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Category: K.J. Choi

May 16, 2011

Winner's Bag: K.J. Choi at The Players

Posted at 9:19 AM by David Dusek


TaylorMade R11 (9.0°) with a Matrix OZIK XCON F6M2 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping i15 (15.5°) with an ACCRA S3 Dymatch 85 shaft
HYBRID: TaylorMade Rescue TP (19°) with a Graphite Design Tour Ad UT 85 shaft
IRONS: Miura CB 501 (3-PW) with KBS Tour shafts     
WEDGES:  Miura Wedge Series (54°), Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (59°) with KBS Tour shafts 
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot #2
BALL: Titleist Pro V1

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

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(Photo by David Dusek)

April 08, 2011

For Choi and Yang, hybrid clubs are helping to tame Augusta

Posted at 7:42 PM by David Dusek

KF-Choi-Fri-Masters_600 AUGUSTA, Ga. – The most famous hybrid club in golf history is Todd Hamilton's Sonartec MD, which he used all over Royal Troon en route to winning the 2004 British Open. A close second would be Y.E. Yang's TaylorMade Rescue TP, the club he used to stiff his approach shot on the 72nd hole at Hazeltine and win the 2009 PGA Championship.

This week at Augusta National, there are plenty of hybrids in K.J. Choi's bag that could become just as famous if he can win the Masters. Choi, who finished third in the 2004 Masters, used four in the opening round on Thursday.

"Three weeks ago, I felt that to contend at major championships, I had to be able to get the ball up in the air, higher, and to stop the ball on the greens better," Choi said through his interpreter Friday afternoon. "That's why I put the hybrids in the bag. When I tried it, it made playing the par 3s much easier. I still don't feel that I'm 100-percent comfortable with those hybrids, but I still plan to continue using them."

The longest iron in Choi's bag Thursday was a 7-iron, but on Friday he put his 6-iron back in the bag and went with only three hybrids.

YEYang-Masters-Fri_600x450 Yang, who shot an even-par 72 Friday to finish at five under par, carries four hybrid clubs all the time. The longest iron in his bag is a 6-iron.

Yang's coach, Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brian Mogg, said Yang had a lot of confidence in the clubs after his PGA Championship win, adding a 4-hybrid to the 2- and 3-hybrids he already carried. Then, at last season's Byron Nelson Championship, a 5-hybrid was added.

"We started calling him grandpa," Mogg said Friday, "because his bag looked like something an old man would carry."

But Mogg quickly pointed out that Yang grew up on Jeju-do Island, South Korea, which is a really windy place. His inclination is to keep the ball low. The hybrids, along with the hard work Yang and Mogg have put in on the range over the last few seasons, have helped him develop a higher ball flight that is helpful on the PGA Tour.

When I asked Yang if he thought about using an iron instead of a hybrid this week because the course is playing firm and fast, he said no.

"I've tried it a few times, especially when it's dry," Yang told me through his interpreter. "But even if it's a logical decision, sometimes it's a confidence issue. I'm just more confident with a hybrid than an iron right now. I've thought about it, but in the end I think I hit my shots very well with my 5-hybrid rather than my 5-iron, which would have been the logical choice if I was going to take one out. So, I'm going to stick with the hybrids for now."

Mogg said that while he can't think of any other pros that carry more than four hybrids, no one is snickering or laughing about Yang's set make-up behind his back.

And if Yang or Choi makes another hybrid famous en route to winning a green jacket, they never will.

Learn about the newest hybrids in ClubTest 2011: Hybrids

More Masters coverage: Leaderboard | Photos | Video | Download Front9 app

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(Photos: Choi, John Mabanglo/Getty Images; Yang, Harry How/Getty Images)

April 11, 2010

Masters Bag: K.J. Choi

Posted at 11:11 AM by David Dusek


DRIVER: TaylorMade r7 Limited (8.5˚) with Aldila NV 75X shaft
HYBRID: TaylorMade Rescue TP (19˚) with a Tour AT UT 85 shaft
IRONS: Ping G15 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S100 shafts
WEDGES: PING G15 (52˚, 56˚), Tour-W (60˚) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot #2
BALL: Titleist Pro V1

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Ping, TaylorMade and Odyssey/Callaway clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

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(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

February 02, 2010

Gear Notes: Michael Sim's Titleist Hybrid, TaylorMade's New Drivers, Ping's Irons and Callaway's New Tour i(z) Ball

Posted at 10:14 AM by David Dusek

Michel-Sim-Torrey-Pines-Titleist_600 Titleist
Michael Sim (right), who in 2009 won the Nationwide Tour money title and Player of the Year award, as well as a battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour, spent some time at the Acushnet Test Facility before the start of last week's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

According to Titleist's Blog, Sim felt that the distance gap between his AP2 9-iron and his pitching wedge was too large, so he sought the help of some Titleist fitters. By switching from a 47° Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C to a club with 48°, the gap shrank from 18 yards to 12 yards.

Sim also told fitters that while his 695CB 2-iron worked well on the sandy, dry courses in his homeland of Australia, PGA Tour courses demanded shots that fly higher and stop quickly. After trying various hybrids, he put a prototype 503i with a Project X 6.5 shaft into his bag and took out the 2-iron.

Sim also asked Titleist reps to look at his putting stroke using the company's high speed cameras at the Scotty Cameron putting studio. "It wasn’t as good as what it was last year when I went in there," he told Titleist. "But we managed to correct that in probably 20 minutes."

Sim finished tied for second at Torrey Pines. Here is a complete list of his clubs:
DRIVER: Titleist 905R (8.5°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana White 83 shaft

FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 909F2 (13.5°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 93 shaft

HYBRID: Titleist 503i with True Temper Project X shafts

IRONS: Titleist AP2 (3-9) with True Temper Project X shafts

WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C (48°, 54°, 60°) with True Temper Project X shafts

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist Newport Squareback
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

You've had a chance to read all about TaylorMade's newest drivers, the R9 SuperTri and the Burner SuperFast. Last week at Torrey Pines, PGA Tour pros had their first chance to hit the clubs on the range. The video below, provided by TaylorMade, shows some of their reactions:

There has been a lot of talk about Ping Eye2 wedges recently, especially after John Daly and Phil Mickelson used the venerable clubs in PGA Tour events. The grooves on the Eye2 wedges would be non-conforming with the USGA's new rules, except they were grandfathered to be legal in perpetuity thanks to a lawsuit Ping won 20 years ago. However, Ping cannot make more Eye2 irons and wedges with the old grooves, but on eBay the clubs are selling like hotcakes.

KJ Choi Ping Irons What was interesting to see at the Farmers Insurance Open was that there were 24 sets of Ping irons in play. Twelve sets were used by Ping staff players, and 12 were used by players NOT on Ping's staff, including K.J. Choi (right) who used a set of the company's new G15 irons. Choi, who is no longer a Nike staff player, also played with a TaylorMade r7 Limited driver.

According to the company, Spain’s Alvaro Quiros switched to Callaway's new Tour i(z) ball at last week's European Tour event in Qatar, where he finished second behind Robert Karrlson. Callaway officials pointed out that the switch may have helped the longest hitter in Europe get a touch longer off the tee. Quiros averaged  317 yards per drive at this year's Qatar Masters; at the same event last season, he averaged 314 yards on his way to victory.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photos: Sim/Lenny Ignelzi/AP Photos; Choi/Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

July 18, 2008

K.J. Choi's British Open Clubs

Posted at 3:26 PM by David Dusek

Choifri_600x600 SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND — Taking advantage of less severe conditions, K.J. Choi has put himself atop the leaderboard after two rounds of play at Royal Birkdale.

Choi, whose best performance in a British Open is a tie for eighth in 2007 at Carnoustie, shot rounds of 72-67.

While Choi has a bag full of Nike clubs, his Odyssey putter has an interesting modification. It's hard not to notice that his putter grip, a SuperStroke, is gigantic. The concept behind the grip is that it locks the wrists and takes them out of the stroke, making players more consistent, especially under pressure. It's working well for him this week — he's averaging 28.5 putts per round.

Choi, one of the straightest drivers of the ball, is also splitting the fairways this week, hitting 20 of 28 in brutal conditions.

Continued good putting and solid driving could just the combination that Choi needs to win his first major.

Here is a complete list of the clubs in K.J. Choi's British Open bag:
Driver:                    Nike SQ Sumo 5000 (8.5°)
Fairway wood:       TaylorMade Burner TP (13°)
Hybrid:                   Nike T 100 (17°)
Irons:                       Nike CCi Forged (3-PW)
Wedges:                  Nike Pro Combo (54°) Nike SV (60°)
Putter:                    Odyssey White Hot #2
Ball:                        Nike ONE Platinum

(Photo by John Biever/SI)

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