>> The surprising Marc Leishman, who tied for second at the BMW Championship and is the only rookie remaining in the FedEx Cup race, carried 14 Titleist clubs in his bag and used a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.
Leishman’s bag: 909D2 driver (8.5 degree), 909F2 3-wood (13.5 degree), AP2 irons (2-9), Vokey pitching wedge (48 degree), Vokey prototype TVD sand wedge (54 degree), Vokey Spin Milled TVD lob wedge (58 degree), Scotty Cameron prototype putter.
>> Titleist won the ball count at the BMW Championship, with 43 players using the Pro V1 or Pro V1x. Nike was second with 7.
Of the 30 players qualifying for the upcoming Tour Championship, 20 use Titleist balls.
>> At the BMW Championship, TaylorMade conducted more on-site testing for its TP wedges with exchangeable faces.
Paul Goydos was enthusiastic about the wedges, saying he had trouble in the past finding replacement wedges that felt and performed the same. With exchangeable faces, Goydos can keep the same wedges and simply insert new faces.
The issue that has been raised about exchangeable faces is feel, but TaylorMade has expressed confidence in its design. The faces are removed and inserted with the same torque wrench that is used on TaylorMade’s interchangeable metalwoods.
Retief Goosen requested three of the new wedges, bumping up the loft on each – from 52 degrees to 53 degrees, 56 to 57, and 60 to 62.
What golfers need to know is that increasing the loft also increases the bounce on the sole of the wedge. Some players (Goosen is one) want additional bounce on their wedges.
On the other hand, Rory Sabbatini soughtless bounce, so he asked for a 56-degree wedge to be bent to 55.
TaylorMade also brought its new R9 iron to the BMW Championship. TaylorMade won the equipment counts in drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons.
>> Do steel shafts still exist in fairway woods and hybrids?
Yes, but just barely. Because many hybrids are about the same length as irons, a few touring pros prefer steel in their hybrids.
At the LPGA’s P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship, only 10 steel shafts were in play in fairway woods and hybrids. Compare that with 579 graphite shafts in the same two equipment categories.
Graphite shaft manufacturer Fujikura had 104 shafts in fairway woods and hybrids in Arkansas. Second was Mitsubishi Rayon with 73. Aldila was next with 64, followed by Graphite Design with 59.
At the BMW Championship, only six steel shafts were used in fairway woods and hybrids. Meanwhile, 219 graphite shafts were in play in those clubs.
Aldila was No. 1 in fairway wood and hybrid shafts with 33. Fujikura was second with 27, while Mitsubishi Rayon was next with 26. Next were True Temper (25) and UST Mamiya (19).
>> All year, Tiger Woods has played a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana White Board 83X in his Nike drivers (currently an SQ Dymo, 10 degree).
Eight players have used Diamana driver shafts to win 15 tournaments on the PGA Tour in 2009.
At the Walker Cup, American standout Peter Uihlein also played a Diamana White Board in his driver.
>> Driver shafts used by the rest of top 10 at the BMW:
Jim Furyk, Oban Devotion 75
Marc Leishman, Oban Devotion 6
Sean O’Hair, Matrix Ozik HD6
Zach Johnson, Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Blue Board 73
Sergio Garcia, Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Blue Board 73
Padraig Harrington, Grafalloy Pro Lite
Camilo Villegas, Matrix Ozik TP7
Kevin Na, Matrix Ozik HD6
Bill Haas, Fujikura Speeder 757
Mark Wilson, Grafalloy Tour X
Luke Donald, UST Mamiya Accra XC65
Matt Kucher, Matrix Ozik XCON 7
Brandt Snedeker, Fujikura Rombax 6W06– James Achenbach