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Friday, November 2, 2012

Phil's New Secret Weapon

Although the WGC-China is still in the midst of its second round (as I write this), it's pretty clear that this tournament may give us some ridiculously low scores. Louis Oosthuizen went -7 in his first round... and he's already -14 after only 13 holes of his second round.

Phil Mickelson is -5 after 9 holes, putting him at -11 for the tournament, and Adam Scott is -3 on the day after 13 holes for a total of -10. And there are a load of -4 and -5 scores in the second round. It's just crazy scoring, even compared to last week's CIMB Classic.

At least we now have some idea of how Phil is doing it. He has a new 3-wood -- apparently a prototype-- that he's hitting almost as far as his driver but he's far more accurate with it. There are no stats on his scorecard page to tell how many fairways he's hitting, but it sure looks like he's hitting out the fairway most of the time.

Ironically, many of you might get more use out of a 3-wood as well.

In case you don't know, weekend players with slower swing speeds often hit their 3-woods farther than they hit a driver. The reason is that, with a slower swing speed, you need more loft to get the ball up quicker off the tee. This is part of the reason you're starting to see more 12-degree and even 13-degree drivers in the pro shop.

It's kinda funny how old becomes new again when it comes to equipment. It was only 50 to 60 years ago that many pros used drivers with 12 degrees of loft. They needed it to get the balls of the time up in the air. Now, with the new golf ball designs that spin less, many pros are starting to add loft to their drivers to get the new balls up quicker as well.

Between softer graphite shafts, balls with lower spin, and the slower swing speeds of the typical weekend player, we may be coming to a point where modern club specs look more like specs for the old hickory-shafted clubs. Golf really is a funny game.

Just don't expect to hit your 3-wood over 300 yards the way Phil does. I don't care how much they change the equipment, it won't make you 6'3" like him.

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