The hilarious story behind Jordan Spieth’s famous Scotty Cameron 009 putter
Andrew Tursky and Titleist
When getting custom fit for a new golf club, a golfer’s goal should be to remain open-minded and find the club that works best for their game. The point of custom fitting is to improve your golf game, after all.
While this particular story does not necessarily set a great example of that, it does add a layer of fascination to Jordan Spieth’s famous putter.
You may already know that Spieth has used the same Scotty Cameron 009 prototype putter since 2009 when he was still a junior golfer, but did you know how the putter actually ended up in his bag in the first place?
Speaking with Scotty Cameron tour rep Drew Page, Spieth recently explained how it happened in all its hilarity.
Back when Spieth was in 8th grade – well before he won his first-of-two U.S. Junior Amateur titles (2009 and 2011) – he took a trip to the Scotty Cameron putter gallery in Southern California to get fit for a putter.
Prior to going to the gallery for the first time, though, Spieth went in with some preconceptions about what kind of putter he wanted.
His favorite players at the time – Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy – were using high-end Scotty Cameron 009 custom tour models. (The “009” is a reference to a San Diego area zip code, and those models are more sought after due to their rarity, soft carbon steel material, custom stampings, and shapes.) Even more influential, however, were Spieth’s junior golf buddies who encouraged him to get a putter made from German Stainless Steel (GSS). The GSS material, most notably, is what Tiger Woods’ Newport 2 prototype putter is made from, and those putters come with a hefty price tag.
“Adam Scott had a 009, Geoff Ogilvy was putting with a 009, those were like my favorite players, but I really wanted to go in and get a GSS, because my friends at the club I grew up at were like, ‘Dude, this is like a $5-10,000 putter; this is German Stainless Steel, it’s soft, it’s what Tiger uses, it’s what all the pros were using,” Spieth said.
“I wanted to be open to maybe what would be the best for me, but in the back of my mind… we didn’t try a GSS for like the first 3 or 4 putters that I was hitting there, and I was like, ‘Hey, do you care if I try one of those [GSS putters]? I just kind of want to see the feel.’”
Although his heart was set on a GSS putter, and he tried to assert his intentions, Spieth ended up with a Scotty Cameron Teryllium 1.5 putter with a chrome finish. That putter had a short flow neck, which helped Spieth release the putter better throughout his stroke. You can actually see Spieth roll a few putts with that Teryllium 1.5 putter in the YouTube below from when he was 14 years old.
The Teryllium 1.5 putter stayed in Spieth’s bag from 8th grade into high school, and helped him win the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
When Spieth went back to the Scotty Cameron gallery later in the fall of 2009, however, he had his sights on a 009 putter with a Triple Black finish. Remember, his favorite players growing up – Scott and Ogilvy – had a 009 putter.
The problem was, Spieth didn’t need a new putter. He was draining putts with his Teryllium 1.5 putter, and the Triple Black 009 putter wasn’t giving him as much success.
That’s when Spieth took matters into his own hands.
As Spieth admits, he was “trying to justify” that the new 009 putter was better, and even tried to “manipulate the stroke a little bit” with his old putter so that it didn’t appear perfect for him already. He was trying to miss putts with his old putter on purpose to get a 009 putter!
In the end, it actually worked. Spieth walked away with his coveted Scotty Cameron 009 Triple Black putter, and the rest is history.
After switching into that 009 putter, Spieth won a 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur, and then he won 12 PGA Tour events including three major championships. Yes, all with the same putter.
Spieth and his 009 putter have been through a lot, and the wear-and-tear on the putter shows.
“It’s not Triple Black anymore, it’s almost like chrome on the bottom now, and it’s pretty rusty,” Spieth said. “It’s got its nicks, but whenever I switch to something else for a day and I look back at my putter, it just has that look to it that’s just been great for me.”
Spieth has, actually, tried other putters throughout the years. He’s used mallets, and other versions of Scotty Cameron Newport-style putters. But nothing has stuck. Spieth says he owns around 15 Scotty Cameron putters – some are completely different style heads to what he uses now, and others are backup options to his 009 – but he always comes back to “old trusty.”
While everything has worked out for Spieth with his 009 putter, remember(!), Spieth’s story is the exception, not the rule. His 009 putter ended up working for him and earning him millions of dollars, but not all golfers will get that lucky. When going into a fitting, my advice is to keep an open mind and don’t work the system. You’re only hurting yourself and your scores by not purchasing the clubs that are perfectly tailored to your game.
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