POTOMAC, Md. -- After some frustrating performances on the greens of late, Tiger Woods had an extra putter in his bag Tuesday for a nine-hole practice round. Woods said he has been experimenting with it over the past week.
The decision on whether to actually use it -- and replace the Scotty Cameron model he's used to win 13 of his major championships and whenever he's competed in the past two years -- won't come until the first round of the Quicken Loans National on Thursday.
"I'm trying something out,'' Woods said during the practice round at TPC Potomac. "The way I've been putting, I wanted to look for a change. That's all it is. It rolls good. You never know.''
The putter has more the look of a mallet than the traditional blade putter Woods has used for the bulk of his career. It is a TaylorMade Ardmore 3, and Woods has an endorsement deal to play the company's clubs -- although he is not required to use the putter.
"It's at my discretion,'' he said. "If I find something that helps me play better, so be it. If it doesn't then it's not going in the bag.''
When Woods was under contract to play Nike's clubs, he only switched to a Nike-branded putter in 2010. There were a few times he used a mallet-type Nike putter. When the company got out of the golf club part of the business, he went back to the Scotty Cameron model.
The TaylorMade is one of several the company sent him to test.
"It has a little more swing than my putter does,'' he said. "It feels good.''
In Woods' most recent tournaments -- the Memorial, where he tied for 23rd, and the U.S. Open, where he missed the cut -- poor putting cost him. Woods was continually frustrated on the greens. For the year, he ranks 89th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting.
"I've been in this position many times where I've had three putters out and I've either [stuck] with it or I haven't gone with it on Thursday,'' he said. "I was down in the Bahamas with it last week, so I'm really going to give it a good test today and tomorrow because it's not Bermuda (grass at TPC Potomac). I've been playing on Bermuda for an entire week. This is very different. I just want to see how it rolls out here and put it through its paces.''