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Category: Ernie Els

January 17, 2014

Ernie Els' New Adams Clubs For 2014

Posted at 1:53 PM by Kevin Cunningham

Ernie-els-adams-bag_300This offseason, four-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els made a major equipment change, bolting longtime sponsor Callaway for Adams Golf. Els opens his season with the new clubs next week at the European Tour's Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

On Friday, Adams Golf posted a picture of Els' brand-new bag on their Facebook page (photo at right).

Here's a list of the new sticks The Big Easy will be swinging to start the year.


FAIRWAY WOODS: Adams Tight Lies Tour (14.5°, 16°)

HYBRIDS: Adams Idea Super 9031 (20°, 23°)

IRONS: Adams XTD Forged (5-PW)

WEDGES: Adams Puglielli (52°, 60°)

PUTTER: Yes! Sandy-12

(Photo: Adams Golf)

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July 17, 2012

My Bag: Ernie Els for the 2012 British Open

Posted at 1:40 PM by David Dusek

"When I look down at my irons, I don't want them to seem totally straight. I want to see some round edges on the ground because that's when I know I can work the ball." -- Ernie Els

DRIVER: Callaway RAZR Fit (8.5˚) with Fujikura Motore Speeder 7.2 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway X Tour (15˚) with a Project X shaft
UTILITY IRONS: Callaway X Utility Prototype Utility Irons (18˚, 21˚, 24˚) with KBS Tour X shafts
IRONS: Callaway RAZR X Muscleback (5-PW) with KBS Tour X shafts
WEDGES: Callaway X Series JAWS (52˚, 60˚) with KBS Tour X shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot XG1
BALL: Callaway Hex Black Tour

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

(Photo by Darren Carroll/SI)

December 01, 2011

Callaway RAZR Fit, its first adjustable driver, coming in 2012

Posted at 8:14 AM by David Dusek

Adjustable drivers have been around for years, and lots of golfers like them because they allow you to tweak things like the loft, face angle, lie angle, and weight distribution. However, one of the biggest names in golf equipment, Callaway, hasn't offered one. Until now.
In late January 2012, Callaway will release the RAZR Fit driver, which was quietly made available to tour pros during the PGA Tour's Fall Series. It's already found a home in the bags of Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson.

"We wanted the adjustability to be easy for the consumer to use and to matter, so when a golfer makes a change we want him to be able to notice a change in the ball flight," says Luke Williams, Callaway Golf's global director of woods and irons.
Out of the box, the RAZR Fit will come with a neutral face angle, but you can open the face 2.5° or close the face 1.5°using a torque wrench to unscrew the head from the shaft and re-attach it in one of three different settings.
The RAZR Fit comes with a 12-gram weight in the toe area and a 2-gram weight in the heel, but using the same torque wrench, the weights can be switched to increase the draw bias of the club.
In addition to being Callaway's first adjustable driver, the RAZR Fit is also the first driver to feature Callaway's newest face, which is dubbed "Speed Frame." It's an optimization of the hyperbolic face pattern that Callaway has been using for several years, but the company says it should help golfers maintain more ball speed when they hit outside of the sweet spot.
"The center of the face tends to be the hottest spot on a driver, and that's capped by the USGA," Williams says. "So what we want to do is make the areas around the center behave more like the center of the face."
The crown of the RAZR Fit is made from Forged Composite, a unique carbon material that first appeared in last season's RAZR Hawk and Diablo Octane drivers. By melting millions of carbon fibers, Callaway engineers can press and mold the carbon material into very precise shapes and designs; in the case of the RAZR Fit, Forged Composite has been used in the crown to make it thinner and lighter. This allowed Callaway designers to add weight to the bottom and back sections of the club to lower the center of gravity.
The RAZR Fit will come with an Aldila RIP NV shaft and should cost about $399 when it arrives in pro shops.

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

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May 09, 2011

Callaway releases the RAZR X Muscleback irons

Posted at 6:42 PM by David Dusek

Callaway RAZR Muscleback Irons Callaway has been making some of the best-selling irons for years, featuring clubs that help a lot of golfers hit the ball higher and farther more easily. Several offerings in the X Series and Big Bertha family of irons had big heads, massive sweet spots and low centers of gravity to make that possible.

The new RAZR Muscleback irons give you none of that. The first hint that these clubs are only for serious players is that the photo samples distributed by Callaway (right) show a 2-iron.

"If you aren't good enough to get your clubs for free, this might not be the best club for you," says Luke Williams, Callaway's director of product design. "I mean, really good amateur players and college players could play this club. There's a market for it, but it's small."

What the RAZR Muscleback, which is forged from carbon steel, does give players with an efficient and repeatable swing is the ultimate in feel and control.

Today's RAZR Muscleback irons started as prototype clubs built with tour players in mind. With small heads, short blades, anorexically-thin toplines and narrow soles, they first appeared in the bags of players like Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson with "X Prototype" stamped on their backs. After a while, Callaway made a few sets available to the public, calling the clubs the Tour Authentic X Protoype irons.

As Callaway considered its 2011 iron offerings, Williams says the company started thinking that it might be a good idea to bring the X Prototype irons out to the masses.

"When we thought about including an iron like this in our current line, we went out and got some feedback from players," Williams says. "We told them, 'Okay, if we're going to make a new version of this iron, what should we do differently?' And what we commonly heard back was, 'Well, change the name on the back. Don't change anything.' The players told us the size is perfect, the sole is just what we want, all of that. After hearing that often enough, that's what we decided to do."

The RAZR X Muscleback is, in fact, the X Prototype with some subtle cosmetic alterations made to the back of the club.

"While this iron may not include some of the latest technologies or come with a lot of bells and whistles, there are some things about it that are very important to get right," Williams says. "It's not just, 'Make a small forged blade and the players are going to love it.' You've got to get the offset right, you've got to get the blade length right, the toe shape, the topline width and angle. You've got to get the transition from the offset into the leading edge right. Those are the things that Tour players and better players are really concerned with."

The RAZR Muscleback are available now for $999 and come standard with Project X Flighted shafts, however, Callaway will change them to any steel shaft it carries for no additional charge. You can get more product specifications about the clubs on Callaway's Web site.

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

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March 29, 2010

Winning Clubs: Ernie Els at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Posted at 1:16 PM by David Dusek


DRIVER: Calaway FT-9 Tour Authentic (8.5˚) with Project X shaft
FAIRWAY: Callaway X Tour (14˚, 19˚) with Project X shafts
IRONS: Callaway Tour Authentic Proto X (3-PW) with KBS Tour shafts
WEDGES: Callaway X Forged (54˚, 59˚) with KBS Tour shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Ice #5
BALL: Callaway Tour (i)s

March 14, 2010

Winning Clubs: Ernie Els at WGC-CA Championship

Posted at 8:09 PM by David Dusek


DRIVER: Calaway FT-9 Tour Authentic (8.5˚) with Project X shaft
FAIRWAY: Callaway X Tour (14˚, 19˚) with Project X shafts
IRONS: Callaway Tour Authentic Proto X (3-PW) with KBS Tour shafts
WEDGES: Callaway X Forged (54˚, 59˚) with KBS Tour shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Ice #5
BALL: Callaway Tour (i)s

January 19, 2010

Gear Notes: Titleist's Tour-Only Pro V1 Balls, Ernie Els' New Driver, Retief Goosen's New Grooves

Posted at 12:19 PM by David Dusek

Cameron Morfit, a senior writer for Golf Magazine, spoke with a few golfers at the Sony Open and heard about new Titleist Pro V1 golf balls some players were using.

Since last August, Titleist has made two tour-only versions of the Pro V1 ball available to PGA Tour players. The Pro V1 Plus Spin is marked with a <s----PRO V1---s> on the seam while the Pro V1x Plus Trajectory has a <+---PRO V1x---> on its seam.

According to a Titleist tour rep, "These products are customized versions of 2009 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls that have been designed to optimize performance for a small handful of PGA Tour players."  

According to Titleist, of the 96 players in the field at Sony last week who played a Titleist ball, just six used the Pro V1x Plus Trajectory and only two played the Pro V1 Plus Spin.

The tour rep also wrote in bold, "These products are not in response to nor designed to address new groove rules and they are not planned to be sold commercially."

Titleist is not planning on making any changes to the current Pro V1 or Pro V1x ball in response to the USGA's new groove rule changes. The ball was most recently updated for the 2009 season.

Callaway-FTiz-Driver_600 Callaway
Ernie Els is continuing to use Callaway's yet-to-be-released FT-iZ driver (right). The triangular-shape club, which was reviewed in the 2010 Golf Magazine ClubTest, is being touted by the company as being the longest and straightest driver its ever made.

It certainly seems to be working for Els, as he averaged 306 yards per drive at the Sony Open, 15 yards more than his 2009 season average. Els also continued to use Callaway's Tour i(s) ball.

According to TaylorMade, Retief Goosen became the first player to request a new face plate be installed in a TP wedge with xFT.

Using a torque wrench, the face plate (which contains the wedge's grooves) can be removed and replaced with a new one that contains fresh, sharp grooves. Goosen, the 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open champion, had the face plate in both his 54° and 60° wedges replaced.

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

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December 31, 2009

Bag of the Day: Ernie Els

Posted at 6:41 AM by David Dusek

Ernie Els, who finished the season ranked No. 17 in the world, has been playing Callaway's yet-to-be-released FT-iZ driver in recently events. The three-piece, triangular-shaped head features a lightweight carbon composite body that is fused to a titanium face and a high-density rear weight.

You'll be able to read a lot more about the Callaway FT-iZ, and 26 other drivers, next week when brings you ClubTest 2010: Drivers.


DRIVER: Calaway FT-iZ (8.5˚) with Project X shaft
FAIRWAY: Callaway X Tour (14˚, 19˚) with Royal Precision Rifle shafts
IRONS: Callaway Tour Authentic Proto X (3-PW) with KBS Tour shafts
WEDGES: Callaway X Forged (54˚, 59˚)
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot XG #5
BALL: Callaway Tour (i)s

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Click here for a complete list of players featured in Bag of the Day.

(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

November 09, 2009

Callaway Debuts New Tour i(s) Golf Ball at HSBC Champions

Posted at 12:22 PM by David Dusek

Ernie-Els_600 Ernie Els got a little help from Callaway Golf in Shanghai at the HSBC Champions, where he finished second after shooting 63 on Sunday.

"I started playing a new golf ball that Callaway made," Els said. "This is what I've been looking forward to, is this golf ball. It would have been unbelievable if I could have won with this ball. It would have been great for Callaway and myself. I'm looking forward to the future now, and I think my equipment is now spot on."

Els was referring to the new Callaway Tour i(s). Ryan Moore, who finished third, also used it.

The Callaway Tour i(s) is a four-piece ball that Steve Ogg, Callaway's vice president of ball R&D, called "the most highly-engineered golf ball product we have ever come out with."

According to Ogg, the Tour i(s) is the softest ball Callaway has produced, but what makes it special is a large degree of spin separation, which makes it possible to put a lot of spin on iron shots and very little spin on drives.

"The ball has a high core compression differential," he said. "That is the difference between the compression of the inner core and the outer core. When you have a high-compression outer core, the ball holds it shape better when you're hitting wedge shots so you can give it more spin."

The greater force of a driver, he said, will penetrate the outer core and compress the soft inner core. That reduces spin and creates greater distance.

"It morphs to the shot that you want," Ogg said, "yet retains all the distance of the previous Tour i golf balls." The Callaway Tour i(s) will be available in mid-January for about $43 per dozen. In the video below, Ogg talks more about the ball.

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(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

August 26, 2009

Ernie Els Searching for Putter and Magic at Liberty National

Posted at 7:26 PM by David Dusek

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- In 2004, Ernie Els contended at all four majors, but didn't win any. That season the Big Easy ranked ninth on the PGA Tour in putting average, needing only 1.74 putts per green hit in regulation. This year, he's tied for 153rd in that category, averaging 1.801.

So it was no surprise that I saw him spend an hour on the speed practice green at Liberty National Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's start of the Barclays. With the help of his caddie, Ricky Roberts, as well as an assist using a video camera, Els hit putt after putt with an Odyssey putter made especially to his specifications and preferences (below). The stainless steel design is shaped like a classic heel-toe weighted Anser.

Ernie Els Blade Putter

However, halfway through his practice session, Els started putting with a custom finished Odyssey White Hot XG #5 (below). Els has used this putter on several occasions this season, including at the PGA Championship two weeks ago.

Ernie Els OWH6 Putter 

Els did not appear happy with his putting Wednesday afternoon, so it will be interesting to see which putter goes in the bag Thursday. The greens at Liberty National have plenty of contours and are running fast, so regardless of which putter he uses, Els will need to find his 2004 magic is he's going to contend.

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June 17, 2009

Update: Ernie Els Sticking with Traditional Driver at Bethpage

Posted at 7:48 AM by David Dusek

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Ernie Els experimented with a significantly-heavier shaft in his driver on Tuesday afternoon at Bethpage, but he has decided not to use it during play at the U.S. Open.

According to Callaway, the company that makes Els' FT-9 Tour Authentic driver, the two-time U.S. Open winner with use a 79 gram, 45 ½-inch Fujikura Speeder 757 shaft.

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June 16, 2009

Ernie Els May Go With a Shorter, Heavier Driver at Bethpage

Posted at 6:09 PM by David Dusek

Ernie Els Calaway FT-9 TA FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Earlier this season, Phil Mickelson put a unique Callaway FT-9 driver into his bag. Unlike the FT-9 drivers that had previously been released, Mickelson's had a hosel, so the club had to be examined by the USGA and deemed legal for competition.

Maybe Phil was onto something, because Ernie Els and a few other Callaway players have switched to the FT-9 Tour Authentic driver. Because the Tour Authentic version of the FT-9 has a smaller head and different weighting, it allows skilled players to work the ball more effectively off the tee. The standard FT-9 has a higher moment of inertia (MOI) that helps mid- and higher-handicap players hit straighter drives.

On Tuesday morning at Bethpage, I had a chance to speak with Barry Lyda, a PGA Tour rep with Callaway Golf, about Els's driver. He told me that the two-time U.S. Open winner is experimenting with heavier shafts so he can feel where the club is in his swing more easily.

"Ernie is using a 100-gram True Temper Project X graphite shaft in his Callaway X 3-wood," Lyda said. "He said he'd like a driver made with the same shaft, but I told him that I can't make him one with that shaft because I don't have a head light enough to offset the weight."

Els has been playing a UST Mamiya ATTAS 76 in his driver.

To compensate for the extra weight, Lyda cut a full inch off Els's driver, making it 44". Lyda said that should reduce clubhead speed and create a lower ball flight for Els. To offset that lower ball flight, Lyda added loft, making an 8.5° and a 9.5° head for Els to try.

The Callaway FT-9 Tour Authentic driver is currently only available to the public on the company's Tour Authentic Web site. In the video below, Lyda explains the differences between the standard FT-9 and the Tour Authentic model.

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(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

April 20, 2009

Ernie Els switches to new UST driver shaft

Posted at 4:42 PM by David Dusek

Erni Els Ernie Els, who switched from Callaway's FT-5 driver to the FT-9 earlier this season, also recently made a shaft change.

The South African has been using a Fujikura Speeder 757 for several years, but changed to a UST Mamiya ATTAS 76 shaft in his driver.

According to UST's Randy Stuart, the ATTAS shaft has a special woven carbon fiber material in the butt section that increases the shaft's hoop strength, making it extremely firm and solid feeling. The ATTAS also features a rigid mid-section that is made from high-modulus graphite.

The ATTAS is different from the popular yellow and black AVIXCore Tour Red (used by players like Davis Love and Stewart Cink) in the tip section. That shaft is extremely stiff in the tip, but the ATTAS is relatively flexible.

Stuart says that because so many clubhead makers are now focusing on increasing the moment of inertia (MOI) and making products that are inherently more stable, shaft companies can use a more-flexible, feel-enhancing tip for fast-swinging players.

In the heavier shaft weights, it will take a lot of swing speed to maximize what the UST ATTAS shaft can do. However, Stuart says that when the shaft is released to the public there should be lighter options more tailored to weekend players.

Look for the UST ATTAS shaft to arrive in specialty club fitter stores late in 2009 for about $350.

(Photo by Darren Carroll/SI)

March 04, 2009

Ernie Els tries the Callaway FT-iQ driver

Posted at 2:00 PM by David Dusek


Learn more about the Callaway FT-iQ driver:

January 09, 2009

Els switches to Callaway's new FT-9

Posted at 4:46 PM by David Dusek

Ernie_els_callaway_ft9_driver Although Callaway recently provided with a video showing Ernie Els testing the new square-headed Callaway FT-iQ driver, during the first round of the Merecedes-Benz Championship Thursday in Hawaii, the Big Easy was using a new FT-9. Click on the image for a better look.

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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