Changes to the flatstick produced runner-up finishes for Luke Donald and Russell Knox at the RBC Heritage.
For Donald, one of the best putters in the world for almost a decade, the adjustment was a subtle one that came in the form of a new shaft position on his Odyssey Works Versa #7H.
Donald had been using a heel-shafted #7 model for several years, but a poor stretch of putting forced him to look for something new. Instead of doing a complete overhaul, Donald opted to stick with the same head in a center-shafted version.
"I have not changed my putter for a long time until the last couple of weeks," Donald said. "I've got the same head on my putter, but just a different shaft. It's a center shaft. I just wanted a little bit different look.
"It's pretty much the same putter, just has a different neck on it, it's a center shaft, rather than a normal neck. Same head, same everything, except the way it works, the shaft goes in. I just wanted a little bit different look."
Donald, who ranked 14th in strokes gained: putting, recorded his first runner-up finish since the 2014 RBC Heritage.
For Russell Knox, his new putter also had a familiar look and feel. Following a brief run with the Cure's RX5 putter, Knox switched to a SeeMore Mini Giant FGP — he's used SeeMore's Giant in the past — after working through a few drills on the practice green.
"I had a full team up here this week helping me [with my putting], my buddy, Ramon Bescansa, and Tad [Gallina] from Seemore Putters," Knox said. "And we got it figured out. It wasn't very good yesterday, but practice works. And I'm kind of lazy at times, so I just have to put in the time."
The putter features the smallest head of SeeMore's Giant series and has four sets of non-adjustable copper weight in the heel and toe that boost forgiveness. The milled aluminum head is 350 grams.
Jason Day makes changes: Jason Day put TaylorMade's M2 fairway wood in play at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am but ultimately switched back to AeroBurner because he liked to see 275-280 yards off the turf with his 3-wood, and M2 went 285-295 yards.
Hitting a 3-wood nearly 300 yards off the deck and 295-305 yards off the tee is a problem most amateurs would love to have. For Day, however, the club kept him from hitting full shots into most par-5s.
Given the tight driving conditions at Harbour Town, Day's caddie, Colin Swatton, suggested M2 could be a good option for a course where, in the Aussie's case, driver is all but out of the question.
After testing the club on Tuesday and Wednesday, Day swapped his 14-degree AeroBurner 3HL for a 16-degree M2 3HL. The club likely won't be in the bag every week, but in this case, it filled a key hole in Day's bag setup.
Of course, Day's new fairway wood wasn't the only equipment change that generated considerable buzz at the RBC Heritage. The other change was far more visible, as Day replaced his TaylorMade Ghost Spider Itsy Bitsy prototype with a Spider Limited.
From a performance standpoint, the two putters are identical. The key difference is the red paint that was added to the new mallet head.
Looking to have his putter stick out, Day asked designers to add a splash of color. The dark red that was chosen for his putterjust happens to the color of the red streak that's found on the abdomen of the Redback Spider, which has a widespread distribution in Australia.
Two color variations of the putter were sent to Day the week prior to the Masters and he decided on the all red head, which he used for the first time at the RBC Heritage. Day's third-round 79 knocked him out of contention, but he still managed to close with 68 to finish T-23.
New long iron for Kyle Stanley: Nike's Vapor Fly Pro long irons have become a popular option for players that want the flight and forgiveness of a hybrid with the workability and versatility of a traditional long iron.
In search of a club with a higher launch angle for the firm greens at Harbour Town, Kyle Stanley added a Vapor Fly Pro 4-iron. The former TOUR winner tested out a 4-iron and 4 hybrid but ultimately decided the long iron was the better option for the difficult course conditions.
The game-improvement club has a hollow cavity design and a black finish that gives it the appearance of having a more compact head with less offset. A high-strength Nexcor SUP10 face and FlyBeam-reinforced chassis deliver increased ball speeds.