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DRIVERS

The Callaway FT-5, used by Phil Mickelson and Annika Sorenstam, has a limited number of interchangeable shafts. The U.S. Golf Association ruled that players are now allowed to switch drivers in the middle of tournaments depending on the weather and course conditions.

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The Taylor Made R7 CGB (Center Gravity Back) Max is coming out at the end of May with a new driver that includes three interchangeable shafts, but the anticipated $1,000 price could turn it into a collector's item faster than you can say DeLorean.

The Ping G10, like other clubs produced by the Ping dynasty, got an early jump on the market last fall in the Phoenix area, where the club is manufactured.

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The Callaway FT-5 is considered the high-performance driver used by Mickelson, Sorenstam and Morgan Pressel. The Hyper X is more for the average to above-average player.

The Taylor Made Tour Burner is the upgraded high-performance version of last year's Burner.

IRONS

The Ping i10 is for players who hit high draws, while the G110 is for players who prefer low fades.

Callaway still remains the biggest seller among irons. The new Big Bertha is a combination of hybrids and irons.

The Taylor Made Tour Burner replaces the R7 irons from last year and is getting great early reviews for better performance overall as well as being easier to hit than its predecessor.

HYBRIDS

The Callaway FT (Fusion Technology) is designed for the recreational player, though Mickelson uses them.

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The new Cobra Baffler DWS (Duel Weighting System) puts a little more weight on the heel and toe of the club, producing not only one of the longest hitting hybrids on the market but also one of the most forgiving.

WEDGES

Titlest has Vokey Design Wedges in the 200 series and the Spin Milled series. The Vokey has replaced Cleveland's wedges as the one most used on the PGA Tour.

Vijay Singh still uses Cleveland wedges and might be keeping the manufacturer in business single-handedly, changing his wedges before each major. The CG12 DSG Wedge has wider grooves.

Callaway X-Forged was developed by former rival Roger Cleveland, who sold his interest in the company that still bears his name and has moved to Callaway. Mickelson uses this wedge, so you know it's pretty good - for Mickelson.

PUTTERS

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Odyssey has more than 40 percent of the market be tween the Black Series i , which uses an insert in the putter made from the same material as the Callaway golf ball, and the less-ex pensive Marksman, which, like the Two-ball putters, helps players line up their putts.

Taylor Made Rossa Monza Spyder has become the magic wand recently for up-and-coming PGA Tour players J.B. Holmes and Sean O'Hair. This club is a little light but seems to work.

Scotty Cameron putters still rule the tour, with Ti ger Woods, as usual, lead ing the way. Cameron has changed his original for mula of making only 35-inch putters to making putters that can mix differ ent weights and shaft lengths to fit a player's putting style.

Some of the information provided by Phil Hawes of East Coast Golf and Tennis in Bethesda.

A word of advice on wedges: Get them before they're illegal. The USGA is having discussions with leading manufacturers about the nonconforming grooved edges that could be banned by next year because of the way they help spin the ball.



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