It all started back almost 2 decades ago when Bobby Grace handmade his first putter in his garage in 1991. The name that goes side by side with quality and innovation quickly found its way onto the map in 1992 when his putters started appearing in the bags of some of the greatest players in the world. Just two years later, in 1994, Nick Price used a Bobby Grace “Fat Lady Swings” putter to win the PGA Championship. This was the victory that officially put the company in the spotlight and orders were coming in from every type of golfer in the world. The very next year, one of Bobby’s designs, the “Pip Squeek” helped lead Annika Sorenstam to her first US Women’s Open Championship and would stay in her bag for an unheard of 7 victories including another US Open victory in 1996.
Since that victory in 1996 Bobby Grace spent time with Cobra Golf and MacGregor Golf and continued to develop a style of putters that help golfers of any skill level. His putters have racked up an incredible 150 wins worldwide and millions of dollars in winnings on the different tours. However with the changes at MacGregor Golf the putters seemed to have disappeared to a lot of THP readers and we are glad that has changed.
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2009 marks the return of Bobby Grace Putters to the world of golf and The Hackers Paradise could not be more thrilled. Years have gone into perfecting his craft and his mission to create the most forgiving putters in the world. THP got the privilege of interviewing Bobby Grace at his new studio as he talks about the history of the brand and where the brand is headed in 2010. We have broken the video up into two pieces of about 5 minutes each for your viewing pleasure.
Hole Seeking Material (HSM)
In 1996, Bobby Grace Putters was the very first golf company to utilize golf ball core material in the face insert of putters producing incredibly soft feel and roll. They enjoyed the tagline “The Best Feeling Putters In the World” because this material was unlike any other used to date. With Hole Seeking Material, Bobby Grace Putters accomplished a feat on tour that has never been matched to this day. HSM putters held all top ten positions in the same event.
In 2007, Bobby Grace and his R & D Team would go back to the drawing board and once again struck gold after 18 months of research and testing with one of the leading polymer facilities. What they were able to do was to create an even more forgiving HSM insert. This insert actually returns a higher amount of energy when you miss the sweet-spot by co-molding higher rebounds in the areas away from the sweet-spot.
In 2009 the Bobby Grace team has continued to develop the insert using the technology above and adding the cool HSM letters right into the face. During our visit to the Bobby Grace Studio, The Hackers Paradise was able to shoot a video of the making of the insert and show exactly how it is made.
While at the studio watching these master craftsman work, Bobby Grace handed us a Tour Shop Artist Series putter numbered 1 of 3 that featured HSM and wanted us to give it a try for ourselves and write a review on it. Our first impression was “I cannot believe we have to give it back in a couple of weeks.” All kidding aside we could not wait to get this limited edition flat stick out on the course. The look alone was enough to make any putter fans drool and as you can hear in our interview of him (above), the symbols around the putter all stand for the style. This only way to describe this club at first impression was incredibly unique.
I have to admit, as much as I was looking forward to rolling a few putts with near one of a kind piece of art, I was nervous about scratching or dinging it up. I have never used the Hole Seeking Material so I was more curious than anything else. Before beginning I setup balls at 5, 10, 15, 25, and 35 feet and then pulled out the Bobby Grace putter. I started at putting and immediately realized that describing the insert was going to be difficult. I have putted with softer inserts, I have putted with harder inserts, but I have never putted with an insert that had feel like this one does. The HSM gives you the feeling you would get from a finely crafted milled putter if you were to strike it perfectly each time. It is soft, yet responsive, and you still get extremely good feedback with each stroke. I was looking forward to getting this one on the course.
I was able to play 7 rounds of golf with the Artist Series Bobby Grace HSM putter. After each round I found myself enjoying the response off the putter face more and more. While this is not the normal putter style that I use, the face was giving me such confidence that I felt like I game this one forever. By the 5th round, I found myself purposely trying to hit putts off the heel and the toe to see if the HSM was as responsive as it was described. I continued this testing after each round on the putting green. Does a putt completely off the toe or the heel have as good distance as one off the center? No. But with this putter, it is as close as anything I have used. Hole after hole and round after round I found myself paying less attention to that aspect and more attention to alignment and aim and low and behold I was holing more putts. Especially those from that pesky 8 to 12 foot range. After the last of the 7 rounds, I realized one thing…I was going to hate to give this putter back to Bobby Grace.
Testing putters is one of the hardest things to do when it comes to reviewing equipment. Unlike most reviews that we see, our reviews normally involve upwards of 25 golfers trying out each piece of equipment, however with the Bobby Grace Artist Series that we were using here, I just felt as though it was best to not loan it out. Touring their studio we saw a passion that can only be described as “legendary” and speaking with Bobby Grace about his new line, you see an excitement and passion that seems lost sometimes in today’s golf equipment world. When you add those traits to the HSM insert material which works as described you get a putter line that is destined for great things. We look forward to covering more of this line soon.
For more information on the Artist Series, HSM, or any of the Bobby Grace Putters, check out their website at www.bobbygraceputters.com.
Till Next Time