Coming off the best season of his professional career — one in which he won the Masters, ascended to world No. 1 and took home PGA Tour Player of the Year honors — Scottie Scheffler saw little reason to mess with one of the most successful equipment setups in the game entering the 2022-23 campaign.
Literally everything seemed to be clicking on all cylinders — with one exception. The Scotty Cameron Special Select Timeless Tourtype GSS blade he switched to in February at Waste Management cooled off late in the season and became a point of frustration during the Presidents Cup, which led him to seek out a solution.
“I definitely was frustrated with how I was rolling it at the Presidents Cup,” Scheffler said. “I wasn’t hitting my lines, I couldn’t get comfortable over the ball. If it was a stroke play tournament, I would have been fine, I still would have been able to play good, but with it being match play, you’ve got to make those putts toward the end of the matches and I wasn’t able to do that.
“Late in the year I putted what felt like to me pretty poorly, I was really streaky. I was trying a few different things and that’s not really a way to improve when you’re kind of, felt like I was kind of blindly throwing darts just trying to find something. Sometimes I was lining the ball up, sometimes I wasn’t.”
Scheffler sought out Steve Stricker for putting advice, but nothing stuck. So Scheffler did something out of the ordinary: He shook up his putter in a big way, benching the blade for a mallet.
“I typically don’t like changing equipment at all, but I’ve been using it now for probably two, three weeks,” he said.
Scheffler’s new Scotty Cameron T5.5 mallet should be familiar to gearheads; it’s the putter Justin Thomas and Max Homa put on the map in recent years. With a short slant neck, the mallet is able to maintain blade characteristics with mallet benefits (heel-toe forgiveness, stability) — an improvement Thomas highlighted when he first made the change from a blade to a mallet.
“I fooled around with that model, figured out what I liked and didn’t like and I talked to the guys at Titleist and they were able to get a putter to me in like a day from California,” Scheffler said. “I kept using this one. For me it’s just really easy to line up, I feel like I’m more consistent with it. I feel like my ceiling’s still the same. I can get hot with the putter and make a ton of putts, but I felt like my floor was a little too low last year, so hopefully this will be one of those deals that will kind of raise the floor.”
While most golf fans know Scheffler as a blade user since he turned pro, the mallet isn’t foreign to the top-ranked golfer on the planet. In fact, Scheffler revealed he won two significant junior tournaments, in 2013 and 2014, while wielding a mallet.
“I’ve used that kind of same style putter for a long time and I grabbed one of these,” Scheffler recalled. “I remember in junior golf I used kind of a mallet type putter head and I think it was the putter I used when I won the  U.S. Junior [Amateur] and I won the  Junior Invitational, which at the time were kind of like the two biggest junior tournaments. I grabbed this putter that I had at home that I tested a while ago. I set it up and I was like, man, this thing’s really easy to line up, I don’t feel I really have to work a lot to line the ball up correctly.”
Hoping to break in the putter before the year winds down, Scheffler felt the CJ Cup was the best opportunity to see how the new mallet performed in a game situation.
The last time Scheffler changed putters, he won the same week in Phoenix and went on a torrid stretch that culminated with a green jacket. He’s hoping history repeats itself this week in South Carolina.
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