October 08, 2020
By GolfWRX, PGATOUR.COM
Rickie Fowler cards birdie at No. 16 at Shriners
It’s been more than five years since we have seen Rickie Fowler putt with anything other than his trusted Tri-Sole Newport 2 Scotty Cameron. The shafts have changed a bit from traditional steel to a beefed-up LAGP graphite model, but that’s it: same design for half a decade.
It’s easy to understand the loyalty. Regarded as one of the best putters on TOUR for some time, it’s typically not a part of his game that requires any drastic changes. The stats don’t lie: Over the past five seasons, Fowler’s Strokes Gained: Putting rank has ranged anywhere from a respectable 64th all the way to first in 2017.
However, this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin, Fowler has put a putter in play that is not only a new look but a totally different profile. In simple terms, it’s like going from a razor blade to a chainsaw.
The new putter is a face-balanced Scotty Cameron X5 Prototype with a single bend shaft. The idea behind this model is face stability. Fowler has always preferred a traditional “Anser 2” profile to promote releasing the toe of the putter, much like Tiger Woods.
The switch is showing early returns as well. Despite a double-bogey on the par-3 17th, Fowler finished Round 1 ranked first in SG: Putting en route to a 67 that included seven birdies.
In the current case, the X5 profile gives Fowler a putter with a much higher MOI that reduces twisting and stabilizes the face. In addition, it helps with a new look for alignment. It’s not abnormal these days for players to just want to look at something new—Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and even last week’s winner Sergio Garcia have gone back and forth from Anser-style putters and mallets on numerous occasions one the season.
Is he changing his stroke? Probably not. However, Augusta is right around the corner and players like Fowler will need to optimize what they do well if they are going to keep up with what one Bryson Dechambeau is setting out to do to the Georgia track.
Scotty Cameron X5 Prototype
D7 swing weight
335-340 gram head weight