It’s been nine years for Paul Casey, the winner of the Valspar Championship, since his last win on Tour at the 2009 Shell Houston Open and to do it he beat a charging Tiger Woods by one stroke. Woods last win was in 2013 and this was his fourth tournament of his most recent comeback from surgery.
Casey was one of the players on the Nike Golf endorsement staff who was left without an equipment contract when Nike left the business in 2016 to focus their efforts in golf on shoes and shirts. He settled for a contract with TaylorMade to play their woods and with Titleist to play the Pro V1. Casey uses the three-year-old model MP-5 Mizuno irons.
The TMaG M4 driver is the companion to the M3 introduced this year to replace the M2 and M1 respectively and both have the unique Twist Face that helps players compensate for hooks and slices. Hooks are typically hit high towards the toe so the Twist Face at 15mm above the center of the face and 15mm nearer the toe have a one-half degree weaker loft and is one-half degree more open than standard bulge and roll. Impacts in this area hook less and fly lower.
By the same token slices usually hit low on the face and between the sweet spot and the heel. Twist Face at 15mm below the center of the face and 15mm to the heel has one-half degree stronger loft and is one-half degree more closed than standard. Shots then have less left to right curvature and higher trajectory.
Both M3 and M4 have a redesigned larger sole called “Hammerhead” and what TMaG tags as a Geocoustic sole shaped to produce a solid, confidence inspiring sound at impact.
The M3 comes either with the choice of either a 460cc or 440cc head and still has the two movable weights seen in M1 except the track is Y-shaped rather than straight. Both M3s are priced at $500. The M4, of similar construction to the M3 but without movable sole weights, has the option of either the standard or anti-slice D-Type priced at $430.
Casey’s Winning Gear:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (10.5 degrees) – Mitsubishi Diamana White LEX D+ 70TX Prototype shaft
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (15 degrees) – Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ 80TX shaft
Hybrid: Taylormade M3 4 Hybrid (21 degrees) – Mitsubishi Tensei White CK 100HY TX shaft
Irons: Mizuno MP-25 (3 iron) & Mizuno MP-5 (4-9 iron) – Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 TX shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 (52, 56 & 60 degrees) – Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour120 X shafts
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T 350-SSS
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1
In Case Anyone Should Ask:
Valspar Counts: For the eight time this season TaylorMade reports the Spider Tour Putter was the number one model putter in the event. And speaking of TaylorMade they again had the largest number of drivers—M3 and M4–this week with 50. Titleist had 32, Callaway 28 and Ping 23. Meanwhile the other leader and like TMaG the leader every week but in ball count was Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x at 101 out of the 144-man field. In second was Callaway Chrome Soft/Chrome Soft X with 16. Titleist also had the lead in hybrids (22), irons (38 sets), approach-sand-log wedges (188 Vokey) and putters (49 Scotty Cameron).
80BREAKR: A new two-tap scoring iOS app called 80BREAKR looks like a scorecard is free to download and for additional cost has GPS distances on the same screen, no need to change apps or even screens. Shot tracking, bet tracking and a game improvement mode are also available.
Rolling the Ball Back: The USGA and R&A say in the latest driving distance report increases some players are hitting tee shots “requires closer inspection and monitoring.” Stay tuned especially if you thought the fight ending in law suits over square grooves was a big deal or the banning of anchored putting strokes caused hard feelings. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Amazing Tiger Stat: Yes, he has been recovering from another back surgery and yes, this is only his fourth tournament this season and yes, he is 42 years old. But still he’s Tiger Woods and on Saturday during the third round of the Valspar his driver swing speed was recorded at 129.2 mph…the fastest recorded by any player on the PGA TOUR this season. Amazing.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?