameron cash. This time, I’m not feeling the compulsion. Maybe that will change when I roll them.

And that is a huge good thing about the 2020 release, as we’ll not have to wait long to give these a roll. These will be in shops near you on January 24 in North America, and March 27 worldwide. Curiosity demands that I’ll be checking them out on the 24th, but at this point, I’m not expecting the $399.99 to be leaving my wallet.

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Dave Wolfe

Dave Wolfe

Dave Wolfe

A putter-obsessed recreational golfer, constantly striving to improve his game while not getting too hung up about it. Golf should be fun, always.

Dave Wolfe

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      Kevin

      4 years ago

      Although I think these new line of putters are good, they are nothing too special. I found the following to be disappointing.

      1. Naming something “special” is a turn off to me personally.

      2. Something is not right with the hosel to my eyes.

      3. Milled in the USA has been used by Bettinardi ever since they started. I feel that Scotty Cameron is just copying Bettinardi as I see more and more people are starting to take notice of Bettinardi and how Milled in the USA marking attracts buyers.

      Reply

      Blaise Haxek

      4 years ago

      I have had the Special Select putter since February. IMHO you cannot be further from the truth Dave. This putter fits amazingly to my eye. This is the closest thing to a button back, circle T that Scotty has released to public OTR. I thought the 2018 model heads were to large, and while I didnt mind the insert, it added to the bulkiness. The blade on the 2020 Special Line is, literally, second to none.

      Reply

      Bring Back The Thwack

      4 years ago

      Got a Newp2. I was pleased to hear SC went back to one piece , no inserts.

      However, the shape of this putter is just off. Bumpers are asymmetrical, the bumpers are more curved vs linear which gives it an odd look for newp2.

      Scotty, WTF did you do to the neck? The top of the hosel is huge and very odd.

      How many times can I say odd describing a putters look? Swing and miss – or at least don’t call this a newp 2.

      Reply

      Robert

      4 years ago

      I rolled a couple of the putters today. I liked the Newport 2 so much they’re holding it for me at the shop. I’m interested to compare the stability of the putter to my other Newport 2 putters. With 30 or 35 gram tungsten weights in the heel and toe it should feel more stable on slight misses. Feel was great and looking down at the putter in the playing position was fine. I think it’s an exciting release of a classic with added MOI.

      Reply

      Martin

      4 years ago

      Total milled putter with “special” stamp on it. What is old is new again?

      Reply

      Will

      4 years ago

      These have a good look & of course as another has said, one piece milled is nice to see from him. I have a Studio Select Newport 2.5, 1 piece milled & imo, it’s the way to go…..

      Reply

      chemclub

      4 years ago

      Did you guys know I roll an SC – it says it right here on the putter face see!

      Reply

      RoverRick

      4 years ago

      I prefer the soft feel putters. These are not exciting me.

      Reply

      B.Boston

      4 years ago

      Glad to see them return to just milled faces, I did not line the inserts of the past several years. I felt they were all higher pitched and more clicky than my Newport Select. Although I still prefer the Dark Mist finish mine has, and the lack of alignment aid on the Newport model, so I’m still not in the market to update, but its a good to see them going back to 100% milled models.

      I agree that there doesn’t seem to be much “Special” about these in the styling department though. I think my 2012-2013 still looks better.

      Reply

      Clintwc

      4 years ago

      Tried the Squareback 2 on the green today and the performance was a ten. Only reason I didn’t buy was because the sound was a one out of ten. I’m going to try a different Squareback to see if it has the same sound.
      Has anyone else experience a loud unpleasant sound? Our Pro heard and replicated the same sound.

      Reply

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