Spieth's putter switch drawing some attention

By Ryan Reiterman May 19, 2017, 12:05 am

IRVING, Texas – On Jordan Spieth’s website, there is a telling quote from 2015 about his equipment.

"I'm very picky with my driver and my putter,” he said. “They have to look and feel right, so that when I'm in a big tournament and everything is on the line, all I have to do is hit the shot.”

Spieth is one of the rare golfers who has been in a committed relationship with his putter. He’s used the same Scotty Cameron 009 prototype since he was 15 years old. The trusty club has been there for all 12 of his professional wins, including Spieth’s blockbuster 2015 season when he made a run at the Grand Slam.

During an appearance on the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” last year, Spieth even joked he’s cozied up to his putter in bed.

"It's a putter I've been using for some seven-eight years now,” he told Fallon. “It used to be black but now it's all rusted, chipped up and there's like rust on the inside of it. I still use it. There's been a couple nights I've been happy enough I've slept with it."

Hey, if you won $28.7 million by the age of 23, you’d give your putter some extra TLC, too.

But this week, Spieth’s 009 is not in his golf bag and it’s definitely not in his bed.

He decided after a missed cut at TPC Sawgrass it was time to try a new putter. Spieth started thinking about it before The Players, and he made the switch this week.

“It's nothing crazy new, but obviously, I've got a putter I've worn out for a number of years and it helps me lineup a bit better, this one right now, and that's kind of been my struggle is lining the putter up where I want to,” he said. “I'm falling into a nice line and a nice setup, which has left me more comfortable. I just haven't quite dialed in the speed yet, and I wasn't sure what that would be like today. A little off on the speed. So, hopefully I can make the adjustments.”

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Spieth shot a 2-under 68 and took 27 putts Thursday with a Scotty Cameron T5W mallet. He’s used a similar putter before in the final two rounds of the 2014 Open Championship and at the Bridgestone Invitational. Those are the only times he’s flirted with a new flatstick.

Spieth wasn’t thrilled after multiple questions about his putter change.

“I haven't been comfortable standing over it for a little while, and so I just wanted something that's a new look, and the bigger a deal that's made out of it the more bothersome that is for me,” he said. “It's not really that big of a deal, and every guy switches putters every single week. It's nothing new. Just a new look for me for the time being.”

He’s right. It’s not a huge deal. Spieth could put the 009 back in the bag at any time. He could also go on to win 10 majors with his new wand. Who knows?

But when one of the best putters on Tour makes a switch, it’s bound to draw some attention. He has only dropped to 39th in strokes-gained putting, and Spieth won his ninth PGA Tour title in February at Pebble Beach. He’s so good at putting, Spieth’s fellow pros stopped to watch him practice at Riviera after his impressive performance on the bumpy poa annua greens.

It’s a reminder of how quickly a player can fall out of love with a putter. It’s the club that requires the simplest stroke, but the relationships are the most complicated.

Danny Willett won the Masters last year and then broke his winning putter at the U.S. Open.

"The putter has been bad all week,'' Willett said. "Unfortunately, it's now in two pieces.”

Mark Calcavecchia, who has tried every putter and putting style imaginable, told USA Today in 2015, “I have 40 putters … and I hate every one of them.”

In the same article, Colin Montgomerie said he used seven different putters in eight rounds, which included a win at the Senior PGA Championship.

"I change with the weather," he said.

Like Tiger Woods, Spieth has done the exact opposite.

Woods famously won 13 of his 14 majors with a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS. He used an older Newport to win the Masters in 1997.

Woods benched his Scotty in 2010 and fiddled with several Nike putters. When Nike exited the equipment business last year, Woods immediately put his magical wand back in the bag.

Even when his Nike putter was in play, Woods kept a close eye on his Cameron putters. He told his kids those were “daddy only” clubs.

It’s proof that no matter what happens, Spieth can always return to what has worked before.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.