Toy Box Notes: Dufner carries all Titleist to 1st title

First-time winner Jason Dufner carried 14 Titleist clubs and used a Titleist ball during his Zurich Classic of New Orleans victory.

Dufner’s bag included 910D2 driver (9.5 degree), 910F 3-wood (13.5 degree), 906F2 5-wood (18 degree), 910H hybrid (19 degree), AP2 irons (4-PW), Vokey Design SM4 wedges (54 and 60 degree), Scotty Cameron GSS Circa 62 No. 2 prototype putter. He played a Pro V1 ball.

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Dufner’s putter grip of choice: Dufner used an oversized SuperStroke Slim Lite Splash grip on his putter. The company offers three sizes of grips (including an Ultra Slim, which Ryan Palmer used to finish T-4). Dufner first started using the grip the Monday of last year’s PGA Championship, where he lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley. Eighteen players used SuperStroke grips at Zurich, a record for the company.

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Euro winner carries Titleist: Meanwhile, Bernd Wiesberger won the Ballantine’s Championship on the PGA European Tour by five strokes. He, too, had a bag full of Titleist equipment: 910D3 driver (9.5 degree), 910F 3-wood (15 degree), AP2 2-iron, CB irons (4-PW), Vokey Design SM4 wedges (52, 56, 60 degree), Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport Fastback putter. He played a Pro V1x ball.

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Mitsubishi in bag of winner: Dufner played a Mitsubishi Diamana ’ahina 60x shaft in his driver and a Mitsubishi Diamana ’ilima 80x in his 3-wood. For the week, Mitsubishi won the driver counts on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and PGA European Tour.

Other shaft counts: Aldila won the total wood and hybrid shaft counts. It was the 18th consecutive week that Aldila won the wood shaft manufacturer count on the PGA Tour. Aldila also has taken the hybrid count in 17 of the past 19 Tour events.

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Hands-on Goosen: Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen likes to grind his TaylorMade ATV wedges. He favors a more aggressive “C” grind on his higher-lofted wedges, and at New Orleans he donned goggles and did the work himself. Goosen’s gapping strategy: 47-degree pitching wedge, 54-degree sand wedge, 58-degree lob wedge.

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Glover’s putter tweaks: More players are paying attention to the loft of their putters; former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover is among them.

At Hilton Head, Glover switched to a Nike custom Method Core MC-1i putter. By the time he arrived in New Orleans, he decided to flatten the lie 1 degree to 68 degrees. The putter’s 2-degree loft, though, remained constant.

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Kuehne weakens iron lofts: The saga of Hank Kuehne continues at the TaylorMade tour van. Kuehne, returning from a lingering back condition, made his first cut in six years at San Antonio. Now, Kuehne is really getting serious about his equipment.

His iron lofts are 2 degrees weaker than TaylorMade standard throughout the set. This means a 23-degree 3-iron through a 50-degree pitching wedge. The explanation is simple: He doesn’t want to continually hit iron shots that fly too far.

For long, wide-open courses, though, Kuehne decided to travel with a second set of irons that have normal lofts (21-degree 3-iron through 48-degree pitching wedge).

So he has two sets of irons from which to choose.

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Els’ putting strides : Sure, Ernie Els, who lost a playoff to Jason Dufner in New Orleans, has some putting issues. However, statistics from the Zurich Classic show he is making progress. Using an Odyssey White Hot XG No. 1, Els tied for second in putts per round (26.3) and was fourth in strokes gained-putting (1.735).

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