Phil Mickelson's creating some buzz this week at the 2013 Masters with his decision to use a custom-designed club known as the Phrankenwood. The name should make what exactly the club is fairly obvious -- a fairway wood sewn together by mad scientists and created solely to wreak havoc on the tiny village of Augusta.
But it's a little more specific than that and when Mickelson was asked about the club he said he basically wanted a 3-wood ... "on steroids."
"The following week (after winning the Waste Management Open in Phoneix) I put in the X-Hot 3-wood and I hit it as far as my driver," Mickelson said. "I couldn't believe it. It shot off the face, it had the optimum spin that a driver would have and I hit it as far as my driver. And as you've noticed as I've played Doral and I've played Houston and I've played these last few weeks I hit it off almost every tee because it's so easy to hit and it just bores through the air and I don't have to manipulate it and it just goes so far.
"So I asked the engineers to take that technology in that club, in our 3-wood and just … put it on steroids."
Mickelson laughed while using that description and acknowledged it's "probably not the best way" to describe his new club. The larger point of Callaway's new Phrankenwood, per Mickelson, is to create a bigger 3-wood that gives him longer length off the tee and shorter approach shots into the greens at Augusta.
"It looks like a 3-wood but it's bigger than our 3-wood and it's almost like a small driver. But it's the 3-wood technology in our X-Hot," Mickelson said. "What it's done is taken a lot of spin off of it. If you watch, you'll see that a lot of the shots off the tee that I hit have a lot more scoop on 'em. Tee shots on nine are getting down to the bottom of the hill -- I haven't been able to do that in years. Tee shot on 10 is getting another 15 or 20 yards, giving me a club or less than I've had in years. The tee shot on 15 is getting down to where I'm getting one or two clubs less in because it comes off fast and has low spin and it's running and that's exactly what I want here."
Here is the result from golf's mad scientists at Callaway:
Mickelson mentioned that over the last few weeks at the World Golf Championships in Doral and the Shell Houston Open he's hit the 3-wood "off almost every tee." And he's seen some pretty good success, finishing tied for 16th at the Shell and tied for third at Doral. (Mickelson failed to mention if he used the 3-wood when he missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.)
At both Doral and the Shell, though, Lefty hit more than 53 percent of his fairways and topped out over 291 yards per drive on average. And now he's going to gamble that he can use the juice-filled 2-wood off just about every tee.
"This is my driver. It looks like a 3-wood. It's three wood technology. It's a larger 3-wood," Mickelson said. "But it's got a driver shaft in it but it's hot like our 3-wood. We had to put hot in the name it's so hot. Legally."
The club is 45 inches long and has an 8.5-degree face. And maybe you think he's crazy but please don't question him about it.
"You heard me say that it's my driver right?" Phil asked when someone questioned the club setup. "I don't know if I'm getting this clear. It's a driver but it just looks like a 3-wood because our drivers are so big now. But this one is smaller because it's an enhanced 3-wood."
Look, there's no real telling how Mickelson will do with this club. He's been smoking his 3-wood and he doesn't really trust his driver. So he went to the folks at Callaway and had them create a literal hybrid (not in the sense of the golf-club term, if you get what I'm saying) that would allow him to keep swinging the same club with more juice.
And Lord only knows how many Phrankenwoods you'll see in bags at your local golf course if Lefty goes out and wins the 2013 Masters hitting this monster off the tee.