New Zealand Golf Magazine - - NEWS -

Tiger Woods may be

drop­ping the put­ter that he has used to win 13 of his 14 ma­jor cham­pi­onships.

While his ball-strik­ing has been crisp, Woods has strug­gled with his put­ting of late in his come­back sea­son on the PGA TOUR – cost­ing him any chance of adding to his 79 ti­tles. In a prac­tice round at TPC Po­tomac at Avenel Farm, Woods was spot­ted test­ing a Tay­lor­Made Ard­more 3 – a mal­let-style put­ter.

Woods' his­tory with blade put­ters is ex­ten­sive — from the PING Anser 2 he used as a kid to the Scotty Cameron New­port 2 GSS – ev­ery big putt over the course of his his­toric ca­reer has come with an Anser-style blade.

But af­ter fin­ish­ing at the back of the pack in Strokes Gained Tiger Woods is now flirt­ing with a change.

“I'm try­ing some­thing out. The way I've been put­ting, I wanted to look for a change. That's all it is. It rolls it good. You never know,” he said dur­ing Tues­day's prac­tice round.

“It has a lit­tle more swing than my put­ter does. It feels good.”

Woods, who ranks 175th on TOUR in putts made in­side 5 feet, re­vealed he spent a week test­ing put­ters in the Ba­hamas and the Ard­more 3 was the one he felt most com­fort­able with. Given his prac­tice in the Ba­hamas was on Ber­muda greens and TPC Po­tomac has Bent put­ting sur­faces, Woods still needs to be con­vinced to make the switch.

“I've been in this po­si­tion many times where I've had three put­ters out and I've ei­ther gone with it or I haven't gone with it on Thurs­day,” he said.

“I'm re­ally go­ing to give it a good test be­cause it's not on Ber­muda. This is very dif­fer­ent. I just want to see how it rolls out here and put it through its paces.''

You must go back to the 2011 sea­son to find the last time Woods used some­thing other than a reg­u­lar blade in com­pe­ti­tion when he briefly put Nike's Method 003 mal­let in play. But that's the ex­tent of his work with non­blade put­ters.

“I wanted some­thing with more swing than mine. I like feel­ing that the toe is mov­ing and swing­ing. It has a frac­tion more swing than mine does.

“It's at my dis­cre­tion. If I find some­thing that helps me play bet­ter, so be it. If it doesn't then it's not go­ing in the bag.''

The new put­ter has a clas­sic top line that's like Woods' blade with two wings in the back that ex­pand the perime­ter weight­ing for added for­give­ness on off-cen­tre hits, while also re­duc­ing un­wanted head twist­ing at the same time. Two 2.5gram ad­justable weights can be found in the heel and toe, along with a sin­gle sight­line in the cav­ity.

Tiger Woods.

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