Is the broomstick putter making a comeback?

Will Zalatoris shown here putting at the 2024 Genesis Invitational is among a slew of top-tier PGA Tour players who have dotted leaderboards using the long putter a/k/a broomstick method of putting.


FORESTVILLE, New York – With the Genesis Invitational wrapping up at Riviera Country Club, a familiar name atop the leaderboard, Will Zalatoris, sparked a debate in my mind as the 2024 PGA season assumes new form and leaderboards showing lots of unrecognizable names.

Like any professional sport, players and coaches are always looking for an advantage to stay one step ahead of the competition. But in our tedious game, where the difference between winning and losing can be a fraction, major changes in equipment can either propel or falter one’s career.

Since the anchoring ban in the beginning of the 2016 season, long or “broomstick” putters have been almost obsolete with only a handful of players like Adam Scott and Bernhard Langer choosing to stick with the trusty sweeper. Perhaps a more popular option for older players, the broomstick alleviates pressure on the back, allowing the user to stand more upright over the ball while eliminating arm and hand inconsistencies in the putting stroke. Sixty-six year-old Langer broke the PGA Champions Tour win record last year in the U.S. Senior Open with his 46th victory, with the majority of his wins coming with the broomstick putter.

Akshay Bhatia has become a force on the PGA Tour using the Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K #7 Double Wide Long Putter.

Prior to the end of the 2023 season, winners on Tour were rare with Adam Scott being the most notable using the long putter, securing a green jacket in 2013 before the anchoring ban and a victory at the 2020 Genesis Invitational. After the rule change, years went by without any consistent winners until Lucas Glover’s back to back wins at the Wyndham Championship and FedEx St. Jude Championship. After struggling with the yips for a decade, Glover’s decision to switch to the broomstick proved that this type of putter is a viable option, and planted the seed for other players to follow suit.

Most recently making the switch was 27-year-old Will Zalatoris. After a ball-striking clinic during the 2021-2022 PGA Tour Season, putting was the only part of his game that separated Zalatoris from being a major champion. Even with back-to-back runner-up finishes in the last two majors of the season and a victory at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, Zalatoris was flamed on social media for his shaky backstroke that was anything but square.

Hall of Famer Bernhard Langer has won most of his record 46 Champion Tour victories using the Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Long Putter.

With his 2023 season cut short due to a delayed back injury that he suffered at the end of the previous season, Zalatoris underwent a microdiscectomy that sidelined him until the Sony Open in Hawaii this past January, leaving him with plenty of time to tinker with different options. While on bedrest, Zalatoris watched Glover light up the greens in back-to-back weeks and wanted to get his hands on the broomstick.

“I feel great with it, it’s just so simple,” Zalatoris said in a Thursday interview at the Genesis Invitational. “It took me probably three to four months at home to actually figure out how I want to use it…every putt is a straight putt now, it just swings itself.” Zalatoris finished tied for second after falling three shots short of Hideki Matsuyama’s historic final round 62.

Adam Scott’s decision to return to an unanchored long putter has reignited debate around the anchoring rule that came into effect in 2016.

Zalatoris is not the only player in recent weeks to have success with the broomstick style; 21 year-old Akshay Bhatia finished in the top 15 at The Sentry in his debut with the long putter. Bhatia is the youngest player on Tour to use the sweeper style and was first in Strokes Gained: Putting through the first three rounds, but finished third overall after a disappointing Sunday.

28-year-old Si Woo Kim and 32-year-old Byeong-Hun An have also dabbled with the broomstick putter and seen success in recent years with Kim winning the 2023 Sony Open in Hawaii and An finishing fourth at The Sentry and tied for sixteenth at this year’s Genesis Invitational.

A hot topic at the 2024 PGA Merchandise Show was the L.A.B. broomstick 46 inch putter which stands for Lie, Angle, Balanced, retailing for about $700.

With all this being said, the majority of players on Tour still use the traditional flatstick putter design in either the blade or mallet form, but the few that have stretched their comfort zone to the broomstick have seen positive results and earned lots of money. Players are going to use the putter that they feel most confident in no matter the look, feel, and design as long as the putts are dropping.

Is this trend to use the broomstick putter going to continue? Is this the start of more amateurs using the broomstick putter because they sees pros having success with it? Or is this just be another passing wave in the ocean of possibilities of golfing equipment?

This topic is shaping up to be one of the most heated and healthy debates at 19th holes everywhere!

(Lewis Markham works in the golf industry and is also a freelance golf writer based out of New York. His email is

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