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nobmontana

and now... my flatsticks!

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...And finally we arrive to my flat sticks! 

I'll be honest,  I am not a good putter at all.   When it's on,  it's decent,  but in a typical round,  I just struggle all the way with putts. 

Regardless of how bad I am at putting,  I did go through a custom fitting with Benock in Tokyo last year to have them analyze my stroke and to find out what type of putter best suits me.   So, did the Benock completely turn my putting game to a satisfactory level?   Well, the short answer is "unfortunately not"  and that's nothing to do with the putter itself.  I love the shape and how it sets up,  but I am just so inconsistent.   And that is totally on me. 

I'm still tinkering a lot with my current putters by trying  different shafts, going back and forth between traditional grips and taperless grips in hopes that some combination will magically appear and solve my putting woes!!     Also playing with a mallet.  My latest experiment is a Ping Vault 2.0 CRAZ-E H putter.   I'll be sending it in to Ping for a weight screw replacement  (what's the benefit of a interchangeable weight screw if you have to send it it to Ping Repair dept!!! ? )    The head will be 380g with the heavier weight option.   I'll be building it to 36.5" or 38" with a counter balance grip.  We'll see how she works out.  

Aside from my experiment, I do have a few blades that I have acquired over the years.    All my blades are similar in terms of toe hang.   They are around 42 to 43 deg.  Which seem to suit my stroke.   They are all at 34.5" long but overall weight varies by quite a bit. 

 

Benock Blue Dragon II  / Shimada NSTP-120  / Winn Pro X 1.18 

Though I am not consistent with it,  I do think the Benock Blue Dragon II suits my eye the best.   Simple and traditional but the slant neck just makes it a bit different from your normal blade.   I like this shape a lot.   The feel is excellent.  dense feel which is just right.   It is probably the least forgiving putter of mu stable but since this is the one that I got from my custom fitting,  it will stay with me.    Head weight is lighter at around 340g.   

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Gold's Factory T102 Prototype / Shimada NSTP-120 / Iomic Absolute Mid

This Gold's was my first entry into high end JDM putters.   Got it second hand but I am glad I got it because at the time,  I liked it so much I sold the rest of my GSS Piretti's that I owed at the time.   I am told that this is an older model made right around the time Sasaya-san started his business after leaving Gauge Design.   It's a traditional Dale head with two tungsten inserts on the face.   Material is Japanese 303 and it has a smooth face with no milling.      I've thought about sending  it in for a face redo ... but I actually like the clean smooth look and don't mind the feel at all.  It has a pretty soft feel for not having any milling on the face.  This putter also has a sound slot which gives out a small "tink" sound which is pleasing to the ears.  Head weight is about 360g.  

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Benock EASPADE Type S / Shimada NSTP-120 / Super Stroke Mid Slim 2.0 

My second Benock which is a modified wide blade with a unique swan neck.    It looks pretty forgiving and I do think it actually is.   Still getting used to the shape but it plays really nicely.    The feel at impact is slightly softer than the Blue Dragon possibly due to the thicker hitting area.  Slightly heavier at 365g head. 

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Evnroll ER 1.1 / XXIP-B2 (Violet) / Winn Pro X 1.18

One of my more recent acquisitions to see if their claim of tighter dispersion is actually true with their face milling.   The quality of this putter is actually pretty good.  I like the fluted hosel... not sure if its for design purposes or its done to move the CG or something.  I used this putter when I shot my lowest score this season.  If that is because of this putter, I do think I need to use it more.   I have the 149g Nippon XXIP-B2 shaft in this one.  together with the 365g head,  it is quite heavy overall but very stable.  

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.... and Ping Vault 2.0 CRAZ-E H 

My experiment build.    The feel of this aluminum milled head is not great but what I am seeking is maximum forgiveness.    I am in the process of building this to a full on counter balance putter at 38"  we'll see if this can potentially bring my putting to a more acceptable level.    Will share pics once I get the head back. 

 

Edited by nobmontana

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great piece nobs.

love a putttrr blurb as much as a driver one.

if u evber get tired of the wide benock. ill be ur huckelberry

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Nice Nob! I’m trying to work out some specs on a Benock right now. I’m asking for some unconventional modifications and I’m not sure if we’ll get there but I’m hoping.

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Thanks Stu-san.   I will keep that in mind.  🙂

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1 hour ago, chiromikey said:

Nice Nob! I’m trying to work out some specs on a Benock right now. I’m asking for some unconventional modifications and I’m not sure if we’ll get there but I’m hoping.

I hope your design requests go well!    There are so many options available with Benock the mind just boggles! 

 

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mikey come.over again and get it done.properly, in tje meantime,ive plenty more.tracks.to show you.

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4 hours ago, supo said:

mikey come.over again and get it done.properly, in tje meantime,ive plenty more.tracks.to show you.

That was my plan for this year until my father got sick. I’ll get over there again, not sure when...but it will happen!

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I think I was the original owner of the Golds.........regrets, I’ve had a few.........

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I believe it was!  This is one putter that I have never thought about selling in the 7 or so years I have owned it. 

For one,  it's now a "vintage" Gold's  and  while I have tried other newer Gold's the feel isn't as good as this one. 

I've seen a couple of other vintage Gold's on YAJ before but they are becoming rarer these days.  

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I’ve been a bit of a putter freak over the years including Scotty GSS Bettinardi days etrc. And none have been as good feeling as that Golds.......I just found the weight a little too much for me. The finish, of the satin and polished with minimal graphics is so classy......

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I agree about the finish... I actually sent other putters to Sasaya-san to mimic that small "G"  logo in the cavity but apparently they no longer have the same font and it comes out with a bolder font which doesn't look as good as this one.    I used to think deep milled faces were the way to go...  but after trying a few deep milled putters with Carbon Steel or SUS 303, they started feeling a bit too soft.   A Geo Galaxy made in 304 with deep milling actually felt perfect to me... But I stupidly sold that Geo when I got my custom Benock!!  Stupid stupid mistake!!!   Playing different putters is a lot of fun.   Especially with ones that are also beautiful to look at.   

 

 

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The Geo you are referring to, was that the silver with green you had? Newport 2 style? Looked awesome!

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How does SS feel and sound compared to carbon steel? The only SS head I have is an old Beti but it has a copper insert. For you putter hos, if the Epon Zen is my Holy Grail for feel and sound, what might I like/dislike about a Benock? Is the JSS upgrade purely for bragging rights or are there noticeable differences? (I’m not asking if it’s better or going to make me better, I’m more than willing to pay for subjective differences if they appeal to me)

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I have a limited edition Tad Moore in SS. That particular putter sounds and feels harsh and I could only use it with really soft balls. That, btw, is something we rarely talk about - the interaction between ball and head material. There is off course a huge difference in feel between different ball materials/compression/layers etc. Take the oldish Taylor Made Penta for instance - any putter would feel soft with it. Compare with the ball I play - the Titleist Pro V1x and I need a softer putter to appreciate the feel.

Then the grip is also quite important. A bil ol’ Super Stroke vs a Pingman rubber grip and the difference is huge.

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All my putters have cabretta Gripmasters and I only play the Taylormade TP5x so those variables are solved for. Any help with the comparisons between SS and carbon steel?

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Great! It was more of a general comment to soft/firm/buttery etc. 

I think there are very different SS. The one I have is clicky/harsh compared to all the carbons I have.

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I’ve owned the Zen twice before 🙂.  And they are indeed extra soft at impact.   For me, since I use mostly softer balls,  the Zen felt a bit too soft.     Like I am hitting a rubber superball.   Plus the heel shaft is not ideal for my slightly arc stroke. 

With the SUS 303 Benocks,  the feel is more solid than carbon steel but never clicky.   Some models feel denser than others and it seems to depend on the thickness of the hitting area.  Thicker the denser feel.    They actually had me also try the upgraded SUS316L putter at the fitting and I honestly could not tell the difference.  Perhaps a touch softer but it was still a more solid feel compared to carbon steel.   I only have experience with their standard “cat eye” face milling pattern but other patterns may contribute to a different feel.   Also, carbon shafts like a Muziik Dogatti PT would provide a more muted feel as well as any vibration filtering elements like the UST FF shaft or what I’m using are Prosoft inserts in a steel shaft.    

 

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