Newly signed Francesco Molinari is playing the Apex Pro 19 4-iron, along with Apex MB 18 (5-PW) irons. [Photo: Callaway Golf Co.]
Francesco Molinari played all of 2018 without an equipment contract and did quite well for himself, the highlights being winning the British Open and climbing to as high as No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Molinari, though, was tinkering on the side, playing Callaway wedges off and on throughout. At the British Masters two weeks following the Ryder Cup, the wedges were a permanent fixture in Molinari's bag. Then he began testing the driver and the new Chrome Soft ball.
After the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November, Molinari started getting serious about the brand's irons and a new putter.
“Obviously it took some time, I mean it took some time to get to know the ball and the clubs to know how they behave, but it's been a smooth transition,” said Molinari after a 3-under 69 in the first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which included a hole-in-one at the par-3 seventh hole with an Apex Pro 19 4-iron and Chrome X Soft golf ball. “I think the ball behaves pretty similar to what I had before.”
During the transition, Molinari had a learning curve to navigate as he experienced added length through the combination of new irons [Apex MB 18] and ball.
“They're forged blades, the shape is a little bit different, it's sharper around the edges, the other one a bit more rounded.”
With some tweaks to the equipment, Molinari started playing with the full complement of Callaway equipment at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii to open 2019. Molinari's bag includes:
Epic Flash Sub Zero driver (9*) | Fuji Ventus 6X shaft
Epic Flash Sub Zero fairway wood (13.5*) | Fuji Ventus 7X shaft
Apex hybrid (20*) | UST Mamiya shaft
Apex Pro 19 irons (4-iron) | True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X 100 shaft
Apex MB 18 Irons (5-PW) | True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X 100 shaft
Mack Daddy 4 wedges (50*, 56*, 60*) | True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X 100 shafts
Odyssey Toulon Madison Stroke Lab putter
Chrome Soft X golf ball
— Reported by Alex Miceli
NAMES AND NOTABLES
◼ Callaway staffer Phil Mickelson is playing an Epic Flash Sub Zero driver at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and is leading the field in driving distance. Callaway reports that "Mickelson has been working with the driver of late and especially likes the release patterns he’s seeing, as well as the ball speed and distance from Flash Face."
◼ Volvik may be a big hit among collectors and junior golfers after announcing of a partnership with Marvel to create a limited-edition set of Marvel x Volvik Collaboration golf balls. The set will feature images of Captain America, Iron Man and Spiderman. Each four-ball set includes a magnetic hat-clip ball marker and retails at $24.99. The sets will be available in early April.
◼ Golf Pride announces that its new Z-Grip Align, Tour Velevet Plus 4 and Tour SNSR grips are now available.
Miura Golf's new K-Grind 2.0 features the three knuckles that help the club through any type of turf. [Photo: Miura Golf]
◼ Miura Golf's new K-Grind 2.0 features the signature knuckled sole of the brand's iconic 1957 model, but has given the club a modern-day upgrade. What may be the biggest difference? The sole grind features increased bounce and roll along with heel and toe relief that helps stabilize a swing. Also, the club is offered in five lofts from 52 degrees to 60 degrees.