Discover Copper Online

Spring 2003

Copper Alloys Go Golfing with the Pros

World-class golfers like Annika Sorenstam and Nick Price use copper-alloy putters. Sorenstam has used hers to win seven tournaments, according to Bobby Grace, who for the past ten years has made putters out of beryllium copper, brass and tungsten bronze in his plant in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Copper alloy putters from Bobby Grace (top) and Orion offer distinctive looks and performance.
Copper alloy putters from Bobby Grace (top) and Orion offer distinctive looks and performance.
Copper alloy putters from Bobby Grace (top) and Orion offer distinctive looks and performance.
Copper alloy putters from Bobby Grace (pictured here) and Orion offer distinctive looks and performance
Copper alloy putters from Bobby Grace (top) and Orion offer distinctive looks and performance.

Ease of fabrication and the flexibility of weight distribution during the design stages are just a couple of the great advantages of copper alloys, says Grace. Copper-alloy putters also "age gracefully," says Grace. His suppliers include NGK Metals Corporation, Sweetwater, TN, for beryllium copper and Mi-Tech Metals Inc., Indianapolis, for tungsten bronze.

Did-It-Himself Golfer

Another manufacturer, Bernie Pinder, takes golf so seriously that he's created his own putter out of bars of brass. Few if any serious golfers have the means, like Pinder, to fashion their own putters. That's because he owns PBA Metal Products, Inc., a precision machine shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that makes screw-machine parts for the automotive and other industries.

Pinder, a scratch golfer, claims that the shorter, faster grass on course greens today renders many commercial putters inadequate. He started experimenting with brass because the prototypes can be changed quickly and precisely. "Brass was a good material for other reasons, such as weight, appearance and because it provides valuable auditory feedback when it hits the ball" says Pinder. "So we adopted it for our commercial product". The brass used is C36000.

Unlike many competing putters, Pinder's have flat soles (the bottom of the head), which he calls "Dynamic Sole Technology." The patented design has been approved by the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. Pinder has formed a company, Ontic Golf Group, LLC, Grand Haven, Michigan, to market his new DST putters.

Grace: 727-572-9165

Mi-Tech Metals: 317-549-4200

NGK: 800-523-8268

Ontic Golf: 616-846-0857

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