The most unorthodox putters used over the years
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 27/02/17 4:52pm
Jaco Van Zyl caused a stir at the Joburg Open when he used a bizarre looking putter that is normally used as a training aid, but how does that wand compare to other strange inventions over the years?
Van Zyl ditched his regular flat stick in favour of a Cleveland Smart Square Stubby putter for the first two rounds in South Africa, so here we take a look at other putters which have raised the eyebrows ...
Sam Torrance was one of many players to battle the dreaded yips during the 1980s, and he was one of the first professional golfers to attempt to combat uncertainty on the greens by using the infamous broomhandle.
The Ryder Cup legend anchored the top of the putter to his chin and found he was able to make a smoother stroke, and he has stuck with the method ever since.
Torrance and the likes of Bernhard Langer have had to make adjustments to their stroke since the anchored putting method was outlawed in January 2016, a rule which has also led to the demise of the popular belly putter.
But despite the benefits of the anchored putting method, Adam Scott was the only player to win a major with the broomhandle while Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els tasted success with the belly putter.
Parnevik's "winged" putter
Jesper Parnevik was as well known for his unorthodox outfits as for his golf at the height of his career, but he also won on the PGA Tour with the sort of putter which rarely makes it past the prototype stage.
The charismatic Swede used a StickyGolf invention that featured a small clubface with angled wings and the ploy worked as he won the Honda Classic in 2001.
Unfortunately for Parnevik, that proved to be the last of his nine victories worldwide, although he did land his first senior silverware last year at the Insperity Invitational.
Brick on a stick
Sandy Lyle pitched up the the 2013 Masters having failed to make the cut at Augusta National in his previous three visits, but he made it through to the weekend thanks to one of the biggest putter heads ever seen.
"It is strange. My putter certainly wouldn't win a beauty contest, I know that," Lyle said of the Black Swan design as he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his memorable Masters triumph in 1988.
But the Scot got it going on the fearsome Augusta greens and made it through to the weekend on one over par, although he then plummeted down the leaderboard with an 81 on day three.
Odyssey Two-Ball putters have been a huge success over the years, with Padraig Harrington winning three majors with that design, while the company have produced a number of innovations in their short history.
But one of the most unusual was the Backstryke, in which the shaft met the putter head at the back rather than the front in a bid to improve alignment and the view of the ball.
New Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn was among a number of Tour professionals to give the Backstryke a few outings, but it is rarely seen on our TV screens these days.
DeChambeau's sidesaddle putter
Bryson DeChambeau is well known for his scientific approach to his equipment, hitting the headlines when he found success by having all of his irons made exactly the same length.
But the American produced something even more bizarre late last year when he decided to switch to a sidesaddle technique on the greens, and helped design a special putter to accompany the new set-up.
However, the USGA deemed the putter to be "non-conforming" without specifying the reason why, and DeChambeau has now reverted back to a traditional putting method.