The Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of our favorite PGA Tour stops. The winter weather in the Sonoran desert is fantastic, and the raucous 16th hole is always fun! As usual, our Tour Truck was on hand to build new equipment for Tour pros – including SLDR and JetSpeed metalwoods and our new Tour Preferred irons – and to re-grip, re-shaft, check lofts and lies and anything else we can do help our Tour Staff pros compete at their highest level.
Our SLDR was once again SLDR was the No. 1 driver model, with 32 in play.
Though we’ve already inundated the Tour with SLDR drivers, it’s still super satisfying when the “hard-switchers,” who resist change, end up buying into our “loft-up” philosophy. One player (a big winner last year) added a full 1 ¾ degree to his SLDR, allowing him to keep the ball in the air longer for more distance, plus the reduced spin is promoting straighter flight.
Rory Sabbatini said about SLDR: “It’s undoubtedly the best driver ever made. It does everything better. Longer. Straighter. More responsive.”
Plenty of SLDR 460 players have been asking to try the 430.
This was the first week on Tour for the JetSpeed 3-wood and they were a big hit. We used every head we brought – 24 – and not one was returned.
Roberto Castro, Scott Verplank, Andres Romero and two former major championship winners were among the players we built JetSpeed fairway woods for.
Although many have been happy to switch out of RocketBladez Tour, there’s no doubt that everybody understands and buys into Speed Pocket technology.
That’s another reason for the exodus into the new Tour Preferred MC irons. Even the guys who’ve proclaimed that they’re happy with the irons in their bag invariably see the new Tour Preferred models in somebody else’s bag and come in asking for them.
This week, TaylorMade was the No. 1 iron brand and 11 players put the new MC model in play.
Add in the four players who used the CB model + Brian Harman who played 4 & 5 SpeedBlade irons and that’s 16 players who are choosing to play irons with the Speed Pocket technology.
According to Keith Sbarbaro, VP of Tour Operations, “Everybody, absolutely everybody, loves the new Tour Preferred and Tour Preferred X balls. Players who aren’t playing it wish they were. The feel, spin and distance are fantastic and the Tour Preferred excels in the wind.”
Rory Sabbatini, who’s in the Tour Preferred X, said “It’s longer than LETHAL and spins more off the short-irons, giving me more check and control around the greens.”
We’re still hearing feedback from players about equipment they tested at home during the winter break. A lot of them have said that the SLDR 3-woods we gave them are too long, within 10 yards or so of their driver.
We’ve responded by building new ones here in the truck that provide them with the optimal distance, allowing them to hit shots higher and land them softer than they ever have with a 3-wood.
We’re providing two heads for many guys, a 14° and 15°, they can switch them anytime they want depending on the conditions.
The new Tour Preferred irons continue to be a breeze to get players into. Players prefer its shape, cosmetics, sound and feel over that of the RocketBladez Tour. Classic blade fans are all over the Tour Preferred MBs, especially since it’s been a couple of years since we’ve had a new, true blade.
Previous MC guys are eating up the new Tour Preferred MCs. And requests are pouring in for Tour Preferred CB long-irons – their combination of traditional shape and forgiveness makes them impossible to ignore.
IN THE BAG SPOTLIGHT – Y.E. Yang
Rescue TP 19° hybrid
Rescue TP 21.0° hybrid
Rescue TP 23.0° hybrid
Source: Darrell Survey
TAYLORMADE CLUB COUNT:
Ranked No. 1 with 55 in play
Ranked No. 1 with 79 in play
Ranked No. 3 with 21 in play
Ranked No. 1 with 32 sets in play
Ranked No. 2 with 74 in play
Ranked No. 2 with 17 in play
Ranked No. 3 with 14 in play
Source: Darrell Survey