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Archive: May 2010

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May 31, 2010

Winner's Bag: Zach Johnson at 2010 Colonial Invitational

Posted at 7:51 AM by David Dusek

P1-zach-bag_298x440 DRIVER: Titleist 909D2 (8.5°) with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 73X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 909F2 (13.5°) with Mitsubishi Diamana White Board 73X and (18.5°) with Fujikura ZCOM Pro95 shaft
HYBRID: Titleist 909H (21°) with Fujikura Speeder 904HB shaft
IRONS:  Titleist AP1 (4) Titleist AP2 (5-9) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C (48°, 54°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
PUTTER: SeeMore FGP
BALL:  Titleist Pro V1x

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

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May 26, 2010

Jason Day's Split Iron Set and Two Pitching Wedges

Posted at 5:57 PM by David Dusek

FORT WORTH, Texas — On Sunday evening, when TaylorMade reps sent me a list of the clubs Jason Day used to win the Byron Nelson Championship, I thought they'd made a mistake. The list said that Day had both a TaylorMade R9 TP pitching wedge AND a 48° TP wedge with xFT.

Typically, a pitching wedge has about 47° of loft, and while pros sometimes have unique clubs in their bags, I couldn't think of a reason why a player would want two clubs with almost exactly the same loft—especially now that pros have to play the new USGA-conforming grooves. The clubs should produce almost the same shots.

On Monday I went to TaylorMade's Tour van here at Colonial Country Club to ask the men who build Day's clubs if I'd been sent incorrect information.

Nope, it turns out that Day does carry both clubs in his bag. However, I was told that Day's pitching wedge has been de-lofted to 46°, creating a 2° gap between the two clubs.

My next stop was the media center where Day was talking to reporters. I began our conversation by asking him why he chooses to play a split set of irons, going with TaylorMade Tour Preferred long-irons (3-5) and R9 TP mid- and short-irons.

Watch the video below for Day's thoughtful answer.

Next I asked him about the wedges.

"I hit my pitching wedge 140-145 yards, my 48° 130-135 yards, my sand wedge (54°) 110-115 yards and my lob wedge (60°) 90-95 yards," Day said. "I like to play two shots with every wedge. If I have 130 yards I'll usually hit a 48° wedge shot to the pin because it goes higher, but I could hit a half-shot with my pitching wedge if I want to hit it lower."

Rather than creating uniform distance gaps with his four-wedge setup, Day thinks more of trajectory options, visualizing the ideal shot and then picking the right club and swing-length combination.

"If the pin is at the front of the green and there is a bunker there, then I will want to bring the ball in high with the 48°," he told me. "But if the pin is in the back, then I can hit it lower and let the ball release to the pin with the pitching wedge."

Crafty stuff from a guy who's just 22.

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

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For Corey Pavin, His Bulls Eye is Great Because of its Shaft

Posted at 12:26 PM by David Dusek

Corey Pavin Bullseye Putter FORT WORTH, Texas — Eddie Merrins, a GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher and the legendary former golf coach at UCLA, told me on Tuesday at Colonial that when Corey Pavin was a Bruin, he putted the way Jerry West shot free throws.

"It seemed like every shot went right into the middle of the cup," Merrins said. "Not on the right side or the left side, but right in the middle. Perfect."

Merrins told me Pavin's putter of choice back then was a brass Bulls Eye. As we watched Pavin on the practice green, we saw the 2010 Ryder Cup captain wielding that same putter.

"Obviously I like the Bulls Eye putters in general," Pavin said Tuesday. "But the shaft on this one is really good. It's soft and it just feels very good to me. So for me, it has a lot to do with the shaft, but that shaft probably wouldn't work on another head."

Pavin has no idea what model shaft is attached to his Bulls Eye, but he knows that it came from Titleist when he got the putter back in 1984.

"People don't think about putter shafts too much," Pavin said. "But if you talk to a guy like Ben Crenshaw, he'll talk a lot about shafts and how they affect the feel of the putter."

ClubTest 2010: Blade Putters | Mid-Size Mallet Putters | High MOI Putters

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May 24, 2010

Winner's Bag: Jason Day at the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship

Posted at 11:34 AM by David Dusek

Jason-Day-TaylorMade-Clubs_600x450

DRIVER: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast (10.5°) with a Matrix Ozik HD6 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade R9 (15°) with a Matrix Ozik HD6 shaft
IRONS: TaylorMade Tour Preferred (3-5), R9 TP (6-PW) with Rifle 6.0 shafts
WEDGES: TaylorMade xFT (48°, 54°, 60°) with Rifle 6.0 shafts
PUTTER: TaylorMade Rossa Suzuka Kia
BALL: TaylorMade Penta TP

TaylorMade reps confirm that Day carries both an R9 pitching wedge (46°) as well as a 48° TP xFT wedge.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

(Photo by: Mike Ehrmann/SI)

May 18, 2010

Titleist 910 Drivers Spotted on USGA Conforming Club List

Posted at 1:47 PM by David Dusek

I did not receive a press release yesterday from Titleist announcing the release of any new clubs, but golf equipment message boards were buzzing about Titleist's new 910 D2 and 910 D3 drivers.

Bloggers and gearheads got some basic information about the clubs after noticing the drivers had been added to the United States Golf Association's list of conforming equipment.

Titleist 910 Drivers USGA Listing

Months before equipment is available to the pros or the public, manufacturers have to submit woods, irons and balls to the USGA for testing to ensure they conform to the Rules of Golf.

According to the USGA's Web site:

"The Research and Test Center receives nearly 3,000 equipment submissions each year. This includes nearly 900 different models of golf balls and more than 2,000 other pieces of golf equipment such as clubs, clubheads, shafts, gloves, tees and other devices. While the golf balls are submitted by a relatively small number of manufacturers from around the world, the other pieces of equipment may come from a major equipment manufacturer or a golf enthusiast tinkering in his/her garage. Regardless of the source, each submission is handled with the same diligence, care and confidentiality."

For serious equipment junkies, the USGA's searchable database of conforming clubs, which is updated every Monday, is the place to go to learn what equipment might be coming out before press releases are mailed and ad campaigns begin.

I wrote "might" in that last sentence for a very good reason—clubs that are tested and added to the top of the list of conforming clubs do not always get produced or made available to the public.

However, if you ever get your hands on a Titleist 910 D2 and 910 D3 driver, you can now rest assured that it is legal for play.

Titleist 901 Drivers

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

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My Bag: Ricky Barnes at 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship

Posted at 12:16 PM by David Dusek

From the May 24, 2010 issue of Sports Illustrated Golf +

"Changing all the grooves in my wedges and irons was a big deal for me. I'm a creature of habit and do not like to change much."

Ricky Barnes Wilson Callaway Clubs_500x600 

DRIVER: Callaway FT-9 Tour Authentic (8.5°) with an Accra DyMatch 93 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Callaway X Hot (15°), Diablo Edge (18°) with Accra DyMatch 93 X shafts
IRONS: Wilson FG Tour (3-9) with Project X 7.0 shafts
WEDGES: Wilson Tw9 (48°, 56°, 60°) with Project X 7.0 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Ice #9
BALL: Callaway Tour i

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photos by Fred Vuich/SI)

May 16, 2010

Winning Clubs: Adam Scott at the Valero Texas Open

Posted at 8:03 PM by David Dusek

Adam-Scott-Texas-Open-Titleist_600

DRIVER: Titleist 909 D3 (10.5°) with a UST Mamiya Proforce V2 86 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 909 F2 (13.5°) with a UST Mamiya Proforce V2 96 shaft
HYBRID: Titleist 909 H (21°) with UST Proforce V2 104 shaft
IRONS: Titleist 710MB (3-9) with FST KBS Tour shafts
WEDGES:  Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C (48°, 54°, 60°)  with FST KBS Tour shafts
PUTTER: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport GSS prototype
BALL: Titleist Pro V1

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photo by Eric Grey/AP Photos)

May 09, 2010

Winning Clubs: Tim Clark at 2010 Players Championship

Posted at 8:35 PM by David Dusek

Tim Clark Players Sunday

DRIVER: TaylorMade R9 SuperTri (9.5°) with a Fujikura Motore F1 1.0 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade Burner (14.5°) with a Grafalloy ProLite shaft; Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead Plus  (17°) with an Aldila RCH 36 shaft
HYBRID: TaylorMade Rescue Dual (19°) with a UST Mamiya Irod X shaft
IRONS:  Srixon I-404 (4-9) with Rifle 6.0 shafts
WEDGES: Cleveland CG14 (48°, 54°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot Two-Ball Long
BALL:  Srixon Z-Star

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

May 06, 2010

Ping Debuts Tour-S Wedges at The Players

Posted at 3:08 PM by David Dusek

Ping-TourS-Wedges-Mistique-Face_600x450 PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Ping's PGA Tour staff players got their first chance to use the company's newest wedges—the Tour-S wedges—in the days leading up to the 2010 Players Championship.

According to Ping's Matt Rollins, the copper-colored Tour-S wedges are made from 8620 stainless steel (right), which is softer than the material Ping has used to make previous wedges. Designed to reduce glare, Rollins says that golfers should expect the finish to wear off with time and use, but rust will naturally develop to keep the coloring fairly consistent.

The chrome-finished Tour-S wedges (below) have the same head design as their copper-colored counterparts but are made from 1704 stainless steel, the material Ping has used in the past to create wedges.

"The wedges made from 8620 stainless steel are going to wear out a little bit quicker," Rollins said. "We are going to have to replace them a little bit quicker for the guys on tour. The 1704 wedges are like the ones we've always had."

Ping-TourS-Wedges_600x450 The hosel of the Tour-S is slightly longer than the hosel of the other Ping wedges, which moves the club's center of gravity closer to the heel. According to Rollins, that should produce a flatter ball flight.

The first groove of the Tour-S wedges runs nearly parallel with the leading edge, and because it painted white, it's extremely easy to see. "That's something that our Tour pros prefer," Rollins said. For amateur players, it should make aligning the club much easier.

Like the S-57 irons and the Tour-W wedges, a polymer insert behind the face of the clubs softens feel at impact and allows Ping club builders to adjust the swing weight of the Tour-S wedges easily.

Since the clubs are new this season, they come with 2010 USGA conforming grooves; manufacturers are no longer able to bring new clubs to market that contain the old grooves.Look for the Tour-S wedges to start appearing in pro shops this summer.

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

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More TaylorMade Ghost Putters Spotted at TPC Sawgrass

Posted at 3:04 PM by David Dusek

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — TaylorMade debuted the new Ghost line of putters last week in Charlotte, N.C., during the Quail Hollow Championship. In a release sent to members of the media, only one model—the Rossa Corza—was highlighted, but several Ghost putters could be found at the practice green at TPC Sawgrass this week.

One of the most interesting was the Kia Ma Daytona shown below. A classic Anser-style blade, it features three adjustable weight ports in the heel and toe areas, a single sightline and a plumber's neck.

TaylorMade-KiaMa-Daytona-Ghost_600x450

Also available was this Kia Ma Fontana (below), a mid-size mallet with two adjustable weight ports in the heel and toe areas and a single-bend neck.

TaylorMade-Fonata-Ghost-Putter_600x450

The Daytona Ghost (below) has three sight lines and golf-ball size hole in the rear section like the Corza Ghost to help with aiming the face properly.

TaylorMade-Daytona-Ghost-Putter_600x450

TaylorMade plans to have the Ghost line of putters in pro shops starting in June.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

May 05, 2010

My Bag: Henrik Stenson for TPC Sawgrass

Posted at 2:57 PM by David Dusek

"I'm trying to get a little piece of everybody. Actually, I have a contract with TaylorMade for my driver and the bag, and a ball-shoe-glove deal with Titleist FootJoy. I stick with what I like. The way I'm playing lately, I might have to start looking around. You can see the dings on my putter from where I've pounded on it I'm very happy and proud to have won at Sawgrass. I'm going to try to come back and be in decent shape so I can put up a strong defense. It feels as if I have been hit-or-miss for the last couple of years. It gets frustrating. In the past, in 2005 or '06, I was consistent, but I didn't win. I've win the last two years, but the consistency hasn't been there. You can't have everything."

Henrik-Stenson-Players-Equipment_450x600

DRIVER: TaylorMade R9 (10.5°) with a Grafalloy Blue X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Callaway Big Bertha (12.3°, 16.6°) with Grafalloy Blue X shafts
IRONS: Srixon I-506 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
WEDGES: Cleveland 588 (51°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
PUTTER: Yes! C-Groove Donna
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

Stenson keeps plenty of other interesting things in his bag:

Henrik-Stenson-Golf-Accessories_600x600


Banana Case: "I found it in a  supermarket in Japan. I had been complaining to my caddie, Fanny [Sunesson], about the squashed bananas in my bag. It was more of a fun thing when I bought it, but then we realized it isn't bad. It's practical, and it works."

Key Chain: "It says KISS MY ASS in Gaelic. That's the only phrase I've learned from Padraig [Harrington]. A few years ago I played a pro-am with a couple of Irish guys, and I repeated the saying. I saw them at the dinner table this year, and they gave me the key chain. They found it in the Dublin airport, so they bought it and gave it to me. I put it in the bag and kind of forgot about it. It's for good luck, but it hasn't been working too well so far."

Energy Bars: "I like BumbleBar, and the other I use is Green+. They're good for energy and come in lots of flavors."

Swedish Coins: "I've been marking  y golf balls with one-krona coins for the last few years. It's the coin you usually end up with when you get change back, so I chucked a few in the bag."

Tees: "I just use tee pegs to repair greens instead of a divot tool. I'm a master craftsman with a peg. Plus, you can always find one. I don't like walking around with a bog metal thing in my pocket."

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

(Photos by Fred Vuich/SI)

Callaway Releases X-24 Hot Irons

Posted at 10:53 AM by David Dusek

Callaway X-24-Hot IronsPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Callaway Golf has announced the release of the new X-24 Hot irons. The company is touting them as the longest and most accurate irons the company has ever made.

In a media release, Dr. Alan Hocknell, Callaway's senior vice president of research and development said, "We recognize there are golfers looking for distance gains throughout their entire bag, and thus employed our core technologies and faster ball speeds into the design of X-24 Hot, a longer, more accurate set than any of their predecessors."

Like previous X Series irons, Callaway designed the faces of the X-24 Hot to progress from thick on the bottom to thin along the topline. According to Callaway, this lowers the center of gravity and makes getting the ball into the air a lot easier.

Like its predecessors (the X-22, X-20), the X-24 Hot irons also feature an undercut channel behind the face. The material and weight removed from that area are redistributed to the heel and toe areas to help create more stability.

Where the X-24 Hot irons differ greatly is in the finish. Instead of bright, shiny chrome the clubs come standard in a glare-reducing rusty brown finish.

The X-24 Hot irons will retail for $699 with steel shafts and $899 with graphite and should start arriving in pro shops on May 28.

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

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

May 04, 2010

Tiger Confirms eBay Irons are NOT His

Posted at 12:59 PM by David Dusek

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The original asking price of the Titleist irons currently for sale on eBay that were supposedly used by Tiger Woods in 2000-2001 was $250,000. After what Tiger Woods said in his press conference Tuesday, don't be surprised to see that price drop considerably.

"He may have my set of irons, but they are not from those tournaments," Woods said. "They are in my garage."

Woods said that he didn't know where the clubs that are for sale came from, but, "The sets that I won all four major championships with are in my house."

Woods later clarified his comment by saying that he changes iron sets every nine months, and that he has both sets of Titleist irons he used to win the 'Tiger Slam.'

May 03, 2010

Nike rep says 'Tiger Slam' irons on eBay are fakes

Posted at 5:08 PM by David Dusek

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Before getting on a plane this morning and flying from New York to Jacksonville, Fla., for the Players Championship, I bought a Mega Millions ticket. The grand prize is up to $266 million, and if I my numbers hits, I'm going to quite my job (sorry boss) and buy a Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California like the one Ferris Bueller wrecked.

But even if I won all that money, there is no way I would place bid on the Titleist 681 Forged irons currently available on eBay which Tiger Woods supposedly used to win his Tiger Slam in 2000-2001.

Tiger-Woods-Titleist-Irons

The seller, aphotoshop1, says Woods gave him the clubs and that they are still in their original condition. Each club (2-PW, plus a 56 and 60 Vokey Wedge) has a True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 shaft and Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord grips. He is starting the bidding at $250,000.

Here's why I seriously doubt they are authentic:

1. Tiger Woods has an endorsement relationship with Upper Deck. On Woods' Web site, he Upper Deck logo appears as one of his sponsors, and he is listed as one of the company's official autograph signers. On Upper Deck's Web site you can buy Woods-autographed prints, golf flag and golf shoes. During last season's U.S. Open at Bethpage, Upper Deck sold the Nike Golf shirts worn by Woods during the first four rounds of the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

True, the clubs are not autographed, but why would Tiger Woods risk angering a sponsor and allow a company or person other than Upper Deck—which supported Woods throughout his recent sex scandal—to make money selling his memorabilia?

2. Players save clubs. Many Tour pros like to collect clubs, golf bags and other things they use over the years. Paul Casey recently told me that he's saved every set of irons he's used as a professional and has them in boxes at his home. Other guys have told me they collect putter headcovers.

While I'm sure that Tiger has given friends and associates golf-related gifts and mementos over the years, it's hard to believe that he'd part with THAT set of irons.

I asked an official from Nike if he thought the irons on eBay might be authentic, he laughed out loud. "No way," he said. When asked if he knew where the Titleist irons Woods used in 2000 might be, he said, "No, but I can tell you those aren't them."

Hey, is it possible that the irons for sale on eBay are actually Woods' old clubs? It's possible. I tried to ask Tiger today after his practice round but he walked away from the reporters on the ninth green and walked to the back practice range at TPC Sawgrass after his practice round with Jay Haas and Rod Pampling.

It's also possible that I'll hit the Mega Millions jackpot too.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

May 02, 2010

Winning Clubs: Rory McIlroy at Quail Hollow Championship

Posted at 9:56 PM by David Dusek

Rory-McIlroy Quial Hollow

Here is a complete list of the clubs that Rory McIlroy used to win in Charlotte:
DRIVER: Titleist 909D2 (8.5°) with a Fujikura Rombax 7V05 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 906 F2 (13.5°) with a Project X 7A3 shaft, (18.5°) with a Fujikura FitOn 11 Pro 95 shaft
IRONS: Titleist AP1 (3-4), Titleist MB (5-9) with Project X 6.5 shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C (48°, 54°, 58°) with Project X 6.5 shafts
PUTTER: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport Fastback Select 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




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