The 39 is a bit of a dream putter, with an old and traditional shape. In fact, the 39 form is such a classic that probably every great old-time golf pro who ever played the game used it at one time or another.
While the small, thin blade shape is iconic, it was born in the infancy of golf design when the putter technology we have now wasn’t even on the horizon. It was easy to aim and was stable through the stroke but not very forgiving. I think that’s why I was drawn to it. It was such a great look, and I wanted to see how good I could make it. I saw it as an opportunity and a challenge I simply couldn’t resist. Could I make this basic design play as good as a modern mallet?
I always thought the original shape was a little small, and as the modern putter got bigger, I knew size was the place for us to start. This might have been our biggest challenge. Steve and I figured out the physics to make a putter play great long ago. But, to take such an iconic shape, change it, and still have a finished product that maintains its proportions and looks great is actually a daunting task. After I thought we had the shape where it should be, it came down to how much weight we could get out of the middle of the head and how much tungsten we could get into the heel and toe. Even I was a little surprised when we were able to put over 120 grams of tungsten into the head.
All that tungsten makes a massive difference in playability. While the first traditional blade looked incredible and had a sweet spot of about a quarter of an inch, on the 39, most of the face is a sweet spot. It has a higher MOI than most mallets, and that would have been impossible just a few years ago. Its unique, quad-weighted weight distribution ensures zero gear effect on off-center hits, and like all our putters, it has an Ultra Low Balance Point (ULBP).
I think it’s one of the best designs I’ve ever done.