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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: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from 14max who asks WRXers what’s the oldest club in the bag that they regularly use. Our members list the clubs that have been playing the longest and their reasons why – with trust often playing a significant role behind their decision.

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.

  • el_rousso: “I’m still regularly playing an old (about 25+ years old) American Open 56* wedge, the grooves on it are likely too worn to be of any use but it’s still pretty much the club I trust the most around the greens, the rest of my bag is around 2005ish (irons) or 2011ish (woods and other wedges), but I recently pulled the trigger on a driver upgrade…”
  • SecondandGoal: “Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT. Made in 2007, got it for $25 on Craigslist about 4 years ago. I’ve changed every other club in the bag at least twice since then. Going to be hard-pressed to get this out of the bag.”
  • lefty1978: “I don’t always bag this club anymore. But I have a 17° Controller driving iron from around 1999. I like it because it hits low running bullets.”
  • James the Hogan Fan: “Putter- 65ish years old, Irons from 2003, Woods from 2008, Driver from 2014, Wedges from 2016, but, one from 2002. Quite the mix I’d say.”
  • ChipNRun: “A few years ago, it was a Ping Pal putter from circa 1973. I sent Ping a photo of the clubhead for verification: they said it was legit, they just couldn’t tell what batch it came from due to primitive data markings. Until about a year ago, I played Callaway X20 Tours (2008 origin); CPreO sold me a display set in 2011. Right now, the Tour Edge XRail 7W (2012) – and sometimes its brother 4W – hold the record.”

Entire Thread: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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2020 Odyssey Golf launches new Bird of Prey and Stroke Lab Ten putters

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Odyssey Golf is taking Stroke Lab technology and innovation further with the release of the all-new Stroke Lab 10 putters along with the introduction of the Bird of Prey putter for 2019 and 2020.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten Bird of prey putters golf 2020

2020 Odyssey Bird of Prey, Stroke Lab Ten putters: The details

To say Odyssey Stroke Lab putters, along with the revolutionary mass-shifting Stroke Lab shaft, have been a success both on tour and with regular golfers would be a huge understatement. On the professional side—since their introduction at the beginning of 2019 as a prototype product, Stroke Lab putters have become the number one putter on all tours and won more professional tournaments (65 to be exact) than any other brand on all tours combined.

Now, Odyssey’s General Manager Sean Toulon and his design team are looking to advance designs again with what many would call familiar shapes but with unconventional advantages.

Odyssey Stroke lab ten putter golf 2020

First off, we have the Stroke Lab Ten. And, yes, even Sean Toulon himself is willing to admit it shares similarities to a particular arachnid-style putter that he helped originally design at another OEM many years ago. But, as a modern equipment historian, I believe it’s important to point out that as much as the “arachnid” style has been popular for quite some time.

There was another putter that predates it (released in 2005), which offered an extremely high MOI design but without the catchy name: the Ping UG-LE. The UG-LE pushed mass way back and to the corners of the head to create (at the time) the highest MOI putter on the market.

But here’s the thing: Putters and material design have come a long way since the introduction of the UG-LE and the original arachnid designs, and Odyssey is here to prove golfers just how much better with the Stroke Lab Ten.

The Stroke Lab Ten’s frame is made from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene…don’t worry, I had to look it up too). Here’s a further explanation

“It is an amorphous polymer comprised of three monomers, acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. ABS is most commonly polymerize through the emulsification process or the expert art of combining multiple products that don’t typically combine into a single product. When the three monomers are combined, the acrylonitrile develops a polar attraction with the other two components, resulting in a tough and highly durable finished product. The different amounts of each monomer can be added to the process to further vary the finished product. The versatility of ABS plastic properties contributes largely to its popularity across several industry sectors.” (Thanks, Adreco plastics)

According to Sean Toulon, what the ABS material allows is maximum distribution of metal (heavy) mass parts to the back and extreme perimeter of the putter to blow past other putters’ MOI (Moment of Inertia: a measurement of forgiveness) but also in sound and feel.

“The sound and feel of this putter is special (thanks to the material advantage of ABS)”  Sean Toulon, Odyssey Putters General Manager

Beyond just the shape of the putter, the sole has been meticulously crafted to help the head aligned square when grounded towards the target in the playing position. Sean continues

“We got these putters to the point where ( with the alignment on top ) they have become point and shoot” 

There truly is a lot going on to make sure these putters do everything they can to help both regular golfers and touring professionals align properly and get the best possible result when putts are not hit absolutely perfect.

The Stroke Lab Advantage

Considering the MOI of these designs, you would think that the highest of high handicappers would be the target market, but in that assumption, you couldn’t be more incorrect. The designs of both the Stroke Lab Ten and the Bird of Prey were entirely driven by the tour and player desire to get every last bit of performance out of their putting games.

These putters will all come stock with the Stroke Lab shaft, which pulls mass from the shaft and redistributes it under the grip and into the head for even greater stabilization. Odyssey has proven that the shaft alone can help stroke consistency across the board, and the most notable stat is the 13 percent increase in face angle delivery at impact. This increases the make putt percentage, which when you think of a round of golf, equates to strokes saved.

If there is one more thing Odyssey knows about putters, it’s roll and inserts. With the new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey designs, the company is using an all-new Microhinge Star insert to increase the sound for better player feedback. Generally, inserts are used to decrease the sound, but in the case of the New Microhinge Star, engineers at Odyssey wanted to recreate more of the original sound and feel of the White Hot putter but with the added benefit of the Microhinge to increase forward roll.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Putter Insert roll Ten Bird of prey

This new Microhinge Star insert improves the correlation between the sound and expected distance a player will hit the ball—firmer means further. This is just another step in the design process put in place to help players of all abilities putt with greater consistency since without audible feedback, all players will have a more difficult time controlling distance.

The new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey putters will be available starting November 1. For more information check out OdysseyGolf.com

 

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Equipment

2020 Cobra Golf T-Rail iron hybrid set

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Cobra Golf T-RAIL

New for 2020, the Cobra Golf T-Rail (Transitional Rail) super game improvement iron—the company’s first all hollow iron hybrid set.

Cobra T Rail irons fuse a hollow, hybrid shape with an iron face and topline, with the iron-hybrid design aiming to provide golfers with the perfect blend of distance, forgiveness, and accuracy.

According to the company, the hollow body construction creates a lower, deeper CG than traditional cavity-back iron designs. The lower, deeper CG aims to aid golfers in getting the ball in the air and on line easier than conventional cavity-back irons.

Speaking on the new T-Rail irons, Tom Olsavsky, VP of R&D, Cobra Golf, stated

“T-Rail irons make it easy for beginners and golfers who have lost some distance and control to gain the confidence needed to play better and have more fun. Players who need max forgiveness and are looking for more distance will be amazed at how far and straight they hit these, even being able to get them airborne from tough lies.”

The irons feature the brand’s Baffler Rails technology which seeks to provide players with more speed and stability out of every lie through its turf interaction.

The irons also contain a high-strength, forged steel face designed with E9 technology, which includes a thin pocket from heel to toe which is intended to offer maximum ball speed and forgiveness on off-center hits.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

The new additions from Cobra arrive in a hollow, iron-hybrid construction in the 5-PW with a 4-hybrid to make a 7-piece set. The irons, which come in a black/blue colorway for men and black/lilac colorway for women, come equipped with Cobra Ultralite 50g graphite shafts (Stiff, Regular and Lite) and Cobra Lamkin REL midsize grips.

Both the Men’s and Women’s T-Rail sets will be available beginning November 1, 2019, and cost $899.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

 

 

 

 

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