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Michael Block explains why he uses a 2001 Odyssey 2-ball putter covered in lead tape

PGA Professional Michael Block made equipment headlines last week at the 2024 PGA Championship when he switched out of his longtime irons into a new set of mysterious TaylorMade “Proto” irons.

The switch was especially significant for Block because it meant that he finally changed out of irons that he was playing for over a decade.

Still squarely in his bag, however, is an even older club that came out in 2001. Block still uses an original Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter, which first hit the retail market 23 years ago.

Block’s Odyssey White Hot 2-ball is unique for two main reasons:

1. It has a sharpie-drawn line on the crown for an added alignment feature.

2. It’s covered in lead tape, both on the sole of the club and in the putter’s channel between the crown and the sole.

On Tuesday at the 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge, caught up with Block to talk equipment, where he revealed why he uses so much lead tape on his classic putter.

“The lead tape on the putter, I’ve done this with all my putters,” Block said. “I really feel like most putters when they come out of a store, they’re very, very light. I like to have good tempo in my putting stroke, and I feel when I can really feel the weight in the head my tempo…has a lot more flow to it. I don’t rush my backstroke. When I do that, I tend to putt a little better. It’s all because of feel, and slowing down my tempo with the putter.”

Adding lead tape to his putter helps achieve a heavier overall weight, and a heavier swing weight, too.

For amateurs, this is a trick that’s easy to try for yourself, and it will only cost you about $8-15 for a roll of lead tape at your nearest sporting goods store.

In general, heavier putter heads can feel slightly more stable, or smoother, than lighter putter heads throughout the stroke because they require less manipulation, or force, to achieve the intended speed of the putt. Heavier putter heads require less energy to be applied throughout the putting stroke, which can effectively slow down the tempo and the hands, as Block spoke about on Tuesday.

A common rule of thumb used in the equipment world is that heavier putter heads are effective for controlling speed on fast greens, whereas lighter putter heads are better to use on slower putting greens, where a faster-paced stroke tempo can be beneficial. Tiger Woods, for example, tends to add lead tape to his putter on slower greens, and take it off when he plays faster greens.

The best way to find out what putter weight is right for you is to simply try out different weights. With your current putter and a roll of lead tape handy, try hitting putts where you progressively add more lead tape to the head, until the feel matches your preference. The great thing about lead tape is that you can always remove it if you’ve gone too far.

Maybe for you it’s not necessary to add any lead tape, or maybe, like Block, you find it best to add a whole heap of the substance. It’s all about finding that right feel on the greens.