Equipment Report
  • Highlights

    Harris English restored of hip, grip at Travelers Championship

    Had surgery in February to repair torn labrum, replaced putter grip for this week

  • Highlights

    Harris English rolls in 20-footer for birdie at Travelers

CROMWELL, Conn. – Harris English is making his third start after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.

He is also using a new putter grip – the same model that was so frayed it was deemed non-conforming in a minor kerfuffle at the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits last fall.

Both changes are working out just fine, as the defending champion carded a second-round 65 to reach 9 under par halfway through the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.

“Yeah, the hip is doing better,” said English, who on February 14 had the operation in Vail, Colorado, and didn’t play at all from the Sony Open in Hawaii (T55) to the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday (MC) earlier this month. “The toughest thing is walking and playing. I mean, I feel like back home I can go hit a bunch of balls on the range, but up and down these hills and being on your feet for five or six hours is the toughest part.”

The hip had bothered him for a while, and he had tried everything from injections to physical therapy. Finally, having won the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the Travelers last season, English figured he had enough runway in terms of TOUR status to go ahead and fix it.

“Yeah, more looking at the next ten years of golf,” English said. “I want to be playing out here for a long time. I just didn't want to be hurt. Didn't want to be playing hurt. It's tough to compete even at 100% out here. There are a lot of good players and young guys coming up.

“I was like, well, had two wins last year so I've got some status for the next few years. Might as well get surgery and get it behind me so I can get after the next few years.”

As for his Ping Palm Lock putter grip, it’s the same model he used to win the Travelers in an eight-hole playoff against Kramer Hickok last year. In fact, he told John Peterson and JJ Killeen on the Fore the People podcast, he had been using it for close to 10 years when at the Ryder Cup last fall someone called in about two hours before his singles match against Lee Westwood.

The grip was so frayed, the caller said, it might be non-conforming. A Rules official deemed it so, citing the frayed cloth at the butt end of the club. That’s when U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III arrived with an X-Acto knife, cutting off the offending piece of grip and wrapping gauze around the incision to keep everything flush.

A close look at Harris English's frayed putter grip at the Ryder Cup. (Warren Little/Getty Images)

The grip held up in his singles loss to Westwood, but English eventually had to abandon it. 

“Tried to play with it in Vegas (at the Shriners Children’s Open in October) and it was deemed damaged, I couldn't play with it,” he said. “So, I took it off, put another grip on that I played with years ago trying to switch it up a little bit.

“Just hadn't really putted that great,” added the four-time TOUR winner. “Streaky putting and put the new Ping grip on this week and it's worked out so far.”

Using a new Ping Palm Lock, which he’d thrived with for years to the point of it being “all raggedy and torn up,” as he put it, English made over 141 feet of putts Friday. He took 27 putts for the second day in a row.