The Equipment Insider

Reed makes tweaks in Masters run-up

A couple of weeks ago, Patrick Reed shot a 2-under 70 in the Arnold Palmer Invitational's opening round while playing a Srixon golf ball. The next day he was back using the Titleist Pro V1 that helped him win the Masters. 

Reed did not make the switch because he did not like the ball, there were just some personal tweaks he would need to make. 

"[The Srixon is] a great golf ball, I just need to find ... if I were to go to use that ball again I would have to fine tune the driver and a couple things in the golf bag, as well as just getting used to it.  Being a lot lower compression, having more spin around the greens, you just have to kind of trust it."

At last week's Players Championship, Reed started carrying a Titleist 718 CB 4-iron and 718 MB (5-PW) irons for the first time. The irons helped him achieve a higher launch that he was seeking.

"When Titleist said that they would make me a set and put lead tape all over them to get them to the weight ... I actually loved them early this week and put them in play Wednesday morning," said Reed, who tied for 47th at 3-under par. Reed played Callaway irons previously.

For the first time in nearly 15 years, the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Co. is back in the putter business, introducing the Precision Milled Forged putter line.

"The new CNC precision-milled putters are crafted from soft, 1020 carbon steel in a multi-step forging process that strengthens and purifies the molecular structure of the metal," according to a company release.

What that means to the average golfer is the elimination of dead areas on the putter head and creates a more consistent feel.

Following are the various specs for the four models:

Plumber’s Neck Blade
1 shaft offset, 2-degree loft and 355 gram head weight
— 43-degree toe hang to promote an active gate-swing putting stroke

Player’s Blade with a double bend shaft
1 full shaft offset, 2-degree loft  and 355 gram head weight
— Face balanced for those who putt with a straight-back, straight-through stroke

Iconic Player’s Blade with a flowing neck
1 shaft offset, 2-degree loft and 355 gram head weight
— 50-degree of toe hang, ideal for an active open/close stroke

Player’s Mallet
Single bend shaft and ½ shaft offset, 2-degree loft and 370 gram head weight
— Face balanced for those who putt with a straight-back, straight-through stroke

 After working with instructor Scott Hamilton and Titleist tour rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck at the Players, Tom Hoge switched to a Titleist TS2 (8.5) driver from the 917D2 (8.5) he was playing. Hoge enjoyed higher ball speed, more carry and total distance he was seeking with the new TS2 and Aldila Tour Blue 70 shaft combo. He tied for 30th.

"I've been driving it pretty well, so I wasn't in too much of a hurry and I tested a few of them and wasn't quite hitting it straight," he said. "Then the last two weeks [prior to the Players] I wasn't playing as well, went home and drove it pretty well with this one."

The Aldila shaft was also an inch shorter than usual.

"Yeah, I hit it in the center a lot more, so a lot of the mishits are hitting a little bit straighter and staying in play," said Hoge, who did not believe he lost any negligible loss in distance.

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