If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention. Indeed, when Tiger Woods wielded a rock-solid Nike Method putter to trounce the competition at Bay Hill on Sunday, it smacked of inevitability.
Just seven weeks ago, we noted that Woods was solving his putter puzzle, at the very time that others were saying he was suffering a “setback” after finishing in third, first and third place in his prior three outings. A lot of professional golfers would love to enjoy a “setback” like that, eh?
Since that time, he was in the hunt but faltered at Pebble Beach, and he also came in second place at the Honda Classic. Now he’s victorious for the first time in nearly three years.
This should put to rest the notion that Woods can’t win (or putt well) without the trusty Scotty Cameron putter that he used during his dominant period. Tiger Woods’ putter is now a Nike Method 001 blade that looks a lot like that original Cameron. It’s a heel-toe weighted Anser-style blade that features Nike’s proprietary polymetal groove technology.
You may recall that last year Woods switched to a heel-shafted Nike Method mallet that was fully toe down in balance, in contrast to the partial toe hang of his earlier and current blades. That switch now seems emblematic of a golfer trying to figure things out. He seemed to have lost his old putting stroke, and he was apparently using the mallet’s enhanced sense of release to regain it.
However, as his putting improved, he returned to the familiar fit of his blade, and he has used it quite effectively to chart his path on the comeback trail. There have been a few detours along the way, but there’s no denying that Woods has some of his old magic and momentum heading into the 2012 Masters.
P.S. If you are interested in learning more about putter balance and other putter fitting essentials employed by the pros, then check out Putter Perfection, PutterZone.com’s acclaimed putter fitting guide.