Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Gear, the Monday morning gear wrap-up during which GOLF tools editor Jonathan Wall takes you thru the newest developments, rumors and breaking information.
Cussed no extra
Webb Simpson is keen to confess when he’s improper — and final week was a type of instances. In preparation for the PGA Championship, the previous U.S. Open champion began to ponder the concept of shaking up arguably one of the best a part of his recreation.
“I haven’t been hitting my irons nice,” Simpson stated. “Strategy to the inexperienced is often a energy for me; this 12 months it’s been a weak point, and I’ve struggled out of the tough.”
Simpson wasn’t kidding when he known as his iron recreation a “energy.” From 2015 to 2020, Simpson ranked inside the highest 25 in SG: Strategy earlier than taking a noticeable dip this season to 84th getting into the 12 months’s second main championship.
Simpson is what you’d categorize as a blade lifer. He’s performed “non-blade” irons for “a few quick stints,” however nothing ever caught. In the long run, the familiarity and previous success with blades finally gained out.
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“I’m actually choosy with the iron look greater than another membership within the bag,” Simpson instructed me in 2018.
Nobody goes to confuse Titleist’s T100 irons with 620 MB’s, however after being instructed quite a few instances that he would possibly wish to take the cavity-back irons for a spin, Simpson lastly relented and located the cavity-back mannequin to be noticeably higher in quite a lot of totally different areas past the apparent forgiveness profit.
“I maintain getting instructed that these irons I’m enjoying are higher out of the tough, higher with distance management, higher with mis-hits, and so I suppose I used to be being cussed however lastly listened and I actually like them,” Simpson stated. “They’re not an entire lot totally different than mine the way in which they appear, however we’ve had good outcomes with them up to now.”
Whereas Simpson discovered the T100 to be a superior performer out of the tough, he did discover a lower in spin that resulted in him altering from a earlier model of Titleist’s Professional V1 into the 2021 model to regain not solely spin however management as effectively.
Simpson wound up ending T20 for the week and placed on a present in the course of the third spherical with the brand new irons and ball — a five-under 65 in blustery circumstances — whereas posting a season-best SG: Strategy the place he gained 4.541 photographs on the sphere together with his irons.
Generally it’s good to strive one thing new.
Two for Tiger
Gamers offered there was nobody option to assault Southern Hills. For Tiger Woods, it was a extra conservative method with a number of lengthy irons within the bag. Rather than the 5-wood he sometimes carries, Woods added a TaylorMade P770 2-iron to go alongside a P770 3-iron. In Woods’ eyes, lengthy irons have been the prudent play off the tee on a course that he stated throughout his pre-tournament press convention “nonetheless places a premium on placing the ball in play.”
Whereas Woods hardly ever deviates from the tools script — he nonetheless performs conventional completely by means of the bag most weeks — he’s embraced extra forgiving choices, reminiscent of P770, on the prime of the set in recent times, together with a P790 UDI on the 2019 Open Championship and older mannequin UDI in earlier years.
In comparison with Woods’ P7TW muscleback blades, the P770 presents a noticeable uptick in ball pace and forgiveness in a comparatively compact head profile. Woods geared up each irons with True Mood’s Dynamic Gold Tour Subject Mid X100 shaft — a brand new addition to True Mood’s lineup launched earlier this 12 months at Torrey Pines.
From a launch standpoint, the Mid model generates roughly 10-15 ft of further peak peak on the identical weight (130 grams) as the unique Dynamic Gold Tour Subject in Woods’ irons. However as an alternative of stripping weight from the shaft to maneuver the launch window increased, the midsection was bolstered and the taper price modified within the tip part to realize the acknowledged aim.
Tony Finau’s Ping deal permits him to play a number of non-Ping golf equipment as a part of the settlement. For a minimum of one week, a type of non-Ping golf equipment was a Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond T 3-wood.
Finau has been enjoying the golf green wooden for the reason that Wells Fargo Championship. In response to a current writeup by Callaway‘s Johnny Wunder, the T fairway wooden head has “comparable DNA to the Epic Velocity Triple Diamond T” with decrease spin, further camber within the sole for turf interplay and a impartial middle of gravity.
Matthew Fitzpatrick has added distance to his recreation this season, however the sheer size of Southern Hills nonetheless required him to execute loads of lengthy irons to remain in rivalry. A kind of lengthy irons was an older mannequin Ping S55 4-iron that noticed loads of motion — till it apparently gave out.
“My 4-iron was worn out at present,” Fitzpatrick instructed Sky Sports activities following the third spherical. “I hit so many photographs. I really modified it earlier than the spherical. I modified the mannequin. I hit so many nice photographs with it at present.”
Fitzpatrick wound up changing his S55 4-iron with a extra forgiving i210 that’s presently performed by quite a lot of Ping staffers, together with Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton.
A number of choices
Justin Thomas’ Vokey lob wedge was busy final week. With the Bermuda grass and bunkers posing a novel problem, the two-time PGA Championship winner arrived with a number of grinds earlier than choosing a Okay-Grind to deal with the circumstances.
“The T comes out when it’s fairly agency and the bunkers don’t have a whole lot of sand,” stated Vokey Tour rep Aaron Dill. “This week was distinctive as a result of we knew that the Bermuda grass would require just a little extra bounce after which the bunkers – they have been simply robust with very distinctive and coarse sand. I sat in a cart with him on Tuesday and he goes, ‘This sand, it’s actually tough, it’s very inconsistent and typically you don’t know what you’re going to get. Between the 2 fashions that I introduced, the T and the Okay, the Okay is feeling one of the best and appears to be essentially the most constant out of this type of sand.’
“The Okay Grind is a large flange sole, it’s just a little wider than you’d see in a whole lot of different fashions, and it acts like a skid plate. It truly is nice for firmer circumstances while you’re pitching and chipping off grass, as a result of it sits actually near the bottom. However the place it actually is robust is while you’re within the bunkers, as a result of that added width of the only permits you to open the face and enhance some pure bounce. It’s a really forgiving type of sole and it simply desires to pop the ball out of there simply and with spin.”
Most weeks, Johnson is content material to navigate the course with a TaylorMade Stealth 3-wood (16.5 levels), Stealth 7-wood (21 levels) and Stealth Rescue on the prime of the set, however after working with TaylorMade Tour reps on Wednesday, the group got here to a normal consensus that he wanted a distinct “second shot” golf membership to get himself in one of the best place to play offense.
Testing revealed Johnson may gain advantage from including a 24-degree TaylorMade Stealth 9-wood (tipped 2 inches; D4 swingweight) that generated the next launch and spun barely extra (4,200 RPMs) than the 3-iron it changed.
With a 245-yard carry, the 9-wood wound up producing an virtually equivalent distance to the 3-iron, which made for a seamless transition.
Whereas the 9-wood is a membership you virtually hardly ever see on Tour — amateurs with slower swing speeds are inclined to gravitate towards the membership in an try and induce the next launch — it has surfaced in stunning numbers at current main championships.
Throughout the 2020 PGA Championship, Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen and Matthew Fitzpatrick all added 9-woods as they tried to seek out appropriate choices to extricate their ball from the tough with a towering launch and ample spin.
Fast-hitters: Patrick Reed was seen testing a 9.5-degree Grindworks prototype driver. Reed already has Grindworks irons and wedges within the bag, however he’s underneath contract with PXG for the driving force and hat. … Dustin Johnson put a TaylorMade Spider GT Splitback mallet within the bag for the primary spherical. He wound up going again to his previous Spider Itsy Bitsy on Friday.
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