Gear Notes: Michael Sim's Titleist Hybrid, TaylorMade's New Drivers, Ping's Irons and Callaway's New Tour i(z) Ball
Michael Sim (right), who in 2009 won the Nationwide Tour money title and Player of the Year award, as well as a battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour, spent some time at the Acushnet Test Facility before the start of last week's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
According to Titleist's Blog, Sim felt that the distance gap between his AP2 9-iron and his pitching wedge was too large, so he sought the help of some Titleist fitters. By switching from a 47° Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C to a club with 48°, the gap shrank from 18 yards to 12 yards.
Sim also told fitters that while his 695CB 2-iron worked well on the sandy, dry courses in his homeland of Australia, PGA Tour courses demanded shots that fly higher and stop quickly. After trying various hybrids, he put a prototype 503i with a Project X 6.5 shaft into his bag and took out the 2-iron.
Sim also asked Titleist reps to look at his putting stroke using the company's high speed cameras at the Scotty Cameron putting studio. "It wasn’t as good as what it was last year when I went in there," he told Titleist. "But we managed to correct that in probably 20 minutes."
Sim finished tied for second at Torrey Pines. Here is a complete list of his clubs:
DRIVER: Titleist 905R (8.5°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana White 83 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 909F2 (13.5°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 93 shaft
HYBRID: Titleist 503i with True Temper Project X shafts
IRONS: Titleist AP2 (3-9) with True Temper Project X shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C (48°, 54°, 60°) with True Temper Project X shafts
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist Newport Squareback
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x
You've had a chance to read all about TaylorMade's newest drivers, the R9 SuperTri and the Burner SuperFast. Last week at Torrey Pines, PGA Tour pros had their first chance to hit the clubs on the range. The video below, provided by TaylorMade, shows some of their reactions:
There has been a lot of talk about Ping Eye2 wedges recently, especially after John Daly and Phil Mickelson used the venerable clubs in PGA Tour events. The grooves on the Eye2 wedges would be non-conforming with the USGA's new rules, except they were grandfathered to be legal in perpetuity thanks to a lawsuit Ping won 20 years ago. However, Ping cannot make more Eye2 irons and wedges with the old grooves, but on eBay the clubs are selling like hotcakes.
What was interesting to see at the Farmers Insurance Open was that there were 24 sets of Ping irons in play. Twelve sets were used by Ping staff players, and 12 were used by players NOT on Ping's staff, including K.J. Choi (right) who used a set of the company's new G15 irons. Choi, who is no longer a Nike staff player, also played with a TaylorMade r7 Limited driver.
According to the company, Spain’s Alvaro Quiros switched to Callaway's new Tour i(z) ball at last week's European Tour event in Qatar, where he finished second behind Robert Karrlson. Callaway officials pointed out that the switch may have helped the longest hitter in Europe get a touch longer off the tee. Quiros averaged 317 yards per drive at this year's Qatar Masters; at the same event last season, he averaged 314 yards on his way to victory.
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(Photos: Sim/Lenny Ignelzi/AP Photos; Choi/Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)