By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Graeme McDowell had some driver drama early in the week at Abu Dhabi, and shared the details with his 285,000 followers on Twitter.
Played beautifully today. Controlled the ball well. No joy on greens. Then my driver cracked! Hit it 200y out of middle on 17 – aqua #double
Never happened to me before, cracking my driver like that. The head just came apart. Cleveland Classic is in the bag tomorrow. #thefuture
McDowell was true to his word – Cleveland’s new retro-look Classic driver went in his bag, and he finished T3 in the event. McDowell was a Callaway staff player in 2010, when he won the U.S. Open, before moving to Srixon last year. Srixon is a subsidiary of Cleveland, so connect the dots.
After the cracking incident, a fan asked McDowell on Twitter how many Callaway clubs he still carried, and G-Mac answered “as of tomorrow. None. Unless you count my putter. Odyssey.”
MORE RETRO: OK, the metalwoods Brandt Snedeker used in winning the Farmers Insurance Open aren’t completely old-school, but could be considered so in the TaylorMade family.
Snedeker carries a Burner SuperFast driver and 3-wood – the black-headed ones of a couple years ago, not the ballyhooed whites that took the game by storm last year. There are plenty of TaylorMade white woods on the PGA TOUR, including the new Rocketballz models, but very few black.
NEW SCOTTY: At last week’s PGA Merchandise Show, Scotty Cameron displayed an adjustable long putter in Titleist’s booth. With a twist of a knob, the shaft can extend up to six inches to perfectly fit someone for a long putter. For now it’s a fitting club rather than a playing club, as it has not been approved for competition by the USGA.
The grip on the putter is equally notable, and legal now – a 25-inch one-piece grip, different from the split grips that are seen on full long putters. True to Cameron style, it has the designer’s letters running vertically on the shaft, but Cameron notes that it’s an alignment aid. Get your hands comfortable, take note of the letter, and set up the same way every time.
WELL FIT: Ernie Els is having no issues with his Callaway Razr Fit driver, at the Farmers he averaged 304.6 yards off the tee and is leading the TOUR in down-the-middle accuracy – he averages just 14 feet, six inches off the center line (yes, ShotLink measures this ). But as he explained in his blog , it’s still all about the putting.
BITS: John Huh, 21, turned heads with a T3 at Farmers in his second PGA TOUR start. He’s a PING staff player and was T3 in putts per round for the week with a Scottsdale Series Wolverine C putter. … Kenny Perry’s new Adams bag (he switched manufacturers in the offseason after years with TaylorMade) features the company’s Redline irons, its game-improvement set. Though his bag has conventional 3- and 4-irons, not the hybrids that most amateurs purchase. The Champions Tour regular is playing this week at the Waste management Phoenix Open. … At the PGA Merchandise Show, 213 PGA professionals tested their putting prowess using PING’s iPhone putter app. The four best played a Skins Game for $5,000, with Chris Hodge winning. He’s the head pro at River Falls Plantation in Duncan, S.C.