Tiger Woods' comeback at the Hero World Challenge is obviously the story of the week. The month. Maybe even the year.
But Will Zalatoris' comeback has its fascinating elements, too. Especially because when he returned, he did so with an entirely new-look putting stroke. Gone was the armlock putter he had used since turning pro in 2018, and in was a new L.A.B. broomstick putter, that has recently helped propel Adam Scott and Lucas Glover past their putting woes.
Golf.com's Dylan Dethier asked Zalatoris about it, who said that the method helps him "see the lines" better, which makes him feel more comfortable.
But from a technical perspective, this has the potential to be a great move for Zalatoris', because it's an ideal fit to counteract a technical tendency we'd see arise over short putts.
It's worth noting that Zalatoris was a decent putter before the switch—exactly average on tour by strokes gained most seasons. Some players would be wary of a putting overhaul in that situation, but as he says, occasionally he'd struggle over short putts.
This is because over those nervy pressure putts, Zalatoris' left arm would effectively tense and seize up. It caused Zalatoris to pull his left arm up sharply and into his body on his through stroke, and because his armlock putter meant his putter and arm moved as one, with his right hand almost off the club, the two moved in the wrong direction together.
Zalatoris' arm would jerk his putter closer to his body, which would cause him to hit putts extremely off the toe of the club.
Which is why I'm so bullish on Zalatoris' new Broomstick.
His new method effectively demotes his left arm from the primary factor in his putting stroke to an afterthought. Whereas before his left arm would power the entire stroke—which would occasionally cause him issues—now that's the job of big muscles in his shoulders rock the putter back and forth.
His right hand is along for the ride, gently guiding it along.
And his problematic left arm has been demoted to the door man. Its job is to simply hold the top of the putter and watch the other two go by.
All of which is to say that logically, it makes sense that this method will work for him. If this sounds like your problem too you should investigate the method.
Golf is weird though and putting is extremely fickle. Who knows if it actually will work for Zalatoris. But it's also worth noting that on his first hole of the day, Zalatoris faced a 23-footer and rolled it into the middle of the cup. Then, perhaps more impressively, sent a five-footer into the hole for par two holes later.
For all the viral clips of him twitching short putts past the hole, we may be about to enter an era of him calmly rolling them into the center, without anybody noticing.