The Florida swing rolls on this week as the Tour makes its annual stop at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course. Sean O’Hair won the Valspar Championship back in ’08 and is already making a strong campaign for ’15 kicking off Thursday with a 66. The TaylorMade Tour team worked heavily with O’Hair earlier in the week tweaking his R15 he put into play last week and dialing in some new metalwoods. He’s confidently gamed an SLDR 3-wood and hybrid since late 2013, but he’s shuffled his bag around for Valspar and the changes look to be making an impact.
After only 3 days of testing, O’Hair jumped into an AeroBurner 15° 3W and R15 19° hybrid. He’s thoroughly pleased with the low profiles of R15 & AeroBurner which was the primary cause of the changes. There was even some light testing with an R15 5-wood which would be an entirely new play for O’Hair, and something he could put in play by the end of the month. He’s also currently gaming Tour Preferred MB irons (4-P), Spider Blade putter, and Tour Preferred X golf ball.
Boo Weekley’s smiling face is in the field after a strong showing at the Puerto Rico Open. Boo kicked off the year with an R15, but looks to climb aboard the AeroBurner bandwagon. He requested a fitting and was fighting a bit of a draw out of the gate. He has one of the flattest shaft angles through impact on Tour making it essential he flattens out the lie on his drivers. Even though AeroBurner TP sits 2 degrees flatter than the stock AeroBurner, the Tour team had to crank it down an extra 2 degrees to get Boo straightened out. He has an AeroBurner 9.5° in play at Innisbrook.
Jeff Overton inquired about the ever-so-hot AeroBurner as well. He’s been seeking launch conditions where he can flight it down but still have enough spin to stay in the air; and maybe pick up a few yards in the process. The guys built him a 9.5° AeroBurner and bent it down to a true 9°. He only had 30 minutes for testing against his current SLDR, but that’s all it took. He was carefully comparing numbers on the launch monitor and found AeroBurner a consistent 2 miles per hour faster which translated to more ball speed. Jeff’s low shots had more spin and his alternative regular launch swing had 3 degrees of steeper landing angle with the bonus of more carry. The new gamer is currently in play.
The AeroBurner has been trending on Tour primarily due to increased head speeds, and ultimately, faster ball speeds. Though club head speed is definitely a sexy number, the hotness and forgiveness across the face of AeroBurner is nothing to sneeze at. To help better understand, here’s a look at 3 of our staffers 2015 driving accuracy stats vs. their first round accuracy average with AeroBurner:
Rory Sabbatini: 2015 driving accuracy percentage 61.40% Aeroburner’s first round 84.62%
Jeff Overton: 2015 driving accuracy percentage 59.43% Aeroburner’s first round 69.23%
John Senden: 2015 driving accuracy percentage 62.44% Aeroburner’s first round 76.47%
Of course there are numerous variables that play into this stat, but the forgiveness of AeroBurner is a big reason their are 20 in play at Valspar, making it the number one driver model for the week.