Friday, February 03, 2006

Ric Breeden..

His name has already made the #1 search on Google for his feat. *DRUM ROLL*..Ta-Da!! He's the new owner of a $35,000 (Yes, "thirty-five" thousand dollars) special edition, mint condition, Scotty Cameron Classic Mini putter.

I have highlighted some of the finer moments of the Q&A session between and Ric Breeden:

SC: "Did you have to run this purchase by a significant other, and if so, how did that conversation go?"

Ric: "My wife has no idea I own this putter, nor is she aware of the price. I trust that my fellow collectors will keep this information in strict confidence."

GolfNomad says: "Ric, by any chance is her name Wilma of BedRock?"


SC: "$35,000 is a lot of money for anything. Explain to us why you purchased this Classic Mini."

Ric: "There are a few reasons. First, most collectors have a deep appreciation for finding and acquiring something this rare and exquisite. That's the first reason. What makes it extra special is that this is actually a piece of Scotty's history, one that will be mentioned for a long time as a sought after putter. You could call it one of the "Holy Grail" putters. Scotty was asked which putter was his favorite. His answer: the Classic Mini because his wife announced the impending birth of their first child by placing this putter head underneath his pillow.This made it even more important to me, this special emotional tie to Scotty. Another reason is that it's been on my fantasy list for some time. It's one of those putters I've known about, would love to own, but never expected to ever see. The Classic Mini was first on my list. When this came up for sale, it was a dream come true, and in fact it was difficult to not buy. There are so many reasons why I purchased this putter. I guess the most important would be because of my respect for Scotty's art and the respect for our friendship.

GolfNomad says: "..sounds a little creepy to me."


SC: "Have you stroked a putt with it?"

Ric: "This is a putter so valuable that one would think it wouldn't touch a ball. I have to admit, though, that the first thing I did after opening the UPS overnight box...I couldn't resist. I set a golf ball down on the carpet in my office and stroked three dead center 10-foot putts. I immediately oiled it and placed into its display rack. I have to say it's an excellent putter. Not something I'd let go of easily."

GolfNomad says: "..imagine that.."


SC: We now know where four of these putters reside—one with you, two in Japan, and the other with Scotty. Any word on where the other one is, and do you have any plans or desire to acquire it?

Ric: I believe Kaz Nakamura has one. His was a putter made for a Tour player in Japan and has been used. I have not seen that putter. I've heard this from other collectors. The location of the last one is unknown. To my knowledge, it has vanished. Rumor has it that it may have been destroyed.

GolfNomad says: "..but it was secretly saved as it was smelted and forged into a sword used in The Last Samurai"


SC: How did your passion for collecting putters begin?

Ric: I learned to play golf in high school, but I never really played much in college or in the service. I played baseball and still played softball into my late 30s. I had some injuries and decided to find something less punishing on my body. So, I started playing golf again. It quickly became a passion. I was using a Bulls Eye. Then, while visiting a friend in Missouri, I noticed that he had this putter sitting in his office with a black headcover. I pulled off the headcover and took my first glimpse at the most beautiful putter I'd ever seen. It was a 2003 Newport Beach 1.5 Black Pearl Prototype. I thought it felt wonderful. Just a perfect putter. The craftsmanship. The beauty. My friend came back into the office and I said, "I need this putter." He explained to me that it was a prototype that he had just secured from a Titleist rep. I told him to bill me. I didn't care what it cost, and I took it with me. Thankfully, we are great friends. I soon became infatuated with my new putter.

GolfNomad says: "*CHIME IN* The Twilight Zone theme song..doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo"

Ric: Sometime after this first acquisition, I got on eBay and just by chance started looking at golf equipment. There was another Newport Beach 1.5 Black Pearl Prototype. The one from my friend was my gamer, so I figured I'd get this one on eBay as a backup. The passion was full-blown, and within a month I had 7 Black Pearls, 7 Newport Beach 1.5s, and an assortment of Oil Cans. Within a few months I was hopelessly hooked on collecting Scotty Cameron putters.

GolfNomad says: "..passion..or infection?"

Ric: When I started, I bought stock putters, 1 of 500s and the like. But, as I became more educated and started connecting with other collectors, I began to learn about putters I'd never seen before. The Classics and Handmades most golfers haven’t seen and aren’t even aware of. In that process, I began to change my focus and direction in collecting. To get the putters I really wanted, I had to now sacrifice some. I sold almost all of my stock production putters while I refined and upgraded my collection. I still have a few Tour models. I must say, too, that I've made several road trips to personally pick up and pay for certain Handmades. Nothing over 3,500 miles roundtrip.

GolfNomad says: "..oh, what a relief, as long as you didn't go over 3500 miles roundtrip."


SC: Do you have any advice for other collectors?

Ric: Patience.

GolfNomad says: "..and a stash of cash."


SC: Help our readers get into the mindset of those final moments when you stroked a check, issued the wire transfer, or delivered $35,000 and received this very rare putter. Take us through your routine.

Ric: Well, first of all there was nothing routine about it. My first feeling was disbelief. This was a putter I thought I'd never see, let alone own. After I saw it on the website, I had about two hours of anxiety as I walked around my office, wringing my hands, wondering about buying something this expensive. Who knew if I would ever have another opportunity to own a Classic Mini? If I let it go, I may never see it again. So, I immediately figured out how to raise the money. I sold the best handmade I own. It was hard to let go of, as it was pristine, just an exquisite piece. It hurt, but it was worth it.

GolfNomad says: ", congratulations on the birth of your..putter..?"


SC: Any final thoughts?

Ric: I'd like to give new collectors a few words of encouragement. For guys in it for years, they already own some valuable putters. But, for new collectors, the first feeling could be discouragement. They could be thinking "I'll never be able to get a putter like that."

GolfNomad says: "..naaa..really..I heard that left arms go for pretty good these days"

Ric: I thought that, too. Finding this Classic Mini was a fantasy and something I appreciate beyond words. I look at it this way, when you get your driver's license at 16, you don't give up driving just because you don't get to drive a Porsche right away. Things come around when you're patient.

GolfNomad says: "...absolutely, in high school I didn't settle for anything less than a..BMW."

Ric: Also, you will meet other collectors who appreciate Scotty Cameron putters the way you do. In fact, fellow collectors are some of the best friends you'll ever make. They appreciate Scotty Cameron's art. Because that's what it is. It's not just a putter he makes. It is much more than that. Scotty’s putters are pieces of art. I liken his putters to works from Picasso, I really do.

GolfNomad says: "I'm sure the Picasso family agrees too, Ric"

Ric: To a collector, these rare works represent something far beyond a putter that has the mechanical ability to help a golfer put the ball in the cup. They are beautiful and full of emotional attachment. And, new collectors are going to get opportunities to find other rare putters. For instance, collectors like me who sell something to acquire something else put rarities on the market. That's how I've picked up a lot of the putters I have now, from guys who were looking to refine their collections. To those new collectors, I should mention that on one occasion I sold 40 putters. On the same day I bought 3 and broke even. Persistence and patience are the keys. Stay in the game and eventually you will own some very nice pieces—even if you never own something on the top of your fantasy list. In the quest, though, you’ll meet some friends for life. And, in the end, that’s what it's all about. You get that internal enjoyment, relaxation, and satisfaction. Look for that passion in your life and that’s what will make you happy. Guaranteed.

GolfNomad says: "I wish my passion had six zeros behind it too"


What a treat, a glimpse into the mind of your modern day Howard Hughes.

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