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British Open Exclusive: Hot Putters on Tour

Which PGA Tour players will wield which putters at this week’s British Open? What are the hottest flatsticks on the professional circuits at this moment? Everybody knows that Tiger Woods uses a trusty Scotty Cameron putter and that Phil Mickelson keeps two custom Odyssey putters in his stable. But what about other golf legends and rising stars? What’s working for them on the green?

PutterZone.com is no stranger to these questions. It’s only natural that recreational golfers want to know what works for the top players in the world, as it just might work for them as well.

So, with a little reconnaissance, PutterZone.com developed the following unprecedented dossier on who’s using what right now.

There are a few things you should know about this dossier. It is accurate and up to date, but only to the point that a pro golfer decides to switch putters, which can happen at any time. Also, where possible, I have taken care to specify if a putter is a prototype or has been highly customized. But you can bet that all of these putters have been customized in one way or another, in terms of loft, lie, length, weighting, etc. You’d be hard pressed to find a pro who pulls a putter right off the rack—and for the same reason you might consider having your putter professionally fit to your own physique and mechanics.

So, without further ado…

Several hot hands on the PGA Tour are playing Rossa Series putters by TaylorMade. David Toms has won nearly $2 million this year with a Rossa Imola 8 model in his bag. Sean O’Hair employs a Rossa Monza Corza AGSI model, while Kenny Perry favors the Rossa Inza model. The Anti-skid Groove System Insert (AGSI) on the latest Rossa putters is engineered to reduce backspin and promote forward spin earlier in the shot for enhanced distance control and accuracy.

Angel Cabrera used PING’s Redwood Anser model putter while outpacing Tiger Woods to win the recent 2007 U.S. Open—earning him a solid gold replica of the putter as part of PING’s gold putter program for tour victors (a regular win gets you gold-plated putter while a major victory earns you a solid gold putter). Other PGA Tour pros wielding the Redwood Anser putter include Lee Westwood. The new Redwood Series features three classic PING shapes, all crafted from precision-milled 303 stainless steel. The series name pays tribute to Redwood City, California, where founder Karsten Solheim created the first PING putter in his garage. Meanwhile, Chris DiMarco uses PING’s Anser IsoForce putter.

Boccieri Golf’s Heavy Putter continues to gain momentum on tour, and Troy Matteson has already won more than $1 million this year with one in his bag. Matteson’s current putter is a prototype Heavy Putter blade with a satin finish. Brad Fritsch is also playing the same prototype on the Nationwide Tour, while Ken Staton plays with the Heavy Putter A3 model. Heavy Putter’s tour prototypes may or may not be precursors to future models, but PutterZone.com has confirmed that Boccieri Golf plans to release new Heavy Putter models later this year. Stay tuned.

Yes! Golf’s C-Groove putters are proliferating on professional circuits worldwide. Since 2001, Retief Goosen has used an early version of the company’s Tracy model, with which he has won two U.S. Opens. Jerry Kelly has rapidly ascended to 24th on the PGA Tour money list with a Sophia model in hand. On the LPGA Tour, Juli Inkster uses a Marilyn model. The concentric C-Grooves on Yes! Putters are designed to send the ball on a truer topspin roll for enhanced directional and distance control.

Never Compromise’s Exchange Series #7 model (pictured here) is getting a serious workout on the PGA Tour, with Vijay Singh, Boo Weekley and Michael Putnam all wielding it (Singh frequently uses the belly version). The Exchange Series putters come with adjustable color-coded weights that fit into four ports. The putter head by itself weighs 320 grams. Both Singh and Putnam typically use two white 10-gram weights in the back ports for a total head weight of 340 grams. Weekley typically uses two of the white weights in front and two blue 15-gram weights in back for a total of 370 grams. The Exchange Series kit also comes with a pair of red five-gram weights.

Rife Putters is red hot right now, having released its acclaimed Island Series putters on the heels of its successful 2 Bar line. Justin Rose uses the Island Series Barbados model. Brian Gay, who is currently ranked 13th in putting average on the PGA Tour, employs Rife’s GR5 mid blade, which is similar to the current GR6 Aussie model. Peter Lonard uses the cool 2 Bar Scarab—alas, the Scarab is a prototype that is unavailable to the general public. The standard 2 Bar mallet, however, is widely available. Rife’s putters feature RollGroove technology, through which precisely milled face grooves are designed to impart a more consistent roll.

It’s no secret that Zach Johnson won the 2007 Masters and 2007 AT&T Classic with a SeeMore FGP model putter in hand. Meanwhile, Vaughn Taylor has ridden his SeeMore FGP to a ranking of 21st in PGA Tour putting average. Earlier this year, SeeMore released its new mSeries precision-milled putters, and the m1 model has seen a lot of action in the hands of Stuart Appleby, who has been hanging around the top of several leaderboards of late. SeeMore’s calling card is its RifleScope technology, through which a blackened shaft visually intersects and hides a red dot on the putter crown. Two parallel white sightlines frame the shaft and serve as an indicator that the golfer is in perfect position to make a consistent and reliable stroke.

Jesper Parnevik uses a V-Foil M7.5 K GT putter by MacGregor Golf. Meanwhile, Billy Mayfair is using a prototype of one of MacGregor’s new DCT putters with Face-Off technology. Designed by Bobby Grace, MacGregor’s DCT putters features Distance Control Technology (DCT), which transfers more energy to the ball on miss-hits for enhanced distance consistency. They also offers two interchangeable putter faces: a polymer face designed for faster greens and a titanium face for slower greens

Newcomer GEL Golf will make its major tournament debut at the British Open in the hands of David Gleeson of Australia, who will play with GEL’s Ruby model putter. In addition to fashionably bright color schemes, GEL putters incorporate a soft aluminum insert with a series of finely milled saw-like grooves engineered to start the ball rolling faster and straighter.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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