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A Graceful Exit

When MacGregor Golf recently announced that famed putter designer Bobby Grace had resigned from the company “effective immediately,” the statement did not include any quotes from Grace himself.

The statement also noted that “MacGregor Golf retains ownership of all trademarks and other rights associated with Bobby Grace Putters and the name Bobby Grace.”

And just like that, a renowned putter designer seemingly vanished into the ether without a word—until now. PutterZone.com contacted Bobby Grace and received the following statement:

“Bobby Grace has elected to resign his position with MacGregor Golf at the end of his current contract term. Bobby is going to take a sabbatical for a few months to rest, enjoy his family and friends, and to plan his future business activities. Bobby is confident that MacGregor will continue to utilize the exclusive rights granted by him for use of his putter designs and the brand name ‘Bobby Grace’ to manufacture, market and sell only the highest quality of putters.”

Grace first rose to prominence after his custom putters helped Nick Price, Annika Sorenstam and others win several events in the 1990s. His continued success led to the sale of his company and a position with MacGregor Golf as vice president of putter research and development.

PutterZone.com is not convinced that it’s in MacGregor’s best interests to keep making putters under the Bobby Grace name.

It would be different if Bobby Grace was a separate brand and company, akin to Odyssey, which is owned by Callaway. In contrast, MacGregor’s putters fall directly under the MacGregor brand name, with Bobby Grace billed as the designer, much in the same way that Robert Bettinardi designs putters for Mizuno Golf. The whole “designed by” selling point is lost if the putter isn’t designed by the specified designer, right?

Regardless, PutterZone.com is rooting for both Bobby Grace and MacGregor Golf to both flourish in the putter business in the wake of their parting. It will be interesting to see where they both go from here.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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