Players adjusting their bags for Augusta National
AUGUSTA, Ga -- You wouldn't think the year's first major would be a time to change equipment, but the unique qualities of the Augusta National course have some this week making changes to their bag.
Sure, the equipment world is abuzz over Tiger Woods possibly changing his driver (to Nike's VR model) and shaft from the Mitsubishi White Board he has used seemingly forever to a Graphite Design Tour AD DI, but that change could be considered minor to Ryan Moore switching out his entire set of Scratch forged blade irons for more game-improvement Scratch EZ-1 irons. Moore had master club maker Don White custom grind the irons, which feature a lower center of gravity to help give Moore a higher trajectory into Augusta National's firm greens.
Different grinds and bounces on wedges also are in vogue, as players try to compensate for the tight lies found on the course. Ernie Els, for one, has some new wedges, Callaway's X-Forged model with a grind to produce a tighter radius with reduced bounce. And as if he needed a reminder where he was playing, the word "Masters" is stamped on the clubs in green.
Also likely to add color this week is Vijay Singh. Although he has not fully committed to using it, it is likely Singh, the 2000 Masters champion, will tee it up using Srixon's yellow-colored Z-Star X ball.
-- E. Michael Johnson