Summer 2018

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2 3 4 emember when Nick Price used a series of eye-catching mallet putters to dominate the PGA Tour and win three major championships in the early 1990s? These mallets (manufactured by Ray Cook, Ram and Bobby Grace) stuck out like a sore thumb. Now it's 2018 – back to the future. "There has been a huge change in the last 10 years," said Bill Price, who runs the putter department at TaylorMade. "Blades used to be extremely dominant on (the PGA) Tour and at retail. It was like 80-20 (with blades accounting for 80 percent of the sales). Now it's 60-40 in favor of mallets." So blade usage was cut in half (from 80% to 40%), while mallet usage grew by three times (from 20% to 60%). Why have today's putters exploded in size and intricate construction? Because mal- lets, with their mammoth clubheads and intricate weighting schemes, tell a tale of stability (high moment of inertia). Price said he frequently hears a statement from Tour players: "It feels like it (the mallet putter) swings itself." A strong advocate of putter fitting, Price advises golfers to pay attention to their misses. "If you're missing more (to the) right, you might try a putter that has a minimum amount of toe hang or a putter that is face-balanced – either a single bend, double bend or center-shafted putter," he said. "If you miss left, a medium or maximum amount of toe hang could help you slow down that little bit of rotation." Here are eight putter brands to test the next time you're at the putter corral. ■ High-MOI mallet putters are big — literally — and becoming more popular all the time. R E Q U I P M E N T F O R U M 58 SUMMER 2018 | NCGA.ORG The SHAPE BY JIM ACHENBACH 1 5

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