Monday, March 1, 2010

Japan Only Pivot Tool Set



Rating: 7 points
Pros: Five Japan Only Pivot Tools
Cons: There's only five of them.

Quick update to post a few new tools I just received.  This is the first set of pivot tools released from the Scotty Cameron Museum & Gallery back when it opened in September of 2006.  Though the total quantity made is not definitive, there are no more than 500 sets, with far fewer in the hands of United States collectors.  Colors are red, green, gold, black and blue.  This is one of a few official sets released from the Museum... only two have matching artwork, this one, and the Seahorse set, which was released at the M&G Event in October of 2008.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Japan Only Pivot Tools

Rating: 7 points

Pros: Only released in Japan
Cons: Not released in the United States

No way around it... Japan gets cooler stuff than America. That's a slight exaggeration, but there does seem to be a trend towards very unique and exciting items that are only released through the Scotty Cameron Museum & Gallery. More often than not, we, as collectors, concentrate on putters and headcovers (think Damascus 009 and Patchwork Headcovers), but there have been several Japan Only Pivot Tools released in the past few years that really stand out against their stateside counterparts.

These two tools are no exception. The first is identically marked as a USA only version of a Scotty Cameron Studio Store released pivot tool, but in silver. Okay, so maybe our stuff isn't too different, however the unique color is one of the more popular that Scotty has released in the past few years. The second is a version with graphics closely matching the carbon steel Timeless putters released at 2009's M&G meeting in October. Anodized in "Solar Squeeze", this tool uses another of Scotty's more popular pivot tool colors and really stands out against the rest of my collection. The aforementioned graphics also appear sideways, something we have not seen very regularly on pivot tools.

Two great additions to my growing pivot tool collection... I wouldn't have them without the help of a very dear friend from Japan who helps me obtain Japan Only items on occasion.

Friday, November 13, 2009

M&G Bulldog Ball Tool

Rating: 6 points
Pros: Sweet Japan Bulldog Stamp
Cons: Not high buff

I got this yesterday, pretty cool. The ball tool was released officially at the 2008 ICC when it was available for purchase for around $40. Scotty demonstrated it's use the next day at the Table Rock outing, but to this day some people still don't know how to use the tool. Here's a very informative YouTube video regarding the Ball Tool. I probably have a half dozen of the tools by now... but this is the first one with a Tour stamp.

Friday, October 16, 2009

October 2009

Rating: 7 points
Pros: Three new covers already!
Cons: Very limited

October tends to be a fun time for Scotty Cameron enthusiasts... first because of the Halloween release that started back in 2004 (and returned in 2007 after a few years off). And more popularly, the Las Vegas headcover release that occurs every year, dating back to 2005. Even more recently, however, we have seen the yearly Custom Shop limited headcover released during October as well, initiated in 2006. This year, to cap this all off, we have a new subset of headcover in the TCC cover, discussed later.

Prior to the official release from the Scotty's Custom Shop, we were treated to a few days of sneak peeks of the new limited CS cover on the homepage. Last year broke with the short lived tradition of a "color" CS limited cover in the 2006 Purple and 2007 Gold, with a premium leather headcover embroidered Fruit Loops headcover (later renamed Hula Loops). This year the creativity from Scotty is beyond anything many of us expected with his new character, Jackpot Johnny, who is manifested in the CS limited cover along with a CS stamp and shaft band... all limited to CS (and restoration) orders placed in 2009.

Earlier this week Club Cameron members were given the opportunity to purchase two very cool new items... the 2009 Las Vegas Headcover and a Vegas Dice pivot tool. The headcover was limited to 1,000 pieces and followed the "Miss Lena" theme from the 2009 PGA headcover... these covers will also have a 100 piece special run of "topless" headcovers. Scotty has really taken off with the idea of "special" covers since they were introduced with the 2006 Circle L Vegas headcover. Though not without controversy, these covers have been hugely popular with collectors.

Today was a banner day for Cameron Collectors with the release of their very own headcover, designed by Scotty. Through the years all the headcovers have been designed with Scotty's tasteful panache many of us have grown to love, however this is truly the first headcover Scotty has made to recognize his loyal fan-base... a cover for the people, so to speak.

Pictured at the top of this blog post, Scotty has designed this cover with the premium ultra quality materials only seen in a few headcovers in the past. The design is reminiscent of a hurricane flag to this collector. Also released today was a
Cameron Collector ball marker... we've seen a few of these lately, but the styling on this one is unique insomuch as it matches the headcover it was released with.

Unfortunately for our community, there will be a lot of collectors who were not able to purchase these headcovers due to their extremely limited nature (only 250 headcovers). Also of concern is the high price (though accountable and expected due to the premium materials) of this release directly after the Vegas headcover release.

Some of my close friends who have been extremely loyal collectors were unable to purchase this release because of these and other issues. We all appreciate what Scotty does for the collecting community... though it is a tough grain to swallow when some of us and our friends seem to have been left out.

All concerns put aside, we may be due for another release this month... with some heavy expectations for a Halloween headcover release, this is shaping up to be one of the most memorable months ever for studio releases.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

2009 British Open Release

Rating: 5 points
Pros: Perforated Leather, Scooters, Bad Ass Scotty Dog, Oversize Driver Cover
Cons: Oversized Covers sold out quickly

For this year's third Major, Scotty released a few British Open specific items as well as some new Cameron merchandise. The Open specific items start with the Scooter Dog headcover then the matching Pivot Tool and T-Shirt. Additional Cameron items include a new small towel (already fetching $70 on eBay), a new Fairway & Green striped polo, a new ball tool for 2009 and new wood headcovers including a much needed oversize driver cover.

The Scooter headcover has 9 dancing scooters emblazoned with the Union Jack and a Scotty Dog on one side with a helmet, goggles and mean looking goatee. Early indications were that the headcover would be white due to an image released through However some of us were pleasantly (or not so pleasantly, depending on your taste) surprised by the blue cover when it hit the Studio Store yesterday at 2pm. I am one of the former and prefer the blue since the white looked too much like the 2008 PGA Championship headcover. The coolest thing about this headcover is the faux perforated leather look.

Edge bleed is the newest design element brought to us by Scotty on pivot tools. Up until the U.S. Open, we were used to seeing one design, centered on the pivot tool. The Scooter Dog design bleeds off the edge with "British Golf Championship" text filling in space above and right of the artwork. One of the more exciting things for me is the possibility of two or three edge bleed designs carried over separate tools, so they could be placed next to each other to show one image. Scotty has stepped up production of limited pivot tools in the past two years and I'm happy he is still finding ways to keep the designs fresh.

The British Open t-shirt was offered in white only and has what I will call a "hollowed out" Union Jack Scotty Dog design. Front and back styling is similar and clean with red, blue and gray accents. The ever-present red crown tag is on the bottom left hip. This is one of my favorite t-shirts in years because of the simplicity. The Fairway & Green polo is very similar to one released previously and is blue and white striped, however the Scotty Dog on the chest is blue this time instead of red.

The small red crown towel is similar in design to the aforementioned crown tag and measures 15" x 24" which is a great size for stand bags. We have been waiting for a towel this size for a while.

The woods covers match the Navy Stand Bag released earlier this year and include a new addition, the oversize driver cover. I'm particularly excited (as many others were judging by the fast sell-out time) about this cover because I play a larger driver (907 D1) that does not fit in the standard AM&E driver cover very well.

When the Ball Tool was released at the Scotty Cameron International Collectors Convention last year, some speculation was made to the tenure of the Circle T logo engraved on the tools. This release we're greeted with a new design, a Scotty Dog in the location vacated by the Circle T. I'm glad Scotty made this change and actually wished he had done so sooner. The other major change is the paintfill color to a high contrast yellow which should show up just as well as the red in the sunlight and even better in twilight conditions.

This was a great release overall, though it may have lacked a real "wow" item... Scotty is usually good for one or two of those a year.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Old & New Part II

Rating: 7 ponts
Pros: Blank-Face Scottsman Prototype, Orange Squareback Prototype
Cons: They Weren't Free

I reserve 7 point reviews for truly special pieces and these certainly fit the bill. I acquired both of these putters separately on eBay over the past month... and following a post I made about a year ago regarding Old & New items, I figured a sequel was in order. The first putter is a very early made for Tour Prototpe Scottsman 941 (or Mizuno Model I, you choose) with no face or sole stampings. The second is a Newport Squareback Tour Prototype that I sent in to Scotty's Custom Shop for translucent orange paint, Solar Squeeze CS Select headcover and Orange Baby-T grip.

The former was much discussed in multiple threads on TCC and the consensus on the model type is the same as mine... the lines seem a little too clean to be a handmade and the style is reminiscent of early 1990's Camerons. I'm not counting out the possibility of it being a handmade, as honestly I have never studied one in person before, but all indications are that it is not (although there are at least a few known handmades with no face stamping). There are also whisperings of this putter being made for PGA Tour (and now Champions Tour) player Andy Bean. All these details (which I consider minor) will be sorted out during authentication.

The latter is a putter that I've wanted since it first showed up several years ago as a one-off prototype on Tour with little information available, then more recently (by early 2008) had more proliferation on the PGA Tour, especially by Titleist staffer Nick Watney. The Prototype Squareback above is one of the few specifically made for Tour (this is a fine line and a touchy subject among some collectors)... mine is 330g with a plumbers neck and no removable weights. I was told by a distributor very early on that these would be hard to find, and although I have seen a few recently, they do tend to be elusive and less prevelant than the double bend and removable weight Tour versions (many of which may not have seen Tour players hands).

This model has been very popular and an Off The Rack version may be in the cards before too long, but I think the thing putts perfectly and the value will hold over time... and perhaps even improve if an OTR version makes it to market and demand for a Tour version rises. One of the other reasons I like this putter so much is the name... borrowing from the naming convention of a 1962 estate body Volkswagen, the Squareback is a cool looking car and bridges the gap between my father's affinity for post-war vehicles and mine for Scotty Cameron putters.

As I look at these two putters I see how far Scotty has come in design and production in the last 16 or so years... and imagine how far he will go in the next decade. It's fun to wonder about those things sometimes...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

M&G Fairway Wood Cover

Rating: 6 points
Pros: Blazing deal, dancing dogs.
Cons: Not a patchwork.

Once in a while you catch a good deal... with this cover I caught two. The FS advertised a Black CS grip for a good price and once I completed the deal with the seller, he offered several other items to me as well (talk about impulse shopping). This caught my eye and saved the seller from having to list it and deal with offers, so I tacked it on to my purchase.

The cover looks great and fills the gap in Cameron covers in my bag nicely (see the patchwork driver and hybrid cover post a few weeks ago). The Scotty Cameron Museum & Gallary manages to put out some of the most amazing Cameron accessories I've ever seen. There are more items coming... and I'm not even a member.