Gearing Up For U.S. Open
Daniel Berger likes Memphis and specifically the FedEx St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind since on Sunday he recorded his second win in a row of the tournament used by some as a tune up for the U.S. Open.
Berger, when he joined the Tour in 2015, made an immediate impression with his length off the tee and aggressive play which earned him Rookie of the Year followed by his first Tour win the 2016 FedEx St. Jude Classic.
The 24-year old, who attended Florida State University, switched to Callaway equipment this past January after having been with TaylorMade for his first two years. Callaway has been on a run as of late with the Great Big Bertha Epic driver, which Berger plays, being the number one selling driver this year. Also Callaway’s ball market share has been steadily growing the past two years since the Chrome Soft model hit shops in 2015 and the introduction this year of stablemate the Chrome Soft X. Encouraging though the news is for Callaway, keep in mind sales of Acushnet brands–Pro V1, Pro V1x, NXT Tour, NXT Tour S, Velocity, DT TruSoft and Pinnacle– account for just over half of new ball sales so Callaway has its work cut out.
Though both Chrome Softs have urethane covers the original has a softer feel and higher launch compared with the slightly firmer cover and flatter trajectory of the Chrome Soft X.
Berger’s second PGA Tour win is a great way to prepare for next week’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin where he will compete for our national title with the same equipment as used in Memphis:
Driver: Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic 10.5° (Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 53X)
Fairway wood: Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic 15° (UST Mamiya Elements Chrome 7F5T)
Irons: 3- & 4-irons Callaway Apex CF 16, 5-iron Callaway Apex Pro 2016 and 6-iron through pitching wedge Callaway MB1 (True Temper Project X 6.5)
Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged 50° loft 10° bounce, 56° loft 10° bounce and 58° 8° bounce (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400)
Putter: Odyssey Versa 2-Ball prototype
Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft
Memphis by the Numbers: Driver count at Memphis was 75 TaylorMade, Titleist 40, Callaway 20 and Ping 12. TMaG also told me the Spider Tour putter (Red, Black and Platinum) was the most played single model. 112 players in the field used either a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x which is over six times the nearest competitor at 18 and more than all competitors combined. Titleist also was the winner in the hybrid count with 26 and irons with 48. Titleist Scotty Cameron brand putters were the most played with 67.
Miura CB 2008: Miura says forged irons aren’t only for good players and the midsized head of the forged CB 2008 with a wide sole, low center of gravity and large sweet spot means lots of forgiveness for player of any skill level. Sold through Miura authorized fitters pricing is $339 per iron.
Vokey 20th: Titleist wedge guru Bob Vokey introduced the first Vokey prototype wedge 20 years ago at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, a model he called the 456.14. To note the passing of two decades and the Vokey wedge becoming a favorite of Tour players and amateurs alike Titleist has announced an update 456.14 model under the WedgeWorks logo. There’s the same rounded profile and added offset of the original and 14 degrees bounce for soft turf and sand shots. Most notably the new wedge has the improved Titleist TX4 grooves. Priced at $250 at vokey.com there are custom options available such as stamping, shafts and grips. At this year’s FedEx St. Jude over half the approach, sand and lob wedges (221) are Titleist Vokey Design models.
Srixon Personal: A new wrinkle for Srixon golf ball users is online personalization at Srixon.com offering a three line 17 characters per line design with multiple color selections on each of their models: the Z-Star, Z-Star XV, Q-Star Tour, Q-Star, Soft Feel and Soft Feel Lady. Srixon has two promotions featuring text personalization and both are valid until the end of the year. Buy three dozen personalized golf balls get one free and personalize at no charge any dozen purchased.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?