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Sunday, April 20, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Matt Kuchar at The 2014 RBC HeritageTournament - Great Golf Blog

Matt Kuchar
holed a bunker shot for a birdie at the 18th hole Sunday, giving him a one-stroke victory in the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, S.C.

The bunker shot came just after Kuchar had three-putted from only four feet on the par-3 17th hole. Instead of making a birdie and building what would have been a two-shot lead, Kuchar made bogey and dropped back into a share of the lead with Luke Donald, who was playing two holes behind Kuchar.

Kuchar recovered from the three-putt -- "It's not that big of a deal. Let's go to 18,'' Kuchar said he told himself after the three-putt -- made the bunker shot at 18 and won the tournament's first-place check, trophy and plaid champions' jacket.

"That was a full Augusta National roar,'' Kuchar said of the gallery's reaction to his bunker shot on the final hole. "... I knew that was pretty much to win the tournament.''

A final-round score of 7-under-par 64 led Kuchar to the victory; he finished at 11 under par for the tournament. Donald (69 on Sunday) finished at 10 under. Ben Martin (67) and John Huh (68) tied at 9 under.

Scott Brown (67) and Brian Stuard (68) finished at 7 under, with Jim Furyk (70) alone at 6 under. Rory Sabbatini (68) and Russell Knox (70) completed play at 5 under. Six players -- Stuart Appleby (67), Jordan Spieth (67), Matt Every (71), JSaon Kokrak (70), Charl Schwartzel (72) and Nicholas Thompson (72) -- all finished at 4 under.

Of the players with connections to Alabama and the Gulf Coast, Graeme McDowell (70) finished at 2 under, Boo Weekley (68) at 3 over, Stewart Cink (74) at 4 over and Brandt Snedeker (73) at 8 over.

What's In Matt Kuchar's Winning Golf Bag:

Driver: Bridgestone J40 430 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Accra M4-55 Tour Proto

3 Wood: Ping G25 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 757X

Hybrids: Ping Anser (20 and 23 degrees)
Shafts: Aldila Tour Blue Hybrid 85X

Irons: Bridgestone J40 Cavity Back (5-PW)
Shafts: Aerotech SteelFiber i95 Constant Weight (S-Flex)

Wedges: Bridgestone J40 Black Oxide (52), Cleveland 588 RTX Satin (58-12), Titleist Vokey SM4 Spin Milled (62-07 bent to 63)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue (52, 62), KBS Wedge 120S with Black Nickel Finish (58)

Putter: Bettinardi Matt Kuchar Signature Model 1
Length: 44.75 inches
Loft: 7 Degrees

You Can Score Matt's Winning Gear and Deep Discount Prices at Great Golf - Discount Golf Equipment

Thursday, April 17, 2014

TaylorMade SLDR Driver Comes Back In "White" - Great Golf Deals Bog

In breaking news throughout the golf equipment industry, TaylorMade has announced that it is coming out with a new driver next month. Starting in early May,Taylormade will make available a limited-edition, "white" version of their very popular SLDR driver.

For those of you who are a big fan of the white headed drivers you are in luck as you probably have held off buying the new SLDR because it was only available in the dark grey colored head. For the rest of us you are probably not surprised at the new release since it seems to be a normal process for TaylorMade. Last year they came out with the white R1 driver only to be followed later in the year with a limited-edition black model.

Now I don't believe TaylorMade will claim 17 yards more with the white head SLDR driver over dark head SLDR but the low-forward CG technology in the SLDR driver has been proven effective in producing additional yardage if fitted correctly.

In Taylormade's own words:

“The white crown with black button-back delivers a remarkable appearance at address. Many golfers fell in love with white when it came out in 2011, and now we are delivering a limited edition white SLDR with low and forward CG for more distance when you loft up.”
-Brian Bazzel, Sr Director of Metalwood Product Creation

The white SLDR drivers ($399) will be available in lofts of 9.5, 10.5, 12 and 14 degrees with a stock Fujikura Speeder 57 shaft in senior, regular, stiff and x-stiff flexes. They’re currently available for pre-order, and will be available in stores on May 2.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Bubba Watson at The 2014 Masters Tournament - Great Golf Blog

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Waking up Sunday morning following 10 hours of sleep, Bubba Watson took to Twitter and held Masters trivia contests for his 1.1 million followers.

At Augusta National Golf Club a few hours later, he finally woke up with a sterling iron on the arduous par-3 fourth hole that led to his first birdie.

On Monday, he'll wake up with a second green jacket.

With firepower to spare and a gentle touch around the greens, the admittedly jittery Watson held his nerve after a poor start and ultimately put away playing partner Jordan Spieth and the rest of the field with a final-round 3-under-par 69 to win the first major championship of the season for the second time in three years. He finished at 8-under-par 280.

Watson, the 36-hole leader and the 54-hole co-leader with Spieth, toppled his young Texan adversary and Jonas Blixt (71) by three shots. Spieth, who had a two-shot lead going to the eighth tee, shot 72 as he tried to become, at 20, the youngest winner of the Masters.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, trying at age 50 to become the oldest major champion of all time, finished with a 71 and in fourth place.

Matt Kuchar, attempting to win his first major, grabbed a share of the lead early in the round but fell backward with a 74 and into a tie for fifth place with Rickie Fowler (73).

Watson drove into bunkers on his first two holes and bogeyed the third to fall out of the lead. But with an iron to 4 feet on the fourth, a birdie on the sixth and then two more on the eighth and ninth holes, he had the lead heading to the back nine.

While others fell off, Watson held steady on the back nine — keyed by 11 one-putt greens. As he left the 18th hole, he was holding his son, Caleb, in his arms. In 2012 when he won his first Masters, he wrapped the green jacket around a sleeping Caleb when he got home.

He might do the same thing again on Monday.

What's In Bubba Watson's Winning Golf Bag:

Driver: Ping G25 (8.5 degrees)
Face Angle: Opened to an actual loft of 8.2 degrees
Shaft: Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Rocket Pink X-Flex (Tipped 0.5 Inches)
Paint: Pink crown with white i25 racing stripe
Length: 44.5 Inches
Swing Weight: D4
Grip: Ping 703 Gold (10 wraps under the right hand, 12 wraps under the left hand)

3 Wood: Ping G25 (16.5 degrees)
Face Angle: Opened to an actual loft of 15 degrees
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder Tour Spec 8.2 X (Tipped 1.5 inches)
Length: 42 Inches
Swing Weight: D3
Grip: Ping 703 Gold (10 wraps under the right hand, 12 wraps under the left hand)

Irons: Ping S55 (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100
Length: +0.5 inches
Face Angle: Set 10 Degrees Open
Color Code: Green
Swing Weight: D4
Grips: Ping 703 Gold (+12 wraps under left hand, +10 under right hand)

Wedges: Ping Tour (52 degrees, 56 bent to 55), Ping Tour-S T/S (64 Degrees bent to 62)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100
Length: +0.5 inches
Face Angle: Set 10 Degrees Open
Swing Weight: D5 (52), D6 (55), D0 (62)
Grips: Ping 703 Gold (+12 wraps under left hand, +10 under right hand)

Putter: Ping Anser Milled Anser 1
Length: 34.5 Inches
Lie: 2 Degrees Flat
Loft: 3 Degrees
Weight: 352 Grams
Grip: PP58 (+3 wraps of tape)

Ball: Titleist ProV1x

Monday, April 7, 2014

TaylorMade Adds The New SLDR Mini To It's 2014 Driver Lineup - Great Golf Deals Blog

Here's a shock for all of you.  TaylorMade is coming out with a new driver!!!!

Yes we know this is about as predictable as the sun rising in morning, but this driver is not your average, every-day driver.  This is really a strong 3 Wood dressed up as a driver.  It is designed for those golfers that are normally hitting their 3 Wood off the tee and TaylorMade's research shows that there are a lot of us that currently do that.  The problem is that your current 3 Wood was not designed to be hit off a tee - it was designed to be hit off turf.  

That is the niche that TaylorMade is looking to fill with the launch of this new SLDR Mini Driver.  It is also a challenge to Callaway's X2 Hot Deep Fairways which are also designed to be hit off a tee and were made famous by Phil Mickelson last year.

What do you think of these new "Mini Drivers" or "Deep-Strong Fairways"??  Is this something you will look to add to your bag or this just another ploy from the manufacturers to help them drive (no pun intended) more revenue.

Here's is TaylorMade's Press Release on this new driver:

Carlsbad, Calif. (April 7, 2014) – TaylorMade Golf Company, makers of the No. 1 played driver in golf, today announced the launch of the SLDR Mini Driver, a 260cc metalwood equipped with a 43.5” shaft, designed to promote distance and accuracy off the tee for players who frequently drive with their 3-wood.

TaylorMade research indicates that a high percentage of golfers, regardless of skill level, hit 3-wood off the tee more often than from the fairway. However, the 3-wood is designed to hit the ball off turf, not a peg. That void between product design and product use led to the development of the SLDR Mini Driver, which is engineered to be longer off the tee than a 3-woood and incredibly accurate.

“Tour pros and betters amateurs often hit their 3-wood off the tee more often than from the fairway,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Metalwood Creation. “We embraced that fact to create a metalwood that’s sized between a 3-wood and driver and is designed to be easy to hit off a tee.”

Like the SLDR driver – the No. 1 driver on the PGA Tour – the SLDR Mini Driver features a low-forward center of gravity (CG) location that reduces spin. From there, most players benefit from playing a higher loft (what TaylorMade calls “lofting up”) by combining a low spin-rate with a high launch angle, which are the launch conditions that promote maximum distance.

The SLDR Mini Driver also incorporates TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket technology, which promotes lower spin on impacts low on the clubface, where the majority of driver mis-hits occur.

And though it’s engineered to be easier to tee off with than a 3-wood, the SLDR Mini Driver is also easy to launch the ball off the turf with, thanks to its smooth sole that’s smaller and offers less resistance than a driver’s.

Aesthetically, the SLDR Mini Driver’s sleek shape and smooth matte silver crown, black clubface and black button-back gives the club an attractive appearance from all angles, especially at address. The contrasting colors also facilitate easy and accurate face alignment.

The first Tour pro to put the SLDR Mini Driver in play was Troy Matteson, who put not one but two in his bag at the Valero Texas Open: one to use off the tee and one to use from the fairway.

“The SLDR Mini Driver is intended to appeal to a wide audience,” added Bazzel. “For the Tour pro or top amateur who places a premium on distance control and accuracy, this club is a fantastic option. It’s also a great choice for those amateurs who struggle with 460cc drivers.”

Two SLDR Mini Driver models are available, standard and TP. The standard model retails for $279 and is equipped with a Fujikura 57 shaft. It is the same shaft used in the SLDR driver, but at 43.5 inches (two inches shorter than the SLDR driver) it promotes tighter dispersion for increased accuracy. The TP model retails for $379 and is equipped with Fujikura’s Motore Speeder 7.3 shaft and is built to a heavier, D5 swingweight for improved control. Lofts in both models range from 12°, 14° and 16°.

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Matt Jones at The 2014 Shell Houston - Great Golf Blog

A guy named Matt won the Shell Houston Open Sunday. But it wasn't the Matt – Kuchar – who seemingly had the tournament under his thumb with the sponsor's boxes in sight and the trophy being made ready for him.

Nope. It was the other Matt – Jones – who seized the moment when Kuchar's brain seized up, having somehow concluded the best approach on what should have been the week's last hole was to go left, where a large and potentially dangerous body of water lurked, instead of right, where a relatively harmless little bunker had suddenly caused him to recoil in horror.

The 34-year-old Floridian, who spent successive Sundays in Texas in the last group without securing a title either time, ruefully explained his fateful "splash!" this way: "I didn't want to bail out in the right bunker. But, looking back, you can make par from the right bunker and not from the water. I tugged it a little too much. It's smarter to bail out and give yourself a chance, but I was looking to make four and win the tournament."

Instead, Kuchar made a five and back-pedaled into a playoff with an opponent already playing with house money. Jones began his round six strokes behind Kuchar's leading pace, then promptly bogeyed. He was at best an afterthought until he reeled off six birdies over an eight-hole stretch, added another on No. 16 before draining the coupe-de-grace putt on 18, a 46-footer that rolled and rolled and rolled until it plopped into the cup, giving him a 6-under 66 on the day.

Jones said he had it all the way, too.

"There was a little double break," he explained. "I thought I had a good read on it. As soon as it got on top of the ridge and started going down, I thought it was in because it looked good. I knew it had the right space."

But that shot wasn't the shot, the one he later accurately labeled "amazing" and the one he saved for what became a short-lived playoff, beginning and ending as it did on 18. The shot was his 126-foot pitch with a sand wedge over a bunker for the birdie that gave him his first PGA Tour victory, his first trip to the Masters and his first paycheck of more than a million bucks.

In fact, just the difference between what Jones made by winning, $1,152,000, and what second place was worth to the chagrined Kuchar exceeded what Jones had earned all season. Too bad the cold, rainy weather made such a dent in the galleries. But the brave souls who came out and stayed shivering until the end would be rewarded with a show of shows at the SHO.

"This win means everything to me right now," said Jones, a 33-year-old from Sydney who hasn't had much experience with same since turning pro after competing collegiately at Arizona State. "That's what we play for. And I can't wait to get (to Augusta) and get some practice rounds in, (then) hopefully play well and hopefully Aussies can win three in a row."

The Aussies' streak reached two with Jones' breakthrough at the Golf Club of Houston after Steven Bowditch had copped the Valero Texas Open championship a week earlier, also at the expense of poor Kuchar. He'd gone out tied for second in San Antonio but fell from contention with a 75. Here, Kuchar took a three-shot lead into the last round. Through 69 holes, in fact, he remained three swings better than anyone.

Small consolation, although he tried to see a half-full glass in front of him after shooting 72 following a 66, a 67 and a 68 over the first three rounds, respectively.

"I've had a fourth and a second (in Texas)," Kuchar said. "I played steady golf for four days. Hoping to keep the train rolling."

Kuchar is a six-time champion on the Tour, so Jones admitted he couldn't feel too sorry for him, saying, "I'm happy that it was my time to get my first win. I'm sure he'll have plenty more, too. I've always believed I had the golf game to do it. If I putt well, I'm going to be fine. I can compete with anyone (with) my ball-striking."

Jones didn't fully realize how much in contention he was until it was on top of him because he hadn't been paying any attention to the scoreboard.

"I was just out there playing golf . . . like it was a practice round," he said. I knew I had to make birdies. I told myself, 'Go and be aggressive and try to make as many birdies as you can.'"

Jones follows instructions well, it should be noted. His only concern going forward is where to find lodging in Augusta on such short notice. He'd been planning to take this week off to spend quality time with his young family. He has a 3-week-old at home, if you can imagine.

"Hopefully I'll get on a flight tonight," he said. "I'll sleep in my car if I have to. I'm just happy to be (going)."


Driver: Titleist 913D3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Attas Elements MK 7X

3 Wood: Titleist 910F.d (15 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Attas Elements MK 8X

Driving Iron: Mizuno Fli-Hi (2-iron)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Irons: Titleist MB 712 (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design 254-10, Titleist Vokey Design 258-08 (bent to 60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Length: + 0.5 inches long
Lie Angle: 64 degrees

Putter: Scotty Cameron Tour Only Prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

You Can Score Matt's Winning Gear and Deep Discount Prices at Great Golf - Discount Golf Equipment

Monday, March 31, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Steven Bowditch at The 2014 Valero Texas Open - Great Golf Blog

San Antonio: Australian golfer Steven Bowditch, who has known some of the darkest days, has broken through to claim his maiden US PGA Tour victory and a start in next week's US Masters.

The 30-year-old Bowditch won the Texas Open by one shot despite shooting a final round of four-over-par 76 to finish at eight-under 280 on the tough Greg Norman-designed Oaks Course in San Antonio.

It's the third win by an Australian on the tour in five weeks, following Jason Day in the WGC-Match Play Championship and John Senden in the Valspar Championship.

And it's a huge breakthrough for Bowditch, who has battled with clinical depression, struggling especially in the early part of his US tour career, and spoken publicly about the ordeal.

He now has a two-year exemption to continue playing on the US tour and he will leap from his modest world ranking of No.339 - as well as collect $US1.11 million ($1.20 million) in prizemoney.

More immediately he will join defending champion Adam Scott, Day and Senden at the Masters at Augusta National next week for the year's first major championship.

"I'm over the moon, I really can't believe it," Bowditch said. "I've got no idea [how I got through it], to be honest.

"I just drew back on some experience and got some advice from different people.

"It just happened to be my week, I guess."

Bowditch is a spokesman for Australian non-profit group beyondblue, which promotes awareness of depression and has also been speaking out in support of Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, who was recently admitted to hospital suffering from the illness.

Bowditch, who was congratulated near the 18th green by Australians John Senden, Aaron Baddeley and Scott Gardiner, said the positive people he surrounded himself with this week helped him battle through the rough patches.

"I've got a great supporting team," Bowditch said. "I drew on some of my experience and got some advice from different people."

Bowditch went into the final round with a three-shot lead and, with the course playing very tough, he was able to get away with making a double bogey on the fourth hole and four bogeys, including one on the last hole when he missed a one metre putt.

"Every time I got out of check, looking ahead to the Masters and winning golf events and making my speeches before I was finished, I had to pull myself in check every time," he said. "And it happened a lot today."

Bowditch has made the cut in seven of his 12 US PGA Tour starts in 2014, with a share of 19th place at Pebble Beach his only previous top-25 finish of the season.

His previous best career finish on the PGA Tour was a tie for second at the Greenbrier Classic last year, though he has won three times on the Australasian PGA Tour.

Americans Will MacKenzie (70) and Daniel Summerhays (71) tied for second behind Bowditch.


Driver: Cleveland Classic XL (7.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Miyazaki Kusula Tour Issue 56X

3 Wood: Callaway X Hot 3Deep (14.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X Tour Spec

Hybrid: Callaway X2 Hot Pro (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder HB 9.8X Tour Spec

Irons: Cleveland 588 MB (3-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (SST Pure’d)

WedgesCleveland 588 Forged (50-08, 54-12, 60-08)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 7.0

Putter: Rife Antigua Island Series

Monday, March 24, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Matt Every at The Bay Hill Arnold Palmer Invitational - Great Golf Blog

ORLANDO, Fla. — Matt Every's comeback was now as complete as Adam Scott's collapse.

Winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday after being down as many as nine shots to Scott during the tournament was only part of his rally. Every had been down even further than that: The PGA Tour took away his playing privileges and, effectively, his livelihood with a 2010 suspension.

No wonder he at last dropped his stoic shield and choked back tears.

Every lightly pounded his fist on a table at his news conference, shaking his head, finally a tour winner.

"I …I …I can't believe I won. I just … I really can't," he said, his voice cracking.

The big silver trophy inscribed with Every's name was, appropriately enough, being shined by tournament officials.

Every, 30, has been trying to his clear up his image after being jailed on a charge of possession of marijuana two days before the John Deere Classic four years ago. He was arrested with two other men at a hotel after the staff complained about smoke coming out of a room on a non-smoking floor.

Every denied ever using marijuana.

"That was so long ago. That's not me at all," Every said.

The tour suspended him in his rookie season for three months. He missed too many tournaments and lost his tour card. He only rejoined the big boys after going through a mini-tour and qualifying school.

A line in his media guide biography says that Every considered getting back his card as his greatest achievement.

His first tour victory — coming at Bay Hill, where the Daytona Beach native and former Florida Gators star followed the pros as early as age 5 — tops his list now.

Trailing by four to start the final round, Every shot two-under-par 70 and endured a shaky finish to beat Keegan Bradley by a shot. Scott shot 76, crumbling with five bogeys to finish third, two shots back.

"Being close to winning out here can be kind of discouraging because if you don't win, you just wonder if it's ever going to happen ... maybe it's meant to be somewhere else, somewhere better," Every said.

"I don't see how it could get much better than this, being so close to where I grew up and all the fans that were cheering me on. And all the Gators fans. It was awesome."

Scott rushed out to a tournament-record seven-shot lead after rounds of 62 and 68. He lost steam on Saturday as the field closed in, cutting his margin to three shots heading into the final round.

The slow leak in his lead continued. Scott found himself tied with Every at the turn Sunday after shooting 38 on the front nine.

Scott then lost his share of the lead and his putting prowess. Every went ahead by two shots with birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 to get to 15-under while Scott settled for pars.

Scott then bogeyed No. 14 to trail Every by three strokes with four holes remaining.

"I was just a little out of sorts for whatever reason," Scott said.

Every bogeyed No. 16 and No. 18 to open the door for Bradley. But Every survived a wild run to the title that included a fortuitous cart-path hop for birdie, a near sand hole-out and a grassy downhill lie on No. 18, chipping toward water.

Every had to wait a torturous 10 minutes in the scorer's tent for Bradley to finish. He was expecting Bradley to make the 30-foot putt to force a playoff because, well, that's Every's luck.

"Then I heard the people outside cheering. And I knew he had missed," he said. "And I just couldn't believe it. I just wasn't ready for it, you know? It's really cool."

Every's comeback was complete — from suspension to tour win to Masters invite by beating Scott, the reigning Masters champ.

"It's not easy. I knew I just had to dig down and get it back," Every said. "It was a huge accomplishment to get back out here, yeah."

Driver: Callaway Big Bertha (9.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 7.0X
Length: 44.5 inches (tipped 1.5″)

3 Wood: Callaway X2 Hot Pro
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 75X
Length: 42 7/8 inches (tipped 1.5 inches)

5 Wood: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast (18 degrees)
Shaft: Nventix Nunchuk

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro (4-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour-V 125X

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (52-12S, 56-14S and 60-8C)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro #9
Grip: 2014 SuperStroke Flatso Ultra

Golf Ball: Callaway SR-3

You Can Score Matt's Winning Gear and Deep Discount Prices at Great Golf - Discount Golf Equipment

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