Michael Sim Tunes Up for 2010 at Acushnet Test Facility

Posted: January 29, 2010

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.

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Evman1023


Ty-

Two specifications beyond loft were changed on Michael's new pitching wedge that combine to provide him with more efficient club-ball contact and thus the six additional yards of carry.  First, we increased the shaft length by 1/4" as his 9-iron shaft length is also 1/4" over standard. The slightly longer shaft equates to marginally higher clubhead speed but also allows Michael to shallow out his attack angle to keep the club from digging.  Second, the bounce angle was increased from 5° to 10° to prevent digging.  The additional bounce improves club-turf interaction by maintaining the loft at impact thereby providing the proper flight and yardage versus the ball sliding up the face, launching too high and coming up short because of digging.

Evman1023


Josh-

We'll try to catch up with Rickie again soon, but in the meantime, be sure to check out <a href="www.titleistblog.com/.../" rel="nofollow">this post from last year's Fall Series</a>.

Evman1023


Great work by MS.  He's going to be a big star.  Any chance we can get a feature on Rickie Fowler?  I know he's got some pretty sick stuff in his bag from his collection of Scotty's to his custom Whiteboard.  I'd like to see what kind of specs he uses based on his homemade swing.  Thanks again for everything.

Evman1023


Michael-

At Titleist, we test our golf balls with different club head types (driver, irons, wedges) at a range of lofts and club head speeds.  Our robots produce the same swing every time.  With our launch monitors we collect the outbound ball speed, launch angle and spin rate for the robot's every shot.  The robot swing consistency and data collection enables us to detect even the smallest differences between golf balls.  Our consistent robots enable us to say that regardless of player's ball speed, all Titleist balls are long.  In fact, the distance difference between Pro V1 and Pro V1x is less than 4 yards when tested across a variety of swing speeds at optimal launch conditions.  Both are long, and the difference between these two balls is not game changing.

Switching from robots to human golfers, on the tee box, with a driver, the goal is the same for everyone:  hit it as long as possible towards your target, keeping it as straight as possible.  But golfers don't produce the exact same swing every time, and rarely have the exact same environmental conditions (wind, turf conditions, etc.).  With the real world filter, it is possible for a golfer to see differences between two Titleist golf balls because the swing produced, the launch conditions delivered to the ball, and the various environmental factors are likely different from shot to shot.  It is these differences that may lead to your comment of "better trajectory".  Not knowing all the factors involved,  your "better trajectory" resulted in longer distance for that particular shot.  This distance difference is likely due to your specific swings during that specific comparison, not due to differences between the golf balls.  In fact, Pro V1 may be longer off the tee for your game.

However, it sounds like you are trying to determine which ball is best for you - Pro V1 or Pro V1x.  More importantly, which ball will help you shoot lower scores?  You asked about distance versus control.  Because all Titleist balls are long and the differences between the Titleist golf balls is small with respect to distance, you should focus your comparison of Titleist golf balls on shots to the green.  Everyone has more shots to the green than shots from the tee.  It is in these shots, made with either a full swing or partial swing, that differences between Titleist golf balls become visible.  Pro V1 and Pro V1x both deliver long distance, and the best short game control.  Pro V1x has relatively lower driver and full swing iron spin, due to its multilayer, dual core construction.  This lower spin helps straighten ball flight for some players.  As you compare the two Titleist golf balls, ask yourself:  "Did I execute the shot?  Did one ball perform better than the other?".  Additionally, measure your ability to shoot lower scores by evaluating your Greens In Regulation, and the proximity of your first putt from the hole.  These types of comparisons will help you select the best Titleist ball for you, enabling you to shoot lower scores, and have more fun.

Thank you for your question and thank you for choosing Titleist.

Evman1023


Hi,

I have noticed that most players incl. Sim have chosen C-C wedges with a raw finish vs. Titleist have chosen to market the retail C-C wedges with a Tour Crome finish. Personally I prefer the feel of the raw wedges. I hope that Titleist will bring the C-C wedges to retail in the tour preferred finish.

Evman1023


Thanks for the great response.

Evman1023


Tore-

Michael's wedges actually feature the Tour Chrome finish, as do the majority of our player's wedges on Tour (i.e., it is the Tour-preferred finish).  For most of 2010, the Spin Milled C-C wedges will only be offered to golfers via custom order in Tour Chrome finish.  Since the overwhelming majority of players will not be required to play the new groove until 2024, and since 2010 is the final year for production of old groove products, we anticipate the demand for the standard Spin Milled wedges to be much greater than the Spin Milled C-C this year, and are therefore limiting production of the Spin Milled C-C wedges.  Beginning late in 2010, all Vokey Design wedges manufactured by Titleist will feature the Spin Milled C-C grooves and be offered in a variety of bounce, sole shape and finish configurations.

Evman1023


Can you please explain to me what most players are doing in concern to the lofts of the wedges they carry.  With the new PW being a degree stronger at 47, and with the new rules for grooves, have you noticed any trends on tour?

Evman1023


Jeff-

We aren't really seeing any new trends in terms of varying lofts on wedges since the new groove regulations have gone into effect.  Most of our players are playing the same wedge models, lofts and bounces that they were last year, with the occasional minor tweak (as we did with Michael).

Evman1023


I recently got fitted for a set of AP2 Irons with regular KBS Tour shafts.  I know that the swingweight with DG shafts is D2 but wanted to check whether the swingweight changes because the KBS Tour shafts are lighter?

Thanks