Only now, nine months after Trevor Immelman won the Masters, is the South African coming clean about the driver he used to win at Augusta National.
In a video conference with GOLF.com, Immelman explained that he began using a Nike STR8-Fit driver at the WGC-CA Championship at Doral, two weeks before 2008's first major. Specifically, he was using a Nike SQ 5000 driver that had been adjusted using STR8-Fit to be 1° open and slightly more upright. (The STR8-Fit drivers that will be available to consumers starting in April will have the new Dymo and Dymo2 heads.)
"I was wanting to draw the ball with greater ease off the tee for the crosswinds at Doral," Immelman said. "Also, looking ahead to Augusta, I wanted to be able to draw the ball a little bit more on some of those par 4s. And that's what this technology allowed me to do. It allowed me to change the face angle so I could draw the ball easier"
Immelman's average drive was 17-yards longer at the 2008 WGC-CA Championship at Doral than it was in 2007, although his accuracy percentage dropped by nine percent. For the season, Immelman averaged almost five more yards off the tee in 2008. Rob Sauerhaft, GOLF Magazine's managing editor (Equipment), asked Immelman if he adjusted the face of the driver during the season. "No, I did not," he said. "When I am playing my best, I play with a very slight draw, but when my swing is a little bit off I fade the ball or lose it to the right. Normally I like a fairly lofted driver, and I would have the face about 2° to 2.5° open, but with this technology we closed the face down a little bit so I was between .75° and 1° open. So when I was coming into the ball the face was slightly more square, and it gave me the opportunity to draw the ball with greater ease. And I'm still using that exact same setting."
Immelman said he has been testing the new Nike Dymo STR8-Fit driver for a few months, but in the Mercedes Benz Championship this week, he will still be using an SQ Sumo 5000 (10.5°) with a 44 7/8-inch Mitsubishi Fubuki X-Flex shaft. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)