August 16 2011
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Another week, another long putter takes center stage. One week after Adam Scott won the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational with his full broomstick-style flatstick, Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship with a belly.
How big is this becoming? As PGATOUR.COM’s Helen Ross wrote, the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla., asked Bradley to send a replica of his Odyssey WhiteHot XG Sabertooth Long. The Hall wants to put it in Aunt Pat’s locker in the its famous Members Locker Room.
Equipment-watching golf writers are wondering if this major win will finally spur a rush of the putters in the marketplace, if not even further on the PGA TOUR and elsewhere in the pro game.
About the only person, it seems, who is underwhelmed by all the attention over the putter is Bradley himself. The unconventional putter is just one of his 14 tools of the trade.
“It's not rare at all … last year in the Nationwide Tour, to be in a group with three guys that had unconventional putters. It happened all the time,” Bradley said last week.
“It's funny, at the beginning, even just two and a half years ago, at the course I played at, some of the old timers would go, ‘you're too young to be using a long putter.’ But now it's very acceptable. I can't tell you how many times I'm in a group where every single guy has got an unconventional putter, especially young guys. But it's a great tool to have, especially in pressure situations, because you just put that right in your belly and it's not going anywhere.”
DUFNER’S GRIP: Had Jason Dufner prevailed in the playoff, putter history would have also been made. His Scotty Cameron GSS Circa 62 No. 6 Prototype (not a long putter, just a long putter name) had an oversized SuperStroke grip (see photo at right). K.J. Choi has used a similar grip for years, including this year in winning THE PLAYERS Championship.
CBS broadcasters reported that Dufner put the grip in play for the first time at the PGA Championship because he was pulling his putts. Turned out to be a fantastic decision – though on the pivotal first playoff hole, his short putt for birdie was pulled ever so slightly.
SNEAK PEEK: Titleist’s Tour blog has info and photos on their new Prototype Vokey Design SM4 wedges, which will go into TOUR players’ bags for the first time at The Barclays, the first event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
Titleist staff players Adam Scott, Nick Watney and Rickie Fowler helped wedge guru Bob Vokey with the testing process on the wedges, which include a new groove design and profile, as well as new lofts, bounce options and sole grinds.
CLANG: Equipment manufacturers’ trailers were parked at the far end of the range at Atlanta Athletic Club, some 350 yards from the tees. But on Tuesday and Wednesday of PGA Championship week, noted bomber Alvaro Quiros sailed drivers over the end-range fences and into the sides of the Callaway trailer.
Quiros, a Callaway player, signed a ball “Sorry!” for the reps in the trailer.