June 30 2013
Chris Kirk switched to a Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme driver at the AT&T National. (Fiume/Getty Images)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
PGA TOUR winner Chris Kirk made two notable equipment changes at the AT&T National.
Kirk switched from Callaway's RAZR Hawk Proto, a driver he'd been using all year, into a new RAZR Fit Xtreme that allowed him to hit a tight draw while eliminating the hook. The driver Callaway Tour reps built Kirk had 9.4 degrees of actual loft with 13 grams in the toe and 4 in the heel to produce a fade bias.
Kirk also added a new 14-degree Callaway X Hot 3-wood (43 inches) that reps made for him at the Travelers Championship. After further testing with it early in the week, Kirk put it in play, noting it was more consistent and easier to hit off tight lies than the 3-wood he had been using.
Day alters wedge setup: Looking for a greater distance range with his wedges, Jason Day had TaylorMade reps build him a new set of lower lofted TaylorMade ATV prototype wedges.
Day went from 54 and 60 degrees to 52 and 58 degrees to allow for shots up to 130 yards with the 52-degree. The Aussie was the first to put the ATV prototype wedge — TaylorMade eliminated the flange that was part of the 2012 version and rounded out the back of the wedge — in play this season.
Eight use Titleist 714 irons: AT&T National marked the debut of Titleist's 714 series prototype irons (AP1, AP2, CB and MB). The TOUR-only release was part of Titleist's TOUR seeding and performance validation process that gave TOUR players the opportunity to test the final product for the very first time.
Titleist had 30 sets of irons in play at AT&T National, including eight sets of the new 714 series prototype irons. Jordan Spieth hit 72 percent of his greens in regulation (T14) at Congressional, and posted his fifth top-10 finish (sixth) of the season with a new set of 714 AP2 irons.
Callaway's Mack Daddy 2 wedges: For the second consecutive week, Callaway's new Mack Daddy 2 wedges exceeded the total number of Callaway X Forged wedges (previously the most popular Callaway wedge model), with 20 in play at the AT&T National. While the wedge has been on TOUR since the Masters — Phil Mickelson was the first to put it in play — Callaway officially announced the arrival of Mack Daddy 2 on Thursday.
Wilson tests new driver: Mark Wilson tested PING's G25 driver (Grafalloy Tour X shaft) early in the week and picked up a moderate increase (6-8 yards) in distance compared to the PING Anser he'd been using all season. Wilson, currently ranked seventh on the PGA TOUR in driving accuracy (69.46 percent) but 170th in driving distance (275.6 yards), also noticed the G25 was just as, if not more, accurate than his Anser.
Wilson contemplated a driver swap before the first round but ultimately decided to stick with Anser. He'll continue to test the G25 in the future.
Harman goes with R1 Black: One of a handful of players still using TaylorMade's Burner SuperFast driver — Brandt Snedeker is the most notable — Brian Harman tested and switched into TaylorMade's R1 Black at the beginning of the week.
Harmon picked up 2 mph ball speed and reduced his spin by 300 RPM with the new driver. Aside from the increase in ball speed and spin reduction, he also liked how the muted crown graphics on R1 Black set up at address.
Glover adds 130-gram counterbalance grip: Lucas Glover was one of the first players to switch into TaylorMade's Spider Blade at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Unlike the standard Spider Blade that has a 130-gram counterbalance grip, Glover kept a traditional grip on the putter for the better part of two months.
But following Justin Rose's win at the U.S. Open with Spider Blade, Glover decided to give the weightier counterbalance grip a try and noted that he was rolling the ball even better with the additional weight in the handle.
Williams pulls 2-iron for new 5-wood: Former No. 1-ranked amateur Chris Williams — the 22-year-old turned pro and signed on with Nike Golf at the Travelers Championship — was only carrying one fairway wood last week at TPC River Highlands, choosing to use a Nike VR Pro Combo 2-iron instead.
However, his bag setup changed one week later at the AT&T National following a fairway wood test session between Nike's VR_S Covert and VR Pro Limited Edition. Williams noted that he liked the distance and shot dispersion he was getting with both fairway woods, but that the VR_S Covert fit his eye.
Williams pulled the VR Pro Combo 2-iron and replaced it with a 19-degree VR_S Covert 5-wood on Thursday.