Scottie Scheffler has earned $6 million since that club change
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Putt for the dough
Not all of the club changes went through, but it’s fair to say that Scottie Scheffler hit the jackpot (literally) when he switched putters at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. With a win on Sunday over Kevin Kisner, the 25-year-old moved up to world No. 1 for the first time in his career.
The victory continued a torrid streak for Scheffler who won for the third time in his last five starts. From a monetary perspective, this kind of stretch is more than lucrative – to the tune of $6.173 million in just six weeks. Other than a fairway wood change (more on that in a moment), the only speed adjustment to occur during this time was the putter switch.
It’s impossible to pin a run like Scheffler’s on a club, but there’s something about the new putter that has certainly clicked for Scheffler since he came on.
While Scheffler waited until Phoenix to make the change official, he began working with Scotty Cameron Tour representative Brad Cloke on the new stick in December during a trip to Cameron’s putter studio. Unlike most pros who switch putters due to prolonged struggles, Scheffler simply wanted a new look.
“He just wanted to change things up a bit and give himself a slightly different look in 2022,” Cloke said. “Before visiting us at the Studio, he was playing around with an old Newport 2 Timeless he had at home. He had added a bunch of lead tape to the sole to try and give it a similar swingweight to his Super Rat. He really liked the profile, but the feel wasn’t exactly where he wanted it, so we got to work building him a new setup with adjustable weighting.
Scheffler opted to upgrade from a Super Rat 1 to a 36.25-inch Newport 2-style head with sharper edges and two adjustable 25-gram weights in the sole. It also made a slight improvement to the alignment aid, moving the black line from the topline to the bridle.
As the saying goes, “driver for show, putt for dough”. Scottie can attest to that.
Adam Scott continued to take advantage of free equipment agency by adding another fresh piece of equipment to the bag in Austin, Texas. After adding TaylorMade Stealth woods at The Players Championship and a LAB Golf putter ahead of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Scott slotted in a Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi 3 iron (KBS Tour 130X shaft) in a dark finish that was easy to spot in a sea of Titleist satin chrome irons and Vokey wedges.
Known for its best player cavity backed irons and blades, Mizuno has quietly gained a following as a viable alternative to long irons for several big names.
Before adding a Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero 7 wood, Xander Schauffele played a Mizuno MP-20 HMB 3 iron. an elastic face MAS1C.
See you soon, partner
Much ink has been spilled over the past week on Scottie Scheffler’s Nike VR Pro Limited 3-wood. It seems like I should have worried more about its newest addition (TaylorMade Stealth) than its predecessor.
Scheffler didn’t skip a beat with the 16.5-degree Stealth 3 wood as he rode his way to his third Tour title in Austin. According to TaylorMade Tour rep Todd Chew, Scheffler initially tested a 15-degree Stealth as a Nike replacement during pre-season, but the club went over their usual carry distance of 3 woods.
“Scottie could actually do more with the Stealth head at 15.0 degrees, but that would be going too far,” Chew said. “With the titanium Stealth Plus head he could hit even further, but that’s not what he needs from this club.”
To fix the problem, TaylorMade suggested Scheffler try a 16.5 degree Stealth 3HL (the HL stands for “high loft”) at a shorter length to see if it produced similar carry distance to his player.
“[I]In Palm Springs we built him a Stealth 3HL 16.5 degree with a Fujikura Ventus Black 8X shaft,” Chew said. “His previous 3 wood was about 12.5 degrees of loft and in order to match the launch conditions and distance with Stealth we had to go to the Stealth 3HL, shorten it an inch and finish the loft at 16 degrees.
“We were very close with matching launch conditions, which was important to Scottie. He was coming out of a different window because of the difference in loft in the heads and he has since been able to figure out how to ride it the way he wants. The advantages of the 16.5 degree head are that he can hit much higher and farther if he wants to, but also match the previous conditions, which were lower and had more spin.
For the majority of his peers, Xander Schauffele’s problems with the putter wouldn’t be categorized as a problem in its own right. Ranked 70th in SG: Putting entering the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Schauffele had not finished outside the Top 70 in SG: Putting since joining the PGA Tour in 2016. not ready to drastically change his putter, Schauffele was open to seeing what else was out there.
“He always wanted to keep the same head shape,” said Odyssey Tour representative Joe Toulon. “It was more about changing the visuals a bit and seeing if that helped.”
Instead of messing up the alignment lines affixed to the top of the headstock, Schauffele opted to change the paint color from a stark white to a black that stood out against the silver finish. In the end, the black paint on one line, in particular, sold Schauffele on the White Hot OG #7CH.
“It was that little line on the topline,” Toulon said. “He was already using a black line on the side of the ball, so adding a black alignment line on top made it look like that line stretched from the putter to the ball. To him, it this was to help with alignment.
Since making the switch, Schauffele has recorded two top 15 finishes in his last three starts. With the Masters on deck, the return of Schauffele’s ever-reliable putter couldn’t have come at a better time.
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