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Tom Kim using 'new' center-shafted Scotty Cameron putter with intentionally altered colors, 'secret' design

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    Written by GolfWRX GolfWRX.comGolfWRX.com

    Tom Kim switched to a “new” center-shafted Scotty Cameron mallet putter at The Genesis Invitational – the term used loosely here because the Scotty Cameron Tour-Only Futura T5S that Kim now uses was first launched on the PGA TOUR in 2017.

    Tom Kim's Scotty Cameron Tour-Only Futura T5S putter model. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    Tom Kim's Scotty Cameron Tour-Only Futura T5S putter model. (Courtesy GolfWRX)


    Back then the putter was unique because it offered 303 stainless steel bodies to go along with lightweight, black 6061 aluminum faces and soles. The center-shafted model, in particular, saw the hosel just slightly off-center from the alignment line on the crown, for better visibility and a very slightly arcing stroke pattern.

    Tom Kim's team in Korea doctored one of his old putters to make the putter face look less contrasting than the original black-on-silver colorway. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    Tom Kim's team in Korea doctored one of his old putters to make the putter face look less contrasting than the original black-on-silver colorway. (Courtesy GolfWRX)


    Kim’s new 2024 putter, however, has a silver-colored sole and face, and it looks like the sole has been worn down from years of use.

    Tom Kim's original putter was unique because it was unique because it offered 303 stainless steel bodies to go along with lightweight, black 6061 aluminum faces and soles. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    Tom Kim's original putter was unique because it was unique because it offered 303 stainless steel bodies to go along with lightweight, black 6061 aluminum faces and soles. (Courtesy GolfWRX)


    As Kim confirmed, though, the color alterations were intentional and did not occur naturally.

    On Wednesday at the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches, Kim told GolfWRX.com that he wanted to use a center-shafted putter to help him get the ball started closer to his target line on the greens, but all the center-shafted putters he had seen looked, at least to him, like they had too much loft. So, his team back home in Korea doctored one of his old putters to make the putter face look less contrasting than the original black-on-silver colorway.

    Tom Kim switched to a center-shafted configuration feel more connected with his upper body. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    Tom Kim switched to a center-shafted configuration feel more connected with his upper body. (Courtesy GolfWRX)


    “No, [it’s not worn down], they actually milled it out (the black paint) to make me feel like there's less loft on it,” Kim said. “Because it was black, the color change was stronger. I told them my center shafts all look too lofty. They look too behind [the face]. So what they did was – I had no idea they did it – but they shaved off the color so I could see less loft on it. It’s the same thing, it's just a different color. It doesn't make me feel like there's a lot of loft on it.

    “It's a very, very unique putter,” Kim continued. “The head has been used before, but there's a lot of details that people don't really know. It’s a cool putter they made for me. The team did a great job back at home.”


    One of the unique designs, which he calls a “secret,” is the set of three lines that appear on the inner-most portion of the putter crown, between the center shaft and the heel. The black-red-black lines are likely used to help him with his alignment at address – like Tony Finau, or Zach Johnson in previous years – but Kim prefers to keep this trick to himself.

    Kim did elaborate on how the center-shafted configuration helps with his technique, though.

    “Right now, it's just helping me feel more connected with my upper body,” Kim explained. “I've always used a blade. I went to the center shaft a little bit before, but I've putted my best with a hosel in the back, and I just feel like it started to feel like I just couldn't really feel it through the release itself.

    “And, the start lines were a little shaky,” he continued, “so that kind of made me feel like everything was in front of me. [The center shaft] helps me just feel like the ball was starting straight on my line.”

    Tom Kim is using his color-altered Scotty Cameron T5S putter – with a “secret” design. (Courtesy GolfWRX)

    Tom Kim is using his color-altered Scotty Cameron T5S putter – with a “secret” design. (Courtesy GolfWRX)


    According to Scotty Cameron representative Drew Page, who works with PGA TOUR players on their putting needs, center-shafted putters can actually help out more golfers than just Kim.

    “In general, [a center-shafted putter can help] someone who has less face rotation, or if they’re going for less face rotation,” Page told GolfWRX.com at The Genesis Invitational. “My opinion is that more people should use [a center-shafted putter] as a way to get back to neutral, because so many people have trouble with alignment. And when you have offset in a putter – whether it’s a Newport 2 or a double-bend – your hands are in front of the face, so it’s not quite as easy to see when that face isn’t aligned properly.

    “And with a center shaft you’re at neutral,” he continued, “so any movement you have, it’s easy to see that face where it’s aimed and where it moves, with the slightest move of your hands. That’s where I would see that it would help amateur golfers. More than you would think. If players are having trouble with alignment, I’ll have them practice with a center-shafted putter.”

    So, for now, at least, Kim is using his color-altered Scotty Cameron T5S putter – with a “secret” design – to help get his golf ball started on his line on the greens.

    And if you’re a golfer who’s struggling to start the ball on your intended target line, then maybe you, too, should try out a center-shafted putter and get back to neutral. If nothing else, it can help identify the problem areas in your stroke or your alignment.

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