Editor’s Note: This is Part II of Nate’s DIY Custom Putter Series. I highly advise you to check out Part I (Milled Collection #001) before you go through this section as it introduces the series and is pretty awesome. This is also the first putter we’re holding a blind auction for. That’s right, you can own this very putter (and after admiring all the craftsmanship and detail that went into it, you might be inclined). Look for that at the bottom of this post. Now to the important stuff…
Important disclaimer: Almost everything I am going to outline below has the potential to ruin your putter (or worse, you) if done improperly. Please exercise caution when using any power tools, harsh chemicals, open flames, and toxic fumes. I recommend practicing on old clubs before irreversibly changing your gamer or your brand new Milled Collection RSX. Furthermore, Callaway will not be held responsible for any personal, physical, or material harm incurred or putters damaged while attempting any putter customizations. Keep in mind that any of these modifications other than re-gripping will void your warranty and Callaway will not replace or repair any subsequent damaged products. With that, be safe, have fun, and go make something unique!
Tour Trusted #7
The #7 is our most popular shape on Tour because of how stable it is and how stress-free it is to line it up. One of the most popular versions of the #7 is the Tank and Tank Cruiser #7. Since the Milled Collection RSX does not have a Tank option, I thought I could get creative and make one myself, all while giving it a unique look and feel as well.
(Difficulty Level: Intermediate)
Adding a 1,000-degree heat to just about anything will cause some sort of change (it’s science), but when you torch the black PVD finish on the Milled Collection RSX putters, you’ll find the change to be aesthetically pleasing. The finish turns from black to a midnight blue/purple that shimmers in the light. This is something that is pretty easy to do as well. Using a butane torch, apply the flame to the putter in the areas that you want to modify. The longer you torch it, the darker the effect will be. After just a few minutes under the torch, submerge the hot putter head into water (room temperature) to cool it off. This rapid heat change from cold to hot to cold again is what creates the discoloration. A few notes of caution:
- Be sure not to hold the putter head with your bare hands because it will become extremely hot.
- Do not apply the torch to the hosel, because this can melt the epoxy and cause the shaft and the head to detach.
- Keep the flame away from the insert, because the torch can melt the bonding of the insert and the face.
(Difficulty Level: Intermediate)
For the most part, shafts on a putter are purely cosmetic. For this putter, I wanted to insert a really unique, brushed steel stepless shaft. To do this, I first had to remove the existing stock black shaft by heating the tip with the torch and very carefully pulling off the head. (Note: you do not need to torch it very long for the bonding to melt). Using acetone, I cleaned up the residue from the leftover epoxy on the hosel. To install the new shaft, we pinched in the tip to help with the bonding. Using shafting epoxy, we glued the new shaft onto the hosel.
Epoxy & Tungsten Filled Sole
(Difficulty Level: Expert Only)
On this putter we wanted to counterbalance it with a Tank Cruiser grip. Doing this adds weight to the grip-end above the hands, so in order to make it not feel too head-light, we had to add weight back to the head. On the Milled Collection RSX #7, there are some empty cavities in the sole of this putter. This is a great place to add some external head weight. To do this efficiently, we decided to fill those cavities with epoxy mixed with tungsten powder.
This creates a really heavy goo that will fit perfectly in the cavities and stay there forever. After creating the mixture, we used it to fill in the sole of the putter. After it hardened, we sanded down the sole to make it smooth again. Now that the sole is done, we can paint fill it to make it look beautiful again (for paint fill instructions, refer to part I).
I want to extend a big shout out to Dennis, Anthony, Wayne, Leo, Eddie, Filo, Espy, and Ramon (all from our Pro Tour team) who helped me out in the shop with all of the modifications that I wanted to make. Many of you are familiar with Anthony’s amazing work (just look at the guy’s Instagram page), but fewer of you are familiar with Dennis and his team. Dennis is the finest putter crasftsman that I have ever met. If a golfer can dream it, Dennis can build it even better than imagined…and always with a smile. He’s a magician in the shop and with his small team of wizards they are truly the unsung heroes behind every Odyssey win on Tour (and there’s a lot of those).