Quicken Loans National: Tiger Woods experimenting with mallet putter

Tiger Woods (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods is returning to the Quicken Loans National this week — an event he helped get started thanks to his foundation — and he may have some tricks up his sleeve.

The 14-time major champion has used a blade putter his entire professional career, but a drastic dip in putting form this season has Woods ready for a switch.

Tuesday, Woods was seen practicing with a mallet putter. He ranks just 89th on the PGA Tour in shots gained putting, and he’s 172nd in Round 4 putting, averaging 30 putts per final round.

It’s common for professional golfers to change grips or use a different putter from time to time. But Woods’ consistency with a blade putter makes the sudden change somewhat alarming.

During his prime, Woods was one of the best putters of all time, rarely missing from inside of eight feet. But Woods ranks 151st from eight feet this season and 168th from seven feet, hinting that a change in equipment may be needed.

Woods missed the cut two weeks ago at the U.S. Open, but he has two top-5 finishes and four top-12 finishes on Tour this season.