March 9 2011
● DIFFERENT CONDITIONS, DIFFERENT PUTTER: With the move to the Florida Swing -- and Bermudagrass -- a couple of weeks ago, Ian Poulter decided to change his putter, moving from a Rife putter to a Scotty Cameron, which he'll continue to use this week at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
"I just fancied a change," Poulter said. "From time to time you just need to change."
The major difference between the Scotty Cameron and the Rife putter is that the Cameron has tiny grooves on the face and the ball comes off the club faster than the Rife -- something that's important on greens rolling at only a 10 1/2 or 11 on the Stimpmeter at TPC Blue Monster at Doral.
"It feels like it's rolling pretty good," Poulter said. "It's just different so I have to get used to it. I'll give it a couple of weeks." -- Brian Wacker
● MAGIC WAND: Rory Sabbatini beamed about his new TaylorMade Ghost 770 putter after winning The Honda Classic. Sounds like it will be as much of a fixture as his new wide-brimmed hats going forward.
“You know, it's actually quite bizarre. I've never quite had as much confidence in a new putter as I have in this one. After picking it up last week down in México and hitting a few putts with it, right away it just felt amazing to me,” said Sabbatini, who ranked T2 in putts per round at PGA National.
“Was doing a little bit of work with it during the week, but obviously not using it during the tournament; and then getting here this week and doing some practice with it, it really just felt phenomenal. I can honestly say I think it was probably one of the smartest decisions I've ever made in my golf game.”
As for how the putter arrived in time for the Honda, that’s a story in itself. Check it out here.
● BACK-TO-BACK: Not only did TaylorMade score with Sabbatini’s putter saga, it also got a second consecutive TOUR win with the R11 white driver.
● DELOFTING: Last week’s high winds at PGA National meant some one-off changes in bags, including Stuart Appleby using a Callaway RAZR Hawk driver with 7.5 degrees of loft, lower than his usual. He finished in a tie for 10th.
● UPGRADE: As David Dusek wrote on Golf.com, Zach Johnson has the new Titleist ProV1x in his bag this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He had been using the 2009 model.
● FREE STUFF? MAYBE: Remember last year when Callaway ran a promotion where buyers of a new Callaway driver could get it free if Phil Mickelson won the Masters? Srixon is getting into the act this year with a golf ball giveaway centered around Graeme McDowell’s chances at Augusta National. Read about it here.
Of course you might recall that Mickelson did win at Augusta, and consequently Callaway ended up giving away more than a million bucks’ worth of drivers. –John Schwarb