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November 10 2011

9:28 PM

Tinkering Tiger and an ace for The King

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Tiger Woods had a new Nike iron in the bag during a practice round at the Australian Open.

By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM

Tiger Woods tinkered with some new clubs prior to this week’s Australian Open.

Woods, a longtime loyalist to Nike’s Victory Red blades, tried out a VR-S Forged long iron in Sydney. It’s a perimeter cavity-back weighted iron that allows for higher trajectories, which in turn helps shots stop quicker on fast greens.

The VR-S Forged irons are not available to the public yet.

FOREVER THE KING: Arnold Palmer made his 20th career hole-in-one at Bay Hill earlier this week at his Bay Hill Club and Lodge, using a new Callaway Razr XF 5-iron for the first time. He holed out from 163 yards in a fivesome of friends that had 50 aces collectively.

CALC’S CHANGE: At the Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship last week, Mark Calcavecchia had a pair of new Ping G20 drivers overnighted from the company in Arizona after an errant first-round drive where he thought he felt the clubhead come loose.

“I thought the head was loose, but it was probably my head that’s loose,” Calcavecchia joked.

The always-quotable Calc later riffed about driver specs when pressed for more details about the replacement G20.

“They gave me one I think with a little less torque. It's got some numbers on the side of it. I get this question all the time from amateurs. What torque do you use? How many grams? I say, I don't know. I grab a driver, if it feels good, I'll go with it. I'm really not technically up on specifications.

“The other one said 60, which I know is the grams. It says 3.4, then stiff. This one says 2.9. I'm guesstimating that's the torque. It feels a little bit stiffer, so maybe the torque is less or more. I don't know.”

FROM THE BOSS: Loren Roberts of the Champions Tour, long one of the best putters in the game, was asked last week at TPC Harding Park about whether he had ever picked up a long putter.

“I was in my hometown of St. Louis, one of the members there had one. I messed around with it a little bit,” said Roberts, the 1994 PGA TOUR leader in putting average. “If it was outside 20 feet, I couldn’t get it near the hole. And I’m a speed putter. I don’t think it would work for me.”

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