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Category: Anthony Kim


September 22, 2011

Nike VR Pro Limited Edition Forged driver coming in November

Posted at 4:34 PM by David Dusek

Lucas Glover put Nike's VR Pro Limited Edition Forged driver in his bag at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August. Anthony Kim started using one at the PGA Championship, and Paul Casey also switched to the club late this season.

Soon you'll be able to try the club, as the VR Pro Limited Edition will begin popping up in pro shops starting Nov. 1.

NikeVRProLimited_660x200

Like the current version of the VR Pro driver (VR is short for Victory Red), the Limited features a red channel that goes around the sole of the club that allows the face to flex back slightly at impact. According to Nike, this broadens the sweet spot and helps maintain ball speed on off-center hits.

There are some notable differences between the VR Pro Limited and its predecessor:

1. It has an updated face. According to Robert Boyd, a long-term research manager for Nike Golf, the company used computer simulations to engineer the new NexCOR face was engineered to work more in conjunction with the channel. "Because of the shape of the head and the shape of the channel, the geometry on the back of the face has to actually change a little bit," he says. The NexCOR face is thinnest in the center and slightly thicker in the heel and toe areas.

2. It's not adjustable. Last season's VR Pro came with Nike's STR8-Fit system, which allows players to set the club into one of 32 different positions to change the face angle and loft. VR Pro Limited does not have STR8-Fit, so the shaft is glued into the hosel and can't be adjusted.

3. It's smaller. Last season's VR Pro has a 460 cc head, but the VR Pro Limited Edition, designed for better players who like to shape their tee shots, has a head that measures 430 cc. That's not a big difference, but it's enough to produce a lower ball flight and less spin.

The VR Pro Limited will be offered in 8.5-, 9.5- and 10.5-degree lofts and will come standard with a Mitsubishi Rayon 'ahina shaft for $419.

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

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March 24, 2011

My Bag: Anthony Kim at Shell Houston Open

Posted at 4:29 PM by David Dusek

Anthony Kim is the defending champion at the Shell Houston Open, but he's returning with a lot of new clubs in his bag.

Last year Kim used a Nike Victory Red Tour driver, but this year he's switched to the company's updated model, the Nike Victory Red Pro. A Victory Red Pro hybrid takes the place of Kim's Nike SQ Dymo 5-wood, and he's decided to go with Pro Combo long irons this season; last year he carried Victory Red Blades. And finally, Kim has switched from Nike's ONE Tour ball to the soon-to-be-released 20XI-s.

Here's a complete list of the clubs Kim is using now.

Anthony-Kim_600x400
DRIVER: Nike Victory Red Tour (8.5°) with a FujiKura Motore VC7 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Nike Victory Red Pro (15°) with a UST Mamiya AXIV Core 89X shaft
HYBRID: Nike Victory Red Pro (18°) with a Matrix OZIK HM2 shaft
IRONS: Nike Victory Red Pro Combo (3-4), Victory Red Pro (5-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
WEDGES: Nike Victory Red Forged (54°), Nike Victory Red Pro (60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
PUTTER: Nike Method 001
BALL: Nike 20XI-s

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

(Photo by Robert Beck/SI)
March 09, 2011

Johnson and Kim: Different approaches to finding the ideal golf ball

Posted at 12:55 PM by David Dusek

Zach-Johnson_600 MIAMI — After a pro hits a ball, it sounds like a bottle rocket whizzing through the air. It hisses, spinning between 1,500 and 2,500 times a minute. Big hitters can smash drives at speeds of more than 175 miles per hour, with some golfers exceeding even that number.

But around the greens those same pros need the ball to feel as soft as a marshmallow off the face of a sand wedge. Too much spin can steal precious yards off the tee, but players need that spin and feel when confronting firm, fast greens.

Zach Johnson, who has a locker with his name on it at Augusta National, talked with Titleist representatives before the start of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship about changing from the 2009 version of the Titleist Pro V1x to the just-released 2011 model.

According to Titleist, the dimples on the new Pro V1x are shallower and arranged in a new pattern that helps it fly higher and reach its highest point farther down range. On paper that would be good for Zach because it would make his approach shots come down more vertically and stop faster on the famous greens at Augusta.

"It's not easy to make a ball change, but I don’t think it's difficult either," Johnson said that day in Marana, Ariz. "I think it's just a matter of practicing with it."

But with the Ryder Cup concluding in October, post-season commitments and a much-needed vacation scheduled before Johnson took off for Hawaii and the winners-only Hyundai Championship in early January, finding practice time was tough.

"When it comes to ball testing, to me, it's all about the spin I'm getting on full shots," Johnson said. "I'd say more so with irons. After that, it's your driver. I mean, you can always manipulate the loft of your driver or the shaft, but with irons it's a little more difficult. After that pitching and chipping around the greens becomes the next more important thing."

Johnson famously laid-up on all the par 5s at Augusta in 2007 en route to winning the Masters, yet made plenty of birdies because his distance control with his irons and wedges was impeccable.

Anthiny-Kim_450x600 Anthony Kim, the player who holds the Masters record for the most birdies made in one round—11 in 2009's second round—has a different approach.

Kim, who missed a good portion of the 2010 season due to injury, switched to Nike's 20XI-s ball at the 2010 HSBC Champions in Shanghai last October.

"I wanted a golf ball that spins around the greens," Kim said recently. "That's the most important thing to me, really, because the [new] grooves are affecting how the ball is coming out of the rough around the greens and how the ball is checking up—or not checking up. So for me, it was just if I could putt with it and the feel I had with the longer putts and how I could spin it around the greens."

"I got the ball Wednesday afternoon and put it into play on Thursday," he said.

Kim's switch was fast; Johnson's was  methodical. He had Titleist reps send several boxes of the new Pro V1x balls to his home and practiced with them before coming to this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship.

"The new ball is in the bag, as of yesterday," Johnson said Wednesday morning on the driving range at Doral.

According to Fordie Pitts, a Titleist rep, Johnson tailors all of his equipment for major championship conditions. It may have taken a little longer than other players, but with just four weeks before the start of the Masters, maybe Zach thinks he's found a ball that can help him win a second green jacket.

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

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 (Photos: Johnson by Kohjiro Kinno/SI; Robert Beck/SI)

January 26, 2011

Anthony Kim switches to Nike Method putter at Torrey Pines

Posted at 7:12 PM by David Dusek

Anthony Kim Method Putter_600x450 LA JOLLA, Calif. — Lightning in a bottle. Magic. Mojo. Call it what ever you like, but anytime a golfer feels that he's not putting well, he's going to be tempted to reach for a new putter in hopes of changing his luck.

This week at Torrey Pines, Anthony Kim is that golfer, and the putter he's switching to is a Nike Method 001. Kim had previously been using a few different Scotty Cameron for Titleist Newport putters.

"I put this putter in the bag Monday and it seems to be working good," he told me on the practice green Wednesday morning at Torrey Pines.

"I tried it last week during my off week—while I was chipping and putting a lot—and I figured I might as well try it," he said. "I made a couple of putts with it, and, you know, I haven't been putting so great this year. Part of it had to do with me not reading the putts and the grain so well in Hawaii, but I felt that if there is a time to try [a new putter], it's when you are not putting well. So we're going to put this thing in play and I have a lot of confidence in it."

The new putter isn't the only recent addition to Kim's bag. Last winter, while playing in Asia, he switched to Nike 20XI-s golf ball, and he's added a new Nike Victory Red STR-8 Fit Pro 3-wood (15) and a new Nike Victory Red Pro lob wedge (60) that features the company's new High Frequency X3X grooves.

Here's a complete list of the clubs that Kim will be using this week:

DRIVER: Nike Victory Red STR8-Fit Tour (8.5°) with a UST Mamiya ATTAS 7250 X proto
FAIRWAY WOOD: Nike Victory Red STR-8 Fit Pro (15°) with a UST Mamiya Red Series 89X shaft
HYBRID: Nike Victory Red (18°) and Aldila RIP shaft
IRONS: Nike Victory Red Pro Combo (3-4), Victory Red Pro (5-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
WEDGES: Nike Victory Red Forged (54°), Nike Victory Red Pro (60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
PUTTER: Nike Method 001
BALL: Nike 20XI-s

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

January 06, 2011

Using a new core technology, Nike pros start using the 20XI golf balls

Posted at 10:37 AM by David Dusek

Nike-20XI-Golf-Ball_600x450 Mark Alan, Nike Golf's product line manager for golf balls, will tell you the biggest recent advancement in balls was the switch from wound balls to solid-core models.

But Alan and Nike think the next major advance is about to be made with the 20XI-s and the 20XI-x, both slated to be available May 1.

The most unique aspect of the new 20XI (Get it? 20+XI=2011) is its core, which is made by injection-molding a new resin that Nike developed with DuPont. The material took four years to perfect, and Nike claims that the new core makes the 20XI 2-3 mph faster than the company's previous offerings with compression-molded rubber cores.

Because the core material is so light, Nike engineers were able to use heavier materials in the layers that surround the core, which should add durability and increase the ball's moment of inertia (MOI).

"You can think of it as a perimeter-weighted golf ball," Alan said.

A high MOI helps a club resist twisting on off-center impacts. In golf balls, Nike says the increased MOI affects the 20XI's spin.

"It resists spinning at impact with the driver," Alan says. "But once you get the ball spinning, it stays." It also means the ball is less affected by cross winds.

That should come in handy this week in Hawaii, where both Anthony Kim and Francesco Molinari are expected to play the ball during the PGA Tour's Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Alan says the balls should leave the clubface with 100-200 rpm less spin than Nike's previous premium offerings (the ONE Tour), but will have 100-200 rpm more spin after the ball reaches the apex of its trajectory. That should mean more green-grabbing spin on approach shots.

While both models are made using four pieces—including the same core and compression layer—the 20XI-s has a softer urethane cover that should produce more spin around the greens. The 20XI-x also features a urethane cover, but its firmer, so the ball should produce slightly more distance.

Expect to see the new Nike 20XI-s and 20XI-x in pro shops for about $45.99 per dozen.

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

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April 04, 2010

Winning Clubs: Anthony Kim at Shell Houston Open

Posted at 10:29 PM by David Dusek

Anthony-Kim_600x450

DRIVER: Nike Victory Red Tour (8.5°) with an UST Mamaya Proforce AXIVCore Tour Green X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade Tour Burner (13°), Nike SQ Dymo (17°) with UST Mamaya Proforce AXIVCore Tour Green shafts
IRONS: Nike Victory Red Full Cavity (3), Nike Victory Red Blades (4-PW) with True Temper S400 shafts
WEDGES: Nike SV (54°, 59°) with True Temper S400 shafts
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Studio Select Newport prototype
BALL: Nike ONE Tour

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | The Shop: Winner's Bags

(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

February 08, 2010

Gear Notes: Anthony Kim's Nike Putter, Phil Mickelson's Callaway Irons, Steve Stricker's Titleist Hybrid

Posted at 3:47 PM by David Dusek

Phil Mickelson Callaway Iron copy Callaway

Phil Mickelson decided not to go with the Ping Eye2 wedge at Riveria, but he did carry a Callaway Tour Authentic X Forged 4-iron instead of one of his prototype hybrid clubs. Mickelson uses Callaway's X-Proto irons with Project X shafts. The main difference between the two irons is the X Forged has perimeter weighting that helps get the ball airborne more easily while the X-Proto is a muscleback blade that allows players to shape shots more easily.

Nike
When Anthony Kim had his breakout season in 2008, he did it using 12 Nike clubs. The two non-Nike sticks were an Adams hybrid and a customized Scotty Cameron putter that said "Boomer Sooner" on the flange as a nod to Kim's alma mater, Oklahoma.

This season, Kim is playing 14 Nike clubs. The hybrid club was replaced by a Nike SQ Dymo fairway wood, and Kim is now playing a new Nike Method 001 putter.

TaylorMade
Paul Goydos added new TaylorMade TP wedges with xFT to his bag at Riviera, but not until they were extensively modified.

According to the company, his 54° and 60° wedges were bent in two areas of the hosel to create offset. An e-mail from TaylorMade said, "We bend it extremely strong at the lowest point of the hosel—like 6°. Basically as much as we can without damaging or ruining the look of the hosel. Then we go to the highest point of the hosel and bend it back to its original loft. The result is a wedge that has a lot of offset."

TaylorMade reps say the wedges with added offset look similar to Ping Eye2s in the playing position and help Goydos get under the ball.   
 
TaylorMade also reports that Rory Sabbatini added a 19° TP Rescue with FCT to his bag at Riviera. The South African also switched to TaylorMade's new 10.5° Burner SuperFast driver.

Titleist
Steve Stricker won the soggy Northern Trust Open at Riviera on Sunday with a slightly different set makeup. While the game's new No. 2 player still used a set of Titleist 755 irons and his 19° Titleist 909H hybrid club, he took out the 3-iron from his set and put in another hybrid, a 21° Titleist 909H with a UST Mamiya ProForce V2 shaft.

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

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January 19, 2010

Video: Nike Athletes on Groove Rule Changes

Posted at 5:37 PM by David Dusek

In this video provided by Nike Golf, Stepen Ames, Trevor Immelman, Stewart Cink, Anthony Kim, Suzann Pettersen and Amanda Blumenherst talk about how the new USGA groove rule changes are going to effect their game.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Groove Rule Changes

January 07, 2010

Video: Nike Golfers Explain Their Goals for 2010

Posted at 11:37 AM by David Dusek

In this video provided by Nike Golf, several of the game's top players explain what they hope to achieve this season:

For more on Nike Golf's latest equipment, go to golf.com/nike.

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December 04, 2009

Bag of the Day: Anthony Kim

Posted at 6:59 AM by David Dusek

The man they call "AK" has recently switched from using a Nike SQ Dymo 380 prototype driver to the company's new Victory Red Tour driver. The Dymo 380 prototype was never made available to the public, but with a small head than the standard 460cc Dymo driver, it allowed pros like Kim the ability to work the ball effectively.

As we wrote earlier this week in The Shop, the Victory Red Tour sports a 400cc head but lacks Nike's adjustable-face technology found in the Victory Red STR8-Fit Tour driver. Both models are designed to allow better players more forgiveness on drives hit low in the face and toward the heel.

Anthony-Kim-Nike-Golf_600x450

Here is a list of the clubs that Anthony Kim currently has in his bag:
DRIVER: Nike Victory Red Tour (8.5°) with an UST Mamaya Proforce AXIVCore Tour Green X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Nike SQ Dymo (13°, 17°) with UST Mamaya Proforce AXIVCore Tour Green shafts
IRONS: Nike Victory Red Full Cavity (3), Nike Victory Red Blades (4-PW) with True Temper S400 shafts
WEDGES: Nike SV (54°, 59°) with True Temper S400 shafts
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Studio Select T10 prototype
BALL: Nike ONE Tour

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(Reed Saxon/AP Photos)

October 07, 2009

Anthony Kim Says Golf Balls Are Not an Issue

Posted at 5:17 PM by David Dusek

SAN FRANCISCO – During a press conference after the pairings were announced for Thursday's Presidents Cup foursomes matches, Anthony Kim was asked if equipment would be an issue in the alternate-shot format.

"We are going to use Phil's ball [Callaway Tour ix]," he said. "I have got no problem with it. When I was little, I used all different kinds of golf balls because those were the used golf balls you had to buy in a bag. I'm used to playing with whatever. We'll go out there and have a good time."

Kim's normal ball is a Nike ONE Tour.

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January 12, 2009

Anthony Kim makes a driver change

Posted at 1:28 PM by David Dusek

Anthonykimdymokapalua Anthony Kim won two PGA Tour events in 2008, and had tremendous success in the Ryder Cup, using a Nike Sumo 5000 driver. However, the 23-year-old has switched to a new Nike SQ Dymo 380 driver with an Apache Ozik TP7 shaft. Kim also used a new Nike ball, the One Tour, which will take the place of the One Platinum this season.

For the week at Kapalua, Kim finished ninth in driving distance (284 yards) and eight in accuracy (75%).

(Photo by Stan Badz/Getty Images)

September 21, 2008

Anthony Kim's Ryder Cup clubs

Posted at 7:48 PM by David Dusek

Kimryder_sun_600 LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Anthony Kim dazzled crowds during the Ryder Cup, not only with his rhinestone belt buckles, but with the quality of his play. The 23-year-old Ryder Cup rookie was one of the emotional leaders of the team, and his win over Sergio Garcia in Sunday's singles matches set the early tone for the United States' victory.

Here is a list of the clubs in his bag this week:

Driver:                 Nike Sumo 5000 (7.5˚)
Hybrid:                Adams Idea Pro (14˚)
Irons:                   Nike Pro Combo (2-iron), Nike Forged Blades (3-PW)
Wedges:              Nike SV (54˚, 59˚)
Putter:                Scotty Cameron by Titleist Studio Select T10
Ball:                    Nike One Platinum

(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

September 20, 2008

Update: Mickelson's foursomes ball strategy

Posted at 5:01 PM by David Dusek

Kimryder_ball_450x600 Earlier this week, I asked Phil Mickelson how he and the American team would handle the ball issue in the foursomes matches. Not everyone plays the same ball, so in alternate shot the players often hit shots with an unfamiliar brand.

Mickelson told me that he planned to use his partner's ball off the tee, and his partner would use Mickelson's ball off the tee. "Off the tee it's not going to make too much of a difference. It's the distance control and how it comes off the irons and the trajectory and so forth," he said. "We will be hitting our own balls with our iron approach shots. I just don't think it will be a factor."

Well, that's not how it worked out. In both of Mickeson's foursomes matches with Anthony Kim (right ), the pair used Mickelson's Callaway Tour ix ball on every shot. Kim ordinarily plays a Nike One Platinum ball.

(Photo by Robert Beck/SI)

July 07, 2008

Anthony Kim's Winning Clubs

Posted at 2:31 PM by David Dusek

After Kenny Perry won last week's Buick Open, we thought we knew five members of the United States' Ryder Cup team Stewart Cink, Phil Mickelson, Perry, Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard. Now Anthony Kim has won his second PGA Tour event, last weekend's AT&T National, and the 23-year-old is on the verge of making the team as well.

Kim did not rank first in any of the major statistical categories last week, but he was solid in many.

Driving Distance - 10th (305.8)
Driving Accuracy - Tied for 20th (67.86)
Greens in Regulation - Tied for 12th (75%)
Putting Average - Tied for 11th (1.722)
Putts per Round - Tied for 8th (28.25)Anthonykimputter_2

One of the most interesting clubs in Kim's bag is his putter, a Scotty Cameron Studio Select T10. Kim, who was an All-American at the University of Oklahoma, shows his Sooner pride on the heel and toe of his putter. Click on the picture for a better look.

Anthony Kim's wining clubs
:

Driver:                 Nike Sumo 5000 (7.5˚)
Hybrid:                Adams Idea Pro (14˚)
Irons:                   Nike Pro Combo (2-iron), Nike Forged Blades (3-PW)
Wedges:              Nike SV (54˚, 59˚)
Putter:                 Scotty Cameron by Titleist Studio Select T10
Ball:                    Nike One Platinum

(Photo courtesy of Titleist)




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