May 13, 2015
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Rickie Fowler put his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 prototype putter in play at the 2014 Northern Trust Open. (Jonathan Wall/PGA TOUR)
Rickie Fowler's Scotty Cameron Newport 2 prototype putter was front and center during his historic victory at THE PLAYERS Championship that saw him go 6-under over the final six holes, including an eagle-birdie-birdie finish, to secure a spot in a playoff he would eventually win with a 5-foot birdie on the 17th hole (his third birdie on the hole during the final round).
Fowler has been using the putter for more than a year, putting it in play at the 2014 Northern Trust Open. What few people probably realized following the incredible come-from-behind win was that there's an incredibly backstory behind Fowler's current flat stick.
According to Scotty Cameron's official website, Fowler, who has been using the company's putters for more than 11 years, made a trip to the Putter Studio prior to the 2014 PGA TOUR season to analyze his putting stroke, setup and mechanics with Scotty Cameron and Paul Vizanko, Cameron's fitting specialist and assistant, on the studio's high speed cameras.
It didn't take the cameras long to pinpoint a potential problem with Fowler's setup.
Working under the Putter Studio’s high-speed cameras and dissecting the video analysis, the 2015 PLAYERS champ uncrossed a putting setup that was all crossed up (his lower body and upper body were going in opposite directions) and came away with an appreciation for simplicity. It was time to dial it all back to basics. Including his putter.
Instead of tweaking his current putter, Fowler, Cameron and Vizanko decided to take a quick trip to the department's mezzanine to see if there was anything that fit the two-time PGA TOUR winner's eye. What they found in an old box could best be described as hitting the putter jackpot.
Inside the box were a few Newport 2 GSS putters — the "GSS" stands for German Stainless Steel — that were once reserved for 14-time major winner Tiger Woods. While the putter looks almost identical to the standard Newport 2, there were some subtle adjustments made to the neck placement, bumper radius and face depth that was made shallower for more consistent contact at the ball's equator.
After getting the green light from Fowler, Cameron stamped Fowler's name on the bumpers and added a silver mist finish. The putter (D6 swingweight) was set at 35 inches cut with a lie angle of 70 degrees and a loft of 3 degrees with a classic stepped shaft.
Fowler went on to put the putter in play at Riviera and finish the season with four top-five finishes in each of the year's major championship, becoming just the third player in golf history to do so. A little more than a year later, he would use the putter to record the biggest win of his professional career.
The putter is usually the first club to get the hook when a player is struggling with their game. It's an easy to replace because, for the most part, players don't have a strong attachment to their putter.
But when it comes to Rickie Fowler's Newport 2, it's safe to say the putter won't be going anywhere for the foreseeable future.
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