How a steakhouse commercial birthed an iconic gear logo | Wall-to-Wall

scotty cameron circle t logo putter

The "Circle T" logo on Cameron's putters denotes a version made for Tour.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Equipment, the weekly gear wrap-up in which GOLF equipment editor Jonathan Wall takes you through the latest trends, rumors and breaking news.

Memorable mishap

Growing up in Southern California, master craftsman Scotty Cameron still remembers the television commercial for the Black Angus Steakhouse. It’s hard to forget, considering it was the impetus behind one of the most recognizable logos in the equipment industry.

During the ad spot, a giant branding iron comes down from the heavens to bless the steak with a “Western-looking” branding iron. Consider it the seal of approval for the cut of meat.

Years later, Cameron would use the idea of a branding iron to create the “Circle T” — a logo that came about through a simple shipping mishap.

Back in 1994, Cameron joined Titleist following the launch of his own Scotty Cameron Classic line two years prior. While trying to make a name for himself at Titleist, Cameron would send putters to all of the major tours for players to use. One week, putters that should’ve been bound for the PGA Tour ended up making their way to the LPGA, thereby forcing Cameron to come up with a way to ensure the mixup never happened again.

“Back in the day, nobody put on headcovers,” Cameron said on GOLF’s Fully Equipped podcast. “But I needed a way to keep the putters straight, so I put on headcovers and wrote the letter t with a circle around it. It looked like a [branding iron] because I didn’t finish the circle around the t. The thought was to mark it like the steak. I knew putters with the Circle T on the headcover were meant to be sent to the PGA Tour. Those that didn’t have it were bound for the LPGA Tour.”

Cameron also added the Circle T to the box for good measure, which prompted some players to start asking questions about the new logo that kept popping on Tour. Then came the week when two young kids walked up to a Cameron staff bag on the putting green and ran off with a couple of Circle T headcovers.

justin thomas scotty cameron circle t putter
Justin Thomas used a Scotty Cameron putter last season featuring a Circle T logo on the face. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

“It was at that point I realized something was desirable about the Circle T,” he said. “From that point forward, we started embroidering the Circle T on the headcover. It became something bigger, but at the time, it was out of necessity and came from the branding of the steak at the Black Angus restaurant. It’s weird how things happen and they evolve.”

So what’s the difference between a Circle T putter and an off-the-rack model? Some Circle T putters are made from exotic materials — including Billet Block Copper and German Stainless Steel — that increase the value, while others have unique stamps on the face or in the cavity that are only offered with select tour-only putters.

The logo can even be found on headcovers and other Cameron accessories.

“By far [it’s my most recognizable logo],” Cameron said. “I think some golfers aspire to have a Circle T.”

Depending on the head material and stamping, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to shell out $8,000-plus for a Cameron tour putter. With a Circle T logo, of course.

And to think, it all started with the branding iron at a steakhouse.

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Strong start

Patty Tavatanakit
Tavatanakit won in her second start since becoming a full-line Titleist staffer in January. Getty Images

Patty Tavatanakit and Albane Valenzuela finished 1-2 last week at the Honda LPGA Thailand event in just their second start of the season. What’s interesting about the finishes, at least from a gear perspective, is both pros weren’t full-line Titleist staffers — equipment, staff bag, glove and ball — until this year when they inked multi-year deals with the equipment manufacturer in January.

The win marked Tavatanakit’s first LPGA title since the 2021 Ana Inspiration (although she won the week prior on the Ladies European Tour to go back-to-back); Valenzuela’s runner-up showing was the best of her career since earning her LPGA card in 2020.

For Tavatanakit, the win corresponded with a recent switch into Vokey’s SM10 wedges (50.12F, 56.08M, 60.04T) in January at the Drive On Championship following work with Tour rep Shane Dyel.

“What’s so special about Patty is her attention to detail and her perception of feel,” Dyel said. “When I worked with Patty on her SM10’s she could see and feel the difference between her previous generation Vokey wedges and the new SM10 wedges. 

“With her wedge setup we talked about how she can be more versatile with every wedge in the bag, and it all starts at the top with her 50.12F. This grind gives her unlocked versatility from full shots in the fairway to low, high-spin runners around the greens. Our change in CG location has allowed Patty to be aggressive on shots when she needs to be.  

“Going into her SM10 56.08M, the new model gave her more help with the lower flight and higher spin she always looks for. She has found it to be easier to flight down her shots without sacrificing speed, which was a huge difference from her previous generation Vokey 56.08M. 

“Lastly, her 60.04T is the most versatile and the most feel-sensitive wedge Patty has in the bag. Without a doubt, Patty saw not only an increase in feel, but also complete sole control compared to her previous generation 60 T grind.” 

Want to overhaul your bag for 2024? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.

JWall

Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at jonathan.wall@golf.com.