April 13, 2015
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Phil Mickelson put his new PM Grind wedge into play last wee at the Masters. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson came up short in his bid for a fourth Green Jacket, but he still managed to pull off some highlight-reel short-game shots during the final round with his Callaway Mack Daddy PM-Grind wedges.
Mickelson was instrumental in the design of the new wedge that features a more pronounced toe and 39 percent more groove area across the face. The high-toe design allowed the five-time major winner to hit his patented flop shot at last year's PGA Championship without having to worry about missing the ball completely in the rough.
Prior to the PGA Championship, Mickelson asked Callaway chief club designer Roger Cleveland to design a wedge that not only had a higher toe to hit flop shots but the company's U-Grind sole and Mack Daddy 2 grooves.
Accomplishing the design took some serious work. Instead of taking a standard Mack Daddy 2 and altering the toe, Cleveland had to remove the top half of the wedge and weld on a piece of carbon steel to create the custom high toe.
"When Phil swings hard and opens the face, he sometimes feels like he can go right under the ball," said Cleveland. "So he wants to feel like he has the confidence to know there's a face up there that when he does hit that shot it's going to strike ball."
Mickelson put the wedge in play at Valhalla and kept it in the bag, before adding two more PM-Grind wedges (56 and 64 degrees) at the Shell Houston Open.
The high toe shape is the biggest difference between the standard Mack Daddy 2 and the Mickelson-inspired version. The toe features Mack Daddy 2 grooves that go all the way to the extreme toe to increase surface area on a variety of open-faced shots.
Along with the new toe design, Mickelson requested the center of gravity (CG) be shifted higher in the head to increase spin. To give him the extra bite he was looking for, Cleveland drilled four weight ports in the back of the head and added the weight to the toe, moving the CG even higher in the head.
"One of the things Phil knows because of his curiosity is that when you move weight, you increase the spin," Cleveland said. "Even though it's on such a lofted angle, he wanted that. But at the same time you're adding a bunch of weight so you need to take it out in someplace."
While the wedge was designed for open-faced shots, Cleveland noted that it was actually another short game shot in Mickelson's arsenal that sold him on the wedge.
"The shot that sort of validated the wedge for him wasn't the flop shot," Cleveland said. "It was actually the pitch shot that allowed him to get that low checker with consistent distance and spin."
Callaway's Mack Daddy PM-Grind wedge retails for $130 and will be available May 15 in four lofts (56, 58, 60 and 64 degrees).