May 5 2013
Ben Curtis is the latest player to put Aerotech shafts his irons. (Cannon/Getty Images)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
In preparation for the course setup at Augusta National, Angel Cabrera made a number of equipment changes for the year's first major. The 2009 Masters winner went back to his PING S56 irons and added a fourth wedge to the bag (48, 52, 56, 62 degrees).
In his first PGA TOUR since the runner-up finish, at the Wells Fargo Championship, Cabrera kept the S56 irons in the bag but went back to the three-wedge setup (48, 54, 60 degrees) he had pre-Masters.
Phil Mickelson goes with new driver shaft: Phil Mickelson went with a Mitsubishi Kai'li 60xx shaft in his 8.5-degree Callaway X Hot Phrankenwood driver at the Wells Fargo Championship. Mickelson had been using a 45-inch Fubuki k 70X Prototype.
With the new shaft in the driver, Mickelson ranked 21st in driving distance and 53rd in driving accuracy for the week.
Morgan Hoffman tweaks driver setup: Morgan Hoffman made a necessary adjustment to his Titleist 913D3 driver this week after working with Titleist PGA TOUR rep Chris Tuten.
Hitting it high and to the right with his 8.5-degree 913D3, Hoffman switched to a 7.5-degree head but noticed he was still hitting it off the heel. Tuten suggested Hoffman choke down on the club a half inch and he started hitting the ball off the center of the clubface.
"I built him a 44.5-inch UST V2 86X shaft, which was a half-inch shorter than what he was playing," Tuten said. "But when we tried that setup we noticed the ball was still falling out of the air. We changed a couple settings and eventually figured we needed to go to a UST V2 86X that was tipped one inch instead of an inch and a half."
Using Titleist's SureFit Tour hosel, Hoffman then adjusted the driver to the D1 setting with a straight face angle to get his preferred ball flight.
O'Hair goes with TaylorMade R1: Sean O'Hair switched to a 9.5-degree TaylorMade R1 driver (neutral sole plate, 8 grams in the heel and 4 grams in the toe) following early testing on Monday and Tuesday.
O'Hair, who had been using an 8.5-degree TaylorMade RBZ driver, was looking for a flatter flight with a higher tendency to draw the ball.
Steelfiber switch for Ben Curtis: Ben Curtis became the latest player to switch to Aerotech's SteelFiber shafts. Curtis had been playing True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts but liked that SteelFiber's i110 allowed him to keep his long irons in the bag — as opposed to using hybrids — with his preferred trajectory.
Gainey changes balls: Tommy Gainey switched into Callaway's new HEX Chrome+ ball following on-course testing early in the week. Gainey said added distance control and feel around the green were the main reasons why he made the change.
Webb Simpson won't make changes for U.S. Open: Asked during Monday's U.S. Open Media Day at Merion Golf Club if he'd make any equipment changes prior to the second major of the year, the reigning U.S. Open champion said he wouldn't adjust his current setup.
"I won't," Simpson said. "Technology now is so good that I have a hybrid 3‑iron and I can hit that 3‑iron as high as I want and as low as I want. Normally I might, it would be smart for me to take a 3‑iron up there because I will hit that off the tees a bunch but in terms of the middle part of the golf course especially where you'll hit a lot of 3‑irons and 5‑woods, I feel comfortable enough with being able to control my trajectory that I probably won't. And I won't. A lot of guys will put in a low lofted lob wedge, but I don't do that, so I probably won't change anything.
Divots: Looking for a new shaft setup in his driver, Stephen Ames switched to a new Accra Prototype shaft in his Nike VR_S Covert driver. Ames felt the new setup allowed him to get a couple extra yards off the tee. ... David Lingmerth was the first player to carry PING's new Nome TR putter. ... Aaron Watkins made a slight tweak to his Callaway X Hot Pro (7.5 degrees) driver, making it 1 degree more upright for additional control off the tee. ... Scott Brown switched from Nike's VR Pro Limited Edition driver to a Nike VR_S Covert Tour.