Blade vs. mallet: Can you predict a major winner based on their putter style?

tiger woods putter

Can you predict a major winner based on their putter style? I ran the numbers from the last decade of men's major golf to find out.

Jonathan Wall/

Regardless of the major tournament, the player who ends up hoisting the trophy at the end of the week is usually one of the best putters. With some of the fastest and most sloping greens in championship golf, few courses place such an emphasis on putting as the host of the Masters, Augusta National.

So with this in mind, and based on a recent change to a familiar-style blade putter by Masters favorite Rory McIlroy, I ran some numbers on the most successful brands and putter styles over the last decade of men’s major golf to find out if you can better predict a winner based on the style of putter they use.

Here are the results, along with some observations.


Fans stand in front of empty Masters leaderboard at Augusta National

Scottie Scheffler – Scotty Cameron Newport 2, (plumbers neck blade)
Hideki Matsuyama – Scotty Cameron Newport 2, (plumbers neck blade)
Dustin Johnson – TaylorMade Spider Tour, (mallet)
Tiger Woods – Scotty Cameron Newport 2, (plumbers neck blade)
Patrick Reed – Odyssey White Hot 3, (slant neck blade)
Sergio Garcia – TaylorMade Spider Tour, (mallet)
Danny Willett – Odyssey Versa 1 wide body, (mid-mallet)
Jordan Spieth – Scotty Cameron 009, (plumbers neck blade)
Bubba Watson – Ping Anser milled, (plumbers neck blade)
Adam Scott – Scotty Cameron custom long putter, (mallet)

Jordan Spieth’s Scotty Cameron 009. Jonathan Wall

Blade putters have won the Masters six of the last 10 years, and five of those wins were with Scotty Camerons. This is also the only major tournament in the last decade to have been won by a player using a long putter, when it was won by Adam Scott back in 2013.

PGA Championship

pga of america logo

Justin Thomas – Scotty Cameron Futura X5.5 prototype, (mallet)
Phil Mickelson – Odyssey PM, (heel-shafted blade)
Collin Morikawa – TaylorMade Soto blade, (plumbers neck blade)
Brooks Koepka – Scotty Cameron TEi3 Newport 2, (plumbers neck blade)
Brooks Keopka – Scotty Cameron TEi3 Newport 2,(plumbers neck blade)
Justin Thomas – Scotty Cameron X5 Prototype, (mallet)
Jimmy Walker – Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS, (plumbers neck blade)
Jason Day – TaylorMade Spider Tour, (mallet)
Rory McIlroy – Scotty Cameron 009, (plumbers neck blade)
Jason Dufner – Scotty Cameron Circa 62 Prototype blade, (plumbers neck blade)

Once again, at the PGA Championship blade putters have seven out of 10 with Brooks Keopka helping that total thanks to his back-to-back wins. Along with blades reigning supreme, players using a Scotty Cameron have also won seven times in the last decade, although two of those wins are with a mallet style, thanks to Justin Thomas.

U.S. Open

U.S. Open flag at 2022 U.S. Open
Getty Images

Matt Fitzpatrick – Bettinardi custom, (slant neck blade)
Jon Rahm – Odyssey Rossie S, (mallet)
Bryson DeChambeau – SIK, (plumbers neck blade)
Gary Woodland – Scotty Cameron Newport 2, (plumbers neck blade)
Brooks Koepka – Scotty Cameron TEi3 Newport 2, (plumbers neck blade)
Brooks Koepka -Scotty Cameron TEi3 Newport 2, (plumbers neck blade)
Dustin Johnson – Scott Cameron Newport 2 Prototype, (plumbers neck blade)
Jordan Speith – Scotty Cameron 009, (plumbers neck blade)
Martin Kaymer – Ping Karsten Series Anser 2, (plumbers neck blade)
Justin Rose – TaylorMade Spider ghost blade, (plumbers neck blade)

For the U.S. Open, the numbers are heavily in favor of the winner being a player using a blade putter and eight of those wins were with a Ping Anser-style plumbers neck model.

Open Championship

2022 Open Championship flag waves in wind at St. Andrews
Getty Images

[*Went back 11 years to get a 10-event sample because the tournament was canceled in 2020.]

Cameron Smith – Scotty Cameron 009, (slant neck blade)
Collin Morikawa – TaylorMade Soto blade, (plumbers neck blade)
Shane Lowry – Odyssey Stroke Lab 2-ball, (mallet)
Francesco Molinari – Bettinardi BB Zero, (plumbers neck blade)
Jordan Spieth – Scotty Cameron 009, (plumbers neck blade)
Henrik Stenson – Odyssey White Hot XG 7, (mallet)
Zach Johnson – SeeMore FGP, (center shafted blade)
Rory McIlroy – Nike Method 006, (plumbers neck blade)
Phil Mickelson – Odyssey Versa 9, (heel-shafted blade)
Ernie Els – Odyssey no 1 Prototype, (plumbers neck blade)

At the Open Championship, wins again go to blade putters over mallets, but just like Adam Scott at the Masters, the Open Championship is the only event in this observed 40-tournament span where a center-shafted blade was used, and that win belongs to Zach Johnson.

Total wins by brand

Scotty Cameron / Titleist: 19
Odyssey: 8
TaylorMade: 6
Bettinardi: 2
Ping: 2
SeeMore: 1
SIK: 1
Nike: 1

If we break down putter style into two main categories, blade and mallet, there is an overriding trend that the majority of major tournaments are won using blade putters compared with mallets. For this, I have referred to a blade as being any blade putter with a plumbers neck, flow neck, center shaft or heel-shafted head shape.

It’s difficult to put an exact reason for blades being such an overwhelming favorite compared with mallets, considering the extra forgiveness packed into a larger head, but if I have a hypothesis, it’s that more confident and statistically better putters prefer a blade style over a mallet, and in major championship golf a single putt can mean all the difference.

Although I’m not really a betting man, based on this research, if I was putting money down on major winners in 2023, their putter-head style might be the determining factor.

Want to overhaul your bag including your putter for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.

Ryan Barath Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.