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April 27 2011

6:15 PM

‘Old Faithful’, new hybrids and free stuff

By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer

Not everyone is taking the belly putter plunge, though it may feel so on TOUR these days. Some, if you will, are just exchanging information instead of full-fledged dating.

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Belly putters are tempting on TOUR, but Garrett Willis isn’t giving in yet.

Garrett Willis played with a belly putter at a Beaufort, S.C., course early in the week of The Heritage, used one in a practice round at Harbour Town and continued to work with one on the putting green early Thursday before Round 1. He auditioned some 10 putters during the week, including bellies.

But he just couldn’t take a belly putter to the course when it counted. He sent his caddie to the car to get “Old Faithful” just before the round, a Scotty Cameron prototype he had been using for more than five years.

“I've been having 31, 32, 33 putts a round, which is leading to a lot of missed cuts. And this week is the week I'm going to break away, I'm going to do it, I'm going to switch,” Willis said. “I say that almost every week, but I don't have the guts enough to do it.”

Lack of guts served him well Thursday, as he opened with 64 and ultimately finished T9. And he was, ahem, fourth in putting average.

There’s something to be said for those Old Faithfuls.

NEW WEAPON: Heritage champion Brandt Snedeker carried an Adams Idea Pro a12 hybrid, a new club that will be available to the public in early May. The black-headed club is available in lofts from 16 to 26 degrees and features a steel sole plate with a weight screw inside. Check it out here.

MORE TWEAKS: Matt Kuchar added three inches to his TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost putter earlier this year, then two more, to get to a current length of 45 inches. And as he said at The Heritage, he’s not done yet.

“I don't know that it's perfect, but I actually have added an extra degree of loft. So I'm continuing to refine it still and probably will continue to make sure that it's right, may even fiddle with a couple of different putter heads,” said Kuchar, who’s 17th in putting average. “I'm very happy with the way I'm putting and very happy with the putter. It's all new and I want to make sure it's all right.”

RED HOT: Odyssey putters claimed not just winner Snedeker (White Hot XG Rossie) but the entire top 5 at The Heritage. Luke Donald wielded an XG #7H model, Tommy Gainey had a Backstryke Blade, Tim Herron had a White Hot 2-Ball and Ricky Barnes used a White Ice #9 model.

DIALED DOWN: Golf World wrote that Long John Daly wasn’t quite himself at The Heritage – he didn’t have a driver in the bag for the tight, short Harbour Town Golf Links. His only wood was a 13.5-degree TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 3-wood.

FREE STUFF ALERT: TaylorMade is launching a campaign for its five-layer Penta TP ball, headlined on TOUR by defending FedExCup champion Jim Furyk, which involves giving away 50,000 free six-packs of the product. Go to taylormadegolf.com/testpenta to register (hint: read the rules and regulations to better your chances).

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