There are few, if any, golfer-designer duos quite like Tiger Woods and Scotty Cameron. Woods has used a Scotty Cameron putter to win each of his 15 major titles, and both men are legends in their own right.
When you think of the Woods-Cameron dynamic, two putters likely come to mind: the Scotty Cameron Newport TeI3 putter Woods used to win the 1997 Masters, or the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS prototype he’s used to win 14-of-15 majors. Those two putters are arguably the most storied and coveted flat sticks of all time.
In a previous GOLF.com story, though, I uncovered all of the different Scotty Cameron putters that Woods has used in competition throughout his career. One putter in particular on that list stood out to me. During the 1997 Buick Open, Woods used a Scotty Cameron Laguna putter that had a flow-neck hosel, rather than the plumber’s neck design he typically uses.
During a recent interview with Scotty Cameron himself – we mostly discussed his new Phantom X putter line updates – I asked Cameron about the one-off Laguna putter Woods gamed in 1997. Given how many putters Cameron has made throughout the years, I figured it was unlikely he’d remember one putter that Woods used in an event over 20 years ago, but it was worth a shot, right?
Well, it turns out Cameron did remember the putter, and the backstory might be more fascinating than the putter itself.
As Cameron tells it, Brad Faxon and Woods were both frequent visitors to The Putter Studio in San Marcos, at the time. Faxon and Woods, both of whom are illustrious putters, would come to the studio to hone their strokes and work with Cameron to design new prototypes.
At the time, and for years after, Faxon used a custom putter called “FaxDay.” The FaxDay putter was special because it had a Laguna head shape with a plumbers-style neck, rather than the usual short flow-neck on most Laguna models.
Woods’ ended up using a Laguna putter model in 1997, according to Cameron, because “Tiger loved [the FaxDay] putter, so he wanted to try it.” It wasn’t just the putter that Woods admired, though, and apparently the admiration was mutual.
Cameron says that when Woods would come in for putting sessions, he would ask to see the video and data parameters from Faxon’s recent sessions to see what he working on. Likewise, when Faxon would come into the gallery for his putting sessions, he would ask to see Woods’ video and data to see what he working on. Greatness recognizes greatness.
“[Woods] would always come in and say, ‘Hey, when was Faxon here?’ And we would say this date, this date,” Cameron explained. “He would say, ‘Can you pull that up? I want to see what he’s working on.’ Fax would come in, he would always say, ‘Hey, what is Tiger up to, can I see his last session?’ Those two always asked about each other because they admired each other’s strokes.”
Really, the story goes to show that every golfer, no matter how great, is just searching to improve in any way possible.
When I asked Cameron what amateur golfers can glean from Faxon and Woods, he said “putter length.” Cameron stressed the importance of getting your eyes directly over the ball, and having the putter head sit squarely on the ground. The toe or the heel of the putter shouldn’t stick up off the surface of the green. This will help with alignment, and hitting the ball flush on the center of the face.
So, whether it’s a Laguna, or a Newport, or a less-traditional mallet, make sure you get with a fitter to determine the correct length for your body and stroke. You may never be as good as Woods or Faxon, or have access to super custom designs, but you can always get the proper tools in your hand to putt your best.
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