March 9 2013
Dusitn Johnson has put a number of putters in play so far this season. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
DORAL, Fla. -- Dustin Johnson had a difficult time settling on one putter over the last few weeks. After opening the season with a Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 prototype putter, Johnson switched to an Odyssey Versa No. 7 at the Northern Trust Open and then promptly dropped the putter for a Scotty Cameron Notchback prototype two weeks later at The Honda Classic.
The putter drama continued for Johnson at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship when he showed up with the Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 prototype in the bag.
Players switch putters all the time, but in his last four starts, Johnson has used three different putters. With the Masters nearly a month out, it would appear as if the seven-time PGA TOUR winner is struggling to find a putter that gives him confidence on the greens.
Johnson also practiced at Bear's Club on Tuesday with a set of TaylorMade RocketBladez irons — the same irons he used when he won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions — and brought them to Trump Doral on Wednesday for a practice round.
Johnson went back to his TaylorMade Tour Preferred Forged MB irons at the Northern Trust Open and kept them in the bag this week.
Mahan switches shafts in Ping G25 3-wood: Hunter Mahan worked with Ping Tour rep Matt Rollins to get a new shaft in his 15-degree (actual loft 14 degrees) Ping G25 3-wood that allowed him to turn the ball over. Mahan, who was using a Graphite Design GT 8X shaft, settled on a Matrix XCON 8X3 shaft that was tipped 1 inch following a testing session on Wednesday.
Woods tests Nike Method 001 backup putter: Tiger Woods tested a number of Nike clubs during Wednesday's practice round, including two Nike Method 001 putters. Woods currently uses the same model but wanted to make sure he was comfortable with his backups as well.
Els adjusts Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme driver: Looking for a more draw friendly driver, Ernie Els added RAT glue to the heel and reduced the toe weight (from 14H/3T to 2 grams of glue in the heel plus the 14 gram weight and a 1 gram weight in the toe) in his 9.5-degree Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme driver. Following the adjustment, Els was drawing the ball with ease.
Van Pelt switches to TaylorMade RocketBladez: Bo Van Pelt spent the early part of the season testing TaylorMade's RocketBladez Tour irons, but it wasn't until last week — Van Pelt wasn't in the field at the Honda Classic — that he had time to really work with the irons for an extended period.
Encouraged by the numbers he saw during testing — higher ball speed, steeper descent angle, and the consistency on mis-hits — and the way the irons performed in 25 mph winds at Seminole Golf Club, Van Pelt brought the irons to Trump Doral and put them in play on Thursday.
Nike athletes gear up for Masters with new grooves: In preparation for the greens at Augusta National, a number of Nike staffers, including Thorbjorn Olesen, Nick Watney and Carl Pettersson, received new wedges with fresh grooves at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. While most didn't put the wedges in the bag right away, Nike said the goal is for the players to work them in over the next few weeks.
Divots: Due to the course conditions at Trump Doral, Rory McIlroy decided to take out his Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 5-wood and put in the bag his VR Pro Combo 2-iron. ... Cleveland Tour reps built Graeme McDowell a couple Classic drivers (same specs as his current gamer) with a bit more loft to draw the ball. ... David Lynn, who arrived at Trump Doral off a top-5 finish at the Honda Classic, swapped out his 2012 RBZ fairway wood for a new 14.5-degree TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Tour after seeing as much as 7-10 yards more compared to his gamer. ... Thorbjorn Olesen started testing Nike VR_S Covert Tour hybrids early in the week but didn't put one in the bag.