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The Tour Report
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September 26 2012

6:14 PM

Snedeker: New shafts, older driver

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Brandt Snedeker was second in driving accuracy last week with a four-year-old driver.
By PGA TOUR staff Chances are, you've never heard of Aerotech, but this small Washington golf company had a major impact on the 2012 PGA TOUR season. Graphite-shafted irons are still a vast minority on TOUR, but the numbers are growing, especially among some of the bigger names in the sport. Matt Kuchar was among the first to convert -- he switched a couple of years ago -- and he brought Brandt Snedeker along with him. Carl Pettersson also had a career year while playing the shafts, which have a graphite core, but reinforcing steel fiber lacing the shaft surface. Aerotech began making golf shafts in 1994, but it wasn't until Matt Kuchar's big year in 2010 that the company started to grab an important piece of the PGA TOUR market. A big reason the shafts have grown in popularity on TOUR is that they are closely matched to the extra-stiff steel shafts that have dominated for decades. Instead of a stereotypical light, whippy feel, Aerotech has produced shafts that are heavier, stiffer, and stronger than the graphite iron shafts that were seen on TOUR starting in the 1990s. Both Kuchar and Snedeker play a 95-gram SteelFiber model, which are still considerably lighter than standard extra-stiff steel shafts, which are 25-35 grams heavier. SNEDEKER KEEPS IT SIMPLE: Snedeker added the high-tech shafts to his irons, but that is about it. He won the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola -- and the FedExCup that went with it -- with years-old technology in his driver and putter. Snedeker plays Bridgestone J40 irons -- the same irons Kuchar used to win THE PLAYERS -- but the rest of his bag is a hodgepodge. Snedeker might be the most finicky player on TOUR when it comes to drivers. In short, he hates to change them. He used the TaylorMade 425 R7 long after other players upgraded, and he was using a 2008-era TaylorMade Burner Superfast TP early this season before it was damaged. He switched to a first-edition R11 (not the R11s), but eventually found a replacement for the Superfast. As for his putter, it's even older. Snedeker has used the same Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie heel-shafted mallet for years.
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