April 23, 2018
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Trey Mullinax put his 'windy bag' into play on his way to shooting a course record at Valero. (Getty Images)
One of the most popular driver shafts on TOUR in the last five years is getting a new look. Nearly five years after Aldila's Rogue was introduced at the 2013 U.S. Open, the counter-balanced model received an updated design that should appeal to the stronger player.
Released earlier this season at the Genesis Open, the updated Rogue is slightly stiffer in profile and lower in torque than its predecessor. The reinforced design is partly due to an increase in tensile modulus from 125 million pounds per square inch (MSI) to 130 million pounds per square inch.
Utilizing stiff petroleum-based carbon fiber — the material is normally used for aerospace applications where extreme stiffness and ultra-lightweight materials are required — Aldila was able to increase the overall stiffness of the profile without having to add superfluous weight.
"We tightened up the [cycles per minute] to improve the overall stiffness," said Aldila Tour rep Rusty Estes. "That and lowering torque gives the new shaft a more stable profile. I've noticed a pretty good difference from the 125 and 130 parts. To me, it just feels tighter."
While Estes admitted Reed's win at the Masters with original Rogue parts (driver and fairway) could give 125MSI a slight bump, it's also had a positive effect on the new 130MSI version as well.
Jimmy Walker (3-wood) and Chez Reavie (driver) recently put the new Rogue in play during the Masters while Kevin Chappell added it to his fairway woods (3- and 5-wood) prior to the opening round of the Valero Texas Open.
"Chappell was seeing a slightly flatter flight on the course and during testing," Estes said. "So launch and spin came down. It tightened things up which is something any player is looking for."
Trey's windy bag: Trey Mullinax's bag setup looked decidedly different from pretty much every other player in the field at TPC San Antonio. Due to the blustery conditions at TPC San Antonio, Mullinax employed his "windy bag," which consists of driver and two 3-irons at the top of the set.
The first 3-iron is a PING Crossover with 1 degree less loft than the standard version; the second 3-iron is a game-improvement i200. When combined, they give Mullinax a suitable fairway wood replacement (Crossover) and a long iron that offers a blend of accuracy, forgiveness and control on one of the TOUR's tightest driving courses.
According to PING Tour rep Christian Pena, Mullinax began using the setup earlier this season at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
Spider platinum update: TaylorMade's Spider Tour platinum putter made an appearance in Dustin Johnson's bag at the RBC Heritage. At the Valero Texas Open, additional platinum pieces were on hand for players to test and use on the course.
Five players took putters with them last week, including Jimmy Walker, Chris Stroud and J.J. Henry.
Would appear Jimmy Walker used a TaylorMade Spider Tour Red for the first two rounds at Valero before switching to the platinum version. pic.twitter.com/fpVcfxEUFw— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) April 22, 2018
Walker began the week with Spider Tour Red putter but switched to the platinum version on Saturday. He finished fourth in strokes gained: putting for the week and led the field in the statistical category (plus 5.161) during the final round.
Notes: Valero Texas Open champion Andrew Landry saw immediate results with a new iron shaft setup. ... Joaquin Niemann signed a multi-year equipment deal with PING at the start of the week and then went on to finish solo sixth in his first professional start.
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