The Florida Swing continues this week with the Valspar Championship, at Innisbrook Golf Resort’s Copperhead Course. Copperhead is the home of the vaunted “Snake Pit,” the nickname for the three-hole stretch of 16, 17and 18 that make for one of the most difficult finishes on the PGA Tour. As tough as this track can be, our Tour Staff has registered four wins here – Carl Petterson in 2005, Sean O’Hair in 2008 and Retief Goosen in 2003 and 2009. Cooler temperatures than last week in Miami made for a good three days, although intermittent rain on Wednesday kept the trailer crowded with players and caddies looking to stay dry, and us busy handing out umbrellas. In other news, we now have Netflix streaming in the truck, allowing all-day access to our favorite zombie movies.
Lucas Glover was happy with how easy he found the SLDR Mini Driver to hit off the turf, which is one of the advantages engineered into the club that makes it easy to put in the bag in place of the 3-wood.
Robert Garrigus, one of the longest drivers on Tour, tested a new JetSpeed 10.5°, loved it and put it in his bag.
Y.E. Yang, who plays Tour Preferred MC 6-iron through pitching wedge, asked for a new 8-iron, 9-iron and pitching wedge because he had already worn the grooves down on his old ones through long and diligent practice. He also asked for new grips on his 6- and 7-irons and wedges.
A former Masters and PGA Champion requested a set of Tour Preferred MB irons (4 through 9) and a Tour Preferred MC 2-iron; all went into his bag.
Johnson Wagner tested a new JetSpeed 3-wood with an Aldila Tour Blue shaft, which has a softer tip to promote higher flight, giving him more carry and distance.
Rory Sabbatini tested for a new JetSpeed 3-wood with an extra degree of loft (15.5°) to promote a higher flight and softer landing.
Blake Adams put the new Tour Preferred irons in play for the first time this year this week – a combo set consisting of Tour Preferred MC 7- through PW and Tour Preferred CB 4- through 6-irons.
Another player who put Tour Preferred irons in play for the first time this year is Brian Davis, who’s gaming the Tour Preferred MC 4- through PW.
Paul Goydos, who prefers classic muscleback blades, believes the new Tour Preferred MB gets in the air better than the Forged MB 11s he currently plays. He asked for a Tour Preferred MB 4- and 5-iron to work with. He didn’t put them in play this week, but all indications are that he will soon.
Ken Duke put an SLDR 12° driver in play for the first time this year, he’s been in JetSpeed up to now.
Darren Clarke, a long-time muscleback fan, sought a little more forgiveness this week and switched out of the Tour Preferred MBs and into the Tour Preferred MCs (4- through PW).