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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 part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture 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

What GolfWRXers are saying about trying single-length irons after Bryson DeChambeau’s U.S. Open win

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In our forums, our members have been discussing a ‘single length iron re-boot’. WRXer ‘disco111’ asks fellow members if anyone is now going to adopt the single-length iron strategy following Bryson DeChambeau’s incredible recent play, and WRXers have been having their say on the single length approach.

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.

  • Lobber: “I played one length for a bit and actually did quite well with them. But I think the real key to success is bulking up and adding 40 lbs!”
  • puttingmatt: “I would say try them, to each his own. That said, thinking success in the professional ranks rarely passes down to the everyday amateur, especially in equipment. I would suggest golfers stop comparing themselves to the professional players, and while you may think you can play like the new U.S. Open champion with clubs like these, reality, begs to differ.”
  • sdedalus23: “I set about this summer to make the game easier through club setup. To do so, I was going to either get the cobra forged tec blacks one length or the Ping G410’s. I went with the one lengths (4-G) to give them a try. I haven’t found problems with gapping thus far, but the short irons are a bit of a challenge. I am a high ball hitter, and they hit it incredibly high; so high that I have had a bit of a problem in the wind. I also found that my 54 and 60, which are still variable length, became less consistent with half shots due to the differences in length. Overall, my scores haven’t changed much (still mid to low 70’s) as they are generally predicated on how I am driving the ball because my iron play generally sucks. “
  • scotterhd2: “This thread got me. Have a set of F8 OL irons in the backup bag. Just ordered a JumboMax Ultralite grip. I think I’m going to put it on the PW and give them another test.”

Entire Thread: “Single length re-boot”

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotted: PXG Blackjack putter

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Bob Parsons has always done things his own way, and just a little bit earlier today he hit send on an Instagram post that debuted a brand new PXG putter—the Blackjack, a high-MOI “winged” design featuring a wrap-around tungsten weight bar to boost forgiveness.

Since that debut earlier today, the putter and all of the details surrounding it are now live at PXG.com

View this post on Instagram

Ready to get lucky? Our amazing new Blackjack Putter launches on 10.13 but I'm giving you and a friend the chance to win one before you can buy it! To enter, like this post, then you and a friend both follow me here. Then, include your friend’s Instagram handle (including the @) in the comments section of this post. MAKE SURE YOU And YOUR FRIEND BOTH FOLLOW ME! If both of you don't follow me, it's not an official entry. That's it! You're in! 10 people will win PXG's all new Blackjack putter (5 contestants plus their nominee). 1 of those contestants will *also* win a full bag of custom fit, latest generation #PXG clubs plus $1,000 just for fun! Jackpot baby! Here are the details: Employees and 3rd party contractors of PXG are NOT eligible. Sorry! Winners will be drawn 9.29, 10.2, 10.6, 10.9, 10.13. The winning entry drawn on 10.13 will take home not only Blackjack Putter, a FULL BAG of PXG clubs, and $1,000. Some restrictions do apply. Grand prize goes to both individual posting here and the friend. Click the link in my bio to read the rules and good luck! #PXGTroops #GolfLife. @PXG. Nobody makes golf clubs the way we do. Period!

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If there is one underrated part of PXG’s club lineup, it’s the company’s putters. They pack a lot of technology into both traditional-style putters and more modern designs.

Technology

  • Optimized face pattern – Like with previous PXG putters, the pyramid face pattern optimizes the ball speed across the putter face by reducing speed on center strikes while also retaining speed towards the heel and toe, all providing a soft feel. The face ensures consistency in all parameters that affect roll including; initial ball velocity, launch angle, spin rate, and skid.
  • Tungsten weighting – For maximum stability, the putter has an added tungsten frame along the perimeter to boost MOI and create a deeper center of gravity. The Tungsten works alongside the lightweight aluminum frame to remove mass away from the center while still having ports for weight customization.

Specs, price, and availability

Based on Mr. Parsons’ post, the putter will be available for order starting October 13th, although a retail price has not been set yet. Like other putters in the PXG line, it will come with a number of hosel configurations, and thanks to the adjustable weighting, it can be built exactly to the desired spec.

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Whats in the Bag

Payne’s Valley Cup: Woods, McIlroy, Thomas, Rose WITBs

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Tiger Woods WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 60 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15  @14.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 @18.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (3-PW)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 TW/MT Grind (56-12, 60-11)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS Newport 2
Grip: Lamkin Deep Etched Pistol Cord

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord 58R

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

Rory McIlroy WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 degrees @8.75)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange AV Raw 75 TX (45.5 inches, D4)

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM (14 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw White 85 TX

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max (17 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Black 105 6.5

Irons: TaylorMade P7MB (4-PW)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 7.0 (6.5 in PW)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-9SB, 56-12SB, 60-08LB)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (34.25, 2.5 loft, 70 lie)

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (58R 1+1, logo down)

Justin Thomas WITB

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9.5 degrees, B1 setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana TB Prototype 60 TX (44 7/8”)

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Blue 85 TX

5-wood: Titleist 915 Fd (18 degrees @18.75, C3 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4), Titleist 620 MB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Raw SM7 (46-10F @47.5, 52-12F @52.5), Vokey SM8 (56-14F @57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60T @ 60.5)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (46), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (52-60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron X5.5 Tour Prototype
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Justin Rose WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees @14.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi D+ Limited 80 TX

5-wood: Cobra SpeedZone Tour (17.5 degrees @16.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P770 (4) TaylorMade P7MC (5) TaylorMade P730 (6-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 Raw (50-12F, 56-08M, 60-06K)
Shaft: Project X 6.5

Putter: Axis1 Rose Proto

Grips: Lamkin Rose Custom

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 ‘19 (Gold #99)

 

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