By Robbie McCarthy, Store Manager at Golf Superstore
What a start to Major season we had last month with Hideki Matsuyama becoming the first Japanese man to win a Major Championship at the Masters Tournament. This month it’s time for the US PGA Championship to take centre stage and, in this article, I’m going to take a look at some of the leading contenders and the putters they have in the bag.
Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course rose to fame when it hosted the iconic Ryder Cup in 1991 with the USA edging a fierce contest against the Europeans in what became known as the ‘War on the Shore’. Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal took the fight to the American Team by teaming up to pick up 3.5 points across the first two days, however, it would all come down to Bernhard Langer to hole a 6ft putt on the last to retain the Ryder Cup. The third and final putt on the 18th failed to drop and the infamous three-putt from 45ft left Langer haunted. Just like in The Ryder Cup, putting well in Major Championships is the most important part of the game and key to winning one of golf’s biggest prizes.
TITLEIST’S SCOTTY CAMERON PUTTERS have been the iconic putting brand for decades with many of the game’s leading players trusting it as their weapon of choice including Tiger Woods, who secured all 15 of his Major wins with his old faithful Newport. Major champions Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and last month’s Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama have all used Scotty Cameron for years and will once again have it in play at Kiawah Island using shapes such as the Newport, Newport 2 and Futura. Former champion Thomas is one of many opting for the Futura, which promotes rotation with the toe hang and offers enhanced High- MOI performance and forgiveness with its specialised design that has the wings at the back of the head. Matching the amount of arc in the player’s stroke to the head type needed is a very important aspect of putter selection.
TAYLORMADE SPIDER PUTTERS have had great joy recently with Dustin Johnson being the most notable success story over the past year. The American’s putting game has been so strong with the Spider putter it has enabled him to reach World No.1 and saw him slip into a Green Jacket last year with his Masters triumph. When you combine DJ’s skill at sinking putts with his big hitting, the game looks so easy!
PING are always a solid contender in the putter category having recorded seven wins on the PGA Tour during the 2019/20 season. There’s a wide range on offer from the Vault 2.0 to Heppler to the newly released 2021 range which is sure to go down well with customers. Tyrrell Hatton will be among the contenders using the Vault Oslo putter along with rising star Viktor Hovland, who has impressed since turning professional with a Ryder Cup debut on the horizon later this year. Could Stewart Cink continue to roll back the years wielding the ever- popular Ketch model?
ODYSSEY will be strong once again having been the No.1 putter on worldwide tours for the past decade. Their new range builds on the success of the Ten model by introducing a 2-Ball version of the Ten along with Triple Track 2-Ball Ten model which features the best of every innovation. For those who like the more traditional look, the OG range offers a reimagining of some of Odyssey’s classic models. Keep an eye on Tommy Fleetwood, Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris with the latter two both on form after finishing in the top three at the Masters equipped with the Seven model. World No.3 Jon Rahm is another player who cannot be overlooked as he searches for a Major breakthrough using the 2-Ball Ten.