It's hard to say exactly how high French fashion, art and culture might mix with golf (we have the 2018 Ryder Cup to look forward to for that), but here's one example that might come close: A new $1,000 putter that by comparison looks relatively affordable.
ValGrine may have gained a reputation as an artistic, fashion-focused putter brand with prices hovering in the $50,000 range, but its newest offering is more than a pretty face and costs about 98 percent less.
The French puttermaker, whose distinctly differently shaped past models have evoked modern sculpture and diamond-encrusted jewelry, was founded by Gregory Moreau, who has training as a mechanical engineer. He is described on the company's website as a "unique link between engineering, French Crafts and knowledge of the practice of golf."
While Moreau and ValGrine have produced several putters that involve the work of 20 craftsmen and artisans, its latest creation is a fairly traditional-looking mallet putter, the VG006 Caesar mallet, and it retails for just €992, or approximately $1,120. The body is made of high-strength 2024 aircraft grade aluminum, while the face insert is of a 2017 aluminum alloy. It features a cross engraving pattern and is available in red, pink or black finish.
But the meat of the putter’s technology concerns its distribution of mass and its visual alignment guides. The rear weight ports are filled with what the company calls “forged meteorite powder, heavier than lead, gold, mercury, and carbide." The substance has six times the density of the 2024 aluminum in the body, and it is positioned to create stability on off-center hits by balancing the center of gravity deeper in the head. It’s also used to precisely control the overall weight of the head down to the gram.
Finally, the crown uses a trademark two-tiered alignment system. Parallel alignment lines are designed to match up with the aiming lines at the top edge. The three-dimensional alignment system shows the putter is soled properly when the top lines and trailing lines match.
There is an optional calfskin headcover available for a little over $300. Your move, Scotty Cameron.