The putter that helped Jack Nicklaus win the 1986 Masters

Jack Nicklaus 1986 Masters Putter

No Masters highlights reel is complete without the iconic image of Jack raising his putter aloft after draining his crucial birdie putt on the 17th green at Augusta during the final round of the 1986 tournament.

The MacGregor Response ZT 615 putter’s massive oversized head design was unique and came about when Jack asked designer Clay Long, the head of MacGregor’s R&D department, to create something a little bit different for him.

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The putter Long created had an extremely large moment of inertia. This was one of the very first putter designs to place so much importance on MOI in an attempt to increase stability and forgiveness.

Nicklaus Mac Gregor Putter

The ZT in its name actually stands for ‘Zero Twisting’ and this became the product’s commercial tagline: “We took out twist to take off strokes.”

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The ZT 615 was ahead of its time, so much so that MacGregor didn’t anticipate selling more than a few thousand units.

However, after the ‘Golden Bear’s heroics around Augusta that year, sales unsurprisingly went through the roof, will into the hundreds of thousands of units in 1986.

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Nicklaus and his equipment brand would also manufacture a limited number of about 1,000 replicas in 2006 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his win.

It could’ve been a completely different story, though, as Jack, initially, was not a big fan of the cumbersome and unusual club.

It is reported that he said to Long when he first saw the club, “Is this a joke?”

Thankfully for Jack, MacGregor and his adoring fans, he was won over by the club and went onto secure his historic 18th major.

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