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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 @giannimosquito

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

Top 10 most iconic driver and fairway wood shafts of all time

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fujikura golf shaft

If there is one thing we love as golf gear junkies, it’s driver (and fairway wood) shafts!

From the early years to today’s modern designs, materials, and profiles, there are some shafts that have maintained steady popularity—like a Ping Eye 2 lob wedge. There are a lot of graphite shafts that have stood the test of time, and they bring back memories of great driver combos gone by.

This is my top 10 list (in no particular order) of the most iconic driver shafts of all time.

Fujikura 757 Speeder

Fujikura golf shaft

Launched more than two decades ago, you could arguably say it’s the shaft that started the shaft craze. Built from advanced materials in a profile that was designed to work for stabilizing larger driver heads of the time—you know when 300cc was HUGE. The Speeder 757 was an instant hit among PGA Tour players, most notably Fred Couples, who used the shaft for over a decade and was said to have at one point remove all the remaining stock from one of the equipment vans for his personal use.

Aldila NV

Aldila NV Green golf shaft

One of the very first “low-spin monsters,” the Aldila NV took the PGA Tour and retail by storm when it was introduced. The unique green paint made it easily recognizable, and thanks to the many weights it was offered in, it was just as popular in fairway woods as it was in drivers. Honorable mention goes to its cousin the NVS (orange version) that was softer in profile and easier to launch. At a time when most off the rack drivers had three shaft options (low, medium, and high flight-promoting shafts), the NV was the staple as the low-launch option in many OEM offerings.

Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board

Diamana Blue Board - Tiger shaft

Originally very hard to find, the Diamana Blue Board was a shaft that fit a large variety of golfers. Its name was derived from the blue oval that surrounded the “Diamana” on the all silver/ion painted shaft. Just like others on the list, the Blue Board came in a variety of weight options and was made particularly popular by Tiger Woods. Best known by most shaft junkies as being extremely smooth, it is one of the first sought after shafts in the aftermarket.

True Temper EI-70

True temper graphite EI70

It’s hard to picture a classic 900 series Titleist Driver without an EI-70 shaft in it. The EI-70 was lower torque—when that was a big talking point in shaft design—and it had a fairly stout profile, which in turn made it very stable. Unlike others on the list, it was much more subdued as far as its paint and graphics, but the green shaft was a mainstay for many years on tour and in the bags or recreational golfers.

Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6/7

Tour AD Di7 Tiger orange shaft

It’s hard to figure out if it was the design and performance of the shaft or the performance of a certain golfer (a certain Mr. Woods) that to this day makes the Tour AD DI-7 so popular. Painted BRIGHT orange with a bend profile that offered a lot of stability and playability for a variety of player types, it can still be spotted on tour every week. You could call the DI-7 the grandchild of the YS6/7, which should also get an honorable mention for its well documented smooth feel.

UST ProForce

UST golf shaft gold graphite

The aptly nicknamed “Lakers Shaft” because of its original gold and purple paint job, this was another shaft that was just as popular at the retail level as it was on the PGA Tour. As driver head sizes were going up (400cc ), players were looking for stability and this offered it. The most notable player to use it was Jim Furyk, who won the 2003 U.S. Open with one in the bag.

Grafalloy Blue

Blue graphite shaft stenson

Henrik Stenson and the Grafalloy Blue in his 3-wood. Name a more iconic duo…(I’ll wait). An updated and stiffer version of the Prolite, the Blue stood out for a couple reasons—its color, and its extremely low torque. Most golfers wouldn’t consider the Blue a very smooth feeling shaft, because it took a lot of speed and a quick tempo to maximize its performance, but it did birth another shaft for average player: the Prolaunch Blue, which is still available to this day.

Matrix Ozik TP7HD

1000 golf shaft Matrix

$1,100 bucks! That was the original asking price for the Martix Ozik TP7HD. Matrix thought of this design as a concept car of shafts and threw everything they had at it including exotic materials like Zylon, and the fact that it was wrapped on a 16-sided hexadecagon mandrel. Some golfers said it had a fluid-like feel (we golfers can sure be weirdly descriptive) but it still had a LOT of stability thanks to the materials. Although never as popular as many on the list, if you did spot one of these in the wild you knew its owner was VERY serious about golf gear.

True Temper Bi-Matrix

bimatrix Bubba golf shaft

Bi (two) matrix (a surrounding medium or structure). The first and only truly notable shaft to be made from putting two very different and distinct pieces together. The bottom portion of the shaft utilizes a steel tip section that serves to add stability and additional weight. This shaft is quirky, which is something that could also be said about Bubba Watson, who has used this shaft for over a decade now in MANY different Ping drivers (although Tiger did give it a go for a short period).

Accra SE-80

ryan palmer accra 5 wood shaft

This shaft might seem like the underdog of the bunch, but if you talk to any longtime club builder and get into “vintage” aftermarket shafts, undoubtedly the Accra SE-80 is going to come up at some point. Originally launched in 2006, the SE-80 combined a very low torque rating with an active tip section to help increase launch—yet feel extremely stable. Even though this shaft design is officially a teenager now, you can still find it in the bag of PGA Tour winner Ryan Palmer, who uses it in a TaylorMade R15 5-wood.

 

Editor’s Note: Let us know any shafts you think should be included in the comment section, WRXers!

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “TaylorMade Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases TaylorMade’s Albertsons Boise Open putter covers. The covers have impressed our members, who are hoping that the new additions will now come to retail.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire thread and have your say on the covers at the link below.

  • Green In Reg: “Name your price TM!”
  • chrisokeefe12: “Those are super cool. Would be sweet if they did one for every major college.”
  • Titletown: “Those are great.”

Entire Thread: “TaylorMade Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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Whats in the Bag

Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 BMW Championship

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX

justin-thomas-witb-driver

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX

5-wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-iron), Titleist 718 MB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 52, 56 degrees), Vokey Design SM6 (60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Photo via Vokey Wedge Rep Aaron Dill

Putter: Scotty Cameron X5

Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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How @justinthomas34 marks his @titleist Pro V1x ????

A post shared by Ben Alberstadt (@benalberstadt) on

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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