Scheffler Aims to Fulfill Resolution in ’24 After Offseason of Extra Work

Scheffler Aims to Fulfill Resolution in ’24 After Offseason of Extra Work

Statistically, it’s easy to see why Scottie Scheffler was named PGA Tour Player of the Year for last season.

He ranked first in strokes gained total, off-the-tee, approach-the-green and tee-to-green. His tee-to-green performance (2.615) was nearly 0.7 shots better than the next best player, Rory McIlroy (1.938), and almost double the golf writers’ player of the year, Jon Rahm (1.343). Scheffler also was fifth in strokes gained: around-the-green.

The only glaring weakness – and this facet garnered much attention – was Scheffler’s putting, where he ranked No. 162 on Tour.

“Last year my ball striking was obviously very good, and my putting wasn’t as good as I think it needed to be,” Scheffler said Wednesday at Kapalua. “So, when I look back at the season, that was one of the things that I kind of tried to focus on in the offseason. I usually have one aspect that I try to put a little bit of extra emphasis on, if that makes sense, to where I’m still always working on all aspects of my game, but throughout the offseason I have a little bit more time on my hands to focus on different things.”

Scheffler provided some past examples:

His diet.

His fitness.

Shot-making.

And this year? No surprise it was the flatstick, which Scheffler said kept him from closing out more tournaments than the two he captured in 2023. He spent considerable time with putting coach Phil Kenyon since the Ryder Cup while also simulating high-pressure putting situations through games of wolf with his buddies.

At last month’s Hero World Challenge, Scheffler saw “a little bit of the fruits of that.”

“I had a nice putting week,” Scheffler said, “and I feel like the ball’s coming off my blade really nice right now, and I’m looking forward to coming out this week and seeing where I’m at.”

Scheffler, who earlier in the summer last year called his putting struggles a media narrative, finally opened up about his putting last year in Rome, revealing that he had been fighting keeping his hands high during his stroke. The lowering of his hands, he said, was causing the toe of his putter to rise and him to often miss-hit the ball toward the heel. He also “wasn’t using the line in the right way” when lining up his ball.

“It’s just little things like that,” Scheffler said then. “I haven’t felt like I’ve made a huge change. I just kind of got my mind right.”

On Wednesday, Scheffler was asked if his prolific ball-striking and Tour-leading greens in regulation percentage (74.43%) affected the mental aspect of his putting. In other words, when he’s hitting it to 12 feet all the time, does it make him feel like he’s not making as many putts as he should?

Scheffler gave an insightful response:

“If you look at the top-10 players in the world, consistently they’re always the best ball-strikers,” Scheffler said. “Ball-striking, week to week, keeps you at the top of the leaderboard, and it’s the guy that happens to hole the putts. So, when you see guys, especially like if you look at my year last year, when you see me on TV a lot putting from 10 to 15 feet, I can’t control where that putt is. If you hit 6-iron into the green, you can’t always control where that putt is. If you’re hitting a greenside bunker shot or chip, you know where the kind of putt you want to have is going to be from, so that’s an element you can control.

“Sometimes, when you don’t see the putts going in, it’s not always easy to gain momentum when you’re putting from 10 to 15 feet. Sometimes it’s nice to get a few putts at the beginning of the round from maybe 4 to 8 feet where you just see the ball go in the hole. Sometimes that can help momentum.

“Golf’s a funny game. There’s a lot of different stuff that goes into a round of golf. I would agree with your statement that when you see guys putting for birdie a lot and they don’t go in, they’re still going to be at the top of the leaderboard, versus you see somebody putting for par from 12 to 15 feet, they’re not showing that on TV, because he’s not anywhere near the lead.”

Still, putting remains Scheffler’s biggest resolution to start the new year.

“Hoping to improve on a few things … so that I can finish off a few more tournaments,” Scheffler said. “That’s pretty much it.”

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