Ricky Barnes and his Callaway FT-9


When third-round leader Ricky Barnes uses driver at Bethpage Black – and like everyone, he’s been doing it judiciously – it’s a Callaway FT-9. That’s the pear-shaped model that relies on fusion technology: titanium cup face, composite body. The lightness in the body allows the center of gravity to be moved good and low, which helps get the ball up quickly. That’s consistent with the modern tee-ball way: the longer the ball is in the air and going forward, the farther downrange it lands.
Barnes' loft is a thin 8.5 degrees, so you can see why a higher launch angle would compliment that nicely to nail down a controlled flight that gets up, but not too high. Barnes also has Callaway X fairway woods – 3 and 5 – plus an Odyssey White Hot XG9 putter and a Callaway Tour i golf ball.
Padraig Harrington (missed cut) also had a FT-9 in his bag this week, because his deal with Wilson allows him to freelance the driver. Those deals are becoming less and less common, and Harrington is by far the biggest name who can do it.