Nicklaus uses namesake driver in ceremonial start

| Golfweek |

AUGUSTA, Ga. — When Jack Nicklaus outdrove Gary Player and Arnold Palmer on Thursday morning in the ceremonial opening of the Masters, he used a 45-inch Nicklaus ML4 driver with a stiff shaft. The loft was 9 degrees, and the club had a customized Secret Grip from Boccieri Golf.

The grip was a wrap version of the all-weather Secret Grip introduced in January at the PGA Merchandise Show. Both grips weigh 92 grams, including a 17-gram tungsten weight.

A normal grip weighs about 50 grams. The heavier Secret Grip is designed to act as a counterbalance, lowering the swingweight and raising the balance point.

The wrap grip probably will be added to the line, according to a Boccieri spokesman.

In damp and overcast conditions, Nicklaus hit a 237-yard drive off the first tee at Augusta National Golf Club. Player's drive was 235 yards, while Palmer had the shortest but straightest drive – 218 yards in the middle of the fairway.

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