Welcome to the April 2011 issue of Equipment Reviews, sent out monthly exclusively to the loyal customers of Edwin Watts Golf. If you haven't already signed up for your free Equipment Reviews subscription, then please click here - there's no obligation and you can cancel at any time.
THE RIGHT STUFF
Charls Schwartzel mastered the field at Augusta primarily using Nike Golf gear. His equipment lineup:
- Driver: Nike VR Tour 8.5° with Fujikura Rombax shaft
- Fairway woods: Nike SQ Sumo 13° 3-wood and 19° 5-wood
- Irons: Nike VR Pro Blade (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Superlite shafts
- Wedges: Nike VR Pro 54° and 59°
- Putter: Nike Method 004 Prototype
- Ball: Nike ONE Tour D
- Shoes: Nike Lunar Control with Champ spikes
PING SCOTTSDALE WOLVERINE PUTTER
Late last July, PING unveiled its Scottsdale putter line. One of the models – the Wolverine – was a fresh-and-bold, bigger-than-life, dark-finished mallet that caught a few eyes. Lately, two of those eyes belong to Lee Westwood, who began using the putter – the Wolverine H model -- three weeks ago at the Shell Houston Open. Westwood reportedly switched to this putter from his Redwood Anser model, in preparation for Augusta's fast greens, and claims putts with the Wolverine are easy to align. That’s understandable, given the putter’s high-contrast alignment aids that allow you to confidently take aim. Its thermoplastic elastomer face insert yields a soft, solid feel and consistent response – so you can rely on it for accurate distances. There are three Wolverine and 14 Scottsdale models to choose from.
MIZUNO JPX-800 DRIVER
If you generally think of Mizuno strictly as a better player’s club brand, think again. This game-improvement driver rivals any on the market. Its 460cc titanium clubhead uses plasma welding inside to add a solid feel to each shot. The CG is placed low and deep, which yields high shots with a moderate amount of spin. Strategic weighting is key: A 10-gram internal back weight enhances the clubhead’s internal balance, so that you achieve the ball flight you intended, while another internal 5-gram heel weight helps square the clubface through impact. The driver is prone to hitting tee shots long and straight, thanks to its forged titanium face and ultra-thin crown. Shots struck on the screws will go a long way, while off-center hits will still travel far and straighter than you’d expect. The JPX-800 is offered in lofts of 9°, 10.5° and 12°.
HOT GEAR NEWS
ECCO extended its multi-year endorsement pact with Fred Couples. Couples will continue to wear the brand’s shoes and showcase its logo on his headwear...TaylorMade introduced three all-new Ghost putters that each bear a PURE ROLL titallium face insert. That helps to reduce ball skidding for a smoother roll, more-precise putting line and better speed control. The new models include the TM-110 (blade), TM-770 (mid-mallet) and TM-880 (small mallet)… Bag Boy unveiled the 7-pound XLT-15 cart bag that boasts the innovative Clip-Lok system, which secures clubs and prevents club damage and excessive clanging noise during the round. The bag also sports 15 individual Clip-Loks integrated into the 11-way organizer top, plus full-length dividers…Srixon added its WeatherFIT app to Apple’s App Store. The versatile program achieves several feats, including displaying the weather forecast. It will soon include a ball-fitting guide, as well…Never Compromise debuted “MY CUSTOM PUTTER” customization feature for its Gambler putters, on its website…MATRIX Shafts released the REIGN III shaft, a sub-40g model that provides tour-level feel, control and stability… Titleist unveiled a new version of its Vokey 200 Series wedges that features a classic head shape with a high toe peak and a soft trailing edge, updated graphics and Spin Milled C-C grooves. Plus, they’re richly finished in WedgeWorks Exclusives bright brushed chrome…Three of the Top 25 finishers at the Masters used SuperStroke oversized putter grips, including K.J. Choi, who also played four hybrid clubs at Augusta (19° TaylorMade Rescue TP FCT plus 24°-26°-28° Adams Pro A12). His longest iron was a 7-iron Ping i15. Speaking of putters, Adam Scott used a long Scotty Cameron Kombi Long broomstick-style model, Lee Westwood a belly-length Ping Wolverine H, and Tiger Woods a Nike Method 003 putter. Phil Mickelson went with a pair of Callaway RAZR Hawk prototype drivers on the last three days of the event. One was a 6.3° version with a 46” Mitsubishi Rayon 70g Fubuki prototype shaft, the other an 8.2° model with a 45” version of the same shaft…If you’re curious, the most-used brands at the Masters in various equipment categories included: Titleist (balls, irons, wedges), TaylorMade (drivers, fairway woods, hybrids), Odyssey (putters) and FootJoy (shoes).