The putter remains one of Viktor Hovland’s most potent weapons in the bag. The 3-time PGA Tour winner hit paydirt for the second straight year in Mexico with his 36-inch Ping PLD DS 72 prototype mallet (2.5 degrees of loft; 20-degree lie angle) playing an important role.
“I would say I probably putted better throughout the whole week this year,” Hovland said. “I feel like I still hit the ball really, really well last year, but my short game was still not as sharp. I missed a few too many putts on the first two days, but over the weekend I just got really, really hot.”
“Really, really hot” would be an accurate assessment. Hovland piled up 28 birdies at El Camaleon Golf Course — a number that’ll usually increase your odds of taking home a shiny trophy and hefty check.
Unlike Hovland’s driver and irons, the putter’s specs haven’t changed since he put it in play in 2019. The 360-gram face-balanced wand — it’s counterbalanced with a Winn grip — is made from 100-percent milled carbon steel and features a patina finish that was introduced during the 2019 U.S. Open. The finish accelerates the rusting process, giving the putter head a well-worn look Hovland took to during initial testing.
“I’ve gone through some counterbalance putters in the past that I played in school, so I really like that shape,” Hovland told GOLF.com. “When I decided to sign with Ping, I stayed in that same head style but made one adjustment. There’s a line on the putter, but we also put one on the [topline] as well so the two lines match up together at address. Other than that, it’s the same head shape because that’s what I’m comfortable with. The milled insert in that putter is something that I much prefer as well. Instead of the ball melting on the face, you can feel the ball a little bit and it improved my speed.”
Hovland also chose to add topline and flange alignment lines to improve his chances of hitting the target — something he’d never done prior to using the putter.
“I’ve had different putters with those [alignment] lines,” said Hovland. “One would have a line on the topline, one would have the bottom line. So that’s where it came from. I just asked the guys at Ping if we could add both. It’s an easy way to help me line up the putter. If the top line and bottom line aren’t aligned, I know something is off.”
Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.