Tiger’s Putter Holding Him Back

by Jeff Skinner

As usual the focus of just about everyone that watches or covers golf is Tiger Woods.  Depending on your point of view that can be either good or bad.  But one thing is becoming very clear: Tiger’s game is back.  Tiger likes to call it “a process” and it looks like the “process” has paid off.

Who leads the PGA Tour in the very significant All-Around Ranking? Tiger does.  In fact he is also first in Total Driving and second in Scoring Average.  Numbers like that surely indicate a game that is worthy of victory.

For years Tiger’s biggest issue was his driver but that has changed.  While he doesn’t lead the tour in length, he leaves that to the younger studs, he does rank a healthy 17th in driving distance.  Where Tiger used to spray the ball off the tee his accuracy has improved greatly, he is ninth in Driving Accuracy.

Previously, Tiger’s most reliable club was his putter.  His shortest club was always his most powerful weapon.   For years we watched as Tiger sank putt after putt after putt.  It didn’t matter if it was downhill slider at the U.S. Open or a long bomb from way downtown, they were always “better than most.”  But recently Tiger has struggled with his old friend.  The putter has betrayed him of late and it has cost him dearly.  And it shows in his ranking as the 39th best on tour in the all important Strokes Gained Putting.

If Woods can finally get his “process” focused on his putter and he finds the short stroke he’ll certainly end his frustration and win on tour again.  If he can stay healthy, that’s a big if, and he can continue to play this well from tee to green sooner or later his putter will come back.  And that’s the combination that Woods needs to get back to winning again.



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