Recently here at THP weâ€™ve had the opportunity to review some of the putters from the 2009 line from Slotline Golf, you can read that review here. Shortly after posting the review I was given the opportunity to further discuss Slotline Golf with Product Manager Chad Lehr. It was clearly evident to me right away that Chad is enthusiastic about what the future holds for Slotline Golf, read on to see why Chad feels so excited about his companyâ€™s future and sees why you should consider Slotline next time youâ€™re in the market for a new putter.
Q. What can you tell us about the history of Slotline, where did they go and why are they just now showing up again?
A. Slotline was originally started in the early 1970â€™s by Clovis â€œDukeâ€ Duclos who created the original Slotline putter, the High Moment Inertial or Inertial. Sales of the Original Inertial putter skyrocketed and by the mid 80â€™s sales were over one million units sold and Slotline was the #2 putter company in the industry. Unfortunately Duke had to shut down operations of Slotline Golf in 2001 due to financial struggles. In 2005 a company called Firelight acquired the Slotline brand from Duke and in 2007 Dynamic Brands (owners of BagBoy, AMF Golf and BabyJogger) acquired the Slotline brand. We spent the better part of a year in development of the current line and spent quite a bit of time talking with our accounts and getting their input. Early on it became apparent that we needed to introduce more than a couple of putters in order to be taken seriously and that is how we came up with three price points and 14 models, including updating the Original Inertial models with new materials and manufacturing processes. The new Slotline putters were officially re-launched at the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show, the product has been well received and we have been fortunate to get some very positive press and reviews of the product, as we did here.
Q. What can you say to sell me a Slotline putter over other leading brands on the market today?
A. Slotline has 3 unique price points; each offering provides the consumer a good value for the dollar when you look at the features and benefits against other putters in the same price range.
-The SS-300 series is cast from 431 stainless steel, has a total 30g of tungsten in the sole to increase MOI, a tri-milled face, mid-sized Winn grip and headcover and MOI readings higher than putters priced much higher, probably the best value for the dollar in the market.
-The SL-500 series putters are all updated original Slotline designs and are anchored by the Inertial Off-set and Non-Offset blades. The 500 Series putters are forged out of 6061 aircraft grade Aluminum and then spend on average 90 minutes on the milling machine before they reach their final shape. We then bring the heads to final target weight by adding up to 206g of our proprietary Tungsten blend in the heel and toe to increase the MOI providing a very stable putter. The updated designs have an even higher MOI than the Original Inertial putters, so if you liked the Inertial the first time there isnâ€™t a reason you wonâ€™t fall in love with the new models.
-The SL-700 series putters start off as a 2.4 pound block of solid 6061 aircraft grade Aluminum and spend on average 2 hours on the milling machine before the shape is complete. There are 2 old Slotline designs in the line (SL-781 and SL-784) and two mallets. The 6061 Aluminum body provides a very soft feel at impact and the tri-milled face helps put a great roll on the ball. The SL-700 Series family of putters offers the highest MOI readings of the entire line-up and are the most forgiving with the SL-781 having the highest MOI.
Q. Where can we buy Slotline putters?
A. Direct from Slotline and TGW, we also have 35 BagBoy reps across the country and if your local pro shop or retailer has a BagBoy account they can order you a Slotline putter.
Q. In the April 6, 2009 edition of Golf World Slotline is briefly featured in the equipment section, describing how Champions Tour golfer Tom Wargo is using the SS-384 model from Slotline, is there any other presence on professional tours, where can we expect to see more Slotline putters on a professional level?
A. At this time, our primary focus is gaining a presence on the Champions tour. Many of the players have used Slotline in the past and remember the brand from the late 80â€™s and the success Slotline had on the professional Tours. There was immediate brand recognition when we dipped our toe in the water late last fall, the product has been well received and the feedback has been nothing but positive. We are making good progress on the Champions Tour and I would expect to see more putters in play as the season progresses.
Q. Whatâ€™s next for Slotline Golf?
A. Right now you can expect to see more putters in the future, we have quite a few new designs in development that will be introduced and tested on the Champions Tour. After the product has been tested, tweaked and proven, then we will look at where we are and bring them to market. Since we just launched the new line I donâ€™t see anything making it to market in the immediate future. We do have a couple of small holes in the line-up that we may fill next spring.
Considering the new generation of Slotline putters is still very much in its infancy, having any presence at all on any professional level is a rather large accomplishment. After visiting with Chad it was apparent that he is very knowledgeable in his field, and that he loves what he does for a living. This attitude, along with the excellent line of putters available, makes this an exciting time for anyone looking to add a Slotline putter to their bag. Upon closer examination of the entire 2009 line of putters I am convinced that there is a putter for everyone in the current offerings from Slotline.
Here’s to keeping it in the short grass,