Over the past few years, Yes! Golf has gone from famine to feast. First, the brand was acquired by Adams Golf after hitting a rough patch. Then, Adams Golf was enfolded into the TaylorMade-Adidas Golf family of companies. Today, Yes! Golf finds itself once again in a capitalized position, and coming on strong with a suite of new putters for 2013. In recent months, Yes! putters have found the winners circle in the hands of Ryan Moore, Kenny Perry, Fred Funk and several others on the PGA, Champions and European tours. We recently caught up with our old friend Blair Philip, director of putter development, who has been with Yes! since the pre-Adams days. Here is our exclusive interview:
You’ve been with Yes! for many years and personally made the transition from Colorado to Plano, Texas when Yes! Golf was acquired by Adams Golf. Can you tell us about that transition, and what it has meant to Yes! putters?
Actually, since the acquisition of the YES! brand and groove technology platform by Adams, it has been an exciting time. Since I started, I have been lucky enough to work under Tim Reed, who is the head of R&D here at Adams Golf. Tim came with some impressive putter history, in that he was one of the original people involved with Odyssey Golf before it was sold to Callaway. Tim assembled a great team around YES! and I am extremely privileged to work alongside two individuals named Justin Honea and Kevin Mayoux who are doing things in CAD design and engineering innovation that are truly remarkable. Tim has trained us to run this putter division and has placed the responsibility on our team. It is a dynamic and fun environment and I really enjoy the job.
Now that TaylorMade-Adidas Golf owns Adams, there are even more resources at our disposal. This is not only a comfort but a source of friendly competition that I believe is, and will continue to be, a positive force for innovation. I have a great deal of respect for what they have done at TaylorMade. How can you not? The putters in particular have been developed using some of the same “out of the box” thinking that I believe is necessary in the putter world. There is more coming, too.”
Can you talk about the C-Groove technology–what it is and what it does?
As you may be aware, C-Groove technology improves the roll of a ball by influencing the ball to roll sooner and thereby more stable than typical putters. The goal has always been to get the ball onto the green and rolling with as little side spin as possible.
What is one of the new Yes! putters that you think people should really know about, and what makes it special?
The newest and most exciting putters we have coming out for 2013 are called the i4-TECH line of putters. There are three different models: Callie (Cavity-Back Blade, Rachel (Also a blade but larger toe-hang) and the Stephanie i4-TECH, which is a high MOI Mallet that has a lot or potential.
The Stephanie i4-TECH is a high MOI Mallet shape that is face-balanced and has several technology features that we believe will help people putt better through enhancing their control along several categories.
It has a four-piece C-Groove insert that features a 65-D polymer backing that further enhances roll through increasing friction between the ball and the groove edge. It is the new and improved C-Groove that is gettng a lot of attention on tour already. The insert has the added benefit of creating a softer feel that we know people will love from our player testing.
Tungsten weighting in the i4-TECH Putters increases MOI by distributing mass where it helps create forgiveness most. This putter should help people be more consistent. This weighting combined with a 360-gram head weight will also help a player be more consistent on miss-hits.
Alignment features built into the putter also help people line up better. There is a black polymer strip that has a contrasting white line running from the face to the back of the putter that helps the player align the putter properly both to the line and to the center of the ball. The curve and slope will also help players get their eyes configured over the line.
The finish of the putter is very unique and cool. It is called an Antique finish that is a PVD coating which adds to the overall looks of the putter while being extremely durable.
We are dedicated to improving a player’s ability to enjoy the game, and putting is the fastest and most logical way to do it. We employ multiple technology features in every putter to give a player that consistency and enjoyment that they deserve. C-Groove technology works and helps a player roll the ball better. That is not where the story ends though. Alignment features, MOI considerations, weighting, look, feel, grip size and so on. We are passionate here and truly believe that we can help people play better.