The man who designed Tiger Woods' TaylorMade Ardmore 3 mallet putter believes the 14-time major champion will soon move back to his beloved Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS blade despite his return to form on the greens at the Quicken Loans National.
Woods performed admirably on the greens over the weekend, ranking 10th in strokes-gained putting (4.775) and tied 14th in putts per green in regulation (1.66) for the week en route to a tie for fourth at TPC Potomac - his third top-five finish of the year.
But despite the radical improvements for the former world number one who ranked on the cusp of the top 100 for the season in the putting stats prior to last week, TaylorMade's long-time club designer Clay Long told USA Today he suspects Woods will switch back to the putter he won 13 of his 14 major championships with very soon.
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"If you have a relationship with a putter, a good relationship with a specific putter, and then you're always prone to pick it back up," said Long, TaylorMade's former director of putter creation.
"At some point he'll pick that Scotty Cameron putter back up and go 'Boy, this looks good. Wow, man. I didn't realise how good this looks,' when he starts putting better or gets a little more confidence back."
Long left TaylorMade in September 2017 and also worked with MacGregor's oversized Response putter as used by Jack Nicklaus to win the 1986 Masters.
In the eyes of Long, the majority of problems on the green have "nothing" to do with the actual club in hand.
"Ninety-nine percent of the time, it has nothing to do with the putter itself," said Long.
"A lot of times you will switch to a different style putter or a putter with a different sight line to just give you something to look at. And sometimes that kind of straightens out your alignment, or whatever it is that’s wrong with your putting, and sometimes you go back to your old putter once you get confident and your stroke gets where you’re hitting in online."
Woods is sponsored by TaylorMade but not contracted to use the brand's putters, even though he has chosen to do so as things currently stand.
"I was happy with it," Woods said of his new Ardmore 3, which is interestingly one of the very few times in his career where he has used a mallet.
"I hit a lot of good putts that were starting on line and with the right speed, and I was able to start seeing my line, which is nice. I felt like I could see the lines, ball starting on my line, and they went in."
Woods will not be seen in action until The Open at Carnoustie in two weeks time.