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 what’s news.
Losing weight is a way to gain speed with the driver. But what about the lob wedge? Before we consider this a club experiment gone wrong, Xander Schauffele used a lob wedge last week that was lighter than almost anything on the court.
Schauffele irons and wedges are a common D3 swing weight, except for a Vokey SM9 60-06K 60-degree lob wedge which happens to be a feathery D0. That’s right: D0. Schauele is actually the only pro in Vokey’s database who currently uses a D0 swingweight.
So how did Schauffele end up in an ultralight lobber? According to Vokey Tour representative Aaron Dill, the conversation first started at the AT&T Byron Nelson where Schauffele spent time working with Patrick Cantlay’s SM8 62-08 lob corner on the practice green. Cantlay’s lob wedge happens to be a D1 swing weight.
“[H]We spent some time playing around with Patrick Cantlay’s lob wedge and said he thought the weighting was really interesting,” Dill said. “Patrick is pretty light – he’s pretty much in D1. Most guys are just around D5. He said, ‘I like how it feels and I want to try it. What’s Do you think? Should I just go down to D2 or D1? (He used to be at D3.) And I said, ‘Let’s go a little deeper and really see if this looks like what you want.’
Dill ended up making Schauffele two Vokey wedges in his usual K and T grinds – Schauffele has two grind options depending on course conditions – with a D0 swingweight to see how they fared.
Schauffele loved them so much that he ended up taking them home after practice.
Reducing weight in the corner of the lob is something most golfers wouldn’t consider – it’s more common to add weight for feel purposes in the corners – but in Schauffele’s case it did. helped in various ways around the green.
“By going lighter you can create a little more speed, increase the spin and hit it a little higher around the greens,” Dill said. “He was like, ‘This thing feels so good. I feel like I can kick the ball a little faster, create a little more spin and get a little more height when I want to.
come out on top
Callaway’s Jaws Raw wedge made its official Tour debut at the Travelers Championship, but we already had a feeling it was coming a month ago when Schauffele made its 52-degree debut at the Byron Nelson.
“I’ve always liked wedges that rust over time,” Schauffele told GOLF.com. “There’s not as much glare and they feel better to me. With this one, I just found it was better around the greens and had really consistent spin.
Schauffele was one of 18 players on the court with a Jaws Raw corner in the bag. Kevin Kisner, Marc Leishman, Si Woo Kim and Danny Willett were some of the other notable names who also opted to use Callaway’s latest scoring tool which offers a raw corner feel and tackle look.
Check out the full recap on last week’s Jaws Raw.
The sequel to Titleist’s hugely popular TSi was always going to have some big shoes to fill. Two years ago Titleist saw 26 players use TSi from the start to become arguably the most popular rider on the Tour. The tally of victories has become a routine.
With an ATI 425 titanium alloy face acting as a supercharged engine, Titleist has never lost momentum in the market.
So how do you maintain momentum with a new product? If you’re a Titleist, you refrain from completely reinventing the wheel. During the Travelers Championship, Titleist released its new TSR riders (TSR2, TSR3 and TSR4) and saw 18 players adopt one of the three models at the official Tour launch, including Jordan Spieth (TSR3 10 degrees). (Spieth has been slow to switch pilots in recent years.)
Davis Riley, who switched to an 8-degree TSR3, ended up leading the pack in SG: Off-the-tee for the week after seeing more consistent ball speeds all over the face, especially on misses. .
“Immediately when I took the headgear off I was like, ‘Dang, that looks really good,'” Riley said. “The overall look, feel is great. It’s really good. The misses are really good. I find really consistent spin on the face no matter where I hit it so you’re maximizing your carry numbers at every time. That’s what you really want to look for. It’s not the quality of your good shots. It’s, ‘How good are your bad shots?’ And just seeing that consistency across the face is really cool to see.
“I actually saw a 1 or 2 mph increase in ball speed, which is really good. Typically, when you miss, you see that number drop dramatically. But I noticed right away, I was like, ‘OK, I hit one a little high on the toe.’ And the numbers were almost identical to those in the center.
JT Poston reported seeing a similar ball speed increase of 2 mph with a 9 degree TSR3. He finished second to Schauffele at the Travelers and was one of two players – Chesson Hadley, TSR3 at 10 degrees, was the other – to finish in the top 5 with a TSR driver.
Titleist has yet to comment on the technology behind the driver, but with ATI425 still in the fold, it looks like the company is unleashing more speed through a new aerodynamic shape. According to GOLF’s Ryan Barath, who was on hand for the Tour launch, there are visible ridges around the weights on the TSR2 and TSR4 which act like “mini diffusers on a Formula 1 car to speed up airflow. and reintroduce it into the air around the head”. – simply put, it helps the head move faster, and a fast clubhead results in more distance.
Everything Titleist does seems to work.
Finau’s Lead Strip Experiment
Lead tape is one of the easiest ways to add weight to a putter head without making permanent modifications. Tiger Woods uses it during The Open Championship to generate more speed on slower greens. Schaule has cooked it the sole of his putter in the past to achieve a specific feel. Needless to say, this is a common sight on the Tour.
You can add Tony Finau to the list of pros who dabble in lead tape. Finau isn’t afraid to add it to his Ping clubs, including the putter. Heading into the US Open, Finau worked with Ping putter rep Dylan Goodwin to see if there was a way to help improve face awareness during the stroke. Goodwin suggested lead tape – worth 5 grams – as a potential solution. But with the Country Club green gears, Finau refrained from adding it to his putter during the tournament.
At Voyageurs, however, Finau had a backup version of his Anser 2D PLD fashioned with multiple strips of lead tape (5 grams) on the sole. Finau ended up using his player, without the lead tape, during the tournament, but plans to continue testing the backup version with the lead tape to see if the extra weight can provide a permanent solution.
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