Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cameron's Corner

A detailed look into Scotty Cameron's exotic putter monopoly

The Green Blazer sits in his den with and glass of port, the blue smoke from his tightly rolled billy dancing in the yellow light. He is pondering a question ...

How many people are ebaying "Scotty Cameron" at any given time? This question is difficult to answer. Based on the popularity of equipment nerd sites like bombsquad and golfwrx (who became one of the villians in The Green Blazer's rouges gallery after they booted him from their site), the number could be in the hundreds. Certainly few can afford anything they look at, likely sorting by "highest price first," and keyword searching for "prototype" or "tour only." Surely many of them scour ebay's pages for hours like a 30-year-old virgin at his favorite porn site.

Currently the most expensive Scotty Cameron putter on ebay is the "Scottydale Tour Issue 1996 Prototype" going buy it now for an even $10,000. The second priciest is the "Tour GSS Newport 2" with a welded sole, currently selling for $6800. In mid October 2008, there were 30 Cameron putters priced buy it now for $1000 or more. There were 974 Cameron putters total. No other major manufacturer has a single putter over $1000. Another notable manufacturer, Robert J. Bettinardi highest priced putter on ebay is $849. Which makes him a clear second in the business, but far from first. I guess you could call him the Phil Mickelson of the putter making business.

ON SALE: Originally this rare model was priced at $7200, so you'd practically be stealing it at $6800

Not only has Scotty Cameron (with the help of Titleist) cornered the high-end putter market, he has also created a market for exotic putter headcovers. There are currently more than 150 Cameron headcovers priced at $100 or more. Today the most expensive is $1250, that's four hundred dollars more than the most expensive Bettinardi putter. More and more headcovers flood the market daily, and Scotty provides a comprehensive list of all of them on his website, Each cover has a unique look and clever name, such as peel out purple, and hola loops. However, you cannot purchase rare covers directly from the website. Not for very long anyway. When a headcover is released, it is available to Club Cameron members first. Club Cameron is a sort of fan club for Cameron enthusiasts. It gives members access to purchasing rare Cameron items straight from the man himself before they become available in the store. Generally the Club Cameron members scoop the limited number of covers before the public has access, then these members flood ebay creating the spectacle present today. However, for very rare headcovers, Cameron does a lottery. This is how it works according to ebay seller storyteller1_us, who is selling the 2008 Gold Ryder Cup Headcover:

"They are bought from Scotty Cameron, getting a rare one like this is just the luck of the draw. You place an order for an item and if you are lucky you get a very limited edition one. I have been buying from him for about 5 years and this is the first time I have received a rare one."

1 in 10: A U.S. win helped make this one a classic. There are only 10 in existence, but more than likely, the bros at AME (the company that manufactures all Cameron headcovers) knocked out a few extra for their own personal gain.

By the way the seller decribes it, you give Scotty money, he gives you a headcover, but makes no guarantees about the model. To become a part of Club Cameron, send him $92. In addition to priority purchasing, you will receive official 2008 Club Cameron headcover, visor, a license plate frame, decal, and pin. All of which, you can sell on ebay for more than $92 total.

The Club Cameron headcover is almost as gay as the visor, which is almost as gay as the license plate frame.

Cameron doesn't stop at just putters and headcovers. He also sells exotic grips and towels going for as high as $77 and $150 respectively. There are other consistently high priced items that also happen to be backed by the Acushnet Company like Footjoy Exotic golf shoes, being sold for more than $2,000 at any given time. Expensive, even for the "finest golf shoes ever made," but there is good news: They come with a Scotty Cameron divot repair tool.


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