How Phil Kenyon fixed Scottie Scheffler’s putting

The World No.1 putting coach Phil Kenyon heaps praise on the World No.1 player and two-time Masters champion.

Phil Kenyon knows a good golfer when he sees one. He’s worked with practically all of the game’s biggest names and had eight students in the field at The 2024 Masters, including winner Scottie Scheffler and third-placed Max Homa.

So when he calls a player “one of the most gifted golfers I have ever come across,” your ears tend to prick up. That’s how he describes Scheffler, a man he started working with at the back end of last year.

Kenyon is the world’s most sought-after putting coach and the World No.1 reached out to the Englishman ahead of last year’s Ryder Cup in Rome after a woeful season on the greens (by his and Tour standards) had left him looking lost.

“I had watched Phil before and watched him coach players,” said Scheffler. “When you’re out here as long as I’ve been, I just see stuff, and I loved the way Phil coached his players. You look at a guy like Fitzy [Matt Fitzpatrick] who lines up his putts and uses a putter that has a lot of swing to it, and you look at a guy like Keegan Bradley, who doesn’t use a line on the ball, uses a big giant putter cross-handed, and he putts good. As I watched Phil, I could tell that he was open-minded, and that’s the type of people I like to work with. And we kind of hit the ground running in the fall.”

Phil Kenyon is the world's leading putting coach.

Since then, Scheffler has stamped his authority on the World No.1 spot, winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship before picking up his second Green Jacket at the 2024 Masters Tournament.

He looked calm and composed on Augusta’s tricky greens and in brutally windy conditions across the first half of the tournament. He ranked second in the tournament’s putting statistics with an average of 1.5 putts per green, a marked improvement for a man whose putting used to be his Achilles heel.

So what has Kenyon been working on with a man who many are already comparing with Tiger Woods?

Scottie Scheffler working on his putting with Phil Kenyon at the Ryder Cup.

“Some of his troubles have been documented. We made some technical changes at the back end of last year and this year has been more about trying to trust those changes,” Kenyon told Andrew Cotter for an episode of the hit podcast The Chipping Forecast. “Less technical thought and more tapping into his instincts, trying to be freer in his approach. When you make changes and you’re trying to improve technically it’s easy to become a perfectionist or constantly be thinking about trying to make perfect strokes. We are trying to make sure he doesn’t go that route.”

Kenyon describes Scheffler as an extremely “lovely bloke,” “ very competitive,” and “an extremely hard worker,” but Masters week is about a lot more than Scheffler for the man who has coached the likes of Darren Clarke, Henrik Stenson, and Francesco Molinari to Open Championship glory.

He had eight clients in the field at Augusta – Justin Rose, Gary Woodland, Keegan Bradley, Russell Henley, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Max Homa, and Scottie Scheffler – with all but the first two making the cut. So how does the coach spread his time between the players to ensure they all get a good sprinkling of his expertise?

Phil Kenyon working with Max Homa at the 2022 Open Championship.

“It can be a little tricky. I’ll book in times with the players. Each player tends to structure their day in advance so I’ll book in time slots to see them,” he told Cotter. “Luckily I’m in fairly regular contact with all of the players so it’s not like you’re having to cram stuff in and it is the week of a Major so everyone really does know what they’re doing and you’re there more supervising practice, overseeing, and making sure nothing’s going wrong.”

It’s a tough balancing act for a man so in demand.

“It’s a difficult one because if someone’s doing well, I’m always concerned about the ones who aren’t doing so well,” he admits. “I’d be quite happy if any of the guys I work with have a chance to put the Green Jacket on.” Understandably non-committal.

Scottie Scheffler won the Masters by three shots.

Kenyon admits he doesn’t often putt while playing golf, preferring to just hit the ball with the limited rounds he manages, but he believes he can make anyone a better putter and has plenty of evidence to back that up.

“We’re born with very few instincts and the ability to putt isn’t one of them so things like that can be learnt. For some people it’s maybe harder than others,” he said. “I’m never going to able to hit the ball 380 yards, not at my size and my age, so there’s a certain amount of physical ability you would need to do that, but with putting there isn’t the same sort of physical ability required. Mental capability, certainly, but I think it’s a skill you can learn over time.”

Phil Kenyon is arguably the world's best putting coach

But what advice would one of the game’s leading gurus give to amateurs who are struggling on the greens?

“There’s no one perfect way to do it, really. Naturally, people gravitate towards technique but with putting it’s more about the skills you need to do to putt well. You need to be able to start the ball online, control speed and read a green, so I’d look at it more from a skillset perspective. What are the skills I have and what do I need to employ? There are a variety of different techniques you could employ so have a lesson with a coach you trust.”

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About the Author

Rob Jerram is Today's Golfer's Digital Editor.

Rob Jerram – Digital Editor

Rob specializes in the DP World Tour, PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and the Ryder Cup, spending large chunks of his days reading about, writing about, and watching the tours each month.

He’s passionate about the equipment used by professional golfers and is also a font of knowledge regarding golf balls, golf trolleys, and golf bags, testing thousands down the years.

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