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Tech Talk: Mickelson’s KBS Tour V2 shafts

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Phil Mickelson was vocal in post-round interviews last week about the importance of his change to Callaway’s new Razr Fit Extreme driver, which he said allowed him to be more confident off the tee in his record-setting performance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. But a look at Mickelson’s stats for the week shows that his iron play was more important to his 28-under total at TPC Scottsdale than his tee shots.

Mickelson ranked T11 in driving distance, averaging 298.8 yards off the tee — about 10 yards more than his 2013 season average. He was also 55th in the field driving accuracy, hitting the fairway 57.14 percent of the time — about 5 percent better than his season average.

However, Mickelson led the field by hitting 87.5 percent of greens in regulation at TPC Scottsdale, a staggering 14 percent better than his season average. He also birdied nine of the 16 par-3 holes, which led to a 9-under score on those holes that was nine shots better than the field average.

Callaway went out of its way to inform golfers that Mickelson’s 9.5-degree Razr Fit Xtreme driver head (adjusted to an open position for an actual loft of 8.1 degrees) is the same one available to consumers at retail. But what consumers will not be able to buy any time soon are Mickelson’s “KBS Tour V2” iron shafts, which he used in his Callaway Razr X Muscleback 4 iron through pitching wedge and Callaway JAWS 52-, 60- and 64-degree wedges.

KBS Tour

The prototype shafts are stiffer in the tip section of the shaft (the part closest to the club head) than the x-flex version of the KBS Tour shafts, which is achieved by making the diameter of the shaft larger in that area. The change gave Mickelson the more penetrating, lower-spinning trajectory that he wanted. The shafts are also five grams lighter, which according to KBS Marketing Director Eric Hubble, gave Mickelson back some of the feel that is lost with a stiff-tip iron shaft.

Just how picky is Lefty with his equipment? Last March at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Mickelson put the original version of the KBS Tour V2 iron shafts in play in his 5 iron through pitching wedge. In May, KBS lead designer Kim Braly was still working with Mickelson during practice rounds at The Players Championship to tweak the construction of each individual short iron shaft. The tweaking lasted until last summer, which is when Braly and Mickelson finally ended their revision process.

Click here to see what else was in Mickelson’s bag at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. benseattle

    Feb 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    <>

    Sorta blows a hole in the concept from a few amateurs that “I must have a head from the tour van!” don’t it?

  2. adrien

    Feb 5, 2013 at 10:26 am

    correction, heavier wedge SHAFTS are useless?

  3. adrien

    Feb 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

    same shaft in all irons including the wedges? so heavier wedge irons are useless?

  4. Patrick Smith

    Feb 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

    well that blows….why not release them? I’m sure they would be a good seller. Zak – what do you think of the KBS c-tapers? I think they may be the best KBS shafts out there right now.

  5. Zak Kozuchowski

    Feb 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    KBS says there are currently no plans to release the V2 version of the KBS Tour shafts.

  6. Brian Cass

    Feb 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    KBS Tour V2 won’t be available until mid 2013?

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pga tour

Alexander Levy’s Winning WITB: 2018 Hassan Trophy

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Driver: TaylorMade M2 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 915Fd (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK 70TX

Hybrid: Titleist 816 H1 (17 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-95X Hybrid

Irons: Titleist 716 CB (3), Titleist 714 MB (4-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper 120S

Wedges: Titleist SM6 (52-08F),Titleist SM7 (58)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue

Putter: Odyssey O Works 7
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Levy’s clubs. 

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Joaquin Niemann WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Valero Texas Open (4/16/2018).

Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

3 Wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

Hybrid: Ping G400 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-95x Hybrid

Irons: Ping iBlade (4-9)
Shaft: Project X 6.0

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (46-12SS, 52-12SS, 56-12SS, 60-06TS)
Shaft: Project X 6.5

Putter: Ping Anser 2
Grip: Ping Pistol

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Niemann’s clubs.

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Zach Cabra WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Houston Open (3/27/2018).

Driver: Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Max 75X

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White d+ 80X

Irons: Mizuno MP-Fli-Hi (2, 3), Piretti Limited Edition (4-PW)
Shaft: Aerotech SteelFiber hls880 (2), Aerotech SteelFiber i80 (3-PW)

Wedges: Callaway MD3 Milled (50-10S, 54-10S), Callaway Mack Daddy PM (60-10)
Shaft: KBS Tour 125 S+

Putter: Piretti 801 CU
Grip: Piretti Pistol

WITB Notes: We spotted Cabra with 15 clubs in the bag ahead of the 2018 Houston Open. We’ll update this post when we confirm the 14 clubs we used in competition.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Cabra’s clubs.

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