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Winner's Bag: Jason Day, WGC Match Play

David Dusek

Jason Day won his first World Golf Championship on Sunday evening, outlasting France's Victor Dubuisson in 23 holes to win the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Here's a complete list of the clubs Day used at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.

• • •

DRIVER: TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees with a Matrix Ozik TP7HD shaft)

FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade RocketBallz (17.5 degrees with a Matrix Ozik TP7HD shaft)

IRONS: TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC (2-iron, 2011 edition); Tour Preferred MC (3-PW) with True Temper Rifle 6.5 shafts)

WEDGES: TaylorMade ATV (52 and 60 degrees with True Temper Rifle 6.5 shafts)

PUTTER: TaylorMade Ghost Monte Carlo prototype

BALL: TaylorMade Tour Preferred X

• • •


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Watson's pink Grafalloy BiMatrx Tour Prototype shaft

James Achenbach

Bubba Watson’s victory in the Northern Trust Open again focused attention on his pink driver head and shaft.

The Ping G25 driver used by Watson is one of golf’s most popular drivers, but not with a pink head. That’s a custom paint job for Bubba.

However, the Grafalloy BiMatrx Tour Prototype shaft is available in pink as well as black, neon orange, white, lime green and neon blue. Furthermore, the shaft is a bargain – $79.99 at retail.

The BiMatrx concept is more than 15 years old. The shaft was introduced by True Temper in the late 1990s and was considered a revolutionary shaft at the time. With its steel tip section and ultralight graphite body, it has remained unchanged over the years.

From the beginning, there was a hurdle: The shaft was too strong for some golfers. Watson and other big hitters had no such trouble.

When Watson won the 2012 Masters with the BiMatrx in his driver, retail sales had been discontinued. But True Temper brought it back, and golfers with high swing speeds are the beneficiaries.

Flexes are regular and stiff (65 grams each) along with extra stiff (80 grams).

Although extremely stable, the ...

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Winner's Bag: Bubba Watson, Northern Trust Open

David Dusek

Bubba Watson shot 64-64 on the weekend at Riviera to win the Northern Trust Open. Here's a complete list of the clubs in Watson’s bag:

DRIVER: Ping G25 (8.5 degrees bent to 8.2 with a Grafalloy BiMatrx shaft)

FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping G25 (16.5 degrees bent to 15 with a Fujikura Motore Speeder Tour Spec 8.2X shaft)

IRONS: Ping S55 (3-PW with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)

WEDGES: Ping Tour (52-degree Tour Gorge, 56-degree Tour Gorge bent to 55, and 64-degree Tour-S Thin Sole with a Rustique finish bent to 62 degrees; all with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)

PUTTER: Ping Anser Milled 1

BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

• • •


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Adams Pro, Pro DHy, and Pro Mini hybrids

David Dusek

Adams Golf adopted a slogan this season, "Own The Second Shot," and it reflects the company's desire to be known for making the best hybrid clubs. With the release of three new Pro hybrids, which should hit shelves on March 14 for $199.99, Adams believes it has models that should appeal to every player.

Here's the scoop on each of the new hybrids:

Pro Hybrid

Adams quietly completed the creation of this club in the fall of 2012, according to Justin Honea, Adams' senior design engineer.

"Typically what we are trying to do in R&D is get ahead of the game," he said recently. "We want to test it and validate it on Tour, and then take that momentum to the marketplace. That's how it's done, but we typically get into this crazy cycle of launching products quickly, so it's hard to do that.

“With this one, it never saw the light of day at retail, but it's been on Tour for about a full year. It caught fire, and we never had a plan to launch this product."

According to Honea, Adam's New Idea and Super S hybrids were ideal ...

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Winner's Bag: Jimmy Walker, Pebble Beach

David Dusek

It wasn't smooth sailing Stillwater Cove for Jimmy Walker on Sunday, but the Texan was able to hold on and win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am by one shot. Here's a complete list of the clubs that Walker used to win at Pebble Beach:

DRIVER: Titleist 913D2 (8.5 degrees with a Mitsubishi Diamana+ Blue 72X shaft)

FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 913F.d (15 degrees with an Aldila Tour Blue 85 shaft); Titleist 913F.d (18 degrees with a Fujikura Motore VC8.2 TS shaft)

IRONS: Titleist 714 MB (3-9 with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)

WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (48, 54 and 60 degrees with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist Tour Rat 2 prototype

BALL: Titleist Pro V1

SHOES: FootJoy Icon (size 11.5M)

GLOVE: StaSof (size Cadet Medium-Large)

• • •

Related links

Click here to read more about the Titleist 913 drivers

Click here for more on the Titleist 714MB irons

Click here for the latest Titleist equipment news


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TaylorMade Project (a) golf ball

David Dusek

This week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, an (a) next to a player's name on the leaderboard denotes that he or she is an amateur, not a professional golfer. Kid Rock, Andy Roddick, Kelly Slater, Wayne Gretzky – they all get an (a) next to their name.

So it makes sense that TaylorMade chose this week to release a new ball specifically designed with amateurs in mind, the Project (a).

"Our engineers wanted to create the best performing golf ball for amateurs," said Lindsay Main, TaylorMade's product marketing manager for golf balls. "In studying those players, we learned that they spin the ball at half the rate that Tour players do into the green, so they need a ball that spins the ball a lot more from 100 yards and in."

Main said that off the tee and with long irons, the three-piece Project (a) is designed to maximize distance by reducing spin, but with mid- and short-iron shots the Project (a) spins more.

"Because they don't generate spin, amateurs can't stop it close to the pin," Main said. "So this ball, being a three-piece construction with a cast urethane cover, generates a lot ...

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Winner's Bag: Kevin Stadler, Phoenix Open

David Dusek

Kevin Stadler came from behind to win his first PGA Tour event on Sunday after he shot a closing-round 68 at the TPC Scottsdale. Here's what he had in his bag at the Waste Management Phoenix Open:

DRIVER: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 (9.5 degrees with a UST Mamiya VTS shaft)

FAIRWAY WOODS: Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead III (17 degrees with a Matrix OZIK XCON8 shaft)

HYBRID: Ping i15 (17 degrees with a Graphite Design Tour AD X Hybrid shaft)

IRONS: Cleveland 588 Forged CB (4-9 with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts)

WEDGES: Cleveland 588 Forged (48, 51, 54, 58 degrees with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts)

PUTTER: Ping Scottsdale TR Carefree Long

BALL: Srixon Z-Star XV

• • •

Related links

Click here to read about the Srixon Z-Star XV ball.

Read about the Cleveland Forged 588 CB irons.

Click here to learn more about Cleveland/Srixon gear.


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Miura MB001 forged irons

James Achenbach

Miura, the Japanese manufacturer known for forged irons and wedges, has introduced its first new blade iron in nearly seven years. According to Miura, the MB001 features sole refinements that enable it to cut cleanly and effortlessly through all varieties of turf.

“Assuming, of course, that the iron is properly fit,” said Adam Barr, president of Miura.

Miura is a longtime proponent of expert fitting for all of its clubs, and Miura products in the United States are available through a network of certified clubfitters and clubmakers.

In the forged-blade category, the new muscleback MB001 joins the Tournament Blade and Series 1957 Small Blade.

“We don’t automatically bring out a new blade every year, so this is a big event,” said Barr, noting that the Small Blade came out in 2006 and the Tournament Blade in 2007.

The MB001 project was led by Yoshitaka Miura, eldest son of company founder Katsuhiro Miura, along with his brother Shinei Miura.

The MB001 is a little shorter heel to toe than the Tournament Blade and a little longer than the Small Blade.

The sole’s shape and size, subtly adjusted from successful designs of earlier models, is designed to efficiently get through ...

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TaylorMade Tour Preferred, Tour Preferred X golf balls

David Dusek

Sergio Garcia won the Thailand Golf Championship in December and the 2014 Qatar Masters Jan. 25 using the new TaylorMade Tour Preferred X golf ball. Today, the company has announced it will start selling that ball, along with the updated Tour Preferred ball. Both will be available March 1 for $45.99 per dozen.

According to TaylorMade, the playing qualities designed into both balls are based on feedback from numerous discussions with staff pros, including Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Garcia. Because the company received so much input from its players, TaylorMade is anticipating that at least 80 percent of its playing staffers will switch into one of these two new balls.

Both balls feature a new cast urethane cover that TaylorMade claims is significantly softer, which should translate to more greenside spin and control on shots hit with wedges and short irons. The 322-dimple pattern that covers the balls has been designed to decrease drag and help shots bore through the wind and hold their line more effectively.

“We went softer with the cover, and it has a tendency to keep the ball flatter and keep it a little lower, with a little more spin,” said Dean ...

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Putter, ball help Bridgestone make splash

James Achenbach

Among the golf-equipment manufacturers attracting the most attention at the PGA Merchandise Show was Bridgestone Golf, a company known for slow, steady, quiet growth.

There was nothing quiet about Bridgestone’s presence at the recent PGA Show at the Orange County Convention Center. The Bridgestone booth remained jam-packed, thanks to a revolutionary putter named True Balance and a new golf-ball formulation called Hydro Core technology.

“We are very happy,” said Dan Murphy, Bridgestone Golf’s vice president of marketing.

The buzz surrounding the new putter started Tuesday, Jan. 21 at Demo Day and continued for three days at the PGA Show. Here’s the inside story:

Most golfers know about counter-balanced putters, which generally are longer and heavier than traditional putters. For stability, these putters have extra weight in the butt end of the shaft or grip.

The True Balance concept is just the opposite. The oversized foam-type grip is exceptionally light (20 grams) and so is the graphite shaft (35 grams). Overall, the putter weighs 125 to 130 grams less than most putters.

The idea here is to increase clubhead feel. This, in turn, should lead to better distance control, according to Bridgestone.

“It is practically impossible to decelerate ...

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Cleveland 588 Custom, 588 Altitude drivers

James Achenbach

Trivia question: What does the 588 stand for in Cleveland 588 golf equipment?

Answer: It stands for the 5th model created in 1988. Thus, Cleveland celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 588 line in 2013.

In the beginning, 588 consisted only of wedges – famous wedges, because many PGA Tour players and several major champions have used 588 wedges.

Later, Cleveland added irons. Today, the 588 line includes five iron models: 588 MT (Mid Trajectory), 588 TT (Tour Trajectory), 588 Altitude (a complete set of hollow-headed irons), 588 CB (Cavity Back) and 588 MB (Muscle Back).

Cleveland has expanded the 588 family into metalwoods as well, and a new 588 Custom driver will be available Feb. 7 at retail. It will sell for $349.99.

Let’s examine the differences between the 588 Custom driver and the 588 Altitude driver ($299.99) that was introduced in November in Sun Belt areas. These will be Cleveland’s two drivers for 2014.

The 588 Custom is the product of rigorous testing with PGA Tour players as well as a wide variety of amateur golfers. This definitely is a driver for avid golfers, because it offers 12 adjustable settings among other features.

Speaking of ...

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Winner's Bag: Scott Stallings, Farmers Insurance

David Dusek

Scott Stallings was able to make a birdie on the final hole of the South Course at Torrey Pines on Sunday evening to win the Farmers Insurance Open. Here is a complete list of the clubs Stallings had in his bag:

DRIVER: Titleist 913 D2 (8.5 degrees with an Aldila Rogue 70X shaft)

FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 913F (15 degrees with Aldila Rogue 70X)

IRONS: Mizuno MP Fli-Hi (2) with an Aldila RIP Tour shaft; Titleist 714 AP2 (4-PW) with KBS Tour shafts

WEDGES: Titleist Vokey SM5 (50 bent to 52 degrees, 54 bent to 56 degrees, 58 bent to 60 degrees with KBS Tour shafts)

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Newport 2.6

BALL: Titleist ProV1x

SHOES: FootJoy D.N.A. (size 11.5M)

GLOVE: FootJoy Pure Touch Limited glove

• • •

Click here to read more about Titleist equipment

Click here to read about the new Vokey Design SM5 wedges

Click here to get the latest golf equipment news

Read more about FootJoy's D.N.A. shoe category


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Golf cart roundup, 2014 PGA Show

Martin Kaufmann

ORLANDO, Fla. – Getting your clubs around the course wasn't a forgotten part of the game at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show. Here are some products from the floor of the Orange County Convention Center:

• • •

Bag Boy C3 Push Cart

In three steps, the C3 folds down to dimensions of 21.5 x 13 x 18 inches. It has a handle-mounted parking brake and its support arms accommodate stand and cart bags. The C3 has a one-step handle adjustment and is outfitted with an umbrella holder, mesh storage bag and smartphone holder. It weighs 15 pounds and includes a one-year warranty; MSRP is $219.95.

• • •

Alphard Duo LT

This is an all-in-one cart and golf bag that is easy to set up and break down. The hydraulic-assisted frame quickly locks the bag in place. The handle can be adjusted to the preferred length and height, and there is a brake on the handle. The bag has 14 full-length dividers to minimize club rattling; MSRP is $299.95.

• • •

Sun Mountain Combo Cart

This is another integrated cart-bag combination for spring 2014. The bag has full-length club dividers and eight pockets, all tucked into a lightweight aluminum frame. The solid foam tires ...

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Ping Ketsch putter

James Achenbach

ORLANDO, Fla. – Ping introduced its Ketsch putter at the PGA Merchandise Show, a club named after the town in Germany where Ping maintains its headquarters for that country.

This mallet-style putter has an aluminum body with a stainless steel plate in the sole. It features Ping's TR (True Roll) grooves in the face.

An adjustable length shaft (31 to 38 inches) is optional. Lie adjustability is plus or minus two degrees.

Shafts bends are available to fit Straight, Slight Arc and Strong Arc putting strokes that have been identified by Ping.

The putter has three white, contrasting alignment aids on top of a matte-black crown.

"Our research shows that the head shape promotes extremely consistent alignment for the majority of golfers," said Ping chairman and chief executive John Solheim.

The suggested retail price of the Ketsch putter is $220, and the adjustable-length shaft has a suggested retail price of $35.


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Mickelson uses Callaway X2 Hot Pro hybrid

James Achenbach

ORLANDO, Fla. – Phil Mickelson, a certified distance hound, loves golf clubs that produce outrageously long shots. It's no secret that his irons are bent strong. He made headlines in 2013 by switching among several 3-woods, essentially auditioning them for length (along with accuracy, of course).

Mickelson, a Callaway staff player, ended up with that company’s X Hot Pro 3-wood in his bag. The club earned a reputation as a long-distance weapon. People were talking. Callaway fairway wood sales increased substantially.

For 2014, Callaway took the X Hot fairway wood technology and used it in its line of X2 Hot hybrids. Guess what? Mickelson showed up in Abu Dhabi in January with a new 18-degree X2 Hot Pro hybrid in his bag. He tied for second.

These hybrids have Callaway's Hyper Speed forged face cup. They have an expanded sweet spot (Callaway says it is 13 times larger than last year's model).

The X2 Hot model is available in lofts of 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees. The X2 Hot Pro has lofts of 16, 18, 20 and 23 degrees. The retail cost for either hybrid, with graphite shaft, is $199.99.

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