Putter changes don't always produce positive results, but in Seung-Yul Noh's case, moving from Nike's Method 006 putter to a Method 005 allowed him to pick up his first PGA TOUR victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Ranked 121st on TOUR in strokes gained/putting, Noh switched from a blade putter to the Method 005 — a mallet model that features polymer metal groove technology in the face that dampens impact vibration and provides audible feedback for optimum distance control.
According to Nike Tour reps, Noh liked the way the putter looked, the extra head weight — it was slightly heavier than his Method 006 — and how it lined up at address.
Along with recording his first PGA TOUR win, Noh finished the week 11th in strokes gained-putting.
Adams adds Tour version of DHy Pro hybrid: Adams launched a Tour version of the recently released DHy Pro hybrid at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Adams Tour reps noted that the Tour version has a thinner topline and less mass on the back of the head than the retail version. The DHy Pro features a center of gravity higher in the head, allowing more penetrating trajectory with less spin. Josh Teater started using a 24-degree DHy Pro Tour hybrid in New Orleans.
Odyssey putter change for Gainey: Tommy Gainey posted his best finish of the season (T-8) with a new Odyssey Tank Cruiser #1. Gainey started using the putter during the final round of the RBC Heritage — he closed with 3-under 68 — and kept it in the bag at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Gainey's putter had two 10-gram weights in the bottom of the head, and a 30-gram weight plug in the butt end of the shaft.
Svoboda embraces counterbalancing: Andrew Svoboda (T-2) is one of a number of players on TOUR that currently uses a counterbalanced putter — a model that employs a heavier grip for added stability during the stroke. Svoboda uses Boccieri Golf's Secret Grip Classic model (100 grams) on his Odyssey Versa Metal X Milled #1.
Svoboda also does something that's a bit more uncommon: he counterbalances his fairway woods, hybrids and irons with Boccieri's 92-gram Secret Grip. While most tend to shy away from adding more weight to their woods and irons — Jack Nicklaus and Segio Garcia counterbalance the clubs in their bag — Svoboda went the opposite direction and added them to most of the clubs in his bag.
With the exception of his driver and wedges, the rest of the clubs feature a significantly heavier grip. Svoboda put the Secret Grip on his irons and putter at the Honda Classic, and added them to his hybrid and fairway woods at Zurich.
Justin Rose changes drivers: Justin Rose switched from a 9.5-degree TaylorMade SLDR 460 to the 430-cubic centimeter SLDR head (10.5 degrees) after seeing increased ball speeds, a higher launch angle and less spin on Trackman. The improvements gave him an additional 8 yards of carry.
Rose put the driver in the neutral loft setting with the sliding SLDR weight two clicks to the fade position.
Padraig Harrington's Wilson irons: One month after Padraig Harrington tested a set of Wilson FG Tour 100 blades (KBS Tour-V 125 shafts) at the Valero Texas Open, the three-time major winner officially put them in play at TPC Louisiana.
With new irons in the bag, Harrington finished T-67 and played the weekend for the first time since the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
New putter for Billy Horschel: Billy Horschel holed a 27-footer on the 18th hole to win his maiden TOUR title at last year's Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The putter he used to make the putt was a PING Redwood Piper S — a putter that wasn't in the bag when Horschel teed off on Thursday.
Horschel decided to switch things up at the RBC Heritage, adding PING's Karsten TRB 60 putter to the bag.
"I finally started rolling the ball better, hitting my lines with this new Ping Karsten TRB 60," Horschel said, "so I'm excited about that, and now it's just keep committing to it and hopefully the ball will find its way in the hole because there's not much more I can do. I'm doing everything I can, and it's just when they start falling, hopefully they fall in bunches like they did last year, because I did putt really well for the first six, seven months of the year."
Even with the new putter, Horschel failed to get anything going on the greens and missed the cut for the fourth time this season.
Chopra first to use PING Rapture fairway wood:Daniel Chopra became the first player to put PING's Rapture fairway wood (Fujikura 757 shaft) in play on the PGA TOUR after noticing an improvement in distance and forgiveness when compared to his previous fairway wood.
The deeper-faced, multi-material fairway wood (219cc) has a Ti-8-1-1 titanium body and beta-titanium face that's 30 percent stronger than standard titanium and enlarges the hitting surface for increased forgiveness and ball speeds.
PING engineers also added a tungsten sole plate to boost MOI. The plate is almost 25 percent of head mass and shifts the CG lower in the head, improving forgiveness and lowering spin.
Divots: TaylorMade had 12 players in the field using one of the company's drivers with 12 degrees of loft. ... Charles Howell III switched from PING's Ketsch putter to Odyssey's Tank Cruiser #7. ... John Peterson used a new Odyssey White Hot Pro #7CS. ... Peter Hanson transitioned into TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB irons (6-PW) but kept his RocketBladez 4- and 5-iron in the bag. ... Sang Moon Bae switched from his longtime Odyssey Tour Milled #1 putter to an Odyssey Versa 90 #7H (B/W/B). Bae made the change because he was aiming it better with the new flatstick. ... Patrick Reed carried a new Odyssey Versa #6 (W/B/W).