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GolfWRX Morning 9: What Tiger benching his putter would mean | RIP Phil Rodgers I The French don’t care about the Ryder Cup?



Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below.

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (

June 28, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. The decline and fall of Tiger’s putter


Tiger Woods vaunted weapon, his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS, has betrayed him, as we know (surely it’s the arrow and not the Indian!).
  • Adam Schupak elaborates on the significance…”This isn’t just any putter. Woods played in the pro-am with David Falk, the longtime agent for Michael Jordan, and this putter change felt like the equivalent of MJ playing hoops in tennis shoes rather than his signature high-tops. Aided by a sense of the moment that always seemed to allow him to will the ball into the hole, Woods’s putter has been his sword and his shield throughout his illustrious career. How many times have we seen him strike a putt and the ball die just at the right moment and curl in? The answer is too many times to count.”
  • However, as Schupak writes, those days are distant memories…”It’s time to characterize this for what it is: a full-fledged putting slump. He ranks 89th on Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting and 118th in total putting. His best putting performance was arguably his debut at Torrey Pines, when he hit the ball all over the lot and his putter was his salvation. So what’s changed?”
  • “I don’t know,” Woods said. “That’s been the frustrating part.” MORE
Frustrating, indeed. We’ll see which putter Woods uses today and how he putts with it.


2. RIP Phil Rodgers


The five-time PGA Tour winner turned teacher who rebuilt Jack Nicklaus’ short game passed away yesterday after a 15-year fight with leukemia.
  • Rodgers helped Nicklaus retool his short game in early 1980. The Golden Bear went on to win the U.S. Open and PGA Championship that year, and he credited Rodgers.
  • “My heart hurts today after the passing of dear friend, Phil Rodgers,” Nicklaus tweeted Tuesday. “I knew Phil for almost 65 years. Terrific ball-striker and great short game, he became a gifted teacher. Phil reinvented my short game in 1980 and I won two majors that year. Miss him already.”
3. A big week for Woods


Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard spelled out the importance of this week in Tiger Woods’ year (beyond needing to get his putting back on track).
  • “He has, after all, played well enough so far this season to at least qualify for the first two post-season events, if not the Ryder Cup; and by all accounts seems pleased with his progress during this current comeback from injury.”
  • “But there’s more on the line for the 14-time major champion this week at TPC Potomac than one might expect.”
  • “Although Woods’ climb in the World Golf Ranking has been nothing short of meteoric, moving from outside the top 600 late last year to 82nd, he still has plenty of work to do, primarily his quest to play the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational which will move to Memphis next year.”
4. Ko among the favorites entering a major again


Robert Van Royen of points out the Kiwi is getting back to where she belongs.
  • “She’s finished inside the top-10 in four of her last six tournaments, including a ninth (tied) placed finish at the NW Arkansas Championship earlier this week, and a third placed finish at the Meijer LPGA Classic earlier in the month.”
  • “Ko hasn’t missed a cut since March, and appears to only be getting more comfortable with the tweaks coach Ted Oh has made to her swing since taking over at the start of the year.”
5. Inbee Park burglarized


An inauspicious start to the Women’s PGA Championship for the World No. 1, Obviously in Illinois for the tournament, Park’s Las Vegas home was robbed.
  • “Talking to police, talking to insurance,” Park said. “It’s so hard when you’re not there trying to figure out what’s lost. I mean, this is the life we get on the road.”
  • Fortunately, she keeps most of her trophies (and her Olympic gold medal) in South Korea.
6. Nobody in France cares about the Ryder Cup?


An interview with French pro Michael Lorenzo-Vera on Tuesday ahead of the French Open certainly painted a dire picture of the state of the game in the country.
  • “Golf is not a good thing here. It’s for rich people and spoiled kids. That’s the image we have,” Lorenzo-Vera told the Times. “Golf is a very private thing for people in France. Private courses for only rich families or rich people – that’s it.”
  • Oh, and apparently, nobody cares that the Ryder Cup is coming to France. “People don’t care about the Ryder Cup. Honestly, nobody knows there’s going to be a Ryder Cup in France. Only the golfers know. That’s it. There won’t be many French there.”


7. Tour Authentic


I talked  with Alexander DePallo, Brand and Marketing Manager for Callaway Apparel about the company’s new high-end clothing line.
  • BA: Where did this collection come from? It’s a departure from Callaway’s usual apparel philosophy. What was development like?
  • AD: Basically, over the past year-and-a-half we…as Callaway Apparel, pivoted in our strategy in adjusting our business model. In the past, we had been very focused on department stores and wider outlets, versus now, we’re pivoting and implementing that pricing, we’ve closed up our distribution we’ve made it more focused on selling full-priced products, golf specialty…honing on on where golfers are going to buy product and elevating the full platform for Callaway Apparel.
  • “We’ve really been building up our green grass presence…We’ve found that at these high-end green grass locations, we didn’t have products that were meeting their needs. Our design team went out and had the task to build a luxury golf line that’s build for high-end green grass. That is what Tour Authentic is.’
  • “They spent 18 months developing the products. They went to five different countries; pulling fabrics from Japan, from Germany, from Switzerland, finding the right materials and coming up with product construction that was not in the market. Looking at the solid poly with the Japanese yarn or the Mongolian cashmere sweaters or the Schoeller fabric in the pants…there’s so much technology but still a refined craftsmanship.”


8. Pod alert!


For your listening pleasure: Johnny Wunder talked with the great Bob Bettinardi about a range of topics, including making Matt Kuchar’s putter and working on Tiger Woods’ putters back in 1996.


Michael Williams talked with Bobby Clampett on the 19th Hole podcast. Clampett discusses the one thing absolutely every golf swing must have to be successful.


9. Maverick McNealy’s childhood home for sale…for $100 million


If you can just get approved for the mortgage… Maverick McNealy’s father, former Sun Microsystems CEO, Scott McNealy, put the family home on the market. Backyard golf hole, 7,300 sq/ft indoor hockey rink. Gym. Climbing wall. Movie theater. The Silicon Valley crib has it all.



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Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic



Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65

Fairway woods: Titleist TS2 (15, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 8X, Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 9X

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 4-iron, Titleist 718 AP2 (5-7), Titleist 718 CB (8-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (proto)

SEA ISLAND, GA – NOVEMBER 17: Charles Howell lll tees off on the eighth hole tee box during the third round of The RSM Classic at the Sea Island Resort Seaside Course on November 17, 2018 in Sea Island, Georgia. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)

RELATED: See what members are saying about CH III’s equipment in the forums.

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Danny Willett’s Winning WITB: DP World Tour Championship



Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 60x

3-wood: Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway X Forged Utility Irons (18, 21, 24 degrees), Callaway X Forged 18 Irons (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged PW (48 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold

Putter: Odyssey Prototype (Stroke Lab)

Ball: Chrome Soft X

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Danny Willett spotted with new Odyssey prototype putter, putter shaft



You may have seen Danny Willett’s name near the top of the leaderboard at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. At 10 under, the Englishman sits one stroke behind fellow countryman Matt Wallace.

You may not have seen, however, that the 2016 Masters champ has a new Odyssey prototype putter in the bag.

(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

All the company would say

“Willett first put in his new gamer last week at the Nedbank Challenge. Willett’s prototype putter also features a new prototype Odyssey shaft to help improve the consistency of the putting stroke.”

Willet has historically favored his blade-style Odyssey O-Works #1 W. More recently, at the Turkish Airlines Open, we spotted him with an Odyssey Versa Jailbird Black. However, the prototype in question is clearly a heel-shafted mallet with a different insert than the 1 W or the Jailbird. The insert looks to be the White Hot Microhinge. Obviously, the two-tone, potentially multi-material, shaft, and the technology therein, is notable as well. Also apparently two-tone, the putter head, which looks similar in shape to a Tank Cruiser and similarly has a pair of sole weights.

Do we need the TG2 to break down the few photos we have like the Zapruder film? We’ll continue digging, in the meantime, let us know what you think, GolfWRX Members!


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19th Hole