Is Tiger Woods contemplating a putter change ahead of the PGA Championship?
Tiger Woods last tested the photographed Scotty Cameron putter at the 2019 Open Championship.
Tiger Woods and his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS (affectionately known as the “Elder Wand”) go together like peanut butter and jelly. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Macaroni and cheese. You get the idea.
When a putter has played a role in 14 major victories, you don’t dare let it out of your sight.
That said, while the leash has remained long for the trusty wand, it hasn’t stopped Woods from trying out other options during his career. There was a brief departure from the putter when he was with Nike and a few TaylorMade options along the way, but Woods has always found his way back to the putter he first put in play midway through the 1999 season.
I mention all of this because images of Woods using a new Scotty Cameron Newport on Tuesday at TPC Harding Park could be much ado about nothing. Then again, any change Tiger makes — even those that occur during a practice session — is news in the world of gear. And this right here, friends, is certainly news.
So what do we now about Woods’ new wand? Not much. Woods didn’t comment on it during his Tuesday press conference and likely won’t have much to say unless it goes in the bag. Based on photos taken during a practice session, it appears to be the same Cameron putter Woods tested during the 2019 Open Championship. During the week at Portrush, Woods was seen using two putters — his usual Newport 2 (with lead tape caked in the cavity) and a nearly identical Newport 2 Timeless prototype featuring adjustable heel-toe weights.
It’s unclear why Woods is testing the Newport 2 Timeless again, but it’s worth noting the last time we saw it was at a course where the greens shaded on the slower side (for Tour standards). Woods, Koepka, Rahm and Finau made no mention of green speed during their press conferences, so it’s pure conjecture at this point.
The new putter features a red “cherry bomb” on the face with his first and last name on either side. A Titleist stamp can also be seen on the neck. Woods actually received his first look at the prototype during the 2019 PGA Championship and walked away impressed with the overall shaping. This particular prototype has more of a Tiger-esque profile with sharper lines and a more pronounced heel. The overall height appears to have been reduced slightly and the neck pushed back, something Woods prefers in his Newport 2.
As for Woods’ trusty putter, only the 15-time major winner knows where it stands at the moment. Woods could simply be testing something new with the intention of using his gamer come Thursday. Or he might be deadset on trying something different. For the moment, we all have to wait and see how this plays out.