PHOENIX – Inbee Park is back on tour with a new putter in her bag.
That’s big news on this tour, because Park’s putter is like an orchestra conductor’s baton. It has commanded some sweet music over the years, with Park one of the great putters in the history of the women’s game. She has led the LPGA in putts per greens in regulation five of the last 10 years.
Park switched from a mallet style putter to a blade. She is using a Toulon Madison putter at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She won her last LPGA title a year ago with an Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball mallet, the same model she used in her gold medal victory at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro two years ago. She used an Odyssey Sabertooth winged mallet in her 2013 run of three consecutive major championship victories.
Park had her reasons for making a switch to a blade.
“I was getting too used to the mallet style putter,” Park said. “It doesn't really shows mistakes. I wanted to see which way I was missing, what my stroke was doing wrong. With an Anser style putter, you can tell much better. I wanted to see my misses and good putts and bad putts. That's why I kind of change it before going to ANA, so I can kind of see my mistakes and see which putts are the good putts.”
Park needed just 10 putts on the front nine in Saturday’s round of 63, but she wasn’t as happy with her putting on the back nine, where she took 17 putts.
After taking seven months off from the LPGA, Park is still working on her putting stroke.
“It’s kind of on and off,” Park said.