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On the range: Wednesday at the 2018 QBE Shootout

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On the range: Wednesday at the 2018 QBE Shootout

    It was an electric morning on the range at the 2018 QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida. Not because of the galleries necessarily, but because of the golf equipment being used and tested.

    Check out the photos below, and the stories behind them.

    Pro-Am clubs

    I call these “pro-am” clubs because you’ll never see these on competition days on the PGA TOUR. That’s not to say they’re bad, either. It’s just always interesting, and often nostalgic, to see what regular golfers, who don’t compete for big bucks every week, decide to bag. Some of these are absolute classics!

    Stricks and Sneds, superstar putters

    Aside from Tiger Woods’ Newport 2, these two putters may be the most long-lasting, well-known putters on TOUR. Stricker’s Odyssey White Hot #2 (top), and Snedeker’s and Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie (bottom) have made a lot of putts and won a lot of trophies, and they’ve been in their respective bags since at least 2012. That was a while ago.

    Jumpman, jumpman

    Harold Varner III and Luke Donald, both Jordan athletes, came onto the Naples range wearing some fire custom Jordan golf shoes. They also both had noteworthy equipment days on the range.

    HVIII was testing out some Wilson Staff equipment, including Wilson blade prototype irons, with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts, and a Wilson Cortex Driver vs. Driver 2 driver with a Fujikura Atmos Black 7TX shaft. After making an adjustment to the driver head weights on the 9-degree head, Varner seemed very pleased, but, will he switch into either product this week? Or is it too soon? We’ll keep an eye on it.

    On the other hand, Luke Donald, who we haven’t seen in competition in a while, was hitting a new Wilson ST190G driver with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue driver shaft.

    Can you guess whose golf bag this is?

    A red Payne Stewart hat headcover and a Cobra wedge with a ridiculous amount of weight added to the heel. If you said anyone other than Bryson Dechmabeau, you would be wrong.


    Bubba Watson, who recently switched into new Ping Blueprint irons and a G400 standard driver, was dialing in his launch conditions on his own custom FlightScope X3. According to a FlightScope rep, Bubba’s version is 2 pounds lighter than the standard version and has a few “customized options.”

    Patty Rust

    Does “PR” stamped on these Apex MB raw irons and Callaway Mack Daddy 4 raw wedges stand for Patrick Rodgers, or for Patty Rust? You be the judge.

    Trust Shot

    At the end of the range, Brandt Snedeker and Billy Horschel were honing their swings. Unbeknownst to them, Gary Woodland was honing his short game, hitting shots directly over their head at times (see the image at the top of this story). Imagine having this amount of trust in your buddy? Yeah right.

    Also, here’s a look at Woodland’s new Wilson proto blades, with a bit of lead tape added to the cavities.

    Rumblin', Stumblin', Bumblin'

    Chris Berman, the longtime ESPN anchor known for his many catchphrases, played in Wednesday’s pro-am, and his golf bag was eye-catching. For headcovers he has “Billy Buffalo,” the Buffalo Bills mascot, a Gnome from his daughter that says “REALLY,” because “she says I always say that when I miss putts,” according to Berman, and a San Francisco Giants logo cover. He also has PXG 0311 irons, a 62-degree PXG 0311 wedge, and TaylorMade Tour Black Spider that’s seen better days.

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