Inside the bag of Heath Slocum
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
>> Heath Slocum, a longtime Ping staff member, used Ping’s new G15 driver (9 degree) and i15 irons (3-PW) in winning The Barclays. It was the first PGA Tour victory for both products.
Slocum also carried a Ping Redwood Anser putter and a Ping Tour W wedge (54 degree). His 60-degree wedge was a Cleveland CG14, and he also played two Adams clubs – a Speedline 9032Ti 3-wood (14.5 degree) and an Idea Pro hybrid (18 degree). His ball was a Titleist Pro V1x.
Ping has 15 contract players on the PGA Tour, and all 15 qualified for The Barclays. Nine advanced to this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
The Barclays also marked the return of Ping’s tour trailer. The old one was totaled in a traffic accident in March, and a new trailer made its first appearance in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.
>> TaylorMade accomplished something at The Barclays that hadn’t been done all year. It led PGA Tour counts in drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons in the same week. In the driver category, TaylorMade prevailed 50-26 over Titleist.
>> At the U.S. Amateur, Titleist dominated the equipment categories, including 85 percent (264 of 312) of the golf balls in play. Titleist also was No. 1 in drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and putters.
In drivers, Titleist outdistanced TaylorMade 147-61.
>> The U.S. Amateur produced an all-Titleist final, and a Pro V1 player (Byeong-Hun An) defeated a Pro V1x user (Ben Martin).
An carried 14 Titleist clubs, including a 909D3 driver (9.5 degree), 909F2 3-wood (13 degree), 909H hybrid (19 degree), ZM irons (3-9), Vokey Design (48 degree) and Vokey Design Spin Milled (54 and 58 degree) and a Scotty Cameron 350 putter.
Martin used Titleist’s 909D2 driver (7.5 degree). The 909D3 produces less spin and has a lower trajectory than the 909D2.
>> While the most popular iron shaft on the PGA Tour is True Temper’s Dynamic Gold X100, Heath Slocum goes softer with the Dynamic Gold S400.
Among top 10 finishers at The Barclays, Tiger Woods, Nick Watney, Fredrik Jacobson, Webb Simpson, Scott Verplank, Ian Poulter and Paul Goydos all used Dynamic Gold X100 in their irons.
Slocum played Aldila’s new RIP shaft (70 grams) in his driver. He wasn’t the only one. J.B. Holmes switched to the RIP and led the field with a 309.8-yard driving average (323.5 the last day).
Aldila also was Slocum’s choice in his fairway wood and hybrid. He used the VS Proto 70 in his 14.5-degree club and the VS Proto Hybrid 95 in his 18-degree club.
>> On the Champions Tour, winner Loren Roberts used a Graphite Design YS8 shaft in his TaylorMade R510 driver (8.5 degree) and a Fujikura Rombax TP85 shaft in his Tour Burner 3-wood (14.5 degree).
>> Here’s a look at wood-shaft usage on the PGA Tour (Barclays) and LPGA (Safeway):
The Barclays, all wood shafts: Aldila 94, Fujikura 72, Mitsubishi Rayon 56, True Temper 46, UST Mamiya 43, Matrix 25, Graphite Design 20.
The Barclays, driver shafts: Fujikura 25, Mitsubishi Rayon 23, Aldila 23, UST Mamiya 13, Matrix 13, True Temper 12.
Safeway Classic, all wood shafts: Fujikura 153, Mitsubishi Rayon 100, Graphite Design 78, Aldila 73, Ping 45, True Temper 32, Nippon 29, UST Mamiya 19, Callaway 14.
Safeway Classic, driver shafts: Fujikura 56, Mitsubishi Rayon 34, Graphite Design 22, UST Mamiya 7, True Temper 7, Aldila 7.
>> Ernie Els and Lucas Glover broke their drivers and had to play part of a round without swinging the big stick.
Els’ trouble occurred during the third round. He noticed his Callaway FT-9 sounded “fractured” on the front nine. It wasn’t until the 12th hole that he informed his playing competitors that the club was damaged after his drive traveled “only” 272 yards.
“It didn’t go anywhere,” Els said. “I looked at the club and the whole thing was just gone.”
The Rules of Golf permit the replacement of a damaged club in the course of play, and a new driver was delivered to him from his locker (Rule 4-3, Damaged clubs: Repair and replacement). Els said he doesn’t normally travel with a backup, but an equipment representative for UST shafts made Els three drivers with its shafts for him to test.
But Els said he lacked confidence in the new driver in the final round and chose to lay up with an iron on the 287-yard, par-4 16th. He made par there and finished one stroke out of a playoff.
Glover cracked his Nike SQ Sumo2 Tour driver on the practice range after his first round. Teeing off at 8:21 a.m. the next day, Glover played his first nine holes of his second round without his Nike driver. A replacement driver was delivered to Liberty National, and the club made it into Glover’s bag by Glover’s 12th hole of the day.
Glover’s driving average for Round 2 was 263.5 yards (though he didn’t have a driver for 11 holes), compared with 299.5 yards during Round 1. Glover shot 71-81 and missed the cut.