Feb 29, 2008

For Those Thinking About A Two Putter Bag

With Sergio Garcia recently putting two putters in his bag at the Accenture Match Play Championship in his first match, against John Senden. Does this mean other pros will follow or maybe even some of us amateurs. Well Sergio used a conventional-length TaylorMade Rossa Monaco for the first 14 holes, but with the match tight, he used a Rossa Spider belly model on 15 and 16 to close out Senden. Although Sergio didn't get to far past Senden does this really help or is it just a psychological thing. There's a great article at Golf Digest.com about the two putter faze some players have had over the years, looks like most of the time guys should just stick to one but you be the judge.

"I went with [the shorter putter] for pretty much the whole round," said Garcia, who left his 3-iron behind. "But then I started feeling not quite as comfortable ? so I decided to go the safe route the last couple of holes."

Although unusual, double-dipping is not unique on tour. In fact, Mark Calcavecchia also used a conventional-length/belly two-putter approach during the opening round of this year's Mercedes-Benz Championship but did not match Garcia's success. "I'd use my shorter putter for the 30-, 40-, 50-footers," said Calcavecchia, who shot 75. "I wasn't very good with it."

Some players using two putters are less patient than Calcavecchia. At the 2002 Masters, Jesper Parnevik had Callaway and T.P. Mills putters for the final round, intending to use the Callaway club on short putts. But when he missed a five-footer on the first hole, Parnevik switched to the Mills for the comebacker -- and the rest of the round.

Niclas Fasth also suffered some poor results trying a two-pronged approach. Ranked 180th in putting heading into the 2004 Chrysler Championship, Fasth benched his 4-iron and carried a Bettinardi by Ben Hogan mallet and a Callaway prototype blade putter. Unfortunately for Fasth, he missed the cut and had a putting average higher than his season's mark of 1.806.

Duplicating clubs has not been limited to putters. In 2006 Phil Mickelson used a pair of Callaway FT-3 drivers (one draw, one fade) and doubled his pleasure by winning the BellSouth Classic and Masters in back-to-back weeks. But while Mickelson's move was made with winning in mind, Kevin Hayashi's decision to use two drivers at the 2004 Sony Open in Hawaii was strictly mercenary. Hayashi carried a TaylorMade R510 and Callaway ERC Fusion but said he carried the Callaway driver only to collect a tee-up money check.

That wasn't Garcia's motive, but his move did get other players thinking. "I didn't use a 3-iron today," said Paul Casey. "Didn't use a 4-iron, either. There you go. Maybe I should take three putters."

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