Mickelson playing stealthy TaylorMade fairway wood in China
According to Callaway's senior vice president of marketing, Harry Arnett, Mickelson arrived at a Callaway photo shoot last week in Fort Worth, Texas, and told Callaway designers that the Mission Hills course in China presented a problem.
"He said, 'Here's my dilemma: Because of the course set-up, I'm not going to be able to hit driver. I need to have something that I can hit 290 off the tee. My 3-wood goes about 275 to 280 and my driver goes 305. I can't hit my driver there because if I do I'm in all the junk, but I don't want to hit it 270 because in some cases I may not be able to reach some of the par 5s. What do we have?'"
Arnett explained that Callaway is releasing a new fairway wood in a few weeks, but the company didn't have one ready to give to Mickelson for his trip to China.
Mickelson brought a TaylorMade fairway wood to Fort Worth and Arnett said he saw the club. While the off-the-rack RocketBallz fairway woods feature a white crown, Mickelson got one from TaylorMade that is black.
Arnett said, "We told him, 'Play whatever you want. We've got the prototype coming in a few weeks. If you really feel like this is the best way for you to compete and win, then go for it!'"
When Callaway releases its new fairway woods, Arnett said he was confident that Mickelson, who has already tested prototypes of the new Callaway woods, would take the TaylorMade club out of his bag.
Before the start of the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in September, Mickelson pulled his Callaway RAZR Fit 5-wood and added a 9-year-old Titleist 980F 5-wood to his bag. The Titleist 5-wood made the trip to China and Mickelson is still using it.
The four-time major winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member shot 66 on Thursday and 69 Friday, putting him tie for sixth, six shots behind Louis Oosthuizen.
(Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)