Toy Box notes: Tiger adds new ball to bag

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods switched Nike balls for the AT&T National. His new ball has a slightly firmer cover and spins less than the old one.

This exact model will not be sold at retail, although it can be found on the U.S. Golf Association’s conforming list (Nike One, with a star symbol between the two words).

“It is the exact same construction as the Nike One Tour D (available to consumers), with the exception of a slightly softer cover,” Nike spokesperson Beth Gast said.

Woods must have liked it. His official driving average for the week was 324.8 yards, second in the field. He is averaging 293.3 yards this season.

In the second round, Woods outdrove the long-hitting Dustin Johnson, with whom he was paired, by 26 and 10 yards on the holes where drives were measured.

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USGA checks out Callaway clubs: Now we know what the Blue Coats from the USGA were doing at the Callaway tour van on Monday of U.S. Open week.

At least one club manufacturer apparently contacted the USGA, wondering whether Callaway’s condition-of-competition grooves for 2010 were producing excessive spin with Callaway wedges.

“It wasn’t a social call,” Callaway spokesman Tim Buckman said.

The USGA doesn’t comment on testing other than to list equipment as conforming or nonconforming and has a policy of investigating all questions about clubs used in competition. The verdict: The Callaway wedges remain on the conforming list.

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AJGA winner plays 2010 grooves: Anthony Paolucci is bypassing the great grooves debate. After playing a U.S. Open sectional qualifier on June 7, Paolucci has continued to use new, smaller grooves in his Titleist Vokey Spin Milled wedges.

The smaller grooves are required this year on the pro tours, but top amateur events will allow the larger grooves until 2014.

“If I’m playing both (pro and amateur events), I might as well play the wedges I’ll have to use as a pro,” Paolucci, 17, of Del Mar, Calif., said after winning the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions.

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What’s in the bag of Rolex ToC champions:

• Anthony Paolucci: Titleist 909D3 driver (9.5 degree), Titleist 909F3 3-wood (13 degree), Titleist 909H hybrid (19 degree), Titleist CB irons (3-PW), Titleist Vokey Spin Milled (2010 grooves; 54 and 60 degrees), Titleist Scotty Cameron Del Mar putter and Titleist Pro V1x ball.

• Kristen Park: Callaway FT-iZ driver (9.5 degree), TaylorMade R9 3-wood (15 degree) and 5-wood (19 degree), Callaway Diablo Edge hybrids (21 and 24 degree),Callaway X-22 Tour irons (5-PW), Wedges: Callaway X Series JAWS wedges (52 and 58 degree), Titleist Scotty Cameron Xperimental Prototype Newport Fastback Select and Titleist Pro V1 ball.

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Mixed bag for club pro champion: University of Illinois golf coach Mike Small won his third Professional National Championship with a bag dominated with Titleist and Cleveland equipment.

Small’s bag: TaylorMade R9 driver (9.5 degree), Titleist 3-wood (13 degree), Cleveland Launcher hybrid (18 degree), Cleveland CG Tour (3-PW), Titleist Vokey Spin Milled wedge (52 degree), Cleveland CG14wedge (58 degree), Titleist Scotty Cameron Laguna putter and Srixon Z-Star ball.

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Short shots: Who says touring pros aren’t using lighter shafts? Vijay Singh is playing a new 59-gram Miyazaki shaft – Miyazaki C. Kua 59X (gold) – in his Cleveland Launcher driver. . . . Miguel Angel Jimenez won the French Open with several new Ping clubs in his bag. He used Ping’s new S56 irons (3-PW), a new G15 driver (9 degree) and two new Tour-S wedges (52 and 56 degree). Jimenez also carried a Ping Ping TiSI Tec 3-wood (12 degree) and 5-wood (17 degree), Ping iWi Craz-E and a Srixon Z Star X ball– James Achenbach, Rich Skyzinski and Ryan Lavner

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