The Houston Open serves as both a tune-up for the Masters or as a last-ditch effort to get in. Beau Hossler and multiple major winners Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els fell into the latter category, and while they didn’t make the field at Augusta National (although Hossler came oh-so-close), they did have some intriguing clubs in their bags.
Beau Hossler might not have won the Houston Open, but he putted like a champion when he made four birdies in a row on Nos. 12 through 15 to erase a three-shot deficit and take the lead, including a 28-footer on the par-3 14th hole. In all, Hossler was an impressive 1.589 strokes gained/putting for the week, including an even better mark of 1.884 Sunday. Hossler’s putter is TaylorMade’s TP Ardmore 2 Red mallet (above). However, unlike the standard version which is all red save for a pair of sightlines in the rear cavity, Hossler’s Ardmore 2 has a white cavity with black sightlines and a white topline. Despite the visual custom alterations, the Ardmore 2 still features the hallmark technologies, namely an 6061 aluminum version of TaylorMade’s grooved face insert. The combination of the grooves’ 45- degree angle and polymer filling work to improve roll and feel.
Ernie Els signed with Cleveland/Srixon in January and soon after put the company’s XXIO X driver in play, bringing attention to a club designed to boost swing speed for certain players. The idea behind the driver is to have the golfer swing more efficiently while not having to expend any additional effort.
During the height of the groove debate in early 2010 as some players were using Ping’s old Eye2 lob wedge, Padraig Harrington noted he was getting as much as 2,000 rpms more spin on some shots out of the rough with the grandfathered club. So it’s no shock that Harrington now has a Ping Eye2 XG—a modern version with a different groove pattern that conforms to all USGA groove regulations—in the bag.
To shop Hossler’s putter, click here.