Bryson DeChambeau's recent struggles with the putter led him to shelve the sidesaddle method for a conventional stroke, and putter, at the Honda Classic.
Unhappy with his performance on the greens at PGA National, DeChambeau opted to make another change at the Valspar Championship. This time, DeChambeau opted for the arm-lock method that was popularized by Matt Kuchar.
The former U.S. Amateur champion spent a recent weekend in Orlando, Florida, working with putter manufacturer Sik Golf on a Quintic software program that measures the launch of a putt.
“I was a machine on that system,” DeChambeau said, “just one after the next.”
Sik built DeChambeau a 44-inch Pro putter that featured the company's Descending Loft Technology design on the face. According to Sik, "each plane descends in loft by one-degree thereby neutralizing every golfers’ inability to achieve a consistent shaft angle at impact." The end result is a putter that optimizes launch for a more consistent roll.
DeChambeau outfitted the putter with a Matrix U11-PO prototype graphite putter shaft and 17-inch SuperStroke Flatso 17 (100 grams) that's preferred by players who rest the grip against their forearm during the stroke.
Currently ranked 193rd in strokes gained: putting, DeChambeau improved considerably with the new putter and stroke, finishing the week T30 in the statistical category (plus 2.224) en route to a T27 showing.
Stenson goes back to old 3-wood: It didn't take Henrik Stenson long to go back to "old reliable." The Swede replaced his 13-degree Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood with a 15-degree GBB Epic in February at the Dubai Desert Classic.
Stenson used the fairway wood for one month before returning to the older model fairway in the run-up to the Masters. Despite having a weaker loft by two degrees, Stenson noted GBB Epic flew beyond his usual 3-wood carry yardage, which led to the decision to reinsert Diablo Octane back into the lineup.
Using 3-wood on a majority of the holes at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course, Stenson ranked T2 in driving accuracy, hitting 75 percent of his fairways over four days.
Kuch tests new Bettinardi: Matt Kuchar's Bettinardi KM2 D.A.S.S. putter won't be replaced anytime — he ranks 29th in strokes gained: putting this season — but that didn't stop the 7-time TOUR winner from giving the company's VWS D.A.S.S. Tour putter a once-over on the practice green.
Instead of positioning the adjustable weights in the heel and toe of the sole, Bettinardi decided to add them to the upper portion of the flange where they are visible at address.
The design is similar to the Antidote Hexperimental VWS D.A.S.S. that was introduced in January at the CareerBuilder Challenge and features a similar weight design on the flange.
According to Bettinardi, placing the adjustable weights slightly higher in the head raises the center of gravity to more closely match the equator of the golf ball for a faster, more consistent roll.
For an arm-lock user like Kuchar, the VWS design also makes it possible to produce a head that's heavier than 400 grams by removing some of the larger surface area on the top and replacing it with tungsten weights.
In addition to the VWS weight design, Kuchar's putter had a welded long neck that differs from the double bend shaft currently found on his gamer. Kuchar planned to take the putter home and experiment with it in the coming weeks.