McIlroy Finds Right Stick

Putting Does a Turnaround at Deutsches Bank for McIlroy

Of all the amateur golf devotees out there, such as myself, how many have ever heard of Scotty Cameron? How about Scotty Cameron of putter design fame? They say he’s pretty good at it, and has been at the game for quite a while. I noticed on one of the websites devoted to his line of putters is that the Caliente Bolero enjoys high regard, even though its creator doesn’t seem to like it very much. It is said that he won’t even allow it on his own website. That being said, I have to wonder how Mr. Cameron feels about his Scotty Cameron Prototype Mallet putter. I also noticed that one site is selling the Bolero at 70% off, with free shipping added. If that happens with the Prototype Mallet, they had better get their credit card connection up and running at high speed, because orders are going to fly in. And why? Because, Rory McIlroy, one of the most frustrating and frustrated putters on the men’s tour, just won the Deutsches Bank Championship after switching to Scotty’s Prototype Mallet.

rory 1That is significant in pure of terms of wins and losses. McIlroy is one of the greatest stars of the game, one who hasn’t won a thing in well over a year. So why is he still a star? Because everyone knows from the recent past that when the game comes together, he is scarier than anybody in the world, and can throw off a 61 or 62 without the slightest warning. In fact, in the style of the old Arnold Palmer days, he staged a rally on Sunday that saw him come back from well behind to run away with the Deutsches Bank. Arnie’s Army became Rory’s Regiment for a week.
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No one really takes much exception, or ever has, to Rory McIlroy’s swing technique. He’s brilliant – it’s a given in pro golf circles. However, from his arrival on tour, putting has been a problem, and people chalk it up to all manner of causes. Does he lose confidence? Possibly, but a few putts rolled in for birdies, which is the realm where McIlroy lives, and is therefore an inevitable occurrence, one’s  confidence can come back mighty fast. Some claim that he has had a minor onset of the yips. I don’t know if it’s true, but it would be awfully sad for a talent so young. Some have discussed the shortcomings of his putting technique, citing the release of the putter head. I can’t comment on that, but others have stressed a more important necessity for a mind that is relaxed and optimistic.

The severity of the putting problem is put in perspective by a realization that one of the top five or six golfers in the world is going winless month after month, because statistically he is not even in the top 125 putters – yes that’s 125. So, he switches putters in the week before the Deutsches Bank, something that is not uncommonm. Some players, Arnie in particular, could probably open the pro shop of pro shops just from his personal collection of any club. At any rate, McIlroy suddenly starts putting – things start rolling in, and he wins the tournament in style. Every Rory-watcher around the world is saying, “Is he back? Is he back?”

We don’t know that yet, but we are once again reminded that putting is, in a real sense, the backbone of the game, no matter what Ben Hogan says. Further, a golfer who is all over the course but is one who can putt, is still a winning golfer. For the near future, it puts Rory back in the minds of competitors, with guess what – the Ryder Cup coming up on the schedule. Now, the outlook is worse for the States. Not only are a group of no-names (at least on this continent) going to beat up on us, but they’re bringing Rory McIlroy – and he’s putting! Thanks a lot, Scotty.

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