Why one of the best putters on Tour is making a significant putting change
Golfers are famous for tinkering. If something isn’t working, they will go in search of a different tactic.
Bryson DeChambeau is the most noteworthy tinkerer of the current era, toying with every aspect of his game in hope of gaining a competitive edge. But tinkering isn’t unique to the Mad Scientist. Tiger Woods is another famous tinkerer. He’s revamped his swing multiple times throughout his career, even as the trophies continued to pile up.
Add Kevin Kisner’s name to the list of PGA Tour players making changes these days. But the specific part of his game he’s changing might come as a surprise — he’s revamping his putting stroke. This change comes despite the fact that he has ranked inside the top 30 on Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting over the past five seasons.
Kisner was spotted this week at the RBC Heritage experimenting with an armlock putter, searching for a more consistent wand.
“I figured I’ve been putting pretty poorly,” Kisner said. “I just wanted to see a different look.”
For Kisner, “poorly” is a relative term. Despite his talk of struggling on the greens, he still ranks 28th this season in SG: Putting, but when you are one of the best putters in the world, any sign of a struggle can sound the alarm bells.
Kisner explained that at the Masters last week, where rounds of 72 and 77 resulted in a missed cut, he was not able to start his putts on the correct line. The issues with that gamer were so severe that he opted not to even bring the putter to Hilton Head, as he will put a new flatstick in play.
“I’ve got to start seeing some putts going in the hole,” he said. “I’ve normally been one of the best inside eight feet, and this year I’m not making it so I can’t keep the momentum of the round going when I miss a green, and then if I stuff an iron shot and miss the putt it’s really putting a drag on the whole game. If I can see this way starting on line and hitting more solid putts more consistently I think it can help overall.”
Time will tell if the change sticks, but for now, one of the best putters in the game is in search of something new.
Even the best have to make changes from time to time.