|Otey Crisman Golf Company was
founded in the summer of 1946 when Otey Crisman, Jr., a touring professional golfer from
Selma, Alabama, was preparing for the US Open qualifier which was to be held that year in
Birmingham, Alabama. He was scoring poorly with a blade putter commonly used at the time,
but had an idea for a mallet style putter which he felt might correct his problems. He
whittled a model of what he had in mind, took it to a foundry in his home town of Selma,
had them cast him a head of soft aluminum, stuck a hickory shaft on it and proceeded to
qualify fourth in the nation for the 1946 U.S. Open.
What he had stumbled upon was the concept known today as face balance and enlarged sweet spot. As he went around the Country playing tournaments that year the local club professionals would ask him to send them a dozen for their shop if he decided to market them. After several months on tour taking orders for his mallet he realized he could make more money selling his putter then playing with it. Thus Otey Crisman Golf Company was founded, and 51 years later Oteys son, Otey Crisman, III, runs the shop and continues to make hickory shafted putters the way his father taught him.
Todays players use steel because they feel it gives them a technological advantage. Wrong! Of course steel and graphite give a substantial advantage over hickory on the Irons and Woods where one wants to generate speed and power. However putting is feel and control. And nothing transmits the feel of stroking a putt and softly striking the ball like hickory. Also, hickory putters are extremely beautiful.
Otey Crisman Golf Company is the last company that makes acknowledged tour quality hickory shaft blade and mallet putters. And a May 1993 Golf Digest article on famous putters listed the Otey Crisman ...gooseneck mallet shapes, accompanied by a trademark hickory shaft and leather grip with the likes of Bobby Jones Calamity Jane, the Wilson 8802, and the Titleist Bulls Eye as putters to have entered the realm of legend over the years. In fact 5 masters have been won with Otey Crisman putters, and at the 1957 Masters, of the 85 contestants participating, 27 played with Otey.
Otey Crisman putters are still hand crafted in Selma, Alabama by their skilled craftsmen, some of whom have been with the Company over 30 years. So when you own an Otey, whether it was made in 1946 or 1998, you own a legend.
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