A PGA Tour winner’s compelling argument against changing putters too often
Club tinkerer Kevin Na, in a recent chat on the Callaway Golf Podcast, said that changing putters can be a positive for your golf game, as long as you’re smart about it. In his opinion, your lineup of varying putter models should all be built to the same length, lie and weight in order to eliminate too many variables.
“Changing putters a little bit here and there, to give yourself a different look when you’re struggling, is good,” Na says. “But if you’re constantly going from one extreme to the other, and you don’t have one go-to putter, I’m not a fan of that.”
If you’re dead set on tinkering with putters from month-to-month or round-to-round, this is heady advice.
That being said, is changing putters at all even smart to begin with? Recently, I spoke with two-time PGA Tour winner and self-admitted putter tinkerer D.J. Trahan on the subject, and he presented a different perspective than Na.
“The best putters in the world are the guys you see putt with the same putters for the majority of their career,” Trahan says.
He has a point. Looking back at some of the greatest putters ever, there seems to be one go-to putter they employ throughout their career: Brandt Snedeker’s Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie, Ben Crenshaw’s Wilson 8802, Tiger Woods’ Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS, Jordan Spieth’s Scotty Cameron Circle T 009, Jack Nicklaus’ George Low Wizard 600, and the list goes on.
“If you look back on their career, if they switched, it might have been once in their career if they ever switched at all,” Trahan says.
So, knowing this information for himself, why does Trahan continue to change putters and search for something better?
“I would be lying to say putting isn’t the weak part of my game,” Trahan says. “So what do I do? I search a lot. And I should probably search a whole lot less than I do. I did a good job for a while putting with the same putter, and I just got a little frustrated and decided to switch. But if you do your homework, you’ll see that the best putters in the world always putt with the same putter.”
Being that I’m not a world-class putter like the Snedekers and Spieths of the world — and if you’re reading this you probably aren’t either — what are we to do? Here’s Trahan’s advice:
“Find something that you love, and don’t be a grump and switch just because you had a bad day like me,” he says.
The best way to find that one putter to stick with, of course, is to go through an extensive putter fitting with a professional fitter. Sticking with a putter that’s completely wrong for your game isn’t the answer. Get fit, and then spend time familiarizing yourself with the feel and performance of the putter. And, like Trahan suggests, don’t give up after one bad round.