2002: Business - C-Thru Grips makes most of big stage

Reno, Nev.

The PGA Fall Expo gives smaller companies the opportunity to bask in the golf spotlight.

One company taking advantage of this opportunity Aug. 2-3 was C-Thru Grips of Orlando, Fla. These grips contain, as the name suggests, a transparent layer on the outside. What is visible is the colorful, silk-screened artwork underneath, and this artwork can be customized to suit the individual golfer.

Annika Sorenstam once putted with a C-Thru grip that said “Ms. 59.” John Cook used an OSU putter grip for Ohio State University, and Charles Howell III had an OSU grip for Oklahoma State University. Different collegiate putter grips are available for retail purchase, with each costing about $10 installed.

John Daly has putted with several C-Thru grips, and a Daly signature putter grip is available for fans of Big John.

C-Thru soon will offer customized grips for irons and woods. (Daly already is using them.) All of the grips are manufactured by Percise Grips of Riverside, Calif., and C-Thru has the exclusive worldwide sales rights.

“People love these grips,” said C-Thru president Mickey Novak, who hands out clear plastic business cards. “We will be introducing many different products (including a junior putter grip) in the next few months. We feel a lot of momentum building up for us.”

Another company, Scientific Golfers AB of Stockholm, Sweden, brought a 28-inch putter called “The One” to the Fall Expo. In response to several cynical comments from onlookers, vice president of sales Tom Santori marched directly to an artificial putting green from Mirage Putting Greens International and sank two consecutive 30-foot putts.

The One is intended to be used with a one-arm stroke, the ball being positioned sidesaddle outside the golfer’s shoe. According to Santori, the wrist and arm should be locked in place, with the putting motion coming from the shoulder. The One also is available in a 22-inch version.

Even with such modern inventions as The One, putters with hickory shafts still are around. A grand old putter name, Otey Crisman, returned to center stage at the Fall Expo. The once-popular Crisman putters, with hickory and steel shafts, were first made in 1946, but have not been actively marketed in recent years.

The heads for the original blades and mallets are still supplied by Otey Crisman III, and additional head designs have been promised by the new owner of the Otey Crisman putter name – Mitchell Golf Equipment Co. of Dayton, Ohio, maker of the most popular loft and lie machines in golf.











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