September 21, 2022
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- Collin Morikawa will be debuting a new putter this week at the Presidents Cup. (Courtesy GolfWRX)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Collin Morikawa is making his Presidents Cup debut this week at Quail Hollow. So is his putter.
Morikawa has switched putters several times this season, and he has a new one in the bag this week after three weeks off.
The two-time major winner, who went 3-0-1 in his U.S. debut at last year’s Ryder Cup, is back in a cavity-back putter this week, sporting a TaylorMade TP Soto that is similar to the flatstick he used when he turned pro. This year, Morikawa has been seen using a mallet and a prototype, blade-style putter, but the Soto marks a return to the cavity-back blade.
The switch follows a return to a standard putting grip during the FedExCup Playoffs after using ‘The Claw’ grip for the previous 18 months. Then he made changes to his setup while playing and practicing at home during the three weeks off between the TOUR Championship and Presidents Cup.
“Sometimes you just get in that little (rut) of when you're not comfortable, nothing is going in,” Morikawa said Wednesday. “Talking to a few guys at home in Vegas, playing a lot, just kind of noticed how they're putting, and I just wanted to try something different. So I got a little flatter, got my body a little more relaxed, and I was kind of able to have that rocking feeling that people always talk about putting that I've never felt in my life, which is a weird thing.”
To fit with the adjustments to his address position, the new putter is a half-inch shorter than his previous one. It also features an alignment dot atop the head instead of the line that Morikawa had used in previous putters and an L-neck hosel.
“Collin was at our Carlsbad HQ on Friday doing some testing and went through our putter lab at The Kingdom," said Bucky Coe, TaylorMade TOUR putter representative. "We had two TP Soto Hydro Blast blade putters prepared for him after conversations we’ve had with him over the last few months regarding his putter and recent set up changes. One model had the sight line and the other had the sight dot. In the lab we identified the visual he prefers to help in his alignment which is the chrome Hydro Blast finish and sight dot. It’s going to free up his alignment a little bit and make it all about feel.”
Last season, Morikawa’s fourth on TOUR, also was his first without a win. He still qualified for the TOUR Championship, however, and finished 19th in the FedExCup, including top-5s in the Masters and U.S. Open. He finished 131st in Strokes Gained: Putting last season, though that was actually an improvement over 2021, when he won The Open and was the FedExCup leader after the regular season.
“The idea for me is to be consistent. I've been able to show that I can get hot and I can putt well. The problem is that so far it's been sparingly, right. It's been here and there. It might be one good round, but it's not over a course of a tournament, or it's over the course of two tournaments and then it kind of disappears,” Morikawa said Wednesday. “I just need to become a little more consistent putter, and a lot of it has to do with my speed, just kind of nailing those five-foot-and-in putts. If I'm making more of those, it's going to be so much more beneficial on every aspect of my game. It's going to ease off chipping, it's going to ease off lag putting. At the end of the day, what I'm trying to do is just become a more consistent putter.
“Right now we're making a switch and we're trying something new. I did it with the saw grip say a year and a half ago, and it worked out, and hopefully with this we're heading down the right path, as well.”