There's a French revolution in golf club design taking place in Paris.
Grismont, a company founded by 26-year old golf equipment designer Clement Pouget-Osmont, is combining the cutting edge technology of 3D printing with ancient design influence and classic club making techniques to produce a stunning range of driving irons.
Clement explains the company's philosophy:
Just as every golfer is different, and indeed just as the sport of golf itself is ever-changing, we believe that the field of golf equipment design should fundamentally embrace new thinking and the possibilities which new technology makes possible.
At Grismont we have combined disruptive technology with hand-crafted design expertise to produce a new generation of custom-made golf equipment for golfers who want something exclusive and amazing to behold, but who also want to stand on the tee knowing that the club in their hands fills them with incomparable confidence.
A close collaboration with the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers de Paris (ENSAM) gives Grismont access to leading engineers in fields as diverse as ballistics, aerodynamics and acoustics, ensuring the driving irons are as technically advanced as possible.
Their work feeds into the computerised design of the clubhead put together by the technical team on CAD software. At this point Grismont's 3D printing artists get to work creating the striking visual designs on the back of the head. When the design is complete it is sent to the 3D printing machine for what is called additive manufacturing.
3D printing is crucial to Grismont's vision of the irons, giving it the flexibility to customise the clubs to individual demands and to ensure playability. Pouget-Osmont is a believer in the Maltby playability factor which categorises irons for forgiveness and playability is at the forefront of the clubs design. Although they look like a blade, the Grismont driving irons actually contain a game-improvement cavity for increased MOI.
Metallic 3D printing takes around 10 hours to build 15 club heads as the machine takes a metallic powder and melts it down layer by layer with a laser. Once out of the machine the heads are polished and engraved with the exact loft and the name of the owner, and at this stage copper or gold options can be added to the back of the head.
Grismont currently offers three models representing the inspirations of their Paris-based digital artists Linlin and Pierre Jacques. The designs have also been influenced by French artisans with a rich history such as cabinet making and leather crafting.
The Ces is inspired by ancestral Asian sculptures, whilst the Ori below has its roots in Mashrabiya, a traditional Arabic latticework window design that dates back to the Middle Ages.
The Ori and Ces models are available in a variety of colours including a Classic Metal finish at £1,200 per club, a Copper finish at £1,900 per club, and a Gold finish at £2,300 per club.
Air is a far more modern affair and the result of the team's challenge to design the most modern golf club ever. The see-through model pushes 3D printed golf technology to a new limit and it is available only in a Classic Metal finish at £1,400 per club.
The Grismont driving irons come as standard in 1-iron (17°), 2-iron (19°) and 3-iron (21°) lofts, but thanks to the 3D printing process they can also be custom-built to order in any loft from 15° to 25°. The online customisation process lets players pick the model, head colour, loft, setup and Grismont grip, as well as a choice of third-party shafts.
Golfers can even send a video of their swings to enable the Grismont technicians to construct clubs matched specifically to the individual.