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Details on the putter Bubba Watson credited for his Hero win

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After Bubba Watson won the Hero World Championship in the Bahamas this weekend, he credited a new Ping putter with a “dot system” for the three-shot win. As it turns out, the dot system is less complicated than it sounds — Watson switched to a dot alignment aid on the top rail of a new Milled Anser 1 putter instead of his typical sight line on the flange. What Watson didn’t tell us about the putter, however, turns out to be the more interesting part of the story.

The putter Bubba Watson used to win the 2014 Masters.

The putter Bubba used to win the 2014 Masters.

According to Ping’s Director of Communications Pete Samuels, the Ping team wanted Watson to try a new putter, something different than the rainbow-finished Milled Anser 1 that he used to win the 2014 Masters and has been his go-to putter ever since. So Ping milled a one-off putter to Watson’s specifications through its WRX (custom) department, which was ready for him when he arrived at Ping’s HQ in Phoenix on Nov. 19 for a video shoot.

Photo courtesy of Ping

Bubba testing the new putter at Ping HQ (Photo courtesy of Ping)

The head weight of that putter was 318 grams (the total weight was 493.5 grams), which turned out to be too light for Watson, but he liked the sight dot alignment aid he requested and asked Ping to make another one, this time heavier.

Watson watches his putter being milled to his specifications (Photo courtesy of Ping)

Bubba watches his putter being milled to his specifications (Photo courtesy of Ping)

Ping delivered the heavier model (head weight 339 grams, total weight 520.6 grams) to Watson before Thanksgiving, which proved to be slightly too heavy for his taste. The Goldilocks game ended when Watson returned to Ping HQ on Nov. 30, and the Ping team machined 10 grams of weight off the face of the putter while Watson waited, giving the putter a head weight of 329 grams (total weight 510.6 grams).

As for the finishing touches, Watson had his first and last name engraved on the bumpers of the putter with the letters painted red, white and blue. The putter measures 34.5 inches, and has 2 degrees of loft with a lie angle of 69 degrees. Watson’s grip is Ping’s PP58 Midsize Gray with three wraps of grip tape.

From Twitter (@bubbawatson)

From Twitter (@bubbawatson)

Click here to see photos of the rest of the clubs Watson used to win the Hero World Challenge.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Charlie

    Dec 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    The Nike Method 001 that Tiger uses has the same dot as well.

  2. Bill Schoneberger

    Dec 9, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Cool putter but I’m MORE interested in the Pool/Putting TABLE picture. Why the heck is it up in the air like that and what is PING learning from it??

    • Scooter

      Dec 9, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Just a guess … looks like a large slab that is precision installed to make sure the surface is completely flat, no break in any direction

  3. Alex

    Dec 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

    They way Bubba putts, the smooth swing, the square face… He can make putts with a hockey stick.

  4. Tom Duckworth

    Dec 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    All jokes aside but is that the same face pattern as a Rife putter? Is it stainless steel?

  5. Jay

    Dec 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    I want to know what finish that is because it’s not the nickel plated finish on the Anser Milled line. That putter looks great!

  6. mike

    Dec 7, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I’m still not following what the Dot Alignment has to do with his Choice of change of putters?. I agree it does look a lot like a Rife.

  7. rex235

    Dec 7, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Actually Ryan, at PING they do, but they just won’t market it.

    (See Phil Mickelson British Open, and the Callaway Mack Daddy Wedges)

    PING might offer the putter as a series, but it could be $$$$ if you want your name milled too.

    Already have 3 LH Dale Head Ansers at various weights.

    “BubbaDale” may not work.

  8. tom

    Dec 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Great info. So much for the theory that everyone should use heavier putters on faster greens. Most amateurs these days would scoff at a 339 gram head weight, saying it’s too light. Yet Bubba is playing PGA Tournamnet greens with one. Interesting.

    • Joe Duffer

      Dec 10, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Bubba’s final putter had a 329 gram head. Lighter yet and very similar to Tiger’s.

  9. MJ

    Dec 7, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    What’s the “dot system”?

    All I see is a dot on the top line. Is that the whole system?

  10. Rife

    Dec 7, 2015 at 12:12 am

    It’s a RIFE!!!!

  11. Ryan S.

    Dec 6, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    If Bubba dosn’t want the 318 gram putter I’ll gladly take it off their hands. Lefties don’t get many chances like this.

  12. Mike

    Dec 6, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Great looking flat stick!

  13. Chuck

    Dec 6, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Interesting. But of course for the retail market, where players can’t get heads milled to their weight preferences, interchangeable weights make sense.

    The thing I really wanted to know about was the groove configuration on the putter face. As people were asking in the photo thread on Bubba’s new putter, is that a new design? A mod of the current retail Ping configuration (“True Roll”) or something else? A proto design?

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Equipment

2021 Callaway Epic Speed Launch Day Report: Everything you need to know about the new equipment from Callaway

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It’s the official launch day of the all-new Callaway Epic Speed line of metal woods, which includes both driver and fairway wood models—Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic LS. To summarize the newest releases, Callaway engineers are taking their artificial intelligence as far as they ever have by using it to optimize both the face and body of the driver to deliver forgiveness and distance increasing ball speed across the face like never before.

If are looking for in-depth information, on the ins and outs of the new designs and the technology that makes them possible, check out our full launch pieces below.

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

The Epic Speed is the fastest swinging driver Callaway has ever made. The elevated Cyclone Aero Design gives players a clubhead that gets through the air and down into impact faster creating even more ball speed opportunities.

2021 Callaway Epic Max driver

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Max driver is a heater, but more than anything, it’s forgiving. Using all the tech bells and whistles from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown lighter with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. A rear sliding 17-gram weight in the trunk to tune in launch and shape and the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

2021 Callaway Epic Max LS

Out with the Sub Zero and in with the most playable players driver Callaway has created. With a neutral shape and weight configuration that is the more fade bias of the Callaway family, the new LS has a very high MOI (8,400+) for a tour-inspired driver. The idea was to give high speed players something fast all while mitigating the big miss better players fear. Yes, we all fear a big miss, but at high speeds, the foul ball is, well, a bit more foul. The new triaxial carbon crown saves 13 grams of weight, which was redistributed to increase MOI and lower CG.

Perspectives from the GolfWRX forums

  • bcflyguy1 – I’ve also found the Max head to be excellent when lofted down and weight pushed to the toe; becomes surprisingly neutral when configured as such. Obviously can see where many will prefer the more muted sound/feel and compact footprint of the Speed head or may need the greater fade bias from the Max LS and its Trip Diamond-ish shaping. However, the Max offers a VERY rare combination of tons or horsepower but with sufficient traction control to keep even me from figuratively wrapping it around a light pole.
  • noodle3873 – Just got back from hitting balls. My local Pro was breaking in his Epic LS 9° against his Mavrik SZ TD 9°. Both heads were built/hotmelted to the same weight. He was using GC Quad and brand new Srixon range balls (not ideal but numbers are like for like). On average he was getting more launch, more ball speed and a couple more yards out of the LS.
  • mtp –  I hit the whole lineup today. Not a fitting.  Just trying them out. Was using the HZRDUS Smoke Green. LS was best for me. Prefer the shape, sound and feel over my current Sim Max.
  • zeke66 – This thing is a beast. Hit it with a Paderson ballistic tp. I was swinging awful with all 3 drivers I was hitting including gamer, and wouldn’t leave the hitting bay until I started hitting it better. So I grabbed the Max Ls 9.0 and worked through it. Average ball speed was around 177 low 120’s with spin around 2100-2200, launch 12-15. When you catch one on the screws… it goes as good as anything I think.

More from the GolfWRX forums

GolfWRX’s resident equipment tester, Brian Knudson of the Club Junkie podcast, had this to say

Epic Max driver: A lot of draw bias, but easy to launch high and takes some right side out even with a neutral weight. Sound and feel are improved over Mavrik, much more muted and solid feeling. Center strikes are hot, and even misses carry some good ball speed.

Epic Speed driver: The best looking of the Epic drivers. Offers the most penetrating flight. Seems to be pretty low spin and easy to work the ball in either direction. Misses don’t stay online as well with more curvature. It is long and going to be a really good option for skilled players.

Epic Max LS driver: Very forgiving and offering a straighter flight than Max. Slightly lower trajectory as well. Toe misses hold their line better than the other two. Shots low on the face don’t get up as high as expected but still carry. Misses off-center still have good carry distance

Here’s what the biggest YouTube testers and reviews have to say on the newest Callaway Apex line

And on Instagram

 

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A post shared by Callaway Golf (@callawaygolf)

From the Twitterverse

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Equipment

Best utility iron of 2021 – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing 2021 utility irons. WRXer ‘Krod10359’ kicks off the thread, saying:

“Just want to know your opinion on what new utility iron you have hit this year. Looks like a lot of solid offerings out right now from Ping, Srixon and Callaway. Let me hear what you have to say about these clubs.”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum.

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

  • hypergolf: “This…(photo above)”
  • TigerInTheWoods: “Sim Udi is a beauty. Launches a bit higher and is a bit more forgiving than the P790 UDI which was really the benchmark for this kind of club.”
  • craz-e: “Hard to go past the Srixon for performance and value. The current offerings from Titleist (u500 & u501) and Mizuno (HMB) are also great options and worth trying.”
  • Golfingfanatic: “The new Callaway one is pretty good.”

Entire Thread: “Best utility iron of 2021”

Not yet a GolfWRX member? Sign up for FREE here.

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Equipment

2021 Callaway Epic driver: Epic Speed, Epic Max & Epic LS drivers

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Callaway Golf introduces new Epic driver lineup for 2021—Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers—giving us the best of everything.

When it comes to a hot face, Callaway Golf has been at the top of the heap since its introduction of Jailbreak Technology back in 2017. In simplest terms, Jailbreak allowed Callaway to vertically stiffen the face, which allows the face to absorb a ton of energy and release it right back into the golf ball.

When Epic hit the market, it was instantly the driver of that year due to its ball speeds and forgiveness across the face, but most importantly for Callaway, it gave the company a strong foundation to build from for models to come.

In 2020, with the help of artificial intelligence, Callaway engineers were able push that idea a bit further with the successful Mavrik line. This time, artificial intelligence took Jailbreak and found ways to make it even more efficient with the addition of the Flash Face.

Now, in 2021, using every piece of tech at its disposal, Callaway officially launches the new 2021 Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers.

The new AI-designed, carbon-loaded, MOI machines are the culmination of now four iterations of Jailbreak technology, and in my opinion, Callaway has its fastest but more importantly—most golf-course friendly—driver ever.

Let’s dive in…

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

The Epic Speed is the fastest swinging driver Callaway has ever made. The elevated Cyclone Aero Design gives players a clubhead that gets through the air and down into impact faster creating even more ball speed opportunities.

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed Driver, Cyclone Aero Shaping

In addition, the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and the new look Jailbreak Speed Frame create stiffness not only vertically across the face but east and west as well. The result? Speed, stability, and a ton of forgiveness.

The new 2021 Callaway driver, face on

“Spin robustness” is another key term in the 2021 Callaway campaign. What this means for us is giving players spin where we need it (i.e. off the heel spin stays down, off the toe spin stays up, out of the middle the ball goes forever).

Another key aspect to notice across the line is the enhanced composite crown. The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver has a triaxial carbon crown that covers even more real estate allowing Callaway to redistribute 16 grams of discretionary weight. The larger carbon surface area also innately created a way for Callaway R&D to make the Epic Speed a bit more draw friendly without having to add external weight to the heel.

Callaway Epic Speed driver, address

2021 Callaway Epic Max driver

Sole view of the new Callaway Epic Max driver

Yes, the new 2021 Callaway Epic Max driver is a heater, but more than anything, it’s forgiving. Using all the tech bells and whistles from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. A rear sliding 17-gram weight in the trunk to tune in launch and shape and the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Sliding weight

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Address

2021 Callaway Epic Max LS

Incorporating the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and Jailbreak technology, Callaway has created a new more forgiving profile in a players driver.

Out with the Sub Zero and in with the most playable players driver Callaway has created. With a neutral shape and weight configuration that is the more fade bias of the Callaway family, the new LS has a very high MOI (8,400+) for a tour-inspired driver. The idea was to give high speed players something fast all while mitigating the big miss better players fear. Yes, we all fear a big miss, but at high speeds, the foul ball is, well, a bit more foul. The new triaxial carbon crown saves 13 grams of weight, which was redistributed to increase MOI and lower CG.
Like Epic Max, LS also has a sliding weight to tune in adjustability.
Inspired by the Triple Diamond tour heads of the past, Callaway decided to go away from cranking spin down to oblivion and offer a driver that was actually closer to what the tour leans towards. Yes, they love a low spin head, but not too low spin. The Triple Diamond heads were basically a Sub Zero shape in a higher MOI profile. If you go through our tour photos, you will see more Triple Diamonds than anything. Obliterating launch and spin sounds good for Trackman, but it’s hard to play that way on the golf course all the time.

Initial Tour Reaction

I had a chance to chat with  Callaway’s PGA Tour Manager Jacob Davidson on the early response and this is what he had to say.

JW: In early testing, what is the first thing players are seeing with Speed and LS?

JD: Early feedback from the tour guys has been a noticeable difference in an increase in ball speed across the face but more importantly the dispersion has tightened down range. Many guys have also quickly fallen in love with the sound of the new metal woods.

JW: What most excited you with the new line?

JD: We knew early on with this product launch that we had an exceptional driver. To start- the look of the heads and the shaping allows the clubs to sit beautifully at the address position. From there the overall feel and sound matches exactly what tour guys prefer. The guys we have worked with have converted into the new woods extremely quickly with very positive feedback. For us, we are excited to have some great starting lines, a competitive ball speed advantage, and an increase in forgiveness.

We are constantly studying what makes world class drivers of the golf ball world class. After much research, we determined the ideal spin/ degree of launch and worked closely with our R&D team to reach these numbers. We were absolutely amazed to see what they came back to us with. Using AI they were able to figure out how to increase the MOI in this line of drivers while also focusing on more ball speed. It truly is remarkable the new frontier of technology we are using in our drivers to help our players play their best golf.

Overall Thoughts

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Epic Flash (acoustics), and Mavrik was solid but didn’t blow me away. This new 2021 Callaway Epic line of drivers is exactly what players want: a golf club that is playable all while providing the distance and performance we have gotten used to over the past few years. It’s a new trend in the market that I’m loving. Drivers are becoming golf course friendly again. We tried to kill spin—when ultimately it was our best friend in the long run.

Specs

At Retail: 2/18

Lofts: 9, 10.5, 12 degrees (Epic Speed) 9, 10.5 degrees(Epic Max & Epic Max LS)

Price: $529.99

Stock Shaft Offerings

  • Epic Speed Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g – S)
  • Epic MAX Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g -S)
  • Epic MAX LS: Mitsubishi MMT (60g – S,X. 70g – S,X)
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