Can a new putter help Tiger Woods break out of 'vicious cycle'?

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Can a new putter help Tiger Woods break out of 'vicious cycle'?

PGA Tour

Can a new putter help Tiger Woods break out of 'vicious cycle'?

POTOMAC, Md. – Tiger Woods has played 27 holes with the new mallet putter this week at TPC Potomac and now it’s decision time.

The TaylorMade Ardmore model temporarily replaced Woods’ reliable Scotty Cameron Newport 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of the Quicken Loans National.

Woods said Wednesday he still needs to figure out which putter is going in the bag for Round 1, but he offered such detailed descriptions of the new model it seems likely a change is coming for his 1:20 p.m. Eastern tee time on Thursday with Bill Haas and Marc Leishman.

“Most of the guys out here are using mallets now,” Woods said. “Very interesting. They’re using more technology with the putters. I went to more technology when I was with Nike. I went to faster, sharper grooves to get the ball rolling faster. I’m trying a little bit of that now with the Ardmore. It has grooves in it, it is rolling a little bit faster. But (how) I was trying to offset that is I’ve gone a little more swing to it, so I have a little more feel so I don’t get away from my basic feeling in my fingers in how I putt.”

Woods’ putting problems started after the Florida swing and haven’t really improved over the last two months. Asked why there’s been such a drastic decline, Woods said he doesn’t know.

“That’s been the frustrating part,” Woods said. “You saw me experimenting with the Ardmore. I’m trying to find something I can feel again like the swing of the putter, getting my body in the right position, seeing the lines again. It’s one of those things, once I start to get that ball rolling on my lines then I’ll be back to putting like I was. I just have not been rolling on my lines. On top of that, when you’re not rolling on your lines, you have a hard time seeing your lines. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m just trying to get out of the cycle.”

Woods is a big gear nerd and often dives into other players’ bags, checking out various clubs that catch his eye. On the 16th tee Tuesday, he examined Harold Varner III’s 5-wood like an appraiser, and he can be often be overheard talking with guys about specific things like shaft specs.

During a trip to the Bahamas last week, Woods’ curiosity regarding new putters had a very specific purpose. He returned to the D.C. area with one finalist in hand, perhaps the thing he’s been looking for that can help him break the cycle.

“Tried a bunch of different shapes and sizes and swings and lines, no line, dot, no dot,” Woods said. “All the different styles that TaylorMade makes I tried, and I tried to come up with something I could swing and trust. That’s why I’ve gone with the Ardmore so far this week.”

Latest

More Golfweek
Home