World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler Changes Putter at Arnold Palmer Invitational: Report

Scottie Scheffler

Getty Scottie Scheffler looks over a putt at the Genesis Invitational.

Scottie Scheffler is hitting the ball as well as anyone on the PGA Tour since Tiger Woods’ prime. But he can’t seem to win any tournaments. The World No. 1 hasn’t taken home an official trophy since winning The Players Championship nearly a year ago. With his struggles continuing on the greens, Scheffler has a new putter in the bag at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, according to’s Jonathan Wall.

“Scheffler hasn’t commented on the putter change,” Wall wrote in a story published March 5. “With putting coach Phil Kenyon looking on, Scheffler rolled putts on the practice green with [a] mallet … before departing for the range.”

At the final round of Genesis Invitational on February 25, Rory McIlroy joked that Scheffler, the 2022 Masters Tournament champion, was giving everyone else a chance by not transitioning to a mallet putter from a blade putter.

“For me, going to a mallet was a big change,” McIlroy said. “The mallet just gives you a little bit more margin for error. … So, I’d love to see Scottie try a mallet, but selfishly for me, you know, Scottie does everything else so well that, you know, he’s giving the rest of us a chance.”

Wall reported that the putter in Scheffler’s bag on March 5 was TaylorMade’s Spider Tour X (X1) mallet.

How Well Is Scottie Scheffler Playing?

Scottie Scheffler

GettyScheffler reacts to a chip at Riviera.

A casual viewer who tunes in only on Sundays might wonder what all of the Scheffler hype is about. Sure, he’s World No. 1, but he’s often just on the brink of contention on Sunday before crucial putts drop him to a top-10 finish.

Scheffler is missing massive opportunities by not capitalizing on some of the best ball striking of the modern era. The former Texas Longhorn logged the seventh best adjusted scoring average in PGA Tour history last season — behind six Tiger Woods seasons — yet managed to win just twice.

But the statistics show he’s on another level from tee-to-green. According to Fantasy National (subscription required), Scheffler is second in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, first in Strokes Gained: Approach, and second in Strokes Gained: Around the Green in the last 12 months of play. He’s 198th in Strokes Gained: Putting during that stretch.

If Scheffler could putt somewhere closer to the field average, he’d likely be stacking up wins, but instead, he’s just the epitome of consistency. With 30 consecutive made cuts, he trails only Xander Schauffele for active streaks. In that time, Scheffler has 23 top 10 finishes — by far the most in golf.

Scheffler Will Try a Mallet Putter To Fix His Struggles

Rory McIlroy

GettyMcIlroy’s Spider-X putter.

With Scheffler’s putting woes hitting an extreme low point at Riviera, it appears he’s working with a new putter for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He lost 4.4 strokes to the field with the putter at the Genesis. Despite finishing second in the field tee-to-green, the World No. 1 was out of contention on the weekend and finished 10th.

The TaylorMade Spider-X putter has been an extremely popular model on the PGA Tour for multiple years now. Major champions like Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Jason Day, along with McIlroy himself, have used a variation of the model in the past.

The World No. 1 Faces a Big Stretch on the Schedule

Scottie Scheffler

GettyScheffler holds his Masters’ trophy.

With Scheffler clearly struggling with his stroke and alignment at Riviera, it’s no surprise that he looked to change things up with a massive part of the schedule coming up. The next three big events are the Arnold Palmer Invitational starting March 7, The Players Championship starting March 14, and the Masters starting April 11. Scheffler has won all three tournaments in the last two years.

Lewis stated on the Golf Channel that Scheffler went to the same mallet head that McIlroy is using. He also added a half-inch of length to the putter. Drew Powell talked to putting coach Bill Smittle about why a switch to the mallet could work for Scheffler.

“A high MOI (moment of inertia) is usually better if you have speed control issues or off-center hits, which tend to go hand in hand,” Smittle told Powell about the mallet’s high MOI. “If you have a harder time finding the center of the putter, then a mallet generally will allow your distance control to be more consistent.”

Smittle also explained that mallet’s generally have a longer line on them, which can help players aim easier and start the ball on their intended line.

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