If we’ve learned one thing about Tiger Woods’ equipment this year, it’s that you should expect the unexpected. Wholesale club changes in the span of six months? Check. Four different driver shafts? Double check. A graphite-shafted driving iron for the first time in his career? Triple check. Three different putters, including a TaylorMade mallet, in the span of two-plus months? You better believe it.
For someone who’s made equipment changes at a glacial pace over the course of his career, Woods broke all of the historical trends during his return to the course last season. But if you were to pick out the most surprising switch from the above list, it would have to be the TaylorMade Ardmore 3 he used briefly beginning at Quicken Loans National. An Anser-style loyalist for pretty much his entire career, Woods shocked the golf world when he greenlighted a mallet putter for just the second time in his professional career. You had to go all the way back to the 2011 season to find the last time Woods used something other than a blade model in competition.
Woods eventually returned to his iconic Anser-style Scotty Cameron Newport 2 — the putter he used to win 13 majors with over the course of his career — at the BMW Championship, but the brief run with the mallet made it clear that no club was safe.
So when Woods was photographed recently during a Presidents Cup press event with a Scotty Cameron Futura mallet, the assumption was to chalk it up as nothing more than Woods not wanting to tote quite possibly the most important club in golf history across the globe for a press junket.
But given Woods’ current equipment deal doesn’t include the putter — he’s under contract for 13 TaylorMade clubs and a Bridgestone ball — and the putter merry-go-round he went through late in the season, your intrepid equipment scribe figured it was still worth reaching out to Scotty Cameron Tour rep Johnny DelPrete for some sort of confirmation. DelPrete was kind enough to confirm was just something Woods picked up for the shoot, which makes sense, especially when you take a closer look and notice it doesn’t have his usual Ping PP58 putter grip — a dead giveaway that the mallet was nothing more than a prop.
So rest easy, Tiger Woods fans who were potentially sweating him testing something new after sub-par putting performances during The Match and Hero World Challenge. It remains business as usual for Woods and his trusty flat stick.