Tiger Woods roared back into the winner’s circle on Sunday, sinking clutch putts on the final two holes to seize the victory at the Chevron World Challenge.
Tiger Woods’ putter is a an “Anser-style” Nike Method 001 blade. Anser-style putters are modeled after the iconic PING Anser, with heel-toe weighting and a crank-neck hosel.
It’s fitting that Tiger’s return to putting form was accompanied by the same style of putter that he used during his period of dominance before his troubles began in late 2009.
As Woods struggled over the ensuing year and a half, he played a game of musical putters, switching from his trusty Cameron blade (also an Anser-style putter) to the Nike Method 001, then back to his Cameron, then over to the toe-down mallet as his putting woes mounted.
Accompanied by his new caddie, Woods returned to the Nike Method 001 in August at the Bridgestone Invitational. Apparently, both the putter switch and the caddie switch proved to be good choices, given what we saw over the weekend.
When Woods earlier switched to the mallet, marking the first time he played with a mallet as a professional, he cited his “release pattern” and referenced his swing changes, and how everything from driving through putting is connected. And this wasn’t one of the forgiving face-balanced mallets that dominate the market. It was a fully toe-down putter that exerted maximum rotational force, indicating that Woods was trying get his stroke “unstuck” with an assist from his equipment.
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.”
When Woods returned to the blade putter at the Bridgestone Invitational, we asked: “Will returning to this familiar style help Tiger recapture his old putting magic?”
Now, after a stirring win on Sunday, it’s looking like he may now have an “Anser” to that question.
P.S. For insights into the putter fitting subjects discussed in this story and how you can apply them to raise your own game, check out Putter Perfection by PutterZone.com.
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