Handcrafted Putters make your jaw drop
Have you ever had a day when the stars just align and things fall perfectly into place? We all dream about that happening, whether it be in your personal life, job or in this case golf reviews. I was given the awesome opportunity to go through the process of a custom putter build by the Xenon Golf Company out of Nashville, Tennessee. Small companies like Xenon exist out there and they will build you a custom putter to our liking. You can spend just about any amount of money you want. In the case of a Xenon Putter, you are truly talking about a one of a kind putter because each putter is handmade by Kenneth “Lumpy” Uselton.
These putters aren’t made in some huge factory with hundreds of employees running around the place. They are made in a rather modest workshop 200 square feet. That’s right 200 square feet, that’s a 20 foot by 10 foot building. Smaller than most two car garages. No air conditioning or creature comforts here, and we all know summers in Tennessee can get a little warm. Lumpy produces a couple hundred custom made putters a year. He makes putters out of all kinds of metals from common stainless steel and copper-nickel alloy to the more exotic Damascus steel and layered steel laminate Mokume-gane. Custom finishes, millings and stampings are all available to the customer.
The process starts with receiving an order form from Xenon Golf Company. On this form are list of choices that you have to make before Lumpy can build you a putter. This had to be one of the hardest parts for me. What would your dream putter be like given the choice? What material should I choose? What stampings and options should I select? I really racked my brain for a long time deciding on them. I finally decided and these are the choices that I made.
I decided to go with an “Element” model (somewhat similar to a Anser in look) and these are the specifications I chose:
- 34” in length
- 350 grams weight
- 3 degrees of loft
- 70 degree lie angle
- Full shaft offset
- ¼ toe hang
- Plumbers neck
- Aluminum Bronze head with a Vintage Antique finish
- Chopped sole (slot milled in bottom of the putter)
- Brass “X” in the cavity
- Jet Matte black steel shaft
- Stampings on the toe and heel
- Signature face milling
- Orange “Pure” Xenon logo grip
- Magnetic leather head cover by Delilah Club Covers
Next comes the wait, which seems like an eternity but actually isn’t when you look at it, as he is hand milling each one of these putters himself by welding, stamping, finishing, assembling, etc… I was sent a picture part way through the process of the putter after the milling was complete, before the custom stampings, face milling and Antique finish was completed. This was a very nice little tease! When the putter arrived it didn’t disappoint in any way shape or form! It far exceed my expectations in both the design, appearance and feel categories.
The Xenon Golf putter was more of a piece of artwork sculptured from metal than a putter one would use while playing golf. A golfer could spend more on what some may call custom putters from a major manufacturer, but what does that get you? A design that is not very unique or different from their standard issued putter with just a few customized items.
I would like to give my impressions of the putter from Xenon Golf in the following categories:
The feel of the Xenon putter is very good. The putter is Aluminum Bronze, this material has a softer feel than Stainless Steel putters and is more resistant to rust than a carbon steel putter. If you are a golfer that is use to putting without a insert, you will really like this version. Some adjustment would be required if you are coming from an inserted putter. It has a nice consistency and roll off the face. Well done Xenon putters!
The forgiveness of the putter is very good. It is a ¼ toe hang putter with a full shaft offset so that design works great for a slight arc style putting stroke. Most golfers putt with an open-square-closed stroke where the putter moves on a slight arc (sometimes known as an in-to-in stroke or a barn door stroke). Heel and toe weighted putters have long been shown to twist less than any other style of putter with an off center hit. This means that the difference between where putts end up if struck by the sweet spot as compared with off-center hits is as small as possible.
The sound of the ball coming off the face of the Xenon putter is a very pleasant click. This comes from a combination of the putter materials and the “chopped sole”. This is a small slot cut into the bottom of the putter located just behind the face of the putter. I have always wanted a slot in the sole of my putter. The putter build has given me that opportunity.
The only alignment aid on this putter is a white dot on top of the putter. A very simple way of aiming the putter but it works well for me personally because I putt while looking at the hole. I don’t need an over abundance of sight lines and other methods of alignments to take away from the appearance of the putter.
Quality of Construction
The quality of the construction of the putter is second to none. You can tell right off that this a one of kind hand made putter, from the milling marks on the face of the putter, too the hand stampings on several surfaces of the putter. The addition of the brass “X” in cavity of the putter is one of those features you don’t get with a standard issue putter.
The Xenon logo grip from Pure has an excellent soft feel and just the right amount of tact to it. The putter cover is from Deliha Club Covers, Made in the USA. A magnetic closure keeps the cover tightly attached to the putter. Excellent graphics, and embroidery make this cover a perfect compliment to the putter.
The complete process from start to finish was excellent with the Xenon Putter Company. If you are in the market for a “one of a kind” handmade putter be sure to take a look at them. They are on all of the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The custom handcrafted putters are on full display with many pictures to look at. I bet you won’t find one putter that looks exactly like another. What’s great is that you can take the features you love from each putter and turn it into your own dream putter. So if there comes a day when the stars align and you feel the urge to make your dream come true, take a leap of faith and join the custom putter family.
Golf Life Contributor