Can this Rory-approved putter get Scottie Scheffler on track?

Can a return to a TaylorMade Spider mallet get Scottie Scheffler’s putter back on track? This week at Bay Hill could be a litmus test.

The post Can this Rory-approved putter get Scottie Scheffler on track? appeared first on Golf.

Can a return to a TaylorMade Spider mallet get Scottie Scheffler’s putter back on track? This week at Bay Hill could be a litmus test.

The post Can this Rory-approved putter get Scottie Scheffler on track? appeared first on Golf.

ORLANDO, Fla. — The last time we saw Scottie Scheffler, he was wrapping up another top-10 finish at the Genesis Invitational. It’s the kind of showing the golf world has come to expect from the top-ranked pro on the planet.

Consistency has been good for Scheffler’s bank account, but the lack of trips to the winner’s circle has led to an increased interest in the putter. By now, you’re probably well aware of Scheffler’s struggles with the only club giving him fits.

Even the 27-year-old has grown tired of talking about the putter. But it continues to be a topic of discussion every time he tees it up. Even one of Scheffler’s peers, Rory McIlroy, offered putting advice during his most recent start. Following the final round at Riviera, CBS’s Amanda Renner asked McIlroy if he had any “insight into when someone is struggling with [the putter].”

It was a question that elicited a thoughtful answer from McIlroy, who has also battled a balky putter.

scottie scheffler taylormade spider putter
Scheffler’s new Spider Tour putter leans against his staff bag on the practice green. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

“Yeah, we’ve all been through it,” McIlroy said. “I’ve certainly been through my fair share of putting woes through the years. And I finally feel like I’ve broken through and become a pretty consistent putter. 

“For me, going to a mallet was a big change. I really persisted with the blade putter for a long time. But I just feel like your stroke has to be so perfect to start the ball on line, where the mallet just gives you a little bit more margin for error. That, to me, gave me confidence that I could go forward with that knowing that even if I don’t put a perfect stroke on it, the ball’s not going to go too far off line. 

“So, I’d love to see Scottie try a mallet, but selfishly for me, you know, Scottie does everything else so well that, you know, he’s giving the rest of us a chance.”

TaylorMade Spider Tour X Putter

We’ve engineered a super stable structure by removing excess weight to create high MOI and legendary Spider performance.
Allows engineers to better control weight distribution and CG location.
HYBRAR is behind the face to dampen unwanted vibrations, delivering premium sound and feel on every putt with the best possible sensation.
Each Spider Tour model features different CG locations for optimal putter fitting.
TSS weights provide balanced weighting and help optimize performance for all various putter lengths.
The durable PVD coating creates a beautiful high-quality finish.
The patented alignment system provides visual clarity and helps golfers better envision the line to the hole.
Made from a combination of Surlyn and aluminum, the white TPU Pure Roll™ insert creates a softer feel. Grooves are angled at 45° to encourage optimal forward roll as well as better sound, feel and overall roll characteristics. The white insert also creates better symmetry with the white True Path alignment.
Spider Tour Series includes two different hosel shapes and designs. The small slant produces toe hang, and the double bend produces a face balanced design.

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Based on the putter Scheffler was wielding on Tuesday morning at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, it seems the world No. 1 has taken McIlroy’s advice. Tucked inside Scheffler’s bag was a single putter hidden under a black cover: TaylorMade’s Spider Tour X (X1) mallet. (McIlroy is also using TaylorMade’s Spider Tour X at the moment.)

The sight of Scheffler rolling putts with a mallet led some on social media to wonder if one elite pro had taken the advice from another elite pro to heart. Scheffler hasn’t commented on the putter change, but more than likely, it was simply a pro giving something else another shot to see if things clicked.

With putting coach Phil Kenyon looking on, Scheffler rolled putts on the practice green with the mallet that featured a single black sight line and gray Golf Pride Pro Only Green Star grip — Green Star features an oval back shape and arched paddle front that’s designed for consistent thumb placement — before departing for the range.

Scheffler’s putter search has seen him use a myriad of different options — most recently a blade crafted by Logan Olson that played a role in his win at the Hero World Challenge — including a TaylorMade Spider Tour X Proto that received the nod last year during the FedEx Cup playoffs. Suffice to say, this isn’t Scheffler’s first go with a mallet.

scottie scheffler taylormade spider putter
Spider Tour was the only putter in Scheffler’s bag on Tuesday morning. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

What’s different when it comes to Scheffler’s latest Spider? Let’s start with the most obvious change: a shift away from a solid, milled face on the Proto to a more traditional white Pure Roll insert that’s made from a blend of Surlyn and aluminum. A change like that will no doubt alter the feel.

The weight also appears to be more evenly balanced through the head — TSS weights are visible in the sole of his current Spider — which would be a change from the previous Spider Proto where the TSS weights were missing and mass was situated far forward to allow the head to perform more like a blade.

Unless something is going on underneath the hood, this could be one of the most interesting changes to Scheffler’s Spider. Instead of getting it to perform like a blade, he could be trying a full-on mallet to see if the performance benefits enhance his play on the greens.

“I’ve always struggled with putters that have a lot of weight in the back side of it,” Scheffler said of the forward-weighted mallet back in August at the FedEx St. Jude Championship. “And this one is a bit different than a lot of the Spiders that they’ve made, and the weight is more in the front so it has the feel of a blade putter that I like but it also has a lot of that visual on the top where it’s easier for me to line up.”

Ranked 144th in SG: Putting entering the week, Scheffler will be looking to glean any positives he can with the potential new putter. With the Masters just over a month away, there’s no better time to finally get it back on track — even if it means admitting Rory was right.

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The post Can this Rory-approved putter get Scottie Scheffler on track? appeared first on Golf.