Why Are Scotty Cameron Putters So Expensive?

Written by John VanDerLaan 

*We may earn revenue from the products available on this site and participate in affiliate programs.

Scotty Cameron putters are probably THE brand name and most iconic putter in the game today. The famous designer has lent his name and expertise to the Titleist brand in creating an extensive line of Scotty Cameron putters, each designed to be amongst the highest-end putters on the market, and by far the most widely used putters on the professional tours, but why are Scotty Cameron putters so expensive?

These Scotty Cameron putters are so expensive because they basically max out what’s available in the categories of technology, quality, and aesthetics. They also demand a “brand name” price as Scotty Cameron putters are not just high performing putters, but many of them are considered status symbols or collectables. 

While there are many high-end putters on the market, none dominates the share of customers and elite tour pros as much as Scotty Cameron and they are the standard against which all other putters are judged.

Why Are Putters So Expensive In General?

Why Are Scotty Cameron Putters So Expensive

The blunt answer to why putters are so expensive in general is basically: because people will pay it. Golf for most people is an expensive game, and in a golf bag that might cost thousands of dollars to assemble, golfers feel justified in spending several hundred dollars on the club they will use the most: the putter.

This is despite the fact that the technology and engineering in a putter pales in comparison to what needs to be done to manufacture a modern driver head, for example. There is, in fact, a very high markup on putters. Brands such as Scotty Cameron have capitalized on this by emphasizing not just the performance aspects of the putter but the aesthetics and iconography to make what is basically a “luxury brand” of the golf world.

Just like “luxury brands” in other industries, these putters come along with the top precision construction, quality materials, and design features for sure, but then add to that a mystique that appeals to the consumer who wants to spare no expense to know that they’ve got “the very best” in their hands.

Who Is Scotty Cameron?

Don T. Cameron[1], otherwise known as “Scotty” is an American golf club manufacturer most known for his work making high-end putters. He was taught how to make putters by his father in the family garage, and by the 1990s he was making putters for several major equipment manufacturers. He was soon contracted exclusively by the Mizuno company.

In 1994, he had made quite a name for himself and the Titleist company hired him amongst competition from many major manufacturers. This relationship has been cemented ever since and the pair has produced by far the most successful line of putters of the era.

Scotty Cameron lives and works in California and brought that signature SoCal style to his line of products. Many of his putters, such as the “Newport” famously used by Tiger Woods, are named after California beaches and other locales.

What Makes Scotty Cameron Putters So Expensive?

Premium Materials

Scotty Cameron putters are made out of the top mass produced materials available. Namely this consists of the quality of stainless steel. In the 1990s raw carbon steel was commonly used. Most modern day Scotty Cameron putters are made from 303 stainless steel, while some more complicated and larger models will use aluminum to manage the weight of the putterhead.

Tiger Woods famous Newport 2 GSS putter is also crafted from 303 stainless steel, but sourced specifically from Germany on the basis that it is the highest quality of this type of steel that Scotty Cameron could find to make a putterhead. “GSS” refers to the name “German stainless steel.”

RELATED: Scotty Cameron vs Evnroll

Design

Scotty Cameron Straight Shafted Putter

Scotty Cameron putters were initially known for a milling process that made the entire head and neck out of a single block of metal or “ingot.” As larger and larger mallet-style putters have become popular and technology has advanced to build some of the modern “spaceship” putters, milled aluminum can also be used to manage weight and aesthetics.

This milling process was considered superior to the cast-iron manufacturing methodology because it allowed for greater control and modification of putter specs and consistency in the metal. 

One of Cameron’s most famous customizations was born from a demonstration he would do where he would heat the neck of the putter up red-hot and then twist the metal around in a spiral to show off the integrity of the steel. How this is functionally relevant to a club that never undergoes that much stress when properly used is unknown, but the visual effect was stunning and drew eyes to the quality of the product. Tour players liked it so much that they started asking Cameron to build “twist neck” putters as the ultimate symbol of custom craftsmanship from the best in the game, and a whole new style of putter hosel was born.

RELATED: Putting Grip Styles: Which One Is Right For You?

Feel

Scotty Cameron Futura 5.5M hitting a Titleist golf ball

Along with using higher quality, more consistent metals, Scotty Cameron putters have added some other offerings to help players adjust the feel of the putter.

Almost all putter manufacturers essentially copied some of the more popular designs from the patents of PING founder Karsten Solheim. However the modern “Anser” style putters are usually 10-20% heavier than the older PING models.

Scotty Cameron putters have a different feel during the swing than their PING predecessors due to largely being heavier in weight and size than putters that were popular before the 1990s, but many Scotty Cameron putters have adjustable weight inserts allowing players to add and remove weights and adjust the exactly feel of the putter to their liking and tempo. This extra weight in putter heads has come about not just as a feel change for the players, but also players favoring shorter shafts and the popularity of larger putter grips in modern times, which need more weight in the head to feel balanced for the player typically.

RELATED: Scotty Cameron vs Kirkland Putter

Additionally, Scotty Cameron putters have used a variety of high-end face inserts over the years to adjust the feel of the ball coming off of the face. As the golf ball has changed, some players have preferred to adjust the qualities of the putter face from the smooth finishes popular in previous decades. Scotty Cameron first gained traction (pun intended!) in this area by becoming a master of face-milling his putters, and nowadays many of their offerings feature a second piece of (generally even softer) metal inlaid into the clubface to change the impact dynamics and feel.

RELATED: Best Putter Grips

Brand Awareness

Scotty Cameron Putter Head Cover

Scotty Camerons are, as we said, the most iconic putter brand on the planet today. They have an almost “cult” following amongst golf gear aficionados, with many long-time and well-invested golfers even owning collections of not just the putters but their famously artistic putter headcovers.

The quality of the product stands alone, but the scope of their prowess has been magnified by cultivating and curating a “collectable” nature to their releases over the years, causing people to buy Scotty Cameron putters for all kinds of reasons beyond their performance.

Not only are their putters used by many of the best players in the world, but if somebody has a Scotty Cameron putter in their bag it is usually very recognizable both from the headcover and by the aesthetics when it is in play.

RELATED: How To Spot Counterfeit Golf Clubs And Putters

Use By Tour Pros

Here is a look inside the Scotty Cameron Custom Shop where they are made.

By strict count, there are usually slightly more players using Odyssey putters on the PGA Tour than Scotty Camerons, but anecdotally, with a few notable exceptions (like Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson who have Callaway contracts as of 2023), you will see Scotty Camerons to be the putter of choice amongst a higher percentage of the elite superstars and most household-name players in the world.

A lot of this success could, not surprisingly, can be attributed to one key player. Early on in his career, in 1999, Scotty Cameron was able to make a putter for Tiger Woods that mimicked the putter that Tiger Woods used as an amateur, the Ping Anser 2. There were a few customizations that were made, with some weight being removed at the last minute and filled with red paint to form the famous “cherry bombs” on Tiger’s putter. But the design was a winner and has been in Tiger’s bag for his entire career except for brief periods of experimentation and a relatively forgettable two-year span where he was presumably contractually obligated to play a Nike putter.

A lot could be said about all the TOUR pros who play Scotty Camerons, as well as the success of Scotty Cameron in general, but it’s very likely that the entire brand has been catapulted by the generational success of Tiger Woods. With the brand permanently associated with the best of the best ever, an entire generation of future TOUR pros and amateurs have been inspired to pick up one (or more) for themselves. Scotty Cameron had made a name for himself making elite putters for elite players before Tiger came along, but the visibility of being associated with “the most famous putter ever made” and a part of almost all of the most-watched golf moments of the past generation cannot be underestimated.

RELATED: Bettinardi vs Scotty Cameron Putters: Which Is Better And Why?

What Are The Best Scotty Cameron Putters?

Scotty Cameron makes a full line of putters, and even off the retail shelf offers an array of choices to cover mallet, blade, and in-between offerings of various aesthetics, weight profiles, and hosel types. Which is “best” is entirely an individual thing, however the Newport style blade putter that Tiger Woods has used his entire career is probably what they are best known for.

Here at Golf Gear Advisor, we collectively own around 30 Scotty Cameron putters. Here are some of our favorites.

Scotty Cameron Super Select Newport 

Scotty Cameron Super Select Newport

The modern variation of basically the most “classic” putter on the market as well as in Scotty Cameron’s repertoire. This putter is basically their take on the Anser-style blade. The “Super Select” moniker differentiates it from previous models and lines of the same basic Newport style, including new face milling, weight ports, and subtle design and size tweaks over the years to match players’ evolving preferences.


Scotty Cameron Super Select Newport 2 Putter

Scotty Cameron Super Select Newport 2 Putter

The Super Select Newport 2 is, as you might guess, not much different than the “original” Newport. The sequel is also a take on the classic “blade” putter design and the “Super Select” denotes the same modern weight porting and other features.

You will find the putters almost identical in features, so this being a “2” doesn’t make it better. This model was basically invented to solely have a different aesthetic while otherwise completely matching the style and specs of a regular Newport. The main difference is that visually the Newport 2 has sharper edges and has a more “boxy” or “squared off” and some would say “clean” look around the edges while the original Newport has the corners rounded off and is more “smooth” or “flowing.”

RELATED: Scotty Cameron Newport vs Newport 2


Scotty Cameron Super Select Newport 2.5 

Scotty Cameron Super Select Newport 2 Putter

As you might guess, the Scotty Cameron Super Select Newport 2.5 features once again a slight modification to their classic Newport design, which is their take on the classic cavity back blade putter design.

This time, the tweak is in the hosel. The Newport 2.5 features a “slant neck” hosel instead of a “plumber’s neck.” The “plumber’s neck” hosel bends at a L-shape part-way down to create offset while a slant neck is one continuous piece that just bends at an angle before affixing the putterhead. The difference functionally is less offset and a balance point that is marginally closer to the heel of the putter, creating more toe-hang, both in very slight ways but in ways that are important for players trying to micro-tune their putters to their putting tendencies.

Scotty Cameron California Monterey and Laguna

Scotty Cameron Laguna Putter

When Scotty Cameron made a “Titleist” branded version of Tiger Woods’ favorite PING putter in the late 1990s, it wasn’t his first time successfully re-inventing the wheel for one of the pre-eminent putters in the history of the game.

Brad Faxon had established himself on tour with a PING “My Day” putter and Scotty Cameron was able to successfully duplicate this shape and tweak it to Brad’s liking in a custom-milled version he dubbed the “Laguna” putter. This putter featured a head shape similar to the Ping Zing putter line but with a “plumber’s neck” hosel, exactly like the “My Day.”The Monterey putter is a similar shape but with a very slight tweak to the amount of offset in the hosel.

Scotty Cameron Super Select Squareback 2

Scotty Cameron Super Select Squareback 2 Putter

This putter is, once again, going to be based off of Scotty’s classic blade Newport models, with the name giving away some slight modifications.

The “2” means it is going to feature the same sharp lines as the Newport 2, but the most important designation is the “squareback.” A very straightforward naming convention here, this putter is going to feature a wider sole and flange, creating something bigger than a normal blade Newport design but not wide enough to be called a “mid-mallet.” 

Scotty Cameron Super Select Fastback 1.5

Scotty Cameron Super Select Squareback 2 Putter

If the Squareback isn’t enough for you, we have to change gears and look at the Fastback 1.5. This putter, while still existing on a spectrum of wider-and-wider Newport style putters, presents a departure to what we can call a different category altogether, the mid-mallet.

Visually it basically has a second flange on the back that narrows out towards the edges, when viewed from the playing position. This is going to create an overall heavier putter and suited to players who like some of the functionality of a slower tempo and stability that comes with a heavier putter, but aren’t willing to go all the way into “full mallet” or “spaceship” territory.

RELATED: Blade vs Mallet Putter

Scotty Cameron Super Select Golo 6

Scotty Cameron Super Select Golo 6

The Golo 6 is Scotty Cameron’s entry into the “full” mallet space. This club features a full semi-circle of metal hanging off the back of the blade, in the “classic” mallet design. Along with this you will see the face milling and weight ports that all the other “Super Select” modern day models have.

Scotty Cameron Super Select Golo 6.5

Scotty Cameron Super Select Golo 6.5

This putter is an extremely slight variation on the Golo 6, making it once again Scotty’s quintessential full, classic, rounded mallet offering. The difference is this putter contains a slightly different hosel design, allowing the putter to have a slight toe hang and arc more in the stroke than the regular Golo 6 which is essentially face-balanced.

Scotty Cameron Phantom x 5

Scotty Cameron Phantom x 5 Putter

This putter is basically the Scotty Cameron take on the “spaceship” putter, an answer to what you might see from the TaylorMade “Spider” type technology, but attempting to do it while maintaining that cool, classic “SoCal” style.

This is achieved by trying to build the full technology of two large flanges coming off the back of the blade while trying to make the club as understated as possible, hence the “phantom” moniker. The idea is you will get the performance of a highly unconventional putter without creating too exaggerated of an aesthetic.

Scotty Cameron Phantom x 5s

Scotty Cameron Phantom x 5s Putter

The Phantom x5s is basically the same exact putter as the x5, but, like we have seen with many other iterations, a change in hosel warrants denoting the putter with a different naming convention. Unlike other models that generally change between plumber’s neck and slant-neck or flow-neck designs, or slightly change the offset or attachment point of the shaft … the Phantom x5s features a dramatically different shaft placement - nearly center-shafted with a purely straight shaft going straight into the club with no neck, creating zero offset.

RELATED: Best Putters For High Handicappers

Scotty Cameron Phantom X 12

Scotty Cameron Phantom X 12 Putter

While still more understated than many competitors, the Phantom X 12 is basically Scotty’s version of throwing caution to the wind and laying out all the engineering possible for the world to see. The max-MOI offering from Scotty features a large crossing X in the back aluminum flanges and a humongous sight line all the way down the body of the putter head.

RELATED: Most Forgiving Putters

Why Are Circle T Putters So Expensive?

Scotty Cameron Circle T Putter

Circle T putters are so expensive for a couple of reasons. First is sheerly limited availability. The circle T designation was started to denote putters that were “for Tour use only” and shipped for PGA Tour players to try and use. So in theory you cannot just buy a circle T putter from any store or website, it would have at one point been intended for use by a Tour player and made its way to the second-hand market, thereby just the sheer rarity and demand work the drive the price up based on simple economics 101.

RELATED: How To Putt Better In Golf

The other exceptional thing about a circle T, besides just the limited availability, is that the putters are usually featuring one-off designs, prototype offerings, or other “custom” aspects that make them unique and collectable. Not only that, but even though all Scotty Cameron offerings use top-grade materials, everything in manufacturing has a tolerance. It might not be popular to advertise, but when you buy a club off the rack, they are only guaranteeing that the loft and lie are within + or - 1 degree of the stated values, for example. Putters for PGA Tour players have had every spec checked, measured, and adjusted by hand to the exact degree or gram - something that just isn’t feasible when producing putters by the thousands for sporting goods stores.

RELATED: Eyeline Putting Mirror Review

In addition to that, you can find evidence of other adjustments, for example a hand-welded hosels, and hosel shapes that are not available off the shelf, that may have been tweaked in small ways for players to test out, not the least of which is the signature “twist neck.” There also could be custom markings or arrangements … “dancing” lettering … different sight-line paint from the shelf models … you name it, if there is a tweak or a customization out there, a Tour player has probably asked for it!You can usually see the allure of having something one-of-a-kind, hand-measured and hand-adjusted and made from materials that were hand-sorted and selected for quality along with unique customizations is what makes “circle T” putters so much more valuable than those off the rack.

RELATED: Dave Pelz Putting Tutor Review

Where To Buy Scotty Cameron Circle T Putters

Scotty Cameron Circle T Putters

You can’t buy a Scotty Cameron Circle T putter from just anywhere. Originally they only filtered out through the Tour, and they still do, but there are a couple of official channels - with limited releases of putters coming through the Scotty Cameron website or through one of their few flagship shops, usually through a lottery.

Besides knowing somebody with a connection to a TOUR player, you will find circle T putters floating around the second-hand market, which these days means primarily eBay.

However, there are always stories circulating of that lucky-somebody finding a circle T putter at a yard sale, flea market, estate sale, or thrift store and scooping it up from an owner that was unaware of the difference in designation for a bargain basement price!

RELATED: Best Putter For The Money

Who Should Buy A Scotty Cameron Putter?

Scotty Cameron Putters

Literally anyone who wants to invest in a nice putter should look at Scotty Cameron putters. Part of the legacy created by Tiger Woods using his same Scotty Cameron for virtually his entire career is the fact that when you invest in a Scotty Cameron putter, you are making a “buy it for life” purchase if you want it to be.

RELATED: Best Putting Drills

The other great thing about putters in general, is that even the beginning golfer can play the same high-end putters that the pros use. While a beginner or high handicapper might look for a different technology in their driver or irons than what an expert or professional would use, putter technology is nearly universal, and amateur players can benefit from the same designs that the pros do and continue to use the same putter even as their physical abilities change.

RELATED: Best Counterbalanced Putters

Final Thoughts

So, Why are Scotty Cameron putters so expensive?

At the end of the day, Scotty Cameron putters are the “Cadillac” of putters. While there may be other brands that can compete technologically and contain the same elite craftsmanship, there is a certain “je ne sais quoi” and artistry surrounding Scotty Cameron putters that make them the iconic brand of the generation.

RELATED: Are Expensive Putters Worth It?

The putters are considered by many to be collectables, pieces of artwork, conversation pieces, and have a certain mystique and aura about them to aficionados that elevates them above their peers. This is backed up by the fact that Tiger Woods has associated himself so strongly with the brand over the years along with many of his peers and people who have looked up to him, and the legacy of Scotty Cameron is basically cemented in the game as the pinnacle luxury brand in the putter market.

RELATED: Titleist TSR Driver Review

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotty_Cameron
Photo of author

John VanDerLaan

John is the Lead Editor and founder at Golf Gear Advisor. He is a golf coach and mentor to his 2 sons that are current playing professionals. His son John is currently playing on the Korn Ferry Tour and his son Michael is currently playing on mini tours and preparing for Q School. John Sr. has been their coach and mentor since they were 2 years old. He helped them to succeed in golf with the right equipment, instruction and mindset. John knows a thing or two about playing good golf and he has a passion for sharing his knowledge with others.

Leave a Comment