Wall-to-Wall Equipment: Why Francesco Molinari decided to copy Phil Mickelson on the greens

September 23, 2019
Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship.

Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Equipment, the Monday morning gear wrap-up in which GOLF equipment editor Jonathan Wall takes you through the latest trends, rumors and breaking news. This week’s notes are highlighted by Francesco Molinari’s new alignment aid, Callaway MD5 Jaws usage on Tour, and Titleist’s golf ball domination. 

Following Phil

Defending BMW PGA Championship winner Francesco Molinari took a page out of Phil Mickelson’s putting playbook and added Callaway’s Triple Track design to the Chrome Soft X golf ball he used at Wentworth.

The ball and red lines on the side of the ball are designed to improve alignment, compared to the regular side stamp found on many of today’s golf balls, particularly when it comes to putting accuracy.

A closer view of the Triple Track technology on the Chrome Soft X balls.
Courtesy of Callaway

Originally introduced on Callaway’s ERC Soft golf ball, the lines utilize Verner Hyper Acuity — the same visual technology used to land planes on aircraft carriers. Mickelson and Dylan Frittelli have both used the ball technology to win on the PGA Tour in 2019.

Molinari’s struggles on the greens likely led to the shakeup. Coming off a season where he ranked 182nd in strokes gained: putting, the Italian has only saw a modest improvement despite winning early in the year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Molinari ended the 2018-19 campaign 148th in the statistical category.

Get a grip

The recent Tour launch of Callaway’s Mack Daddy 5 Jaws saw Henrik Stenson and Francesco Molinari immediately transition into the new wedge at the BMW PGA Championship.

Molinari opted for a three-wedge setup (50, 56 and 60 degrees) while Stenson went with two MD5 wedges (52 and 58 degrees).

Callaway’s MD5 Jaws features a 37-degree wall angle on the 54- through 60-degree lofts. Sharpening the angle made it possible to generate 11 percent more spin (500 RPMs) with a lower, more controlled launch angle, especially on shots from 30-40 yards.

Broken record 

Titleist once again led the golf ball count by a wide margin with over 75 percent (118 players) of the Sanderson Farms Championship field playing a Pro V1 or Pro V1x. This is the second consecutive week Titleist topped 75 percent usage in the golf ball category at a PGA Tour event.

Quick-hitters: Akshay Bhatia turned pro and signed an equipment deal with Callaway. … Mitsubishi Chemical’s Tensei “AV Series” White and Blue shafts made their PGA Tour debut in Mississippi. They are rumored to a follow-up to the popular Tensei CK Series product.