Connor Lewis is a Golf Traditionalist… he gave up modern golf for a set of Hickory Shafted clubs, and the game as it was played 100 years ago. You have to admire a player who takes the game’s history so seriously that he “goes back in time” when he steps on the first tee.

One day when I was a 14 year old, proud of shooting my first even-par round, my Dad (a scratch handicap) took me out in the front yard (we had a big one) and handed me his 1920’s era Mashie (5-iron) with a hickory shaft. He told me… “Hit this son, and tell me if you think you could have shot par with a set of these…” After my three quick low duck hooks, he smiled, took it out of my hands, and said… “OK, now you know how tough the game used to be… better stick to steel shafts for you!” So I admire those who can hit hickory shafts, and want to… for more than about three tries. 

Connor heard about my putter… and stuck one in his bag (the “non-hickory” one). His “other” bag was all Titleist… including Cameron putter.

Here was his “train of thoughts”… published online…

I am considering purchasing a similar model to what Matt Every used in the Sony this last week. The company is called Orion and from what I understand they make two models… The Black Hawk which Every used and the Black Swan. I first heard about the Black Swan a couple of months ago when my father in law mentioned that his buddy in Florida purchased one and was dropping everything. I was intrigued then and am more intrigued now.

The Black Swan is different, but equally massive. While I agree wholeheartedly at the end of the round don’t know if I care what my putter looks like if it sinks more putts… at the end of the day I don’t know if this putter is better than my beautiful Scotty Cameron Gold Finish Del Mar, but if it is…I’m switching. The concept as I understand it is pretty simple. Its a massive head which keeps the head from twisting during the stroke and promoting straighter putting. The MOI is massive which allows the ball to roll true no matter where you strike it on the face. So you aim and putt…the face angle should remain the same and a mishit should not effect the roll.

Talk about insanity…
I am considering purchasing two new putters and keeping my current putter. Here are the candidates:
1) (My current putter) – Scotty Cameron Del Mar Putter with 30g additional weight in the head. I would say this is the best putter I have played with in my years of golfing, although I have a club from the 1800’s which could be its equal.
2) (Potential new purchase) – Orion Black Swan Putter: I have now heard from two friends in Florida who swear by it. They say that the putts seem to be dropping from everywhere. Now I am a pretty good putter already, but what if I could make 1 or 2 more putts a round which lip out?
3) (Potential new purchase) – Scotty Cameron Del Mar putter with 30g extra weight. Exactly like my current putter, but I would make it into a belly putter. I like the look, the feel, and the weight and I am curious to see if it would be slightly better as a belly putter???

So the question will be raised…if you are already a good putter why tinker? My explanation is simple…when I am putting well I am really good, but when I am off its obvious. So…is there a putter out there that helps me bridge the off days. Would it be a belly putter which syncs the motion of the putter with my shoulders or is it a massive MOI putter which resists torque and mishits and gives you the opportunity to check your alignment.

He posted a photo of the putter…
The photo was on Golfwrx website. They are only for sale in green golf shops in Florida (aka pro shops). I have written to the President of Orion Golf and should be able to purchase one this week. They stress putter fitting especially for the lie angle. As I do not live in Florida I gave them my Scotty specs and then had my head pro fit me on the Ping device which measures ideal lie angle.
And in response to the other posts questioning why… 
But what if I find a putter that is magic???
So at this point, he’s intrigued, and decides to order one from our test market site Cypress Head Golf Club, from Mike Collins… I had no idea then who Conner was, or his posts.
I purchased the Black Swan Putter it will ship tomorrow. Notes to follow.
The Shock Arrives…
My Orion Black Swan putter has arrived…its big!!! And I mean big!!! It’s also amazing…I took the putter to my club’s indoor putting area and sank 9 of 10 12 footers (not kidding).  How good is this putter…within 15 minutes of watching me make putt after putt both of the assistant pros at my country club started putting with it…each ball kept falling into the cup and we were all laughing!!! Within another 15 minutes they were calling the owner of the company to order their own Orion putters. NOT KIDDING AT ALL!!!
He posts a photo…
Here is a photo of my Orion Black Swan putter next to my Titleist D2 Driver. Oh its a monster putter.
He’s an innovative tester…
Tested the putter again today with a putting line circling my golf ball. Every single stroke rolled pure…that line was consistent throughout the roll of the ball. 20 putts…20 perfect rolling balls. On my best day with my Scotty Cameron I could maybe roll 10 out of 20 with that kind of roll with no wobble. I have now owned the putter for one week and in that time I have convinced two assisstant professionals and two single digit handicap golfers that this putter is better than anything they have ever putted with. I have let five people putt with it and 4 have decided to purchase after putting with my Black Swan putter. The fifth wants to hold off until Spring.
As many of you know I made a switch this off season to the Orion Black Swan putter, which is apparently impossible to purchase right now.
I am confident that this putter is superior to any putter on the market after testing it for a month. I have always sided with the “it’s not the bow and arrow but the Indian” argument, but I am telling you right now it’s the bow. In the last month I have let 5 people try my Black Swan and 4 of the 5 bought one or are in the process of buying one…two are assistant pros at my club and the other two are high school golfers, one of which has a scholarship to play college golf next year.  
Further tests…
On a 21 foot putting green this morning I hit 20 putts with the Black Swan of those 20 putts I holed out 13, lipped out 5 and missed 2 by a half cup. Here is another test…I marked all 20 balls with three parallel aiming lines and of the 20 putts 16 were perfect rolls where I could see continuous 3 lines from impact to completion.
Now I am a decent putter, but I have tested my Scotty Cameron from the same distance and my best efforts have claimed 7 of 20 hole outs and the perfect rolls…try 5.
Thinking ahead…
Now there is some talk belly and long putters will soon be banished…the Orion putter line seems to be an obvious choice…but that’s just me.
Nearly two months later…  
Still using the Black Swan putter and am putting lights out. By far the most amazing putter I have ever used.
Over a month later… 
Has anyone else tried the Black Swan Putter by Orion? I posted this a couple of months ago and I still stand by the comments that this putter is the best putter hands down that I have ever putted with.
I emailed him this morning, asking permission to post this page…
You certainly have my permission…I still love the putter! I will get you some photos of me putting.
The rest of this page will be updates of Connor’s story, written by him again.

2 responses »

  1. Gary Stewart says:

    I have been using the Black Swan putter for 2 seasons. Purchased in Florida at Deercreek CC. I sink putts with this bad boy! Everywhere I go it draws attention. ” is that a putting tool?” “is that legal?” is that a waffle iron?”. I love it! I must ask once and for all. Is it legal for me to set the club, step back, eye it up and pull the trigger. I still get called a cheater and I am constantly told it is not legal for tournament play. What is the definitive answer? Bought a second Black Swan just in case. I want my Black Swan putter.

    • oriongolf says:

      Yes, Gary, totally legal. Had a Tour Pro actually use his hands on the putter head to line up his putts… crowd went wild when he holed long putts that way.

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