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Equipment Report
  • Worldwide equipment roundup: Hero World Challenge

  • Rickie Fowler used his Cobra F8+ driver to propel a final-round 61 at the Hero World Challenge (Jonathan Wall/PGATOUR.COM)Rickie Fowler used his Cobra F8+ driver to propel a final-round 61 at the Hero World Challenge (Jonathan Wall/PGATOUR.COM)

As the face of Cobra Golf, it seems fitting that Rickie Fowler would be the first professional to put the company's new F8+ woods in play at the Hero World Challenge.

Fowler inserted an 8-degree F8+ driver with a 43.5-inch Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 70X shaft, along with a 13-degree F8+ 3-wood and 17.5-degree F8+ Baffler 5-wood. The 12-gram weight in Fowler's driver is set in the front position for low spin and a penetrating ball flight.

While it could be merely a cosmetic change, Fowler also appeared to have prototype irons in play. The irons have a slightly darker finish and updated stamping when compared to what he's used in the past. It's possible the muscleback could the '18 King Forged MB.

Tiger's new gear: Tiger Woods' return to professional golf came with a few new clubs in the bag. To combat the blustery conditions at Albany, Woods replaced his TaylorMade M1 5-wood with a Tour Preferred UDI 2-iron for approach shots into the par 5's. The utility iron was outfitted with a lightweight Project X PXi 7.0 shaft that differs from the True Temper Dynamic Gold X100's he plays in his irons and wedges.

Woods also replaced his TaylorMade M2 3-wood with a 15-degree M1. For most of his career, Woods has played non-adjustable, glued hosel fairway woods, but with the introduction of M1, both of the 14-time major winner's woods feature an adjustable hosel.

Dustin Johnson reunited with Tour Preferred MB: Dustin Johnson's search to find a suitable replacement for his TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB '14 irons lasted just one start. The former U.S. Open champion broke in a set of TaylorMade P730's at the WGC-HSBC Champions event but quickly returned to his trusty blades in the Bahamas.

Johnson rarely has trouble changing out most of the equipment in his bag, but when it comes to his irons, he's had difficulty locating a better option.

Prior to his iron switch in China, the last time Johnson made a change was during the 2016 Genesis Open when he played PSi Tour for two starts before returning to Tour Preferred MB at the WGC-Dell Match Play.

It remains to be seen if Johnson will give P730 another look during the winter break, or if he'll continue on with the blades that helped him win his first major championship.

Scott goes back to long putter: It's rare that the PGA TOUR Champions is the impetus behind an equipment switch on the PGA TOUR. But thanks to the success Bernard Langer and Scott McCarron enjoyed last season on the over-50 circuit with the long putter, Adam Scott decided to give his old Scotty Cameron Futura X long another try at the Australian PGA Championship.

“It was actually pointed out to me that this year they both recorded the best ever putting stats since stats have been kept. Both of them beat the old best,” Scott said. “You know, I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or if they had just a really good year, but maybe they’ve found the best way to putt.’’

The anchor ban put long putters like Scott's Futura X on the shelf at the outset of the 2016 season, forcing him to use a conventional-length model for much of the past two years. Langer was forced to deal with a similar fate, but instead of going away from the long putter, he chose to "float" the club, which ensures the grip is never anchored to his body at any point during the stroke.

Scott tried a similar method in Australia but missed out on the weekend with the putter that helped him win the 2013 Masters and reach the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.

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