James Piot was 3 down heading to the last 9 holes of the 36-hole championship match in last week’s U.S. Amateur at Oakmont. He erased the deficit and won the match 2-1 on the 35th hole. What may be more impressive than the comeback is what he did it with. He rolled a flat-stick that he and his dad refer to as the “garbage putter.”
Years ago Piot’s father pulled a Ping i-series Piper H putter from his bag and tossed it into the pile of clubs in their garage after it failed to produce enough birdies on the greens. We’ve all been there and we all have that special bag, pile, or corner in our basements or garages full of sticks that just didn’t answer the call. One day in middle school, James went rummaging through the stash and pulled the Ping putter and gave it a try. James’ dad made a custom alignment aid with a yellow line that has faded over time. “I gave it a try and was like, this thing is actually awesome,” said Piot. From that point on it went in the bag and was known as the “garbage putter.” I bet Ping loves that. “We called it that because I grabbed it from the pile and that line drawn on it, it’s just…it’s not the best looking thing.”
The putter was a mainstay throughout most of Piot’s high school and junior career. There were times where it hit the sideline for something fancier and newer, but it always made its way back to the bag. The worn flat-stick made its way to the lineup once again early this summer. He used it to get through U.S. Amateur qualifying and also rolled it when he shot 62 at the Southern Amateur. James then made it to the Sweet 16 in the Western Am and won the Golf Association of Michigan Championship the following week.
On Sunday, Piot rallied to win 4 straight holes. He closed out Austin Greaser on 17 with a 20 footer for par. After a summer to remember I’d say there’s no way you could pry that putter out if his hands. The old saying is it’s the Indian not the arrow. Sometimes it is the arrow…even if the arrow cost $60 and has a terrible yellow line drawn on it.
James Piot – WITB
The Michigan State Spartan filled the rest of his bag with Titleist equipment to capture the 2021 U.S. Amateur. Here’s What’s in the Bag of James Piot.
Driver – Titleist TSi3, 8°, Graphite Design Tour AD GP
3-wood – Titleist TS3, 15°
Irons – Titleist 2021 T200 #3, Titleist 718 AP2 #4-PW, True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT White X100
Wedges – Titleist Vokey SM8, 50° 54° 60°
Putter – Ping Piper H aka the garbage putter
Enjoy the game and each other,
Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional