Heading into the Bridgestone Invitational this week, Tiger Woods has a new caddie, a new goatee and, possibly, a new putter—a Nike Method blade.
Indeed, in the early practice rounds Woods is wielding a Method 001 blade instead of the mid mallet he’s been using during his checkered 2011 season to date.
Well, okay, it’s not exactly a new putter. Woods first flirted with the Nike Method blade at last year’s British Open, but quickly returned to his trusty Scotty Cameron putter—the putter that had been in his bag for more than 10 consecutive years.
But later in the year, he put a toe-down Nike Method mid mallet into play, and that’s what he’s been bagging so far this year.
The switch to a toe-down mallet putter prompted one tour professional to remark: “Tiger relied on his putting to make up for a lot of bad ball striking in recent years. That’s why I don’t understand why he went to a putter that’s harder to putt with, a putter with a face that releases even more. Most people go to putters with less face rotation, not more.”
Perhaps Woods himself, in the wake of some inconsistent putting performances, now agrees. While going with the mid mallet, he cited his “release pattern” and referenced his swing changes, and how everything from driving through putting is connected.
Now he appears poised to switch back to the Nike 001 putter, which, like his famous Cameron, is an Anser-style blade with a plumber’s offset neck hosel. Will returning to this familiar style help Tiger recapture his old putting magic? Stay tuned.
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