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.
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.