TPP REVIEW: Byron Morgan 612 Long Pipe

My first putter was made by Tru-Form.  That mighty fine Ping Anser copy was purchased from Nevada Bob’s, along with a sweet set of clone clubs, when I graduated college.  At the time, I was totally happy.  This was my first set of clubs that had even-numbered irons!  The putter, whatever, was just a putter.  It was really a “oh yeah, I need one of those” type purchase.  Not a touch of foreshadowing regarding my current putter mentality (or is that mental illness).

A decade or so later, when I took up playing golf “for real”, I also discovered my infatuation with the flatstick.  I was amazed at the wide range of putters that were available.  My transition to fancy putters began with the Cleveland VP Milled #2.  That was a great feeling putter.  The golf pro even told me that it performed great and was cheaper than a Scotty Cameron.  Scotty Cameron, what are those?  And so the Cleveland soon found itself on craigslist and a Circa 62 #1 snuck into my golf bag.  Is the Circa still in the bag today?  Nope.  You see, shortly after purchasing that putter, I discovered the putter section at golfwrx.  That day was like the day for astronomers when they fired up the Hubble telescope, only with putters, of course.  There were so many!  As I read and read about the various small putter companies, one name kept coming up with rave responses:  Byron Morgan.  To the person, golfers loved his putters and also couldn’t say enough great things about dealing with the people associated with Byron.  So I contacted Steve (Zman) and ordered a gleam city American Stainless Steel 007. :)

One Saturday, a couple of weeks later, as I was helping my brother move a freezer, my cell rang and the caller ID said Byron Morgan.  I figured it was someone from the company was calling me about the order, but when I answered, it was Byron.  He was working on my putter and had some questions about paintfill and the grip.  We had a nice chat, and he went off to finish the putter.  I was stunned.  I didn’t ever expect to speak to the man himself, but that’s how it works at the Byron shop.  I was starting to see why the Byron Morgan Putterheads are so loyal to the man in HB.

On to the 612

The putter that we are looking at today is the eighth or ninth Byron putter that I have owned.  Chalk that up to my trial and error quest to find the right stick.  Up until the 612, my previous Byron gamers have been 006’s.  I like the shape of the sole and the overall square nature of the 006 head.  I learned how important the square corners are for my alignment when I had Byron make the Filthy 611 with the rounded corners.  Love the look of that putter, but I miss the hole a lot with that filthy rascal.  The 612 looked enough like the 006 that I knew I could putt with it, but at the same time it contains enough new design elements that I knew that I was not just getting a clone of a putter that I already own.

Aesthetics

Byron makes amazing looking putters.  Even though I know that I have no chance of making putts with some of the designs, I always am impressed with how good the designs look.  What I love about the 612 head in particular is that it is square and rounded at the same time.  I love how the lines of the bumpers roll into the curves at the toe and heel.  The cavity and topline are overall square, but still soft at the edges.  Visually, this putter is amazing, even before Byron starts the customization process.  Lets talk about what he can do with metal first.

While chatting with Byron on the phone about this putter, he suggested that we go with the long pipe neck rather than the traditional long plumbers neck.  Through my experimentation, I came to realize that I putt best with a longneck blade that is near face balanced.  With the long pipe, Byron can do anything in terms of loft, lie, toe hang, and etc.  I bet he could tie the long pipe in a knot and still send you a putter matching your specs.  And that is the real beauty here, Byron can make you the putter that you need.  With some head shapes (DaKine & Bombora), Byron can make a final product that only shows hints of the starting shape.  Go and check the Byron Morgan website gallery to see the custom spins that Byron is able to put on his initial designs.  Amazing range of possibilities.

One other interesting play note worth mentioning with the 612 is that I had it gripped with a nice orange SuperStroke Ultra Slim.  Byron didn’t have one of these in stock, so I just ordered one and had it shipped to his Huntington Beach shop.  I am really becoming a convert to the SuperStroke grips.  My goto grip is usually the Iomic jumbo.  Last spring I put a SuperStroke UltraSlim on my Tour Bronze Sabertooth.  I think that was the start of my conversion.  Check these grips out if you haven’t done so already.  The photos below show the orange Ultra Slim grip side-by-side with the Fatso.  You can also check out the great Byron headcover.  I think that Byron’s headcovers are some of the best looking in the market.

Finally we get to the finish and stamping.  Byron will basically try to whatever you can come up with in terms of design.  Custom necks, grinding, weighting, finish, alignment aids, paintfill, and so on and so on…  I always seem to come up with themes when I am thinking about a new Byron putter.  The ocean was the inspiration for this one.  I wanted the brushed blue oil finish and a bunch of tuna stamps.  I knew that I didn’t want any alignment aids and just minimal stamping outside of the fish.  Just the fact that I can get a putter without a site line is huge for me.  I liked the way that the face stamping turned out on my 611 so I went with that design again, adding in a touch of Putter Place orange paint.  I just love the looks of this putter and I also love that if you look at the stamps, you know that they were driven into the steel by Byron’s muscles and not some pneumatic press.  This putter definitely has some special Byron essence inside of it.

On The Greens

I didn’t even hit the practice green with the 612 before I took it out on the course.  I had the feeling that I didn’t need to.  You see, Byron had made it with the 3:30 toe hang and a head weight of 355 grams.  Why?  Because that’s what I requested.  I have always putted well with my copper twisty 006, and so I had him make this one to the same specs.  Awesome.  Full customization really does translate to better putting.  I my putting was solid on that first outing.  Distance control was fantastic.  This is something that I attribute to the comfortable weighting and hang.  Targeting improved throughout the round as I became more comfortable with the optics of the 612.  I am not going to sit here and say that I made everything, but I definitely felt comfortable and confident over the ball and I think that is more than half of the putting battle.

Although feel is subjective, the feel on this 612 is amazing and merits mention.  This is a stainless steel head with a hidden sound slot.  When I started rolling balls with the 612, I was amazed at the soft feel.  I think that the slotted 612 feels a lot more like my slotted copper-plated carbon 006 than it does the stainless 611 that is made from the same stainless.  It’s bewildering.  I guess after rolling the rock with so many of Byron’s putters that I should come to expect the richness of feel, but I don’t.  I bet I say “man that feels amazing” every time I roll a new Byron for the first time.  I think that the look and feel of the 612 has pushed it in front of the 006 in the favorite Byron head shape competition.  The long pipe neck squares up the face just like the long plumbers neck, but gives the putter an overall cleaner appearance.  This blue ocean beauty looks amazing and rolls as great as it looks.

I know it is a crazy notion, but I bet that there are some of you out there reading this that have not yet putted with one of Byron’s putters.  Maybe you are reading this review, wondering if this putter is right for you.  Well, that’s the beauty of working with Byron.  This putter is right for me.  A near face-balanced blade lacking any alignment lines or dots.  Do you need a line?  Byron can do that.  I bet he could do five lines if that is what you need to aim correctly.  You see, when you order a putter from Byron, you are not ordering a putter, you are ordering your putter.

So I bet some of you are all charged up to contact the guys at Byron Morgan’s shop to order a putter.  Fire off that order, you won’t be disappointed.  Dave and Steve (Byron’s sales guys) are both very knowledgeable and great to deal with.  They can help you figure out the exact specs for your putter.  One thing that you need to keep in mind though is that Byron runs a one-dude shop.  Getting a putter made by a person takes time.  You are not going to order on Monday and have it come in the mail on Friday.  I’ll be the first to admit that the waiting is brutal.  However, the waiting is always worth it.  Perhaps if you ask really nicely, Byron will snap a pict or two of your putter in progress.  Be forewarned though, I think that seeing the in progress photos actually made it harder to wait.  :)

Check out the Byron Morgan site HERE

Follow Byron Morgan Putters on twitter @ByronPutters

Chat with other Putterheads over in the Byron Morgan section of PutterTalk HERE

2 Comments
  1. Awesome pipe neck on that putter. One day I hope to experience purchasing a Byron Morgan. I’ve been a fan for awhile. Nice review.

  2. Another stunner you got yourself there David!! Great details and planning of the stamping, tremendous finish, and you know that I’m a long pipe guy. Welcome to the long pipe club David! :)