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The Man Who Can Putt Like a Boy

He addresses them in reverse order of importance, and it immediately becomes apparent that while putting may be simple to Faxon, it's a deceptive simplicity.

Take equipment. Faxon trots down to the basement for a moment and returns with a new putter. It's got a shiny steel head, it's flanged, it's heel-and-toe weighted. It's by Scotty Cameron—a new model that will be marketed as "inspired by Brad Faxon."

So is this the model you use?

Faxon shakes his head: "The model I use is like this, but I had Scotty cut a slit into it so the sound would be harder."

Seeing the bewildered look on his visitor's face, he invites him to the basement, where he has a home gym that would make many health clubs jealous and a workshop where he keeps his clubs. On the way, he gave a brief history of his putting equipment. Years ago he saw Curtis Strange using a Ping model called the "Myday." He tried it and liked it. He used that for years, until Titleist signed Scotty Cameron to design putters. Faxon is a loyal Titleist man. He had Cameron design him a putter with many of the Myday's characteristics. But Cameron used steel instead of the manganese bronze alloy Ping used. The Ping putter was softer and didn't make the sound Faxon liked; and sound, he explained, is part of feel.

The visitor nods, still slightly befuddled.

Faxon pulls his own putter out of his golf bag. It looks old, a little scuffed and worn. It has a strip of lead tape stuck to the bottom. There is a slit in the sole about a half inch deep and a few millimeters wide, running the length of the blade. He bounces a golf ball off his own putter and then off the new Scotty Cameron.

Click.

Click.

"You can't hear a difference?" he asks.

The visitor shakes his head. He is beginning to comprehend one small part of what separates himself and the world's best putter—the keenness of their senses. In years of practice, Faxon's natural gifts have been finely honed.

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