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Mickelson brings 8-year-old Callaway prototype hybrid to Memphis

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Update (June 9): Mickelson did not use the prototype hybrid in Round 1 of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. 

We spotted Phil Mickelson with a prototype Callaway hybrid in the bag at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. How do we know it’s a prototype? Well, that’s what it says on the sole.

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The hybrid is one of the most nondescript clubs we’ve seen on the PGA Tour from Callaway this year, at least in terms of graphics and features. The logos are old-school and so are the colors: black and silver. There’s also no adjustable hosel, moveable weights, and no carbon fiber as there is in Callaway’s new Epic hybrids.

According to a Callaway representative, there’s a reason for that. The hybrid is a prototype that “played a part in helping (Callaway) develop the shape of (its) current Steelhead XR Hybrid.”

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Maybe the most interesting feature of the club is its extremely rounded sole, which is also reminiscent of Callaway’s X Hot Pro hybrid that was released in 2012 garnered a cult-like following. Its added offset and curvaceous sole made it an incredible performer from the rough for many golfers.

Callaway told GolfWRX in 2012 was that the shape of the X Hot Pro was inspired by a hybrid Mickelson helped design for the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black to combat the deep rough. Based on the graphics on this hybrid, it appears this is that hybrid.

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The loft (22 degrees) is also significantly higher than the loft Mickelson generally uses in a hybrid (he’s often in the 17-19 degree range).

Related: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mickelson’s new hybrid. 

In other Mickelson news, the golfer announced earlier this week that he plans to skip the U.S. Open to attend his daughter’s high school graduation, where his daughter, the class president, is scheduled to speak. Golf fans have reacted with a petition to have the high school move its graduation day so Mickelson can play in the only major championship he’s yet to win.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. tadlehmann

    Jun 7, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    is it just a weird angle, or is this club as hooded as it appears? The address pic makes me feel like you’d have to lay that wide open just to hit it straight

  2. Blake

    Jun 7, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Better looking club than most they have put out in the last 4-5 yrs

  3. Xav

    Jun 7, 2017 at 11:32 am

    If it works bag it! We should all aspire to put family ahead of golf. Way to go Phil!

  4. Ty Webb

    Jun 7, 2017 at 8:47 am

    That club is old he put it in play at the 2009 us open at bethpage.

    It’s a us open only club funny he is using it in Memphis if he is not playing in the us open??

    My guess he is and is waiting for an early tee time so he can fly back for the graduation.

    • xjohnx

      Jun 7, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Everything about it definitely fits in that era. Callaway has not used their logo without “golf” for many years.

      • xjohnx

        Jun 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

        I guess I should have said without “golf” or without the chevron below it.

  5. ooffa

    Jun 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Phil at a golf tournament. Interesting. He didn’t have to be at movie night with the Family?

    • Charlie

      Jun 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

      This is one of the dumbest comments I have ever seen on GolfWRX

    • Ckplus1

      Jun 7, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Yes , cause being a family man, supporting, proud father is so uncool?!? Ooffa, a little jealous??

      • V

        Jun 7, 2017 at 11:44 am

        No, ooffa just dumb

        • ooffa

          Jun 7, 2017 at 2:46 pm

          I thought you guys would be smart enough to recognize sarcasm. I was wrong, you’re not!

          • Mike

            Jun 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm

            There needs to be a sarcasm font that is universally accepted on this website

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Ben Hogan adds GS53 MAX driver to lineup

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Ben Hogan golf is throwing its Hogan flat cap into the ring and entering the MAX driver-category with the introduction of the all-new 460cc GS53 MAX driver.

The GS53 MAX creates extra forgiveness, thanks in part to its multi-material construction and a 22-percent larger and 11-percent taller face than the current GS53. For those that love the original GS53, don’t worry it will continue to remain in the line, with the new MAX being a line extension for those looking to get extra help on shots missed around the face.

The driver is constructed from 4 distinct pieces

  • Carbon composite crown to reduce mass around the top of the driver’s head and to push more mass low to increase MOI.
  • Forged face for precision, and ball speed
  • Titanium soleplate with perimeter mass
  • Tungsten weight at the rear of the sole to further increase MOI and help increase launch while reducing spin.

Thanks in part to the weight savings from the crown, the titanium soleplate has more mass positioned away from the face and around the edges to increase the stability of the head, and to acoustically tune the driver for a solid sound at impact.

“The combination of the lightweight composite crown and tungsten sole weight allows us to position the Center of Mass so that we maximize launch while decreasing the amount of ball spin. This provides a higher ball flight, especially for players who don’t have Tour-caliber clubhead speeds for increased carry and roll out. “
– Scott White, CEO, Ben Hogan Golf Company.

The GS53 MAX driver will initially be available right-handed and come in lofts of 9° and 10.5°. It will be adjustable using their proprietary hosel adjustment system known as “flight control”, which offers the ability to add or decrease loft by 1° and lie angle all while never having to worry about realigning the shaft/grip.

The last part of the driver puzzle is the shafts options and to increase the value to consumers the GS53 MAX comes with the choice of three premium aftermarket shafts including:

  • Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black for golfers seeking a lower trajectory
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Blue for golfers seeking a mid trajectory
  • UST Mamiya Helium for those seeking a higher trajectory

Price, specs, and availability 

Thanks to Ben Hogan Golf’s direct-to-consumer model, the new 460cc GS53 MAX, is available starting today fior $355.00 with the choice of the 3 premium shaft options.

For more information on other Ben Hogan clubs including fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putters or to purchase the GS53 MAX Driver visit www.benhogangolf.com.

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U.S. retail golf equipment sales exceed record $1 billion mark

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This summer, golf saw a surge in business as states emerged from COVID lockdown and equipment sales is one of the areas that has been booming.

On Wednesday, Golf Datatech, an industry research firm, announced that U.S. retail golf equipment sales surpassed the $1 billion mark for the third quarter – which is the first time sales have reached $1 billion for July, August and September.

That figure also represents the second-highest quarter ($1.013 billion in Q2, 2008) of all-time, and per Golf Datatech, golf equipment sales for 2020 are up a whopping 42% over the same period in 2019.

Speaking on the incredible surge in equipment sales, John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech, LLC, said

“The story keeps getting better as golf continues to surge coming out of the shutdown, and Q3 equipment sales suggests that 2020 will likely end up positive for the entire year. Year-to-date sales for total equipment are now up 0.2% compared to 2019, and considering the size of the hole created by the shutdown in April and May this recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. While the US economy will not enjoy a ‘V Shaped Recovery’ in 2020, if golf continues on this trajectory we will be there soon.”

Per the company, the best selling items for September were golf bags at +19% and wedges at +18%, while golf shoes were +2%.

Overall, the golf club category was +0.9% for the month, with balls and gloves trending slightly lower at -2.7%. Krzynowek also revealed that rounds played was another area with surging numbers:

“These month-over-month sales records are unlike anything we’ve ever seen since Golf Datatech started tracking performance data in 1997. Our Rounds Played data also shows similar record-breaking growth over the past several months, which is a strong indication that avid golfers and newcomers alike are driving the sport to new levels right now.”

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Equipment

‘Play a big driver. Why not big irons?’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the case for big irons. WRXer ‘2Down’ plays a Ping G410+ driver and has recently put Ping’s G710 irons in the bag, saying:

“Wondered how many play a large headed driver and play a draw or fade off the tee but when they pull an iron it’s some blade size thing so they can “work” the ball.

Recently I put G710 in the bag and answered my question for myself. They feel different for sure, but I am quickly adapting to only bringing the putter with me to the green.”

Our members have been discussing the combination in our forums.

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.

  • Itsjustagame: “Personal preference but big irons tend to have more bounce, more offset and wider soles some or all of which may not suit a particular player.”
  • Fairway14: “Driver is played from a lie with the ball sitting on a tee, irons are played from a variety of lie types.”
  • J13: “They don’t really make “big” irons for players. Most have offset low CG for high launch, and super strong lofts.”
  • LeoLeo99: “I love my big irons. G400. Best I’ve ever used.”

Entire Thread: “Play a big driver. Why not big irons?”

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