My Current Favourite Putters, Headcovers & Ball MarkersNovember 19, 2018
My Favourite Headcovers of all time – Part TwoNovember 27, 2018
It would be literally impossible to pick “the one” however there are always going to be a special few which always put a smile on my face. I am going to start with a truly one of a kind project which involves a gentleman who I believe is one of the greatest putter makers of all time, Mr Gene Nead.
Gene has spent pretty much his entire life in and around the racing scene, as a young man he was racing souped up muscle cars and sprint cars before succeeding as a NASCAR driver. Eventually he would become a crew chief on a NASCAR team. Along the way Gene turned his skills and knowledge of engineering to making mind blowing putters, often returning to old school techniques like using a vintage pentagraph machine to etch in his branding.
We had talked on several occasions about making him some covers, we both agreed that they needed to be absolutely unique and a reflection of what Gene is all about. I pondered a while then asked him if he had a fire suit from his racing days? He indeed had several and duly posted one across the pond to us. When it arrived it was awesome, a huge fire proof onesie covered in cool sponsors and branding (I had to try it on!).
Our brief was to do whatever the hell we wanted, our favourite kind of brief. We were to add Gene’s logo plus pretty much anything else we wanted to. Game on. We dismantled the suit into panels and then discussed the many design possibilities, there were to be 20 covers made from one suit.
The only other stipulation was that he needed four covers specifically made to protect four Damascus putters, by the way he makes his own Damascus! We created lots of designs including chequered flags, race helmets, the different flags in NASCAR and of course the slogan “NASCAR Engineered American Damascus”, when you take the first letter from each word in the slogan it spells “NEAD”.
This is one of those situations where the design just sort of happened organically, call it fate or karma, it was just meant to be. Back in the 90’s I saved up all my money to buy a pair of limited edition Levi 501 buckle back jeans which would become my pride and joy for many years. I wore the jeans to death but for some reason I never threw them out.
Twenty years later I found my beloved jeans carefully packed away in a plastic bag and instantly thought I wonder if, just if we could make some headcovers out of these iconic jeans that were thread bare in the ass. So, we did!
First step was to dissect the jeans stitch by stitch. I have to say they were virtually indestructible, the usual thread picker would not suffice, this American denim engineering would require a scalpel. Once dismantled we were faced with areas of heavily worn denim, belt loops, 5 pockets, a single red tab, a leather patch with horses and carriages, one buckle, button fly and a load of copper rivets. Effectively a huge jigsaw puzzle which would be turned into 6 unique covers using every last scrap.
Each cover would be numbered 1-6. We also made 6 individual copper tags by hand which were stamped front and back with different designs, the tags were to be mounted on the toe of the covers with a strip of red leather. The leather matched the red tab/embroidery and the tags matching the copper rivets. Personally, I feel this is one of our greatest achievements.
We were introduced to the enigma that is Eddie Pepperell by our good friends Matt Banahan and Laurie Canter. They rocked up to my pro shop to talk about designing some bespoke putter covers. It’s hard not to pre-judge what type of designs people might go for, I thought Laurie would go for something in your face and Eddie’s would be dead cool, maybe Harris Tweed. I was wrong
Laurie went for the blue, black and white of his beloved Bath Rugby but Eddie went for the controversial artwork of Bristol’s Banksy, in particular the toxic rat who pours a mysterious liquid from a barrel.
Eddie is known as the owl on tour due to the fact that he is very wise and intellectually clever, he wanted an owl on the cover, but we didn’t want an owl and a rat on the same cover, slight problem. The end design featured a rat on the toe of the cover pouring acid green goo down the top of the cover and down the side into a further pool of goo. When you tilt the cover sideways you can see the word “owl” hidden inside said goo. Pretty damn cool.