Zach Johnson’s final round 66 at Kapalua was enough to get his 2014 started the exact same way he ended 2013, with a win.
Johnson would overcome a deficit in the final round Monday to finish at 19-under, winning the Hyundai Tournament of Champions by one stroke over Jordan Spieth.
The victory, his second in a row, is yet another testament to the fact that there is more than one way to win on the PGA Tour.
With many players focused on increasing distance, Johnson takes a slightly different approach. Ranking just 23rd in the limited field for driving distance, Johnson makes up ground by being extremely accurate off the tee.
That accuracy puts him position to do what all Tour players must do if they want to win, and that’s hit greens and make putts.
Johnson has used the same SeeMore putter model (FGP) since winning the Masters in 2007. That loyalty to his equipment is one of many reasons why Johnson has consistently been one of the top putters on Tour over the years.
Here are a few tips that you can learn from Zach, and his equipment, to become a better putter in 2014:
• Set up with consistency. Johnson has a secret weapon in that his SeeMore putter uses what they call Rifle Scope Technology (or “hide the red dot”) to achieve a consistent setup position each time. By hiding the red dot, you are setting the putter up consistently every time in relation to your intended target. Putting is all about developing feel and the only way to develop feel is to consistently hit the ball with the center of the putter face. A consistent setup will lead to more putts striking the sweet spot of the putter.
• Once you’re set up properly, allow the putter to swing. One thing I tell my students all the time is to simply let the putter swing. Worrying about whether or not the putter swings on an arc or a straight line is irrelevant since the design of the putter and your setup will dictate what the putter looks like during the stroke. If you’ve set up correctly, then your only remaining job is to push the putter the correct distance back to control your speed coming through.
For more tips from Golf Channel to help improve your putting, click here.