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Category: Shafts

April 26, 2009

Jerry Kelly's Zurich Classic Winning Clubs

Posted at 7:27 PM by David Dusek

Singh-Driver-Shaft Jerry Kelly put a new Miyazaki prototype shaft into his Cleveland Launcher driver this week before the start of the Zurich Classic. Michael Jolly, a tour rep for Cleveland Golf, told me in Augusta two weeks ago that Vijay Singh has also put the shaft in his driver.

Jolly told me that the Miyazaki shaft is very rigid and resists twisting to help fast-swinging players maintain control on slightly off-center hits. However, "unlike a lot of low torque shafts, it doesn't feel harsh," he said.

It's not available in retail now, but Jolly said SRI (Cleveland's parent company) may release it in the future.

Here is a complete list of the clubs in Jerry Kelly's bag:

DRIVER:                  Cleveland Launcher (7.5°) with Miyazaki prototype X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD:   Titleist 906 F4 (13°) with Graphite Design Pershing 85g X shaft
HYBRID:                  Cleveland HiBore XLS (16°) with Graphite Design YS Hybrid 85 X
IRONS:                    Cleveland CG7 Tour (3-9) with True Temper Black Gold X shafts
               Cleveland 588 (47°, 53°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S-400 shafts
PUTTER:                 Cleveland Classic #3
BALL:                     Titleist Pro V1x (2009)

Take a look inside more PGA Tour winners' bags.

April 24, 2009

Parker McLachlin adds yards and accuracy with new shafts

Posted at 2:27 PM by David Dusek

Parker McLachlin Heading into this week's Zurich Classic in New Orleans, Parker McLachlin was not happy with his driving. Statistically speaking, he had no reason to be, ranking 168th in average distance (272 yards) and 185th in accuracy (48%).

Although he had been making some swing changes—and both his caddie and his coach felt he was improving—McLachlin was still battling a right-side miss. For the year, 25% of McLachlin's drives have found the right rough.

This week he made an equipment adjustment. After visiting the Titleist van, McLachlin had the Aldila Voodoo VS7 shafts removed from his driver [Titleist 909D2 (10.5°)] and 3-wood [Titleist 909F2 (15.5°)] and replaced them with the X stiff Mitsubishi Diamona White Board. The driver shaft weighs 63 grams; the 3-wood shaft is 73 grams.

For at least one day, the fitting change worked. On Thursday, McLachlin's average drive was 289 yards, and he hit 57% of the fairways.

"My experience last week and the beginning of this week in finding a new driver leads me back to the importance of club fitting," McLachlin wrote in the Honolulu Advertiser. "Fortunately for me, Titleist has a great Tour trailer, so we've got club fitting at our fingertips. But even for the weekend warriors out there, getting fitted for clubs, and drivers especially, is extremely important."

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 09, 2009

Keeping Up With Phil Mickelson's Equipment

Posted at 2:30 PM by David Dusek

Philmickelson You would be hard-pressed to find a player on the PGA Tour who knows more about golf equipment — and who is more willing to experiment — than Phil Mickelson.

In 2004, Phil won the first of his two Masters championships carrying two drivers. He won the 2008 Colonial carrying five wedges, and in what many characterized as a miscalculation, Mickelson played without a driver during the opening rounds of last season's U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

This year, Mickelson started the season with a Callaway FT-5 driver in his bag because the USGA had not yet put his customized Callaway FT-9 driver on its conforming list. Unlike other FT-9 drivers, Mickelson's has a hosel.

After experimenting with new shafts in his irons during the offseason, Mickelson had his old Royal Precision Rifle Project X shafts re-installed. Why was he experimenting with his iron shafts in the first place?

"I don't know this for a fact," Mickelson said to a group of True Temper representatives recently, "But I've heard that when True Temper bought Royal Precision, that the tooling it used to make the Project X shaft was not purchased and was not part of the deal. And that the manufacturing of the new Project X by True Temper has not been as good or as consistent. So I have been trying to look into some different stuff. We have three sets on back-order from inventory before the purchase. But is that not accurate?"

Mickelson was assured that information was not accurate, and that the only difference between the Project X shafts now made by True Temper and those previously made by Royal Precision is the satin finish. In fact, the True Temper reps assured Mickelson that if he provided them with his clubs — or a backup set — they would guarantee that the shafts the company provides would match his preferred numbers and specs.

"Okay, so it's just the satin finish," Mickelson said happily upon hearing the good news. "Well, I don't care about the finish. There is not a problem with consistency then."

Philmickelsoncallawaydiablo But Mickelson's 2009 equipment story doesn't end there. Lefty is carrying a new Callaway Big Bertha Diablo 3-wood this season. He used the club extensively off the tee on Sunday at the Northern Trust Open to help him successfully defend his title.

When I spoke with Mickelson about it, he said, "This club has a lower profile [than his previous 3-wood, a Callaway FT], so you can see how thin it is in the back. My other 3-wood had a taller face. And because the CG is low, the spin rate is low. So instead of having an 11.5° 3-wood, I have 14° 3-wood. I'm able to get the ball up more easily because of the extra loft, but it doesn't float, which is the problem I've always had with 3-woods."

Unlike the Big Bertha Diablo driver, which is 100% titanium, the Big Bertha Diablo fairway woods are 100% stainless steel. However, similar to the driver, the Diablo fairway woods have an internal weight chip. In the draw-bias version, the weight chip is positioned near the heal of the club to help close the face more easily. In the neutral version, the chip is positioned in the rear to enhance workability. Mickelson uses a Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki shaft in his 3-wood.

So, how long was the adjustment period for his devilish new Diablo 3-wood?

"Hmmm ... two shots," he said with a grin.

(Top Image: Chris Condon/Getty Images; lower: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

July 30, 2008

New shafts from Graphite Design

Posted at 3:11 PM by David Dusek

Gd_throttle_shaft_3 For heavy hitters, Graphite Design will soon release the new Tour AD Throttle line of shafts, made specifically for high swing speed players.

All four models are 47 inches long with a stiff tip, a high bend point and low torque. That combination, according to Graphite Design, should produce a lower ball flight and reduce driver spin. Each shaft has a suggested retail price of $175.

The names of the different versions of the Throttle shafts are designed to also get your juices flowing on the tee.

Turbo Charged = regular
Super Charged = stiff
Nitrous Charged = extra stiff
Methane Charged = double extra still

January 21, 2008

PGA Show: First Look at Interchangeable-Shaft Drivers

Posted at 1:01 PM by

Gary Van Sickle has an up-close look at the new adjustable and interchangeable shafts. The good news is you don't have to be Bob the Builder, a member of Jeff Gordon's pit crew or a golf professional to swap shafts in your new adjustable driver.

Check out Nickent's Evolver 4DX and Callaway's i-Mix in this gallery.

January 17, 2008

PGA Show: Interchangeable shafts are the next big thing

Posted at 12:16 PM by

Sports Illustrated's Gary Van Sickle is spending most of his time at The Show investigating one of the biggest trends in the industry, the introduction by most major manufacturers of interchangeable golf shafts.

Some clubs released this year will make it possible for golfers to change their own shafts with just a few simple tools. We'll have more on this today and tomorrow, including a photo gallery of some of the products, but this column from Gary should serve as a good introduction to the concept.

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