Toy Box: Johnson wins St. Jude with 10.5-degree driver

Johnson busts stereotype: So much for the assumption that all big hitters always use low-lofted drivers.

Dustin Johnson won the FedEx St. Jude Classic June 10 with a 10.5-degree driver. Sure, his TaylorMade R11S is adjustable, but 10.5 is a high-lofted driver by PGA Tour standards.

Johnson’s bag (all TaylorMade except putter): R11S driver (10.5 degree, Fujikura Motore 2.0 X shaft), RBZ Tour and R9 fairway metals (17.5 degree and 19 degree), Tour Preferred MB irons (3-PW), TP xFT wedges (54 and 60 degree), Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter (35 inches with 3.5 degrees of loft). He played a TaylorMade Penta TP5 ball.

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Westwood wins with new sticks: Lee Westwood, eyeing a U.S. Open title after another victory on the European Tour, is using new irons and a new putter.

The irons are Ping i20 (3-PW) with Ping JZ stiff steel shafts. Previously, he played Ping i10 irons with the same JZ shafts. The new putter is a 35-inch Ping Nome (with 3 degrees of loft and Ping’s “straight stroke” variation). His old putter was a Ping Redwood Anser.

Hunter Mahan, twice a winner on the PGA Tour this year, uses the same Nome conventional-length putter. Ping also has an adjustable belly version of the Nome – available to the public – which can be set for any length between 37 and 46 inches.

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Holmes carries Callaway utility prototype: Seven players in the Memphis field used at least one of Callaway’s X Utility Prototype irons, designed by Roger Cleveland.

One was J.B. Holmes, who shot 64 in the second round and eventually tied for 19th. He carried a 18-degree X Utility. These utility clubs feature a hollow forged construction and a high-strength steel face. Furthermore, they have removable weights in the sole, allowing precise weight adjustment.

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Short shots: Shanshan Feng won the Wegmans LPGA Championship using the Titleist Pro V1x, the same ball used by Lee Westwood to capture the Nordea Masters. Tom Lehman defended his Regions Tradition title with the Pro V1 ball. . . . Masters champion Bubba Watson spent June 5 at Ping’s headquarters in Arizona as part of Bubba Day at Ping. Watson bought lunch for the 800-plus employees, who were decked out in pink T-shirts and later posed for a photo with Watson. Ping Chairman and CEO John Solheim presented Watson a check for $250,000 from sales of limited-edition Pink G20 drivers for his Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million charity initiative. . . . Spencer Levin played a new TaylorMade R11S driver (8 degree) at Memphis and said he will use the driver in the U.S. Open. . . . Joe Gomes, after 15 years as director of communications for Titleist, has a new role – director of leadership communications. He will spend more time on the PGA Tour. Eric Soderstrom, manager of communications, will work closely with Gomes.

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