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Category: PGA Championship

August 27, 2013

Tech Watch: SwingSmart swing analyzer

Posted at 1:02 PM by Mark Dee

Swingsmart_300If you tuned into this year's PGA Championship pre- and post-games on CBS Sports Network, you may be wondering what bit of digital wizardry they were using to analyze Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley and Zach Johnson's swings on the range.

Well, that's something you can do on your own range (minus the television audience). The product is called the SwingSmart, a sensor that attaches to your club and maps your swing via a free app.

Here's how it works: Take the adaptor plate, and strap it below the grip. Then, take the second piece -- the sensor itself -- and clip it on. In all, the apparatus weighs 17 grams, and since it is banded (as opposed to clamped) to the club, the SwingSmart claims not to deaden the feel of your shaft. Next: Open the app on your iPhone, Android, or tablet, select the club you are about to use from your customizable "digital bag," and go. The sensor self-calibrates to determine the "zero-point" in your swing, so you don't have to be dead still to start, or hit any more buttons. In a couple of seconds, via a proprietary BlueTooth module, your swing pops up on your screen in a swipe-able, 3-D view.

So what's it actually recording? Swing path, for one. The sensor extrapolates that data it receives under the grip to determine where the club head is, and then traces your swing in 3-D. (Note: The body you see in this mode is just a placeholder; since there is no sensor on your body, SwingSmart can't tell what's going on there.) It also gets you four "key" stats, as determined by instructor/spokesman/product consultant Peter Kostis: club head speed, face angle, tempo (the ration of backswing to downswing), and "attack angle," which is actually the angle your shaft is leaning at impact.

In the app, Kostis himself will tell you what those numbers mean, as well as provide pre-recorded instructional videos to help you use the data SwingSmart collects. According to the company, that data is within a 2-3% margin of error, measured against TrackMan and FlightScope.

SwingSmart works for every club in the bag, down to your putter, and can be used with or without a ball. It also lets you save data on your good swings -- you know, to remember them by -- and has a split-screen function to compare two moves and track improvement (hopefully).

All in, SwingSmart costs $249 and comes with one sensor, and two adaptor plates

(Photos: Courtesy of SwingSmart)

August 12, 2010

My Bag: Y.E. Yang at the PGA Championship

Posted at 2:35 PM by David Dusek

"I recently upgraded my driver and irons to new ones, and I really like the new driver—the TaylorMade SuperFast." — Y.E. Yang



DRIVER: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast (8.5°) with Aldila NV X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade Burner TP (13°), V Steel (18°) with Aldila NV X shaft
HYBRIDS: TaylorMade Rescue TP (19°, 21°, 23°) with Aldila NV X shafts
IRONS: TaylorMade R9 TP (6-PW) with Project X 6.5 shafts
WEDGES: TaylorMade RAC TP (50°), Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (60°) with Project X 6.5 shafts
PUTTER: TaylorMade Rossa Spider Vicino
BALL: TaylorMade Penta TP


Eagle/Parrot Headcover: "We can't figure out what it is, but I thought it was an eagle, and eagles are always good on the golf course."

Hand Warmers: "I need them, especially in Europe. I used a whole bunch at Pebble Beach and also in Scotland."

Camera: "I decided to get a camera with video to check on my swing on site. My caddie or manager takes the video. Primitive, but efficient."

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

(Photo by William Rutledge)

August 15, 2009

Tiger Woods's 2009 PGA Championship Golf Clubs

Posted at 3:22 PM by David Dusek

Tiger-Woods-Irons-PGA_600 CHASKA, Minn. – If it ain't broke, why fix it?

Having won the last two PGA Tour events, the Buick Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Tiger Woods has not made any equipment changes this week at 2009 PGA Championship.

Here is a complete list of the clubs in his bag at Hazeltine:

Driver:  Nike SQ Dymo (10°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana White Board 83x shaft
Fairway woods:
  Nike SasQuatch Sumo (15°, 19°) with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 103g shafts
  Nike Forged Blades (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
  Nike Victory Red (56°), SV (60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
  Titleist by Scotty Cameron Newport 2
  Nike One Tour

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August 14, 2009

Padraig Harrington's 2009 PGA Championship Clubs

Posted at 8:06 PM by David Dusek

Padraig-Harrington-Wilson-PGA_600 Here is a complete list of the clubs that Padraig Harrington is using this week at the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine:

DRIVER: TaylorMade R9 460 (9.5°) with a Grafalloy ProLite 35 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade Burner (13°), Wilson Staff FYbrid  (18°)
HYBRID: Wilson Staff (3, 4)
IRONS: Wilson Staff Pi5 (5-PW)
WEDGES:  Wilson Tw9 (54°, 60°)
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Blade
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

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Kenny Perry Still Swinging the Raylor at 2009 PGA Championship

Posted at 4:00 PM by David Dusek

Kenny-Perry-TaylorMade-Raylor CHASKA, Minn. -- Kenny Perry put a yet-to-be released TaylorMade Raylor hybrid club in his bag in the days leading up to the U.S. Open. At the time, he said he wanted a club that would help him hit high, soft, 220-yard shots out of the Bethpage Black rough.

With a weight screw in the back and a V-shaped leading edge, the unique sole of the Raylor is designed to hit just such shots. To make room for the Raylor, Perry took out his 3-iron.

Since that time, the club has stayed in the bag, and he is continuing to use it here at Hazeltine. Look for the TaylorMade Raylor to be released later in 2009.

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Vijay Singh's 2009 PGA Championship Golf Clubs

Posted at 3:17 PM by David Dusek

Vijay-Singh-PGA-Clubs_450x600 CHASKA, Minn. – The winner of the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Vijay Singh, made a few equipment changes before teeing it up at Hazeltine National.

Last week in Akron, Ohio, during the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Singh had a Never Compromise NCX-Ray SFT belly putter in his bag. But this week he's wielding a standard-length Never Compromise Milled Series 1 putter.

When Vijay was asked whether or not he brought his belly putter with him to Hazeltine, he smiled and said, "Yeah, I have it in my locker. It's not too for away."

Singh has also decided to put his old Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead fairway wood into play this week instead of his Adams hybrid.

"There is a big gap between my 3-iron and my 3-wood," he told me. "I need a middle club. And 5-wood, I can hit it up to 230, 250. And from the rough, it's a great club."

Here is a complete list of the clubs he is using this week in the 2009 PGA Championship:

DRIVER: Cleveland Launcher (7.5°) with Miyazaki 72X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Cleveland Launcher Steel (13°) with Mitsubishi Diamana White Board 83X shaft, Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead (19°)
IRONS: Cleveland CG Tour (4-PW) with Rifle 7.5 shafts
WEDGES: Cleveland CG12 (54°, 60°, 64°) with Rifle 7.5 shafts
PUTTER: Never Compromise Milled Series 1
BALL: Srixon Z-Star X

Scotty Cameron 2009 PGA Championship Putter Headcover

Posted at 12:47 PM by David Dusek

Scotty-Cameron-2009PGA-Cover_600 CHASKA, Minn. -- Titleist staff players, as well as a few other prominent members of the field at the 2009 PGA Championship who use Scotty Cameron putters, found a very interesting memento in their locker this week.

Cameron designed a commemorative headcover for this year's final major that's made of canvas. The fishing lures (as a fly fisherman I recognize both dry- and wet-flies) and log font used in the words "For Tour Use Only" are meant to inspire a campy feel.

A few players decided to use the new headcover right away, including Geoff Ogilvy, Darren Clarke (who is playing a new Scotty Cameron California Del Mar), Davis Love and David Toms.

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August 13, 2009

TaylorMade Designs Another 'Da Vinci Code' Inspired Symbolic Logo

Posted at 12:32 PM by David Dusek

TaylorMade-2009PGA-Logo_450x600 CHASKA, Minn. -- To commemorate the 2009 British Open at Turnberry, TaylorMade Golf created a very unique, symbol-filled logo that appeared on the company's pros' hats and bags.

Here at the PGA Championship, TaylorMade is showing off another commemorative logo that is straight out of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code" or "Angels & Demons."

The logo at right is on hats and bags of TaylorMade players this week, including Retief Goosen, Kenny Perry, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Sean O'Hair.

The Wanamaker Trophy, shown in yellow, was donated by Rodman Wanamaker in 1916, the first year the tournament was played. Players used to get ownership of the cup for a year after their win, but now are given a replica. The original remains on permanent display at the PGA Historical Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The dream catcher and feathers behind the trophy are a reminder that Hazeltine National Golf Club is located in an area that was once home to Native Americans, including the Dakota (commonly known as the Sioux). According to a TaylorMade release, the name 'Chaska' is derived from a Dakota name often given to a first-born male child.

The red '2' on the top of the trophy symbolizes the second PGA Championship contested at Hazeltine. The first was held in 2002 and won by Rich Beem.

The 'TH' on the left side is for Totton Heffelfinger, a former president of the USGA. He is responsible for the creation of Hazeltine National.

The 'RJ' on the right is for Robert Trent Jones, the man who designed the course. Hazeltine opened in 1962. Before the 1991 U.S. Open Championship, his son Rees Jones lengthened and tweaked the course.

In the base of the Wanamaker trophy is a script 'SH' for Susan Hazeltine. The lake that comes into play on the 402-yard 16th hole was named for her.

August 12, 2009

Mickelson Will Carry Custom Hybrid Again at Hazeltine

Posted at 7:10 PM by David Dusek

Phil-Mickelson-Hybrid CHASKA, Minn. — Earlier this season, Phil Mickelson used a Callaway FT hybrid. But in the months leading up to the U.S. Open at Bethpage, Mickelson and the club makers at Callaway Golf created a very unique hybrid.

When I asked him about it in June, Mickelson said, "This is a special club I actually made, taking the back part of the hybrid out so that I can open it way up and get through that thick rough."

The photo on the right, taken during the U.S. Open, shows the club in detail.

Although the rough here at Hazeltine is not as deep—and certainly not wet like it was at Bethpage—Mickelson told me today that nothing has changed in his bag.

"This is the same setup I had at the U.S. Open, and that I've had most of the year" he said. "It is the same hybrid. I think that it has performed very well out of this rough, and I expect to able to recover because of that club."

He went on to say that when he misses fairways, he'll depend on the club to help him advance the ball.

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(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

August 11, 2009

Scotty Cameron Releasing New California Series of Putters

Posted at 3:28 PM by David Dusek

Scotty-Cameron-California-Putters CHASKA, Minn. — Putter guru Scotty Cameron is set to release a new line of Titleist putters, the California Series, at the end of September. On Tuesday at the PGA Championship, many pros got their first look at the new flatsticks. Rod Pampling and Darren Clarke immediately requested that models be made to their specifications and planned to try one on the practice green here at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

There are four models of California putters, each named for a town. From the top, they are Coronado, Monterey, Sonoma and Del Mar.

The most noticeable feature is the new finish. Cameron refers to it as "Honey Dipped." The gold tone is created when the stainless steel heads go through a special heating process. Depending on the light, the California putters show flashes of pink and purple too.

When I spoke with Cameron on the range at Hazeltine Tuesday, he made it very clear that the look of the putters was very important. "I want it [the look at address] to be flowing, because if anything gets stuck or looks sharp, your eye goes to it," he said. "That makes the putter look like a brick on the ground."

Two other subtle things help to keep the look of the putters clean. First, there are no steps in the shaft of the California putters. Second, the decorative shaft band has been placed on the back of the shaft near the handle. These details are designed to make it easier for your eyes to concentrate on the ball and your line at address.

While he refers to the putters as "old world classic," there is at least one modern feature built into the new putters. On the sole of each California model are two 10-gram weight screws. Like the screws used in the Studio Select putters, these screws are not designed to be removed or adjusted by the golfer. However, via custom order, they can be changed to create heavier versions of the putter using the same head.

The Coronado is a classic blade putter with two steps in the back flange area. It features a single alignment dot on the top and a round neck. The Monterey is a classic heel-toe weighted, Anser-style blade with a plumber's neck and a single-line alignment aid. The Sonoma also features a plumber's neck and a single alignment line, but it has a rounded back flange and slightly longer face. The Del Mar has a larger, circular back flange with a high toe area.

When they are released in late September, the California Series putters will retail for about $299.

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(Photos by David Dusek)

August 06, 2009

Five-Piece TaylorMade Penta Golf Ball Hits PGA Tour

Posted at 4:35 PM by David Dusek

TaylorMade-Penta-Golf-Ball_600x450 Sergio Garcia and Retief Goosen plan to use TaylorMade's new five-piece golf ball, the Penta TP, at next week's PGA Championship at Hazeltine.

The ball, which took three years to develop, won't be available to the public until Dec. 1. It is golf’s first five-piece ball, and according to TaylorMade officials, was added to the USGA’s conforming ball list on Wednesday.

The goal for the Penta was to optimize its performance in five key areas: with the driver, long-irons, middle irons, short irons and partial wedge shots. (Get it? "Penta," five.)

The cover of the Penta TP is made of a soft urethane material to promote a high-spin rate, but lower trajectory on wedge shots and pitches for more control. The outer mantle layer, which can be found directly under the white cover, is the most-easily compressed. Of the three mantle layers in the Penta TP, it's the fastest, and TaylorMade says it is designed to create optimal spin and flight conditions when ball speeds are below 120 mph (short irons for tour pros).

The middle mantle layer is semi-firm, and TaylorMade designed it to be compressible on shots with a ball speed between 120 and 140 mph (mid-irons). According to a TaylorMade memo, the inner mantle is designed to create high-launching, low-spinning shots with a ball speed between 140 and 160 mph (long irons).

Encased under all those layers is the core, which is made from an extremely fast, low-compression material that only the fastest swingers will be able to activate. However, TaylorMade says those who do can expect more ball speed and less spin on drives for increased distance.

TaylorMade expects the Penta TP to be widely used by its Tour staff players, and the ball has not only been tested by Garcia and Goosen, but also by Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Justin Rose. But TaylorMade says the ball should also appeal to slower-swinging players and a wide range of amateurs because it has been designed to increase ball speed (for more distance) and provide feel around the greens.

August 10, 2008

Sergio Garcia's PGA championship clubs

Posted at 9:33 PM by David Dusek

Sergio_pga_sunv_600x450 Losing the 2008 PGA championship to Padraig Harrington won't hurt as much as losing the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie for Sergio Garcia. After all, Sergio didn't watch one of his putts lip out on the final hole that would have won the tournament. He played his heart out, but it still has to hurt.

Sergio did a fantastic job of using his driver to hit knockdown shots below the blustering winds at Oakland Hills on Sunday. It's a tricky shot, but when you've got some of the best hands in the game, it can useful.

The golf ball Garcia uses helped him pull it off. While most amateur golfers would be better served by a ball with a lot of spin, which helps maximize hang time and distance off the tee, Garcia uses the TaylorMade Red LDP. The LPD stands for Low-Drag Performance, and according to TaylorMade, it is especially good in windy conditions. By playing the ball back in his stance, and limiting his follow-through, Garcia was able to produce a lower trajectory on tee shots.

Garcia is a feel player, and his clubs are old-school. While more and more players are migrating to cavity-backed irons, Garcia is still swinging blades. And here's a little tidbit the guys in the TaylorMade van have told me: Sergio grinds his own wedges. That means he literally shapes the bounce to his liking using a sanding wheel. Talk about taking equipment matters into your own hands!

Here's a list of the clubs Sergio used at Oakland Hills during the 2008 PGA championship:

Driver                  TaylorMade Tour Burner TP (9°)
Fairway woods     TaylorMade Burner TP (14.5°), r7 TP (17.5°)
Irons                    rac MB (3-PW)
Wedges               rac Satin TP (54°, 58°)
Putter                  Titleist by Scotty Cameron Newport 2
Ball                      TaylorMade TP Red LDP

(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

Padraig Harrington's PGA championship winning clubs

Posted at 8:47 PM by David Dusek

Harrington_driver_450x600 You might think that after winning a major championship the last thing you would want to do is make an equipment change.

But after successfully defending his British Open championship by winning at Royal Birkdale, Padraig Harrington was spotted tinkering with a new driver two weeks ago at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio. It was a new Wilson prototype called the Smooth, but at the PGA Championship he was once again swinging a Wilson Dd6.

Here is a list of the clubs that Harrington used to win the PGA Championship.

Driver:                          Wilson Dd6+ (9°)
Fairway woods:           TaylorMade Burner (13°), Wilson Staff Fybrid  (18°)
Irons:                           Wilson Staff Ci7 (3-4) Wilson Pi5 (5-PW)
Wedges:                       Wilson Tw9 (54°, 60°)
Putter:                          Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Blade
Ball:                             Titleist Pro V1x

J.B. Holmes's new driver and PGA Championship clubs

Posted at 8:29 AM by David Dusek

Holmes_450x600 J.B Holmes has a new toy. The Kentucky native switched to a new driver just before the PGA Championship, a Cobra L4V X, which is intended for players with extremely high swing speeds. (Um, I think J.B. qualifies.)

For players who really pack a wallop, the LV4 X is designed to create a high-launch, low-spin drive that maximizes distance. The face has no bias, so skilled players should be able to work the ball with either a draw or a fade.

According to Cobra's Web site, these are the clubs that J.B. has in his bag at Oakland Hills:

Driver         Cobra L4V X (8 °) with an Aldilla Voodoo XVS8 shaft
Fairway      Cobra Speed LD-X Pro (13°, 18°)
Irons            Cobra Pro CB (3-PW)
Wedges       Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (54°, 60°)
Putter         Rife Barbados belly
Ball             Titleist Pro V1x

(Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

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