Woods changes driver before Memorial win

>> Sergio Garcia and Retief Goosen were testing a new TaylorMade golf ball before the St. Jude Classic.

The ball, which is not yet on the U.S. Golf Association’s conforming ball list, apparently is a five-piece ball. Garcia said it is called the Penta TP. He said it has similar flight characteristics to the TP Red LDP, although it offers more spin on short wedge shots.

The TP Red LDP is a four-piece ball, while the TP Black LDP is a three-piece ball. This refers to the number of individual components, or pieces, in the core, mantle layer (inner cover) and outer cover.

Goosen said the new ball is softer with more spin, alluding to the fact that ball manufacturers probably will be forced to introduce softer balls because of less aggressive grooves that have been mandated for the PGA Tour in 2010.

>> Goosen switched from the TP Black to the TP Red at St. Jude and said he was getting 5 to 10 additional yards off the tee. The Red ball is designed primarily for high-swing speed players.

>> Garcia played for the first time with TaylorMade’s R9 460 driver (9.5 degree). He also got a set of new wedges TaylorMade Z TP (54 and 58 degrees) for the U.S. Open.

>> LPGA Championship winner Anna Nordqvist used a Ping iWi Anser putter that she added to her bag at the Corona Championship in April. This is a stock putter that can be purchased by any golfer.

On the other hand, Brian Gay won the St. Jude Classic with a custom Bettinardi putter from Mizuno that essentially is a one-of-a-kind model. Consumers wanting something similar should look at Mizuno’s Black Carbon Series. Gay’s putter is a first cousin to the Black Carbon, albeit without the black finish.

>> Mizuno’s Jeff Cook, who works closely with Gay on his equipment, said all golfers can mix and match Mizuno clubs just as Gay does it.

Gay’s 3-iron and 4-iron are Mizuno MX-900s, classified as a game-improvement club. His 5-iron through 8-iron are MP-60, and his 9-iron and pitching wedge are MP-32. His 17-degree CLK Fli-Hi is a Mizuno hybrid.

Gay also carried a TaylorMade R9 driver (9.5 degree) and Tour Edge Exotics CB2 3-wood (13 degree).

>> Nordqvist and Gay used the same ball in their victories – the Titleist Pro V1.

>> Lindsey Wright, who finished second to Nordqvist, was using an Adams 3-wood (14.5 degree) that is scheduled to be in golf shops by July 1.

Adams, touting the new Speedline 9032Ti fairway woods as “the longest-hitting fairway woods we’ve ever developed,” revealed that the fairway woods (strong 3, 3 and 5) have a titanium body along with two 40-gram tungsten sole inserts.

The Speedline 9032Ti woods are being launched in conjunction with shaft manufacturer Aldila. All the clubs include the Aldila VooDoo NV graphite shaft. The family also includes a driver, which is said to have 10 percent less spin than the original Speedline driver. Aaron Baddeley and long-hitting Gary Woodland already are using the new driver.

The fairway woods are expected to sell for $329.99; the driver for $369.99.

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