Can a new putter turn a great golfer into an elite professional and potential Masters Champion? Yes, apparently.
Indeed, when 48-year-old Kenny Perry—the 2009 Masters co-leader heading into the final round—was asked about the secret to his newfound success at an age when most players are on the decline, he cited a change of putters.
Here’s what the Golf Channel asked Perry after Saturday’s round: “Three wins last year, one win this year…How have you gotten better with age?”
Perry replied: “My short game is why it has happened. My putting has been a huge change. I’ve always been decent with the driver and the irons, but I’ve never been good with the flatstick. A gentleman gave me that putter at Bent Pine, my club in Vero Beach, and I’ve putted beautifully ever since he gave me this putter.”
He continued: “It’s got a real dead face, the ball comes off real slow. These greens are out-of-control fast—they’re Mach 3 with their hair on fire out there. And you know what, I’m not nervous, I don’t feel like the ball is going to get away from me when I stroke a putt. If anything, I have to give it a little extra, I’m actually leaving them short. In my past here, I could never do that, I was always gunning them way by, I didn’t have any touch or feel. And I’ve got a lot more touch and feel right now.”
So what is Kenny Perry’s putter? It’s a PING G2i Craz-E mallet (pictured here) with a blue urethane face insert to achieve the soft feel that Perry mentioned. It’s not the prettiest stick, but it’s magic in Perry’s hands.
Some folks are fond of saying that “it’s the archer, not the arrow,” suggesting that putter technology is of marginal significance compared to talent and training.
Try telling that to Kenny Perry. He had all the talent and training in the world. But his potential wasn’t maximized until he found a putter that truly fit his game.