Ian Poulter tied for third in last year's PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. (Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
POULTER: To win a major, I need to focus better early
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- By his own estimation Ian Poulter has used only two putters over the last four years, the second of those having been put into play at The Open Championship after the Brit reached out through social media.
What followed was “overwhelming,” Poulter said. Within days, he received 100 putters from various manufacturers, most of them getting just a passing glance before he settled on an Odyssey White Damascus.
From the sound of it, he won’t be switching anytime soon.
“It's doing well,” Poulter said Wednesday at Oak Hill. “I've changed my putters at the right time, and the right time is when I have that feeling when something has gone cold.
“The feel was just right (with this one). That’s the most important thing.”
The change was significant if for nothing else than his previous putter was the one he used to run up a 4-0 record in last year’s Ryder Cup, where Europe had one of the greatest final-day comebacks in the event’s history.
It doesn’t sound like that putter will be going anywhere except Poulter’s trophy case, either. He said he plans to keep it.
How has Poulter fared with the new flat stick?
At The Open Championship, he shot 72-71-75-67. The Sunday charge included a string of an eagle and three straight birdies on his way to a third-place finish.
Poulter ranked 16th in total putts for the week.
At Firestone, he fared a bit worse, ranking 26th in strokes gained-putting.
The bigger problem for Poulter when it has come to majors? Starting too slowly.
“I’m pretty good under pressure,” he said. “I might not be under enough pressure Thursday, Friday, Saturday. I've made mistakes at the wrong time. It's about me getting myself in position come Sunday afternoon into the back nine and see if I can just press forward.”
Ian Poulter tweeted a photo of the putter he selected after a thorough search. (Ian Poulter)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Ian Poulter's search for a new putter for The Open Championship came to an end on Tuesday evening after the two-time PGA TOUR winner tweeted out a photo of his new flatstick with the caption: "My putter is selected for the week. It is an Odyssey White Damascus. Rolling it very nice. Testing over for now."
Poulter took to social media last week to begin his search and asked equipment manufacturers to send prospective putters to his "IJP office."
"I am sacking my putter, I will use a new putter at the Open," Poulter tweeted last Tuesday. "Putter manufacturers please send me some to try to my IJP office please.
"I'm not blaming the putter, I'm saying I want to use a new one. Every time I change I've had big success with a new look. Just some times you just need to look down on something new. And it's time. I holed 2 birdie putts today. 1 was 12" and the other 4". It's my Ryder Cup putter and I think it needs a rest in my trophy cabinet. Time for a change. Need a good visual for the Open."
Plenty of putter companies tried to get Poulter's attention ahead of the third major of the year, including Yes! Golf who sent the Englishman four models with the Union Jack flag in the putter face. But in the end, Poulter decided to stick with an Odyssey putter.
According to Odyssey Golf, the White Damascus putter Poulter plans to use was recently introduced to media and retailers in Japan. The putter insert is made with Damascus steel, the same steel that's been used to make samurai swords for hundreds of years.
Tungsten was also added to the flange to get the center of gravity deep and low to increase "gear effect," which subsequently increases roll.
Poulter had been using an Odyssey XG No. 7 but shelved the putter following a T-25 finish at the French Open two weeks ago. He only has two top-10 starts this season on the PGA TOUR and currently ranks 45th in strokes gained-putting and 80th in total putting.
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
The Masters is known for a number of things: the Green Jackets, azaleas, Amen Corner, and pimento cheese sandwiches. Limited edition equipment releases likely wouldn't crack the top-5, but in recent years the first major of the year has become the perfect place for equipment companies to roll out Masters-themed gear.
Case in point: Ian Poulter's clothing line, IJP Designs, will release a Masters putter cover that coincides with the year's first major. Poulter, who's currently 11th in the Official World Golf Rankings, just unveiled the limited-edition "Azalea Jacket" putter cover.
As the company noted, the "cover embodies the natural splendor of Augusta, which comes alive in the spring from the thousands of azaleas that line the course." IJP Design is only offering 600 putter covers.
Poulter's brand also has plans to unveil a specially designed putter cover to mark the other three majors this year. “The Azalea Jacket” putter cover is available for pre-order at www.ijpusa.com for $69.95.