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September 2 2013

9:51 PM

Mickelson goes back to driver

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Phil Mickelson used a Callaway FT Optiforce 440cc driver at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider

Five months after Phil Mickelson swapped his Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme driver for Phrankenwood at the Masters, the five-time major champion decided to go with a new option off the tee — employing Callaway's new FT Optiforce 440cc during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

According to Callaway officials, Mickelson tested FT Optiforce (9.5 degrees) with two different shaft options on Thursday. The first driver had a Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki K 70X shaft, the same model Mickelson had been using in 3Deep and RAZR Fit Xtreme.

The other shaft he tested was Oban's Kiyoshi Black, a low spin, mid-launch trajectory shaft that has an extra stiff butt section and only 2.9 degrees of torque.

Even though Mickelson reportedly tested the Fubuki and Kiyoshi Black, he appeared to have a different shaft in the driver on Sunday.

He also adjusted the OptiFit hosel to -1N (neutral face setting, down one degree in loft to 8.5 degrees) and added lead tap to the sole.

The 440cc version — FT Optiforce also comes in a larger 460cc head — Mickelson used is designed for players that don't need the extra forgiveness, and has an aerodynamic profile that reduces drag during the swing by 20 percent.

The center of gravity is also positioned forward in the club to produce a lower, penetrating ball flight. The driver comes with a 9.5-degree standard setting that can be adjusted down to 8.5 degrees or up to 10.5 and 11.5 degrees.

Up until this week, Mickelson had been using a Phrankenwood — an 8.5 degree driver that acted more like a fairway wood and allows Mickelson to get more rollout on his drivers — and/or X Hot 3Deep — a taller-faced version of the X Hot Pro fairway wood — as his primary option off the tee.

Mickelson (T41) shot 71 on Sunday, averaged 279.3 yards off the tee and hit 64 percent of his fairways.

 

 

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