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Bae goes completely Callaway in victory

James Achenbach

There is a trend on the PGA Tour of players exhibiting absolute loyalty to their golf equipment manufacturers, with 14 clubs from one company.

The last three golfers to carry the world No. 1 banner – Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy – have been 14-club loyalists. Woods and McIlroy are Nike staff members, while Scott is a Titleist staffer.

The most recent example is Sang-Moon Bae, winner of the Frys.com Open. Bae carried 14 Callaway clubs, including an Odyssey putter that is part of the Callaway family.

Bae’s bag: Callaway Big Bertha V Series driver (9 degrees) with a Graphite Design Tour AD MJ7 73X shaft; Callaway Diablo Octane 3-wood (15 degrees) with a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana 'ahina 80X shaft; Callaway X Hot Pro hybrid (18 degrees) with an Aldila Tour Blue ATX 105X shaft; Callaway Razr X Muscleback irons (4-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts; Callaway X-Forged wedges (52, 56, 60 degrees) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts; Odyssey Damascus Grand #1 putter; and Callaway Speed Regime 3 ball.

Another trend on display in Bae's bag: He used the same True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts in ...

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Winner's bag: Sang-Moon Bae, Frys.com Open

David Dusek

Here is a complete list of clubs Sang-Moon Bae used to win the 2014 Frys.com Open:

DRIVER: Callaway Big Bertha V Series (9 degrees) with a Graphite Design Tour AD MJ7 73X shaft

FAIRWAY: Callaway Diablo Octane (15 degrees) with a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana 'ahina 80X shaft

HYBRID: Callaway X Hot Pro (18 degrees) with an Aldila Tour Blue ATX 105X shaft

IRONS: Callaway Razr X Muscleback (4-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts

WEDGES: Callaway X-Forged (52, 56, 60 degrees) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts

PUTTER: Odyssey Damascus Grand #1

BALL: Callaway Speed Regime 3

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Ping prototype wedge spotted in Scotland

David Dusek

Ping quietly brought a new, prototype wedge to the recent Dunhill Links Championship in St. Andrews, Scotland, and Louis Oosthuizen now has one in his bag.

While the company has not released any specific information about the club, several players at last week’s season-opening Frys.com Open tried the wedge.

In previous Ping wedges, an SS like the one on the toe of this prototype has meant Standard Sole, meaning the club is ideal for a variety of turf and sand conditions. Ping also makes thin sole (TS) wedges that are better in firm conditions and wide sole (WS) wedges that feature more effective bounce that help to prevent digging in sole conditions.

It is not clear if this prototype wedge has a channel behind the face that houses a custom tuning port, as do other Ping irons and wedges.

• • •

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Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 drivers

James Achenbach

Callaway Golf's driver strategy was unveiled Oct. 1 when the company unveiled the Big Bertha Alpha 815 and Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond drivers.

Callaway’s strategy includes three segments to fit various categories of players:

  • A speed driver – the previously announced V Series – for golfers who need a light driver to generate more clubhead speed, ball speed and accompanying distance.
  • A low-spin driver that provides plenty of forgiveness, which is the mission of the new BB Alpha 815.
  • An extremely low-spin driver for expert players, which is the BB Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond.

The 460-CC Alpha 815 has enough adjustability to satisfy any golfer who wants to control spin, trajectory and shot shape. It contains two OptiFit weights (7 grams and 1 gram are standard), one each for the heel and toe. It also has Callaway's Gravity Core, introduced in the Big Bertha Alpha driver.

The Gravity Core allows golfers to fine-tune the driver with less spin or more spin, depending on whether the heavy end is placed upward or downward in the clubhead.

Furthermore, the Alpha 815 takes advantage of RMOTO (rib motion) technology, which uses ribs in the titanium clubhead to save ...

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Titleist 915 drivers, fairway woods, hybrids

David Dusek

Fans of Titleist’s classic-looking clubs will be pleased when they set the new 915 drivers, fairway woods and hybrid clubs down at address. Staring back at them will be familiar-looking shapes, accented in glossy black and sporting subtle alignment aids. Classic Titleist.

It’s under the hood, on the soles, where you can see the changes.

The Titleist 915D2 and 915D3 drivers, 915F and 915F.d fairway woods and 915H and 915H.d hybrids hit stores on Nov. 15. The clubs feature a channel that runs from the toe to the heel, just behind the leading edge. Titleist calls it an Active Recoil Channel (ARC), and according to Chris McGinley, the company’s vice president of golf club marketing, it’s the key to many of the clubs’ performance enhancements.

“It was really designed at first to create more speed,” McGinley said. “Everyone thought that if we can get the front of the driver to flex more effectively at impact, we would really have something, but what we also found is that it’s really good at ...

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Titleist 915D2, 915D3 drivers

David Dusek

Players who liked the looks of Titleist drivers in the past should be pleased with the new Titleist 915D2 and 915D3 clubs at address. Both feature a black crown and traditional look.

It's what's on the bottom of the clubs, running along the sole behind the leading edge, that makes these new drivers very different from previous Titleist offerings.

Both drivers, which arrive in stores Nov. 15, have a slot in the sole. Titleist calls it an Active Recoil Channel (ARC) and the company said it allows the hitting area to flex more at impact, broadens the area where maximum ball speed is created and reduces spin.

"It was really designed at first to create more speed," said Chris McGinley, Titleist's vice president of golf club marketing. "Everyone thought that if we can get the front of the driver to flex more effectively at impact, we would really have something, but what we also found is that it's really good at reducing spin. You sort of get a double whammy there. And it ...

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Titleist 915F fairway woods

David Dusek

Thanks to a new sole design, the 915 family of fairway woods produces more ball speed and less spin off the tee and from the fairway, Titleist says.

There are two 915 fairway woods, the 175cc 915F and the 160cc 915F.d. Both have a classic look at address, featuring a black crown and an understated alignment aid near the face. Both clubs also feature Titleist’s SureFit Tour adjustable hosel system that allows golfers to change the loft and lie independently.

However, it’s the slot, which Titleist calls an Active Recoil Channel (ARC), that will garner most of the attention. The channel goes from the toe to the heel, right behind the leading edge. It allows the face of the club to flex more effectively at impact, which should translate to increased ball speed. Titleist says it helps to reduce spin, too.

“The channel is slightly deeper in the fairway woods, and positioned slightly closer to the face, than in the drivers,” said Chris McGinley, Titleist’s vice president of golf club marketing. “Compared to a ...

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Titleist 915H hybrids

David Dusek

To go along with the release of the 915 drivers and fairway woods, Titleist developed the new 915H and 915H.d hybrids with many of the same distance- and forgiveness-enhancing features.

When clubs arrive in stores Nov. 14, golfers will notice a slot in the sole. Titleist calls it an Active Recoil Channel (ARC), and it is designed to allow the face of the clubs to flex more effectively at impact to create more ball speed. Titleist says the system also helps to reduce spin, as it does on the fairway woods and drivers.

But the designers didn’t want to knock down spin as much as with the drivers and fairway woods.

“Players hit a driver off the tee, and more and more often they’re hitting fairway woods off the tee,” said Titleist’s Chris McGinley, the company’s vice president of golf club marketing. “But golfers are hitting hybrids into a green primarily, so you want to make the ball stop. In order to make the ball stop, you’ve got to be careful ...

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Adams Tight Lies hybrids

David Dusek

Adams Golf’s new Tight Lies hybrids were created to fit right between the company’s existing hybrid families, offering game-improvement clubs that provide forgiveness, versatility and control.

Adams’ existing Pro line of hybrids is designed for accomplished players, and the company’s Idea line is meant for slower-swinging, higher-handicap players.

Adams gave the Tight Lies hybrids the same Ghost Slot technology as in the crown of the new Tight Lies Titanium fairway woods. The slot allows the stainless-steel face to flex more effectively, for more ball speed. Adams covered the slot in the Tight Lies hybrid, making it nearly invisible.

“In their search for distance, a lot of manufacturers have created deep-faced hybrids, but the Tight Lies has a lower profile,” said Michael Fox, Adams Golf’s director of product creation and management. “But with the Ghost Slot design, we haven’t lost any distance compared to other products, even though our clubs are not as big.”

As with previous Tight Lies clubs, the bottom of the hybrid is wider than the top, to lower the center of gravity and make it easier to hit the ball higher. It features the familiar tri-sole design to reduce turf interaction and ...

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My bag: Rickie Fowler at 2014 Ryder Cup

David Dusek

A complete list of clubs Rickie Fowler is using at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland:

DRIVER: Cobra BiO Cell (9.5 degrees), with a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana White Board 73X shaft.

FAIRWAY WOOD: Cobra BiO Cell (13.5 and 18.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue TX 75 shafts.

IRONS: Cobra AMP Cell Pro (4-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts.

WEDGES: Cobra Tour Trusty (47, 51, 55, and 59 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts.

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist Newport Prototype.

BALL: Titleist Pro V1x.

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My bag: Jimmy Walker at the 2014 Ryder Cup

David Dusek

A complete list of clubs Jimmy Walker is using at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland:

DRIVER: Titleist 915D2 (8.5 degrees), with an Aldila Rogue 80TX shaft.

FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 915F (15 degrees), with an Aldila Rogue 80TX shaft; (18 degrees) with a Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2 Tour Spec shaft.

IRONS: Titleist 712U (3), with a Mitsubishi Fubuki 500HX shaft; Titleist 714 MB (4-9), 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 Concept 2 Prototype.

BALL: Titleist Pro V1

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Which ball is played in Ryder Cup foursomes?

David Dusek

Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson did not have to think about what golf ball to use in their Friday foursomes because both of them use a Titleist Pro V1x. However, Rickie Fowler uses a Titleist Pro V1x and his teammate in the opening-round sessions of the Ryder Cup, Jimmy Walker, uses a Pro V1. Keegan Bradley plays a Srixon Z-Star and Phil Mickelson plays a Callaway Speed Regime 3.

That leads me to a question I get asked every year during the either the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup:

After talking with several players over the years, here is what I have learned: If teammates playing in foursomes (alternate shot) use a different ball, they generally tee off using the ball favored by the player who will be hitting the shot into the green.

The rationale among the players is that the difference between many of the premium balls off the tee is not as big as the difference between the balls on approach shots. Teams want the player who is hitting into the green to know exactly how the ball will react.

This was only possible starting in in 2006, when rules allowed teams to switch golf balls ...

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Nike Vapor Pro driver

David Dusek

With the release of the Nike Vapor Pro driver, the company has combined two of its core technologies from other recent drivers to help golfers generate more ball speed and forgiveness.

On the sole of the all-titanium, 460cc head, Nike designed a channel that runs parallel to the face. The company calls it a Compression Channel, and it is trimmed in volt (the same yellow color used in the Vapor irons). As it did in the VR Pro, VR Pro STR8-Fit and VR Pro Limited drivers, the channel helps the face flex more effectively at impact to generate more ball speed.

The updated channel has been positioned closer to the leading edge. It is thinner in the middle and wider in the heel and toe. Shots hit in the sweetspot don’t need as much ball-speed enhancement, but the wider channel in the heel and toe provide a greater trampoline effect on mis-hits, when it’s needed most.

The large cavity in the back of the sole was first seen in the Covert drivers, and it was used again in last season’s Covert 2.0 drivers. It was updated with a pair of fang-like supports that Nike calls Fly ...

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My bag: Patrick Reed at the 2014 Ryder Cup

David Dusek

A complete list of clubs Patrick Reed is using at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland:

DRIVER: Big Bertha V Series (9 degrees), with a Fujikura Fuel 75 shaft.

FAIRWAY WOOD: Big Bertha (14 degrees), with a Fujikura Pro P95 X shaft.

IRONS: Callaway X Forged (3-4), Razr X Muscleback (5-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

WEDGES: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind (52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot Pro #3

BALL: Callaway SR 3

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My Bag: Jordan Spieth at the 2014 Ryder Cup

David Dusek

A list of clubs Jordan Spieth is using at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland:

DRIVER: Titleist 910D2 (8.5 degrees), with a Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 63X shaft.

FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 915F (15 degrees), with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7 X shaft.

HYBRID: Titleist 915H.d (20.5 degrees), with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 95X shaft.

IRONS: Titleist 714 AP2 (4-9), with Project X 6.0 shafts.

WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design SM5 (46, 52, 56 and 60 degrees), with Project X 6.0 shafts.

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist 009 Tour Prototype.

BALL: Titleist Pro V1x.

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