At the moment, it seems that all of the talking heads are predicting a heavyweight fight at the 2012 Masters, as if it’s inevitable that Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson will be duking it out on Sunday, or at least strongly in the hunt along with other current powerhouses such as Keegan Bradley and Hunter Mahan.
But Augusta National is known for dealing wild cards and crowning underdogs, as was the case five years ago when Zach Johnson played as steady as a rock and ultimately got fitted for a green jacket.
Johnson, however, wasn’t the only underdog to win that year. His putter, a SeeMore FGP blade, forged its own unpredictable path to major success.
The SeeMore FGP first hit the major scene in 1999, when Payne Stewart picked one up and promptly turned his putting game around. Soon thereafter, Stewart staged an epic putting performance to win the U.S. Open, turning the spotlight on the SeeMore Putter Company along the way.
Then, as now, the SeeMore putters were distinguished by their RifleScope Alignment Technology. A red dot on the rear crown of the putter is visually hidden by a blackened lower shaft when proper setup is achieved. Two parallel white lines frame the shaft to provide a further indication that the golfer is in position to make a consistent and reliable stroke.
As we’ve written before, “The original SeeMore Putter Company, however, ultimately failed to capitalize on its good fortune and proven alignment technology. By the mid 2000s, the company suffered from mismanagement and flirted with obscurity while producing some lackluster putters. In retrospect, the untimely passing of Payne Stewart in late 1999 added a tragic note to the SeeMore story…The original SeeMore FGP putters, however, remained in play on the PGA Tour—most notably in the hands of Vaughn Taylor and Zach Johnson. In other words, while the company was fizzling, its old putter was enjoying a youth-inspired resurgence.”
Around that time, in late 2006, SeeMore was acquired by putter industry veterans Jim Grundberg and Jason Pouliot, who set out to restore the SeeMore legacy with a new vision and a new line of super-premium putters. They also smartly retained Pat O’Brien as a consultant. O’Brien was a close friend of Payne Stewart and a former SeeMore tour representative who had become the putting instructor to the aforementioned Vaughn Taylor and Zach Johnson (and, later, Stewart Cink and many other professionals).
You can see where this is headed…In fact, we saw it on that first Thursday in April of 2007, noting that Johnson and his SeeMore putter were off to a hot start. At the time, PutterZone.com was just a month old, but we had already taken note of SeeMore’s strong new direction.
So when Johnson sealed the victory that Sunday with his trusty FGP putter in hand, it was as if fate had been itching to smile once again upon the SeeMore Putter Company. It brought the original FGP full circle while also shining the spotlight on the new SeeMore putters. This time, however, the SeeMore Putter Company didn’t falter in the wake of its second major success. In fact, it has grown considerably since then.
Now here we are, five years later, with our eyes on the greens of Augusta National once again. Which player, and which putter, will emerge as victorious on Sunday? Who knows…But history tells us to expect the unexpected. Just as the SeeMore Putter Company.