Gear Notes: Trevor Immelman's New Nike Driver, Hunter Mahan's Day at Ping, and TaylorMade's Vecino Spider Putter
Mathew Goggin, who tied for fourth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, had a great week on the greens. Last season, Goggin averaged 29.53 putts per round, ranking him 142nd on the PGA Tour. But last week at TPC Scottsdale, using a new Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball Blade putter for the first time, the Aussie was more than one stroke better, needing just 28.3.
Adding those four strokes to Goggin's final score would have dropped him into a tie for 24th and cost him more than $200,000 in prize money.
Trevor Immelman made his 2010 debut last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and he did it with a new driver. Immelman, who won the 2008 Masters using a Nike SQ Dymo STR8-Fit prototype driver, played at TPC Scottsdale with a new SQ Machspeed STR8-Fit.
Hunter Mahan went to Ping's factory in Phoenix last Tuesday to meet with the company's engineers, club builders and tour department. To say thanks for all the work they have done for him, Mahan even brought lunch for 30 people.
While at Ping's headquarters, Mahan worked with a master club builder and tour rep to improve the performance of a new EYE2 lob wedge that he started using during the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Unlike the EYE2 lob wedge he'd previously been using, Mahan's new wedge has grooves that conform to the new USGA standards. He felt the ball was rolling up the face too much on full shots, so material was welded to the sole and 3° of bounce were added to the club. The result for Mahan was more control and a flatter trajectory while keeping the 59° of loft.
On Sunday, en route to winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Mahan had to overcome a problem with his Ping Rapture V2 driver.
"My gamer had a little crack in it on 2," he said Sunday evening. After talking with officials and confirming that he could take the club out of play and replace it with a new driver, Mahan's girlfriend, Kandi Harris, ran back to his car and got his back-up.
"Luckily the rules staff ran her out to the car and she got it and I got it before the next tee shot, which was nice, because the next hole is a par 5," he said. "I really didn't want to hit a 3-wood off the par 5."
The new Vecino Spider (right) arrived on tour last week at TPC Scottsdale. Both Martin Laird and Joe Ogilvie immediately put the new putter in the bag, and according to the company, J.B. Holmes, Kenny Perry and Scott McCarron all requested that Vecino Spider putters be made to their specifications for testing.
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