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A Golf Pro’s Life: Nick Rousey Tries to Beat a Slump with Scotty Cameron

A Golf Pro’s Life: Nick Rousey Tries to Beat a Slump with Scotty Cameron

A Golf Pro’s Life: Nick Rousey Tries to Beat a Slump with Scotty Cameron

Click HERE and buy a Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter at 2nd Swing.

Click HERE and buy a Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter at 2nd Swing.

2nd Swing Golf Blog regular contributor Nick Rousey has to make a mid-season Web.com Tour course correction by switching clubs and visiting the Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter Studio. Poor fella.

 

Wow, Titleist and Cameron know how to fit pro players. And there’s great advice below for all golfers’ putting.

2nd Swing Golf Blog contributor and Web.com Tour player Nick Rousey is trying to fix a slump by re-examining some of his clubs.

2nd Swing Golf Blog contributor and Web.com Tour player Nick Rousey is trying to fix a slump by re-examining some of his clubs.

When I last wrote for the 2nd Swing Golf Blog in late March, I was still in South America and had only made one cut on the year for the Web.com Tour.

Well, four tournaments later, I’m now back in the United States, and I’ve still only made one cut on the year.

It’s been a rough go on the course for the past few weeks. I’m not driving it very well, and I haven’t been chipping or putting very well at all either. The only nice thing is when I went to Mexico, my wife was able to go with me. It made it a little easier missing the cut since she was with me. It still wasn’t fun, but at least I could spend time with her.

Truly, that’s been the only nice thing that I can report on the concerning the past few tournaments.

As I said earlier, it’s been my driving and my short game that has killed me this whole year. So, I’ve been trying a couple different heads from TaylorMade and a few different shafts from Mitsubishi to try to achieve the shot shape that I’m looking for and is reliable. After some trial and error, it seems that the new third-generation Diamana B-Series in a 60 X (extra-stiff flex), tipped an inch, is going to be a winner for the shaft.

I like it so much I got a 70 X, tipped 1.5 inches, to put in my TaylorMade SLDR TS 14-degree Fairway 3-Wood. I’m still deciding on a driver head, so hopefully I can find one I like soon. The drivers they gave me at the beginning of the year haven’t provided me with a shot shape I can rely on. I might hit them farther, but it’s more important for me to know where they are going then to get an extra 5 to 10 yards.

As I work on getting my driving fixed, I need to focus on my putting as well. Two weeks ago, during an off-week, I had an opportunity to experience something that not many people get to do. See, I’m a loyal Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter user; and since I’ve been using his putter on the Web.com Tour, I got an invite to go to the Scotty Cameron Studio. What a treat it is to get that invitation!

I was so excited to know that I could go (to Titleist Golf’s research and development and club assembly headquarters) in Carlsbad, Calif., work with their lead putter fitter, and get the best putter for me. And I wasn’t disappointed!

The Carlsbad, Calif., plant where TaylorMade clubs are assembled in the U.S.

The Carlsbad, Calif., plant where TaylorMade clubs are assembled in the U.S.

I booked my flight, and off I went for what I knew would be a great trip. I had my appointment at 9 in the morning, but first I had to find the studio. The day before I left, the Titleist rep on the Web.com Tour finally gave me the address. Needless to say, they don’t want people to find this place or arrive uninvited. After short night’s sleep because of the cross-country flight, and a big breakfast I was off to find the studio. My map could locate the address, but that doesn’t mean I could find it. The Scotty Cameron studio is located in an industrial business park with a bunch of buildings and the specific one wasn’t easy to locate. After I drove by the set of buildings that house the studio a couple times, I finally found where I needed to go.

Inside the Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter California studio.

Inside the Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter California studio.

I got out of the car and went into my trunk to get my GoLo 5 putter that I’ve been using for the past year. When I turned around to head toward the door the first thing I noticed was there is no sign or anything on the door or building to let you know this is the place. As I took a could steps toward the door, hoping I had the right place, a nice young lady opened the door and said, “Welcome, Nick, just need you to sign in, and when you get done, they’ll be ready for you.”

Scotty Cameron himself at work in his Carlsbad, Calif., studio, the exact location of which the company tries to keep under wraps. Photo courtesy scottycameron.com.

Scotty Cameron himself at work in his Carlsbad, Calif., studio, the exact location of which the company tries to keep under wraps. Photo courtesy scottycameron.com.

I fully intended on taking some pictures of my own for the blog, but after I read the disclaimer, I had a quick change of mind. I signed my life away and agreed to no photos and was off to where I was going to get fit. I then met Paul (Vizanko) a behind-scenes, golf-world personality himself who is in charge of all putter fittings. When I say all, I mean everyone. He fits college players to players like me from the Web.com Tour to players from the PGA Tour. Chances are if you see a Scotty Cameron putter being used on tour, at some point the player was fit by Paul.

What a great opportunity for me to work with him and pick his brain for information. I had met Paul before back when I was a Titleist player, but that was 12 years ago, so I was pretty sure he wouldn’t remember me. Boy, was I wrong! He remembered a lot about me, from where I went to school to even the putter I used to use. I was very impressed. Even if he looked all the information up in files he had, it was still impressive to take the time to do that and make me feel important. It was a great touch.

Paul Vizanko, (left) is Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter's global golf manager for fitting.

Paul Vizanko, (left) is Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter’s global golf manager for fitting.

I had in my head that my three-hour fitting would be hitting lots of putts and figuring out either how to fix my stroke or which putter would work with my stroke. We did do some of that, but we probably spent well over half the time just talking. We talked about everything from Alabama football (Rousey is from Anniston, Ala.) to golf to customer service at restaurants. It was great because it made me feel like there was no rush to push me out of there, since he was taking the time to get to know me.

Now down to the fun stuff. I walked into the actual studio, which is a fairly large room with random putters everywhere, cameras and a lot of lights. He took my putter and got my specs from it then handed it back to me and told me to hit a couple putts. I went over and where I was putting was about 40 feet from the hole with at least four cameras aimed on this spot.

Also, I was standing on a plate hidden in the floor that could tell what my weight was doing in my feet. I hit about 10 putts and then he told me to come watch what he recorded. We watched my stroke, and he noticed that I took the putter inside too much and came over on my down stroke.

He had me try a few things to help stop the quick inside stroke, but then he noticed that my weight was moving to my heels as soon as I started my backstroke — like I was looking for my balance in the middle of my stroke. He told me to keep my legs still and my weight even. Once I did that my stroke was great again. It was so exciting to hear what was actually wrong.

I’ve been putting so poorly. I was lost, and I was so happy to hear that I wasn’t that far off.

Scotty Cameron in his own Carlsbad, Calif., putter fitting studio.

Scotty Cameron in his own Carlsbad, Calif., putter fitting studio.

Then came the question that all players and Cameron users love to hear: “So what kind of putter do you want to look at and use?” Basically, I do everything well enough in my putting that he said I can use anything I want. This is like taking a 5-year-old kid with a sweet tooth to the candy store and saying have at it.

I was so caught off guard because I fully expected in my head for him to tell me, “this is what you need to use,” that I didn’t even know where to begin. He brought me a couple production putters, which were nice but not overly appealing to my eyes. I then asked if he had any mid-slant putters because I used to use one from another company and had lots of success with it. He then brought me my dream putter: a Tour Rat with a mid-slant neck all in black with a dot on top. I was in heaven!

Rousey gets the Titleist Scotty Cameron Tour Rat Putters he's been dreaming of while on a company fitting.

Rousey gets the Titleist Scotty Cameron Tour Rat Putters he’s been dreaming of while on a company fitting.

I’ve wanted one of those putters for years only to be told I couldn’t get one. I guess I was asking the wrong people; Paul got me one in less than a minute after I asked. He then gave me a Tour Rat in silver with a flare hosel like the Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 1.5. It also had a dot on top. These two putters are great.

(For those who don’t know, a Tour Rat, or Concept 1, is a putter that Scotty made where he took what he thought were the best parts of all his Newport models over the years and put them into one head. He related it to being similar to a Rat Rod car where a person would put together all different parts of Hot Rods to make what they think is the best car.)

We went back to the Tour workshop, where he re-shafted the putter and put 20-gram weights in the head, so they would match up with my GoLo 5. While we were in the little room that they call the Tour Shop, Paul told me I could grab a few Circle T Putter covers, so I picked up seven for future use and to replace covers I have on old putters at the house. Then, while we were waiting for my putters to get finished, a man walked in — and I got to meet Scotty Cameron himself. I was able to talk with him for a moment, but what impressed me was what he said to Paul.

He asked if Paul needed any help or if Paul needed him to do anything. I’m not sure if Scotty Cameron does that all the time, but it was something that struck me.

Here is (Scotty Cameron) a guy that has his name everywhere and, at least at that moment, was humble enough to ask if he could help or do work for his employees. I thought it was a great that he asked and a simple way to show he’s not to big for his britches.

After that I got my new gear, I was on the road back to the airport. It was a great visit, and I left with the impression that if I ever have to get a job, I hope I could work there. It was an amazing environment to work in and its something I would truly enjoy doing. But having only 40 total employees doesn’t leave many openings for me, so for now I guess I should stick to the whole playing golf for a living thing.

And now, armed with two new putters and a better understanding of my putting stroke, I should be able to start to fix my putting issues during tournaments. Only time will tell.

And in the very next tournament, even though I missed the cut again, I putted much better. My stats showed it, too. I averaged 1.62 putts per greens in regulation, which is better than my season average.

Now I know I’m heading the right direction.

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