Journeyman Tour player Charley Hoffman had his ups and downs on the way to winning the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio last Sunday including a drop-kick 150-yard tee shot on the sixth hole during the third round. What was really impressive though was four birdie-one bogey performance in the final round to come from behind and win by one over Patrick Reed and two over Chad Collins.
Many observers weren’t especially surprised at his victory since his last four starts in medal play events he had a T-11 at the Valspar Championship, a T-33 in the Shell Houston Open, a T-29 in the Masters and a T-14 at the RBC Heritage. Certainly good solid performances trending in the right direction. The Valero Texas Open is Hoffman’s fourth win in 11 years on Tour.
The San Diego native is on the Titleist Tour staff endorsing their clubs and using the Pro V1x golf ball. He has been driving the ball with his 915D4 driver exceptionally well even taking into account the “weekend warrior” cold-top last Saturday. He was quick to switch to the 915D4 when it came out last year and has been regularly near the top of driving statistics for the past several weeks. Titleist only introduces new drivers every two years so the 915 family of D2, D3 and D4 are their current drivers.
The 450cc D4 has been built for higher swing speed players looking for a trajectory similar to the D3 but in a low spin pear-shaped profile clubhead. It makes use of Titleist’s 16-way adjustable hosel and a sole channel behind the face to let the face flex have additional flex at impact. Hoffman carries the 9.5 degree loft version but it is also available in 8.5 and 10.5 lofts. Pricing is $550.
For the five through nine irons Hoffman has the Titleist 716 MB with Project X steel shafts. These irons are as close to pure muscle backs as you will find and if golf clubs can be sold purely on their looks, Titleist hit the jackpot. The forged head has a thin topline and squarer toe than either the other models they have for this year, the 716 AP1s or AP2s, and players often comment on how solid they feel. The 716 MBs are priced at $140 per club and definitely are targeted for use by better golfers.
Finishing with a career-best third place at the Valero Texas Open just two shots behind Hoffman was another journeyman with eight years on Tour, Chad Collins, who plays the RM 12 wedges from Fourteen Golf. Though the RM 12 is a four year old design and the current version, the RM 22, has some of the same key features. Most obvious is the clubhead which has weight positioned higher giving the ball more spin and a more controlled if not somewhat lower trajectory. While the “RM” stands for reverse muscle perhaps even more beneficial for the average player is the additional bounce on the heel part of the sole. This makes shots when the toe is laid open more consistent with better contact. Price is $185.
Images courtesy of manufacturer
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