By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Charlie Beljan’s incredible win at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic will be long remembered for how he turned a Friday panic attack into a smooth (all things considered) winning weekend, though it was also a pretty darned good exhibition of golf.
Beljan had 22 birdies and two eagles over four rounds at the Palm and Magnolia Courses at Disney, and led the field with an average driving distance of 307.4 yards.
Only Bubba Watson outranks Beljan on the PGA TOUR bombers chart this season, but of course to win those long hitters have to cash in the eye-popping drives. Beljan did that at Disney with help from Cleveland’s newest wedge offerings.
The Cleveland 588 Rotex CB boasts three technical elements designed to maximize spin. Tour Zip u-shaped grooves are 16 percent larger (by volume) than those in previous 588 series wedges, plus laser-milled micro grooves on the face increase friction against the ball. Also, the Rotex milling process that forms semicircular, downward-oriented marks create additional roughness on the face for spin on shorter shots.
Also, a cavity-back design spreads more weight to the perimeter of the club to increase forgiveness on mis-hits.
Beljan had 52-, 56- and 60-degree wedges in the bag at Disney in a satin chrome finish; Cleveland also offers the wedges in black pearl. Many loft and bounce options are available.
NEW LUMBER: With the new year always comes splashy new offerings from equipment companies, and a pair of them showed off new drivers in the past week.
Stewart Cink put a Nike VR_S Covert driver into play at Disney, a cavity-back, adjustable driver with an unforgettable red crown. Cavity-back technology, used to create stability and forgiveness, has long been a staple of iron design and Nike is putting it into drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. The driver can also be adjusted independently for loft and face angle.
The VR_S Covert will be available in a regular model at 460cc and a Tour edition at 430cc. Both will be available in February 2013.
Callaway is expanding its Razr Fit line with the Razr Fit Xtreme driver, featuring a re-engineered, rounder face with material added high in the toe. It’s taller and thinner from sole to crown than previous models.
Like previous models, its super-light carbon composite materials are used in the crown.
Interestingly, Callaway is offering its head sizes based off lofts – the 8.5-, 9.5- and 10.5-degree heads are 440cc while the 11.5- and 13-degree heads are 460cc. Callaway research revealed that players with higher-lofted drivers generated more sidespin, so a larger head helps in stability.
Callaway’s new drivers will hit retail in mid-January.
WINNER’S BAG: Charlie Beljan at the
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic:
Driver: Cleveland Classic 290 (Miyazaki B. Asha 5, 9 degrees)
Hybrids: Adams XTD (15 degrees), Srixon Z-TX (20 degrees)
Irons: Cleveland 588 CB (4-PW)
Wedges: Cleveland 588 Rotex CB (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron GoLo
Ball: Srixon Z-Star prototype