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April 29, 2010

Odyssey to Offer Limited Edition Phil Mickelson Blade Putter

Posted at 3:41 PM by David Dusek

On the night that Phil Mickelson won the 2010 Masters, I wrote in detail about his custom-made Odyssey blade putter. As I noted that evening, Phil's putter is not currently in Odyssey's lineup. But Odyssey recently announced that 82 right-handed and 82 left-handed models of the Mickelson-inspired ProType 82 blade putter will be made available to the public.

Beginning May 10 at 11:00 AM ET (8:00 AM PT), those interested in owning one of these limited edition putters can sign up to be eligible for purchase on a first-come basis at OdysseyGolf.com. Each of these 164 individually numbered, limited-edition putters features a green highlight on the sole, a nod to Mickelson’s win at Augusta earlier this month.

Phil-Mickelkson-Odyssey-PT82_600x450

According to a release, the ProType 82 features a face insert that is identical to the insert in the White Ice family of putters, a tungsten weight in the rear section and a single white alignment line—just like Mickelson's. The putters will come with special headcover and a Black Series grip that is identical to the one Phil used at Augusta.

Each of the putters will be numbered and sold for $500.

"I'm very excited that the designers at Odyssey have produced this limited edition putter with the same design as my gamer," Mickelson said in the release.

Austie Rollinson, Principle Designer for Odyssey Golf, said in the release, "Phil came to us a few years back to develop this particular model and he’s obviously had great success with it on the PGA Tour. The ProType 82 Putter was developed due to the large number of requests we receive from people interested in the product that Phil uses on the game’s biggest stage."

Don't be surprised to see more ProType putters released from Odyssey in the future.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Odyssey and Callaway, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | ClubTest 2010: Putters

April 28, 2010

Tiger Woods Switches Driver Shafts--Again!

Posted at 9:43 AM by David Dusek

As he prepares to play in his second event of the season, Tiger Woods has changed the shaft in his driver. During Wednesday's practice round, he had a Mitsubishi Fubuki in his Nike Victory Red Tour.

At the Masters, Woods used a Graphite Design Tour AD DI.

Tiger-Woods-Fabuki-Shaft_600x450

In a tasty bit of irony, the Mitsubishi Fubuki shaft is also being used in the Callaway FT-9 Tour Authentic driver used by Phil Mickelson.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Nike and Callaway clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photo by Scott Hallaran/Getty Images)

April 25, 2010

Winning Clubs: Jason Bohn at 2010 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Posted at 9:11 PM by David Dusek

Jason-Bohn-Titleist-Clubs_600x450

DRIVER: Titleist 909D3 (10.5°) with a Fujikura Motore F1 55X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 909F3 (13°) with Aldila Voodoo VS8 X Shaft
HYBRID: Titleist 909H (17°, 21°) with Fujikura Speeder 904HB shafts
IRONS: Titleist MB (4-9) with True Temper Rifle shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (47°, 52°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Newport SLT T10 prototype
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTec.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

April 23, 2010

TaylorMade Set to Release Rossa Corza Ghost Putter

Posted at 12:06 PM by David Dusek

TaylorMade-Rossa-Monza-Ghost Putters come in all shapes and styles these days, from minimalist blades to high-MOI potato mashers, but nearly all of them have either a metallic or darkened finish. But TaylorMade is set to release one of the most eye-catching putters in recent memory ... and that's the whole point of the Rossa Corza Ghost.

The first thing that every golfer is going to notice about the putter is that it's white. Really white, with three sight lines on the crown and a hole in the back.

The goal of the Corza Ghost was to make it the easiest putter ever to aim. The white color stands out in sharp contrast against the greens' grass, so the topline and leading edge are easy to focus on. And because all the areas of the Ghost are white, there are no "hot spots" or portions of the putter that draw the golfer's attention away from the leading edge.

TaylorMade intends golfers to use the middle of the three alignment lines to go along the intended path. The outer two alignment lines are as wide as a golf ball, which can help players "bracket" the ball and trust their aim more.

The hole in the back of the putter is supposed to be a final visual check for your aim.

Aside from all the visual alignment aids, the Ghost features TaylorMade's AGSI+ face insert to soften the feel and help get the ball rolling faster.

The new TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost putter will be shown to PGA Tour pros starting next week in Charlotte, and should start appearing in pro shops starting in June for about $160.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMade clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

April 22, 2010

My Bag: Jerry Kelly at 2010 Zurich Classic

Posted at 4:07 PM by David Dusek

"Cleveland made me a new putter. It's like the one I won with last year. I bought that one at Nevada Bob's. It was $69, but I got it for $48."

Jerry-Kelly-Cleveland-Equipment_450x600
Here is a list of the clubs that Jerry Kelly, 2009 Zurich Classic of New Orleans champion, is using this week:

DRIVER: Cleveland Launcher DST (8.5°) with Oban Devotion 6 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 906F4 (13°) with Graphite Design Pershing X shaft
HYBRID: Cleveland HiBore XLS (16°) with Graphite Design YS9.1 X shaft
IRONS: Cleveland CG7 Tour Black Pearl (3-9) with True Temper Black Gold X shafts
WEDGES: Cleveland 588 (47°, 53°, 60°) with True Temper Black Gold X shafts
PUTTER: Cleveland Classic 3
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Cleveland clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photos by Fred Vuich/SI)

April 19, 2010

Adams Releases Pro Black CB1 Irons

Posted at 3:25 PM by David Dusek

Adams-Idea-ProBlackIrons-CB1_450x600 For years, Adams Golf has quietly been making hybrid clubs enjoyed by some of golf's best players. Anthony Kim, Vijay Singh, and Jim Furyk, as well as other top pros, have all used one in recent years.

Now, with the release of the Idea Pro Black CB1s, Adams is hoping that accomplished players will also consider its irons, too.

Forged from 8620 carbon steel, the Pro Black CB1 irons have subtle perimeter weighting, but a thin topline and sole, which should be pleasing to the eye for golfers who like to shape the ball.

In a release, Chip Brewer, CEO and President of Adams Golf, said:

"Originally developed exclusively for our professional staff players like Tom Watson, the overwhelmingly positive comments about the feel and performance of the CB1s from the tour inevitably led us to make this set an integral part of the successful Idea family of irons. This stealth-looking set has already received high marks from golf enthusiasts plugged into the online community so we look forward to bringing the CB1s to low-handicap golfers everywhere who appreciate the control and workability of this forged set of irons."

The standard set of CB1s will come with eight clubs (4-GW), and all will have grooves that conform to the new USGA standard for competition. Players can choose between two stock shaft options, Rifle Project X Flighted ($899, suggested retail) or Mitsubishi Rayon Javin FX i95 graphite shafts ($1,099, suggested retail).

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Adams clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photo by Adams Golf)

Winning Clubs: Jim Furyk at 2010 Verizon Heritage

Posted at 10:17 AM by David Dusek

Jim-Furyk-Srixon-Verizon-Heritage_600

DRIVER: Callaway FT-9 Tour Authentic (9.5°) with an Oban Devotion 70 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade Burner TP (14.5°) Mitsubishi Diamana White Board shaft
HYBRID: Srixon Hybrid (20°) with a Fujikura Speeder 904HB shaft
IRONS: Srixon Z-TX (3), Srixon I-506 (5-PW) with Apollo Hump shafts
WEDGES: Cleveland CG15 (50°, 56°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist prototype
BALL: Srixon Z-Star X

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway, Cleveland, TaylorMade, Srixon and Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

April 13, 2010

Gear Notes: 2010 Masters

Posted at 1:47 PM by David Dusek

Phil-Mickelson-Callaway-Driver_450x600 Callaway
Phil Mickelson cracked the crown of his Callaway FT-9 Tour Authentic driver at the Shell Houston Open. (A nearly identical driver, the FT Tour, is now available to the public.) Like a patient in critical need of an organ transplant, the club was flown to San Diego on Easter Sunday, where it was met at the airport by the head of Callaway's R&D team, Dr. Alan Hocknell.

According to Callaway, the company, "performed an 'unprecedented repair,' removing the body from the clubface while never taking off the shaft in order to ensure that the loft and lie remained secure."

Hocknell said, “We decided to remove the carbon composite body from the face, and we’ve never done that before, so everyone was a bit nervous. But through a lot of teamwork, we had a new body and weights installed by 1:30 p.m. on Monday."

Meanwhile, back in Augusta, Mickelson texted Hocknell: "How bad is it, Doc? Is she gonna make it?"

Needless to say, the patient made a full recovery, was flown back cross-country, and helped Mickelson win his third green jacket. For the week, Phil hit 60% of the fairways and averaged 297 yards per drive.

YE-Yang-TaylorMade-Putter TaylorMade
Y.E. Yang, winner of the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine, pulled his Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter out of his bag before the start of the Masters and used a TaylorMade Monza Spider Vicino (right) during the championship. Yang took 115 putts at Augusta and averaged an impressive 1.6 putts per green in regulation.

Mike Weir, Henrik Stenson and John Rollins all put new TaylorMade Burner SuperFast drivers in the bag for the first time at the Masters. Sergio Garcia became the first player to put TaylorMade's yet-to-be-released R9 SuperDeep driver into play. He hit 68% of the fairways for the week and averaged 285 yards per drive.

Titleist
Adam Scott, whose tie for 18th marks his best performance at Augusta since 2002, had been playing a Titleist 909 D2 driver this season. But in order to get more roll on the firm fairways at Augusta National, the Australian decided to play a lower-flying 909 D3 driver instead.

Matteo Manassero, who at age 16 was the youngest player to ever compete in a Masters, also finished as the tournament's low amateur with a final score of four over par. Manassero, who has a bag filled with Titleist clubs, swapped out his AP2 3-iron in favor of a higher-flying hybrid club, a Titleist 909H (21°), so he could stop the ball more quickly on Augusta's firm greens. The young Italian star plans on turning professional in less than three weeks, so look for him to become a Titleist staff player soon.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway/Odyssey, TaylorMade, and Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photos by Mickelson: ; Yang:John Biever/SI, insert Harry How/Getty Images)

April 12, 2010

Phil Mickelson's Win Means $1 Million Refunded to Golfers

Posted at 12:03 PM by David Dusek

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Phil Mickelson walked away Sunday evening from Augusta National with a third green jacket for his closet and a hefty check to hand to his accountant.

According to Golfsmith, more than 15,000 golfers who purchased a Callaway Big Bertha Diablo Edge, FT-Tour or FT-iZ driver also expect to get a check thanks to Phil's win.

A joint Golfsmith and Callaway promotion promised a refund on drivers purchased between March 18 and April 7 if Mickelson won the 2010 Masters.

A release sent by Golfsmith this morning said:

"In addition to wowing the galleries at Augusta for his third Masters Championship, Sunday, Phil Mickelson gave golfers across the country and internationally a great present to start the season," said Golfsmith President and CEO Marty Hanaka. "Phil's win is great for the game and wonderful for Golfsmith and our valued retail and online customers."

"We couldn’t be happier that Phil claimed his third green jacket and that thousands of Golfsmith customers now will start off the season with a new Callaway driver, free of charge," said Brian Groves, VP of US Marketing, Callaway Golf.  "Callaway drivers are the hottest clubs on the PGA Tour and have already won six tournaments in 2010, including the season’s first Major."

Because the organizers of the promotion took out a  'prize indemnity policy,' the money sent back to driver purchasers will actually come from an insurance company, not Golfsmith or Callaway.

If you are one of the people who purchased a Callaway driver during the designated time period, click here to learn how to get your money back from Golfsmith.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | ClubTest 2010: Drivers

April 11, 2010

Phil Mickelson's Unique Odyssey Blade Putter

Posted at 10:55 PM by David Dusek

More than almost any golfer on tour, Phil Mickelson is willing to experiment and tinker with his golf equipment. He won the 2006 Masters using two drivers and the 2008 Colonial carrying five wedges. He broke out a 64° wedge at Winged Foot for the U.S. Open in 2006, inspiring other players to carry super-high-lofted wedges.

He's also used a wide variety of putters over the years. Notably, Mickelson was the first player to use a Scotty Cameron Futura in a PGA Tour event. It wasn't pretty, but Mickelson made it work.

WMickelsons-Putter-Top_600hile he's also used a variety of mid-size mallets and heel-toe weighted Anser-style putters, these days Mickelson is using a classic blade putter, a White Hot XG Blade, made by Odyssey, the putter-arm of Callaway Golf. Unfortunately for Mickelson fans, his blade is not a part of Odyssey's current line, so it's not available to the public.

There are a few things that make Phil's old-school putter unique.

"[Manufacturers] have never been able to put a line on a blade putter," he said at Colonial in 2008, a week after spending some time at Callaway's testing facility in Carlsbad, Calif. "But with the way they can grind it now, they were able to put a line in it. I can align it so much better."

While his current blade has a darker finish than the one he used that week, Mickelson still has Odyssey grind a line into his putter to assist him with alignment.

There is an insert in the face of the putter, but that's a variable he can change. An Odyseey rep told me that the company has supplied Phil with several identical putters that feature different inserts, some being firmer while others are softer. Based on the ball he's playing and the speed of the greens, Phil changes putters accordingly.

The same thing goes for the lead tape you see in these photos. On slower greens, like those found on the West Coast Swing or in Europe, he often adds weight. On faster greens he uses less or removes the weight entirely. There was no lead tape on Phil's putter at Augusta National.

Mickelsons-Putter-Sole_600 Another unique thing about Mickelson's blade is the amount of loft he uses. The standard loft on most putters is between 3°-4°. But Mickelson's putter has slightly more because of his stroke. He recently told Golf Digest, "The amount of loft you have on your putter is going to be dependent on your hand position and ball position. My hand position is ahead, so I need more loft. Sometimes I have 5° or 6° on my putters."

So will a blade putter like Mickelson's help you drain more putts like his 20-footer for birdie on the 12th hole Sunday? That all depends on your stroke and how consistently you can hit a solid putt.

A blade putter is ideal for golfers who swing the club on an arc, taking it inside the target line on the backswing and follow-though. If your putting stroke goes straight back and then straight through the ball, a blade-style putter is probably a poor fit.

When you strike the ball in the sweetspot of a blade, it will perform wonderfully. But with almost no perimeter weighting, putts hit near the toe or on the heel will be short and offline. Forgiveness is not a blade putter's strong suit.

If you have your heart set on trying a blade, talk to your PGA professional or club fitter about a Wilson Staff 8882Cleveland's 1905, Yes! Sophia or a Scotty Cameron Napa.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Odyssey and Callaway, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | ClubTest 2010: Putters

Masters Bags: Tiger Woods

Posted at 12:39 PM by David Dusek

Tiger-Woods-Sat-Masters-Clubs_600x450

DRIVER:  Nike Victory Red Tour (10°) with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 83x shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS:
  Nike SasQuatch Sumo (15°, 19°) with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 103g shafts
IRONS:
 Nike Victory Red Blades (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
WEDGES:
  Nike Victory Red (56°, 62°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER:
  Titleist by Scotty Cameron Newport 2
BALL:
  Nike One Tour

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Nike clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

Masters Bag: Lee Westwood

Posted at 11:44 AM by David Dusek

Lee-Westwood-Masters-Ping_600x450

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, Rapture V2 (19°) 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

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Ping clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

Masters Bag: K.J. Choi

Posted at 11:11 AM by David Dusek

KJ-Choi-Sat-Masters-Ping_600x450

DRIVER: TaylorMade r7 Limited (8.5˚) with Aldila NV 75X shaft
HYBRID: TaylorMade Rescue TP (19˚) with a Tour AT UT 85 shaft
IRONS: Ping G15 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S100 shafts
WEDGES: PING G15 (52˚, 56˚), Tour-W (60˚) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot #2
BALL: Titleist Pro V1

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Ping, TaylorMade and Odyssey/Callaway clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

April 10, 2010

Masters Bag: Phil Mickelson

Posted at 12:42 PM by David Dusek

Below is a complete list of Phil Mickelson's Masters clubs. For a close-up look at his unique Odyssey blade putter, go here.

Phil-Miclelson-Callaway-Masters_450x600

DRIVER: Callaway FT-9 Tour Authentic (7.5°) with a Mitsubishi Fubuki 73 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway Big Bertha Diablo (15°) with a Mitsubishi Fubuki 73 X shaft
HYBRID: Callaway Prototype (22°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana Thump X shaft
IRONS: Callaway X-Forged (4), X Proto (5-PW) with Rifle Project X 7.0 shafts
WEDGES: Callaway JAWS (53°, 60°, 62°) with Rifle Project X 7.0 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot XG Blade (Learn More)
BALL: Callaway Tour ix

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

April 09, 2010

Fred Couples Draws Attention to Ecco's Golf Sneakers at Augusta

Posted at 10:23 PM by David Dusek

AUGUSTA, Ga -- Fred Couples is known as one of the most relaxed, easy-going players in golf. His swing is syrupy and he doesn't walk from hole to hole, he ambles.

But when it comes to his choice of golf shoes recently, he's taking it to a whole new level.

Couples has won three times on the Champions Tour wearing golf shoes that look like something kids on skateboards might wear. They are Golf Street Premiers from Ecco, a Danish company that has been making both classic and modern-looking golf shoes for years.

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So how can Couples go sockless in a pair of sneakers and not slip all over Augusta National? The sole of the Golf Street Premier features a series of pre-molded traction bars made from polyurethane. The bars press into the turf and provide the traction a golfer needs as he swings.

In a release Ecco distributed after Couples win at Cap Cana two weeks ago, Ecco's Jesper Thuen said, "No one has ever designed a shoe like this and Fred's win validates its performance at the game's highest levels. Golf Street is unique in that it grips in all conditions and can be worn throughout the day. The response from Tour players, celebrities and discerning consumers has just been phenomenal."

Freddie clearly likes the performance of the shoe, and the style fits him. The better he does this weekend, the more popular the shoe will likely become.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter




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