Every's 'BlackHawk' putter gains plenty of attention
HONOLULU – No matter whether Matt Every wins or loses today at the Sony Open, his putter still will be of interest in the coming weeks.
It may not reach the level that Jack Nicklaus’ Response putter received after the 1986 Masters, the Golden Bear's 18th major championship, but the BlackHawk, Every’s unusual matte-black putter has created some buzz this week in Hawaii.
Ranked first in putts made distance and 13th in putts gained through three rounds this week at Waialae Country Club, Every is on track to win his first tournament on the PGA Tour putting with something akin to a dustpan on the end of a stick.
“It gets my hands in the same spot every time,” Every, who enters the final round of the Sony Open tied with Jeff Maggert for the lead, said this week of the BlackHawk. “I just feel a lot more square over the putt.”
Every, 28, a 2005 Walker Cup player who starred at the University of Florida, finished 18th on the 2011 Nationwide Tour money list to earn his second shot at the PGA Tour. He has been using the BlackHawk for the past month and half, playing in three non-PGA Tour events, including the Pebble Beach Invitational.
He got a chance to try the putter when engineer-turned-putter-designer David Kargetta came to TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., where Every was practicing and talked him into testing it.
“It's for me, man, and a lot of other guys have tried it out at TPC, too. I'm not the only guy, but they either had putter deals and they didn't pull the trigger,” Every said. “It's the first tournament. If I start playing well with it, maybe it will catch on. If not, I don't care if it catches on, as long as it catches on for me.”
Finding a BlackHawk could be a little harder than you might expect. The putter is being test-marketed only in green-grass facilities in the North and South Florida PGA sections. Kargetta does not have a website touting or selling the putters, and he doesn’t have a company created to sell the putter, though he hopes to soon.
“Originally early March,” Kargetta said of the plan for advancing the putter out of test marketing. “But it looks like we're going to have to accelerate that due to developments.”
The "developments" are Every’s play this week and the exposure the putter has received in Hawaii.
“We knew what we had, and we knew what it could do,” Kargetta said of BlackHawk. “We got a lot more attention than we were hoping for.”
Kargetta confirms that Every has a contract to use the club and also that he has shown the product to many professionals, but Every is the only PGA Tour player using the club.
When a company eventually is formed, Kargetta said he will not pay players to use the putter, deciding instead to let the putter do the talking.
Players have told the engineer that they should pay him to play the putter instead, which of course is not part of the plan.
Nor, in fact, is offering the putter to the mass market; Kargetta’s plan is to sell the putter only in green-grass facilities in support of the PGA professional.To at least one touring professional, though, performance is the greatest incentive.
“No putter deal is enough money to matter,” Every said. “One shot out here on the weekend is more than any putter deal out here.”