Patrick Reed waits to tee off on the 15th hole during the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Photo: Stan Badz/Getty Images
With a 72-hole score of four-under 284, 23-year-old Patrick Reed replaced Tiger Woods as the youngest winner in World Golf Championship history, defeating Jamie Donaldson and Bubba Watson by one stroke to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral. With the victory, Reed joins Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia as the only players to have won at least three PGA Tour events before turning 25. Here's a look at the clubs Patrick Reed used to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship:
Driver: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha (Fujikura Fuel 75x), 9 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Big Bertha, 16 degrees
Irons (3-4): Callaway X-Forged 13;
Irons (5-PW): Callaway RAZR X MB
Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey Metal-X Milled #6
Ball: Callaway Speed Regime 3+
It has apparently been an easy transition for tour players from Ping's i20 irons to the new i25, a progressively designed line that alters blade length, sole size and even the width of the cavity's stabilizer bars through the set.
Of the staff players who have switched, Kirk Triplett won with them a few weeks ago on the Champions Tour, and Azahara Munoz was runner-up in Singapore on the LPGA Tour. Updates include a shift in the center of gravity on the long irons (slightly back) and short irons (slightly forward) to optimize performance.
The i25 ($800, set of eight) also has a 10-gram tungsten weight low in the toe and a softened sole relief to make the club forgiving enough for middle-handicappers.
The club (2,014 of them available on March 15 at $400 each) features the Bio Cell's technology, including an adjustable hosel that provides eight settings. It also comes with the Lamkin Ace 3GEN 360 grip and Aldila ATX Tour Green shaft.
"We always look to do something fresh," says Jose Miraflor, director of product marketing for Cobra-Puma. "This is a logical extension for us, and our customers and players enjoy it."
Last year Rickie Fowler took a few swings with the green-colored driver at Augusta National during practice rounds.
Related: Watch Dubuisson make his great desert saves
Normally that might sound a bit odd. But in case you forgot, Dubuisson is the guy who produced those memorable (and multiple) saves from the desert during his WGC-Accenture Match Play title match against Jason Day. The club Dubuisson used for those shots was a 58-degree Titleist Vokey TVD K-grind with 6 degrees bounce, so naturally that was the club Dill went to work on.
And work it was. Normally stamping a club with a name or initials is a relatively quick task, but for the cactus Dill needed to hand stamp each one of the little dots (a close look at the photo of the wedge reveals approximately 200 dots, maybe more) that made up the shape of the prickly plant. Add in the time it took to do the green paintfill, and it added up to more than an hour that Dill spent on the club.
Fields: Dubuisson adjusts to the limelight
"It was an idea the guys came up with almost immediately after he hit those shots out of the desert," said David Neville, marketing manager for Titleist Vokey wedges. When Victor saw the finished cactus he said, 'Very nice . . . very nice.' "
Dill still had work to do, though. Since Dubuisson's wedges are one-half inch longer than standard, the extra length made the swingweight too heavy. To bring it back down, Dill drilled a pair of weight ports in the back, dropping 3 to 4 grams of weight and bringing the swingweight to Dubuisson's preferred D5.
As with most tour players who are waiting for work to be done on their sticks, Dubuisson had time to tell some stories to the guys in the van. "We asked him what he was thinking as he was getting ready to hit those shots," Neville said. "He told us he just wanted to play fast."
Photo courtesy of Titleist
Although the company has been mum about specifics, the club was put on the USGA's list of conforming driver heads Feb. 17 in just one loft (12 degrees), and it has the words Mini Driver on the toe.
The word "mini" seems accurate: The clubhead looks to be in the range of 250 cubic centimeters, and the shaft length appears shorter than a normal driver and more like a 3-wood. Also, the club doesn't have the sliding weight of the SLDR driver or an adjustable hosel, and its color is more of a satin silver.
No word on whether anyone will be playing it this week in Miami.
Instead of asking a barber to take a little off the top, tour players are asking tour technicians to take a little off the bottom. That's because shaft tipping -- where the tip end of the shaft that goes into the head is trimmed -- is commonplace on the PGA Tour.
Matt Every. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Talk about tipping and most folks' minds turn to the amount they leave a server rather than golf shafts. And although most people likely know more about the former than the latter, shaft tipping might put a few dollars in your pocket rather than dollars leaving it.
The reason players tip shafts is to make them slightly stiffer than they were designed. But tour players don't have to worry about paying for shafts, and the components can be swapped out in mere minutes. So why not just change shafts?
Tipping instead of trying a different flex allows a player to find a shaft with a firmness in between flexes. The average tip on drivers is about an inch, although some players go to greater lengths. Back when Tiger Woods was using a 42.5-inch True Temper X-100 steel shaft in his driver, all of the extra length (more than three inches) was cut off the tip to achieve the proper flex.
Thankfully for tour technicians, one element of tipping has been eliminated in recent years. Back when some drivers such as Callaway and Titleist featured bore-through hosels, they would require little to no tipping because the shaft went so deep into the clubhead. So if a player switched from one of those models to one that wasn't bore-through, it was more difficult to duplicate the feel. Now bore-through hosels are gone, making life a little easier for those doing the work.
Also making work easier is adjustable hosels. "Players can now dial in their launch, spin rate and dispersion without tipping," said Callaway tour rep Mike Sposa. "There's not as much experimenting now as when it was all glued-in product." Still, fairway woods require shorter shafts than drivers, requiring many to be tipped. Matt Every, for example, recently tipped his Aldila Tour Blue 75x shaft in his 3-wood 1.5 inches.
Altering the flex is different in irons. Players will "step up" or "step down" rather than trim the tip on steel shafts with steps. That means a player seeking a firmer shaft will use a 4-iron shaft in a 3-iron and so on to make it stiffer, and use a 2-iron shaft in a 3-iron and so on to make it softer. This alters the firmness about one-half a flex.
That's a tip beneficial to everyone.
PAULA CREAMER // A putter with personality
Paula Creamer has always liked personalizing her putters, often using her trademark pink color, but has been known to add touches such as diamonds and other bling as well. The same holds for the TaylorMade Ghost Daytona 12 putter she used to hole the remarkable 75-foot eagle putt that won the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.
Perhaps most notable about the putter, which Creamer first put in play at the start of this season, was that it wasn't really a "Ghost" putter at all because the clubhead featured a dark gray finish -- the first time in four years the company says it has made a non-white putter head for any player. The club, which is 34 inches in length with a head weight of 360 grams, has a black, steel shaft and carbon-fiber insert. The heart engraved on the toe area signifies her recent engagement. Upon receiving the putter, Creamer texted the company, "Oh my goodness that's amazing!" So was the winning putt it produced.
Nike VRS Covert 2.0
PRICE: $200 (Lofts: 15, 19 degrees)
Russell Henley had a pair of these fairway woods in the bag at the Honda Classic. The cavity in the sole of the club moves weight to the perimeter for added stability.
Odyssey Metal-X Milled Versa
PRICE: NA until April
Although it won't be available at retail until April, Odyssey unveiled this putter to tour staff at the Honda Classic. The putter combines the Metal-X face technology with the Versa's alignment stripes and comes with adjustable weights.
Russell Henley started using Nike's new RZN Black ball earlier this year and while the differences between that and his old Nike 20XI are subtle, they are noticeable to the Honda Classic champ. "The biggest difference is that it flies a little flatter, not as much a spinny flight," said Henley. "So I'm able to control it in the wind well. But it checks well around the greens, too, and has a softer feel that I like." . . . Ryan Palmer had a new weapon at the Honda -- a prototype Fourteen Golf Type 7 utility iron. Palmer's club, which features a hollow head, was 21 degrees bent to 23 degrees to promote a higher ball flight. . . . Although Geoff Ogilvy didn't go the full Adam Scott route by using a long putter, he did use a 38-inch Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura X at PGA National. Although Ogilvy missed the cut, he was on the plus side in strokes gained/putting (.307) for his two rounds. . . . Charles Howell III employed three different types of Mizuno irons for his set, using the company's JPX-EZ Forged for his 4-iron, MP-54 for the 5- and 6-irons and MP-64 for the 7-iron through PW. . . . Kenny Perry went back to his Ping G2i Craz-E at Honda -- the same model he used in 2008 when he won three times on the PGA Tour.
It's easy to believe the minimalist movement in golf shoes comes with sacrifices. Lightweight, less-structured, spikeless models must mean less support and traction, right? Puma's latest entry offers evidence to the contrary.
The Biofusion Spikeless Mesh ($120) attacks those concerns with an external cage-like design on the inner side of each shoe to provide flexible support. Meanwhile, the shoe's collar uses memory foam to hold the foot in place by conforming to the contours of the ankle.
The carbon-rubber outsole has angled lugs for traction. A series of grooves in the outsole also makes the shoe more flexible and, with no drop in height from heel to toe, allows for a feeling of more consistent contact with the turf. At a little more than 11 ounces, the shoe maintains a lighter overall weight, too, thanks to the moisture-wicking mesh upper.
Remember the early 2000s when the Lady Precept gained favor among men who found the soft, low-compression ball worked well for them, too? Since then manufacturers have tried designing balls with monikers more suitable for guys but with the same design principles.
The latest is Callaway's Super Soft, which has a startlingly low ball compression (38!) that the company says comes close to the USGA limit on initial velocity thanks to a large 1.595-inch core and soft ionomer cover.
Still, there are challenges to designing such a ball. "The more soft you make it, the harder it is to make it resilient," says Dave Bartels, Callaway senior director of golf ball R&D. The company found the balance by manipulating the core composition and using the ionomer cover, which also improved the feel around the green.