The French, who have a talent for transforming even a screw into a symbol of distinction, have applied their craftsmanship to an already elegant object: the putter. It is the most crucial club in a golf bag, because it is the one that pushes (rolls) the ball to the hole. The Frenchman Grégory Moreau founded, in 2011, a company that designs and manufactures the most extravagant and expensive putters on the green. ValGrine, as it is called, garnered recognition among the most demanding golfers after its collaboration with the firm S. T. Dupont— manufacturers of lighters and pens—to create the exclusive Dandy Lame putter.
The manufacture of each of these putters involves more than 20 craftsmen. Headquartered in Saint-Etienne, the capital of the Loire department in France, the company produces only between 9 and 18 copies of this model. These limited editions will surely make you feel and look like the master of the golf course. Prices start at upwards of 10,600 euros ($13,700), not including tax.
If the customers choose individual colors, prints or other custom finishes, they will pay more than 15,300 euros ($19,800). But there is an even more exclusive category: couture putters. We are talking about the Haute Création collection, with a price that starts at 24,600 euros ($31,800). It could take four to eight months to make one of the clubs included in this special class. The collection features the new Cupidon ValGrine model, which sports a double line of 56 diamonds (emulating a Cupid´s arrow), ring and screws made of a gold-copper alloy. It is also covered with carbon and seven layers of lacquer, and the grip is made of leather sewn with linen thread. This is a weapon for lovers of precision, who are willing to pay 44,278 euros ($57,300).
Should the customer want to have a particular picture or logo engraved, it can be done using the art of metalwork, jewelry, the most exotic skins, the finest materials and the high technologies from the aerospace industry or Formula 1. According to the manufacturer, professional golf players have tested (and approved) its patented system.
ValGrine will soon sell their products online. In the meantime, the company welcomes guests previousby appointment only at the Tournaire jewelry store, located at 7 Place Vendôme in Paris. ■