Drive for show. Putt for dough. But which putters (the equipment not the player) produce the most wins and the most money on the PGA Tour?
Perhaps more than any other club in the bag, the putter is a fickle instrument. Whether you pull a driver or pitching wedge from your bag or (for the 1%ers) ask your caddie, your swing is to blame for the outcome of the shot. Striped, ripped, tight, nestled, luscious, buried, safe, fat, thin, wet, jailed, lost or any other outcome, we take ownership of the result of the shot; albeit sometimes profanely.
When the ball finally arrives on the green, it is a different equipment story. Suddenly the wand/magician metaphor becomes nonsense; which is why most any golfer worth his Titleist Pro V1 balls owns more than one putter.
Some players use the standard Vardon grip, others putt cross handed, while still others attach themselves to a putter with some version of the claw, but which ones makes the most money?
Odyssey, as a brand, had the most wins on tour in 2013 with 24. The Titleist Scotty Cameron was a close second with 20 victories. At the other end, there is the Peretti Cottonwood ii with 3 wins; all by Henrik Stenson.
The following story goes beyond the brand name on a putter and discovers the models that won the most money on the PGA Tour during the 2013 season and who was swinging the club. Though Odyssey had the most wins, which model was the most valuable on tour last year?
*For this article’s purpose, one win equals $1,075,000; an average of the lowest winners purse of $850,000 and the highest $1,400,000. Not all purse numbers are public information – The Masters - hence the necessity of a reasonable estimate.
4 Odyssey Versa, Earned: $6,450,000
Let's start in 4th place in tour earnings with the Odyssey Versa. With 6 wins this putter earned $6,450,000 in 2013. Below is the list of the events and winners:
(The number in parentheses is the model of putter)
Reno-Tahoe Open (#1) Gary Woodland
British Open (#9) Phil Mickelson
Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (#9) Phil Mickelson
Najeti Hotels Open (#1) Simon Thornton
Nordea Masters (#1) Mikko Ilonen
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (2-Ball) Boo Weekly
Clearly Phil Mickelson was rolling it nicely in July when he won back to back tournaments in Scotland including the British Open.
3 Odyseey White Hot, Earned: $6,450,000
In third place in tour earnings is the Odyssey White Hot. This putter too, won 6 events earning $6,450,000. Below is the list of the events and winners:
RBC Canadian Open (XG Rossie) Brandt Snedeker
Alstom French Open (#7) Graeme McDowell
Volvo World Match Play Championship (#7) Graeme McDowell
RBC Heritage (#7) Graeme McDowell
Maybank Malaysian Open (XG #7) Kiradech Aphibarnrat
AT&T Pebble Beach (XG Rossie) Brandt Snedeker
The hole was looking large for Graeme McDowell as he chalked up three of the six wins with the White Hot #7.
2 Nike Method, Earned: $10,750,000
In second place in tour earnings is the Nike Method. Hmm? I bet Tiger Woods had a lot to do with the Method racking up 10 wins earning $10,750,000. Below is the list of the events and winners:
Johnnie Walker Championship (prototype) Tommy Fleetwood
Bridgestone Invitational (001) Tiger Woods
Irish Open (001) Paul Casey
The Players Championship (001) Tiger Woods
Arnold Palmer Invitational (001) Tiger Woods
Puerto Rico Open (001) Scott Brown
Cadillac Championship (001) Tiger Woods
Farmers Insurance Open (001) Tiger Woods
Sony Open (006) Russell Henley
Alfred Dunhill Championship (001) Charl Schwartzel
Of course Tiger would trade those 5 wins for major number 15. The 2014 major venues set up nicely for Tiger. Interesting fact, all 14 of Tiger's major wins came with a Titleist Scotty Cameron putter in the bag. Will the Nike Method help break the major drought this year?
1 Titleist Scotty Cameron, Earned: $11,825,000
And the number one earning putter on the PGA Tour during 2013 with 11 wins was the Titleist Scotty Cameron earning a whopping $11,825,000. Below is the list of the events and winners:
Turkish Airlines Open (2 Notchback) Victor Dubuisson
WGC-HSBC Champions (2) Dustin Johnson
KLM Open (2) Joost Luiten
Sanderson Farms Championship (2.5) Woody Austin
AT&T National (2 Mid-slant) Bill Haas
Sanderson Farms Championship (2.5) Woody Austin
Travelers Championship (2) Ken Duke
Lyoness Open (2) Joost Luiten
Tshwane Open (2.6) Dawie Van der Walt
Northern Trust Open John Merrick
Omega Dubai Desert Classic Stephen Gallacher
Hyundai Tournament of Champion Dustin Johnson
So there you have it. All $34,475,000 won by these four putters on the PGA Tour in 2013.
Wait. What about the majors? We have you covered.
Masters Champion Adam Scott wielded a Scotty Cameron Futura X that sunk the putt on the 2nd playoff hole earning Scott his first major. Go Aussie!
U.S. Open Champion Justin Rose employed a Taylor Made Spider Blade as he made his way around Merion Golf Club for the Brits' first major. Perhaps as noteworthy as Rose’s win, was Lefty’s 6th runner up in the U.S. Open.
British Open Champion Phil Mickelson brandished an Odyssey Versa (as noted above) grabbing the third leg of the major crown at Murfield Village. Phil won the week before at the Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open.
PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner operated a Scotty Cameron Circa 62 no.6 en-route to his first major at Oakhill Country Club.
So the next time you visit Edwinn Watts, The Golf Warehouse or your local golf shop and want to pick up that new driver that adjusts for your swing speed and launch angle, think twice. Then walk over to the practice putting green and pick up one of these four putters.
Picture yourself on the 18th green on Sunday at Augusta with a 15 foot putt to win. Picture yourself on your local muni on the 9th green with a 5 foot putt to save par. What's on the line? A major? A Nassau? Is it the wand or the magician?
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