By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Sang-Moon Bae is in the midst of a sensational rookie season on the PGA TOUR, with zero missed cuts in seven stroke-play starts, a quarterfinals effort at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and a spot in the Transitions Championship playoff last week won by Luke Donald.
Fans of the 25-year-old South Korean might have trouble building a bag like his, however. Bae’s driver isn’t available in the United States, a rarity considering equipment manufacturers love to promote TOUR players’ equipment to consumers.
Bae used a Callaway Legacy Black driver at the Copperhead course, finishing T19 in driving distance. The Legacy Black is one of the company’s high-end offerings in Asia and Australia, with a forged titanium face and traditional pear shape.
KINGSPEAK: Arnold Palmer had his annual session with the media Wednesday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, and offered his two cents on the belly putter.
“Well, you're opening up a big subject there. Of course, I don't think there's ever been a club made that I know of that has not been in my bag,” Palmer said, drawing laughs. “May not stay long, and the long putter is one of them. I'm not a fan of long putters.
“I suppose that if I were playing, and a long putter, being totally legal, and would help my game, I might use it. But I'm opposed to it personally. I just think that there shouldn't be a place in the game for anchoring a club against the body, which is what the long putter does.
“So, technically, and principally, I am against it. But would I use it if it were going to enhance my game in the competition? I might.”
COMING BACK: For Jim Furyk, another part of the playoff at the Transitions, the event marked his highest finish since winning the 2010 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and FedExCup title.
He credited a pair of Callaway products for helping get him back on track, the Razr Fit driver and Hex Tour ball.
“I switched drivers at the end of last year in December. Started working with a Callaway driver right before Chevron (World Challenge) and enjoyed -- I liked what I saw. Started working with a different golf ball with actually Phil (Mickelson), when I played with him at The Presidents Cup, started using his golf ball and really liked it.
“Basically what I was seeing was a combination of the two products, I was creating more spin on the golf ball, and I got away from that a little bit last year. The ball launched a little bit higher and had a little less spin; I could hit it far, but I'm not a high-spin guy and because I'm a guy that wants to hit a lot of shots, hit it right-to-left, left-to-right, hit it low, hit it high, and I need spin to do that and that's how you control the golf ball.
Last year he played with a TaylorMade ball and driver, saying multiple fitting sessions and product demos simply didn’t stick and that the parting with the company was “amicable”
“I had made some mistakes and in what I was doing with my equipment and I made mistakes fitting myself equipment that I could have done better. And it was a product of maybe trying to get a little bit longer, maybe trying to find new ways to improve and maybe then hurting my strengths, if that makes sense. Trying to make my weaknesses better but in doing so, hurting your strengths, which is rule No. 1. You don't do that.”
WINNER’S BAG: Luke Donald at the Transitions
DRIVER: TaylorMade RocketBallz (9.5 degrees) with a UST Mamiya Accra XC65 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade Rocketballz (15 degrees)
HYBRID: Mizuno Hi Fli CLK (17 degrees)
IRONS: Mizuno MP-59 (3-PW)
WEDGES: Mizuno MP T-11 (54, 60 degrees)
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot XG #7
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x