Adam Scott relied on his long putter to win the Masters, his first major victory. (Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, PGA TOUR Academy
First off, let me congratulate Adam Scott for his win at the Masters. I’m sure many of you share the same thoughts and feelings after watching Scott lose the Open Championship with such heartbreak last summer.
It was a great Masters in so many ways. Even if Angel Cabrera would have prevailed and won his second Green Jacket, it still would’ve been a great tournament. But it felt more special with Scott winning. The reality is Scott deserved this major championship, not just because of what happened last year, but because the Aussie has done all of the things necessary to claim a major.
One of the areas that needed to improve was Scott’s putting, and the extended putter has completely changed his game. At first, I found myself chuckling a bit about Scott with the long putter. Here you have this young, fit, good-looking Australian using this putter that was primarily only seen on the Champions Tour. Well, after watching the last two putts fall on Sunday at Augusta National, things don’t look that weird anymore.
One of the biggest things the long putter can offer a golfer is less face rotation during the stroke. With the putter shaft closer to vertical (90 degrees), the putter face will open less during the backstroke and close less through impact. This is significant. In order to be a great putter you must be able to return the putter face to a square position so the ball will start on the intended target line. For those who struggle with too much face rotation, the long putter is certainly an option.
Since changing to the long putter, Scott has seemed to hit his intended target line more often. As a result, he has been able to focus on the speed of the putt and become much more instinctive. After all, this instinctive environment is what we all want on the greens. Sometimes completely changing your putting style is needed.
I applaud Scott for doing the things needed to get his game to the highest level.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.