Will Zalatoris has seen and heard your cracks. And he has some thoughts.
One, he’s happy he could help. If you needed something to complain about, Zalatoris said on this week’s episode of the No Laying Up podcast, he’s glad that his putting stroke — that putting stroke — gave you content. And the thing is, Zalatoris also agrees with you.
Yes, he says, his move does look like many of the words you’ve written and said. But then there’s what Zalatoris also believes.
“Here’s the thing, though: Statistically, yeah, I need to be better from 4 to 8, 9 feet — I’m not winning any beauty contests — but 35th-best putter on Tour this year,” he said on the podcast “… Do I need to get better? Is it sexy? Yeah, I need to get better, and, yeah, it’s not the best. But when it feels good, I will take on anybody in the world no matter what range, it doesn’t matter.
“But I’m not afraid to go hit a few putts off the toe every now and again and be a little uncommitted to what I’m doing. But then again, I have won out here; I do have a lot of top 10s. Statistically, it’s not as bad as it actually looks, which I know is hard to believe for some people, and I know I love getting ripped for it. But at the end of the day, like I said, I’ll take anybody on anytime.”
So yeah, he’s good. Even though a few others haven’t been with the stroke.
So what does it look like? In short, the motion is ‘loopy’ — the back-and-through is far from straight, and the center of the putter has a lot of work to do to get back to the center of the ball. It pops up mostly on shorter putts.
Here’s a sampling of the stroke, taken from Twitter, along with the ensuing comments:
The voiceover on the last post is from Josh Gregory, Zalatoris’ coach, who’s describing the work his student is putting in. Of course, that’s not for looks. As Zalatoris himself noted, he’s statistically average from close range — last season on the PGA Tour, he was perfect from 3 feet and closer, but then he ranked 168th from 4 feet and closer; 163rd from 5; 105th from 6; 141st from 7; 153rd from 8; and 112th from 9.
Could he improve? Sure. Though if he did, watch out. He was also 21st last season on Tour in putting average (1.734), and 103rd in Strokes Gained: Putting. And he’s been a presence in the majors — since the 2020 U.S. Open, he’s had a whopping six top 10s over nine events, with three runner-up finishes.
“Yeah, like I said, I got to be better about it,” Zalatoris said on the podcast. “There’s no excuses for it, whatsoever. Trust me, whenever I putted my best, I’ve done a much better job of not taking it inside. And I’ll keep working on it.
“Like I said, if that’s the one thing that people are going to have to bash me for, like what are you going to bash me for whenever I keep showing up at majors and I keep making putts and I keep being in contention. Look, I know I need to get better with it; I will get better with it. … Am I winning any beauty contests? Hellll no. But I will keep trying to get better with it.”
Editor’s note: To listen to the complete No Laying Up podcast with Zalatoris, please click here.