Els goes more upright with putter

Els goes more upright with putter

Ernie Els may have won the Open Championship with a decisive birdie putt on the 72nd green, but that apparently is past history.

The Odyssey XG No. 1 Proto Belly putter that propelled Els to his fourth major title is no longer in his bag. Taking its place at The Barclays was another Odyssey XG No. 1 Proto Belly with a different lie angle.

The old putter had a 70.5-degree lie. The new one is substantially more upright at 73.5 degrees.

Els felt he was missing too many putts to the right. With the putter that won the Open Championship, he was putting with a high heel at address (the Steve Stricker style). This, according to Odyssey technicians, made it more difficult for Els to return the putter face to a square position at impact.

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Donald puts new Mizuno irons in play

Luke Donald has switched to new Mizuno MP-64 irons. These irons were designed expressly for Donald, with special attention focused on a softened sole. Turf interaction always has been a top priority for Donald, and the MP-64 reflects his precise taste in sole design.

The MP-64 will be available to consumers in mid-September, as Mizuno releases a collection of new irons in the MP and JPX families.

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Watney wins with all Titleist

Titleist staff member Nick Watney won The Barclays with a Pro V1x ball. His complete arsenal: 913D3 driver (10.5 degree), 910F fairways woods (15 and 19 degree), AP2 irons (3-PW), Vokey Design SM4 wedges (54 and 60 degree) and a Scotty Cameron GSS putter.

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Mitsubishi shafts garner another win

Watney used a Mitsubishi Diamana White Board 83X in his 913D3 driver. This makes three PGA Tour driver wins in a row for Mitsubishi.

The Diamana White Board and Blue Board shafts remain popular among touring pros even though they were developed nearly a decade ago. Mitsubishi won the shaft driver count at The Barclays, and Sergio Garcia, Bud Cauley and Tim Clark finished in the top 10 with Mitsubishi driver shafts.

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New Titleist fairway woods, hybrids in play

Titleist officially introduced 913 fairway woods and hybrids at The Barclays. Rory McIlroy put two of the new fairway woods (a 13.5-degree 913Fd and an 18.5-degree 913F) into play. McIlroy had been playing 906F 3- and 5-woods for almost all of his professional career, although he switched his 5-wood to a 910F (17) for his recent PGA Championship victory.

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Johnson adds swing weight

TaylorMade clubmakers report that Dustin Johnson has gone to a heavier swing weight in his Tour Preferred MB irons and his R11S driver. Johnson was seeking more club head feel on his downswing and through impact.

Trying different weight combinations in the R11S, Johnson ended up with a 14-gram weight in the toe and a 3-gram weight in the heel.

On another TaylorMade front, the company had six new Ghost Spider S putters in play at The Barclays.

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Tour winners don FootJoy shoes

FootJoy scored multiple victories over the weekend: Watney wore FJ Sport shoes; Paul Lawrie (Johnnie Walker Championship) wore FJ Icon shoes; Jay Don Blake (Boeing Classic) also had FJ Icon shoes; and Darron Stiles (New Sentinel Open) chose FJ Sport.

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SHORT SHOTS: Long-hitting J.B. Holmes added a second Callaway X Utility Prototype (21 degree) to his bag at The Barclays. He already was carrying an 18-degree model. . . . At The Barclays, Aldila won the overall wood shaft count and hybrid shaft count. . . . It isn’t often that a new steel shaft captures the attention of highly skilled golfers, but look at what KBS shafts have done this year. Created by Kim Braly, known as the inventor of the Rifle shaft, the KBS has been used by winners of the Open Championship (the brand’s first major), the PGA Professional National Championship, the U.S. Amateur and the British Amateur. . . . Another company making a big impact with its steel shafts is Nippon. Of 123 players in The Barclays, 11 used Nippon steel shafts. Three of those 11 finished among the top 10. This includes Sergio Garcia, who has finished first and third, respectively, in the last two PGA Tour events with N.S. Pro prototype 2G18 steel shafts in his TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB irons.

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