Before I get too deep into this review of the Scotty Cameron Detour putter, I want to say something: don't be put off too quickly by its cost. Give it a chance before you make a decision.
Is this putter pricey? Yes. You bet it is. All Scotty Camerons are. But $300 is not too much for a club you use for close to half of your strokes on the course. You're willing to spend that much (and sometimes more) for a driver, and you only use it ten or twelve times per round. Why wouldn't you be willing to spend $300 on your putter, which accounts for at least 30 or 35 strokes every round?
So, that said, let's get on with the show! Here's what I think of the Scotty Cameron Detour putter.
You know what they say ..."you drive for show but you putt for dough!" Scotty Cameron putters have been synonymous with superior quality for years, and this one is no exception. In fact, it isn't so much a putter as it is a fine "putting instrument."
You could almost think of it as being a combination putter-putting aid which is legal for use on the course under USGA and R&A rules.
The lure of this particular putter is all in its design. There's no doubt that it's an unusual-looking putter, but its lines are clean, simple and almost austere compared with some of the other putters you see nowadays. The head resembles a blade putter with a gently curving bar extending out from the back of the blade. A high-contrast black alignment line runs the entire length of the bar until it ends at a vivid orange triangle. The alignment line also features a slight curve, flowing gently toward the heel.
I know it all sounds a little odd, but there's a reason the Scotty Cameron Detour putter uses this design.
There are two competing "schools of thought" or "philosophies" when it comes to the putting stroke. One of these putting philosophies - that the putting stroke should travel straight back and through, with the putter face held square to the target line throughout the stroke - is advocated by Dave Pelz, the world-famous short-game guru and techno-geek whose advice on putting is followed by numerous Tour pros. The other school of thought - that the putting stroke should actually be an arc with the putter face square to the target line only at address and impact - is put forth by (you guessed it!) Scotty Cameron. Of course, Cameron's not alone in thinking this. Many golfers (including many teaching and Tour pros) believe in the arcing stroke.
The subtly curved bar extending out from the head and the subtly curved alignment line inside the bar are intended to help you visualize and reinforce the arcing stroke Scotty Cameron so strongly believes in. Many golfers prefer the arcing putting stroke, while many others prefer the straight-back-and-through. If you're a straight-back-and-through putter, you will not like the Scotty Cameron Detour putter. In fact, this putter could actually make your putting worse, because it will try to visually guide you into using an arcing stroke instead of your natural straight-back-and-through. But, if you already have an arcing putting stroke (as many golfers do), this specific putter might be just the trick to start eliminating three-putts and start snaking in some long bombs.
That's the "meat" of the Scotty Cameron Detour putter, but being a "Scotty" the club naturally has additional technology built into it. For example, stainless steel weights concealed in the heel, toe and back of the bar give the Scotty Cameron Detour putter additional toe hang and Moment of Inertia. This helps it resist twisting and helps keep off-center putts on the intended line. Contact on the sweet spot sounds and feels pleasantly crisp and smooth. When you hit the ball on the heel or toe, you'll get enough feedback from the Scotty Cameron Detour putter to know the putt was poorly struck.
The Bottom Line: The Scotty Cameron Detour putter might have an unusual look, but if you use an arcing putting stroke it can help you to success. There's no doubt that it's expensive, but this well-constructed, well-designed, top-performing putter can be worth the price if you're an "arc putter."