Toy Box notes: Chalmers has Grace on the greens

Greg Chalmers follows a putt into the hole at the Australian Open.

Greg Chalmers follows a putt into the hole at the Australian Open.

Greg Chalmers, winner of the recent Australian Open, is a Titleist guy. He carries 13 Titleist clubs and plays the company’s Pro V1x ball.

But his 14th club – a Bobby Grace putter – is one that Chalmers has used since 2003.

Bobby Grace captured the attention of many in the early 1990s with his Fat Lady Swings and other mallet putters. Now, almost 20 years later, he’s still in the putter business with a custom shop in Pinellas Park, Fla.

Grace is a concept guy. He takes wild ideas and turns them into realties. A great example is his Multi-Rebound Radial Insert – the more the ball is struck offcenter, the more it rolls. In other words, the rebound effect enhances a hit that is less than solid.

On his website (www.bobbygraceputters.com), Grace has volumes of text and video on putters. He explains how to be properly fit. He explains how to choose the right putter. He explains how to use long and belly putters.

Chalmers came to Grace right after the Amazing Grace putter was introduced. Chalmers wanted his own version.

“So complicated, I didn’t think I could do it,” Grace said. “I tried to do the same thing once before for Zinger (Paul Azinger), and it was impossible.”

This time, though, he succeeded. Because Chalmers insisted on a toe-down putter that wasn’t face-balanced, Grace ended up placing tungsten in the toe. And that was the easy part. The putter and its multi-bend shaft required an intricate drilling procedure and proved to be an advanced construction project for Grace.

Chalmers, among the best putters in the world, has used the putter ever since. In the Strokes Gained–Putting category introduced this year by the PGA Tour, Chalmers finished fifth behind Luke Donald, Steve Stricker, Bryce Molder and Charlie Wi.

“In the few days since he won (the Australian Open),” Grace said, “I’ve been getting calls from all over the world. People want to buy that putter.”

So Grace has decided to put it into his line. It will be “90 percent like Greg’s putter,” the only significant difference being the adjustable weight capacity. Grace wants to be able to change the head weight in a range between 360 and 420 grams, depending on what kind of putter he is making. Long and belly putters demand heavier heads. Grace’s production putters are expensive, ranging from $199 to $450. His handmade putters can sell for $1,000.

The rest of Chalmers’ all-Titleist bag: 901D3 driver (10.5 degree, with Aldila RIP 60 shaft), 909F2 3-wood (13.5 degree, with Aldila VS Prototype 80 shaft), 910F 5-wood (17 degree, with Aldila VS Prototype 80 shaft), 909H hybrid (21 degree, with Dynamic Gold S400 shaft), CB 710 irons (4-9, with Dynamic Gold S400 shafts), Vokey Design wedges (46, 54, 60 degree, with Dynamic Gold X100 shafts).

• • •

Woods uses new Nike fairway woods: At the Australian Open, Tiger Woods continued to play a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6X shaft in his Nike VR Tour driver (8.5 degree).

His other 13 Nike clubs: VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood (15 degree) and 5-wood (19 degree), VR Pro Blades (3-PW), VR Pro wedges (56 and 60 degree), Method 001 putter. He uses a One Tour D ball.

The new VR Pro Limited Edition fairway woods from Nike are available in a 3-wood and 5-wood only. Woods has said he can hit higher fairway wood shots than ever before but can still blast a low-flying stinger shot if he chooses.

The stock shaft in the VR Pro Limited Edition fairway woods is the Mitsubishi Diamana ’Ahina. The retail price is $225 per club.

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