October 26 2011
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
As anyone who has ever read a golf magazine or shopped at a golf store can attest to, equipment manufacturers are quick to tout their products alongside a champion.
Imagine seeing Luke Donald’s name tied to four different companies. That’s how many can stake a claim to the bag of the man who topped the 2011 PGA TOUR money list by virtue of his win at the Fall Series finale, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.
Donald is most closely associated with Mizuno, wearing the company name on his visor and playing their MP-62 irons, plus MP T-11 wedges and a Hi Fli CLK 17-degree hybrid.
But off the tee, he uses a TaylorMade R11 driver, the familiar white model that took the TOUR by storm at the start of the year. He also swings a TaylorMade R9 13-degree 3-wood.
Donald finished No. 1 in Strokes Gained-Putting this year, beating Steve Stricker by a wide margin (.844 to .769). He did that with an Odyssey White Hot XG No. 7, one of the company’s more unusual looking models with its weighted alignment wings extending off the rear of the clubhead. Odyssey is under the Callaway Golf umbrella.
And to top it all off, Donald plays the Titleist ProV1x ball, which puts him in the majority of TOUR pros.
BIG CHANGE: Bob Estes, who finished the season 135th on the money list, made a swing plane change and, as Golf World Monday reported, had to make a wholesale change to his TaylorMade clubs. Technicians reviewed Estes’ divot patterns and found he needed clubs that were two degrees more upright.
That’s a significant change, but it was the right one. Estes finished T28 at Disney, his second-best finish in 12 starts this season.
TWEAKS: Scott Gutschewski and Derek Lamely came to the season finale tied for 35th in driving distance. They both finished in the top 20 at Disney after making adjustments to their Callaway RAZR-Fit drivers, with Gutschewski getting the edge (293.5) over Lamely (290.4) and breaking the tie.
Gutschewski also changed the shafts in his driver and fairway woods to the Nventix Nunchuk GH 2660. As the company explains, the shaft actually resembles the martial arts device of the same name by having two rigid ends and a softer midsection.