Braden Shattuck - Low PGA Professional at the 2024 PGA Championship Supporting Article Image

Braden Shattuck - Low PGA Professional at the 2024 PGA Championship

We recently caught up for a conversation with Braden Shattuck, PGA Director of Instruction at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania, who also earned low PGA Professional honors at the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla. 

Playing a full bag of Titleist equipment, Braden made the cut and fired off rounds of 71-70-68-74 (-1) — the only PGA Professional in the field to finish under par. He also recorded the week’s best putting performance, gaining more strokes (+10.203) on Valhalla’s greens than any player in the field with his Scotty Cameron Select TG6 GOLO 6 Tourtype SSS Prototype putter.

Braden Shattuck

Can you tell us about the putter you're currently gaming?

Scotty's team made me a custom Circle T. It's a GOLO 6 ... in Tour Black, and then the shaft is black, and it has a black grip that says Scotty Cameron in big print down the front.

What was it like when you visited the Encinitas Gallery?

It was amazing. Obviously it's literally right there on the ocean, which was insanely nice. And then it's funny, there were a bunch of people waiting in line to get in, I guess for the doors to open. They let me in at 8:00. And just me, which was funny, because all the people out there were just looking at me like, "Who the heck? Why are they letting this kid in?" But the Studio itself was beautiful. Just the display of everything was so nice.

And Joey was my fitter. He was more artsy about the fitting process. So he was like, "All right, I want you to go around the room. I want you to pick out four or five putters that you like the look of first, because you've got to like what you're rolling. You've got to like going to the practice green and putting with it. You've got to enjoy all that. That's really important. So go around, pick some putters that look different, but that you like, and then start to look at it and measure, see how you stroke it, see how you like the feel of it." I just liked the process, how it was very artsy, blended with just enough science, if that makes sense.

I think there's something to be said for liking what you're looking at and liking what you're rolling. I think that makes a huge difference. I love the putter. It looks perfect. I couldn't have drawn up a more perfect looking putter for me, which is awesome. I love the way it looks. Everybody who looks at it's like, "Dang, this thing is sick. I've never seen anything like this before!" And I don't ever see anybody who has one like that. So it's cool to have a unique putter that's beautiful that I like the way it looks. I like the way it feels, and it also performs. You can't beat that.

Scotty Cameron GOLO 6

Have you always been a mallet guy or a blade guy?

So, when I was a kid I played a blade just because it was the cool thing to do. And I finally got my first Scotty Cameron when I was 13 or 14, and it was the Newport 2 with the little cross and the different colored dots, the four dots with the circles (Studio Style). I had that one with the insert and it was beautiful. I was awful, though. So then I tried another Scotty, and still wasn't finding success. And then eventually I tried a mallet...I don't know which model. It had three lines on it. And then I was like, "Okay, I like a mallet. This is great." And then the head pro at Concord had a GOLO. I think it was a GOLO 5 or a GOLO 7, the original one.

And I tried rolling that and I was like, "This feels way better!" No insert. It was just a milled face. It felt forgiving. It felt like it was easier to swing. It felt a lot easier to make putts from inside five feet. And then really the big change for me was actually getting some help and instruction with my putting technique. And then the combination of changing to a putter that actually matched how I stroked the ball with good technique was it. 

Scotty Cameron GOLO 6

Putting was the worst part of my game by far. Every time I went out, it was like 35 to 40 putts. And then just through getting better at technique and switching to a putter that worked for me and then building confidence, putting actually became the best part of my game for a while, which it is weird because usually it's the other way around. Usually kids start off as good putters and then as father time and missed putts set in, you get worse at putting. But actually, I've gotten better over the years, which is opposite for most.

In talking technique, do you have a specific practice regimen now that you've improved?

Just from a technical standpoint, I always view it as, for me, the less amount of extra moving parts there are, the better you're probably going to putt long term. If your arms are bending and your wrists are moving and your hands are twisting and the face is opening too much and you're picking the putter up too much, your head's moving. If you have too many things going on, too many extra variables, it's going to be hard for you to putt well consistently. So my opinion, from an instructor standpoint, is I've just tried to eliminate all of the extra moving parts and solidify good arm structure, good wrist structure, a good grip, eyes over the ball, good posture, locking in pressure points, and make sure there's not just a ton of extra moving parts with the stroke itself.

And as I've done that over time, you just start to build more confidence. And as of late, I've been doing some research with a good friend of mine. He has a ball roll system, so we've been doing some experimenting on there, figuring out how to get better. He's been doing a lot of the research himself, but I've brought a lot of questions to him that we've tried to find answers to. And one of the interesting things we've found past the technique perspective of improving path and improving face and all that stuff is actually contact on the face. How important consistency of contact is not just for speed, but for actually the roll of the ball and the ball holding its actual line.

So basically what we found was that centeredness of contact affects the spin that comes off the golf ball. So you've got a forward and backward rotation you can have, you can have a side spin, and then there's a spin axis measured called rifle spin. And if I'm not mistaken, off-center strikes, like toe versus heel, can cause the ball to come off the putter with rifle spin. So basically think about the spin on a bullet. It comes out like that.

And what I noticed was I was putting, and my ball would get out two or three feet and then it would immediately curve offline. It was almost like it was kicking offline. And I'm like, "There's no way that I'm playing 17 different golf courses and all of my balls are kicking offline three feet out. The greens are good. So it can't be that it's got to be something I'm doing." I couldn't figure out what it was. My stroke looked good on video, but I was not hitting the center of the face. So the ball would skid for 18 to 20 inches and then would grab with that rifle spin and it would shoot it offline just enough from an eight-foot putt and out to make you miss.

Scotty Cameron GOLO 6

And all of my misses were burning the edge, lipping out. And it was because I was not putting a pure roll on the golf ball from centeredness of contact. So all I started doing, it's the classic drill. Two tees gate drill and use your one hand, your one arm, and just control the putter with one arm and get your centeredness of contact down and just work on it from five to eight feet. And I've been doing that nonstop trying to stabilize my right arm and doing the gate drill to hit the center of the face. And the more I do it, the better I get. My putting stats have shown that I am rolling the ball significantly better each and every week and month.

How do you consistently hit the center of the ball to get a pure roll?

So obviously it's setup. That's where it starts. And then it's in making sure that the line on the putter and the center of the face are in the center of the golf ball. So those have to be good at setup. And then the other part of setup is making sure that my arms, specifically my right arm and wrist are locked in. If they're not locked in, then as soon as I pull the putter back, it's not going to arc properly, then I'm going to have to try and make compensations to get the putter back to square and I'm not going to hit the center of the face. So it starts at set up, making sure I'm setting it up in the center of the face with the line on the putter, and then locking in with my right arm and wrist to make sure that throughout the stroke, I'm locked in. And that's what helps me hit the center of the face. As soon as I get loose in the wrists and arms, that's when it starts to get out of control.

What's the number one thing you share with your students regarding a putting drill?

Number one thing for putting for me is holding the putter properly. I see so many people holding the putter in a way that looks like they're about to hit a five iron and they can't control the face. So that for me has been numero uno. Very few people in my history of teaching have ever been successful at putting holding it like a seven iron.

Scotty Cameron GOLO 6

And you're saying toe up, just not getting over the ball? 

Yeah, like holding it in the fingers. The shaft is sitting on a completely different plane than the forearms, the toe's up, their eyes are way inside the ball. Just awful setup.

Can you tell about the toughest putt you made at the PGA Championship? 

That's a good question. So I would say that the hardest putt to make, honestly...I made a ton of long putts, but the hardest putt to make was the four-footer to make the cut. The hole looked like it was the size of a thimble. So that's where you have to really rely on good technique and good past experiences to make that work.

You have five more PGA Tour events that you're eligible for. Tell me how that works.

So yeah, basically, I've got three more left for this year. I do get to choose. I kind of picked, but I'm not committing to them right now. Just because I've got some family stuff going on that I want to take care of, and work stuff. So just making sure all my ducks and all the important stuff's lined up first and then I'll get those tour events rocking and rolling. But it was good to have those experiences this year. I played in four already, so I think I'm ready to rock for the rest of them.

What are your golf goals for the future?

I enjoy my job a lot. So I'm going to stick with that. And basically my goal has always been to just continue getting better at golf and that's what we're going to try to do. Wherever that takes me, it takes me, but I don't have a specific goal in mind any more really, like with playing the PGA Tour or anything like that. I enjoy playing those PGA Tour events and I think that those show that I have improved. So that's where I'm at. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing.

Scotty Cameron GOLO 6

Do you see your GOLO 6 staying in the bag for a while?

I usually like to keep things in the bag. I had a hard time getting rid of my TSI driver and going to the TSR. It took a year to switch, and then once I switched I was like, "Okay, this thing's good." And I played shorter irons for a while, and my seven through three iron are all short. They're seven iron length. It took probably a good year, or maybe less than a year of convincing, probably six months of convincing from Taylor Landers at Titleist to get me to switch to standard length clubs again. I got convinced. I'm back to standard length clubs. But yeah, I'll tinker when I'm not feeling good about what I'm hitting. If I don't like my three wood, I will continue to tinker until I find something I like. And then once I find something I like, I don't like to switch for a while.

See the Scotty Cameron Super Select GOLO 6