Earlier this month, PutterZone.com visited the PING tour van in Pebble Beach, where tour representative Matt Rollins showed off PING’s newest flatstick, the Nome putter, which he said was designed to optimize the golfer’s aiming and alignment.
Two weeks later, Hunter Mahan visited Rollins for a tuneup. Mahan was struggling on the greens, so Rollins put a laser on Mahan’s blade putter and discovered that he was habitually aiming slightly left of the target line.
You know where this is headed…Rollins fit Mahan for a PING Nome putter, and Mahan promptly stormed the greens near Tucson to win the Accenture Match Play, beating Rory McIlroy and racking up 35 birdies in the span of 96 holes.
This is really a story about putter fitting. Mahan had been playing with a classic Anser blade with toe-hang balance and full offset. With the Nome, he switched to a face-balanced putter with a higher moment of inertia (MOI), to better match his relatively straight stroke. The Nome’s minimal offset and distinctive alignment feature, which runs from the rear to the leading edge of the face, proved to be a better fit for Mahan’s eye, enabling him to remedy his aiming issue. The rest is history.
When the PING Nome putter is released to the retail market in early April, it will be available in three balance configurations to fit the individual stroke of the golfer, from straight to slight arc to strong arc.
PING is one of the leaders in bringing putter fitting options to the mainstream market, and Mahan’s experience shows how a better fit can work wonders.
“I wasn’t just getting like a true roll and a true read,” Mahan said after one of the early match play rounds. “I hit great last week, but I couldn’t make anything. So I switched putters this week, and I have just a lot of confidence where I’m starting the ball.”