Much like countryman Marc Leishman, Titleist Brand Ambassador Michael Sim also spent a portion of his practice days for the Farmers Insurance Open visiting the various Titleist facilities near Torrey Pines Golf Course to help him prepare for his 2010 PGA Tour season. Michael hopes to continue the strong form that saw him capture the 2009 money title/Order of Merit on both the Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia, Player of the Year honors on the Nationwide Tour, a "battlefield promotion" to the PGA Tour courtesy of three wins on the Nationwide Tour, and a spot in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.

Michael worked with Titleist fitters at the Acushnet Test Facility on Wednesday to help with a wedge gap fitting as well as a 2-iron replacement. He told his fitter that there was too much of a yardage gap between his AP2 9-iron (+1/4" and 43° loft) and Spin Milled C-C 248.06 (standard length and bent to 47° loft). After testing several pitching wedge variations on the launch monitor, Michael was fit into a Spin Milled C-C 248.10 at +1/4" and standard loft. His yardage gap between the two clubs was reduced from 18 yards to 12.

Making his return to the States from playing back home in Australia, Michael was also looking for a club to replace the 695CB 2-iron he had been gaming. Michael told his fitter that the 2-iron was a good club in Australia, but not as good on the PGA Tour due to the low trajectory and shallow landing angle. He prefers the look of irons rather than hybrids at address, though, so the team built him an older Tour Prototype 503i with a Project X 6.5 shaft that matches his irons. After a few shots on the launch monitor with the new utility iron, it went straight in the bag for this week's event.

Michael's final stop before heading back to Torrey Pines for the tournament was at the Scotty Cameron Putter Studio. Here's what he had to say about the visit after his round Friday:

"I've been rolling the putter tremendously the last two days. I went to the Scotty Cameron studio on Wednesday afternoon and had a look at my putting stroke with Paul Vizanko, and it wasn't as good as what it was last year when I went in there, and managed to correct that in probably 20 minutes. Yeah, just rolled the ball pure the last two days, and even with the greens a little bit bumpy with the Poa and the amount of rain they've had, it didn't really affect my ball. I've probably got to thank him a lot for that."

Despite a rough start on Thursday (4-over through three holes), the preparation seems to have Michael on form once again. He finished Thursday's round on the difficult South Course strong to get back to 1-over 73, and after a sizzling 10-under 62 on the North Course on Friday, he finds himself only two shots back heading into the weekend.

What's in Michael Sim's bag this week at the Farmers Insurance Open:
Ball: Pro V1x
Driver: 905R (8.5°, Mitsubishi Diamana White 83X)
Fairway: 909F2 (13.5°, Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 93X)
Utility: Tour Prototype 503i (19°, True Temper Project X 6.5)
Irons: AP2 (3-9, True Temper Project X 6.5)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C 248.10, Spin Milled C-C Prototype 54.12, Spin Milled C-C 60-T (all wedges with True Temper Project X 6.5)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Tour Newport Squareback

Titleist Brand Ambassador Michael Sim preparing
for his first start of the 2010 PGA Tour season.

Titleist Brand Ambassador Marc Leishman visited the Acushnet Test Facility in Oceanside, California this week as he prepared to compete in the Farmers Insurance Open at nearby Torrey Pines Golf Course. Marc is entering his second full season on the PGA Tour, and he's looking to improve upon his 2009 Rookie of the Year campaign that included eight top-25 finishes, over $1.7 million in earnings, and a trip to the season-ending TOUR Championship. Qualifying for the TOUR Championship also earned Marc a spot in this year's Masters Tournament, and he had Augusta National in mind as he worked with the Titleist fitters at Oceanside this week.

First, Marc was fit for a 19° 909H hybrid to replace his Tour-only AP2 2-iron. Marc has been a 2-iron player for a number of years, and it's a club that performs well in the firm, fast, and windy conditions of his native Australia. On the PGA Tour, however, Marc needs a higher launching and softer landing trajectory for long distance approach shots that the 2-iron was not delivering. After working with both steel and graphite shafts in the 19° 909H, Marc went with the UST Mamiya Axivcore Tour Black Hybrid 100X and put it straight into the bag this week at Torrey Pines.

Marc also spent some time working with different lob wedges. He is currently using a Vokey Design TVD 58, but feels that he catches the ball too high on the face from time-to-time. The fitters had him try a few different wedges with less bounce, and Marc left with a 60-L bent to 58°. Although that wedge isn't in the bag this week, don't be surprised if you see it once conditions get a bit firmer on Tour.

Finally, the fitters had Marc try a few driver/shaft options to help him turn the ball over more easily. Marc predominately plays a fade and typically likes to eliminate the left-hand side of the golf course, but mentioned that he wouldn't mind having the option of moving the ball from right-to-left for a certain tournament in early April. Using the SureFit system, Marc was able to quickly try out a few different shaft options and determined that the Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6X (now available through Titleist Custom Clubs) performed similarly to his current gamer with the added workability he was seeking. Like the new wedge, this new driver set-up didn't make it in the bag this week, but we're sure Marc will be working with it in the coming weeks as he gets closer to his first round starting time in Augusta.

What's in Marc Leishman's bag this week at the Farmers Insurance Open:
Ball: Pro V1x
Driver: 909D2 (8.5°, Oban Devotion 6X)
Fairway: 909F2 (13.5°, Oban Devotion 8X)
Hybrid: 909H (19°, UST Mamiya Axivcore Tour Black Hybrid 100X)
Irons: AP2 (3-9, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C 248.10 (bent to 47°), Spin Milled C-C TVD 54 (bent to 53°), Spin Milled C-C TVD 58 (all wedges with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 T10 Select

Titleist Brand Ambassador Marc Leishman testing wedges at the
Acushnet Test Facility in Oceanside, California.

Hello Everybody,

I hope this blog entry finds everyone's new year off to a good start! I can hardly believe it's the middle of the month already.

Adam Scott
Adam Scott in action at the Australian PGA Championship.

I started back to a full practice schedule this week. It feels good to be back into it full time. I needed the time away from the clubs to recharge and refocus myself for 2010. I have set my goals for 2010 and I think the main one is just to stay positive during the difficult times because in anything you do in life those times are going to hit. 2009 was a challenging year and the best thing that came out of it was learning on how to deal with the not-so-pleasant situations. Let's face it, you learn more from adversity then when everything is going according to plan. Anyway, I have put 2009 behind me but will take with me all the lessons that I was forced to learn!

I had some time this week to do some surfing on the Gold Coast. It felt so good to be in the water and it is probably one of my favorite things to do off the course. There's something about being in the ocean that gives me the sense of peace.

On a much more serious note, I want to send out my thoughts to all the victims of the terrible tragedy in Haiti. The damage is extensive and the number of injured or dead is estimated to be in the hundreds possibly thousands. If you have the opportunity and the funds I would encourage everyone to give what they can even if it's only a dollar or two. There are several reputable organizations that you can contribute to and I think the easiest way is through UN relief efforts by texting a $10 donation.

Have a good weekend and I'll write more next week.

Happy New Year! Sorry it has taken me a couple of weeks to update my blog. I have enjoyed some down time during the holidays and now starting to pick things up again. I can hardly believe the holidays came and went...not sure where the time goes! It was great to spend them with my family and friends on the Gold Coast. Mum made a fantastic dinner as always! I hope everyone had a terrific holiday season and got to spend the time with friends and family.

I took some time away from my clubs but I will get back into a full practice schedule starting early next week. My first tournament back will be the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. I am really looking forward to it as I have played well there in the past. The first part of my schedule for 2010 is posted on my website and we will be updating it periodically. I will play 3 weeks in a row - Northern Trust Open, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and then Match Play in Marana, Arizona. I feel good about the progress I made at the end of 2009 and the momentum should continue in 2010!

I'll write more next week. Until then, have a great weekend and take care.