March 10, 2022
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- Jon Rahm has switched back to using his Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie S prototype. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Perhaps rumors about the demise of Jon Rahm’s putter were greatly exaggerated.
The beloved Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie S prototype with which Rahm won last year’s U.S. Open was back in the bag Thursday after sitting on the bench for the past five rounds.
“It just needed a timeout last week,” Rahm said Thursday after shooting 69 in the opening round of THE PLAYERS. He gained more than two strokes on the greens Thursday, rolling in three putts from outside 15 feet.
Rahm’s short-game struggles have been a focal point this year, especially in contrast to his consistently exceptional ballstriking. He leads the TOUR in greens in regulation, Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, ranks second in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and is fourth in driving distance. He sits outside the top 125 in both Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green and Strokes Gained: Putting, however.
Rahm’s short game saved him on Thursday, however, a sharp contrast to the trend this year.
“I would say it wasn't my best day tee to green, maybe not my best day with the irons, but luckily short game was good,” he said. “Kind of reverse to what it's been the last few months. I was able to post a score.”
He is 15th in this season’s FedExCup standings, thanks to a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Championship and third-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rahm switched putters in the final round of last month’s The Genesis Invitational after watching too many putts slide by the edge of the hole. According to GolfWRX, who spoke to Odyssey tour rep Joe Toulon, Rahm’s stroke was getting a bit steep with the former Rossie putter and lifting too much off the putting surface. That was negatively impacting his release of the putter head.
That’s why Rahm switched to an Odyssey White Hot OG #7S, a model that Rahm occasionally practices with at home.
“His path looked very good with it, stayed lower to the ground during the backstroke, which allowed it to arc nicely and put him in a great position to release the putter through impact,” Toulon told GolfWRX.
The Rossie is a rounder, mallet-style head, while the OG #7S has two protruding fangs. He told PGATOUR.COM that choosing between the two came down to this: He stood 40 feet from the hole, devoted one putt to each putter and said to himself, “Whichever one I make it with first, I’m going with.”
“I was right in between the two of them,” Rahm told PGATOUR.COM last week. “I could have picked either/or when I did. Both of them felt great.”
The persistent focus on his short game has frustrated the world No. 1, however, and it showed Thursday after another series of questions on the topic.
“I had one bad month,” he said. “Why is everybody panicking?
Perhaps Thursday was the start of things trending in the right direction.