Toy Box Notes: Simpson carries mostly Titleist
Simpson carries mostly Titleist: Webb Simpson captured his first major championship with a bag full of Titleist clubs. At Memorial, Simpson played with a new set of Titleist 712 AP2 irons. However, he quickly switched back to his Titleist 680 irons, which he has used in all of his PGA Tour victories.
Simpson’s bag (all Titleist except putter): 909D3 driver (10.5 degree, with ProForce AXIV Core Tour Red 69 graphite shaft, X flex), 910F fairway woods (13.5 and 17 degree, with ProForce AXIV Core Tour Black 85 graphite shafts, X flex), 910H hybrid (21 degree), 680 irons (4-PW), Vokey Design TVD wedges (54 and 58 degree). He used a Ping G5i Craz-E belly putter. Simpson played a Titleist Pro V1x ball.
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Blast from the past: Tiger Woods and Ernie Els used renditions of a modern driving iron. Basically, these clubs are descendants of the old 1-iron.
The Nike driving club in the bag of Woods was a VR_S Forged model. The rest of his irons (3-PW) were VR Pro Blades.
To create the driving iron for Woods, Nike engineers took a VR_S 3-iron and ground weight off the sole and back. They bent the loft to 18 degrees and constructed the club at 2-iron length.
Els, meanwhile, played with three Callaway X Utility Prototype irons (2, 3 and 4). The 18-degree 2-utility is Callaway’s version of the driving iron.
Designed by Roger Cleveland, these clubs feature a hollow forged body and high-strength steel face with interchangeable weights in the sole. Callaway has no plans to introduce any of the X Utility Prototype irons to the public, company officials said.
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Furyk’s driver tweaks: Before the U.S. Open, Jim Furyk adjusted the weights in his Callaway Razr Fit driver (10.5 degree). He had been struggling with hanging the ball right, so he removed weight from the toe and increased weight in the heel, promoting a draw trajectory.
Furyk also tested his gold-accented Udesign Razr Fit driver on the range. The club is based on the colors of Furyk’s beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. In the end, though, he stuck with his current driver.
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Garcia goes lighter in wood shafts: Sergio Garcia, experimenting with shafts in recent weeks, requested two new RBZ 3-woods (15 degree) from TaylorMade. Both had 70-gram shafts, much lighter than the 105-gram shaft he had been using in his 3-wood.
Garcia chose a Mitsubishi ’ahina 70X to use in his 3-wood at the U.S. Open.
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Short shots: With Webb Simpson’s victory at Olympic and Bubba Watson’s triumph at the Masters, Ping putters are 2-for-2 in majors this year. Watson used a Ping Redwood Anser putter. . . . Mitsubishi Rayon captured the total wood shaft count along with the driver shaft count at the U.S. Open. Mitsubishi had 107 wood shafts and 43 driver shafts in play. . . . Carl Pettersson switched to Nike’s new TW ’13 shoes, designed for and named after Tiger Woods. . . . In the first round, Nick Watney used a Titleist AP2 5-iron and Pro V1x ball to hole a 190-yard shot for a double eagle on the par-5 17th hole. . . . In a practice round, Alvaro Quiros aced the 288-yard, par-4 seventh. He used a Callaway Razr Fit driver (9.5 degree) and HEX Black Tour ball. . . . Brian Harman, who has been tinkering with putters, switched from a standard-length TaylorMade Ghost Spider to a Ghost Manta belly putter. Earlier this year at the Honda Classic, Harman shot 61 with the same Ghost Manta putter.