(By Dave Wolfe)

The Machine Museum

Most of the time, my relationship with putters is one of data and performance. I can’t count how many hours I have recently spent on the putting green measuring misses for the coming soon 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Mallet Test. Putting should be about getting the ball in the hole.

On the course, putting is all about the rattle of the cup. Off the course, the putter obsessed mind finds satisfaction in other ways. I don’t know about you, but when I am off the course, most of the time I am still thinking about golf. I love the game. I love the gear, and my obsession with putters is well documented. Actually putting with a putter is only part of the story for me. I am truly fascinated with putter looks and design.

I think that it’s the diversity of design that makes putters so interesting. We see design variation in the other clubs, but really that variation amounts to subtle tweaks and turns when compared to the scope of putter form variation. Go to your local golf shop and line the drivers all up side by side, then do the same thing with the putters. You will probably annoy the shop workers, but the vast variation in putter design that I am talking about will surely be undeniable.

A couple of years ago, I ran across a little putter shop out of Texas called MACHINE. The variation available at the MACHINE putter shop was astounding. Not only did MACHINE produce different models, they produced models that were modular. MACHINE was ahead of the adjustability wave that is now everywhere in the marketplace. I thought it was so cool that a MACHINE putter could be “adjusted” to have different necks, flanges, weights, metals, and more.

Machine M2A Converter

I was intrigued with MACHINE, and that curiosity resulted in one of my first reviews for mygolfspy. That review became such an opus that it morphed into two reviews. In Part 1, I introduced the MACHINE M2A converter, showing the different neck and flange options, including some high-production value video on how the parts fit together. Part 2 centered on how switching the components changed my iPing putting stats. I’ll summarize the results for you in saying that changing the putter components did change my putting. Earth shattering, I know.

Today’s exploration of MACHINE putters is not about data though. That’s the great thing about being a true putter lover. While we all prefer rolling balls out on the course, sometimes our flat stick cravings can be sated just by looking at, and daydreaming about amazing putters. That’s what we have from MACHINE today. No data, no graphs, just straight up putter eye candy. Be advised, the management is not responsible for any drool-related keyboard damage.

A short time ago, I sent Dave Billings, the man behind MACHINE Putters, a simple request:

Show me ten amazing putters!

Rising to the challenge, Dave and crew braved an ice storm, burned some midnight oil, and came up with ten of their best. Let’s take a look at the ten they selected.


#1: MACHINE “Max Peen” ART Putter- Circa 2007


This MACHINE ART Putter starts with a M1A Fixer head in 303 stainless with a 303 stainless stubby plumber neck hosel.  The bumpers have been hand ground, polished and “melted” for a smoother, softer appearance.  The hosel and shoulders have also been lightly rounded and melted.  This MACHINE ART putter features Dave Billings’ creative hand-hammered peening over most of the back and upper surfaces to break up the light and minimize glare while providing a beautiful aesthetic that contrasts with the ultra-precise milling.  Billings’ peening technique and style has been copied by just about all the boutique putter makers, including Scotty Cameron.
*In a private collection


#2: MACHINE M2A Converter “End Game” Prototype – Circa 2008


This MACHINE Putter is 1 of 3 End Game prototypes showing off Billings’ exploratory process of deconstructing a classic head shape and reconstructing it in a new and improved way.  By breaking down the historic and iconic Anser2-style shape, Billings was then able to add his inventive “South Beach Cut” internal milling, removing more weight from the middle of the putter to be added back in adjustable tungsten weights in the heel and toe weight ports, and deeper, MOI-enhancing and alignment-improving back flanges.  The tight arc Modular Center Shaft hosel provides a center shafted, face balanced setup with a standard hosel port.
*In a private collection


#3: MACHINE Damascus Steel M2A Converter with Disco Ball Hosel – Circa 2011


This MACHINE features a Custom Damascus Steel M2A Converter Head with a Damascus steel beefy back nibble back flange and a Damascus steel “Disco Ball” hand bent hosel.  The bumpers on this MACHINE have been hand melted for a smoother appearance.  This MACHINE also features a perpendicular sightline on the topline with a “Giff Cut” to aid in alignment.  This MACHINE has been finished in an acid etch, hand oil rubbed finish.
*In a private collection


#4: Custom MACHINE M1A Fixer “Cowboy Trophy Putter” – Circa 2012


This MACHINE features a Custom 1018 Carbon M1A Fixer Head with a 1018 carbon steel plumber neck.  The head and hosel have both been finished in our hot salts gunmetal blue finish.  This collaborative piece features hand engraving by Tim Adlam, a Master engraver who worked with Billings to make this, the ultimate trophy putter.
*In a private collection


#5: Custom MACHINE M1A Big Bore Prototype – Circa 2012


This putter started as a 303 stainless steel M1A Fixer and then was highly customized with four massive multi-material weights, increasing the MOI and forgiveness of the classic Anser2-style putter.   Its “dot pill cut” plumber neck hosel has been “skeletonized” to remove weight.  A soft feel enhancing marine brass logo medallion in the cavity and slightly raised sightline in the cavity are further clues to the attention to detail in this unique Billings’ creation.
*In a private collection


Intermission: More About Machine

MACHINE putters are the creation of industry veteran Dave Billings, president and CEO of Dogleg Right Corporation of Plano, Texas.   Dogleg Right, is celebrating it’s 20th year in 2104, and has produced numerous industry firsts, breakthroughs and pro-line putter brands and R&D work for other major brands over the years.  It all started with the HOG Putters in 1994, the first “Totally Oversized” putters in the industry, and true pioneer of the lightweight, parallel-sided oversized putter grips.

Over 150 players used HOG putters on Tour, including many of the greatest names in the game, winning millions in earnings and fans all over the planet.  The MACHINE putters were born in 2003, recently celebrating a 10-year history of their own with numerous industry firsts, successes on tour and in the marketplace, and a rich and growing portfolio of patented and patent pending technologies.  Billings and Dogleg Right are pioneers in fitting, adjustability and interchangeability, with 14 issued patents and many more patents pending in these vital and growing fields.

Designed to bring Tour-caliber customization and fitting technologies to discerning golfers, MACHINE Putters are created with state-of-the-art CNC and old-school manual milling, together with meticulous hand craftsmanship, and artful touches and finishes by Billings and his team.  MACHINE Putters are made entirely in-house in their Plano, Texas headquarters, from design, engineering, CNC milling, hand finishing and assembly.  A rapidly growing network of world-class, Top-100 fitters now carry and fit MACHINE Putters, where players can get their exact putter specifications that best meet their stroke, performance and aesthetic preferences.

Billings elaborates:

“Our patented modular designs and fitting technologies allow our putters to be fit and configured to meet virtually any golfer’s wants and needs, so you can now experience what tour players have had for years now, a putter made exactly to your own individual specifications, wants and needs.  The days of having to compromise to an off-the-rack putter are now over, as custom fitting and personalization are proven to help golfers performance, enjoyment and appreciation for the putting that only a precisely fit and finely made custom putter can provide.”


#6: Custom Stainless Steel Damascus M9 Converter – Circa 2013


This MACHINE features a rare, custom forged stainless steel Damascus which is then CNC precision milled into a M9 Converter head with a stainless steel Damascus No 9 flange and a stainless steel laid back gooseneck hosel.  The head, hosel and flange have all been finished in a custom hand torched finish.  The medallion on this MACHINE is custom forged Mokume Gane, milled and engraved to order.
*This MACHINE Putter is available


#7: Custom Damascus Steel M20 Converter – Circa 2013


This MACHINE features a custom left-handed M20 Converter with a Damascus steel beefy back flange and a Damascus steel pill cut full slant plumber neck.  The head, hosel and flange have all been finished in an acid etch finish.  The medallion on this MACHINE is a custom Damascus steel medallion with a rainbow torch finish.  This MACHINE also features a custom skull sight dot.
*In a private collection


#8: Custom Mosaic Damascus Steel M10 Adjuster – Circa 2012


This MACHINE features a Custom Mosaic Damascus M10 Adjuster Head with a mosaic Damascus full slant plumber neck.  The Head and Hosel have both been finished in a hand torched oil quenched finish.  The Medallion on this MACHINE is a custom engraved Damascus steel medallion.
*In a private collection


#9: MACHINE M8 ART #1 – Circa 2013


This MACHINE ART Putter features a custom 303 stainless M8 Converter Head with a copper plated #02 flange and a 303 stainless laid back gooseneck hosel.  This MACHINE has had every edge hand softened for a smoother more flowing look.
*In a private collection


#10: Custom MACHINE Megalodon Prototype – Circa 2014


This MACHINE features a custom 1018 carbon steel M4 Meritage head with a 1018 carbon Prototype #2 Megalodon flange and a shaft over stud hosel.  The head and flange have both been finished in a hand torched oil quench finish.  This Megalodon flange also features custom perpendicular sightlines to help with alignment.  The Medallion on this MACHINE is a custom titanium Damascus logo medallion.
*In a private collection


Design Diversity

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another company that even comes close to the diversity of design that is available at MACHINE. These ten are truly works of art as much as they are functional golf clubs. Do these amazing, one of a kind putters come with a premium price tag? Naturally they do, but don’t worry. MACHINE also makes customizable, entry-level putters that also showcase Mr. Billings’ talent.

You can check the MACHINE site to see the likely infinite numbers of custom options that are available. Don’t fret performance either, remember that a MACHINE M1A Adjuster putter came in second in the 2013 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade Putter competition. Form and Function from MACHINE.

Machine Adjuster-2

To see what MACHINE can make for you, head to their site: doglegright.com

To follow along with the ever-expanding MACHINE Putter Picture thread in our forum click HERE