Patrick Rodgers is tied for the lead after 54 holes at the Farmers Insurance Open, riding a hot putter that produced a 2.075 strokes gained/putting mark in the third round courtesy of three birdie putts of 10 feet or more including a 26-footer at the sixth and a 41-footer on the following hole.
Rodgers is doing his damage on the greens with a Toulon Design Indianapolis mallet that he not only put in play for the first time this week, but it is the first finished putter of that model produced. According to Sean Toulon, founder of the company that is now owned by Callaway Golf, Rodgers was at a driver fitting at the Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla., in December when he first saw the putter.
“We brought a bag full of putters down there and one was a prototype of the Indianapolis,” said Toulon, now a senior VP with Callaway and general manager of its Odyssey putter division. “As we were packing up we noticed the Indianapolis prototype was gone. We saw Patrick putting with it and he mentioned that it was the coolest putter he had ever seen. When I told him the name, his eyes lit up.”
That’s because Rodgers is from Indianapolis and has an affinity for the racing town—with good reason. “My grandpa was a part owner of a race team just totally by chance,” Rodgers said. “He was a race fan and ended up being part owner of Bettenhausen Motorsports. … So racing's a big part of my family and it's cool to have a little racecar on the back of my putter. Always reminds me of home.”
The racing connection goes a step further, too. Toulon consulted the crew chief of Chip Ganassi Racing (who Rodgers knows), trying to further understand the use of carbon fiber and how to make the face stable much the way the nose of a racecar is stable. When told the story, Rodgers was all in, despite never having used a mallet before in his life. A couple of weeks ago he had his stroke measured at the Callaway test center and that lead to the finished product that he used this week.
Rodgers said seeing that data and feeling comfortable gave him the confidence to make the switch. The results so far say it was a wise decision.