Back-ups for Ben Curtis

Steve Mata and Bob Vokey went through the bag with 2003 British Open champion Ben Curtis on the range today. Ben has been playing the new 907D2 driver all year and was looking for a backup. His driver has 8.5° of loft with an Aldila VS Proto 70-S shaft. Ben, who also won the Booz Allen Classic and 84 Lumber Classic last year, isn't one to change his equipment very often. However, he did ask Mata to make a backup set of the Titleist Forged irons he has been playing for the last two years. Voke is also making backups to Ben's SM54 and SM60 prototype wedges. Bob has made a special grind with more heel-toe trailing edge relief which will play with the effective bounce reduced. Bob says that Ben is a very creative wedge player and this grind helps him hit a variety of shots. As usual, Ben will be wearing the colors and logo of the local NFL team this week - the Miami Dolphins. Ben said he still gets fans rooting for him because of his NFL outfits, especially during football season. -- Joe Gomes

Ben's Vokey SM54 prototype wedge.

Ben and Mata talk irons on the range at Doral.

Ben makes sure that Mata has all of his specs dialed in.

Rick Nelson with Adam Scott

In the Titleist Tour Van, we can quickly make adjustments for players and then take it right onto the course. Adam has a 15° PT 906 prototype fairway wood that he asked to be bent 1/2° weaker to 15.5°. This kind of fine-tuning helps Adam get a specific yardage and trajectory. I like to walk the practice round with players to see how the clubs are working so after bending his 3-wood, I walked 9 holes with Adam, as did Butch Harmon. This is the best way to get feedback from the guys and watch the ball flight myself. This is the first week that Adam has a hybrid in his bag, a PT 585.H with 19° and an NV 85 shaft. Voke is also making a 248.06 wedge for Adam so I've included a photo of his work order sheet. Adam played his practice round today with Charley Hoffman and Cobra player, Geoff Ogilvy. Both guys are great fun and strong players. I've included a few other photos from the group. -- Rick Nelson

Rick working with Adam's 3-wood.

Worksheet for Adam's new Vokey Design wedge.

Rick walks with Adam, Charley Hoffman, and Geoff Ogilvy during their practice round.

Adam in action during his practice round.

Rick with Charley Hoffman and his caddie Miguel.

Following up on the question from Jack McMahon, we caught up with Robert Karlsson on the range to talk to him about the specs of his Scotty Cameron by Titleist putter. He uses a Studio Stainless Newport 2 putter that is 37" with 4° of loft. Robert is 6'5" so all of his clubs are extra length. Robert also picked up his purple Custom Shop headcover at the Cameron Putter Studio during the week of the WGC-Accenture Match Play. He told us that he doesn't like when putter headcovers lose their color in the sun and he also doesn't like when they're boring. That's why he's got purple. For the record, he previously had a pink putter headcover. This is Robert's first time playing Doral since a round seventeen years ago just after he turned professional. So he's looking forward to the tournament this week.

March Madness On Tour

Titleist Tour Representative Rick Nelson was working the range this morning when Adam Scott flashed his UNLV headcover and the conversation quickly turned to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. "Still runnin', baby," said Scott, who attended UNLV for a year before turning professional in 2000. Nelson, who attended Southern Illinois University before being drafted in baseball, responded by praising the success of his Salukis, when he found he was outnumbered. Joining Scott in the banter was his swing coach, Butch Harmon, who lives in Las Vegas, and Charley Hoffman, a 2000 UNLV graduate who happened to be practicing next to ex-teammate Scott. It will be interesting to see if any have bragging rights come this weekend. Southern Illinois faces top-seed Kansas on Thursday, while the Runnin' Rebels play PAC-10 Tournament champion Oregon on Friday. -- Joe Gomes

Tuesday at the WGC-CA Championship

Titleist Ambassador Adam Scott working on the driving range with instructor Butch Harmon. Titleist Ambassador Davis Love III working on the driving range with Titleist Tour Reps Steve Mata and Rick Nelson. Titleist Ambassador Robert Karlsson's bag on the driving range.
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