AUSTIN, Texas — Fortitous bounces and putts that catch the edge and drop tend to be the difference between sitting in the press center discussing a victory on Sunday evening or going home with the runner-up check. The little things matter at the highest level of professional golf, which is why pros tend to analyze things to the nth degree when something feels off.
That includes the gear in their bag.
For a majority of his peers, Xander Schauffele’s issues with the putter wouldn’t be categorized as a full-on problem. Ranked 70th in SG: Putting entering the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Schauffele hadn’t finished outside the Top 70 in SG: Putting since he joined the PGA Tour in 2016. While he wasn’t ready to make a wholesale change to his putter, Schauffele was open to the idea of seeing what else was out there.
“He still wanted to stay in the same head shape,” said Odyssey Tour rep Joe Toulon. “It was more about changing up the visuals a bit and seeing if that helped.”
Schuaffele’s Odyssey O-Works Red #7 CH is impossible to miss on the course due to the red paint on the head. But last month, Schauffele started rolling putts with a silver version of the winged mallet and noticed the contrast between the finish and white seemed to fit his eye better at address.
“It wasn’t as noticeable as the contrast between the red paint and white insert,” Toulon said. “The silver and white seemed to look better to him, as did the alignment.”
Instead of shaking up the alignment lines affixed to the top of the head, Schauffele chose to change the color of the paint, going from a bright white to a black that popped against the silver finish. In the end, the black paint on one line, in particular, sold Schauffele on the White Hot OG #7CH.
“It was that small line on the topline,” said Toulon. “He was already using a black line on the sidestamp of the ball, so the addition of a black alignment line on top made him feel like that line extended from the putter to the ball. For him, it was all about helping with alignment.”
Since he made the change, Schauffele has logged two top-15 finishes in his last three starts. With the Masters on deck, the return of Schauffele’s ever-reliable putter couldn’t have come at a better time.
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.