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Archive: November 2009

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November 30, 2009

Tiger Woods Endorsements Are Safe After Car Crash

Posted at 5:38 PM by David Dusek

Shortly after the story broke on Friday afternoon that Tiger Woods was involved in a car accident, media outlets starting contacting me and asking how the situation might effect Tiger's endorsement deals.

The 2009 Sports Illustrated Fortunate 50 List reported that Tiger Woods' total earnings were down about $28 million last year, but for the sixth-consecutive time he topped the list by bringing home an estimated $99,737,626. To put that number in perspective, Phil Mickelson came in a distance second with and estimated $52,950,356, while LeBron James is is reported to have made $42,410,581.

As CNNMoney's David Goldman wrote in an excellent article Monday afternoon, Tiger's sponsors are standing by him, and will likely continue to do so. Here's why: Tiger has not been formally charged with anything. Tabloids and pundits are writing that Woods needs to address the rumors that are swirling around the Internet, but legally, Tiger is not required to speak to anyone.

With that in mind, why should companies like Nike, Accenture, AT&T, Tag Heuer, Gillette, and Gatorade even consider changing, or ending, their relationship with the man who is one of the most iconic figures in sports?

Sure, if the circumstances surrounding Woods's car cash change in the coming days or weeks, companies might reconsider their association with Tiger accordingly. But as Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes said in a statement, "Contrary to various media reports, the Florida Highway Patrol has not made any comments regarding the details of the ongoing crash investigation involving Tiger Woods as it relates to medical information, or any other aspect of this investigation."

So don't look for Fortune 500 companies to start changing their marketing plans simply because Tiger Woods is the target de jour of tabloids.

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Bag of the Day: Sergio Garcia

Posted at 8:34 AM by David Dusek

Sergio-Garcia-TaylorMade_600

DRIVER: TaylorMade R9 (9.5°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 73 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade R9 (15°), r7 (17.5°) with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 103 X shafts
IRONS: TaylorMade R9 TP (3-PW) with Project X 6.5 shafts
WEDGES: TaylorMade rac (54°, 58°)
PUTTER:  TaylorMade Rossa Monza Corza
BALL: TaylorMade Penta TP

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More on Sergio Garcia:
Sergio Garcia won't change schedule for Ryder Cup prep
Sergio Garcia: The GOLF Magazine Interview
Instruction: Sergio Garcia shows you how to hit it solid

(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

November 26, 2009

Bag of the Day: Ross Fisher

Posted at 10:21 PM by David Dusek

Ross Fisher won the European Tour's Volvo World Match Play Championship on November 1, defeating Anthony Kim 4 & 3 in the 36-hole final. In February at the WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championship in Tucson, Ariz., the Englishman made it to the semifinal round before losing to countryman Paul Casey. Based on those results, the United States Ryder Cup knows that if Fisher can make the European squad, he'll give the Americans all they can handle.

Ross-Fisher-Titleist-Clubs_600 

Here is a list of the clubs Ross Fisher is currently using:

DRIVER: Titleist Pro Titanium 909D3 (9.5°) with a Project X 76 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Nike SQ (15°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 93X shaft
HYBRID: Titleist 909H  (17°) with Fujikura Speeder 904HB shaft
IRONS: Titleist 695MB (3-9) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (48°, 54°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist Newport prototype
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

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(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

November 25, 2009

Bag of the Day: Simon Dyson

Posted at 9:58 PM by David Dusek

In August, England's Simon Dyson won the KLM Open in the Netherlands, defeating 1999 British Open winner Paul Lawrie and Sweden's Peter Hedblom in a playoff. In October he won another European Tour event, the prestigious Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, which helped him earn his current world ranking, No. 45.

Simon-Dyson-Nike-Clubs_600 

Here is a list of the clubs that Simon Dyson is currently using:

DRIVER: Nike SQ MachSpeed (10.5°) with a UST Mamaya ATTAS 6X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Nike SQ Sumo (15), Nike SQ2 (19°) with UST Mamaya ATTAS 7X shafts
IRONS: Nike Victory Red Split Cavity (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
WEDGES: Nike SV Black Satin (52°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
PUTTER: Rife Barbados
BALL: Nike ONE Tour D

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(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Wear in the World: Our Idea of Golf Heaven

Posted at 1:27 PM by David Dusek

After viewing the latest tweets and blogs from a pair of extreme golfers playing at the world’s highest golf course (10,800 feet) in Bolivia, we gotta say we really like the idea of playing a 7 iron off the tee on a 217-yard par three. In the ultra-thin air of the Bolivian Andes, the ball carries an extra 30-40 yards, according to the golfers, Josh Sullivan and Lindsay Knowlton, who are traveling the world for Adidas, testing their equipment in harsh golf environments. This is almost like golfing on the moon. Can we make the La Paz Golf Club our home course? Any place you can hit a 7 iron like that is our idea of golfing heaven.

Meanwhile, it was raining and hailing the morning the two TaylorMade-adidas players went out, but, in case there were any doubt whatsoever concerning their Adidas equipment in such extreme conditions, they had no problem.  Their ClimaProof Provisional rain gear and Tour 360 shoes left both body and spirit undampened. You can see for yourself in this amusing little videos they have posted.

josh and Lindsay will be are continuously blogging about their adventures at wearintheworld.adidasgolf.com  and here on GOLF.com, as well as filing Twitter  and Facebook  updates. — Woody Hochswender

Bag of the Day: Luke Donald

Posted at 10:22 AM by David Dusek

Luke-Donald-Mizuno-Golf_450x600
Here is a list of the clubs that Luke Donald is currently using:

DRIVER: TaylorMade R9 460 (9.5°) with with an Accra XC 65 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Tour Edge Exotics CB2 (15°) Accra XC 75 X shaft
HYBRID: Mizuno CLK Fli-Hi  (17°) with an Aldila NV 85 X Hybrid shaft
IRONS: Mizuno MP-62 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts
WEDGES: Mizuno MP R Series (54°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Tour XG #7
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

November 24, 2009

Bag of the Day: Mike Weir

Posted at 10:33 AM by David Dusek

Mike Weir was given his country's highest honor on November 5, when he was awarded the Order of Canada in a ceremony in Ottawa. The Order of Canada is given to recognize extraordinary Canadians and their outstanding achievements.

While golf fans know Weir as the winner of the 2003 Masters and seven other PGA Tour events—tying him with George Knudson for the most by any Canadian—the Mike Weir Foundation has raised over $5 million for the advancement of the physical, emotional and educational welfare of children.

Mike-Weir_600

Here is a complete list of the clubs that Mike Weir, who is ranked No. 34 in the World Golf Rankings, is currently using:

DRIVER: TaylorMade R9 (10.5°) with Matrix Ozik HD6 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade Tour Burner (14.5°) with an Accra XW80 shaft
HYBRID: TaylorMade Rescue Duel (16°), Rescue TP (22°) with Aldila NV Hybrid 85 shafts
IRONS: TaylorMade r7 (4-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (54°), 200 Series (60°)
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist Newport Mill Spec
BALL: Titleist Pro V1

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(Photo by Simon Bruty/SI)

November 23, 2009

Ask the Experts: Scotty Cameron

Posted at 4:33 PM by David Dusek

The second installment in our series "Ask the Experts" gave you a chance to ask questions via Twitter to Titleist putter guru Scotty Cameron. Here are his answers.

Scotty Cameron Putter I have a mallet putter and two different blade-style putters. Is there any chance you might develop an interchangeable putter-head system?
There are companies out there that are working with interchangeable driver parts, and I'm keeping an eye on them. But at what point would we become a component company versus a golf club company?

Right now, you can send your putter to us and we can add weights if you want to make your putter heavier or lighter. But you have to send it to our shop to do the work. Why?  Think of it this way: If I bought a car and the dealer gave me a tune-up kit and put it in the trunk, and the manual for me to tune up my own car, that doesn't mean I could do it right. I would probably be better off leaving it to the professionals to do it.

There's always a niche group of customers who are techno-tinkerers out there. However, I feel like I would rather be in control of the destiny of the product.

Now, to make a mallet out of a heel-toe weighted blade, it's been done before. But in keeping with the car analogy, if I took a four-door sedan and could bolt on a back so it converted into a station wagon ... you know what, I'd rather just buy a new station wagon.

I just feel that we are a putter company, not a component putter company.

Many professional players will switch to a softer ball next season. How will that effect their putting?
Good question. We have done a lot of tests regarding sound versus feel, and we have found that sound actually has more to do with feel and the feel in your hands. So every time we make and design putters, we're thinking about sound versus feel.

There is a sound you expect from your putter, and it's not right and it's not wrong, but it is what you want. Some may sound hollow and tinny, while others may be soft and cushiony, but a lot of it has to do with the golf ball you use.

The Studio Select line has interchangeable weight screws in the bottom of the putters. Why not allow golfers to swap the weights on themselves?
The whole idea behind the weights is for us to get it just right. For many years, putter companies had one head and simply made it in three different lengths—33", 34" and 35". But that changes the weight in a similar way that cutting down or lengthening your driver would.

We don't want someone to have a kit that would change the weight and make the putter not ideal. We have the recipe here that tells us what adjustments to make for every inch that you change, and the swing-weight points that you either gain or lose. But as I said earlier, I just really want to get it right.

Now, I believe that putters can be a little heavier, or possibly a little lighter, but not so much that it changes the rhythm and timing of your transition stroke from the backswing to the forward swing. If a putter is too light, you can take the putter back too far to gain the momentum, or you have to hit at it more to compensate for the weight loss.

(Video: Scotty Cameron Studio Select Putters)

Continue reading "Ask the Experts: Scotty Cameron" »

Bag of the Day: Alvaro Quiros

Posted at 9:15 AM by David Dusek

There are a lot of players who are long off the tee, and then there is Spain's Alvaro Quiros. In 20 European tour events in 2009, he averaged 314 yards per drive. He also hit more than 70% of the greens in regulation, which helped him to win the Qatar Masters in January and climb to No. 46 in the World Golf Rankings.

Alviro-Quiros_600

Here is a list of the clubs in Alvaro Quiros' golf bag:

DRIVER: Callaway FT-5 (9.5°) Grafalloy Blue X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Callaway X Tour (13°), X (15.5°) with Grafalloy Blue X shafts
IRONS: Callaway X Proto (3-PW) with Rifle Lite 8.0 shafts
WEDGES: Callaway X Forged Vintage (51°, 58°) with Rifle Lite 8.0 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey Black Series i #1
BALL: Callaway Tour ix

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More Quiros:
Quiros accidentally hits into Tiger's group at Hazeltine

Swing Sequence: Alvaro Quiros

(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

November 20, 2009

Bag of the Day: Rory McIlroy

Posted at 10:07 AM by David Dusek

Rory McIlroy burst onto the scene at Carnoustie during the 2007 British Open. He was the low-amateur at that tournament and turned pro shortly afterward. Since then, he's been a fixture near the top of leaderboards around the world and could become the youngest Order of Merit winner since a 19-year-old Seve Ballesteros did it in 1979. 

Rory-McIlroy-Titleist-Clubs_600
Here is a list of the clubs that Rory McIlroy is using:

DRIVER: Titleist 909D2 (8.5°) with Rombax 7V05 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 906F2 (13°, 18°) with ZCOM Pro95 shafts
IRONS: Titleist Z Muscle Forged (3-9) with Project X shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design (48°), Spin Milled (54°) and Special Grind (60°) with Project X shafts
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist Fastback
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

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GOLF Magazine Interview: Rory McIlroy

Swing Sequence: Rory McIlroy

(Photo by Andrew Reddington/Getty Images)

November 19, 2009

Adidas Apparel Goes on Extreme Tour

Posted at 2:14 PM by David Dusek

In what sounds like a dream golf assignment, two near-scratch players are being sent around the world this winter to courses with extremely hot weather to test clothing made by TaylorMade-adidas.

The "Wear in the World" tour, announced with some fanfare at the Adidas Golf headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., this week, will transport Lindsay Knowlton (3 handicap) and Josh Sullivan (1) to golf courses in Death Valley, the tip of South Africa, the southernmost part of Argentina, equatorial Bolivia, and Alice Springs, Australia—the world's hottest golf course, with temperatures reaching 122 degrees—to see if Adidas' various proprietary fabrics can, well, take the heat.

So much of contemporary golf enterprise is devoted to keeping the player absolutely dry and sweat-free during a round. Apparently Adidas willl go to hell and back to prove it. Adidas makes golf clothes with all kinds of high-technology bells and whistles, including the ClimaCool, ClimaLite and ClimaProof fabrics, which use lightweight, breathable CoolMax fibers to keep players cool and dry. The plan is to use different fabric applications for different micro environments; for instance, at super-dry Furnace Creek, in Death Valley, 214 feet below sea level, the players will don ClimaCool, with its mesh ventilation; at Bolivia's LaPaz Golf Club, altitude 10,800 feet, they will wear ClimaLite and FORMOTION, which includes outerwear with almost no friction or restriction; at Walker Bay in South Africa, they will put on ClimaProof, a highly weather-resistant fabric, because that resort presumably has some wind and moisture. And so on.

In addition to their promotional activities, the players will teach golf to locals, mountain bike on Bolivia's "Death Road," and go cage diving with sharks off the coast of South Africa. In case you're interested (and should they survive), they will be blogging about their adventures at wearintheworld.adidasgolf.com and Golf.com, as well as filing Twitter and Facebook updates. -- Woody Hochswender, Contributing Style Editor, GOLF Magazine

Bag of the Day: Matt Kuchar

Posted at 10:55 AM by David Dusek

Matt Kuchar's victory at the Turning Stone Resort Championship in October was his first in seven years. he is positioned at No. 59 in the Official World Golf  Rankings and finished 24th on the the 2008 PGA Tour Money List with $2,489,193.

Matt-Kuchar-Bridgestone-Golf_600

Here is a complete list of the clubs that Matt Kuchar is currently using:

DRIVER: Bridgestone J38 Prototype Driver (9.5°) with Matrix Ozik XCON-7 S shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Tour Edge Exotics CB2 (16.5°)  with Matrix Ozik XCon-8 S shaft, Callaway Big Bertha Heavenwood (20°) with Aldila NV 95X shaft
IRONS: Bridgestone J33 Airmuscle (3) with Aldila NV 85X shaft, Tour Stage Z101 (4-PW)  with AeroTech SteelFiber i95 shafts
WEDGES: Bridgestone WC (54°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Golf S-400 shafts
PUTTER: Rife Barbados
BALL: Bridgestone Tour B330-S

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(Photo by Stan Badz/Getty Images)

November 18, 2009

Golf Equipment Counterfeiters Sentenced to Prison in China

Posted at 5:31 PM by David Dusek

In a press release sent by Nike on Wednesday, it was announced that eight people in China have been sentenced to jail and fined after being convicted of counterfeiting registered trademarks, as well as manufacturing, distributing and selling counterfeit golf equipment.

According to the release, "The two principal defendants, Tain Yu and Tian Zhongyi, will serve four year and three year prison terms, respectively. According to Wan Hui Da, the law firm representing the [U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group], these sentences are considered very severe penalties for intellectual property related crimes in China. The defendants will not appeal the decisions."

The release went on to say that nearly 10,000 pieces of counterfeit golf equipment were seized, including more than 740 assembled golf clubs, 1,500 club heads, 4,700 golf grips, 2,300 shafts, 280 club head covers and assorted golf towels, golf bags and apparel.

The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group is comprised of several of the worlds' most well-known golf equipment manufacturers, including the Acushnet Company (Titleist, FootJoy and Cobra Golf); Callaway Golf (Callaway, Odyssey, Top-Flite and Ben Hogan); Cleveland Golf/Srixon; Nike Golf; Ping; and TaylorMade (TaylorMade, adidas Golf, Ashworth).

Bag of the Day: Lee Westwood

Posted at 9:21 AM by David Dusek

In October, England's Lee Westwood won the 2009 Portugal Masters. It was his first tournament win since winning the 2007 British Masters and helped him reach No. 5 in the World Golf Rankings. His win at the European Tour's season-ending Dubai World Championship moved his ranking up to No. 4 and gave him the distinction of becoming the first winner of the Race to Dubai (former the European Order of Merit).

Lee-Westwood-Ping-Golf_450

Here is a complete list of the clubs that Lee Westwood is currently using:

DRIVER: Ping G10 (9.0°) with a Aldila PGA Tour Only Prototype XNV6 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping i15 (14°) with a UST Mamaya V2 76X shaft, (18.5) with Aldila NV75 X shaft
IRONS: Ping i10 (3-PW) with Ping JZ stiff shafts
WEDGES: Ping Tour W (54°, 58°) with Ping JZ stiff shafts
PUTTER: Ping Redwood Anser
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

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(Photo by Andrew Reddington/Getty Images)

November 17, 2009

Ask the Expert: Roger Cleveland's Answers to Your Questions

Posted at 10:52 AM by David Dusek

I got lots of good questions sent to me on Twitter, as well as from readers of the Shop Blog, for Callaway's Roger Cleveland. I spoke with the wedge guru on Friday, and here are his answers to some of the most interesting submissions.

How you would compare and contrast the designs and technologies used in Callaway's wedges with those from other major brands. What makes the Callaway wedges different?
A lot of people copied the wedge designs we developed at Cleveland Golf years ago, like the 588 wedges, but I didn't want to do that. I wanted to do something a little bit different.

Callaway-XForged-JAWS_600When I had the opportunity to get back into club making, and start making wedges for Callaway, I wanted to use the purest form of making irons, and that means forging. I also wanted to use the softest material to give golfers the most feel, and that's 1020 carbon steel. Then, I wanted to have the best forging house in the world, which is in Japan, make the wedges. After putting all those things together, we've been having a great time making irons and wedges here at Callaway.

But what makes our wedges really different from other manufacturers' is the aggressive groove we have developed in conjunction with Phil Mickelson.

Phil always tests a new wedge by hitting 40-yard shots, and he hit that shot pretty hard. The first shot he hit using a a super-aggressive groove we created for him made a white trail of cover material up the face of the club. He looked down and said, "Yep, that's my Mack Daddy groove." We loved that, and so we named our groove the Mack Daddy.

With the new JAWS wedges (above), I wanted to reduce the silhouette of the wedge when you're looking down at address, and I wanted a smaller head. I think that gives golfers a feeling that they can get the leading edge under the ball more easily. We also implemented a very aggressive C-grind in the sole which makes it very versatile.

For the amateur, how would you go about trying and picking a particular sole grind for wedges?
It all depends upon how much you practice and how many different shots you want to be able to hit with your wedge, especially a high-lofted wedge.

If you're the type of player who likes to open the face and hit higher, softer-landing shots, then look for a grind that supplies heel relief but doesn't add too much bounce in the process. Opening the face automatically adds bounce, but some grinds create more than others.

If you don't practice that often, going with the grind that supplies more bounce will help you get out of the sand more easily.

Every wedge needs to have some positive amount bounce so it can slide, rather than dig, through the turf. Remember, you never want to hit a wedge shot using your leading edge, you always want to use the sole as the contact point to the ground.

Continue reading "Ask the Expert: Roger Cleveland's Answers to Your Questions" »




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