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Category: Masters


April 12, 2010

Phil Mickelson's Win Means $1 Million Refunded to Golfers

Posted at 12:03 PM by David Dusek

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Phil Mickelson walked away Sunday evening from Augusta National with a third green jacket for his closet and a hefty check to hand to his accountant.

According to Golfsmith, more than 15,000 golfers who purchased a Callaway Big Bertha Diablo Edge, FT-Tour or FT-iZ driver also expect to get a check thanks to Phil's win.

A joint Golfsmith and Callaway promotion promised a refund on drivers purchased between March 18 and April 7 if Mickelson won the 2010 Masters.

A release sent by Golfsmith this morning said:

"In addition to wowing the galleries at Augusta for his third Masters Championship, Sunday, Phil Mickelson gave golfers across the country and internationally a great present to start the season," said Golfsmith President and CEO Marty Hanaka. "Phil's win is great for the game and wonderful for Golfsmith and our valued retail and online customers."

"We couldn’t be happier that Phil claimed his third green jacket and that thousands of Golfsmith customers now will start off the season with a new Callaway driver, free of charge," said Brian Groves, VP of US Marketing, Callaway Golf.  "Callaway drivers are the hottest clubs on the PGA Tour and have already won six tournaments in 2010, including the season’s first Major."

Because the organizers of the promotion took out a  'prize indemnity policy,' the money sent back to driver purchasers will actually come from an insurance company, not Golfsmith or Callaway.

If you are one of the people who purchased a Callaway driver during the designated time period, click here to learn how to get your money back from Golfsmith.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | ClubTest 2010: Drivers

April 11, 2010

Phil Mickelson's Unique Odyssey Blade Putter

Posted at 10:55 PM by David Dusek

More than almost any golfer on tour, Phil Mickelson is willing to experiment and tinker with his golf equipment. He won the 2006 Masters using two drivers and the 2008 Colonial carrying five wedges. He broke out a 64° wedge at Winged Foot for the U.S. Open in 2006, inspiring other players to carry super-high-lofted wedges.

He's also used a wide variety of putters over the years. Notably, Mickelson was the first player to use a Scotty Cameron Futura in a PGA Tour event. It wasn't pretty, but Mickelson made it work.

WMickelsons-Putter-Top_600hile he's also used a variety of mid-size mallets and heel-toe weighted Anser-style putters, these days Mickelson is using a classic blade putter, a White Hot XG Blade, made by Odyssey, the putter-arm of Callaway Golf. Unfortunately for Mickelson fans, his blade is not a part of Odyssey's current line, so it's not available to the public.

There are a few things that make Phil's old-school putter unique.

"[Manufacturers] have never been able to put a line on a blade putter," he said at Colonial in 2008, a week after spending some time at Callaway's testing facility in Carlsbad, Calif. "But with the way they can grind it now, they were able to put a line in it. I can align it so much better."

While his current blade has a darker finish than the one he used that week, Mickelson still has Odyssey grind a line into his putter to assist him with alignment.

There is an insert in the face of the putter, but that's a variable he can change. An Odyseey rep told me that the company has supplied Phil with several identical putters that feature different inserts, some being firmer while others are softer. Based on the ball he's playing and the speed of the greens, Phil changes putters accordingly.

The same thing goes for the lead tape you see in these photos. On slower greens, like those found on the West Coast Swing or in Europe, he often adds weight. On faster greens he uses less or removes the weight entirely. There was no lead tape on Phil's putter at Augusta National.

Mickelsons-Putter-Sole_600 Another unique thing about Mickelson's blade is the amount of loft he uses. The standard loft on most putters is between 3°-4°. But Mickelson's putter has slightly more because of his stroke. He recently told Golf Digest, "The amount of loft you have on your putter is going to be dependent on your hand position and ball position. My hand position is ahead, so I need more loft. Sometimes I have 5° or 6° on my putters."

So will a blade putter like Mickelson's help you drain more putts like his 20-footer for birdie on the 12th hole Sunday? That all depends on your stroke and how consistently you can hit a solid putt.

A blade putter is ideal for golfers who swing the club on an arc, taking it inside the target line on the backswing and follow-though. If your putting stroke goes straight back and then straight through the ball, a blade-style putter is probably a poor fit.

When you strike the ball in the sweetspot of a blade, it will perform wonderfully. But with almost no perimeter weighting, putts hit near the toe or on the heel will be short and offline. Forgiveness is not a blade putter's strong suit.

If you have your heart set on trying a blade, talk to your PGA professional or club fitter about a Wilson Staff 8882Cleveland's 1905, Yes! Sophia or a Scotty Cameron Napa.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | ClubTest 2010: Putters

Masters Bags: Tiger Woods

Posted at 12:39 PM by David Dusek

Tiger-Woods-Sat-Masters-Clubs_600x450

DRIVER:  Nike Victory Red Tour (10°) with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 83x shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS:
  Nike SasQuatch Sumo (15°, 19°) with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 103g shafts
IRONS:
 Nike Victory Red Blades (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
WEDGES:
  Nike Victory Red (56°, 62°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER:
  Titleist by Scotty Cameron Newport 2
BALL:
  Nike One Tour

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

Masters Bag: Lee Westwood

Posted at 11:44 AM by David Dusek

Lee-Westwood-Masters-Ping_600x450

DRIVER: Ping G10 (9.0°) with a Aldila PGA Tour Only Prototype XNV6 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping i15 (14°) with a UST Mamaya V2 76X shaft, Rapture V2 (19°) with Aldila NV75 X shaft
IRONS: Ping i10 (3-PW) with Ping JZ stiff shafts
WEDGES: Ping Tour-W (54°, 58°) with Ping JZ stiff shafts
PUTTER: Ping Redwood Anser
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

Masters Bag: K.J. Choi

Posted at 11:11 AM by David Dusek

KJ-Choi-Sat-Masters-Ping_600x450

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)

April 10, 2010

Masters Bag: Phil Mickelson

Posted at 12:42 PM by David Dusek

Below is a complete list of Phil Mickelson's Masters clubs. For a close-up look at his unique Odyssey blade putter, go here.

Phil-Miclelson-Callaway-Masters_450x600

DRIVER: Callaway FT-9 Tour Authentic (7.5°) with a Mitsubishi Fubuki 73 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway Big Bertha Diablo (15°) with a Mitsubishi Fubuki 73 X shaft
HYBRID: Callaway Prototype (22°) with a Mitsubishi Diamana Thump X shaft
IRONS: Callaway X-Forged (4), X Proto (5-PW) with Rifle Project X 7.0 shafts
WEDGES: Callaway JAWS (53°, 60°, 62°) with Rifle Project X 7.0 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot XG Blade (Learn More)
BALL: Callaway Tour ix

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

April 09, 2010

Masters Bag: Ian Poulter

Posted at 5:56 PM by David Dusek

Ian-Poulter-Fri-Masters_600x450

DRIVER: King Cobra ZL (9.5°) with a Fujikura 6.0 Motore Speeder X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 909F2 (13.5°) with a Fujikura Rombax 7X07 shaft, Titleist 906F2 (18°) with a Grafalloy ProLite 35 shaft
HYBRID: Titleist 909H (21°) with an Aldila NV Hybrid 85 X shaft
IRONS: King Cobra Pro CB (4-7), Pro MB (8-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C (54°, 60°)
PUTTER: Rife Antigua
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Cobra and Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

April 08, 2010

Tiger Woods Playing Nike's Victory Red Blades—Again

Posted at 8:54 PM by David Dusek

Tiger-Woods-Nike-Iron-Thur_450x600 AUGUSTA, Ga. – Golf equipment aficionados study Tiger Woods's gear closely, so maybe a few noticed that the irons the game's No. 1 player is using at the Masters look a little different.

They are ... sort of.

Although he began 2009 using Nike Victory Red Blade irons, Tiger switched to an old set of Nike Forged Blades at the Memorial and continued to use those clubs for the rest of the season.

I asked him at the U.S. Open why he made the switch and he said, "I went back to an old set that I had played before and had some success with, so I went back to that."

But this week, the Victory Red Blades are back in the bag.

I asked Rick Nichols, Nike Golf's field tour manager, about the clubs.

"Some players have a custom grind, and he is playing a custom-grind VR Blade," Nichols told me shortly after Tiger teed off Thursday. "The topline, the sole, we do some custom grinding for some of the guys."

Nichols wouldn't get more specific than that, but Woods hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation on Thursday, so Nike has to think this set of irons may stay in his bag for a while.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

Masters Bag: Fred Couples

Posted at 7:46 PM by David Dusek

Fred-Couples-Thur-Masters_600x450

DRIVER:
TaylorMade R9 460 (8.5°) with a Fujikura Speeder 757 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway FT-i (15°) with a Harrison Mugen 105 shaft
IRONS: TaylorMade Tour Burner (2), Bridgestone J38 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour shafts
WEDGES: Callaway X-Forged (54°, 58°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour shafts
PUTTER: TaylorMade Rossa Imola belly putter
BALL: Bridgestone B330-S

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photo by John Biever/SI)

Nike Makes Unique Sneakers, Jackets for Masters Staff Players

Posted at 11:10 AM by David Dusek

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Nike has several golfers in the field this week at the Masters. And each of them received some very unique gifts from the company on the eve of the tournament, including a green-and-yellow pair of Nike sneakers. Each player's first name was stitched on the back of the left shoe, and the last name was on the right. Below is a photo of the shoes given to Francesco Molinari.

Nike-2010-Masters-Sneakers_600x450 

But wait, there's more. Several players were also given a green track jacket with their name embroidered on the front. However, as past champions, Trevor Immelman and Tiger Woods were given white jackets. Above Immelman's name was a single star to symbolize his 2008 victory; there were four stars placed above Tiger's name to represent each of his wins.

Inside, discreetly screened into the back of each jacket, is an image of the famous oak tree that stands behind the clubhouse at Augusta National.

Nike-2010-Masters-Jacket_600x600

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

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(Photos by David Dusek)

Masters Bag: Defending Champion Angel Cabrera

Posted at 7:59 AM by David Dusek

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It seems appropriate that the first bag we publish in the Shop Blog from the 2010 Masters is that of the defending champion, Angel Cabrera. Ping made Cabrera a special Masters-themed bag to use here this week, and his son, Angelito (below), will proudly carry it for his father during the tournament.

 Angelito-Cabrera-Ping-Masters-Bag_600

DRIVER: Ping i15 (8°) with Aldila RIP 80X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping G15 (15.5°) with Aldila RIP 80X shaft
HYBRID: Ping i15 (17°) with Aldila ProtoPype 105X shaft
IRONS: Ping i15 (3, 4) S57 (5-PW) with Rifle 7.0 shafts
WEDGES: Ping Tour-W (54°), Tour-W TS (60°) with Rifle 7.0 shafts
PUTTER: Ping iSeries 1/2 Craz-E
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photo: Ping Golf)

April 07, 2010

Ryan Moore Had Scratch Irons Custom Made for Augsuta National

Posted at 11:30 AM by David Dusek

 AUGUSTA, Ga. — Ryan Moore made headlines last August not only for winning the Wyndham Championship, but also for doing it as a professional who didn't have an equipment contract or clothing endorsement deal. His bag didn't have a logo, and neither did his shirt, shoes or hat.

A few months after that win, Moore signed an endorsement deal with Scratch Golf, a small manufacturer based in Chattanooga, Tenn., that proudly custom-grinds every set of irons it sells. When I talked with company reps at the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando in January, I was told the company can produce about 10 sets of irons in a week.

Ryan Moore Masters Clubs_600x600But instead of getting paid big bucks to use the company's wedges and irons, Moore now has an equity stake in the company. In an article that appeared in Bloomberg, Ari Techner, Scratch Golf’s chief executive officer, said "We’re obviously not in a position to be giving him millions of dollars. We’re definitely looking at this as a long-term deal and hoping to have Ryan using our clubs for the rest of his career"

Moore had been playing Scratch Golf's SB-1 irons (inset) this season, a forged blade with classic lines and a thin topline. But Tuesday evening I got an e-mail from Scratch explaining that Moore had a set of oversized, cavity-backed Scratch EZ-1 irons (larger image at right) made to his specs especially for the Masters. The game-improvement clubs are not only more forgiving, but they also hit the ball higher than the SB-1 irons, which should allow Moore to stop the ball more quickly on Augusta's legendary greens. The photo above shows one of Moore's EZ-1 irons with an inset image of his regular SB-1 6-iron.

Related: SI Golf+: Ryan Moore Winning His Way | ClubTest 2010: Irons

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Special Masters MyJoys for Pros Are Available to Everyone

Posted at 11:26 AM by David Dusek

FootJoy-Icon-Masters-Shoes_350x200 AUGUSTA, Ga. — According to FootJoy, more than 25 players in the field here at the 2010 Masters received a new pair of white Icon Shield Tip shoes trimmed with dark green patent leather and green Caimen alligator skin. Doug Sanders and Ian Poulter would be proud to wear them, and you can get a pair for yourself if you go to myjoys.com. The shoes are available for $270, and like all Icons, they come with a two-year waterproof warranty.

TaylorMade's New SuperDeep Driver Arrives at Augusta

Posted at 11:25 AM by David Dusek
TaylorMade SuperTri SuperDeep

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The next version of the TaylorMade R9 driver family is making its debut this week at Augusta National Golf Club.

The R9 SuperDeep is black with red and white trim, like the R9 SuperTri, but is designed to optimize the games of accomplished players.

"If you go back a little ways in our driver line, back to the 510 Tour [2002-2004], it's got that type of head shape," says Paul Loegering, one of TaylorMade's PGA Tour reps.

The SuperDeep is the driver on the right in the photo above, and as you can see, the face is not as wide as the SuperTri's, but it is much taller.

"For better players, it will produce less spin. They will be able to play a driver with more loft, but that doesn't create more spin." That should translate into more distance, but less forgiveness. "It's not going to have the high MOI [Moment of Interia] of the SuperTri," Loegering says, "but this type of player isn't really looking for that."

TaylorMade SuperDeep While the R9 SuperTri features a 460cc head and three adjustable weight ports, the SuperDeep's 460cc head houses two adjustable weight ports. However, it does feature TaylorMade's adjustable head design—called Flight Control Technology—which allows golfers to unscrew the head from the shaft and then re-attach it into one of several positions to create a draw, fade or neutral bias.

According to Loegering, Sergio Garcia loved the look of the driver at first sight. He has practiced with it twice this week and will likely put it in the bag on Thursday morning. Another TaylorMade staff player, Kenny Perry, has also asked TaylorMade to make a SuperDeep driver to his specifications.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter

(Photos by David Dusek)

April 06, 2010

TaylorMade's 2010 Masters Commemorative Bag

Posted at 2:39 PM by David Dusek

Image002 AUGUSTA, Ga. — For years, TaylorMade has designed special golf bags that the company's staff players were given on the eve of each of the four major championships. Lots of companies do that, but these are especially unique because of the symbols embroidered on them. The numbers, images and detailed designs all have meaning. You can see a collection of past logos on the TaylorMade's Facebook page.

The theme of this year's Masters bag is "Season Open," and many of the symbols revolved around the year 1960. In case you don't have "The Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown on speed dial, here's what the symbols mean:

The 3 on the yellow flag at the top commemorates the traditional par-3 contest held on Wednesday. The tradition started in 1960, so this year marks its 50th anniversary.

The crown in the center of the logo represents Arnold Palmer. Known as The King, Palmer won the 1960 Masters. It was his second Masters title and earned him $17,500.

The 13 near the top of the logo is positioned on the Crow's Nest, where amateurs who are playing in the Masters are invited to stay. Jack Nicklaus, the U.S. Amateur champion in 1960, stayed there during the 1960 Masters and finished 13th.

The bald eagle with five stars just above his tail is in honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five-star general who became America's 34th president. Eisenhower, a long-time member of Augusta National Golf Club, campaigned to have a massive loblolly pine on the left side of the 17th fairway removed in 1956 because he hit it so often. His request was denied and his name has been associated with the tree ever since.

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

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter




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