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Tiger Woods opts for lead tape on his Newport 2 rather than a heavier putter: Here’s why it makes sense

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After days of speculation about which putter Tiger Woods might end up with an attempt to tame the greens at Royal Portrush, we now officially know he settled on his old faithful GSS Scotty Cameron but with a twist—some added lead tape.

The whole reason the speculation was in high gear early in the week was because of Tiger was spotted with a new custom Scotty that had the Studio Select weights in the sole to increase head weight to help with slow greens, something Tiger has talked about in the past—especially when it comes to the greens at The Open Championship.

We can even look back a few years ago when Tiger finally put a Nike putter in play, the original Method (those were nice putters) and talked about both the increased head weight and the grooves on the face to help get the ball rolling on slower greens.

The decision to stick with the old faithful with added lead tape goes beyond just a comfort level, even if the two putters look the same at address, it’s about feel and MOI around the axis.

Let me explain. Sure the putter heads weight the same, but depending on where the mass is located it will change the MOI. The putter with the Select weights vs. lead tape in the middle will have a higher MOI because there is more weight on the perimeter of the head—it’s like a blade vs. cavity back iron. Sure, two 7-irons can weigh the same but the performance will vary significantly.

For a player with such deft feel like Tiger Woods, any change like that can could cause doubt. Tweaking an already great putting stroke and on the eve of the last major of the year is not really something you want to do, which is why it isn’t surprising he stuck with his legendary Newport 2.

Lead tape in the middle allows Tiger to increase the head weight with very little change to the natural rate of rotation for hit putter and hopefully manage the slower Portrush greens better.

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Jon

    Aug 7, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Why would the rate of closure change between the two options? That closure relates to toe hang which is determined by the CG location along the heel – toe plane and the shaft axis. If you have lead tape in the cavity or equal weights placed on the heel and toe, the CG in this plane hasn’t shifted. MOI would increase with the latter but the toe release shouldn’t change.

  2. bobbyg

    Jul 29, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Method 001 is a great putter. Wish Nike was still making clubs. There player stuff was clean and performed.

  3. s

    Jul 24, 2019 at 12:06 am

    For me heavier the putter, less worried about putting yips. All the blade putters these days feel very light in my hands yet most average golfers like me don’t have access to those professional grade fast greens. Do lighter putters have any distinctive advantages over heavier ones, besides they “may” work better on the very fast greens?

  4. Dave r

    Jul 22, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    I see it worked real well.

  5. geohogan

    Jul 22, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    I can’t imagine there being a huge amount of difference considering..
    impact of a putt is 1/1000 second.

  6. Bruce

    Jul 21, 2019 at 10:15 am

    The putter head probably weighs in excess of 300 g. Adding lead tape – even the heavy 1 g per inch is a painfully slow at to adjust weight. He could add few grams at best so we are talking 1%. You won’t feel that change, but it may adjust your head so you think it’s heavier and gain confidence.
    Also, Tiger knew his game was lacking and he was going home so why make permanent changes.

  7. Tiger

    Jul 20, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Can’t even make the cut, he needs to be worried about more than lead tape!

  8. Pelling

    Jul 20, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Tiger seems to put the lead tape in different places. Most of the time it’s on the sole, but here it is behind the face.

  9. Greg C

    Jul 20, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I own three Macgregor Bobby Grace putters, 2 M5s and one M5K with the accessory weight sets. I’m good without the lead tape.

  10. hardpan1

    Jul 19, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    I’ve always heard heavier putter for fast greens, lighter putter for slow greens…hmmm

  11. Christopher

    Jul 19, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    I can’t imagine there being a huge amount of difference considering the head is solid stainless steel. The reason MOI and COG change with irons is due to the differing materials. There isn’t a huge difference between something like Titleist MBs and CBs, it’s far greater between MBs and say the Titleist AP1 (which can move extremes around due to their construction) irons. We know that movable weights on drivers (which have the biggest difference between the weight of their head components) only move the COG millimeters.

    It would be a coin-toss between different MOI and what Tiger feels and hears with a heavier putter. I imagine it’s down to Tiger wanting to use (and look down on) old-faithful and the feel of his Ping grip and the familiarity of it’s shaft.

  12. DB

    Jul 19, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    I find it amusing that some people say use a heavier putter for slower greens and others say a heavier putter is for faster greens. Nobody can agree.

    Also his Nike putter did not have grooves cut into the face, you can even tell on the picture posted. Yes there are black lines obviously, but no actual grooves cut onto the face like the retail version.

    • Doug

      Jul 19, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      Hot dang if you’re not right about the fake grooves. You can see the milling lines going through the black.

    • MKPAPA

      Jul 25, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      The grooves were filled totally with rzn and whole face was milled. As is the case with most of the Tour Stock Method’s.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Your last ever set of irons?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Nickc who asks fellow WRXers what they would choose if their next set of irons were the last clubs they could use. Some of our members mention a range of different irons which they would love to splash out on, while others choose between a set of clubs already in their possession.

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

  • cfasucks: “If I had only 1 set to play with for the rest of my life it would probably be my 845s. They are great feeling and forgiving when I’m not at the top of my game, and they’re built like tanks.”
  • kekoa: “At this point, I’d have to choose Seven MB’s. At a price tag of about $4,000 4-PW I wouldn’t be able to afford another set.”
  • bodhi555: “That would be my VR Pros, as they do everything I need an iron to do. Feel awesome, let me get away with not being precisely on the centre of the face, look great and seem to go as far as some distance irons I’ve tried.”
  • Lumberjack627: “Think I’m going to get 790s, and that would be it for me.”

Entire Thread: “Your last ever set of irons?”

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Scotty Cameron Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases Scotty Cameron’s Albertsons Boise Open putter covers. The vibrant french fries themed covers have been receiving plenty of love from our members in our forums, with one WRXer calling the new additions their “favorite headcover in a long time.”

Here are a few posts from the thread but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say on the covers at the link below.

  • jschwarb: “Gave up french fries many months ago … this cover makes me happy and sad. I’ll probably grab one for my T22 Fastback.”
  • manVSgolf: “This is my favorite headcover in a long time. Can’t wait to receive mine. Orders are still available for Club Cameron members.”
  • chrisokeefe12: “Those are so sick would love to get my hands on one of those.”

Entire Thread: “Scotty Cameron Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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Top 10 most iconic driver and fairway wood shafts of all time

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fujikura golf shaft

If there is one thing we love as golf gear junkies, it’s driver (and fairway wood) shafts!

From the early years to today’s modern designs, materials, and profiles, there are some shafts that have maintained steady popularity—like a Ping Eye 2 lob wedge. There are a lot of graphite shafts that have stood the test of time, and they bring back memories of great driver combos gone by.

This is my top 10 list (in no particular order) of the most iconic driver shafts of all time.

Fujikura 757 Speeder

Fujikura golf shaft

Launched more than two decades ago, you could arguably say it’s the shaft that started the shaft craze. Built from advanced materials in a profile that was designed to work for stabilizing larger driver heads of the time—you know when 300cc was HUGE. The Speeder 757 was an instant hit among PGA Tour players, most notably Fred Couples, who used the shaft for over a decade and was said to have at one point remove all the remaining stock from one of the equipment vans for his personal use.

Aldila NV

Aldila NV Green golf shaft

One of the very first “low-spin monsters,” the Aldila NV took the PGA Tour and retail by storm when it was introduced. The unique green paint made it easily recognizable, and thanks to the many weights it was offered in, it was just as popular in fairway woods as it was in drivers. Honorable mention goes to its cousin the NVS (orange version) that was softer in profile and easier to launch. At a time when most off the rack drivers had three shaft options (low, medium, and high flight-promoting shafts), the NV was the staple as the low-launch option in many OEM offerings.

Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board

Diamana Blue Board - Tiger shaft

Originally very hard to find, the Diamana Blue Board was a shaft that fit a large variety of golfers. Its name was derived from the blue oval that surrounded the “Diamana” on the all silver/ion painted shaft. Just like others on the list, the Blue Board came in a variety of weight options and was made particularly popular by Tiger Woods. Best known by most shaft junkies as being extremely smooth, it is one of the first sought after shafts in the aftermarket.

True Temper EI-70

True temper graphite EI70

It’s hard to picture a classic 900 series Titleist Driver without an EI-70 shaft in it. The EI-70 was lower torque—when that was a big talking point in shaft design—and it had a fairly stout profile, which in turn made it very stable. Unlike others on the list, it was much more subdued as far as its paint and graphics, but the green shaft was a mainstay for many years on tour and in the bags or recreational golfers.

Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6/7

Tour AD Di7 Tiger orange shaft

It’s hard to figure out if it was the design and performance of the shaft or the performance of a certain golfer (a certain Mr. Woods) that to this day makes the Tour AD DI-7 so popular. Painted BRIGHT orange with a bend profile that offered a lot of stability and playability for a variety of player types, it can still be spotted on tour every week. You could call the DI-7 the grandchild of the YS6/7, which should also get an honorable mention for its well documented smooth feel.

UST ProForce

UST golf shaft gold graphite

The aptly nicknamed “Lakers Shaft” because of its original gold and purple paint job, this was another shaft that was just as popular at the retail level as it was on the PGA Tour. As driver head sizes were going up (400cc ), players were looking for stability and this offered it. The most notable player to use it was Jim Furyk, who won the 2003 U.S. Open with one in the bag.

Grafalloy Blue

Blue graphite shaft stenson

Henrik Stenson and the Grafalloy Blue in his 3-wood. Name a more iconic duo…(I’ll wait). An updated and stiffer version of the Prolite, the Blue stood out for a couple reasons—its color, and its extremely low torque. Most golfers wouldn’t consider the Blue a very smooth feeling shaft, because it took a lot of speed and a quick tempo to maximize its performance, but it did birth another shaft for average player: the Prolaunch Blue, which is still available to this day.

Matrix Ozik TP7HD

1000 golf shaft Matrix

$1,100 bucks! That was the original asking price for the Martix Ozik TP7HD. Matrix thought of this design as a concept car of shafts and threw everything they had at it including exotic materials like Zylon, and the fact that it was wrapped on a 16-sided hexadecagon mandrel. Some golfers said it had a fluid-like feel (we golfers can sure be weirdly descriptive) but it still had a LOT of stability thanks to the materials. Although never as popular as many on the list, if you did spot one of these in the wild you knew its owner was VERY serious about golf gear.

True Temper Bi-Matrix

bimatrix Bubba golf shaft

Bi (two) matrix (a surrounding medium or structure). The first and only truly notable shaft to be made from putting two very different and distinct pieces together. The bottom portion of the shaft utilizes a steel tip section that serves to add stability and additional weight. This shaft is quirky, which is something that could also be said about Bubba Watson, who has used this shaft for over a decade now in MANY different Ping drivers (although Tiger did give it a go for a short period).

Accra SE-80

ryan palmer accra 5 wood shaft

This shaft might seem like the underdog of the bunch, but if you talk to any longtime club builder and get into “vintage” aftermarket shafts, undoubtedly the Accra SE-80 is going to come up at some point. Originally launched in 2006, the SE-80 combined a very low torque rating with an active tip section to help increase launch—yet feel extremely stable. Even though this shaft design is officially a teenager now, you can still find it in the bag of PGA Tour winner Ryan Palmer, who uses it in a TaylorMade R15 5-wood.

 

Editor’s Note: Let us know any shafts you think should be included in the comment section, WRXers!

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