January 8 2014
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Jason Dufner arrived at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions with new clubs in the bag, including a Tour-only Titleist 913D2 "Dot" driver (9.5 degrees) that replaced a three-year-old 910D2 -- Dufner cracked the face on the driver at the Shark Shootout -- he used to win the 2013 PGA Championship.
The other new addition was a Tour-only Scotty Cameron Squareback putter that featured two adjustable 15-gram weights in the sole and a Circle T sole plate that allows the weight to be concentrated in the heel, toe and face. It also increases MOI for better performance on off-center putts, while enhancing sound and feel.
While the exact version Dufner's using won't be coming to retail, Scotty Cameron is expected to do a limited release of the Squareback Limited (750 pieces) in mid-January.
Thompson switches to PING i25: It didn't take Michael Thompson long to find a groove with his new PING i25 driver. Thompson, who won The Honda Classic to book his place in the winners-only field, switched to PING's latest driver -- he also switched shafts to Grafalloy's Prolaunch Red Speedcoat -- and led the field in driving accuracy for the week (86.67 percent).
Dustin Johnson adds new irons, ball: Dustin Johnson won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions last year with a new driver (R1) and set of irons (RocketBladez Tour) in the bag.
It seemed fitting that Johnson arrived at Kapalua two new gear additions -- a set of TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB irons (3-PW) and the yet-to-be-released Tour Preferred X ball.
Johnson became the first to switch to the new MB irons that feature refinements to the head shape and less sole camber. Although Johnson saw the irons for the first time at The TOUR Championship, he held off on making the change official so he could get acclimated to the irons during the offseason.
The Tour Preferred X ball he added to the bag -- Brian Gay also started using it at the event -- is a 5-layer model that has an even softer cover than the company's Lethal ball.
New ball for Callaway staffers: Callaway's new Speed Regime 3 ball was put in play by staffers Sang-Moon Bae and Patrick Reed.
The five-piece ball is geared towards golfers with driver swing speeds over 105 miles per hour and has a dual mantle with a HEX pattern that reduces drag at high speeds, without sacrificing low speed lift. Minimizing drag allows the ball to have a more boring trajectory for increased distance and control.
The Speed Regime 3 is expected to be Callaway's most played ball model on the PGA TOUR this season.
Harris English switches to Callaway: Two-time PGA TOUR winner Harris English was the most notable name in the field carrying a new staff bag. The former PING staffer switched to Callaway during the offseason, agreeing to terms on a multi-year deal.
While English decided to keep his PING fairway woods, he did have Callaway's new X2 Hot driver, RAZR X MB irons and Mack Daddy 2 wedges. English used the wedges to win the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Divots: Ryan Moore, Ken Duke and D.A. Points all switched to TaylorMade's JetSpeed driver ... Webb Simpson and Jonas Blixt became the latest players to transition into Titleist's 2013 Pro V1x. Simpson had been playing the 2011 model, while Blixt had been using the 2007 model ... Patrick Reed switched to Callaway's new Big Bertha Alpha driver.