Our coverage of the PGA Expo in Las Vegas continues today with our latest pick for Best of The Expo: Olympia putters.
Sean, the editor of PutterZone.com, takes it from here:
So I’m walking around the putting green inside the expo at the Venetian Hotel and am delighted to discover a new putter company called Olympia Golf, which specializes in putters with a unique rear-mounted shaft (pictured here).
I start shooting the breeze with founder Aaron Gentes, who tells me that the Olympia putter’s main benefit is a resistance to twisting.
Now, you’ve probably heard of MOI, or moment of inertia. Putters with high MOI are designed to resist twisting upon impact when you miss-hit the ball.
But the Olympia putter is designed to avoid twisting prior to impact. It doesn’t aim to forgive your miss-hit—it aims to eliminate it.
The Olympia design is based on the Tour Edge T-Balance putter (in fact, Olympia has licensed the technology from Tour Edge). With both the T-Balance and Olympia putters, the bottom of the shaft features a 90-degree bend that connects to the rear of the putter head. Olympia has created its own putter models with this configuration, and has created its own mounting mechanism for added durability and stability. The putter pictured here is the Olympia T-1 putter with an aluminium insert ($235).
According to Aaron, this design essentially pulls the putter head along and keeps it square to the path of your stroke, minimizing wobbling and twisting. Here’s how Tour Edge describes design: “The shaft pulls the head through the ball with a pure, effortless stroke.”
The guys at Olympia Golf are genuinely nice, and it’s easy to root for them. I have a lot of admiration for small putter companies who chase the dream and endeavor to make a difference.
The Olympia team consists of Aaron, his brother (I forget to catch his name, but let’s call him “66,” because that’s a score he recently shot) and a tall guy named Carl Jackson. Recognize the name? He’s the famed Augusta National caddie who has caddied at every Masters tournament except one since 1961. He has caddied for Ben Crenshaw at the Masters 35 times, including twice when Crenshaw won the tournament. How cool is that?
Considering that Crenshaw’s putting game is legendary, it’s safe to say that Carl knows putters and putting, which bodes well for the fortunes of Olympia Golf.
Stay tuned in the days ahead for more picks for the best products from the PGA Expo, featuring everything from swing trainers to exercise equipment to new putters. These products are all made by entrepreneurs, folks who built their own businesses by themselves, not because of red tape, but in spite of it. We met one inventor who spent eight years refining and testing his product before bringing it to the market. We met a woman who created a magnificent training aid from scratch, turning a mere idea into a retail product, which is no small feat. We encountered up-and-comers in the putter world, burning rubber on interstate, their initial creations stowed in the trunk of their car. This is the spirit of golf, and it is alive and well.