April 1, 2015 - 5:29pm
USA Today Sports Images
Adam Scott has been using a regulation-length putter so far this PGA Tour season, but he'll switch back to his familiar long-handled flatstick when he returns to Augusta National.
Scott confirmed his plans in an email to the Australian Associated Press, which also reported that the world's sixth-ranked player spent several days at Augusta National late last week and early this week before deciding to return to the 49-inch Scotty Cameron Futura-X mallet with which he won the 2013 Masters among many other events.
Scott, who had used a long putter for several years, had been openly considering bringing his long putter back as the Masters approached.
"Putting with a longer putter is maybe the smarter thing to do (at Augusta)," he told PGATour.com after the Arnold Palmer Invitational. "It's all about the lag putting. It's such a difference in weight of club and stroke and everything. I'm just trying to figure it all out."
He tied for fourth at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in an encouraging debut with the short stick. But he missed the cut at the Valspar Championship and then tied for 35th at Bay Hill.
Scott didn't indicate when he would go back to the short putter, but he has the rest of the year to do so. The rule prohibiting the use of an anchored putting stroke that many golfers employ with long-handled putters goes into effect next January.
Adam Scott confirms that he'll revert to his long putter for Masters
March 26, 2015 - 10:34pm
Troy Merritt via Twitter
Thursday was a day unlike any we've seen in I don't know how long. First, we had the crazy wind at the Valero Texas Open that drove the morning wave's scores through the roof – and blew Dudley Hart's chip right back to him.
Then we had Aaron Baddeley's crazy OB/hole-in-one. Then we had Phil Mickelson's 8-iron breaking in half during a seemingly routine bunker shot.
And then, after we thought the day was done and things were finally calming down, came this: Troy Merritt broke the face of his 2-iron. And as you can see from the photo above the tweet below, Merritt didn't just crack his iron's face, he flat out blew a hole in it.
In fact, I've never seen an iron disintegrate like this one.
"Hit it off the tee and it caved in," Merritt said Thursday night on Twitter.
"Just a whisker toward the toe," fellow PGA Tour player Josh Teater tweeted, no doubt with a smile, in response.
"Extremely rare and unfortunate, but it does happen," said Wilson Golf, which made the club, on Twitter. "It will be remedied with a new 2-iron … ASAP."
According to the PGA Tour's ShotLink tool, Merritt's tee shot still managed to travel 155 yards off the tee on the par-4 hole – it didn't quite reach the fairway, but turned out fairly well given the damage to the face. He went on to bogey the hole en route to a 2-over 74.
Troy Merritt caves in the face of his 2-iron on tee shot at Texas Open
March 18, 2015 - 7:53pm
Courtesy of Ecco Golf
Fred Couples has worn Ecco golf shoes for a few years now, and even has a model named after him. At the Masters next month, though, he'll be sporting a new shoe – and a few of us will be able to wear them as well.
Ecco has created 1,992 pairs – of the "Fred Couples Signature Edition 1992" in honor of Couples' victory in the 1992 Masters – for sale to the public. A version of the company's Casual Hybrid shoes, these Couples commemoratives are green and white and feature Freddie's laser-engraved signature on the heels.
The shoe, which Couples co-designed, is built on Ecco's E-DTS outsole, which features 100 molded traction bars in the sole to provide plenty of grip. It also has a premium leather upper, is waterproof and, like all Ecco shoes, is constructed with a direct-injection process that bonds the outsole to the upper without needing glue or stitching.
They'll carry a suggested retail price of $200 per pair, and will be available in time for the Masters. More info will be available soon on the Ecco USA site.
Ecco releases special golf shoe to mark Fred Couples' 1992 Masters win
March 17, 2015 - 6:13pm
Courtesy of Odyssey Golf
While Odyssey Golf has been rolling out new putter families like the Odyssey Works and Metal-X in the United States over the last year or so, the company has been selling a different line – called the Milled Collection – in Japan recently. Those putters are proving so popular that Odyssey is bringing them to America.
You might see some of these ultra-premium putters at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week, and you'll definitely see them at retail next month.
PHOTOS: See images of all the new Milled Collection putters | WATCH: Odyssey Works 2-Ball
"Milled Collection has performed well both in the marketplace and on Tour in Japan, and we're very excited to introduce it this week on the U.S. tours," Odyssey Global Product Director Chris Koske said. "This is a great addition to the line for us. It's the intro of new and unique head shapes, and of course the Fusion RX insert that's been so key to the success of our Odyssey Works Putters."
The headline feature of the Milled Collection models is the Fusion RX face insert, which Odyssey describes as blending the feel of its popular White Hot insert with the roll from the ultra-light stainless steel mesh from its Works putters and its Metal-X face. The mesh helps to grip the ball upon impact and set it rolling quickly and smoothly.
Odyssey's designers also have refined some of their most popular putterheads to create options like flatter toplines and more squared faces. Speaking of putterheads, in the United States the Milled Collection will be offered in Odyssey's #2 squared-off, heel-toe weighted blade; #5 mallet, #6 scoop-back blade and #9 toe weighted, heel-shafted, flanged blade.
These new putters come with three sets of customizable weights to help you fine-tune your preferred weight and feel, and are created using advanced CNC milling with hand finishing.
They'll be available at retail on April 17, and will have a suggested retail price of $349.
Odyssey brings Milled Collection of putters from Asia to United States
March 11, 2015 - 6:45pm
Courtesy of TaylorMade
TaylorMade unveiled its new AeroBurner driver and fairway woods back last fall – and the driver won three PGA Tour events in the last two weeks (Dustin Johnson at Doral, Alex Cejka in Puerto Rico and Padraig Harrington at the Honda Classic).
So the timing is perfect for the company to roll out the rest of the AeroBurner family – a Mini Driver, irons and two versions of an AeroBurner ball.
The AeroBurner Mini Driver follows the successful launch of the SLDR Mini Driver, and is designed for players who prefer to hit tee shots with a 3-wood instead of a traditional driver. It also can serve as a replacement for the 3-wood.
"The SLDR Mini Driver captivated golfers on all skill levels by delivering better 3-wood performance from the tee," said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's Senior Director of Metalwood Creation. "With AeroBurner, we've now designed a metalwood that delivers even more speed and forgiveness to this new, popular club type."
The AeroBurner Mini Driver has a 253cc head (as opposed to the full-size 460cc heads on most drivers) and a 43.5-inch shaft, and TaylorMade's engineers say the club builds on everything they learned in creating the SLDR Mini.
It's got a new aerodynamic shape with a shallow face designed to help get the ball up in the air, as well as a low-forward center of gravity to launch the ball on a boring trajectory. The head has a raised center crown and a hosel has a new fin to help maximize clubhead speed during the downswing.
And like the rest of the AeroBurner metalwoods, the Mini Driver features the biggest open channel Speed Pocket of any TaylorMade metalwood in company history, which helps increase the size of the sweetspot while reducing spin. The club also has a new matte white finish, a black PVD face and linear crown graphic.
The Mini Driver will be available in both standard and TP models; the TP edition, for better players, is designed with a longer hosel, flatter lie angle and more open face angle. The standard version comes in three loft options (12, 14 and 16 degrees), while the TP comes in 12- and 4-degree options.
The standard Mini will have a suggested retail price of $279 with a lightweight Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 shaft, while the TP will have a suggested retail price of $349 with a Matrix Ozik White Tie 70X4 shaft. Both will be available at retail on March 27.
TaylorMade calls its AeroBurner irons "the ultimate distance iron," and explains that its engineers have optimized loft and center of gravity placement for consistent, powerful shotmaking from any lie. And by incorporating Speed Pockets, the long-bladed heads can promote higher launch angles and more ball speed on well-struck shots while also protecting ball speed on shots hit low on the face for more consistency on mis-hits.
Aesthetically, the AeroBurner irons feature a dark, matte head finish like that on TaylorMade's recent SpeedBlade irons. The darker finish reduces glare off the clubface while delivering a sleek look.
The new irons will be available at retail on March 18. A standard eight-piece set (3-iron through pitching wedge) equipped with stock REAX 88 High Launch steel shafts will have a suggested retail price of $699, while a set with REAX 60 graphite shafts will have a suggested retail price of $799 in stiff, regular, senior or ladies flex.
AeroBurner Soft and Pro Golf Balls
Created for the majority of golfers with mid to high handicaps, the AeroBurner Soft golf ball is TaylorMade's softest two-piece ball and was engineered to deliver distance with stopping power. The company calls the AeroBurner Soft "a distance balls that actually stops," and says it delivers high greenside spin to help amateur players where they need it most.
The keys to its performance are its new, softer REACT Core for greater ball speed on all shots and Low-Drag Performance Aerodynamics 342 high-lift, low drag dimple pattern, which was designed to launch high and sustain flight.
By contrast, the Aeroburner Pro is a three-piece ball engineered for high ball speeds off the clubface – like the speeds generated by elite players. Its spin control and soft feel come from the interface of TaylorMade’s Sin Mantle and proprietary Iothane cover.
Both balls are available at retail now. The Aeroburner Soft carries a suggested retail price of $19.99 per dozen, while the Pro model carries a suggested retail price of $26.99 per dozen.
TaylorMade Golf expands AeroBurner line with mini driver, irons and balls
January 30, 2015 - 10:58pm
USA Today Sports Images
If you haven't seen Keegan Bradley play golf lately, you might have noticed something different this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Bradley carded a cool 6-under 65 Thursday using a regulation-length putter, and followed up with a 73 in the rain on Friday.
In fact, he put his famous long putter away right after the Ryder Cup, and has played exclusively with a conventional putter ever since. After trying a Scotty Cameron Futura X5 Tour Dual Balance putter recently, he's playing an Odyssey Versa 90 Sabertooth putter in Phoenix.
"I haven't touched it. I still travel with it, but I haven't used it or even thought about going back to it," Bradley said of his long putter.
So if he hasn't thought about going back to it, why bring it along?
"I don't know," he admitted. "I heard that Webb [Simpson, who is also making the switch to a regulation-length putter] snapped his putter. I think that's actually smart. I don't know why I travel with it, because I have no plans to use it. I feel like it's a lot of superstition. I can't explain it. You don't have a clue how many superstitions I've got."
The Phoenix Open is Bradley's fourth event since making the switch and he's pleased with the way he's been putting.
"I played China, didn't do very well [tied for 64th at the HSBC Champions]. I actually putted pretty well. Then Tiger's tournament [tied for 3rd at the Hero World Challenge], putted really well, probably the best I putted for a tournament in a long time, as a whole," he explained. "And at Humana [tied for 48th at the Humana Challenge], I putted just okay. I didn't putt bad, didn't putt great. Just middle ground. But, you know, I'm realizing the fact that I'm going to have bad weeks and bad days putting just like I would with the belly putter."
In terms of getting used to his new short putter, Bradley said he's finding both positives and negatives.
"I have so much more touch with my short putter. I feel like I have – best way to explain it, I feel like I have more of the hole to use," he explained. "With the belly putter, I felt like every putt I hit I had to hammer in the back. I couldn't finesse any putts in. I feel like I have more of the hole to work with.
The downside, he is discovering, is that he has to worry about his set-up much more now than with the belly putter.
"Now I'm constantly having to be aware of my ball position, where I'm holding the club, my posture," he added. "Those are things I didn't have to worry as much about. There are pluses and minuses to both."
He had one pretty good "plus" on Friday, draining a 49-foot putt for birdie on No. 8. Check it out:
Keegan Bradley's switch to regular- length putter going well
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