Tommy Fleetwood started using a new ball

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Tommy Fleetwood started using a new ball

Tommy Fleetwood is the latest golfer to take the plunge and start using an alignment-aid augmented ball, joining the likes of Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson in rolling a rock that features graphics designed to help with visibility and a putt’s start line.

Fleetwood put TaylorMade’s TP5x Pix golf ball in play at THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT two weeks ago and has kept it in play. The backstory behind his switch – which helped him to a T7 finish in last week’s ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP -- is an interesting one.

As many golfers do, the Englishman had been drawing a black Sharpie line along his golf ball to aid with the alignment of his putts. However, he realized during a recent putting session with his coach that he was often misaligned.

He was having difficulty getting the line aligned with his intended target. Enter TaylorMade’s Pix golf ball and its ClearPath alignment assistance. For your own clarity, you can see an illustration of the technology in action below.

Of course, Fleetwood wasn’t just going make a wholesale ball switch. That is often a massive change that only takes place after tons of testing.

Tommy Fleetwood, statements

“At this level of the game, particularly with Tommy who is so detailed with his equipment, players are only going to switch if they know it can improve their performance on the course,” said TaylorMade senior TOUR rep Adrian Rietveld.

“There’s no change for the sake of change. However, Tommy will put equipment in play immediately when he feels he’s giving up performance without it”. Fleetwood originally used the Pix as a practice aid, further enhancing the ClearPath with a black Sharpie line.

He then tested the TP5x Pix against his TP5x for the back nine of a practice round at Summit ahead of THE CJ CUP, measuring each of his shots on a TrackMan. “He had to be certain that the Pix golf ball gave him the exact same performance as his TP5x gamer.

Of course, we knew they were identical golf balls – the only difference being the markings on the cover. But at that level, they leave no stone unturned,” Rietveld said. From a performance standpoint, Fleetwood found the Pix performed identically to the non-Pix TP5x, and the alignment assistance was welcome. He tied for 38th at THE CJ CUP before his top-10 at the ZOZO.