When the average 15-handicapper decides to ditch his or her putter in search of new magic on the greens, it usually requires a trip to the local golf equipment store, reading reviews from Gary Van Sickle on Golf.com or borrowing flatsticks from playing partners until the perfect club is found.
If you're Ian Poulter, you simply hit 'send' on a tweet, and putters begin to arrive at your office as club-makers jockey for their putter to be the 14th stick in your bag.
After Poulter finished tied for 25th in last week's French Open, he tweeted:
"I am sacking my putter, I will use a new putter at the Open. Putter
manufacturers please send me some to try to my IJP office please. I'm not blaming the putter, I'm saying I want to use a new one. Every time I change I've had big success with a new look. Just some times you just need to look down on something new. And it's
time. I holed 2 birdie putts today. 1 was 12" and the other 4". It's my Ryder Cup putter and I think it needs a rest in my trophy cabinet. Time for a change. Need a good visual for the Open."
The sacked putter is an Odyssey XG No. 7, which as Poulter points out was the putter used at the 2012 Ryder Cup that helped the Europeans complete a final day comeback to defeat the U.S. Was the change necessary? Statistics lean towards yes. Poults currently ranks 91st in putting average, 80th in total putting and 133rd in putts ranging from 5-10 feet. But Poulter has been able to make the knee-knockers, only missing 10 putts (356 out of 366) inside five feet this year. Putting is ultimately about confidence and feel. Given Poulter's statements about how he performed after his previous switches, it appears that he is putting a high value on the psychological benefits of changing clubs. And in a season where Poulter has the same number of missed cuts and top 10s (2), he'll take any boost of confidence heading into Muirfield next week.
Searching through old bags for inspiration, Poulter tweeted a picture of his 20-year-old Ping Zing 2 putter that was signed in '93 by Fred Couples.
Hopefully he settles on something a little more modern for the Open. Update: Putters are steadily coming in for Poulter. Yesterday he posted, "Looks like I'm going to have putters coming out of my ears in the next few days. Good that means lots of practice in my future." Taylormade and Odyssey putters were the first to arrive.
SHIPNUCK: A Day in the Life of Ian Poulter VIDEO: Behind the scenes at Ian Poulter's Sports Illustrated Cover Shoot (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images and @IanJamesPoulter)