This minor tweak prompted Jordan Spieth to switch gears
Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Equipment, the Monday morning gear roundup in which GOLF’s gear editor Jonathan Wall guides you through the latest trends, rumors and breaking news.
Jordan Spieth is ready to shake up his kit setup, but changes usually don’t happen overnight.
The three-time major winner tends to do most of his testing behind the scenes – and even then there’s no guarantee any gear will make the cut. His decision to immediately throw Vokey’s SM9 cleats in the bag in Kapalua was one of the few times Spieth switched to a new product the same week he came out on the Tour.
While we don’t expect Spieth to add a different piece of gear every week, he kept the trend going at Pebble Beach with a new Fujikura Ventus TR 7X shaft in his 15-degree Titleist TS2 fairway wood. Spieth currently plays Ventus Blue in a Titleist TSi3 driver and was intrigued by the new TR design, so he put the shaft through its paces in a test session the week before Pebble Beach at the Titleist Performance Institute.
The session revealed some improvements for Spieth, who noticed more swing-to-swing control and a tighter spin delta on off-center strikes. Internal changes were made to ensure the spin rate didn’t get too low for Spieth, but the overall build with Ventus TR proved to be an improvement over the original Ventus Blue 7X that was previously in the wood 3.
The increase in overall stability and control that Spieth saw during testing can be attributed to a new Spread Tow fabric that Fujikura added to the midsection and grip of the shaft. Adding stability to a shaft can be accomplished by adding more material to the shaft, but this ends up changing the weight and overall performance negatively. With Ventus TR, the fabric increases stability without the added weight.
“When you talk about carbon fiber in a toe, it sounds like a strand of rope,” said product marketing manager Spencer Reynolds Fujikura. “And when you weave that together, you start to see seams and cracks where resin can build up, which can compromise stability when under stress.
“Now imagine pulling each strand of yarn out of that cord and ironing it flat into something we like to call ‘ribbon.’ By weaving those strands together into something more like a basket weave pattern, you have now eliminated places where resin can build up and the upper material becomes stronger in all directions.
Get a hit
Before Lydia Ko announced her plans to turn professional in 2013, her bag setup featured a number of different brands, including several clubs from a relative unknown called Fourteen Golf. Even when Ko was an amateur, she refused to play favorites with her gear – something that was further reinforced in January when she parted ways with PXG and opted to go the agent route. free.
Ko took the opportunity to choose the best setup for his game and spent countless hours every day testing hundreds of clubs in an effort to find the perfect setup. When she reappeared at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January, another relatively unknown brand of gear was prominently in her bag.
In a move that somewhat mirrored his decision to use Fourteen Golf during his amateur years, Ko opted to go the contrarian route, leveraging Japanese brand Proto Concept as his iron of choice in the 6 irons. at 9 over several other well-known brands of equipment.
Working with Mike Kim, manager of JesseyJames Golf in Orlando, Florida, Ko narrowed down the field of potential options to three brands during testing: Proto Concept, Mizuno and Srixon. Ultimately, Proto Concept ended up being 2-3 meters shorter than Ko’s PXG irons, but dispersion and carry distances were still tighter in the mid and short irons.
Ko ended up choosing a Proto Concept C07 Forged 6 iron and C05 Forged 7-9 cavity back irons.
“It doesn’t make any changes to the head,” said Proto Concept circuit representative Masashi Kamoda, who previously worked with Fourteen Golf. “There are some directly from our consumer range. We don’t have anything specialized, ie circuit prototypes, for circuit players. If someone wanted to buy the same clubs as Lydia, they could.
Proto Concept may be new to the touring scene – its website debuted a year ago – but the brand is far from a small fish in a big pond. The equipment maker is a collaboration between forging house Endo and Golf Partner, best known as the largest golf retailer on the planet.
The new irons setup isn’t going anywhere anytime soon after Ko won his 17th LPGA title in his second start with the irons.
Moore of a good thing
Taylor Moore was looking for higher launch and spin rate with their Ping Blueprint (4-PW) irons. Working with Ping Tour reps, Moore found that True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Mid X100 shaft was a game-changer in testing.
According to Ping Tour rep Kenton Oates, Moore added almost a full degree of launch with 200-300 RPM of extra spin and 10-12 feet of overall height. The tree also slightly reduced the amount of curve on his shot.
The numbers Moore saw in testing matched the True Temper profile added to Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Mid. Instead of removing weight from the shaft to increase launch, the midsection was stiffened and the taper rate changed in the tip section to induce higher launch. Confirmed True Temper golfers will see approximately 10-15 feet of additional toe height at the same weight (130 grams) as the original Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100.
Tommy Fleetwood didn’t change his putter in Saudi Arabia, which might have you wondering why he’s in this week’s ratings. After switching putters in his last two starts, Fleetwood seems to have found his place in Scotty Cameron’s Tour Only Masterful. The Anser-style putter sports adjustable heel-toe weights and a fully machined face. An LA Golf TPZ graphite putter shaft is also part of the construction.
Fleetwood finished with a 73 to finish T8 at Saudi International.
I’m the first
Tom Hoge became the first player this season to win with Titleist’s Pro V1 Left Dot golf ball, joining Tony Finau (Northern Trust) and Daniel Berger (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am) who scored victories with Left Dot in 2021. The Left Dot version was a tour-only offering until Titleist released the model in limited quantities last year. Sleeves were selling for over $50 in early November in the secondary market.
Compared to Titleist’s Pro V1, the Left Dot has 36 fewer dimples (352 for the Left Dot, 388 for the Pro V1), as well as a different core formulation and casing layer. With the mid irons, golfers can expect to see a shallower drop angle and around 200-400 less RPM with the left point.
“Tom really likes the lower flight of Left Dot,” said Fordie Pitts, Titleist golf ball research and development consultant on the PGA Tour. “Having played much of his golf in Texas, he has always focused on his ability to fly the ball properly, especially in crosswinds and headwinds. He believes Left Dot gives him the best ability to hit those shots consistently while giving him all the performance and control he needs in the short game.
Fast hitters: Mackenzie Hughes finished T16 with a Ping G425 LST 46-inch driver which allowed her to gain an additional 4-5 mph of speed. … Working with Odyssey Tour rep Joe Toulon, Min Woo Lee swapped his Odyssey White Hot OG #1 blade for a Tri-Hot 5K Double Wide. … Adam Hadwin put a 9-degree Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS driver in the bag after the face cracked on his Epic Speed Triple Diamond DS. …Cameron Champ added Ping Glide 4.0 prototype cleats (52S, 56S, 60W degrees) to the bag. … 21-time Japanese champion Yuta Ikeda has been unveiled as Nippon’s brand ambassador. He will use the company’s NS Pro Modus3 System 3 Tour 125 Prototype TX steel shafts in his irons and wedges.
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