Toy Box: Laird relies mostly on TaylorMade

Martin Laird during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Martin Laird played mostly TaylorMade clubs in winning his second PGA Tour title March 27 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Laird’s bag included a Burner SuperFast 2.0 driver (10.5 degree) that he put in play only three weeks ago. He also carried an R11 4-wood (17 degree), R9 5-wood (19 degree), Tour Preferred irons (3-4) and R9 TP irons (5-PW). He used a Rossa Daytona Ghost midsize putter. Laird used Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled TVD wedges (54 and 60 degree) and plays a Titleist Pro V1x ball.

Laird has finished T-10 (WGC), T-5 (Transitions) and first (Bay Hill) since putting the driver in his bag. He also has averaged first (313.1 yards), third (300.8) and fifth (296.6) in driving distance at those events, respectively.

• • •

Fowler adds new Titleist driver: Rickie Fowler put a Titleist 910D3 with 8.5 degrees of loft into play during the Florida Swing.

“It’s launching a little bit higher because it has a little bit more loft on it. The D3 head is meant to spin a little bit less, but with the extra loft, it’s spinning about the same as mine was,” he said.

Fowler hit a 7.5-degree Titleist 909D2 driver during most of the 2010 PGA Tour season, then experimented with Titleist drivers before choosing his current model.

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Mahan switches out driver shaft: Hunter Mahan won twice last year on the PGA Tour with a prototype Ping 824 shaft in his G-15 driver (10.5 degree), but even the best tinker with equipment. Mahan is no exception, switching recently to a Fujikura Motore Speeder VC6-1 (X flex) shaft.

“If I need to hit something high and it’s just all carry, I can do that, but I feel like

I still have got some good control where I can keep it down in the wind,” Mahan said.

• • •

LPGA’s Choi finds fit with Rife: Na Yeon Choi put a Rife 400 Mid Mallet putter in the bag on Saturday at the Kia Classic and shot 65. After practicing with the putter during the offseason, Choi switched to a TaylorMade Corza Ghost – because it looked “cool” – before going to Asia. After the third round, Choi decided she’ll keep the Rife in her bag.

She, who tied for fifth, had 26 putts in her third round.

• • •

Levin finds right roll with belly putter: Spencer Levin switched to a belly putter (TaylorMade Corza Ghost) in the final week of the 2010 PGA Tour season and immediately tied for third at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic. And the results keep on coming.

Levin has five top-15 finishes in his last six starts, including a playoff loss at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Then he contended at the Arnold Palmer Invitational thanks largely to an opening 66. He took only 24 putts in that round, saying, “That’s probably the lowest I’ve had in my career.”

He is third on Tour in scoring average. He ranked 133rd in putting from 15-20 feet last year but has improved to 15th this year.

“I’ve just made more putts since switching,” he said in explaining his rise. “That and comfort level. Being comfortable out here has gone a long way for me.”

He tied for second at Bay Hill with 27.3 putts per round.

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