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Mickelson confirms plan to use “Phrankenwood”

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Phil Mickelson confirmed that he will use a small-headed driver called a “Phrankenwood” at the Masters this week in a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

The club’s official name is the Callaway X Hot Phrankenwood, which was rumored to a 2 wood, something between a driver and a 3 wood that Mickelson could control better than a driver and hit off the ground in certain cases. 
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As it turns out, the club is actually more of a driver. Mickelson said that the Phrankenwood has 8.5 degrees of loft, only about 0.5 degrees more than his Callaway Razr Fit Xtreme driver, and the same Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki K 70X shaft, at 45 inches.

According to Scott Goryl, senior manager of global communications at Callaway, Mickelson began searching for a fairway wood that went as far as his driver early this year, one that launched with less spin and allowed him to more easily hit the ball left-to-right, a draw for Mickelson.

Mickelson said that the Phrankenwood “knocks the spin off the ball,” which allowed his practice round tee shots on No. 9 at Augusta to get to the bottom of the hill, a feat he said he hasn’t been able to accomplish in years.

The Phrankenwood measures 250 cubic centimeters, 190 CC’s less than Mickelson’s Razr Fit Xtreme driver that he has used for much of 2013. But it’s 65 CC’s larger than Mickelson’s 3 wood, a 13-degree Callaway X Hot Pro 3 Deep, which Mickelson used as the longest club in his bag at the Shell Houston Open two weeks ago.

The Phrankenwood features the same key constructions as Callaway’s X Hot fairway woods, a 455-Carpenter stainless steel “Speed Frame Face Cup,” an ultra-thin stainless steel cast body and an “Internal Standing Wave” that moves the center of gravity of the club head lower and more forward than previous models.

The USGA’s limitation on coefficient of restitution mandates that no club have a COR rating, or spring-like effect, of more than 0.830, which means the Phrankenwood can’t have faster ball speeds on center hits than a driver. But its unique size, shape and construction is obviously giving Mickelson less spin on his tee shots, which likely limits carry distance but apparently more than makes up for that in roll.

It’s not clear where Mickelson needs to hit the Phrankenwood off the deck at Augusta, but the slots in the sole and the club’s small size indicate that he can if he needs to.

Expect Mickelson to use the Phrankenwood exclusively on tee shots where he needs to hit the ball left-to-right, and for him to opt for his 13-degree 3Deep on holes that bend right-to-left, much like the two-driver strategy he employed in his 2006 Masters win.

Note: Unlike the X Hot drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, which feature dark grey paint with a matte finish on their crowns, the X Hot Phrankenwood features a shiny black-painted crown like the Razr Fit Xtreme. Check out the photos below, which include shots we captured during Wednesday and Thursday’s practice rounds.

 

Click here to see what people are saying in the forums.

 

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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.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Bill

    Apr 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Never mind. Found the stats for Phil. He was in the 290s with the Frankenwood. Pretty darn good. Will have to check the rest of the stats to see where he faltered.

  2. Bill

    Apr 14, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Wonder what Phils take on his Frankenwood is now. I’d like to see his driving stats from Augusta. I give him points for trying new things but he won at Pebble with the Razr Fit Xtreme and left it in the garage for a 2 wood. I agree that 460cc heads have their problems but the 440cc xtreme driver sets up well and he had success with it. Paddy Harrington is the poster boy for what happens when you over tinker.
    To be fair, Phil is getting towards the end of his peak and is looking for an edge. Still, while I get the 3 deep, I don’t really buy into the Frankenwood.

  3. Jack

    Apr 11, 2013 at 3:07 am

    So after all this stuff with bigger clubheads more forgiving, now we are going back to smaller heads to reduce spin?

  4. Pingback: Mickelson Set To Tee Off With Phrankenwood | Mulligang Golf

  5. Bob Sailer

    Apr 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    .830 COR is for all clubs. If you shoot a ball at a clubface out of an Air Cannon at 100mph and it rebounds back faster then 83mph then it is too hot and is illegal (hence the .83). This was the way they did the original tests. Now they use Characteristic Time (CT) which is a differnent test.

  6. Jim A

    Apr 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve been playing a “phrankenwood” for the better part of the past 15 years. It’s called an Orlimar TriMetal Plus 12* strong 3-wood. It’s also a “spin killer.” So I can carry and roll it as long as any oversize titanium diver I’ve ever hit. And at just 43.5″, I rarely miss the sweet spot. The tungsten sole weights and rails allow me to chase par 5’s off the deck, the only situation in which I ever need a fairway wood (since the emergence of hybrids). So now I can carry an extra hybrid (a #2H to go along with my #3H), both of which round out my irons (4-PW, GW, SW, and LW).

  7. MattK

    Apr 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    In about 3 months, this will be available for $300 at your local golf shop. LOL

  8. Jeremy

    Apr 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Zak,
    I’m going to somehow agree with both you and Rob. The rules states that drivers are limited in COR. It does not simply say “woods are limited” which would make it much easier to understand for all. However, unless clubheads in 2/3 woods are greatly increased and deepened, getting to a .830 just isn’t going to happen. I think the USGA and R/A are going to have to very shortly have to define what a driver is with CC regulations and so on. Otherwise we are going to be pushing close to it very shortly Technology is just growing faster than courses can.

  9. Sailer

    Apr 9, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Sounds like familiar hype after Phil won the Phoenix open and was bragging about his new driver and how it was the best thing ever. He is currently 166th on Tour in driving accuracy@ 52%. Better run out and by one, eh? What a crock!!

  10. Zak Kozuchowski

    Apr 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Rob,

    If 3 woods could have higher COR ratings than drivers, none of the tour players would be playing drivers anymore. They’d be obsolete!

    Thanks for reading.

    – Zak

  11. Rob

    Apr 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    The USGA’s limitation on coefficient of restitution mandates that no club have a COR rating, or spring-like effect, of more than 0.830,

    I don’t think this is true for fairway woods as the ERC II driver was rulled non-conforming but the 3 wood was due to it being a fairway wood

    • Rob

      Apr 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      you are right I relooked at the archives! LOL

      • Yamoms

        Apr 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm

        False. There just isn’t a 3 wood that has achieved the .830 core. So while drivers have reached the limit and can’t make improvements on core, fairway woods still can get hotter.

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pga tour

Andrew “Beef” Johnston WITB 2017

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2017 RSM Classic (11/14/17).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 80TX

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H2 (19 Degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 90HY TX

Driving Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 2 & 3 Iron (17 & 20 Degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Irons: Titleist 718 MB (3-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 50-08F, 54-10S)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat I GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport 2
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat II GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

WITB Notes: Beef was testing a variety of putters ahead of The RSM Classic. We will update this post when his choice is confirmed. 

Related:

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

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The hottest blade irons in golf right now

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As we’ve written before, the decision to put a new driver in the bag is usually obvious. Better numbers at testing, perceptibly longer distance, and as long as your bank account allows, you have your new gamer.

The iron switch, however, is a trickier beast. Comfort with the variety of shots one needs to hit is key. Confidence from one’s long irons through the higher lofts is critical. Thus, even the greatest enthusiasm for a new iron release isn’t always followed by a mass exodus to gaming said irons. This is doubly true at the professional level, where the tools are critical to a player’s livelihood.

That said, the combination of forum chatter, GolfWRX member enthusiasm, and what we’re spotting in our WITB photos from tour stops are a reliable indicator of the hottest irons in the game.

And judging by the response to our recent Instagram post, we’re confident that these four models are the hottest blade irons in golf right now.

Callaway Apex MB

Buzz built steadily for the Apex MB iron when we first spotted them in Tour players’ bags at the beginning of 2017. The irons are the product of direct feedback from the company’s Tour staffers, according to Luke Williams, Director of Product and Brand Management at Callaway. Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel, these irons have the shortest blade lengths, the thinnest soles and the smallest overall heads in the vast line of Callaway irons. They’re designed for maximum workability, and for tour-desired turf interaction.

Related: Callaway (finally) launches new Apex MB and X Forged irons

Mizuno MP-18

The pioneers of Grain-Flow Forging, Mizuno went back to its roots with the MP-18 iron model. A throwback to the great muscle backs in the company’s history, Mizuno was shooting for the look of an iron that could have been forged a century ago. Shorter blade length, cambered top line, sharp, compact wedges, all combined with the most minimal badging make the MP-18 an instant classic that set the GolfWRX forums afire.

Related: Mizuno brings the MP family closer together

TaylorMade P730

TaylorMade’s P730, particularly in its prototype incarnations, made quite a splash on the PGA Tour. Building on the heritage of the TP-MB irons, P730 was developed in collaboration with the very best players in the world. The 1025 carbon steel irons irons feature a smaller profile and crisper lines than the MB series irons. The combination of the clean look and a deep rear groove have players drooling. Discussing working with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose to design the P730, TM’s Senior Director of Irons, Tomo Bystedt said, “What these players need is a very low-inertia club that they can [manipulate] easily, almost like a surgeon’s scalpel.” Behold the scalpel.

Related: Taylormade expands forged offerings with P730 and P790

Titleist 718 MB

“For the purist there is no substitute for a one-piece, muscle back iron. The 718 MB is the modern choice for those desiring a traditional forged look and feel,” says Titleist in the 718 MB marketing materials.

It’s hard to argue with that statement from the “appearance of a classic forged iron” standpoint. Purists appreciate that the 718 MB maintains Titleist’s traditional lofts (the 6-iron is 31 degrees, the pitching-wedge is 47 degrees), thin top-line, minimal offset, and limited badging. In short, if it ain’t broke…

Related: Titleist’s 718 irons offer endless possibilities.

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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