Rafa the Staffer


Titleist Ambassador Rafael Cabrera-Bello working on a new iron configuration on the range in Andalucia.

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As the European Tour heads for sunny Spain for the 2011 Open de Andalucia the appearance of the Titleist Tour Support Vehicle (TTSV) provides many players with the ideal opportunity for some equipment testing. One such player is young Titleist Staffer Rafa Cabrera Bello who, after a solid start to his 2011 season, is looking to make a change to his iron set-up in order to achieve a more controlled flight. Rafa is one of the fittest players on the European Tour and, although ranked 62nd in driving distance for the season, you always feel that he has power in reserve should he need it. With that in mind, Rafa needs a suitably strong specification in all of his clubs to give him the necessary control.

As Rafa took to the range in Andalucia with Titleist Tour Technican Phil Dimmock he did so with a very clear view of what he was trying to achieve, namely a flatter, more controllable ball flight from his Titleist irons. A tweak of Rafa's lofts may have flattened out his ball flight but this option would not provide him with additional control, so Phil took the decision to look at a stiffer shaft option. After assessing Rafa's ball flight the Project X 7.0 shafts were identified by both player and fitter as the best option with the Trackman Launch Monitor showing good shot dispersion and a flight which had a lower peak height than that with his current shafts.

Given the importance of knowing your distances going into a tournament week, Rafa won't make the switch for this week's Andalucia event and it is likely he will do some more testing over the coming weeks before putting the new shafts in play. The flatter flight may adjust his distances with each iron to a certain degree and, with the precise level that a European Tour professional works at, it would be risky for Rafa to put the new shafts straight in play.

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