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(December 18, 2013)  PUTTERS have gone from an impulse buy to more considered purchases. That’s what industry research firm Golf Data-tech’s findings suggest. Since 1997, unit sales of putters at on-and off-course golf stores have declined by nearly 42 percent. But the average selling price, once well below $100, has jumped 72 percent. Call it the Scotty Cameron effect, in homage to the designer whose putters hold a significant market share despite a $300-plus price tag. Given that putters are used more than any other club, Cameron offers a valid explanation. He once told Golf Digest: “The price points on my putters are relatively high, but you aren’t just buying performance. You’re buying confidence. It’s human nature to have greater faith in something you’ve paid a premium for.” —Mike Stachura