Welcome to the new season edition of Catching Up With Callaway. This month, we’ll fill you in on another notable player signing, go in-depth on player performances, and cover club releases. Let’s not delay any further.
New Season Highlights
Callaway has signed another young, up-and-coming player, Sam Burns. The former LSU Tiger had a stellar 2016-17 collegiate season, winning 4 times. He was named the National Player of the Year, SEC Player of the Year, and a First Team All-American. He made his pro debut at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Recently, he advanced to the final stage of Q School, taking medalist honors in his event. His finish earned him at least conditional status on the Web.com Tour card for next season. Joining him in this accomplishment is fellow rookie Callaway staffer, Maverick McNealy.
Many Callaway staff players are having success to start the 2017-18 season. We begin our dive into the performances with the venerable staffer, Phil Mickelson.
The season-opening tournament was the Safeway Open. Phil looked to keep up his hot playing after going 3-0-1 at the Presidents Cup the week before. Needless to say, he was still on fire. Phil did his best work of the calendar year, finishing T3. He led the field in birdies for the week and was 3rd in putts per GIR (greens in regulation). He also gained over 7.5 shots on the field approaching the green, which was the second-highest total. Lefty hopes to continue that success as the 2017-18 season unfolds.
A couple weeks after the Safeway Open, Marc Leishman put together a memorable week at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges. He battled every day with Justin Thomas, seemingly going shot for shot. Leishman shot 2-under on his final 9 holes, including a clutch par on 18 to force a playoff. Both men parred the first playoff hole (the 18th). On their 3rd time playing the par-5 18th, Leishman’s second shot ended up in the water, all but ending his chances. A solid second place finish is still something Leishman will hang his hat on.
Speaking of second place finishes, Henrik Stenson followed up Leishman’s performance with a T2 at the WGC-HSBC Champions event in China. The wind blew on the final day and the scores reflected it. Everyone was chasing Dustin Johnson heading into the final round. DJ faltered, making way for others to grab the title. Stenson had his chance, after tying for the lead with a birdie on the 16th. In the end, it wasn’t enough to catch Justin Rose, who won by 2 shots.
Finally, we need to mention the play of rookie Talor Gooch. You may recall from last month’s edition how Gooch earned his card after a stellar season on the Web.com Tour. In the first 3 events of the new season, Gooch has improved his play and his finishing spot each time. Consistency and improvement like that will surely earn him a title in the near future.
New this fall from Callaway is a pair of gorgeous irons meant for better players.
The Apex MB iron is a pure blade, designed for the best ball strikers. A classic looking iron, the Apex MB has a thin topline and minimal offset. Newly designed grooves minimize “fliers” for better shot control. Apex MB irons are forged with 1025 Carbon steel, giving them their soft feel.
X Forged 2018
Callaway adds to the tradition of the X Forged family with this iron. The X Forged 2018 has a little more forgiveness than the Apex MB but is still aimed at the better player.
The X Forged 2018 irons have the same grooves as the Apex MBs. A progressive CG location throughout the set optimizes ball flight with each iron. Long iron shots fly high so they land softly. Short iron shots fly lower for more precision into the green.
To learn more about these irons, check out our full review on them.
Until Next Time…
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