By his own admission, there was a time when even Phil Mickelson, not one known for self doubt, questioned his ability to ever win a British Open. That changed Sunday with his victory at Muirfield. Phil’s first Open Championship and fifth Major title was much more dramatic than the three shot margin of victory would indicate. Starting the day 5 shots off the lead, Mickelson was steady, if not spectacular through the first 12 holes on a day when steady looked, well, spectacular compared with the rest of the field. Pars were at a premium and birdies were scarce. So it was remarkable that Phil played the last 6 holes in 4 under par, sealing the victory and ending a tournament that looked as if it were anyone’s game until that final, fateful hour. How did he do it? Read the rest of this entry »
Blog :: Equipment
In the end, the recently concluded US Open staged at Merion Golf Club resembled the Opens of yesteryear during which brutal rough and nasty greens eliminated pretenders first, then contenders, until there was just one guy left. What’s remarkable is that the “one guy” who conquered the treacherous Merion greens and the USGA’s diabolical hole placements was Justin Rose, a guy who just weeks ago ranked 158th in putting on the PGA Tour. What changed? Well, Justin Rose switched to a 34” TaylorMade Spider Blade Putter at the Player’s Championship in May, and then switched again at the Memorial, opting for a 37” version of the same model. The results were that he ranked 13th in putting at the US Open. That huge leap in the putting stats, arguably, made the difference between winning a Major title and, well, not winning one. The TaylorMade Spider Blade is the highest MOI blade putter ever produced by TaylorMade, delivering twist-resistance comparable to high-MOI mallet putters. TaylorMade also incorporated “counterbalancing” properties first introduced with their Daddy Long Legs mallet putter. The idea behind counterbalancing is to offer increased stability through additional weight in the shaft and butt end of the putter. You’re going to see a lot of counterbalancing in putter design in the near future because it is said to offer stability similar to an “anchored” putting stroke, which the USGA has banned effective 2016. Consequently, those who struggle a bit on the greens are looking for a new method, and the major club manufacturers will most assuredly accommodate through innovation. Even if you don’t struggle, you can always improve on the greens. So, if you are looking for a way to make more putts, take a page from the playbook of Justin Rose, the number 3 player in the world and newly-minted Major Champion, and give the TaylorMade Spider Blade a try. You may just win your own version of the US Open. Order yours today at DGW.
The USGA likes to say they set up the US Open venue to identify the very best player as our nation’s champion. And despite the fact that this isn’t always the case—see Michael Campbell–Justin Rose clearly fit that description for the Open just ended at Merion Golf Club. In the end, he struck the ball better and putted better than anyone else through 4 rounds on what appeared to be the hardest golf course on the planet. Particularly impressive were his clutch putting, including a 20 footer for birdie on 13 that tied him for the lead, and his long iron play on both 17 and 18. Of course, he had to hit fairways to hit good iron shots, and none was more impressive than the drive on 18, setting up the opportunity to rip a 4 iron dead at the hole, and effectively eliminating any legitimate drama from Phil Mickelson’s finish. Rose used a full complement of TaylorMade equipment, including the new Lethal Golf Ball. Here’s his bag: Driver: TaylorMade R1 Fairway Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Tour Irons: TaylorMade RocketBladez Tour (3-6), Tour Preferred MB (7-PW) Wedges: TaylorMade ATV (52°, 56°, 60°) Putter: TaylorMade Spider Blade Ball: TaylorMade Lethal Check out DGW today for all your TaylorMade equipment needs.
The Masters begins in just over two weeks and DGW has a number of Limited Edition items available to commemorate the year’s first Major championship. Read the rest of this entry »
Callaway Tour professional, Gary Woodland, is just like the rest of us, it seems. Not long ago he put a new three wood in the bag, one that had been fitted to his exact specifications. After playing it for a number of rounds, however, Woodland was unhappy and took it back to the Callaway Tour trailer for a new shaft. The reason? He was hitting his new Callaway X Hot Pro Three Wood too far! It seems that his normal three wood specs, configured with his new X Hot Pro Fairway Wood, resulted in his having too much firepower on par fives. He was forced to choke down and throttle back, so he actually replaced his Graphite Design prototype shaft with a heavier X-100 steel model to take something off the 294 yards he was hitting his 17 degree X Hot Pro (into the wind). The rest of us will never have that problem, but we can have the same fairway wood. The new X Hot and X Hot Pro Fairway Woods are the longest ever produced by Callaway. These new fairway woods borrow the forged cup face design from Callaway drivers, moving the weld line away from the face to allow more control over face thickness and tolerances. Because of this new design, and through the use of high strength 455 Carpenter steel, the new Callaway X Hot face is 40% thinner than last year’s RAZR X Black fairways. The X Hot Fairway Woods tested right at the USGA’s limit for spring-like effect. That means distance. That is what we all crave. The X Hot Fairway line offers performance without having to increase club head size, or add a slot to the sole. Engineers also reconfigured the weighting of the sole through an internal wave-shaped pad that acts to push the center of gravity slightly forward and low to reduce spin. Together, these design and material elements make the X Hot line truly worthy of the name. They are Hot! Order your X Hot or X Hot Pro Fairway Wood today at DGW.
A week after dismal play at Torrey Pines led to a tie for 51st, Phil Mickelson went wire to wire at the Waste Management Open to win for the 41st time on Tour. What a difference a week can make, or in this case, what a difference a new driver can make! Just before Tuesday’s practice round in Scottsdale, Phil received a new Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme Driver. We could tell you how the new RAZR Fit Xtreme Driver is the longest driver ever measured by Callaway, and we could tell you about the Callaway OptiFit™ technology that offers customized fine tuning, but we don’t need to. Instead, here’s what Phil said following his 4-shot victory Sunday. “But for me, the rest of the year took a turn on Tuesday when I got my new driver. It just changed my whole deal…. by having it be a low-spin driver with enough loft, and because it’s that RAZR Fit Xtreme where you can fit it, I was able to get it dialed in to where it goes straight.” Phil said some other stuff, but why bother reading beyond the word “straight”? Yes, that’s right. Phil Mickelson found a driver that goes straight! Enough said. Get your RAZR Fit Xtreme Driver at DGW today…unless, of course, you don’t like straight.
Those of you who try to avoid full time golf addiction by trying not to watch PGA Tour coverage this early in the season may be unaware of the big news. Two of the first three tournaments of 2013 were won with TaylorMade’s new RocketBladez Tour Irons. From where I sit, that is not just big, it’s monumental. We’re accustomed to TaylorMade leading the driver count on tour, and the RocketBallz Fairway Wood phenomenon of 2012 proved that creative design can squeeze ever more yards from a club and still conform to USGA standards. But who would’ve thought TaylorMade would dominate the early 2013 PGA Tour season with an iron design offering forgiveness and distance? Aren’t those attributes created for the handicap golfer? Well, yes…and no, apparently. As you might surmise from these tour victories, the new RocketBladez and RocketBladez Tour Irons are the real deal. Read the rest of this entry »
The new Nike VR_S Covert Driver will hit the market in February 2013, and without having seen an actual demo as yet, here are the first impressions. There are two main features distinctively new to the Covert Driver; three if you count the red finish. First, the driver has a large hole in the sole, what Nike is referring to as a High Speed Cavity Back. Nike scooped a hole from the back of the sole and shifted the displaced weight to the heel and toe areas, creating advanced perimeter weighting that offers increased distance on off center hits. With drivers having maxed out COR long ago, what Nike has done is look for a way to increase distance otherwise. Combined with Nike’s NexCor technology (Nike’s term for variable face thickness), the perimeter weighting design prevents noticeable loss of distance on mis-hits. In fact, Nike tells us the advanced NexCor Tech in the Covert Driver expands the “hot zone” by 45%. The second new feature is the adjustable hosel—the Nike “FlexLoft “system. This is really cool. There is a variable range between 8.5 and 12.5 degrees. Loft and face angle can be adjusted independently to deliver 15 combinations. This will allow golf retailers to stock one head that can be independently adjusted and tested on site (or by the golfer on the range) to arrive at a custom-like fit. The new Covert Driver is available with a 460cc head, as well as a pear shaped 430cc Tour version for the low handicap player. Both come with a stock, real deal Mitsubishi Kuro Kage shaft–50 grams for the VR_S Covert and 60 for the Covert Tour. Nike claims they have fine-tuned the sound of these drivers so they’re not too loud or harsh but offer a solid “thump” at impact instead. Nike’s taking this tech into its fairway wood and hybrid designs, as well. All will be available February 8, 2012. Paul Casey was the first Nike Athlete to put the Covert in his bag. Recently signed Nike Athletes Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley have also bagged the Nike Covert. You can pre-order the Nike Covert or Covert Tour today at DGW.
Callaway teased us for a good part of the summer following its announcement in May of a new X Utility Prototype Iron, available only for Tour Staff. Introduced in May at the Byron Nelson Championship, the X Utility Prototype, available in lofts of 18, 21 and 24 degrees, went into the bags of notable Callaway staffers Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson, among others. Prior to the US Open, Callaway specifically announced they had no plans to market to the public, but would consider it if one of their staffers won. Whether an intentional marketing ploy, or simply a realistic assessment of the somewhat limited market for this “player’s” utility, the decision paid off later in the summer when Ernie Els won the Open Championship with three of the prototypes in his bag. It helped also that Ernie led the field in greens in regulation and fired a tidy 4 under 32 coming home on Sunday. As the Tour season progressed, more and more players decided they liked the look, feel, sound and workability of the X Utilities, so much so that players with 10 club deals with other manufacturers (a pretty common arrangement) began lining up to give these a try. Following Ernie’s win golf junkies were salivating with the hope that Callaway would go to market. Well, they have, and the new X Utility Prototype Iron is here at DGW and ready for your bag. The X Utility is probably not for everyone, but for those among us reluctant to let go of our longer irons, these are the ticket. The X Utilities will be available in the same 18, 21 and 24 degree lofts as those made for the pros, which makes them suitable replacements for your current 2, 3 and 4 irons (or hybrids). They are constructed using a hollow forged body made of 1020 carbon steel and tungsten with a high-strength maraging steel face that produces higher ball speeds than long irons for hybrid-like distance. The hollow construction with a low CG creates higher launch and more forgiveness. The shaft lengths are more akin to irons than hybrids, and there is a lack of bulge radius on the face that helps create a straighter, more consistent ball flight than hybrids. The X Utility offers something further for the better player that hybrids do not—workability. You can work the ball consistently in either direction, so there’s an element of versatility that allows iron-like control with hybrid distance. The X Utilities from Callaway are available as a limited edition model (at least for now), with your option of either True Temper Project X PXi steel shafts or Graphite Design G Series 95 shafts. Place your order today at DGW and experience the power of a hybrid combined with the feel and workability of a forged iron.
Cleveland Golf just introduced the new 588 Altitude Irons. Constructed with a full hollow body design, these “hybrid irons” are for any golfer seeking distance, height and forgiveness. Each iron in the set is engineered to provide optimum, flight, forgiveness and feel, according to Cleveland. The Altitudes have advanced internal weighting that promotes a low and deep center of gravity for both high launch and maximum distance. The company says the center of gravity is 13% lower and 121% deeper compared to a typical game-improvement iron resulting in iron shots that are easier to hit with proper trajectory. This is possible because of the hollow body construction that offers hybrid-like playability through each iron in the set. Each club offers Face Forged® Technology that enhances ball speed and delivers feel. Cleveland says the Altitudes are designed for customization through a notch in the hosel that allows change in lie angle by three degrees up or down and loft by two degrees weaker or stronger. This is a significant acknowledgement by a company that higher handicap players can benefit from custom-fitting options, as well. The 588 Altitude Irons are available in 3-SW for both men and women in graphite or steel shafts. Cleveland will begin shipping these new hybrid-irons November16, 2012. Pre-order your set of the new 588 Altitude Irons at DGW today.