Toy Box: Mahan’s (sort of) new Ping wedge
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
James Achenbach previews three putting aids, which are fun, affordable and can help your game.
Hunter Mahan, a Ping staff player, did not use an original Eye2 wedge in winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
He carried a 59-degree Eye2 “Dot” wedge with new 2010 grooves.
The “Dot” wedge was manufactured between April 1, 1990, and September 1990, when the Eye2+ was introduced.
All original Eye2 irons and wedges manufactured before April 1, 1990, have been grandfathered for play by the USGA (but not the R&A). The Eye2 “Dot” clubs, which followed the Eye2 model, were not grandfathered and must contain new grooves if used on the professional tours.
So Ping technicians constructed Mahan’s wedge by taking a blank Eye2 “Dot” lob wedge head and cutting new grooves in it. Furthermore, master craftsman Lou Beebe welded a hunk of metal to the sole of the wedge and then ground the sole for Mahan.
The object was to add 3 degrees of bounce, to 15 degrees total. This increased bounce helped offset the tendency of the ball to slide up the clubface because of the new grooves, which don’t grip the ball as much as the old grooves.
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Winning week for Aldila: Aldila won the wood and hybrid shaft manufacturer counts at Phoenix. Meanwhile, Fran Quinn used Aldila’s VooDoo XVS7 shaft in his TaylorMade R9 460 driver (9.5 degree) to win the Panama Claro Championship on the Nationwide Tour.
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Lofty putter changes: In putter news from Phoenix, Mathew Goggin tied for fourth with a new Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball Blade. Goggin was 114th in putts per round heading into the event, where he tied for 34th in putts per round.
Scott Piercy tied for eighth with an Odyssey Tour Prototype putter.
Billy Mayfair, who has become a student of putting wizard Dave Stockton, followed Stockton’s commandment to use more putter loft. Mayfair used a TaylorMade Rossa Core Classic Daytona with 4 degrees of loft.
Phoenix champion Mahan also added 1 degree of loft (4 degrees total) to his Ping iWi D66 putter.
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Purdy lone user of original Eye2s: Phil Mickelson, continuing to shelf his original Eye2 lob wedge, used all Callaway wedges at Phoenix.
The only player at Phoenix to use an original Eye2 club was Ted Purdy, who played an entire set of Eye2 irons and wedges.
Mark Calcavecchia, Chris Riley and Chris DiMarco are using Eye2 wedges with 2010 grooves.
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Perry adds 64-degree wedge: Kenny Perry added a 64-degree TaylorMade TP xFT interchangeable-face wedge to his bag.