Building The Destiny Putter
It was an interesting weekend, since I hadn't actually built a Destiny putter from scratch in 25 years. I had forgotten some of the tricks and intricacies to making these putters. But a few hours alone on the SCOR Golf tour bench, and the first batch of Destiny putter heads are built and ready to be assembled. Later today, we'll have a slide show up on YouTube of the process. I'll post that link as soon as it is up.
What made the Destiny putter so unique is that it was one of the very first "assembled" putter heads, in that it had a number of "moving parts" to it. At the time, with the foundry technology where it was, that was the only way I could see to get the mass precisely where I wanted it. For those "gearheads" out there, here was my objective.
In my first foray into designing a putter with the goal of as much twist resistance as possible, there are two physics concepts I learned about. One is "axis of rotation" and the other is "moment arm", which relates to moment of inertia. If you are interested in why putters work a certain way, you will probably find this as interesting as I did way back then.
Every golf club has an "axis of rotation", but let's relate it to putters, and demonstrate it this way. Hold your putter in front of you with the shaft between your open palms just below the grip; the putter otherwise hanging freely. Now, move your palms back and forth to "roll" the putter shaft and make the head rotate a full turn each direction. You'll see the head rotate around a point extended from the bottom of the shaft to a spot "in the air" in front of the putter face. On a face-balanced putter, this point will be directly in front of the sweet spot. On Ping® Anser® and other "quarter-balanced" models, this point will be toward the heel. That point in space, about which the putter head rotates, is called the "axis of rotation". The more offset a putter head has, the further out in front of the face that point will be.
Now, what makes a putter twist resistant is a simple physical feature called the "moment arm". That is a simple measure of the distance from the axis of rotation to the center of mass of the putter head. Given the same amount of mass, the longer the moment arm measures, the more resistant to twist the putter will be. One of the features that made the original "3-ball" putter so effective was that the mass was concentrated in that far rear "ball", making the moment arm very long indeed. The moment arm is also enhanced by increasing the amount of offset.
Heel/toe weighted putters divide the mass somewhat, thereby creating two moment arms, one measured to the toe mass, the other to the heel mass. But designs like the Anser put the mass up close to the face and axis of rotation, effectively shortening this measure.
So, the ingenuity of the Destiny was to create a cavity all the way to the face from the rear of the putter in the heel and toe areas. In the bottom of that cavity is a simple foam insert to displace mass to the rear. On top of each piece of foam was a lead weight, and the whole thing was then sealed in black potting epoxy – the same stuff used to seal off circuit boards essentially. Once the epoxy was cured, the back was polished off and the Destiny putter head was finished, ready for a shaft and grip.
Stay tuned for the link to the YouTube presentation on how the Destiny putter head comes together and come back on Friday for details on how you can get one of only 15 historic Destiny putters to be sold, again with 100% of proceeds going to charity.
See you Friday.
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Makes good sense; I think of swinging an axe. The weight in an axe head is to the rear, which would be unwieldy, except the axe handle shaft curves aftward thus improving the axis of rotation. Also, the shaft is not round, but has the cross-section of a surfboard. Could putter shafts be made in this shape? perhaps the grips could?
Sorry for the delay, readers, but the YouTube video on making the Destiny putter is now up for you to see – www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kayvn4Qwwkw In Friday’s post, I’ll tell you how to stake your claim for one of these 15 putters we’ve made.
Tim Horan says:
I have a couple of putters in which I have fitted graphite shafts one which is a long necked, face balanced Hippo Anser style blade and the other is a toe weighted Ray Cook mallet with a short hosel. When I fitted these my distance control improved dramatically. I like the feel that all of the heft is in the head. Neither of these putters are overly heavy. I am currently playing a 1960's Bronty mallet that was given me by my uncle when he gave up golf last year at the age of 92. A great putter fondly remembered from my childhood when I caddied for him each week.
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