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July 7 2013

9:37 PM

Equipment Roundup: The Greenbrier

Tommy Gainey was one of six players to use Callaway's FT Optiforce driver at The Greenbrier Classic.
(Trotman/Getty Images)

By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider

Callaway's FT Optiforce made its debut at The Greenbrier Classic with six players putting the driver in play. 

Even though the lightweight driver — designed to help increase a golfer’s clubhead speed and ball speed — comes in two versions (440 cc and 460 cc), Gary Woodland, Tommy Gainey, Stuart Appleby and Bobby Gates all opted for the smaller 440 cc head that features a lower center of gravity positioned forward in the club to produce a lower, penetrating ball flight.

Gainey, who opened the tournament with a bogey-free 8-under 62, reached a 1.52 smash factor (ball speed relative to clubhead speed) with the driver during testing and averaged 300.4 yards off the tee (21st in the field) for the week. 

Even more impressive was the fact that Gainey finished the tournament T2 in driving accuracy (85.71 percent) after coming into the week ranked 150th (56.17 percent) in the category for the season. Gainey also raved about the driver during interviews early in the tournament.

Woodland finished the week ranked ninth in driving distance (307.8 yards) and hit FT Optiforce significantly farther than the Callaway prototype driver he had been using during testing. 

Updated version of Tight Lies spotted: One of the most popular fairway woods ever designed is on the comeback trail, after eight-time major winner Tom Watson and 14-time PGA TOUR winner Kenny Perry were spotted working with an updated version of Adams Golf's Tight Lies fairway wood early in the week. 

Like the original Tight Lies that debuted in 1995, the updated version still features a shallow, low-profile design and the five white lines on the back of the shaft that were a staple of the first model. 

Of course, the club will also be easy to get airborne. Updated features on the 133 cc head include a cut-thru slot design — a slot exists on the crown and the sole of the club — that increases the spring-like effect of the fairway wood. 

The 16-degree version of the new Tight Lies will be available at retail on August 15; three other lofts (3-, 5-, 7-wood) will follow shortly thereafter. A lower-spinning TOUR version will be available in September. 

Putter changes: Following Justin Rose's lead — Rose used a counterbalanced putter to win the U.S. Open — Troy Matteson decided to give TaylorMade's counterbalanced Spider Blade a try and finished the week T29 (0.526) in strokes gained putting. 

Peter Hanson also made a change at The Greenbrier Classic, switching back to a TaylorMade Ghost Spider S putter he had in the bag at the U.S. Open. 

Divots: Having played a TaylorMade R11 driver for much of the season, David Hearn became the latest player to switch to TaylorMade's RBZ Stage 2 driver (9.5 degrees) after seeing improved numbers with the new build during testing. Jason Gore also put a 9-degree TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 driver in the bag.

 

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