October 10, 2021
By GolfWRX, PGATOUR.COM
- Fowler ranked 126th on the PGA TOUR Strokes Gained: Putting in 2021. (David Berding/Getty Images)
Rickie Fowler led the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Putting in 2017. As recently as 2019, he was 13th. In 2021, Fowler dropped to 126th on the PGA TOUR in the statistic.
At this week's Shriners Children’s Open, Fowler was spotted with three putters in the bag during practice rounds: His usual Scotty Cameron gamer, a black Cobra King Vintage Sport-45 putter and a prototype Sport-45 in stainless steel.
Cobra's Tour Operations Manager Ben Schomin had this to say about the unique putter.
"It's a Sport-45 head that's been 3D printed and milled to spec. That model is not normally 3D printed or milled to final spec, so it's not much different than the one we sell. We just used a little tech to dial it in. Still utilizing SIK face tech and heel/toe weight ports to dial in swingweight.
Schomin mentioned the prototype putter uses SIK Descending Loft Face Technology, by which the loft of the putter face “descends” from the top to the bottom of the face. More specifically, SIK putter faces feature four flat surfaces milled into the putter face with loft decreasing by one degree (4 degrees to 1) from surface to surface in a bid to offer more consistent roll and putt distance.
With respect to the material the putter is printed from, according to Schomin, it's not a standard variety of stainless steel.
"It's printed with 316 stainless steel," Schomin said. "Which raises the question 'What's the difference between 303/304 and 316? From a physical property standpoint, they are nearly identical. 316 is a bit pricier and has molybdenum added for higher corrosion resistance, but feel is the same. 316 works better for 3D printing, which is why it's used."