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Category: Charles Howell III


March 23, 2011

My Bag: Charles Howell for the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Posted at 10:03 AM by David Dusek

"The lob wedge is mys most important club. It can save a round or it can make a round." — Charles Howell

Charles-Howell-Bay-Hill_450x600

 

DRIVER: TaylorMade R11 (9.5°) with an Oban Devotion 7 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway Big Bertha Diablo (15°) with a Mitsubishi Rayon Fabuki Tour 80 X shaft
HYBRID: Titleist 909H (19°) with an Aldila Voodoo NV8 X shaft
IRONS: Mizuno JPX-800 Pro (4-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 shafts
WEDGES: Mizuno MP-T11 (52°, 56°, 58°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball
BALL: Titleist Pro V1

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

(Photo by Kohjiro Kinno/SI)

May 10, 2008

No magic bullets for Howell as he adjusts to his new irons

Posted at 9:15 PM by David Dusek

Ch3markhumphreyapAs he practiced on the range at TPC Sawgrass Wednesday, Charles Howell continuously checked his alignment using a shaft that lay in front of his toes. One after another, he took dead aim and hit short irons at the flags.

Anthony Kim is the young gun of the moment after an impressive win at the Wachovia Championship last week, but not too long ago Howell was pegged as the next can't-miss kid. A two-time All-American at Oklahoma State, he'd won the NCAA championship in 2000 and was the PGA Tour's rookie of the year in 2001. The skinny kid had a swing that made his coach, David Leadbetter, gush with pride. His power seemed effortless, he hit laser-like irons and some prognosticators even thought he could give his buddy, Tiger Woods, a run for his money.

Over the past six years, Howell has won twice and made two Presidents Cup teams, but the 28-year-old from Augusta, Ga., has never been a factor at a major. His best performance is a tie for 10th at the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

Last December Howell signed an endorsement deal with Bridgestone and ended a long relationship with Callaway Golf. When asked why he switched, he very politely refused to explain. "I really can't answer that one," he said. "I mean, I know you've got to ask, but ..."

After plenty of testing at Bridgestone's facility in Covington, Ga., and on the range at Isleworth Country Club in Orlando, where he lives, Howell now plays the Bridgestone J36 cavity back irons (3-6) and J36 blades (7-PW).

"Honestly, it's just a whole lot of trial and error. Bridgestone opened up their doors to me and said, 'What do you want? What are you looking for?' We sat down and talked about the look I'm after, and then what I want the clubs to do. They built a lot and I hit a lot."

One unique aspect of Howell's irons is that they have more bounce than standard. "I have quite a bit of lag in my golf swing, and I take pretty large divots," he explained. By adding bounce to his irons, the leading edges do not dig into the turf through impact. It's the same principal that allows a high-bounce sand wedge to work easily in bunkers.

But for Howell, like most pros who switch manufacturers, the mental adjustments are the toughest part of an equipment change. "It's just trusting that the golf ball is going to do what you want it to do. Trusting what the irons are going to do and trusting the distance it's going to go." Only time, hard work and good results can create that.

Howell's only top-10 finish this season was a tie for eighth at the limited-field, no-cut Mercedes Benz Championship at Kapalua.

"Obviously when you've played with another company's stuff for eight years, there is a learning curve," he said before shooting 79-74 and missing the cut this week. "My golf game is getting a little better, but I just haven't scored very well so far this year."

The stats indicate that Howell's new irons have not been a magic bullet for his game — he is hitting 64.42% of the greens in regulation in 2008, up just 1.05% from last season.

But when the subject of his putter came up, Howell seemed more upbeat.

"I'm using the TaylorMade Spider putter and it's been good. It's a little different look, but man, it's extremely stable."

Howell's Spider has a small amount of toe-drop, meaning it's not completely face-balanced like other large-head or mallet-style putters. "You would think that it would want to go straight back and straight through, but it really wants to go on a little arc," he noted. "The other thing about the Spider is that no matter where I hit it on the face, it always rolls out the same. You don't have to hit it dead-nuts in the center."

Howell is capable of winning again. He is still young, his work ethic is solid and his swing still looks great. As he and his new irons get more acquainted, there is no reason why he can't still fulfill all those lofty expectations.

(Photo by Mark Humphrey/AP)

January 10, 2008

New Season, New Clubs for Notable Pros

Posted at 12:27 PM by Golf.com

Plant_02_2Phil Mickelson surprised many golf fans in 2004 when he decided to switch clubs shortly before the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, going from Titleist and Callaway Golf.


Professionals typically change clubs in the off-season when there is time for proper fitting and so they can develop some confidence in their new gear before the important tournaments are played.

Charles Howell III (left), who defeated Mickelson in a playoff to win the 2007 Nissan Open at Riviera Country Club, went that route in December by switching from Callaway to Bridgestone. The In the Bag portion of Howell's official Web site still says, "To Be Announced Soon," but according to Bridgestone representatives he is now playing the soon-to-be-released J36 Cavity Back 3- through 6-iron and J36 Blade 7-iron through PW, as well as the Bridgestone WC Design Sand Wedge (54°). Howell also switched to the Bridgestone Tour B330-S golf ball. Interestingly, he did not have Bridgestone woods in his bag at the Mercedes-Benz Championship last week; Howell used a TaylorMade r7 SuperQuad TP driver, TaylorMade Burner fairway wood and a Ping Redwood putter.


78666196_2The No. 11-ranked player in the world, Rory Sabbatini (right), got under the skin of Tiger Woods at the Wachovia Championship and again at the Target World Challenge. This season Sabbtini will be swoosh-less, having parted ways with Nike Golf and started a new relationship with Adams Golf.


According to a media release on Sabbatini's Web site, he is now playing the Adams Insight driver, Idea Pro hybrid and Idea a3 irons. Sabbatini appeared to be using the yet-to-be released Odyssey Black Series i#9 putter.


While Sabbatini may have switched clubs, he's still wearing skull belt buckles -- David Dusek (Photos: Howell/Jonathan Ferrey/WireImage.com; Sabbatini/Jeff Gross/Getty Images)




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