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DJ’s new putter has a “T-line,” and the reason explains exactly why you need to get fit

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In 2017, Dustin Johnson used a TaylorMade Spider Tour Black that had no sightline on the crown. At the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions — where he happened to win by 8 strokes — DJ had two, perpendicular sightlines on his Spider putter; TaylorMade calls it a T-line. And if the reason why he changed putters doesn’t explain why you need to get fit, I’m just not sure what does.

Here’s what happened in an account from TaylorMade:

“[Dustin Johnson] was struggling with his putting end of last season, punctuated by his lost lead in China after struggling on the greens. Keith Sbarbaro [his fitter and VP of Tour Relations] met with him in Carlsbad at the putter lab to solve his woes. The Tour team built 12 identical Spider Tours, each with different sight lines (long, short, dots, etc.). He hit 5 putts (flat, 15 footers) with each sightline in the lab. The putters with the long lines he was aiming upwards of 10 inches left of the hole. The short line model(s) he lined up left edge. The one he used all last year with no line was 1 inch left of center, but the “T-line” model was right at dead center nearly every putt…”

It’s amazing to me that the World No. 1 golfer, who won four times in 2017, could be aiming upwards of 10 inches left of the target. I don’t care if it’s an old-school 8802-style putter with no sightline, that’s eye-opening to hear a golfer of his caliber can be that far off with his aim from 15 feet. It just goes to show how much the look of a putter, and the alignment lines, can have an affect on your aim. And it also explains to us mortals that we should be doing the same test for ourselves before buying a putter.

Apparently, DJ needs a “T-line” to aim properly. But every golfer is different. Next time you have access to a putter fitting, or any alignment feedback device, take advantage of it. Try different putters, models, styles and sightlines to see what works best for you… it just may save your putting.

Related: Dustin Johnson’s Winning WITB from the 2018 Sentry TOC

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Jerry

    Jan 14, 2018 at 6:04 am

    Hard to believe DJ was not properly fit for aim previous to this year – shame on his fitter. If he done an Edel fitting, he would have known how the shape, hosel, offset, and slghtlines affect aim – sightlines are subtle changes to your aim.

  2. dlygrisse

    Jan 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I have often believed most of the obnoxious alignment aids you see on putters now days do more harm than good. I have always putted best with a small line or dot.

  3. Rusty

    Jan 10, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Honestly, two largest PGA superstore, Golf Galaxy (former Golfsmith) in Naples Florida doesn’t have STRAIGHT putting surface from 15 feet. Each putt brakes from 15 feet. It amaze me each store has 500 different putters to sell and they can not make putting area absolute level. Any idea how to fit/test 15 putters? Anyway, you need perfect facilities to do that.

  4. Realist

    Jan 9, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    I have a much cheaper alternative.
    1.) Put a line on the ball
    2.) Line the ball up with your aiming spot/point
    3.) Use whatever putter you own and just line the ball line up to putter line

    Putting 101 – No gimmick edition

    • Jerry

      Jan 14, 2018 at 6:00 am

      The line on the ball does not work for a lot of people. In other words, it probably will not work for most. The eyes play tricks on you, and everyone sees things uniquely.

  5. Steve

    Jan 9, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    What makes me laugh about this is, where can an amateur golfer find a fitter, who will make them 12 different versions of a specific putter they like just for fitting purposes. The best putter fitting I’ve experienced is for an Edel which I bought just over a year ago, it was awesome but we have since fell out and it’s in the naughty bag. However the next putter I bought was still based on what was found in the Edel fitting and we getting along well at the moment. Also don’t think I’m a poor putter who’s looking for his next fix, according to my stats recorded on garmin gps I averaged 30 putts per round last year, which isn’t bad for a 7 handicap. I think proper fitting for amateurs for any club can be a difficult thing to find (In the UK anyway).

    • KJ

      Jan 9, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      Exactly Steve. It’s not exactly “available” in the US either. In fact, the article states, “…it also explains to us mortals that we should be doing the same test for ourselves before buying a putter.” Huh? Is this author trying to tell me I can go into my local PGA Superstore and receive the same, or even remotely similar, care and treatment that DJ received from his TaylorMade rep? In all likelihood, I couldn’t receive this kind of treatment and consideration from my local pro, who would usually do adequate to good clubfitting. Does putter fitting make sense? Yes. Is it readily available for an amateur handicap golfer? Not really. I only know one pro anywhere near me who could perform putter fitting — Todd Sones — and his approach is more focused on length, lie angle, and type of putterhead recommended relative to a player’s natural path. I doubt even he would have anything that would replicate a “putter lab” with laser-type aiming analysis.

  6. Sam

    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:09 am

    This site is turning into Golf Digest, every other article is about how you need to buy the latest because your gear is too many weeks behind

  7. dbleAGLE

    Jan 9, 2018 at 8:53 am

    When spinter muscles tighten over that 3′ rt to lt breaking putt to win the hole all alignment marks on the putter fade out and it comes down to being mentally strong & making a good stroke without jabbing at it.

  8. Vince Ja

    Jan 9, 2018 at 5:22 am

    C’mon, the putter alignment is a false hood…if you rely on something visual behind the club face youre a fool. VJ

  9. Philip

    Jan 8, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    A golf putting fitting doesn’t need to be a special facility or professional – a golfer just needs to be objective and honest with themselves when they practice on a decent green (not a fake store putting green) so they they can decide on their gaming putter (of course, having a collection of 16 different types of used putters to go through at different lengths helps me out a lot), but I always come back to my favourite 2-3 putters. The thing is – we change over time and one should be double-checking regularly to ensure that they haven’t picked up bad habits or the speed of the greens have changed enough to make their gamer putter start working against them. That all being said – I have been trying for a few seasons to set up a putter fitting with a relatively close Edel facility, but they never respond – I think this year I’ll go over to the course and see if the facility listed on their website is still in operation – my 2018 golf season present to myself :o)

  10. COGolfer

    Jan 8, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Unfortunately, for most of us putter fitters are harder to find than driver/iron fitters. I believe Club Champion does have fittings, but haven’t heard much about the process or results.

  11. steve

    Jan 8, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Here’s the problem and more confusion.
    The sight line parallel to the putting line is only useful at static address, not during the putting stroke while looking at the ball.
    With only a sight line perpendicular to the putting line you must visualize a putting line that is perpendicular to the putter face.
    In either case, the path of your putting stroke overrides all static alignments. DJ’s “T-line” is a personal preference that seems to help him with poor address alignment.
    It’s puzzling because when you are standing at address and trying to align the putter you are gazing sideways for a putting line which is optically problematic. Oh, well ….

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Fujikura launches new Pro 2.0 and Pro 2.0 Tour Spec shafts

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Fujikura has announced the launch of the second generation of its Pro series shafts: the Pro 2.0.

The first iteration of the Pro shafts were designed with a soft handle section to aid in loading. The Pro 2.0 presents an even more effective loading zone, according to the company, which also says torsional stiffness is 14 percent greater in the 2.0.

“Like all of our shafts, the Pro 2.0 has been designed utilizing enso, a 3D motion-capture technology that no one else in the shaft industry has,” said Alex Dee, Vice President at Fujikura Composites America.

“This technology and advanced data analytics has allowed us to crack the code on how club performance and ball flight are affected by shaft characteristics and swing type. When we compared to the original Pro, we saw the 2.0 was significantly easier to swing, had tighter shot dispersion, and lower spin to deliver the club head with more power, control and distance. We were thrilled with the result.”

The Pro 2.0 is painted “Destroyer Grey” with a metallic blue design in line with the original Pro shaft. The Tour Spec model is painted “Tour Spec White.”

The shafts will be available in weight ranges from 57 to 87 grams (5, 6, 7, 8) and in flexes starting at R2 up to X. $225 MSRP; $250 for the Tour Spec model. Hybrid option available for $140.

Available at over 600 qualified Fujikura charter dealers beginning February 1. Full specs at Fujikura.com.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Pro 2.0 in the forums.

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Fred Couples signs with Bettinardi, will continue to use FCB putter

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Fred Couples has been using his namesake Bettinardi putter, the FCB (Fred Couples Blade), for the past four years. Now, he’s officially joining Bettinardi’s Tour staff.

Couples, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour Champions, will putt exclusively with the company’s flatsticks.

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

“I’m really looking forward to representing Bettinardi and its beautiful range of hand-made putters, as they always give me great confidence when I’m standing over putts,” said Fred. “Having won 5 times already with a Bettinardi putter, there’s nothing I’d rather be putting with.

Couples averaged 1.70 putts per hole when playing in 12 events with the Bettinardi wand last year.

“Having Fred Couples join our Tour staff is a massive endorsement for Bettinardi Golf,” said founder Robert Bettinardi. “We’re so proud and excited to welcome him to our growing Tour staff. I’m sure he will prove to be a great ambassador for our brand, as he attracts huge crowds and media attention wherever he plays.”

Here’s a look at Boom Boom’s FCB putter.

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Odyssey’s new EXO 2-Ball, Works Red and Black, and Toulon putters

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There’s one thing Odyssey has never struggled with: giving golfers options. Today, the company launched a trunk-full of new putters, including eight Works Red and Black putters, Toulon Atlanta and Portland models, and an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball putter that gives the classic 2-ball design a very new, and premium look.

Most of the new putters, actually, are mallets. More specifically, they are mallets that Odyssey says feel like blade putters; that’s because they’re made with toe hang (like a blade putter) rather than face-balanced designs of typical mallets. Toe hang frees up the face of a putter to open and close, a stroke-style that many golfers employ — amateurs and pros alike.

According to Austie Rollinson, chief designer of Odyssey, there’s been a trend of blade users on Tour switching into mallets because of this toe hang, and that will continue to happen. Odyssey says that of the PGA Tour wins last year, 29 winners used mallets — 14 of those were mallets with toe hang — while there were 20 blade winners. Also, of the top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting, 31 players used mallets, 13 of which were toe-hang mallets, and 19 players used blades.

Therefore, many of the new putters from Odyssey are toe-hang mallets. Check out all of the new putters below, with info on design, pricing and release dates.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new putters here

Odyssey Works Red and Black putters

 

The new Works Red and Black putters — adding on to the line of putters released in 2017 — continue to use microhinge face inserts that are designed to “grab” the ball to impart more topspin on the golf ball to get it rolling faster. The new offerings launched today include a No. 1 Wide S, No. 1 Tank, No. 7 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, Marxman S, Jailbird Mini and Jailbird Mini S.

They will sell for $199 with a standard Winn AVS midsize pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke grip starting on February 23.

See more photos and join the discussion about the Works Red and Black putters here.

Odyssey EXO 2-Ball

The new EXO 2-Ball, made with Rose Gold PVD, is a premium version of the iconic 2-ball shape. It’s CNC-milled with a microhinge insert, has an aluminum crown with a steel sole plate and Tungsten in the rear portion of the head. The EXO 2-ball also has black circles instead of the familiar white color for which 2-balls are known.

According to Odyssey, it’s a “statement product,” and it will only sell 5,000 of these putters globally. They will sell for $499.99 starting on February 2.

Odyssey says: “Our new Odyssey EXO 2-Ball is a premium limited edition putter unlike any we’ve ever offered. It combines one of the game’s most innovative and iconic putter designs with top-notch materials and meticulous production to create something truly special.”

Toulon Atlanta and Portland

Odyssey’s premium putter brand continues dipping its toes in the mallet style with its new mid-mallet Atlanta and Portland models. They have gunmetal finishes and are 100-percent milled from soft, 303 stainless steel. They also have Toulon’s familiar diamond-milled faces for improved roll.

The Atlanta and Portland models will sell for $399.99 apiece and hit retail on February 2.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Toulon Atlanta putter here

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