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Category: Ernie Els

May 21, 2008

Secretive putter grips

Posted at 2:40 PM by David Dusek

Tiger Woods is synonymous with Nike's swoosh. Thirteen of his 14 clubs are made by Nike, and he's outfitted by the company from head to toe. The lone exception is his Scotty Cameron putter. But the grip on King Arthur's Excalibur isn't made by either company, it's made by Ping. (Woods used a Ping Anser for years as a junior golfer.) 

While going through images of Ernie Els recently, I noticed the Big Easy, who uses an Odyssey putter, is also using a Ping grip. (Click on either image for a closer look.).

If you want to get the same look on your flat stick, consider buying a Ping Blackout. As the name implies, the logo on this replacement grip matches the black color of the grip itself, so it's barely visible.

At $4.99 on, the price of this grip is well within your reach. 

(Photos: Travis Lindquist/Getty Images (Woods), Jerome Delay/AP (Els))

May 09, 2008

Swing changes mean driver changes for Ernie Els

Posted at 3:30 PM by David Dusek

Elsfriplayers PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — After working for three days last week with swing coach Butch Harmon in Las Vegas, Ernie Els is in contention at the Players Championship after shooting a two-under 70 Friday.

Els started using Callaway equipment in 2007 after having previously played with Titleist and TaylorMade clubs. He has been experimenting with several drivers this season, including the square-headed FT-i and the new  FT-i Tour Low CG, which features interchangeable shafts.

However, after talking with his caddie and taking a peek into Els's bag, I learned that he's using an original version of Callaway's FT-5 (8.5˚) this week, not the new i-Mix version.

When asked why he'd chosen this particular driver, Els said, "The FT-5 launches the ball a little higher. I started playing the softer ball Callaway makes — the Tour i ball* — and that ball launches lower. I needed something to get the ball up in the air, and it didn't quite work for me with the FT-i driver, the square driver, so I went to the FT-5."

In extremely windy conditions, Els used his work-in-progress swing and the FT-5 to officially hit eight of 14 fairways for the second day in a row at TPC Sawgrass. However, today's number is deceiving because Els hit just two poor drives Friday — his opening shot of the day went well right on the 10th hole, and his drive on the fifth hole went straight right and into the pond. Els missed the fairway by less than two paces on three holes.

But if the winds continue to blow, will Els switch drivers? "No, I'm hitting good with this one," he said.

(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

*According to Callaway's Web site, a new Tour i ball will be available in July.

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