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March 1 2013

4:03 PM

Equipment Roundup: The Honda Classic

 

Branden Grace switched to an Odyssey Versa #1 Wide BWB putter at The Honda Classic. (Getty Images)

By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Dustin Johnson wasn't the only golfer in The Honda Classic field who enjoyed instant success with a new putter.

Branden Grace, who used an Odyssey Black Series Tour Design #1 Wide to win four times on the European Tour last year, swapped out the putter for an Odyssey Versa #1 Wide BWB (black-white-black) on Thursday and carded a 5-under 65 that included just 25 putts.

Grace did make one tweak to his Versa, putting a Metal-X insert in over the standard White Hot insert because he felt the feel was closer to his old Black Series Tour Design gamer.

More details of D. Johnson's Scotty Cameron Notchback: Dustin Johnson has been struggling with his putting since his win at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Two weeks after he shelved a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 prototype for an Odyssey Versa #7, Johnson made his second putter change of the season at The Honda Classic when he switched to an original Scotty Cameron Notchback.

The face-balanced putter has a double bend shaft and approximately 3/4 shaft offset. Johnson liked the look at setup and the lines, which are similar to what he's been using. The big difference — aside from the new design — is the additional weight.

Compared to his previous gamer, the Notchback is heavier and has 20g weights in the head, making it approximately 30g heavier than what Johnson normally plays. But even with the additional weight, the putter retains the same swingweight as the model he'd been using.

Rose adds another TaylorMade RocketBladez iron: After putting a 16.5-degree RBZ Stage 2 Tour HL fairway wood (16.5) and two RocketBladez long irons (3-4) in the bag last week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Justin Rose continued the gapping transition to the new fairway wood by adding a RocketBladez 5-iron.

Rose tested the new iron early in the week and was so comfortable with the new makeup of his bag that he put the 5-iron in play for the Pro-Am on Wednesday.

Marino becomes second TaylorMade staffer to game Daddy Long Legs: TaylorMade's counterbalance mallet putter, Daddy Long Legs, picked up another convert when Steve Marino decided to put a 38-inch DLL in the bag at The Honda Classic. Marino is the second TaylorMade staffer to use the putter in competition.

Brian Harman, who shot a course-record 9-under 61 last year at The Honda Classic, also became the first PGA TOUR player to test Daddy Long Legs in a left-handed model.

Oosthuizen tests new shafts in Ping Anser driver: Louis Oosthuizen spent part of the early week at PGA National testing out shafts in his Ping Anser driver. Oosthuizen tested his current Fujikura Motore Tour Spec 6.2 shaft against an Aldila PhenomNL 60-X. He liked the way the Aldila performed but wasn't sure if he was ready to make the switch.

Divots: Looking for a wedge that could handle the turf interaction on Bermuda grass at PGA National, Alex Noren replaced his 60-degree Callaway X Forged wedge with a similar version that had 2 degrees less bounce. ... Tim Herron put Ping G25 3- and 4-irons in the bag. ... William McGirt added a RocketBladez 3-iron to serve as a driving iron for the week.

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