Toy Box notes: Creamer wins with new putter
Paula Creamer put a new putter in her bag at the U.S. Women’s Open – a TaylorMade Daytona Kia Ma Ghost blade outfitted with a custom extra-long hosel that was welded onto the putter head.
“I went back to just the standard-looking putter,” she said. “I think that helped a lot because there is so much going on in these greens that you just have to focus on that.”
The rest of Creamer’s gear was mostly TaylorMade: R9 SuperTri driver (10.5 degree); three fairway metalwoods (Burner, 15 degree; R9 TP, 17 degree; and r7, 20 degree); Rescue 09 TP hybrid (25 degree); R9 TP irons (5-PW) and a rac wedge (54 degree). She also used a Titleist Vokey Design wedge (58 degree) and a Bridgestone B330-RX ball.
LPGA players typically face green speeds that are between 10.5-11.5. Oakmont greens were into the 14s.
Creamer ranked third in total putts (121), two more than Brittany Lang and Amy Yang.
• • •
Callaway, Mediate part ways: After 14 years as a Callaway ambassador, Rocco Mediate has parted ways with the equipment company.
“It was hard to leave,” Mediate said. “I just felt like it was time. I felt like I’m in a rut and I just wanted to go out and experiment and see what I could do with whatever I wanted to play.”
At the John Deere Classic, Mediate’s bag included: Adams Speedline Fast10 driver (8.5 degree); Fourteen Co. 3-wood (14 degree); Adams a7 Idea hybrid (17 degree); Adams Pro Black hybrid (20 degree); Titleist AP2 irons (4-PW); two Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges (52 and 58 degree); and his lone standby, a Scotty Cameron Big Sur long putter. He used a Titleist Pro V1x ball.
He also dropped a staff bag in favor of a lightweight Sun Mountain SLX bag with stand.
Mediate has missed 11 cuts and withdrew twice in 17 starts. He had his best finish of the year (T-15) at the John Deere.
“I haven’t swung good enough to merit an endorsement deal,” he said. “I need to work my butt off to get back to where someone might want to offer me an endorsement deal next year. I’m fine with it. You make your own bed in this game and it’s been a very disappointing few months. But it’s coming.”
• • •
Perry finds Grace in putting: Kenny Perry, who entered the John Deere Classic ranked T-151 on Tour in total putting, has struggled since the shaft of his Ping Craz-E putter broke at the start of the year. Perry had it reshafted three times.
“It’s done,” said Perry, who had the putter reshafted three times. “Optically, I can’t get it set right.”
On the weekend, he tried a Bobby Grace prototype. At the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Perry asked Grace to replicate the appearance of his Craz-E. Perry requested the shaft have the exact bend and offset, and the feel of the insert had to be soft but still provide feedback. Grace sent three putters to Perry.
The AMG (All Machined Grace) mallet is milled from a block of aluminum on Grace’s prototype Hurco CNC milling machine and features a 360-degree radius sole. Tungsten weights are placed to promote a higher moment of inertia.
Perry shot 65 in the third round and lowered his putts per round from an average of 31.5 in the first two rounds to 28.5 on the weekend.
• • •
Stricker rolls at Deere: Rightfully known as one of the best putters in golf, Steve Stricker successfully defended his title at the John Deere Classic by averaging 26.8 putts per round (second to Jeff Maggert, who averaged 25 putts per round).
Stricker used an Odyssey White Hot No. 2 putter. The rest of his bag was Titleist, including a 909D3 driver (8.5 degree), 906F2 3-wood (13 degree), 909H hybrid (19 degree), new CB irons (3-PW), Vokey Design Spin Milled wedges (54 and 60 degree) and a Titleist Pro V1 ball.
• • •
McCarron’s driver switch adds yards: Scott McCarron, known as a long hitter, was using TaylorMade’s R9460 driver. He played a Tuesday practice round with Steve Elkington, who had a new TaylorMade Burner SuperFast driver and was outdriving McCarron with regularity.
As a result, McCarron decided to try a SuperFast (9.5 degree with a Fujikura X-flex Motore shaft). On Wednesday, Jay Williamson reported that McCarron was hitting it past him after being 20 yards shorter the day before.
On a launch monitor, McCarron’s ball speed went up 4 mph and his spin was down 500 rpm.
Maybe it’s no coincidence that Justin Rose used the SuperFast driver (9.5 degree) to win the AT&T National.
Meanwhile, Edoardo Molinari won the Scottish Open with a TaylorMade SuperTri (9.5 degree with a Grafalloy Project X-6A4 shaft).
• • •
New White Board shaft coming: Mitsubishi Rayon was showing players at the British Open at St. Andrews its newest version of the Diamana White Board shaft.
The White Board prototype has a similar bend profile to the original with a slightly stiffer mid and tip section and slightly lower torque, according to a company official. The shaft is designed to deliver a lower spinning, flatter trajectory than the original.
It will be on the PGA Tour soon and available to consumers before the end of the year.
– Adam Schupak and Beth Ann Baldry contributed