Olson Manufacturing Retro Putter Review

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Logan Olson is bringing his talents to the custom putter industry

We all love the new new. I mean, who doesn’t. For us, though, when we stumble across someone like Logan, we tend to get very enthusiastic.

Logan, who is shot-putting himself into the arena of custom putter building is a new star on the rise. He’s young, driven, and his work is making waves across Instagram. I stumbled upon his Instagram account after seeing a new headcover design on Instagram from our friends at Golf Iconic. I followed the tag in the Golf Iconic post over to the IG page for Olson Manufacturing. It didn’t take long for me to be impressed with his collection of photos.

Olson Manufacturing

There are a myriad of craftsmen out there, and if I’m honest, they all do incredible work. Work that I, in no way, could I ever produce. They live the life of crafting, designing, digitizing, buffing, and stamping that goes into building a unique putter. The conversations I’ve had with Logan and the exchanges via text back and forth have given me an inside look at this young and upcoming builder. And I’m a fan.

That by no means discredits the others in the industry. I want this review to be about what Logan has been able to do in a short time. And, how he is working, hard might I add, at creating a damn good business with some remarkable putters.

So sit back, grab a cold one, and enjoy what I’ve found out about this stud of a craftsman from Northern California.

My first Olson Putter arrives

We were pleased Logan was willing to work with us for this review. Over the years that we’ve been doing this, it’s a total crapshoot if a new brand is going to want to participate. Maybe it was good timing on our part. Getting in early before the storm hits is ideal. But, regardless of how we got started I still think Logan would have agreed anyway. He’s been nothing but a please to work with and, I’ve been very impressed with Logan’s passion.

There hasn’t been one time he hasn’t been willing to get into a lengthy text conversation or hop on the phone. For this review, I was oblivious to what I wanted Logan to create. I have a style of putters that I like, and I wanted something that showcased his talent, but it wasn’t until I saw this photo that I knew what I wanted to see.

 

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Immediately, I knew that was the putter I wanted to review. We chatted briefly and agreed that this style head was going to be the one. That was my participation in the design. Other than length and lie, I told Logan to create whatever he wanted to for this build. And, in my opinion, he nailed it. The Retro Head design is stunning.

Olson Retro Cad Design

With Logan’s touches, my Retro head arrived looking sexy as ever.

Olson Manufacturing

A custom-built, Retro head

Three hundred forty-five grams of pure bliss. A welded, high polished slant neck and a hammered section just to let you know this putter has a personal touch from Logan himself. It’s clean, naked (no alignment line or sight dot) and stinks of elegance and class. The lines are smooth and buffed, and the weighting when you’re holding it in your hands is as ideal as it gets.

When the putter arrived, and I took it out of the package I knew right away that Logan was legit. But it wasn’t until I took it out back to my putting green when I realized he was more than just crafty with a CNC machine.

To steal a line from the famed Judge, Doug Marcaida, of the History Channels Forged in Fire, “Your flatstick will putt.

Olson Manufacturing

The balance of the blade when putting is superb. I love a blade putter, and I like having the control of the face in my hands. I want to know instantly that I left the face open or I pushed it a touch. You lose that aspect of putting with the new tech that is out there, in my opinion. It may make the putting stroke more simple and more consistent, but for me, I want that control. Logan’s head design is not “new” or “one-of-a-kind,” but he has taken this Retro design and crafted a high performing putter that puts a roll on the ball exceptionally well.

Putting post-surgery was a challenge.

Surgery earlier this year was a major setback for me, but thankfully, I was able to do a lot of putting while I was in my boot. While not the best way to test a putter, it got the job done. I spent countless hours with the Retro putter over the weeks before I got the release to go out on the course and participate in real life golf activity. It was a short but sweet break in period for this putter and me. After just a few sessions out back, I was blown away with the putter, and it found a home in my bag. It’s that good of a stick. I got in three “real rounds” of golf with this build and was sure that it was going to stay in the bag for the remainder of 2019.

Things change, however, and I’ll let you know here in a little bit why this Olson Manufacturing putter is now idle in the backup bag.

The Goods

Shaft

Logan is utilizing KBS Putter shafts on most of his builds now.

Headcover

Currently, his orders are shipping with the headcovers from Golf Iconic. Logan is the works with a high-end cover that is only going to elevate the overall club building experience. Everyone is well aware of the chaos a headcover can create, and Logan is going to ensure that the customers looking for that aspect have options.

Metals

There are a bunch of metal options for putter builders. What the customer wants has a lot to do with what metals go into the build. For the Retro head, Logan went with stainless steel. So there will be no rusting or patining taking place with mine. The classic look will be there for as long as I have this beauty, and I have zero intentions of ever parting ways.

Grips

Logan has been using Best Grips and Grip Master leather grips for his builds. That doesn’t mean your limited. In our conversations he let me know if there’s a grip out there a customer wants, he’s going to get it for them.

There are several reasons why you should consider an Olson Manufacturing putter.

We all know that the majority of golfers out there obtain their putters from golf retailers. Either that or yard sales, friends purging or a smoking deal on eBay. The point is that not everyone is on board with spending upwards of $500 on a putter. Now, throw a $500 or nowadays a $600 driver, and a lot of players won’t even blink. It still amazes me that a club you’ll use anywhere from 10-14 times per round, compared to one you’ll use for the majority of your shots always gets crapped if it’s more than $100. Golfers are just odd, and some are not ready to spend wildly on a putter mainly because it’s not going to get you those 15 extra yards off the tee.

The custom putter world is changing though, and I’m starting to see more unique finds on the course. Yeah, there will always be that guy with the 30-year-old putter that has more chips and dings in it than a 1980 Honda. Nobody is going to change their minds that a $500 putter will outperform their $5 one. But, there are the guys and gals out there that want to have a custom, unique and performing putter in their hands. It’s a status symbol, it’s a performance tool, and it can be a confidence builder. Sink a nasty putt with a high-end putter and try to tell yourself it’s not the putter. Good luck with that.

The price is all relative to the work that goes into the putter. These are not cast molded heads from China in massive quantities. When you order a putter from Olson Manufacturing, Logan makes the putter. He is involved in every step of the process from picking the block of billet steel, hitting the start button on the CNC mill and sealing the tape on the shipping box. Logan is the designer, the CAD operator, the assembler and the shipping department. Lest we forget, he’s 21 years old.

There are a lot of putter builders to chose from, who you chose is up to you.

Nobody is going to deny there is amazing craftsman out there making putters. And I’m not here to tell you this one is better than that one. I’m not writing this review to persuade you ONLY to buy your custom putter from Olson Manufacturing. You need to take a look a the entire picture of custom builders and see if what they are doing is right for you. We are here to showcase some of the new talents out there and do our best to bring to life their creations and educate you if we can. It’s a lot of fun but painstaking as well. Ahhh, who am I kidding, I love this stuff!

Ten years ago, when I started this blog, the idea of spending $200 on a putter would never have crossed my mind. But as I’ve grown in the industry, so has my understanding of these boutique putter builds. It’s not for everyone; we all can agree on that. It’s personal, and it connects with the golfer in a way not many golf clubs can.

Olson Manufacturing

We develop a relationship with our putters. We’re eager to show them off, drain a 20-foot birdie and display the headcovers like art on our walls. We’re also quick to shun them to the garage and never look at them again if they underperform. Cause it’s the clubs fault.

Whatever the reason, we all should be grateful there are people like Logan who want to take their passion for golf and create for all of us to enjoy.

What to expect from Olson Manufacturing

Since we started talking Logan has begun to see the merits of his efforts pay off. No matter how busy he is of late, Logan is determined to getting the putters done. As his work is starting to show up more and more in Instagram posts, you can imagine his workload has increased. Early on you could expect a two-week turnaround from order date to shipping. Logan has assured me he wants to keep that type of timeline in place. However, I don’t think that’s plausible. The demand is increasing, and so are the orders. So, if you do place an order for a putter, be patient. Like I mentioned earlier, these are not mass produced, cast molded putter heads. A lot of time goes into the process to mill the head, and then the finishing work afterward is critical to his future success. It’s something he cannot rush.

More Signature Series Releases

His second signature series dropped a few months back, and it was incredible.

 

 

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Look for more of those to come in the future as well as many more custom works.

You can expect near perfection with your purchase.

I know I’ve said it a few times, but this kid is incredible. No disrespect here, I’m allowed to call him “kid” because he’s only eight years older than my daughter. Haha. As his story gets out there, I’m sure the pricing structure will evolve as well. It happens with nearly every new putter builder that comes along. As the demand grows, so do the work days, and they quickly learn that their time has more value than they initially thought. Do I think it will that happen to Logan? I certainly do. He is putting out work that is too good not to garner the high dollar price point. Time will tell.

Olson Manufacturing

As far as a price point goes, these are considered a high-end putter. Look to spend between $600-$1000. Of course, the more intricate details you want, the more time is involved, and the price goes up.

The best thing to do if you’re interested in an Olson Manufacturing putter is to get on his WEBSITE and start some dialog. Another easy way of communicating with him is via the Olson Manufacturing Instagram account. You’ll find an impressive gallery of the work he has completed or is in the process of building. And make sure to follow if you’re not already. Seeing the progression from his early work to now has been a joy to watch.

Olson Manufacturing

And lastly, why I pulled the Retro from my bag.

You thought I forgot, didn’t you?

While the Retro is probably my favorite head design of all time, there was something Logan, and I had in the works. I had an idea for a putter design I’d been kicking around for a bit. After talking with Logan on the phone, I knew he was the one for the job.

If you are not aware, I’ve been living in Las Vegas for nearly 45 years. I’ve watched this city grow from a dusty desert armpit of the southwest to the glowing mecca it is today. It is my home, and I love almost everything about this valley. When the horrific shooting took place back in 2017, I was in utter disbelief of what had happened. But what was even more shocking, to me, was how this transient, often overlooked community came together in support of one another, unlike anything I could have ever imagined.

Vegas Strong became more than a hashtag.

It became a way for all of us here in the valley to remember what took place AFTER the shooting and not the tragedy itself. It is almost impossible to go anywhere in town and not see Vegas Strong represented in one way or another. So I wanted to bring that to life on something that I’m passionate about, yeah, I’m talking about golf.

I discussed what I wanted to do with Logan and turned it over to him. There were two things I asked for on the putter; It needed to have Vegas Strong on it somewhere, and I wanted the number 58 to be involved. As you can see from the pictures below, he nailed it with the design and build. As much as I loved rolling the Retro, there is no way I’m not putting this putter in play every chance I get. Hats off to you, Mr. Olson, hats off to you.

Thank you, Logan, for introducing us to your passion.

As with most craftsman out there, they are passionate as hell about their work. Logan is no different. It was a joy to get to know him and even more enjoyable to see his work first hand. His putters are incredible, and the sky’s the limit for this young man. In just the short time he’s been creating putters his talents have grown immensely. I only see a bright future in store for him and cannot wait to see what he does next.

If you want to know more about Logan Olson, be sure to tune into our Podcast and hear our interview with him and Corey Paul from Corey Paul Functional Art.

Follow Mathew Wangrycht:

Writer and founder of the golf blog The Breakfast Ball. My wife will tell you I'm obsessed with the game, she's right! It's that obsession which drives me to become a better player and make this site enjoyable for everyone.

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