Starting a new putter company from scratch is an uphill battle, but Mike Johnson was up for the challenge. After all, here was a guy who was an avid rock climber long before his brother introduced him to golf at the age of 22. Within a few years, golf replaced rock climbing as Mike’s primary passion. Along the way, he became enamored with the equipment of golf, particularly the putter. He had once worked for a company that produced hand holds for rock climbing gyms, giving him a head start in working with metal. In time, he combined his new passion with his old experience to create Piretti Fine Putters, which is set to release a new model this spring. Following is our exclusive interview:
Please tell us about the origins of Piretti Fine Putters…
About four years ago I decided I’d like to make putters, so I started doing my research. When I had the information and knowhow, I went for it, and we released our first two models in April of 2008. We now offer six other models and have also done numerous handmade heads and prototype heads. The name of the company is just a name that our marketing person came up with. I would have liked to call the company Mike Johnson putters, but it just didn’t have the same ring to it. I feel we’ve built a pretty classy and stylish brand with the Piretti name and logos.
What are your company’s guiding principles?
Our guiding principles are to make the best putters possible out of the best materials possible, and to make them appealing enough that people are proud to putt with a Piretti putter and show it off to their friends. We stand by our designs and the performance of each model. We refuse to cut any corners during the manufacturing process, which is why we choose to mill all of our putters out of solid billets of material. Piretti will never offer a cast putter because we feel we get much tighter tolerances by milling them in a CNC machine.
What sets Piretti putters apart in terms of features and benefits?
Piretti putters are made a little heavier, and the balance points are all spot on. We’ve also found that most golfers are playing with too much loft on their putters, which causes the ball to skip at impact. Too much loft means a golfer will have distance control issues and will have a more difficult time getting their ball rolling toward the hole. We will also build our putters around the specifications our customers give us. We can customize the putter’s loft, lie, length and swingweight, and we can even hand stamp a player’s initials, name, or even a company logo.
What will we see next from Piretti?
I am working on a new design right now that will be available to the public in April or May. The putter will be called the Cottonwood 2, and we anticipate this being our most successful and best selling model. It will have an Anser 2 look to it, but will have a little wider profile that will make it easier for amateurs to line up and putt. It will also have a little heavier head than our other models to help smooth out the putting stroke. We will be making them in both carbon and stainless steel. The carbon steel putters will be available with an oil can, black oxide, or a Midnight Black finish. The stainless putters will be available with a torched, satin, or our Midnight black finish. Look to see this model played on tour in 2010.
Thanks, Mike! Stay tuned to PutterZone.com’s Piretti Cottonwood 2 putter review.