What’s In A Name?

Last August while I was bemoaning the state of my putting and discussing the debate about putter length I jokingly suggested that Robert Garrigus would be a good person to talk to about the need for a long putter. At the time Garrigus was using a 28 inch long putter that looked like a kid’s toy.

Somebody must have talked to Garrigus over the winter, because now he’s using a 46 inch sweeper and he swears it’s great. I don’t know how his short and long putter stats compare, but I love the way he names his putters.

The short one was called Mini-Me, and when he changed to the long one he kept the Austin Powers movie theme going and named it Dr. Evil.

I’ve never considered naming my putter, and maybe that’s why it betrays me so often. I guess anything that spends that much time with me and gets called the equivalent of “Hey you” could build up some resentment. At least that’s what I hear from my wife.

Anyway, I’ve been mulling over proper names for my putter. I’m not a big movie guy, so I haven’t found any inspiration there. And I’m not sure if I should go for honesty or hope with the name. I’ve thought about Benedict, after Benedict Arnold, because that club betrays me more than any other in my bag. And if it starts to treat me right, I could always tell it Benedict is Ben Crenshaw’s real first name.

I’ve also considered Corey, because it could go both ways, too. Treat me right, and it’s Corey Pavin. Treat me like it does most of the time and it’s Wrong-Way Corrigan.

But I think I’ve settled on calling my putter Spenser. I’ve always liked the Robert B. Parker detective. He’s a lovable tough guy that’s always getting into and causing trouble. He often does things the hard way for reasons that are apparent only to him. He puzzles over things, tries to analyze the situation and read the clues. He may get them wrong, but then he picks up from the mess he finds himself in and tries again.

That sounds a lot like my putting.

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