Sweetwood Golf Follow-Up: Arrival of the Putter
Special, gift-bearing holidays can come in July, I swear. One with great anticipation came a few weeks back, before my great Virginia golf junket, when a putter from Sweetwood Luxury Golf arrived on my doorstep. Sweetwood makes three series of putters with wooden elements; with their emphasis on feel and away from technological control, they hearken back to a simpler, human-driven time.
Sweetwood’s line begins with the Standard series. This group of four putters utilizes a fine hickory shaft in unison with a brass or gunmetal flange or mallet head. Combining the strength of two, seemingly-contrasting materials results in a beauteous club with unquestionable durability. Next comes the Exotic series, where the hickory shaft is merged with a hardwood head made from one of four woods (Pau-Ferro, Zebra, Birds Eye Maple and Brazilian Cherry) for a shaft to head wooden masterpiece. If you have a spare $2500 or so laying around (or at least $450), you can make the final upgrade to 100-year old Koa wood (the former) or a Neopolitan compression of Zebra, Maple and Rhodesian Teak (the latter.) For full disclosure, my putter fits into the middle series, the Exotics, and is a Birdseye Maple wood club.
I’ve had the opportunity to take the club out for practice and play sessions and have not failed to have enquiries galore about the club, its makers and its value…"What IS that?” followed by “Is that new? It kinda looks old and new” and “Sure, it looks pretty, but you can’t really use it, can you?” is the most common question. Well, yes, you can use it. Will it respond like today’s equipment? No, and that’s the point.
Hickory-shafted and wooden-headed clubs beckon a prior time. Clubs from that era were beautiful works of craftmanship, albeit with imperfections. They demanded a bit more skill from their magi. It wasn’t a case of purchase the club, make some magic for two rounds, then lose the club in THAT barrel in your garage. Clubs from one wood to putter required a period of familiarization, during which true confidence developed.
The leather wrap grip, the special hosel protector, the lamination of the putter head are all first-rate workmanship and could easily spend their days on a trophy shelf or over a fire place. My suspicion, though, is that the folks at Sweetwood prefer to see their cudgels in the heat of battle.
The first day I used the Sweetwood putter for 18 holes was a windswept affair at a challenging course. I committed on hole number one to not concern myself with putting score, but instead to get to know the club. On short putts, I attempted to open and close the face. On longer putts, I focused on hitting the sweet spot. As with any new club, I had my share of successes and failures. As I continue to practice and familiarize myself with the weight of the club and its tendencies, I will certainly become more trusting in pressure situations.
I’m fairly certain that no purchaser of modern equipment makes a buy with the intent of displaying the model. With Sweetwood Luxury Golf, the client always has two choices…display the club in a setting befitting its worth or put it in the bag to claim a skin or two. Either way, you’ll be satisfied with your purchase from Sweetwood Luxury Golf.
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