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Best Custom Putter Makers Review

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Best Custom Putter Makers Review

If you’ve been kicking around the idea of getting a custom putter, you’ve probably made a list of the most promising companies. Of course, finding the best custom putters is even more difficult than finding one off the shelf, since you’re not actually choosing a putter here – you’re choosing a person who will make you one. In this best custom putter makers review, we’ll go through some of the best custom makers for putters so you can tailor your putter to suit your needs perfectly. Let’s get stuck in.

A Couple of Options

There are two (well, two and a half) ways you can go about finding the perfect off-the-rack putter for you. One is having it truly custom-made – 3D modelled to your design, milled from scratch, welded, and gripped. The other is similar, in that you’re getting a sort of a “blank” which is then fitted to your specs – usually, most custom shops will use this sort of process, since it gives the best (this is the “a half” part of the approach).

The second, or, technically, third way you can go about this is through an OEM – ordering a production-line model and having it custom-fitted either by them or a third part. Keep in mind, though, that some builders (such as Dogleg Right) won’t accept such orders and work with their own material, exclusively.

Whichever way you go about this, the key phase is preparation. Whether you fill in a form on a website, draw a design on a napkin, or spend hours talking to the engineer of your choosing, this is where it all begins and you want to start off the right way. The rest is in their (hopefully capable) hands.

Best Custom Putter Makers Review

Down here you can see our reviews of the top 7 custom makers (in no particular order), as well short mentions of their flagships (where such term makes sense, given we’re talking about custom putters, and there’s nothing more personal than that).

1. Kari Lajosi

Our Rating:

Kari Lajosi

Word around the campfire is that Kari will have no issue building a putter based on nothing more than napkin drawing (still, common decency tells us we shouldn’t test this). In his own words, he handles each step of making a club, from 3D modelling to gripping it, and enjoys experimentation.

You can, as noted, send in a drawing, give a written input, talk to the man, or just pick one of the heads Kari carries and have it customized. Alternatively, you can send in your current flatstick, and have it customized.

Of course, the time it takes to finish your order will vary depending on how much traffic there is and how specific your design is, but typically we’re talking 2 weeks to a month, from conception to your front door.

As for stock putters, there is no flagship per se, but his DD201 head is rather popular and mean-looking (not mean in the sense of “average”, mind you). This is basically Kari’s take on the traditional Karsten Solheim’s Anser, featuring a CNC-milled head, full-shaft offset, full toe hang, 350 grams of weight.

If you’d like to go for something truly unique, you might want to try ordering a “lizsert” – a precision-milled insert in the shape of the logo (a lizard). Granted, it has a purely cosmetic appeal, but the feel is not lacking in any way ( Couple it with the Damascus shaft bands with the same motif, and you’ve got a flatstick that’s sure to turn some heads on the course.

Website: www.lajosiputters.com.au

Pros

  • thumbs-o-up
    Great return on investment, fairly inexpensive
  • thumbs-o-up
    Builds putters from scratch
  • thumbs-o-up
    Prompt and professional service
  • thumbs-o-up
    Nice-looking head covers
  • thumbs-o-up
    About a month of wait-time, at most

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    Based out of Australia, so customers outside the country have to factor in the shipping costs and the delivery time

2. MannKrafted

Our Rating:

MannKrafted

Next to Kari Lajosi, LaMont Mann is one of the better known names in the word of custom-built putters, and with good reason. The company – MannKrafted, operates from Arizona, and in LaMont’s own words, every piece of gear, from the steel for the heads and shafts to their standard grips comes from the US (which should resonate with most American golfers).

There are two ways you can get a custom putter from MannKrafted – one is to pick one of the “blanks” (actually, a few models they have in stock) and go from there. The 044 mallet head is a popular choice, and comes in four distinct flavours – aluminum, carbon steel, copper, or the long-lived 303 steel. It’s a hand-milled head, with under-the-tour-preference 346 grams, with a big ole sightline to help you align the putt. 

If you want to really stand out, however, check out the Mannkrafted Brassie Notch'd Hot Stix Edition. It’s a bit pricier and available only on special order (initially made for a golfer from Florida), but then again, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a custom blade putter everyone will talk about.

Website: www.mannkrafted.com

Pros

  • thumbs-o-up
    Quick and personalized service
  • thumbs-o-up
    All parts are made in the US
  • thumbs-o-up
    Superb craftsmanship

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    Somewhat pricey
  • thumbs-o-down
    Focuses mainly on steel

3. Byron Morgan

Our Rating:

Byron Morgan

Byron Morgan is, to put it descriptively, the Godfather of the custom putters industry. The man himself has been in the management since 1989, guiding his team wherever and whenever needed, but word around the campfire is that he’ll occasionally sit at the milling machine.

First thing you’ll notice visiting their site is the sheer amount of choices and user-friendly interface, which allows you to build your putter before even having to talk to a representative. That said, we definitely recommend involving them from the get-go for best results.

As of writing this, there are 27 heads, 9 neck styles, 19 finishes, and 6 different materials to choose from (aluminum/bronze, American stainless steel, German stainless steel, carbon steel, Damascus, and solid copper).

However, if you want to spend as little time as possible customizing your putter, we recommend the DH89 blade – it’s very similar to the Scotty Cameron 009, aka Newport, though the DH89 is a bit rounder and costs much, much less.

Website: www.byronputters.com

Pros

  • thumbs-o-up
    Will build a putter from scratch
  • thumbs-o-up
    Amazing amount of stock choices
  • thumbs-o-up
    Accepts bigger batches (50+ putters)
  • thumbs-o-up
    Almost half a century in the industry, great users’ community
  • thumbs-o-up
    User-friendly site, makes ordering a flatstick easy

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    Sort of pricey
  • thumbs-o-down
    Not all materials are available for all head designs

4. Xenon

Our Rating:

Xenon

Despite being a fairly new name in the game, Xenon golf has garnered quite a reputation thanks to undeniably quality craftsmanship and a rather friendly, personal touch when interacting with customers.

If you really want to make some heads turn, talk to Lump about getting a High Voltage Neck (check out their site for the images). Other than that, there are seven neck options that come as standard, complementing the same number of head shapes (the Cavity Insert is particularly nice if you prefer a firmer feel).

On that note, there are six finishes to choose from, each named more creatively than the last (purely an aesthetic moment, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need to “feel” the putt). As for the materials on offer, you can choose from seven different flavours – aluminum/bronze, carbon steel, copper/nickel, just copper, carbon Damascus, stainless steel, or a mix.

Website: www.xenongolf.com

Pros

  • thumbs-o-up
    Solid construction across the board
  • thumbs-o-up
    Great attention to detail
  • thumbs-o-up
    Willing to accommodate to any idea

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    Still sorting the site out, apparently

5. Slighter

Our Rating:

Slighter

Tom Slighter is another name you’ll often come across when discussing custom built putters, and with good reason. The customer service is, by all accounts, courteous and prompt, and Tom (or some of the representatives) will spend more time discussing your order than it will take to build it.

There are lots of choices to make, from choosing one of the sixteen shapes and matching it to one of the eight finishes (Non-glare Satin is an absolute beauty, but that’s just personal preference), to customizing your loft, lie, length, the works. If you’re into specifics, the Slighter Snubnose is a popular choice, followed by the Tacoma (you choose the rest).

Website: www.slightergolf.com

Pros

  • thumbs-o-up
    Involved in the community and charity work
  • thumbs-o-up
    Builds putters from a block of steel (typically 303 stainless or 1018 carbon steel)
  • thumbs-o-up
    Also does refurbishing 
  • thumbs-o-up
    Lots of choices
  • thumbs-o-up
    Detailed site, easy to navigate through

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    Can take some time for the order to be processed due to high volume of traffic
  • thumbs-o-down
    Pretty pricey, but that’s to be expected in this niche

6. Machine Putters

Our Rating:

Machine Putters

Machine Putters are the brand of Dogleg Right, a company which is known for its willingness to experiment (though they keep it to their R&D department, and will not accept any ideas and designs from the customers, in an attempt to protect both their and other brands’ intellectual property).

The interesting thing about the company is that they take customization to a whole new level by maximizing adjustability, so that little tweaks can be done either at the factory or at a fitter’s and even by your fine self in the comfort of your garage.

Technologies such as adjustable weights and convertible flange may not be unique or innovative, but combined with the Modular Hosel (company’s own patent), they give a rather distinct flavour to their putters, as well as level of owner-customization you rarely see.

If there’s a line to be called Dogleg’s flagship, it’s certainly the Converter. These models feature separable and weight-adjustable flanges, as well as interchangeable hosels, plus adjustable weights and matching logo medallions. In other words, if there’s a piece of patented technology, this line has it. Out of these, the M2A Converter is often highlighted (basically, it’s Dave’s take on the classic Anser design).

Other than that, there are the HOG putters (company’s first brand), which you might recognize as an 11-time tour winner).

Website: www.doglegright.com

Pros

  • thumbs-o-up
    High-tech approach
  • thumbs-o-up
    Lots of patents (great R&D department)
  • thumbs-o-up
    Plenty of adjustability (varies depending on the line)

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    They only use their own stock
  • thumbs-o-down
    Not cheap

7. T. P. Mills

Our Rating:

T. P. Mills

If you’re at least half-serious about the history of golf, you’ll recognize the name T. P. Mills as the one being credited the popularization, if not the invention of milled putters, as well as making the first black putter, for better contrast with the ball (he’s also famous for making putters for most of the US presidents back in the day).

Today, the 50-odd-year-old company is run by his son, Dave Mills (has been since the 1980s), and he’s doing a great job of keeping the reputation.

The company has two lines (speaking in broad terms): handmade and limited edition. The former are available strictly by order (via the phone or e-mail, whichever floats your boat), while the latter are available in shops across the Southeastern United States.

Website: www.tpmills.com

Pros

  • thumbs-o-up
    Handmade and limited production lines
  • thumbs-o-up
    Handmade covers
  • thumbs-o-up
    Lots of history, great reputation

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    The site could use some sprucing up

Other Makers That Deserve an Honourable Mention

Before wrapping up, we felt it would be only fair to mention that it was a difficult job picking just seven out of dozens of great custom putter companies. That said, here’s a list of those who didn’t make the cut, but are certainly well-worth considering.

Bellum Winmore (http://www.bellumwinmore.com)

Bettinardi (http://www.bettinardi.com)

Bobby Grace (https://www.bobbygraceputters.com)

C&L Putters (http://chipandputt.com/350milled-putters)

Coutour (http://www.coutourgolf.com)

Edel (http://edelgolf.com)

Gauge Design/Dave Whitlam (http://www.whitlamgolf.com)

Kenny Giannini (http://kennygianniniputters.com)

Kingston Putters (http://www.kingstonputters.com)

Low Tide (http://lowtideputters.com)

Nead (http://www.neadcustomputters.com)

Piretti Golf (www.pirettigolf.com)

Seemore (http://www.seemore.com)

Tad Moore (http://www.tadmoore.com)

The Final Word

And there you have it, the top seven best custom putter companies for 2017. We also added three times the number to do justice to all other makers we didn’t have the space to elaborate on, so if you have the time, be sure to check out their sites and what other golfers say about them.

On that note, do you agree with our list, or would you bump some of the names up/down? Alternatively, do you have any campfire story starring one of the names we mentioned? If so, please, leave a comment and share it with our readers. Until then, fairways and greens!

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Ryan S

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