First published on the Golf Monthly website on Thursday 7th May 2009
Fergus had resigned himself to buying a new putter. But, in the boot of his car, an amazing transformation is occurring.
A few years ago I had a 3-wood that I knew was fitted with the wrong shaft. It was too soft, meaning I had to swing the club slower than every other stick in my bag to get an effective result. I was forever saying I had to replace it and it often reached the point where the club was just one more poor shot away from being forcibly ejected from my bag.
But, every time we approached “the crunch,” the 3-wood managed to earn a reprieve by producing a round-saving shot or a spine-tinglingly perfect strike. It was quite uncanny. Almost as if he’d heard my driver and 3-iron whispering about his imminent departure from the first team and had realised he had to buck up his ideas or face a long, lonely retirement in the loft.
Recently, my putting has been pretty poor. I’ve been pushing almost every putt and pulling the rest. My putter has, of course, received the brunt of the blame for this poor streak on the short stuff. There’s no way it could have been my set-up or stroke.
Anyway, things reached a nadir in Saturday’s Medal when I took about 40 putts en-route to my worst competitive round of the year so far. After three-putting the 18th green my mind was completely made up. That evening I went on the internet and ordered a new putter.
Unbeknownst to me, as I sat down at the computer my putter began to stir in the boot of my car. As I selected the model I wanted, the metamorphosis began. As I clicked “confirm” for the final time, the transformation was complete. My previously pathetic putter had transformed into a magic wand.
Unfortunately my new blade didn’t arrive in time for yesterday’s midweek Medal so I was forced to use the old weapon. I assumed I’d be subjected to another miserable putting performance.
The old warrior took a few holes to reveal his new form. Nothing of significant distance went in and I missed a couple of reasonable chances from 10-feet or so. But, on the seventh, old faithful began to take his final stand. After missing the green and hacking out of the rough, I faced a 20-foot putt to save par and avoid drifting to three-over. It never left the centre of the cup.
From there, almost every putt I looked at found the bottom of the hole. I came back in four under par and had just 12 putts. My new putter should arrive at some point today – I hope it comes with a returns form.