Inside Si Woo Kim’s recent switch to a long putter (and Adam Scott’s role)
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Written by GolfWRX @GolfWRX
Weekly PGA TOUR events don’t always make for the best grounds for peer-to-peer guidance, since everyone in the field is ultimately competing for themselves. But the biennial Presidents Cup can be a place for younger PGA TOUR players to sponge up knowledge from veteran teammates, since everyone wearing the uniform shares a common goal.
Case in point: Si Woo Kim switched to a completely new putting style thanks to advice from Adam Scott leading up to the 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow, and it’s paid off in a big way.
Prior to the Presidents Cup, Kim’s putting technique was relatively conventional. He typically used a standard-length Odyssey putter, with his hands in a mostly traditional overlap grip. Although he would extend his right index finger a bit farther down the shaft than some others, it’s a fairly common grip variation (see the photo below).
Kim, 27, won three times that way, including the 2017 PLAYERS Championship, but had mostly struggled with putting. In his seven full seasons on the PGA TOUR, his best ranking in Strokes Gained: Putting was 111th. He finished 177th in SG: Putting in the 2021-2022 season, losing 0.404 strokes per round on the greens, on average.
At the 2022 Presidents Cup, however, Kim debuted a new putting style and putter thanks to advice from Adam Scott, his 42-year-old International teammate. A 14-time TOUR winner, Scott has had his own struggles on the greens, altering his putting style several times. During the last decade, he has primarily used a long “broomstick” style putter and a claw grip with his right hand, keeping his left hand up by his chest. It should be noted that Scott no longer anchors the left hand against his chest, abiding by USGA Rule 14-1b that was implemented in 2016 to ban anchoring the club against the body.
After that practice round, Kim reached out to Odyssey Tour rep Joe Toulon to request a broomstick-style putter of his own. As Toulon explained to GolfWRX.com, Kim’s long putter is an Odyssey 2-Ball Ten model, equipped with a 5.5-inch split grip.
“First of all, instead of holding the putter this way (conventionally), I put my thumb on top of the putter,” Kim explained to PGATOUR.com. “I hold my left hand firmly, since it’s all about putting with the shoulders to try to feel as if it moves in one piece. For the right hand…I like to hold the putter how Adam Scott taught me, a claw grip with my right hand on top. After holding the left hand firmly, move the shoulder as if it’s one motion. It helps to make putts.”
Kim debuted the new putting style and broomstick putter at the 2022 Presidents Cup, finishing 3-1, including a Singles victory over Justin Thomas, to help spark the International Team.
“Since my putting stroke moves in one motion, I can putt more consistently, and worry less about movement while I’m putting,” Kim said. “I like it because of all these advantages.”
In his first individual PGA TOUR start with the new putter, Kim finished T8 at the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas last week. More pertinently, he ranked 38th in Strokes Gained: Putting for the event, gaining 0.583 strokes on the greens – a vast improvement over last season even if there’s still more room for improvement.
His next test comes at this week’s ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP at Narashino Country Club in Japan.