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Mickelson confirms plan to use “Phrankenwood”

by   |   April 9, 2013

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.

 

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About

Zak is the Managing Editor of GolfWRX.com. He and his team cover golf's most important stories. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz.


13 Comments

  1. Bill

    April 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

    April 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

    April 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

    April 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

    April 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

    April 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm

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

  8. Jeremy

    April 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

    April 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

    April 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

    April 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

      April 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      you are right I relooked at the archives! LOL

      • Yamoms

        April 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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