The PGA Tour stat that has been most telling at the AT&T Byron Nelson—whether contested at TPC Four Seasons or its new home at Trinity Forest Golf Club—has been strokes gained/putting. In the last five Nelsons the winner has ranked first in strokes gained/putting three times and never outside the top 12. And at Trinity Forest in particular, with its unique Coore and Crenshaw-designed green complexes, that skill set should translate even more than normal weeks. With that skill firmly established as a requisite for winning on the PGA Tour, we take a look at the putters used by the five players in the field with the highest strokes gained/putting rank heading into the event.
Strokes Gained/Putting: 1.135
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Tour Rat
Scotty Cameron’s “tour only” putters have a certain cache and are used by a number of players, including Dominic Bozzelli, who currently leads the tour in strokes gained/putting. Bozzelli’s “Tour Rat” model has a single sightline in the cavity and a plumber’s neck hosel. The signature Cameron sole weights are 20 grams each, and the sole boasts Cameron’s signature rat insignia and “For Tour Use Only” stamped on bottom.
Strokes Gained/Putting: 1.004
Putter: PXG Gunboat
It’s not a coincidence that Pat Perez’s career resurgence the past few years has coincided with a significant boost in his putting stats. Currently ranked second on tour in strokes gained/putting, Perez uses a prototype version of PXG’s Gunboat, a high moment of inertia mallet that provides extra stability. Perez’s putter is made from aircraft-grade aluminum and measures 35 inches in length and has six sole weights. As for its name, Gunboat is the naval watercraft designed to carry one or more guns to bombard coastal targets—or in Perez’s case, the holes on the PGA Tour.
Strokes Gained/Putting: .944
Putter: Ping Cadence TR Craz-e-r
Martin Piller ranks third on tour in strokes gained/putting by getting all sorts of crazy. When Ping made this putter, the company took its original Craz-e design and made it Craz-e-r. The primary design change came in the manner of a continuous, raised bar with a long white line in the rear to aid alignment. The True Roll insert is also designed to help mitigate the loss of speed on mis-hit putts, so they behave more like center strikes. All of Ping’s Cadence putters are available in two head weights, with one heavier than the other to match slower-tempo strokes. We'll see if the Dallas native can see his hot putting continue on the ultra-undulated greens of Trinity Forest.
Strokes Gained/Putting: .837
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist GoLo Tour
The mid-mallet design used by Denny McCarthy is a Scotty Cameron by Titleist GoLo Tour, a tour-only version of the production-run GoLo. McCarthy’s putter has a single sightline as an alignment aid and a pair of weights on the sole. There’s also the hallmark Circle T soleplate that is a surefire way to let others know you’ve got some game on the greens.
Strokes Gained/Putting: .745
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist TN2
Brian Gay is one of the best putters on the PGA Tour, not having ranked outside the top 20 in strokes gained/putting in any of the past four seasons. Interestingly, Gay will fiddle with putters from time to time, however he seems to have settled in with his Scotty Cameron by Titleist TN2, a tour-only version of a Newport-style head. Gay’s putter has a plumber’s neck hosel and a pair of 15-gram weights in the sole.