Ben Hogan and Otey teaching in Miami
In 1946, a young golf professional from Selma, Alabama had a dilemma and an idea. Otey Crisman, JR. was a great ball-striker, player, and man. The one thing missing from his game was what happened on the greens. Putting held him back from beating the legends of that day. To name a few, Ben Hogan, Doug Ford and Jimmy Demaret all walked the PGA fairways in that classic age, and Otey had to find a way to compete...
At the U.S. Open qualifying in Birmingham, AL that year, Otey showed up with a new weapon in his bag. He had designed and manufactured a first of its kind; a mallet style putter with a hickory shaft. The putter head was also ahead of its time, as a soft metal brass insert was embedded in the aluminum head. Two lead weights on either side of the insert created a "center balance", reducing torque and improving solid contact.
Mr. Crisman finished with the 4th lowest qualifying score in the country with his trusty "Otey"! Yet as the season progressed, it was his new putter that got all the attention rather than his play. His fellow touring professionals began requesting an "Otey" of their own, and the rest is history...
Future World Golf Hall of Fame member Jimmy Demaret won the 1947 Masters at Augusta National, with an Otey putter! As Mr. Crisman concentrated on building his growing business, the wins continued to mount for his former playing competitors. Hundreds of PGA, LPGA, and Amateur titles can be documented with his American Made, handcrafted brand. Six Masters Champions carried an Otey putter, and in the 1957 Masters, 27 of the 83 in the field had an Otey in their bag!
Hand turned and finished hickory shafts, combined with the design of the putter head, created a "transfer" of feel from the ball to the player. As tour great Miller Barber was quoted, (winner of 7 PGA tour events and 28 Senior tour titles), "An Otey gives you a live hit, I know where the ball is going every time"...
70 years later, most modern putters now use an "insert" to improve results. Otey Crisman was ahead of his time, with performance and design!
Here is a partial list of some of the legends of Golf that have rolled it with the classic and timeless "Otey" - History in their hands...
- Bob Goalby - Cary Middlecoff - Doug Ford - Jimmer Demarett ('50 Masters)
- Jack Burke ('56 Masters) - Miller Barber - Arnold Palmer ('58 Masters)
- Paul Runyan - Rick Massengale - Ben Crenshaw - Tony Lema - Carol Mann
- Mikey Wright - Nancy Lopez - Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Jack Burke with Steve Elkington
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Holding his Otey - Golf Magazine 2017
Paul Runyan with his Otey
Vice President Qualye
Country music great Randy Owens
Bob Hope and Otey III
Charles Barkley awarded an Otey