2020 Callaway Mavrik The new Callaway Mavrik driver has made the USGA conforming list and we hinted at the release of this latest weapon on our social media a couple weeks ago. We here at Golf HQ are happy to be among the few to release the first pics of it. First off, the name. Mavrik comes from Callaway founder Ely Callaway. He was always referred to as a bit of a Maverick when it came to golf equipment and thinking outside the box. He was never afraid to step up to the USGA when it came to the boundaries and limits on equipment they put in place. Jailbreak Technology and AI (artificial intelligence) Flash Face is still present in the Mavrik, but the shape and footprint is more similar to the Rogue – which means the head is enlongated from back to front. Both of the new models feature the adjustable OptiFit hosel, but the standard Mav features a fixed rear weight port while the Mavrik Sub-Zero contains movable front and rear weights. This allows the player to place the heavier weight forward near the face for a flatter trajectory with less spin, or move the heavier weight to the rear for a higher launch and more spin and forgiveness. Callaway is also bringing back custom color options in the Mavrik. As expected there are 2 fairway wood models to pair with their driver counterparts as well. The standard Mav fairway wood will appeal to the masses and average player, while the Mav Sub-Zero fairway will launch a little lower with less spin. All of this will be unveiled at the PGA Show in January, and be available at retail shortly after. 

Spotted on tour The RSM Classic at Sea Island is the last full-field event of 2019, and some new 2020 equipment was spotted in some bags. The new Mizuno 200 series of drivers were being tested on the range by Mizuno staffers Luke Donald, Adam Schenk, and Chris Kirk. New Mizuno signee Rhein Gibson has the ST 200 driver, JPX 919 tour irons, and an undisclosed Mizuno wedge in the bag. Early photos show the ST 200 to be adjustable at the head, but not having any sliding weights on the sole. Instead a fixed weight sits at the back, bringing the center-of-gravity away from the face. The ST 200G has the moveable weights that can slide the COG to the heel and toe, or far from or near the face. The G offers total ball flight fitting and control. The X model, which seems to be a new addition, has a fixed weight at the heel, perhaps making it a draw bias model. SuperStroke unveiled a new putter grip that is still in the prototype stage. The Traxion 1.0 is smaller in diameter and contains different textures throughout, which is designed to fit different locations on your hands. Aaron Wise was trying out some Callaway proto short irons called the Apex MB. Early rumors state that the faces are raw and the back cavities are milled. A centered tungsten weight sits right behind the face. He only had 8, 9, and PW. Accra has made quite the splash in the graphite driver shaft category. Now owned by True Temper, an Accra steel shaft is in the prototype stage and has found its way into some players’ irons.

What’s good in the hood? With trendy footwear and athleisure making their way as an acceptable staple in golf, it’s no surprise that the casual and sporty hoodie has made a few appearances. Ralph Lauren staffers Justin Thomas and Billy Horschel have each sported the iconic brand’s hoodie while in contention in the last month or so. Lifestyle sport brand Linksoul makes a super-soft and comfortable hoodie, and you can find them on GolfHq.com along with some female offerings by Adidas and Puma. 

Chad Campbell kicks it old school There are two types of tour players when it comes to equipment and what they put in their bag. There’s the player that is quick to change to the latest and greatest model, always looking for that extra advantage, and there’s the player that you would have to pry a club out of their cold, dead hands to get them to try something new. Steve Stricker has played with the same Odyssey White Hot #2 putter for 20 years, and we all know the history and record book that Tiger’s Scotty Cameron flat-stick has written. A putter is different, though. It’s a love affair and has more to do with look, feel, and confidence than it does with technology. For someone to play a ten-year old set of irons at the game’s highest level, especially in this day and age of technology, seems absurd. Adams Golf was acquired by Taylormade in 2012, and a couple years later the brand was scrapped. Chad Campbell was an Adams staff player and he helped their R & D dept. design an iron known as the “Idea CC1.” Like many tour players, Chad is very particular and it took many months and hours on the range in Texas to get the club just right. The 4-time tour winner is old-school, but doesn’t like his sticks to look like a butter knife at address. The irons seem to be forged, but they are actually cast from 8620 carbon steel, so they have the soft feel that the game’s best desire. Campbell preferred a dull look over shiny, so they are plated with a frosted satin finish. Here’s where they are a little unique compared to other “players” irons; they are offset and feature a thicker top-line. But the design actually caught on as some other Tour players put them into play as well. These sticks are still in Campbell’s bag, and he used them to finish 9th at the Houston Open in October, his first top-10 finish in 2 years. Only 45 sets were made, and Chad only has a couple left in his arsenal. He has actually been scouring Ebay to try and find a set. Us golfers are nuts. The man is searching online trying to score the very club he helped develop.

The knee-dy U.S. team Even though his recovery is complete, Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from this week’s Hero World Challenge. The world #4 feels another week of practice and rehab is better than playing as he prepares for the President’s Cup the following week. DJ underwent left knee surgery in September. Tiger has announced that Chez Reavie will be Johnson’s replacement in the 18-man field in the Bahamas. Less than 2 weeks ago Brooks Koepka announced his WD from the U.S. team due to a knee injury. He was replaced with Rickie Fowler. The International Team is also bit by the injury bug. Hometown hero and native Jason Day will not be competing due to a reaggravated back injury. Beyong An has been named his replacement. An just missed being one of Els’ captain’s picks the first time around, having recent top-10 finishes in the Sanderson Farms, CJ Cup, and ZOZO Championship. The President’s Cup will be played Thursday, Dec 12th through Sunday, Dec  15th from Royal  Melbourne Golf Club. 

Hero World Challenge Picks This week is the Hero World Challenge benefiting the Tiger Woods Foundation and hosted by the man himself. It’s a limited 18-man, invite-only field, and you usually have to have played pretty well of late, or be a friend of Tiger to get the nod. So I am guaranteed to pick a top-20 finisher! A few of the players will be using this as the last-minute tune-up for The President’s Cup next week. Winner Justin Rose World-class player, world-class field. Ball-striker extraordinaire in the wind. Rosie finished T-3 last year. Will contend Tiger Woods Not sure how much he has been practicing but the last time we saw him he won #82. He’s been a bad host in winning this event a few times, so he’ll be in the mix on Sunday. Sleeper Chez Reavie I don’t think there are any sleepers in an 18-man field, but Chez was a last minute entry for Dustin Johnson, who wants one more week to rehab his knee. Might as well take advantage of the situation. 

Try on every shot This week’s tip doesn’t require any props or drills, and it won’t make you play slower by adding another element to your pre-shot routine. But believe it or not, you can practice it. Do yourself a favor and commit to trying 100% on every shot. It’s cliché but every shot does matter. And a lot of times it isn’t just one. That one bad, undisciplined swing goes into the woods, the hazard, or buries in a bunker, and that one shot now leads to two or three. It’s the difference between a 77 and 80, or 88 and 91. You can practice “trying” by trying with every shot you hit on the practice range. Try to accomplish something: hitting is crisp and solid, hitting a target, hitting a specific distance, whatever. Just as long as you picture the shot in your mind and focus on making that though a reality. Many times a bad shot or putt comes from indecision. A player addresses the ball with no clear goal or mission in mind. Do this 5 or 6 times in a row and you’re walking off with a triple bogey ready to explode. Rory McIlroy recently stated that he’s going to try with every shot and commit 100% to every swing going forward. He said he’s getting a little older now and knows how important every shot is. Now there’s a difference between placing pressure or stress on yourself. I’m not saying that. I’m simply saying to commit to every shot and try your best. Take one practice swing, rehearse the speed and distance needed, and pull the trigger with a clear mind and no negative thoughts. 

Enjoy the game and each other,

Written by Seth Zipay, Head Golf Professional
Publishing and Design by Craig Walton