Monday, February 27, 2012

Slighter Golf

I am a real putter junkie, as bad as it gets.

Tom Slighter at Slighter Golf offers custom, one of a kind putters made in Snohomish, WA.  

Side note, why is all the cool golf stuff made in the USA come out of the Pacific Northwest?

I asked Tom to make a putter for me a few years ago.  He was just great to work with and made sure he had every detail of what I wanted.  I went with his Portland model, 355 grams in stainless steel.  I had to add a little Tar Heel touch with the paint job.  You can see the result below, I think it speaks for itself.

The work was everything I wanted, and that is kinda the point with Tom and all the folks I hope to talk about here, you get to help in the design process.  The end result is always going to mean this thing, this inanimate object used to somehow help you get a little ball in a hole is somehow apart of you and versa.

I reached out to Tom just the other day and told him about this site and he was willing to do a little Q&A I would like to share.


First thank you for your time Tom.  We had the pleasure of working on a putter for me, a Stainless Steel Portland.  I would like to start by stating the whole experience was first class. 

Tom Slighter-Thanks so much Brandon. I enjoyed the process as well.  You are a pleasure to work with.

Can we start by asking if you would tell us all about the current putter you personally use when you hit the links?     

Tom Slighter- Sure.  I use the first Redmond I made.  My back up is the first Bellevue made. 

 You offer your putters in various metals.  Copper putters really seem to catch the eye.  Can you tell us your take on Carbon vs. Stainless vs. Copper?

Tom Slighter-  I believe the carbon steel putters have a softer feel than the stainless steel putters, but the carbon steel putters do require some maintenance.  The stainless steel putters have great feel, too and probably are the next closest in feel to the carbon steel putters.  The stainless steel putters do not require much maintenance because stainless steel will not rust.  Both the carbon steel putters and stainless steel putters serve a great purpose in their own way. Copper is extremely soft material. Softer material than both carbon and stainless. But I personally do not believe coppers offers as nice of feel to that of carbon.  Copper finishes beautifully and patinas to a nice antique finish.   

What is the oddest request you have ever had for a custom putter?

Tom Slighter-  No request is “odd” in my book.  I look at a request being a challenge rather than odd.  A challenge I currently am working on for a customer is a putter with multiple faces with different lofts and weight systems.  It is nearly complete.

One of the hot topics in golf right now is belly putters.  Do you have a side of the fence on third use for pros and or amateurs?  Do you get asked often to make bellies these days?

Tom Slighter- Lately, I have rec’d several requests for putters to be modified to belly putters. I am a fan of whatever works for the individual and will make every effort to accommodate an order or request. I personally do not believe it is my position to advised what is the best putter for any one individual, but rather be here and advise what is the best way to build the putter.

If you could only make one more putter, what would it be?

Tom Slighter-  I would use either carbon steel or stainless steel.  I enjoy milling carbon and stainless.  I enjoy welding on stainless.  Carbon in my opinion is probably the best for feel.

Curious about Tom's personal putters?  I was also, he was kind enough to send me these:

You can find Tom and his whole team at where they offer over 16 models, as well as a full range of accessories.  

Fairways and Greens,


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The MacKenzie Golf Bag Company

MacKenzie Golf Bags 
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"

To some starting with the golf bag might seem strange. But this only points to the esteem I have for MacKenzie Golf Bags. Better said, my MacKenzie Bag.

I came across MacKenzie completely by luck. When I was about 6-7 years old my late father wanted to do something special for a group of co-workers. An avid golfer and as infected with the golf bug as I grew to be, he ordered leather golf bags from Burton with the company logo on them. Turns out when he went to place the order, they were 1 bag shy of the minimum and guess who got the last bag.

I was so proud of this giant golf bag that weighed more than I did. Big black leather trimmed in gold (hey it was the early eighties) with fur lined pockets. This was back when Burton made bags here in the USA out of Jasper, AL.

That bag still sits in the corner of my office with my Dad's old Ping B61 in it. Side-note: my Dad trimmed the putter grip down on the bottom to slightly increase his "gimmie range". To know him was to love him.

Back to MacKenzie. As I said random, one day while my old Burton caught my eye, I decided to check and see if anyone still made leather golf bags. First search result lead me to Mackenzie. 

Within 30 secs of seeing one, I was hooked. After 5 minutes I was leaving a message on their phone and within an hour I was speaking to the owner. Try that with a multinational golf equipment manufacturer. 

Todd explained the company and what all he could offer for a bag for me.

We had a game plan set out in 20 or 30 minutes. I told him I lived in North Carolina but was heading to his part of the world to go and play Chambers Bay with 23 of my closest friends.

He simply asked me when, and promised to have me my bag before my trip.

Sure the story is good, but the bag.........oh the bag is incredible. 

I went with a ballistic bag (budgetary restrictions), Navy with Navy leather accents. 2 pockets. My bag has small touches like my kids names inside the ball pocket.

It is simple, it is functional and it is one of a kind. One day I hope to grab another, this time in full leather.

It seems that very similar bags are starting to pop up a few other places. I really don't want to get into the debate on right or wrong. All I can say is MacKenzie's bags are worth every penny, and I plan on sticking with them.

MacKenzie golf bags are made to pass down, not throw away. That is at the very heart of what this site is about. 

Check them out: This will give you all you need to know about the bags. I can tell you from carrying mine for almost 2 years that all 14 clubs fit just fine, it is light and easy to carry for 18+ holes. Most caddies I have had like carrying my bag, although one down in South Carolina kept calling my bag Lieutenant Dan (no legs). My Ballistic bag is great in the rain and came with a hood.

Fairways and Greens my friends.


Stretching in the Clubhouse

We have all heard the question: what would you do if you won the lottery?

For me that answer is quick to come to mind.

I would find a small space in my hometown where I could set up a workshop and make something with my hands for golfers.  One at a time.

Here's where it gets really strange, I don''t even know what that something would be.

All I know is this when I come across artisan golf products I have a response that my words fail to capture.

I am a part of a generation that only has know mass production, and when I see something that is the exact opposite it almost calls out to me.

So that is what the plan is here.  I have for years sought out these type products and forwarded the information on my finds to my inner circle of golfing buddies.  On the advice of a good friend, I decided today to start to shed my opinion on them and try and spread the word to a larger audience.

Some of these masterpieces I have been fortunate enough to have and to hold.  Some I have only admired from afar.  Either way I will give my version of the truth on what I know and what I think about them and at the end of the day I hope you enjoy.  Most important I hope I peak your interest and you seek out these folks who pour themselves into their products.