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Equipment Report

June 15 2013

1:49 PM

Mailbag: Phil's putter, the new R1

Phil Mickelson has used a blade-style, heel-shafted putter for years. (Kinnaird/Getty Images)

In this week's U.S. Open edition of the Equipment Report Mailbag, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider Jonathan Wall discusses Phil Mickelson's Odyssey Versa putter, players switching to TaylorMade's R1 Black at the U.S. Open and KBS's C-Taper shaft. 

Have a question about the latest golf equipment or what the pros are playing? Send a tweet to @jonathanrwall.

@jonathanrwall @usopengolf what putter does Mickelson use?

Wall: Phil Mickelson's been getting a lot of airtime this week at the U.S. Open, and rightfully so. He's tied for the lead after 36 holes and has made a number of clutch putts with his Odyssey Versa #9 (white-black-white). 
Mickelson started working with the Odyssey Versa #9 at the Northern Trust Open and went back and forth between the putter and an Odyssey Black Series Tour Design #9 that he used to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open. 
The 34.5-inch putter has a toe-weighted, heel-shafted, flanged blade with a long hosel and half-shaft offset. If you want to get even more specific, the putter has 3.5 degrees of loft and a 75-degree lie angle. 
He made a couple of adjustment to the putter with Odyssey's principal designer Austie Rollinson before going back to the Versa #9 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. 
Mickelson added a custom sight line to the putter — similar to the sight line he had on his Black Series Tour Design #9 — and went with a new SuperStroke "Slim 55" grip that had a diameter of 1.3 inches. The putter has been in the bag ever since. 
@jonathanrwall. Are there many guys using c-taper KBS shafts in their irons?
Wall: KBS's C-Taper is a low-spinning, low-launching shaft that ranges in weight from 110g to 130g — depending on flex — and is a pretty popular model on the PGA TOUR. 
Chris DiMarco, Retief Goosen, Peter Hanson and Pat Perez are some of the notable names currently using the shaft at the moment. 
If you have an interest in using C-Taper but can't swing it as fast as a TOUR player, KBS recently released a C-Taper Lite shaft that has a similar feel and efficient energy transfer as the original C-Taper. The difference is the Lite version has a profile that's much easier to use for players with slower swing speeds. 

Wall: The week before the U.S. Open, six players switched to R1 Black at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. That's a pretty impressive number when you consider 32 R1 drivers (white and black combined) were in play last week and the black version was making its PGA TOUR debut.
You almost never see guys mess with their bag setup the week of a major; however, two players decided to put R1 Black in play in the days leading up to the first round of the U.S. Open. Jason Day requested a driver on Tuesday and tested it on the range and course Wednesday before putting it in the bag. 
Day picked up about 3-5 yards, on average, with the new driver. The slight increase in ball speed and club speed — which led to the increase in distance — is interesting because aside from the new paint job, the white and black drivers are identical in performance. 
Former British Open champion Darren Clarke also switched to R1 Black. Expect to see more players test the driver and possibly change in the coming week.
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