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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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Whats in the Bag

Annika Sorenstam WITB 2021 (June)

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Driver: Callaway Epic Speed (9 degrees @10)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 5 R

3-wood: Callaway Epic Speed (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 6 R

5-wood: Callaway Epic Speed (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 7 R

Hybrid: Callaway Mavrik (20 degrees)
Shaft: Project X Catalyst 5.5 65

Irons: Callaway Apex ’21 (5-PW)
Shafts: Nippon NS Pro 950GH R

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 Chrome (48-10S, 54-10S, 60-08C)
Shafts: Nippon NS Pro 950GH R

Putter: Odyssey Rossie White Hot OG (double-bend shaft)

Grips: Lamkin Crossline

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X (2020)

 Thanks to SMS_on_Tour for the photos!

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Whats in the Bag

John Pak WITB 2021 (June)

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Now that he’s officially a TaylorMade staffer, here’s what’s in John Pak’s bag.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 S

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 7 X

Utility: TaylorMade TP UDI (2)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95 X

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (4-9)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 125 S

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (48 @46, 50, 54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (slant neck)

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grip: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord

  • images via TaylorMade 
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Equipment

Best bang for your buck wedges? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing wedges. WRXer ‘Nev Adams’ is a left-handed golfer on the hunt for 3 new wedges and reaches out to our members who have been sharing their best ‘bang for your buck’ suggestions 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.

  • lefthack: “My Lazrus wedges were $50/each with a coupon. I really like them a lot.”
  • phizzy30: “Mizuno T20 wedges are excellent. Not sure if you’re willing to spend 150 per club, though.”
  • chadwickog: “Nothing wrong with used if you get them in good shape. Maltby is a great option; also look at Sub 70 wedges. The Hogan equalizer wedges are pretty nice too.”
  • PhilsFanDrew: “I also recommend the Maltby wedges from GolfWorks. I was intrigued by the direct to consumer companies like Lazrus and Bombtech, but you have no idea what shafts they are using, and the quality control from these outfits can be suspect. With GolfWorks you can order an OEM shaft, and their build quality is top-notch.”

Entire Thread: “Best bang for your buck wedges?”

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