Glover debuts graphite-shafted Bridgestone putter
PINEHURST, N.C. – Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, is a mercurial golfer whose career has been earmarked by hot and cold streaks. However, after he missed the cut at Pinehurst No. 2 with rounds of 79 and 69, he seemed remarkably composed.
Glover can be a thoughtful golfer, and here at the 2014 U.S. Open he perhaps established himself as something of an equipment trendsetter.
Glover’s putter had a graphite shaft. Although graphite shafts are used in many full-swing clubs, they are practically never found in putters, where steel shafts are standard issue in most brands and models.
Glover's putter is a new Bridgestone True Balance TD-03.
Brandt Snedeker attracted considerable attention this week when he switched to a Bridgestone True Balance TD-02 putter with a steel shaft, but Glover's TD-03 is more revolutionary.
PHOTOS: Equipment on the range at U.S. Open
Our David Dusek takes you onto the range to get a look at the newest equipment in play at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
Here's a rundown on the True Balance TD family, which includes 01, 02 and 03 models.
The 01 is an offset mallet, the 02 is a double-bend, heel-shafted mallet and the 03 is a blade in the Ping Anser style. The O2 is sold with a steel shaft and rubber grip, while O1 and 03 models come stock with a graphite shaft and foam grip.
Most golfers know about counter-balanced putters, which generally are longer and heavier than traditional putters. For stability, counter-balanced putters have extra weight in the butt end of the shaft or grip.
The True Balance concept for the 01 and 03 models is just the opposite. The graphite shaft is exceptionally light (35 grams) and so is the oversized grip (20 grams). Overall the putters weigh 125 to 130 grams less than most putters.
The putters have a balance point within 5 inches of the sole, so low it is located near the top of the hosel. The idea is to increase clubhead feel. That, in turn, should lead to better distance control, according to Bridgestone.
"It is practically impossible to decelerate with this putter," Josh Kinchen, Bridgestone's golf club manager, said in January at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., when the putter was released.
Most of the weight is in the head, and the standard swingweight is F1. Most putters are in the C8 to D4 range.
The putter is a product of independent designers Steve Sacks and Richard Parente.
"With so much of the weight in the putter head, it's easy to feel exactly what the head is doing," Sacks said at the PGA Show. "With this putter, we believe most golfers will improve their putting on long putts. And they probably won't miss short putts because they tap the ball rather than stroke it. The putter almost swings itself."
One advantage of the putter – for practice if not for play – is the putter stands up by itself. A golfer can walk behind the ball, check the alignment, then return to the address position.
The street price is $149.99.