Is Brooks Koepka’s Masters gear shakeup a cause for concern?

brooks koepka scotty cameron mallet

Koepka rolling putts on Monday with a Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 mallet.

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Peruse the latest Masters odds and you’ll notice Brooks Koepka is listed among the favorites at +2,000 to slip on a green jacket. They are predictable odds for someone with five major titles and a runner-up finish last year at Augusta.

When Koepka steps on the grounds at a major championship, he becomes a big-game hunter.

Go back and look at Koepka’s major successes and you’ll notice some of the most important tools in the bag haven’t changed much during those years. Most notably, the Scotty Cameron Teryllium Newport 2 putter he’s wielded with considerable success.

Yes, Koepka used an updated version of the Anser-style blade during his 2023 PGA Championship triumph, but the overall feel and consistency didn’t differ much from the T10 Select Newport 2 that played a role in his previous four major titles.

Up until two weeks ago, Koepka had a particular look and feel he preferred on the greens. Then along came a Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 mallet to shake things up.

The putter initially surfaced in Koepka’s bag during a practice round with the Florida State men’s golf team, and then made an appearance last week for LIV’s event in Miami. Koepka went on to shoot 69-77-77 during the 54-hole event — a brief snapshot that led many to wonder if the 33-year-old would return to his reliable blade when he arrived at Augusta.

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Koepka showed up with the mallet on Monday, squashing the possibility of a last-minute about-face. And if you needed further confirmation that Koepka is Team Mallet this week, he provided it on Tuesday when CBS Sports reporter Amanda Balionis pressed for a putter update during “Masters on the Range.”

“Yep, same putter,” Koepka said. “I felt comfortable and changed for two weeks now. I’m comfortable with it. I just wasn’t seeing any putts go in. I felt like I was hitting a lot of lips and good putts, but nothing was falling. We’ll just stick with it and see how it goes.”

Based on Koepka’s reasoning, it’s safe to assume the mallet provides something most blades lack — an improvement in mishit performance off the heel and toe. The larger head provides stability and reduces twisting, resulting in a straighter and more consistent roll to the hole. For someone who tends to live on the toe side at impact, beefing up the stability can get the good putts to drop. Just ask Scottie Scheffler.

Koepka used the Phantom X 5.5 mallet during last week’s LIV event in Miami. Getty Images

Sure, Koepka’s initial run with the putter in Miami didn’t produce a glowing result, but history says you don’t need to be a world-beater on the greens at Augusta National to get in the mix on the weekend.

“At Augusta you don’t need to putt great, you need to not waste any shots, no three-putts, hole everything inside five feet,” Rory McIlroy said in 2018. “You don’t need to hole every 15-footer that you look at, you need to be efficient, just not to be wasteful.”

What matters is whether Koepka can pair a reliable putter with strong ball-striking, something he’s been able to do on multiple occasions during the big events.

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