Will Zalatoris returns from 7-month hiatus with surprising new putter
Tiger Woods isn’t the only player staging a major comeback at this week’s Hero World Challenge. Will Zalatoris is making his return, too, after a back injury (followed by surgery and extensive rehab) forced him into a seven-month layoff.
When he last played on the PGA Tour, Zalatoris was the 8th-ranked player in the world. This week at Albany in the Bahamas he’s fallen to World No. 33, but he’s returning with a newfound sense of optimism about his game, his health, and a new putter to go along with it.
The putter in question is a L.A.B. Mezz.1 MAX equipped with a propriatary graphite putter shaft from L.A.B. Golf made in partnership with TPT — the same long putter and shaft combination made popular by long-time broom user Adam Scott and the same one that helped propel Lucas Glover to win back-to-back events late in the 2023 PGA Tour season.
How the new putter happened
It’s no secret that Zalatoris has, at times, struggled with his putting. Before making it to the PGA Tour, he’d switched to an armlock-style putter made by Scotty Cameron to help solidify his stroke.
With so much time off and the inability to hit full shots, Zalatoris got curious and ordered a couple armlock putters from the L.A.B. Golf, but they ended up sending him a couple broomstick-style putters — the same style used by Lucas Glover in his recent run of good form — to go with them.
Zalatoris had been broom-curious ever since college, when one of his teammates used a broomstick-style putter. He’d messed around with a broomstick at the time but never put it into play.
“I always liked it, I just never really knew how to use it,” he said. But this time, after some trial and error, he was convinced.
Zalatoris talked about the new putter after his practice round on Wednesday. “Immediately I loved it,” he said. “Even before Lucas went on a run. The one mission I have with it is like, get my eyes directly over the ball. I can see the lines so much better.
“It’s just so much more comfortable, too. I was a streaky putter, I was always a zero strokes-gained guy but I’d miss a few short ones here and there. So far so good.”
It wasn’t instantaneous; Zalatoris admitted it took 2 1/2 months before the putter felt fully comfortable. After all, not every broom stroke is the same.
“Sam at L.A.B. really helped with understanding how to use it. Like, Bernhard [Langer] putts WAY different than Adam Scott,” he explained. “And so, like, the model is obviously Adam because it’s no hands, it’s all chest, core, back.”
He feels like his shoulders can just rotate straight back and straight through, he added, rather than introducing any feeling of around. It makes perfect sense to him, which is all that matters.
“That makes it super easy to hit my lines better. There’s even times where maybe I misstrike one or pull it or push it and the misses are just so much better.”
Will Zalatoris putter specs
We reached out to LAB Golf and learned Will’s putter specs:
Length: 44.5 inches
Lie angle: 79.5 degrees
Shaft: L.A.B Golf x TPT shaft
Sight line: Single line
Grip: L.A.B Split Grip
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