Jimmy Walker rolling with a fully custom Lamb Crafted putter

Jimmy Walker's Lamb Crafted putter David Dusek/Golfweek

Jimmy Walker rolling with a fully custom Lamb Crafted putter

Equipment

Jimmy Walker rolling with a fully custom Lamb Crafted putter

On the eve of the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston in August, Jimmy Walker quietly stroked one putt after another on the practice green into a hole about 6 feet away. It was a hot afternoon, and his caddie, Andy Sanders, emptied the cup as it filled with Pro V1xs, then rolled them back to Walker. The pro positioned each ball, one by one, about an inch from an alignment stick. Seconds after Walker hit each putt came the satisfying sound of the ball rattling inside the cup.

The silver-toned putter Walker used looked like one of the many Scotty Cameron Newport-style blades he has acquired over the years, but on closer inspection, it was not the handiwork of Titleist’s putter guru. The putter did not come out of a tour van or from any major company. Tyson Lamb, the founder of Lamb Crafted, created the highly customized 340-gram blade from a block of 303 stainless steel.

Jimmy Walker's Lamb Crafted putter

Jimmy Walker’s Lamb Crafted putter (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Lamb, who is based just north of Dallas in Wylie, Texas, has developed a cult following as a boutique equipment maker. He creates ball markers, divot-repair tools and some leather accessories, but he is best known for milled putters that often incorporate intricate designs and unique finishes.

Walker saw Lamb’s putters on Instagram and reached out to have one made, then Lamb heard from his friend, Claude Harmon, that Walker was a great guy and that he should make him the putter.

“We talked, and Jimmy clued me into what he likes and what he doesn’t like,” Lamb said. “We took a putter shape that he’s had success with, a tapered-heel-style blade, but then he said that he wanted a super-thin topline and to thin out the bumpers a little bit, round everything off and add a sight dot. He wanted a matte finish, but he also wanted the putter to be heavier.”

Jimmy Walker's Lamb Crafted putter

Extra milling on the face can help a putter maker achieve a precise weight and make the topline thinner. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

After a few text messages, Lamb made the putter and sent it to Walker while he was vacationing in Utah. Lamb was able to shave material off the face to make the topline thinner, and the toe-side bumper is slightly larger than the bumper on the heel to compensate for the weight of the hosel and pull the ideal hitting spot more into the middle of the face. While most of Lamb’s putters have angular panels that connect the topline to the back of the putter, Walker’s putter smoothly transitioned down and away from the top.

The six-time PGA Tour winner tried it, shot 65 in a practice round using it and decided to put it into his bag at Bellerive for the PGA Championship, but there were a few minor things he wanted changed, which meant Lamb needed to make a second putter.

Not contractually obligated to play a Titleist putter, Walker finished 16th in strokes gained putting at the PGA Championship using the Lamb Crafted putter.

Earlier in the year, as he continued to recover and regain his strength after contracting lyme disease in 2017, Walker had experimented with different putters, including a TaylorMade Spider Tour.

Jimmy Walker's Lamb Crafted putter

The third putter Lamb created for Walker has a sight line inside of a dot. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

“It took a little bit of an adjustment period after looking at the Spider and getting back to this,” Walker said, referring to Lamb’s heel-toe-weighted blade. “It’s a totally different look going through. It wasn’t so much the stroke as seeing something completely different go through. The putters swing completely different. You have to do a little more work with this, whereas the Spider does a lot of work for you. I needed that from being sick, I needed some help. Then I started to feel better and wanted to use what I like looking at.”

By the time Walker arrived at TPC Boston, Lamb had made three putters for the 2016 PGA Championship winner. The sight dot had been replaced by a black alignment line on the topline, and some of the Texas- and America-themed stamping on the back changed, but the adjustments were minor.

A fourth putter, which looks identical to the third but weighs 345 grams, likely will debut this week in Malaysia when Walker plays in the CIMB Classic.

“I can make him anything he wants because we do all the work from here,” Lamb said. “He was just looking for something that, I don’t want to say that a lot of guys could make, but they didn’t, so he called, we had a conversation and hit it off, and it worked.”

Jimmy Walker's Lamb Crafted putter

Jimmy Walker’s Lamb Crafted putter (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Ten years ago a putter like Lamb’s would never have found its way into a pro’s bag, because Lamb does not have a PGA Tour rep. Lamb Crafted only has about five people in the company. Visibility comes through Instagram and his website, but that does not stop Lamb’s monthly batch of putters from selling out in hours, and it can take four to six months for customers who consign a putter to have their creation delivered, even with prices that start at around $1,200 per club.

“Next year is probably going to be our biggest year with some of the things that are working on now,” Lamb said. “We’re a small fish, but people are starting to take notice. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m just trying to make cool stuff that fits the model now.”

As a small but growing number of pros forgo signing equipment deals and fill their bags with clubs from multiple manufacturers, and social media gives exposure and reach to small brands like Lamb Crafted, the model could work out perfectly for Tyson Lamb.

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