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Tech Talk: Mickelson’s KBS Tour V2 shafts

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Phil Mickelson was vocal in post-round interviews last week about the importance of his change to Callaway’s new Razr Fit Extreme driver, which he said allowed him to be more confident off the tee in his record-setting performance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. But a look at Mickelson’s stats for the week shows that his iron play was more important to his 28-under total at TPC Scottsdale than his tee shots.

Mickelson ranked T11 in driving distance, averaging 298.8 yards off the tee — about 10 yards more than his 2013 season average. He was also 55th in the field driving accuracy, hitting the fairway 57.14 percent of the time — about 5 percent better than his season average.

However, Mickelson led the field by hitting 87.5 percent of greens in regulation at TPC Scottsdale, a staggering 14 percent better than his season average. He also birdied nine of the 16 par-3 holes, which led to a 9-under score on those holes that was nine shots better than the field average.

Callaway went out of its way to inform golfers that Mickelson’s 9.5-degree Razr Fit Xtreme driver head (adjusted to an open position for an actual loft of 8.1 degrees) is the same one available to consumers at retail. But what consumers will not be able to buy any time soon are Mickelson’s “KBS Tour V2” iron shafts, which he used in his Callaway Razr X Muscleback 4 iron through pitching wedge and Callaway JAWS 52-, 60- and 64-degree wedges.

KBS Tour

The prototype shafts are stiffer in the tip section of the shaft (the part closest to the club head) than the x-flex version of the KBS Tour shafts, which is achieved by making the diameter of the shaft larger in that area. The change gave Mickelson the more penetrating, lower-spinning trajectory that he wanted. The shafts are also five grams lighter, which according to KBS Marketing Director Eric Hubble, gave Mickelson back some of the feel that is lost with a stiff-tip iron shaft.

Just how picky is Lefty with his equipment? Last March at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Mickelson put the original version of the KBS Tour V2 iron shafts in play in his 5 iron through pitching wedge. In May, KBS lead designer Kim Braly was still working with Mickelson during practice rounds at The Players Championship to tweak the construction of each individual short iron shaft. The tweaking lasted until last summer, which is when Braly and Mickelson finally ended their revision process.

Click here to see what else was in Mickelson’s bag at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. benseattle

    Feb 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    <>

    Sorta blows a hole in the concept from a few amateurs that “I must have a head from the tour van!” don’t it?

  2. adrien

    Feb 5, 2013 at 10:26 am

    correction, heavier wedge SHAFTS are useless?

  3. adrien

    Feb 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

    same shaft in all irons including the wedges? so heavier wedge irons are useless?

  4. Patrick Smith

    Feb 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

    well that blows….why not release them? I’m sure they would be a good seller. Zak – what do you think of the KBS c-tapers? I think they may be the best KBS shafts out there right now.

  5. Zak Kozuchowski

    Feb 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    KBS says there are currently no plans to release the V2 version of the KBS Tour shafts.

  6. Brian Cass

    Feb 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    KBS Tour V2 won’t be available until mid 2013?

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Product Reviews

Titleist Vokey WedgeWorks L Grind review – Club Junkie Reviews

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Titleist Vokey wedges might offer golfers the widest range of sole options to suit any swing type, condition, or shot type out there. Countless professionals use Vokey wedges each week and if you look in the bags at local courses you will see a lot of them in play there as well. While sole options are plentiful, Vokey just released another option, the L grind, for their 58 and 60-degree lob wedges. Listen to the full review, in-depth, on the Club Junkie podcast below or on any podcast platform.

Vokey’s L Grind is a low bounce, 4-degree grind that allows the leading edge to get close to the ground while still offering trailing edge, heel, and toe relief. This sole allows you to get the leading edge of the wedge down on the turf for shots of tight and firm lies. Relief on the wedge is going to allow the player to open the face without that leading edge coming up off the turf so you can hit higher lofted shots easily. This L Grind is only available in Vokey’s Raw finish, so the wedge will rust over time and use.

When you open the box on a Raw Vokey, it is always hard to tell if it is a Tour Chrome as the polish to the raw metal looks that good. Just holding the club in my hand, the L Grind looks a lot like an M Grind with the way they shaped the sole. I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous taking out a wedge with 4 degrees of bounce as I play in Metro Detroit and we rarely find tight and firm lies here. Around our greens is soft and lush with deep rough and bunkers with firmer sand. I tend to get a little steep with my wedges and have always used higher-bounce wedges. This year I was fit into SM10 50.12F, 56.14F, and 60.10S wedges. I thought this L grind was light years from my 60.10S, so I proceeded with caution and took it straight to the course. I had a 58.04L sent to me so I switched up my wedge setup to accommodate that.

Out on the course, I was shocked by the first shot with the 58.04L as it sped through the deep rough, popped the ball in the air, and plopped it into the green. I was short-sided and the ball released past the whole as I expected it to, resting about 8ft away for par. Shots out of the rough, whether partial or closer to full, were easy and drama-free. The L Grind glided through the deeper grass with little extra effort and faster than my S Grind. I rarely got to deep and slid under the ball, but when that did happen the ball came out with some spin and control, holding the green.

Off the fairway is where the L Grind really shined for me as I used it for more shots than I normally would have. I am usually a sand wedge player around the green unless I have to go to the lob for a short sided shot or to carry a bunker. Off the fairway you could just thump the sole of the wedge into the turf and it would quickly slide through, producing a shallower divot than I expected. The divot was honestly not much deeper or bigger than what I see with my 56.14F sand wedge. After the first shot I thought I just hit a good one and I would see additional digging soon, but that wasn’t the case. Partial shots from right off the green to about 40 yards offered great turf interaction. Opening the face was easy and the leading edge staying down gave a poor wedge player confidence to swing a little faster and hit a more solid shot.

Spin, as you would expect from a Vokey wedge, was high and predictable with shots checking up hard upon landing. I really liked playing the ball back in my stance a touch and pressing the wedge forward to hit a low, high spin, shot that checked up hard and then released towards the hole. Out of the trap the L Grind plays well as you can see a good amount of dynamic bounce when you open the face. The float wasn’t as good as my S Grind and if you hit the L Grind fat you could definitely come up short, but the L was very capable out of the firmer traps here.

Overall, the L Grind is a really solid option that is more versatile than its 4-degree bounce description. Players who play in softer conditions or have steeper swings don’t have to shy away from this wedge as I think it plays like a higher bounce sole. I don’t think there is a shot in the book that you can’t hit with this wedge, it is built to do it all.

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Matt Fitzpatrick makes switch to Titleist T100 ‘Fitz grind’ irons

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Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of an article our Andrew Tursky filed for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report. Read the full piece here.

After testing Ping’s Blueprint S irons following the 2023 Ryder Cup, however, Fitzpatrick finally made an iron switch in 2024.

Then, at the 2024 Wells Fargo Championship, Fitzpatrick switched from a Titleist Pro V1x 2019 golf ball into a newer 2021 Pro V1x, and at the U.S. Open last week, Fitzpatrick made a drastic iron change into a set of Titleist T100 irons.

The reason for the major switch-ups?

“To me, I just needed a little bit more flight and a little bit more spin, and the combination of the ball and the irons did that for me,” Fitzpatrick said on Monday of the Travelers Championship.

The Titleist T100 irons have a Tour-inspired, compact head shape at address, but with a cavity-back construction and added Tungsten in the heads for improved forgiveness and launch. Fitzpatrick’s irons are especially unique, though, because they come with a special grind on the leading edge that helps Fitzpatrick achieve the turf interaction, spin and height that he wants.

Patrick Cantlay has a similar leading edge grind on his Titleist AP2 718 irons, but Fitzpatrick assured GolfWRX.com on Tuesday that his is different. He dubbed it, the “Fitz grind.”

Read the full piece here.

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Product Reviews

Three Swing Challenge: Testing the Fujikura Ventus Blue powered by VeloCore+

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The first shaft has entered the Three Swing Challenge’s Arena! This week we have the 2024 Fujikura Ventus Blue powered by VeloCore+. Be sure to let us know what you think, and what you want to see tested next!

Why three swings? 

Many years ago, the legendary Barney Adams, founder of Adams Golf told us this:

“My formula as a fitter was three shots only. I discounted No. 1 just because it was the first one, counted 100 percent of No. 2 and discounted No. 3 because the player was starting to adjust.”

More on the new Fujikura Ventus Blue here.

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