New TPA XVIII putter nearing production

Nick Faldo holds his TaylorMade TPA XVIII putter he used in the final round of his 1989 Masters victory.

At the PGA Merchandise Show in January, I bumped into former Web.com Tour pro Tee McCabe on the PGA Show floor, who is jumping back into the family business.

Tee is the son of Terry McCabe, designer of the TaylorMade Burner and Tour Preferred woods, the first commercially successful metal woods. Later, he and Gary Adams teamed up again to start Founders Club and McCabe had yet another hit designing the 975D driver during his stint as head of R&D for Titleist.

Terry died on April 12, 2013 at age 67, but not before finishing a few last designs.

“My father died last year on Masters Friday with the Masters playing in the background,” Tee said, “a beautiful parting for a guy so dedicated in the craft of golf.”

Tee, who had been working in investment banking, founded TPA Golf Clubs, a nod to his father’s best-known putter. McCabe pulled from his bag the original mold for the TPA XVIII putter that Nick Faldo stuck in his bag before Sunday’s final round of the 1989 Masters and used to win his first green jacket.

“The finish was unbelievable,” Faldo said, recalling his victory 25 years ago. “Made the putt at 16, 17, and the one at 11 to win the playoff. I never holed three putts like that in my life. Never again.”

A new and improved version of the TPA XVIII is nearing production, Tee said.

“We are testing final revisions at the moment,” he said.

It’s good to know there are a few more winning clubs still to come from a legend of the design business.

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