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Cameron Champ cracked his driver right before teeing off on Sunday

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Golf’s new sensation, Cameron Champ, triumphed at the Sanderson Farms Championship over the weekend, and he did so without the ideal preparation on Sunday afternoon. The 23-year old arrived on the range ahead of Sunday’s final round with a four-shot lead attempting to land his maiden PGA Tour title, and 30 minutes before his tee time the American cracked the head of his PING G400 Max driver.

Champ may have just a handful of appearances on the PGA Tour so far, but he has already made a name for himself with his incredible raw power. At his opening event of the season at the Safeway Open, Champ lead the field in both average club head speed (129.66 mph), and ball speed (192.67 mph). To put those numbers into perspective, the top average in both categories for the 2017/18 season was 124.67 mph from Keith Mitchell for club head speed and 182.22 from Trey Mullinax for ball speed.

The Californian, by all accounts, dealt with the adversity excellently. According to Golf Channel’s Justin Leonard, Champ calmly asked his father to retrieve a backup club from his car, casually saying, “Don’t worry, not a rush, I’m not going to hit it until the third hole.”

Champ lead the field in two of his opening three rounds for strokes gained off the tee, and cracking the head of his trusty driver just before the off on Sunday looked to be far more costly than Champ had imagined, as he saw his four-shot lead evaporate over the front nine in Mississippi.

However, Champ kept his head and rattled off five birdies in his last six holes to take the title by four. Speaking after his round, Champ commented on his shock at the incident, and the difficulties he faced because of it.

“It was very unexpected. Then my backup is my old one I have that week. I didn’t bring a new driver head. It was an older one from my previous driver. I know the weighting was just a little bit off, so just tried to hit as many balls as I could on the range with it just to get used to it a little bit. I tried to manage it. Obviously I knew mostly today was probably mixed with nerves and adrenaline and just trying to find my tempo and my swing and whatnot.”

Manage it he did, with Champ leading the final round in driving distance and proving that he is not just a sensation with the driver, but also very adept at dealing with adversity.

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. The dude

    Oct 30, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    How do you crack the top??

  2. Tom

    Oct 30, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Crown suffered structural failure? Sounds like a design flaw or QC issue!

    • geohogan

      Nov 9, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Jamie Sadlowski had to have specially made clubheads with less COR. He cracked off the shelf clubheads after a few shots. At those speeds shaft tips (0.335 inch diameter) will also break relatively quickly.

  3. dat

    Oct 29, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    typical WRX’r

  4. Tom54

    Oct 29, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    At nearly 130 mph swing speed he may need to have several drivers on hand. Wonder what the max speed is when these drivers are put through their tests. Glad to see him get his first win.

  5. ~j~

    Oct 29, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Happens to the best of us. ????

  6. Rick

    Oct 29, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    “F#$%K”!!!!!!!!!

    -Ping

  7. Peter

    Oct 29, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Isn’t this exactly why tour trucks are there?

    • Tim

      Oct 29, 2018 at 1:31 pm

      Tour trucks usually pull out wed or thurs. Some stay around longer especially at majors and it also depends on the length of drive to next event.

    • Chris

      Oct 29, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      The tour trucks usually leave after Wednesday.

    • mlb

      Oct 29, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      A tour truck would have made no difference. The kid is strong

  8. Greg V

    Oct 29, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    So, what was his old driver?

    and if you are Cameron Champ, why not travel with a spare head.

    • Johnny Penso

      Oct 30, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Probably an old McGregor persimmon driver because, according to some here at WRX, it’s almost as long as a modern driver, it’s the ball that made all the difference back in the day.

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Equipment

Graphite Design Tour AD IZ Hybrid shaft set for March launch

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ProsChoiceGolfShafts.com has revealed that Graphite Design is set to release the latest in the Tour AD premium line of hybrid golf shafts, the Graphite Design Tour AD IZ – “Into the Zone” Hybrid, which will be available from March 4.

The Tour AD IZ Hybrid, which has been designed and manufactured at the Graphite Design Japan factory headquarters, contains premium, aerospace-quality carbon-fiber materials that aims to offer golfers with a great feeling and performing shaft.

IN THE FORUMS: Our members have been discussing the new addition from Graphite Design, having been impressed with previous hybrid shaft releases from the company.

The new Tour AD IZ hybrid shaft is available in the following: 65g R2 and R1 flex, 75g R and S flex, 85g R, S and X flex and 95g S and X.

With medium stiffness starting at the handle, a firm center section and a firm tip profile, the Tour AD IZ 65g and 75g hybrid shafts aims to offer a mid/high launch angle with mid ball spin rates.

Graphite Design Tour-AD-IZ-Hybrid-shaft-

The Tour AD IZ 85g and 95g hybrid shafts, on the other hand, contain a firm stiffness beginning at the handle, firm center section and a stiff tip profile designed for mid launch angle and lower spin rates.

The Graphite Design Tour AD IZ – “Into the Zone” Hybrid costs $290 and will be available from March 4.

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Whats in the Bag

Justin Rose WITB (Honma)

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Our Johnny Wunder was on site for a Honma launch event in California, and he filed these photos of new Honma staffer Justin Rose’s weaponry in addition to grabbing the World No. 1’s WITB details.

Driver: Honma TW 747 460 9.5
Shaft: Honma Vizard FD-7X 45.25 @D3

3-wood: TaylorMade M4 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 80TX

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 80TX

Irons: TW747V (4,5), TW747 Rose Proto (5-10)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper 125 S+

Wedges: Honma Custom Grind RAW (52, 56 degrees), Titleist Vokey Wedge Works (60, K-Grind)
Shafts: KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 135XS

Putter: Axis Proto

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

More discussion of all things J-Rose and Honma in this forum thread. 

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Equipment

New ultra-lightweight Wilson D7 driver features 192-gram clubhead, RE-AKT Technology

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Wilson Golf has unveiled its latest driver, the Wilson D7, which with its superlight design, aims to provide golfers with a driver that produces greater clubhead speed with added forgiveness.

The Wilson D7 driver contains a clubhead which weighs just 192 grams and features RE-AKT Technology plus a combination of superlight design and reactive face technology, the combination of which aims to deliver faster clubhead speeds and ball speeds for added distance.

The new Wilson D7 driver features a (K)omposite lightweight crown design, which has helped the company to lower the CG position of the driver. The composite crown is made with a layer of Kevlar sandwiched between layers of carbon fiber, which aims to offer improved sound off the clubface while dampening any unwanted vibration.

This 2019 Wilson driver contains a fixed hosel and weighs in at just 280-grams total weight. The idea behind the lightness of the driver is to offer slower-swing speed golfers the chance to increase their club speed significantly.

Speaking on the new release from Wilson, Jon Pergande, Global Innovation Manager at Wilson Golf stated

“The process of creating the D7 driver started with designing the head shape and then stripping out all available weight, almost 25 grams. This weight was strategically returned to the head with the goal of improving the sound of the driver and optimizing ball flight with Dynamic Launch Control.”

In the Wilson D7 driver, golfers will have the opportunity of choosing between three different lofts (9, 10.5, 13 degrees).

The 9-degree driver is targeted for players with a faster swing speed, with internal weights moved forward in the aim of reducing spin and offering a lower launch. The 10.5-degree option is designed for golfers with a moderate-to-fast swing with weighting towards the middle to provide for more spin and a higher launch, while the 13-degree option is aimed at those with a slow-to-moderate swing speed with weighting further back for a high launching and spinning driver.

The Wilson D7 driver contains the new UST-Mamiya Helium Series shaft, which is available in A-flex (45 grams), R-flex (46 grams) and S-flex (57 grams). The new release also contains Wilson’s Staff MicroLite Lamkin grip, which weighs just 28 grams.

The driver will hit retail stores on January 21 and will cost $299.99.

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