The story behind Tiger's new wedges, Spieth's putter and other Masters equipment tidbits
There are so many storylines at the Masters that equipment sometimes get overshadowed -- unless it's Phil Mickelson using two drivers or Adam Scott winning with a long putter.
Still, so far this week at Augusta National there are a number of interesting items n player's bags. Here's some of the more notable:
Drivers for ceremonial swats
The Big Three got things started Thursday morning with their ceremonial tee shots, but while Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player might have a few years on them, their drivers were decidedly high tech. Palmer used a Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 for his tee shot while Gary Player had a Callaway XR model. As for the Golden Bear, what did you expect? Jack used a Nicklaus-branded driver with a Fujikura Motore Speeder shaft.
Sandy Lyle's hickory shaft putter
Sandy Lyle, the 1988 Masters champion, turned back the clock Thursday at the Masters. No, the 57-year-old didn't pull a Tom Watson and go under par as a senior. Instead, Lyle went old school, putting with hickory-shafted Tad Moore blade-style putter during an opening-round 74. The putter is a huge departure for Lyle, who has been using the mammoth-headed Black Swan putter (similar to the one Matt Every used at the Sony Open a few years ago). Lyle, who claims he has putted well with it in practice rounds, opted for the center-shafted club after his wife suggested he use it at Augusta National. On the round Lyle did not exactly putt lights out, taking 32 putts in all and 22 on the 12 holes he found the green in regulation. On the plus side, he did not three-putt a single green.
New wedges for TW
Tiger Woods' short game has been the subject of much discussion, and as Woods worked his way back into game shape, he also got some new wedges as well. To accommodate his current short-game technique, Woods is using Nike VR Forged wide sole wedges with a custom sole grind. The lofts are 56 and 60 degrees.
Speith's putter is an old friend
Jordan Spieth had the hot hand with the putter on Thursday, making nine birdies en route to an opening 64. The putter Spieth uses is a Scotty Cameron by Titleist 009 model that he has had since he was 15 years old. Spieth was drawn to the flat stick because two of his favorite golfers when he was growing up -- Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy -- used the same model.
Zach goes back to SeeMore putter
At the recent Valero Texas Open, Zach Johnson benched his SeeMore FGP putter -- a club he had used since his Nationwide Tour days in 2003, including his Masters win in 2003 -- in favor of a Scotty Cameron by Titleist X5R mallet. That experiment had a short life as Johnson was back with the SeeMore Thursday at Augusta National. Johnson used the familiar flatstick well during his opening-round 72, averaging 1.728 putts per hole, which was tied for 12th best on Thursday.