With the U.S. Open returning to The Olympic Club for the fifth time in its 112-year history, Jack Fleck has been making the rounds, talking up his stunning upset of Ben Hogan in the 1955 national championship. Fleck, the subject of two new books published to correspond with this week’s tourney on the fabled San Francisco course, credited his John Reuter Jr.-designed Bulls Eye putter, which he still prizes, with helping him notch a shocking three-stroke victory over the nine-time major winner in an 18-hole playoff.
In “The Longest Shot: Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open,” Fleck describes a “wonderful feeling” in his hands as he gripped his flat stick on the fifth green during the second round. From that moment, when he “felt a new and oddly comfortable sensation in his hands,” Fleck barely missed a putt with his magical blade, a model similar to the Titleist Bulls Eye. (Acushnet acquired John Reuter Jr. Inc. in 1962) that Champions Tour player Corey Pavin still uses.
Titleist describes its Bulls Eye putters, which it produced from 1970-2003, as being made of soft, yellow brass, with aluminum-backed weighting, twin sighting lines, and slight offset to simplify alignment. The “Old Standard,” which appears to be the closest model to the one Fleck maneuvered with such success, is of medium weight with square toe and top blade, and in lengths varying from 33 inches to 36 inches.
Vintage Reuter-designed Bulls Eyes are available online at eBay and other sites.