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Details on the putter Bubba Watson credited for his Hero win

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After Bubba Watson won the Hero World Championship in the Bahamas this weekend, he credited a new Ping putter with a “dot system” for the three-shot win. As it turns out, the dot system is less complicated than it sounds — Watson switched to a dot alignment aid on the top rail of a new Milled Anser 1 putter instead of his typical sight line on the flange. What Watson didn’t tell us about the putter, however, turns out to be the more interesting part of the story.

The putter Bubba Watson used to win the 2014 Masters.

The putter Bubba used to win the 2014 Masters.

According to Ping’s Director of Communications Pete Samuels, the Ping team wanted Watson to try a new putter, something different than the rainbow-finished Milled Anser 1 that he used to win the 2014 Masters and has been his go-to putter ever since. So Ping milled a one-off putter to Watson’s specifications through its WRX (custom) department, which was ready for him when he arrived at Ping’s HQ in Phoenix on Nov. 19 for a video shoot.

Photo courtesy of Ping

Bubba testing the new putter at Ping HQ (Photo courtesy of Ping)

The head weight of that putter was 318 grams (the total weight was 493.5 grams), which turned out to be too light for Watson, but he liked the sight dot alignment aid he requested and asked Ping to make another one, this time heavier.

Watson watches his putter being milled to his specifications (Photo courtesy of Ping)

Bubba watches his putter being milled to his specifications (Photo courtesy of Ping)

Ping delivered the heavier model (head weight 339 grams, total weight 520.6 grams) to Watson before Thanksgiving, which proved to be slightly too heavy for his taste. The Goldilocks game ended when Watson returned to Ping HQ on Nov. 30, and the Ping team machined 10 grams of weight off the face of the putter while Watson waited, giving the putter a head weight of 329 grams (total weight 510.6 grams).

As for the finishing touches, Watson had his first and last name engraved on the bumpers of the putter with the letters painted red, white and blue. The putter measures 34.5 inches, and has 2 degrees of loft with a lie angle of 69 degrees. Watson’s grip is Ping’s PP58 Midsize Gray with three wraps of grip tape.

From Twitter (@bubbawatson)

From Twitter (@bubbawatson)

Click here to see photos of the rest of the clubs Watson used to win the Hero World Challenge.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Charlie

    Dec 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    The Nike Method 001 that Tiger uses has the same dot as well.

  2. Bill Schoneberger

    Dec 9, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Cool putter but I’m MORE interested in the Pool/Putting TABLE picture. Why the heck is it up in the air like that and what is PING learning from it??

    • Scooter

      Dec 9, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Just a guess … looks like a large slab that is precision installed to make sure the surface is completely flat, no break in any direction

  3. Alex

    Dec 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

    They way Bubba putts, the smooth swing, the square face… He can make putts with a hockey stick.

  4. Tom Duckworth

    Dec 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    All jokes aside but is that the same face pattern as a Rife putter? Is it stainless steel?

  5. Jay

    Dec 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    I want to know what finish that is because it’s not the nickel plated finish on the Anser Milled line. That putter looks great!

  6. mike

    Dec 7, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I’m still not following what the Dot Alignment has to do with his Choice of change of putters?. I agree it does look a lot like a Rife.

  7. rex235

    Dec 7, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Actually Ryan, at PING they do, but they just won’t market it.

    (See Phil Mickelson British Open, and the Callaway Mack Daddy Wedges)

    PING might offer the putter as a series, but it could be $$$$ if you want your name milled too.

    Already have 3 LH Dale Head Ansers at various weights.

    “BubbaDale” may not work.

  8. tom

    Dec 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Great info. So much for the theory that everyone should use heavier putters on faster greens. Most amateurs these days would scoff at a 339 gram head weight, saying it’s too light. Yet Bubba is playing PGA Tournamnet greens with one. Interesting.

    • Joe Duffer

      Dec 10, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Bubba’s final putter had a 329 gram head. Lighter yet and very similar to Tiger’s.

  9. MJ

    Dec 7, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    What’s the “dot system”?

    All I see is a dot on the top line. Is that the whole system?

  10. Rife

    Dec 7, 2015 at 12:12 am

    It’s a RIFE!!!!

  11. Ryan S.

    Dec 6, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    If Bubba dosn’t want the 318 gram putter I’ll gladly take it off their hands. Lefties don’t get many chances like this.

  12. Mike

    Dec 6, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Great looking flat stick!

  13. Chuck

    Dec 6, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Interesting. But of course for the retail market, where players can’t get heads milled to their weight preferences, interchangeable weights make sense.

    The thing I really wanted to know about was the groove configuration on the putter face. As people were asking in the photo thread on Bubba’s new putter, is that a new design? A mod of the current retail Ping configuration (“True Roll”) or something else? A proto design?

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Whats in the Bag

Henrik Stenson WITB (October 2020)

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Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow Prototype 6.5 62

3-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Hulk 70G 6.5

5-wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (18)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 80G 6.5

Irons: Callaway Legacy Black (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X

henrik stenson witb 2019-3-wood

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (52-10S, 58-08C)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour120 X

Putter: Odyssey White Hot #7
Grip: Garsen Max

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Wrap Cord

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GolfWRX Classifieds (10/29/20): PXG BlackJack, Toulon Garage, TP Mills custom

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member CC_Stryder – Toulon Rochester

Looking for a putter that gets its names from a city in New York state with a flow neck? Well…the name might not be exactly what you are looking for, but if a flow neck is what you are after, then look no further.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Toulon Putter

Member StillCantPutt – PXG BlackJack Putter

The newest putter from PXG at less than new price. Don’t let the seller’s name discourage you either, this thing should help you sink more putts.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: PXG putter 

Member KC_Badger – TP Mills Custom

There is something about TP Mills putters that just screams classic, timeless, masterpiece. This example is no exception with its flow next and unique finish.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: TP Mills Putter 

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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Building a home hitting net and simulator

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Golf and winter don’t get along very well, which is why so many golfers head indoors to practice facilities that offer year-round climate-controlled environments. The problem for many is these facilities can be busy and often require booking well in advance, which doesn’t work well for those seeking last-minute “driving range” flexibility.

So what is a diehard golfer to do? Build your own home hitting bay/simulator of course, and in my case build it on a budget to offer fun and flexibility all winter long.

Finding the right space

The first part of the process is accessing your wants and needs along with understanding any possible limitations your space might create. You have to consider which clubs you plan on using—and if that means hitting drivers, then you are going to need enough height and width to feel comfortable. The space I used is our garage, which is 12 feet wide and has 11-foot high ceilings, more than enough room to hit any club in the bag, and can easily accommodate both right and left-handed golfers.

Golf net and screen options

The Net Return hitting net

After figuring out your space, it comes down to selecting the best option for ease of use and flexibility—flexibility being the key ingredient in my situation. This is our only full garage bay, and if there is one thing I have gotten used to, it’s not having to clean snow off our car in the winter, so the net and mat had to be easily portable and storable.

If you are repurposing a space that won’t require flexibility, then there are a number of fantastic options including The Net Return and others that provide projector screen capability. On the highest-end, before getting into a full room renovation, Costco has a $20,000 “Sim in a box” powered by a Foresight GCQuad—let’s call this the dream scenario.

Since I have no intention of using a projector, nor do I have $20,000 just lying around, I ended up going with standard golf impact netting from Amazon: 10′ x 20′ golf impact netting, which allowed me to build my own net system which I can open or store within minutes.

The last thing to remember is you will be putting a lot of wear on a small part of the net caused by proximity, which is why if you plan to practice a lot it’s important to reinforce the impact area of the net. There is nothing more dangerous or damaging than a rubber projectile (in our case a golf ball) ricocheting around a small space at over 140 mph.

My solution was fine mesh netting from a local fabric store. It’s light enough not to put extra stress on the suspended cable supporting the net but strong enough to take a lot of abuse. The nice thing is at only $5 per yard and 60″, wide it’s very affordable and easily replaceable. An interesting thing to note, is a net doesn’t wear out specifically from just high-speed impact but from the friction of the spinning ball as it hits the net with shorter clubs, so the more layers the better.

The parts list

The list will vary depending on your situation and personal setup, but here are the tools & supplies I used when putting together my own net system.

Tools

  • Power drill and/or impact driver to drill pilot holes for the anchoring i-bolts. Since there will be a lot of tension on the supporting cable you have to be sure to put these anchors into wall studs.
  • Stud finder
  • Various size drill bits
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers or vice grips

Supplies

There are a lot of ways to secure the net and create a welcoming space to use as a practice facility but these are all the supplies I used to install and support the net.

  • Stainless steel aircraft cable (2mm) rated for 900lbs.
  • Aircraft cable clamps
  • I-bolts to secure the cable to walls
  • Turnbuckle to properly tension the cable
  • Small hooks to hold the corners of the net up and around
  • Carabiners – Climbing rated ones are unnecessary, but they need to be sturdy
  • Carpet (for noise dampening and to prevent balls hitting the floor after falling from the net)

The Mat

Beyond the net itself, this is by far the most important piece of any home hitting bay or simulator because it needs to have enough give/compression in the impact area to not cause joint or muscle pain when hitting irons and wedge. This could require you to use extra padding under the mat or purchasing a separate hitting area depending on the base it is on.

Note: At the time of publication, I am currently waiting for the soft hitting area of my mat to arrive 

Getting fancy and simulated

This is the part where we go from home hobby setup to full-blown golf nut practice facility. The options beyond a basic net setup can get pretty crazy and for data and shot information it will require a substantial investment, with the most affordable being a SkyTrak unit followed by the all-new FlightScope Mevo+. After that, we get into more expensive options like the Foresight GC2 with HMT or the newest option the GCQuad followed by the radar-based Trackman.

All of these systems can work alongside various simulator software to provide playable course options, but they all come at an additional cost depending on the company and package.

For my personal use, I already happen to own a FlightScope Xi+ (which I purchased used), which requires a minimum of 16′ from unit to net to capture data, and since I don’t have any plans for playing rounds of golf, it is the perfect solution for getting the information I want in the space I have.

So whether you are looking for a full-blown golf simulator at home or just a space to help you keep those “golf muscles” loose over the cold winter months, use this GolfWRX how-to guide as a starting point for finding the best solution for you.

The How-to Video

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