NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
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You can add Bermuda Championship winner Brendon Todd to the list of players who have won using clubs from several manufacturers. His 10.5-degree Ping G410 LST driver, TaylorMade M5 3-wood and Callaway Rogue hybrid are complemented by a set of Titleist 718 T-MB and CB irons. If you think those are the only brands represented in his bag, think again – Todd also uses a Fourteen Golf 60-degree wedge and a SIK Golf Pro C-Series putter. Although SIK putters are used by only a small percentage of PGA Tour players, they now have accounted for two recent victories, with Lanto Griffin’s Houston Open triumph having been the first.
Putters often become emotionally stirring clubs for professional golfers, and Jason Day is hoping a change will evoke some positive vibes as he heads into the Presidents Cup on home soil. Day, the former world No. 1 who entered last week ranked 29th, has gone back to the TaylorMade Ghost Spider IB Black Prototype putter that helped him win a major championship in 2015.
“(I’m) trying to get some memories back from 2015,” Day told PGATour.com. “I won quite a few tournaments with that putter, so to have the black putter in the bag was nice, to be able to look down and see that.”
Day’s putter has been a major strength throughout his career. He finished last season ranked No. 30 in strokes gained putting, which was a relatively big fall from 2018 when he was No. 2. Since 2011, he hasn’t finished outside the top 40 in the stat.
Sometimes an equipment change is a mental shift and sometimes it is almost completely physical. One prime example of the latter happened recently on the PGA Tour Champions when the struggling Rocco Mediate kept wondering why he wasn’t contending. He hadn’t won since 2016 and, despite feeling like he still had talent to compete, the 56-year-old felt lost.
The answer came in his equipment. Mediate called longtime club fitter Mike Biviano of Bettinardi Golf who convinced him to go back to heavier clubs with stiffer shafts, the opposite of what conventional wisdom prescribes for older players.
“Mike Biviano has fitted me for every set of golf clubs I’ve ever won with,” Mediate told PGATour.com. “I’d been messing with lighter and softer shafts for a couple of years. They feel good, but the ball doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. I don’t care how old you are, what I found out and what Mike has known and kind of yelled at me about is that it doesn’t take speed to handle a heavy golf club. It takes a good golf swing.”
It wasn’t just the clubs where Mediate went against the grain. He decided he wanted to play the Bridgestone B XS, a high-spin golf ball that Tiger Woods and other players with high clubhead speed use. Mediate can’t match them in terms of speed, but he wanted to see more curve and control off the tee.
“All this time people are looking at me – my wife, my friends – they’re going, ‘What are you doing? You think it’s the equipment?’ I’m like, ‘No, no. I know it’s the equipment.’ ”
Mediate went on to win the Sanford International in September.