Not usually one to make equipment changes, Steve Stricker went back to Titleist's AP2 714 irons (3-PW) -- he used them at the end of last season before returning to his old AP2 710's -- at the Shell Houston Open.
With the grooves wearing out on his AP2 710 irons, Stricker made a trip to Titleist's Oceanside Test Facility in California the week prior to the tournament to do some iron testing.
"I was able to go to Titleist and get on the launch monitors and check it out and see, check out some different shafts, and so I needed a new set," Stricker said. "My clubs were wearing out, the grooves were wearing out. I thought this would be a good time to put new ones in play."
Stricker said the AP2 714 irons went through the turf easier and more efficiently that his previous set. Although he kept them at standard length and loft, he made one adjustment, switching from KBS's C-Taper (S+ Flex) shaft to True Temper's Project X 6.5, noting that he liked the kick the new shafts provided.
Holmes adds SLDR MiniDriver: One week after Troy Matteson put two TaylorMade SLDR MiniDrivers (10.5 and 12 degrees) in play at the Valero Texas Open, J.B. Holmes became the latest to use the unreleased 260-cubic centimeter club.
Holmes replaced his driving iron with a 10.5-degree SLDR MiniDriver (11 degrees finished loft built to 43.5 inches) that had a stronger flight for the windy conditions at the Golf Club of Houston. Holmes used the club on holes where the wanted additional control and didn't need the additional length off the tee.
Holmes, who finished T-12, averaged 304.5 yards (15th in the field) and hit 55.36 percent of the fairways (T-58) for the week.
Oosthuizen's woods and wedges: It's not often that Louis Oosthuizen makes multiple equipment changes at the same tournament. Oosthuizen replaced the Fujikura Motore Speeder Tour Spec 6.2 shaft with Fujikura's new Speeder 757 in his PING i25 driver.
He also replaced his old G5 fairway wood -- PING launched the G5 line in 2005 -- with PING's i25 (14 degrees) model. He also swapped his PING S56 3-iron for a 19-degree i25 hybrid, and shelved his three Tour-S wedges for Gorge Tour.
Driver changes for Haas, Compton: Bill Haas and Erik Compton made adjustments to their Titleist drivers. Haas wanted to knock spin off his Titleist 913D2 (8.5 degrees) driver and opted for a new Aldila Rogue 70X shaft with a lighter screw and B1 setting on the Titleist SureFit hosel. The changes lowered the spin and gave Haas the ball flight he preferred.
Compton wanted additional distance and accuracy with his Titleist 913D3 (9.5 degrees) driver. He switched out his Graphite Design Tour AD BB 7X shaft for a Graphite Design Tour AD Di 6X, and moved the Titleist SureFit hosel to C1. Compton put the driver in play for a practice round on Tuesday and felt comfortable enough with the shaft and new hosel setting to put it in play.
Bradley's new additions: The Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 61X driver shaft Keegan Bradley had been using since his 2011 PGA Championship victory was shelved at the Shell Houston Open for a Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 60X shaft in his Srixon Z545 driver.
Bradley also replaced his Cleveland Launcher FL (14 degrees) with a Cleveland 588 (15.5 degrees; Miyazaki Kusala Blue 83X shaft) fairway wood.
Uihlein adds fairway wood, replaces shaft: Peter Uihlein replaced his Titleist 712U 2-iron with a Titleist 913Fd (18 degrees), and put a Fujikura Tour Spec 9.2X shaft — the same shaft in his new 18-degree fairway wood — in his 913Fd (13.5 degrees) fairway wood. Both clubs were set in the A1 Titleist SureFit hosel setting.
Divots: Rory McIlroy put a new 59-degree Nike VR Forged wedge with fresh grooves in the bag in preparation for the Masters. ... Angel Cabrera tested all three sole grinds on his 62-degree PING Gorge Tour wedge before settling on the Standard Sole. ... Padraig Harrington added a 12-degree SLDR MiniDriver.