It might be time to admit that we've gone a little crazy. Debating the Scotty Cameron Newport vs Newport 2 seems a little extreme, right? Not if you want to make the absolute best decision for your game!
The Scotty Cameron Newport line of putters feature a classic blade head shape that has been the quintessential putter head shape for the second half of the 20th century. This shape was borrowed from the original PING Anser putter designs and has also been copied and used by virtually every putter manufacturer in the past 50 years, so much so that the cavity back blade design is synonymous more or less with what a putter is in the game of golf.
However, within that sameness of overall shape, myriad variations and tweaks have arisen over the years, and the Scotty Cameron Newport vs the Newport 2 underlines exactly how subtle some styles can be for golfers who are particular about their equipment. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the changes made between the two models, why, and what impact (if any) they might have on your game.
Scotty Cameron Newport vs Newport 2: The Main Differences
The difference between a Scotty Cameron Newport vs Newport 2 is fairly simple: the Newport 2 is more “boxy” or “squared off” than the rounder, more flowing, softer edges of the original Newport.
That’s it. It’s that simple. Overall the putters are made from the same materials, using the same techniques, have the same face, shaft, grip, dimensions, and weight. The Newport can appear more compact heel-toe but that is mostly due to the fact that the edges are rounded by a few mm compared to the Newport 2. They are ostensibly the same putter, on paper.
So the difference is just aesthetic? Maybe, maybe not. Some players seem to just prefer the different “style” or “look” given by the Newport 2 vs. the Newport, with rounded edges just feeling softer and more comfortable to look at for some, and seeing more flowing shapes when looking down at a putt. Others find that, functionally, a putter with very sharp edges, square corners, and clean T-shaped lines at address helps them line up very accurately and confidently visualize where the putter is pointed.
Overview Of Scotty Cameron Newport Putter
The “original” Scotty Cameron Newport putter is one of the most classic designs in the game. Modeled after the first milled putters that Scotty Cameron started producing in the 1980s in his garage in California, it is the baseline take on the classic Anser putter head shape.
The smoothness of the very finished/polished Newport inspires a well-crafted look at address and a soft, artistic putting stroke. These clubs have been modernized by adding different variations on the face milling over the years and the addition of changeable weight ports in most versions, as the years have gone by.
Below you can see my personal Scotty Cameron Newport Putter.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
There’s a reason why this design is the “original” or iconic design, long predating Scotty Cameron’s perfection and rise to the top. Functionally, it’s a championship-proven head shape that has performed at the highest levels for many many decades.
Aesthetically, it’s like a classic muscle car of the putter world. A timeless throwback. Almost everybody has putted with a putter that looks almost identical to this at some point in their journey through the game, and it is a very comfortable design to look at and play with. The Scotty Cameron branding takes it to the next levels of collectability, durability, and craftsmanship.
Overview Of Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Putter
The Newport 2 putter, naturally, was born from the design of its predecessor, the regular Newport. Scotty Cameron has named many putters after the beach towns that dot the Southern California coastline, and the Newport 2 doesn’t even come close to deviating from the original enough to earn its own moniker.
In fact, the 2 is nearly an identical putter. They are so similar, it might seem hard to believe that a company would even differentiate between the two. But the differences are consistent from year-to-year and revolve around one aspect and one aspect only: the Newport 2 has square edges instead of rounded.
Below you can see my personal Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Putter.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
The story of the Newport vs the Newport 2 could come down to simply “flow” versus “precision.” Now both putters have the ultimate precision milling and some of the most flowing strokes of all time have putted with a more “boxy” Newport 2.
However these are how the aesthetics differ. The Newport 2 gives almost more of a “raw” look like a prototype design that was made before “finishing” all the edges. Despite being mass produced, this look has been a very popular style to mimic in the era of custom, collectable, one-off putter head designs being en vogue.
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What To Look For In A Blade Putter
Different styles of putter offer different benefits. When speaking specifically about the blade style, here are a few things to look for:
The most important thing to look for in a putter, after head shape, is whether the length and weight are balanced, in proportion to one another, and distributed in a way that supports a stroke timing and smoothness that matches your natural setup and rhythm.
This is what golfers term as “feel.” If you find a putter like this, you will be able to match the pace at which the putter naturally wants to swing on a pendulum-line and feel like you’re just supporting the movement rather than fighting or manipulating it down the path.
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Blade putters at one time were the most innovative, forgiving design, but that title normally goes to the even-newer mallet putters nowadays. Blades are considered the more unforgiving design, so it’s important to not push your limits too much.
Extra heel-toe weighting can provide some stability, as well as checking whether you want face milling or a face insert to provide an optimal roll on off-center hits.
Some putters feel better on short, straight putts while other putters generally feel better on longer lag putts. Blade putters are designed to obviously be used in any situation, but generally many feel their lighter head is easier for distance control on long putts. Check out some counter-balanced putters as well if you are looking to change up your feels.
So it’s important to check the reliability of a blade setup from 3-to-6 feet and make sure you don’t have any trouble starting it on line repeatedly. Face inserts and milling also can help with the consistency of roll on off-center hits.
A great way to test consistency is with the use of the Pelz Putting Tutor!
One thing many don’t notice about blade putters is that they all have slightly different aiming or alignment aids, and some have none! If you prefer to only use the face or bare top line to frame and line up your putts, great, but the two most common sight lines are a dot or a dash.
But these can also be placed on the top line (near the face) or on the flange (deeper in the back of the putter) or both. In addition, it can be a long dash, a short dash, or even multiple parallel lines. This is strictly a matter of preference depending on what helps you be confident that you are aimed properly while standing over the putter.
This is also known as the “hosel” of the putter. Scotty Cameron Newport and Newport 2 putters have a “plumber’s neck” which features an L-shaped bend in the neck. Other putters feature a “flow neck” or “slant neck” that gradually changes angle near the attachment point. Some others feature a straight-in design.
Aside from visual differences, the plumber's neck, flow neck, and slant neck designs serve to provide some offset - usually either a full shaft or a half-shaft.
The other important part of the neck type is that the bending and attachment point determine mostly whether the putter is “face balanced” or how much “toe hang” it has. The relevant measurement is where the shaft would intersect the face if there were no bend in it. If you draw an extension of the shaft and it points through the middle of the putter, it will be face balanced or have a small toe hang. If it points closer to the heel than the middle, it will be a putter with significant toe hang.
Toe hang is generally more useful for golfers who stand further from the ball, putt with more of an arc, and have their eyes slightly inside the ball line. Face balanced putters match typically with a “straight-back-straight-through” setup where the golfer is looking straight down on the ball at setup.
Traditionally, the pistol grip and Anser/Newport putter head have been the go-to combo and kind of a standard setup for golfers. With the advent of “SuperStroke” style putter grips we’ve seen all kinds of lengths and thicknesses become popular and have success.
This is mostly a matter of preference. The idea is that the thinner grips give more feel, feedback, and feeling in the club head whereas thicker grips take the small hand muscles out of the shot and allow for a more steady stroke. Each different putting grip style will also demand a slightly different feel, so make sure to understand what styles of grip will work best for you before making a decision.
In practice the important thing to realize is that when a grip changes sizes, it usually changes weight, and when the grip changes weight, it’s going to make the feel of the putter head different, so these variables typically need to be altered in tandem or matched up, so if you go changing the grip from the stock grip, see if a weight adjustment is needed in the head, as well.
Should I get a Scotty Cameron Newport or Newport 2?
If you want a softer, more flowing, more finished/polished look at address, get a Newport. If you want a sharper, more cutting, pristine look at address that gives a very boxy look behind the ball, get a Newport 2.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Newport 2 so popular?
Newport 2 is popular in general because it is a timeless putter design that has been proven at the highest levels of the game for many decades.
However, the popularity of the Newport 2 exceeds that of other similar putters most likely because it has been used by Tiger Woods for his entire career, and the effects of an entire generation’s worth of golf imagery dominated by a certain red-shirt-wearing hero standing over a Newport 2 are unimaginable, both on his fellow tour pros and children and adult golfers across the globe.
What putter does Tiger Woods use?
Tiger Woods uses a Newport 2 custom made by Scotty Cameron. He has tinkered with putters over the years but this model is THE putter and has been in the bag for the vast, vast majority of his success. It was modeled by Cameron after the PING Anser 2 that Tiger had success with throughout his amateur career.
Is the Newport 2 face balanced?
The Newport 2 is not face balanced, it is a toe hang putter. However, it is not as extreme in its toe-hang as some heel-shafted putters, and could be considered more face balanced than other putters that look similar.
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Why do people like Scotty Cameron putters so much?
People like Scotty Cameron putters so much because they are the standard of quality and craftsmanship - they are known as the best, most precise, most durable goods on the market. However there are a couple of other factors that take their popularity into the stratosphere above-and-beyond other high-quality precision-milled putters.
First, Cameron has made a name for himself creating custom, collectable putters with really cool aesthetics and designs. This has made it kind of a status symbol to have a Scotty Cameron not only for the on-course performance but for the artistry. Many Cameron putters could be considered conversation pieces or heirlooms. This has created a different kind of demand for Cameron putters above-and-beyond just something to get the ball in the hole with.
The other factor is the “Tiger effect.” As noted above, it is almost impossible to determine the impact that has been made by having decades of footage with the most transcendent star of an era walking around a putting green with his iconic Newport 2 in tow.
There are really only a few basic shapes of putter head, but within those shapes golfers and golf companies find nearly endless minutiae to fuss over. At first glance, the untrained eye might not be able to notice much difference between the Newport and the Newport 2.
The putters, naturally given that they aren’t even differentiated fully by name, are meant to be only slight variations on one another. They are basically the same putter - the same weight, dimensions, materials, etc., but differentiated only by what seems to be an aesthetic, although many claim that the aesthetics affect their ability to aim the putter or feel comfortable and confident standing over it, rather than just a “cool look.”
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The standard Newport has a very flowing finish, with the lines of the putter rounded and blending. The Newport 2 squares off all of its edges, making corners and T-squares that point you in the right direction no matter where you look.
Ultimately either design can be counted amongst the most classic of all golf club designs, and their popularity and staying power is a testament that the club head really does everything a golfer needs it to do - it’s just a matter of what you want to be looking down at for the next few years - or decades!
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