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



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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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.



  1. Stephen Finley

    Feb 21, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Or, you could figure out what’s actually wrong with your eyeline-to-putter-to-target relationship and simply adjust your setup. Or turn your head a little as appropriate. I’m serious. Eyeline at address matters. Not all of us have a thousand bucks to try four or five different ridiculous expensive putters through four or five fittings, and I don’t know how that’s the best solution anyway.

    One wonders how Nicklaus or Jones ever could’ve made a putt without all this. And yet they did.

  2. Joe Wessendarp

    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    TaylorMade might re-think its use of “T-line” unless licensed by trademark owner.

  3. Kyle

    Jan 27, 2018 at 10:10 am

    So it takes DJ until 2018 to get the proper putter, and I’m supposed to think that means I should get fit?
    If it was that simple, shouldn’t DJ have had the right putter years and years ago? If anything, this makes me less confident a single fitting would be successful…

  4. Rybo

    Jan 27, 2018 at 7:29 am

    So DJ aimed 3.1798* to the left with the longer sight lines, seems quite reasonable from a visual perspective. And maybe his stroke path matches the 3* aim left producing a square face at his target line. Edel has been stating these visual issues for years and there have been entire books written on how different visual aspects effect performance.

    Everybody thinks Tour guys dwell over every aspect of their equipment. Nothing could be further from the truth. If something looks good and/or feels good they will put it in play. A chagne to an alignment line is a tweak compared to a change in length, lie, shaft offset, hosel location, weight, etc etc etc.

    @rusty – both stores in Naples have straight 15′ putts, just need to know where they are!

  5. TeeBone

    Jan 24, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    So the #1 player in the world can’t aim a putter unless it has a special “T” on it? I think I’d seek out an optometrist before a fitter.

  6. Kurt

    Jan 24, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    You can statically align the putter at address but the moment you start your backswing you lose all that alignment and depend on your putting stroke to realign the putter at impact.
    Might as well only have a dot over the sweet spot and hope for the best.

  7. Ian

    Jan 24, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Pretty sure the whole world calls it a T line.
    Manufacturers talk golfers like the golfer is a moron.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 21, 2018 at 11:26 am

      From a marketing perspective, all they have to do is give the buyer the impression and/or expectation of “better” and “improvement.”

      That goes double for all the complex heads, Jetsons looks, etc. I’m continually amazed at what kinds of features and designs pros seem to think they need to hit the sweet spot on a _putter_, for God’s sake.

  10. 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.

    • Christopher

      Jan 25, 2018 at 4:53 pm

      The problem with stores is they often have raised putting surfaces to test putters on, and they’re not always built for heavy traffic. So they may be flat to start off with but they often wander as they get older (as they’re not on solid surfaces) and see more use. Obviously there are some exceptions, but if you can find a store with a flat training aid to practice three footers that will give you feedback, you should be able to find what suits you best (if you don’t have a local fitter).

  11. 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.

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 21, 2018 at 11:36 am

      And I have a question or two for the alternative _and_ original solutions:

      1. Since even the swinging of a putter is on not a straight line but an arc, how does a straight line on the putter not interfere with that and even influence a player to take the putter back on an inappropriate straight line that is out of whack with what the human body does and how a putter swings in plane?

      2. For people who put lines on balls, what happens when you’re two degrees off from, say, 15 feet in setting the ball perfectly on line? Do you back off and reset if you notice it? How does it not complicate things (and slow down play) to put yourself in a situation where now you have one more task during a putt, and if you get it wrong, presumably you’re almost guaranteed to miss the putt? And how do you make the straight line on the ball match up with the curving arc of a properly swung putter?

      I’m seriously asking.

  12. 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.

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 21, 2018 at 11:41 am

      “Naughty bag.” I love it. Gotta remember that. I’m still using two of the same forged-blade putters — an Old Master 8802 replica and a MacGregor George Low copy — I was using as a plus-2 in my 20s and then as a pro (for a while, both teaching and playing), but I’ll confess thinking about a new putter on the odd week and taking the current putter into the shop just to show it that there were other pretty girls too, and it could be replaced. Always seemed to do the trick.

      The rest of your post is so right, too. One wonders how this over-over-triple-overkill approach to fitting could ever apply to even an avid and skilled player who wasn’t endlessly sponsored and funded.

  13. 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

    • Stephen Finley

      Feb 21, 2018 at 11:42 am

      You can say _that_ again. Nothing like presuming endless funding on the part of players who work for a living.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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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WRX Spotlight Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3



Product: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

Pitch: The TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3 is a stronger-lofted version of the standard TaylorMade M5 3-wood. The Rocket is 14 degrees. The standard M5 is 15.

Our take on the TaylorMade M5 Rocket 3

“WOW, you really hit that 3-wood like a rocket!”

” Not like a rocket… an actual Rocket!”

The beloved 3-wood. A favorite club of both average golfers and pros alike, a club that many will hold onto well after what some might consider their “best before” date. But with new options and improved technology, these old faithfuls are getting the boot quicker for a lot of reasons including the ability to better dial in a fit and help minimizing misses.

Since making a club faster off the middle is becoming more and more difficult thanks to the limits set forth but the USGA, OEMs are changing the way we think about clubs and putting a greater focus on decreasing dispersion and optimizing misses. TaylorMade is doing this with TwistFace, which was originally introduced in drivers a generation ago, and has now been included in the M5 and M6 fairway woods.

I got to spend some time with the knowledgeable crew at TaylorMade Canada in their new indoor facility just north of Toronto (lets call it Kingdom North) In that time, we went through a driver fitting, and then to the new M5 fairway woods to try and replace one of my oldest faithfuls: a 14-degree SLDR Tour Spoon. To say I have a unique ability to elevate a fairway wood is something that even my fitter was a little surprised by. My numbers with my cranked down to 12 degree (measured) fairway off the deck were good but could be improved. I can hit it both ways (as much as a 6-handicap can actually claim that) but my trusted go-to shot is a slight fade with some heel bias contact because of my swing. I am willing to sacrifice some distance but usually hit it where I want.

What I saw at the end of the fitting was a club that produced longer shots along with a tighter dispersion without having to make or to try and make any changes to my swing. The final fit was a 14-degree “Rocket” M5 fairway set to 12 degrees. It beat out my SLDR by a total of nine yards, which is an increase of just over a total of three percent, including an additional six yards of carry.

To say I was honestly surprised would be an understatement. The SLDR TS is a club that the first time I hit it I went WHOA! Low spin, workable, looks exactly how I want that club to look (small and compact). You can see from the numbers below when it works it works.

Why does TwistFace work?

Let’s explain and get a little deep in the technology weeds for a second. Bulge and roll is not a new concept. In fact, it would be a lie to claim that all OEMs haven’t done something similar to this is the past or played with these two variables to help golfers hit better shots. Fact: Every OEM optimizes the bulge and roll on their clubs to increase speed and maximize performance. Tom Wishon actually had a line of woods at one point that went the other way had VERY limited roll from the top tine to the sole. With this design, more loft on the bottom of the head helped players who miss low or need help elevating the ball off the deck increase launch and spin. It worked. Cobra also has what it calls E9 technology to tweak bulge and roll to help maximize the speed and forgiveness of their woods. It also works.

What makes TaylorMade’s TwistFace different is that it is the most aggressive iteration of this bulge and roll tweaking yet, and by introducing it into the fairway woods and hybrids, it’s proving to be a winner — even for this now-proven wrong skeptic.

At the end of the day, the M5 Ti “Rocket” was a measurable improvement over my previous 3-wood. Now it would be disingenuous to say “if you aren’t using TwistFace in your fairway woods you’re not maximized,” but if you are someone that struggles with fairway wood dispersion and looking to find some extra distance for taking on par-5s, taking a look at the new M5 and M6 fairway woods as part of your next fitting should be very high on your list.


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Forum Thread of the Day: “Low handicapper switching to game improvement irons”



Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jasonTel3 – a low handicap player who plays blades but who has had his head turned by game improvement irons. According to jasonTel3, every ball was hit straight when testing out a set of Ping G400’s at a simulator, and he’s been asking fellow members for advice on whether he should make the move to GI’s.

Here are a few posts from the thread discussing jasonTel3’s conundrum, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • balls_deep: “My first thought is to say don’t do it.. but then if you’ve hit them, liked them, and the numbers were right, it could be a good option. A friend I play with uses G400 and they have too much offset for my liking. I also don’t like that you can see the cavity on the 4 and 5 iron. Top line is actually very nice for a SGI iron. I just read the Ping Blueprint article on Golf Digest where they were talking about how some players hit small heads better. I definitely fall into that category. That said, I just ordered a set of i210 to try as I had really good luck with the i200 and should never have sold them. Have you tried the newer I series? IMO it’s GI help in a players look with an acceptable sole width. Long story short though – if you felt comfortable and the fit was right, why not try them? If you don’t work the ball a ton, I don’t see any issue with it. High and straight is a good way to go!”
  • hammergolf: “I’ve been playing Ping G25’s for 6 years. Still can’t find anything I like better. I can hit any shot I need to whether it’s my stock draw, fade, high, or low. And when I hit it a little thin, or on the toe, it still lands on the green. My thought is why play golf with a club that will punish you for mishit when you can play one that will help you.”
  • azone: “Everyone has an opinion, and here is mine. If you are/have been a good ball striker with a sound mental game, your mind will keep writing checks your body may not be able to cash as you get older or don’t practice enough. Those “ugly” forgiving irons look beautiful when a miss ends up on the green, and you are putting– not in rough or deep in a short side bunker. Those irons won’t be AS ACCURATE as, say, a blade, BUT if you aren’t as dependable as in the past, your results will be better. I used to keep two sets of blueprinted irons; blades for practice and CB for play. I play with guys that have cashed checks playing…and they don’t care how ugly the iron is.”
  • Jut: “As a decent player (and ball striker) and a sweeper/picker (I could hit off of a green and not take any landscape with me), I’ve found much success with the F9s (which, with the wide sole, are very similar to the G410 irons). In the past 4 years I’ve gone from Mizuno MP-68 to Callaway Apex CF16 to Ping i500 (a brief and bad experience) to the Cobra F9’s. For what it’s worth, the Cobras have been the best of the bunch by far.”

Entire Thread: “Low handicap going to game improvement irons”

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WRX Spotlight: Stitch headcovers



Product: Stitch headcovers

Pitch: From Stitch: “Your game should match your style. At Stitch, we aim to merchandise our line of products so you can easily put together items that not only match your bag and what is it in it, but also match your style and personality. We want to make it easy for you to have a unique and color-coordinated golf bag. We have designed unique products that have defined color schemes so that choosing which items to put in your bag becomes easier. We aim to provide you with various looks, mixing and matching our head covers to give you confidence that the purchase you make for your bag will take you to the course in style. Let us help you dress your game.”

Our Take On Stitch Headcovers

Stitch is a relatively new company – founded in 2012. The company initially only created premium headcovers but has grown into so much more, with all sorts of golfing accessories now on offer on their site Their bags, in particular, are now some of the most popular amongst golfers, with the quality and uniqueness provided leading multiple Tour players to sport them in tournament play.

That sign of quality in the bags bodes well for what the company was founded on – their headcovers. Stitch provides both leather and knit headcovers in a variety of designs that do as good a job as any in covering the needs of all golfers.

Stitch describes the companies Monte Carlo headcover as being their “classic, timeless design”, and for those looking for that vintage style to add to their set up then they can’t go wrong with this headcover. A mainstay in the likes of multiple tour winner Paul Casey’s bag, the Monte Carlo headcover, as with all of the companies leather covers, is hand-crafted from 100% leather and is both water and stain resistant. The cover comes in four color codes: Black, White, Navy and Red, and at $68 is the most affordable of all their leather headcovers.

Other options in the leather department range from their intricately designed Camo cover which comes in a multiple color design, as well as Stitch’s tribute to “The King”, through their Arnold Palmer headcover.

The AP cover comes in a minimalist black with white stripes for a classic feel, but it also comes in a white color code decorated with red, white and yellow stripes which, for myself at least, looks even more alluring. Part of an exclusive collection, the only issue with the AP cover is that only those located in the U.S. are currently eligible to get their hands on one. But for those in the states, the company is now offering a set of three AP leather covers for $128 instead of $298 should you use the code APLEATHERS on their site.

From their Tour Racer, USA, Shamrock and Bonesman editions, Stitch provides a great choice when it comes to their leather covers, and as previously mentioned, all are hand-crafted from 100% leather, water and stain resistant and will assure an excellent fit on your clubs.

Stitch also provides knit headcovers which contain not only excellent designs but also the same quality which has gone into their leather covers. All of the companies knit covers are made from Techno Wool, which is 100% acrylic and designed in order for your clubs to stay entirely dry. Another feature of the knit covers from Stitch is their smart fit design which ensures all of the covers retain their shape over a long period, as well as providing for a cover that will reliably stay on your club.

The knit covers from Stitch cost $68 ($72 for the limited AP cover), and there are currently seven different designs available to choose from over at The leather covers are, unsurprisingly, a little pricier, but still very affordable, ranging from $68-$98. The covers deliver in both style and performance, and for a relatively new company, it speaks volumes that the likes of Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau and many more tour pros are now sporting the company’s creations.



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19th Hole