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Choi buys off-the-rack irons for the Memorial

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PGA Tour pros don’t often buy clubs off the rack, especially players who have won PGA Tour events. Those golfers can call just about any equipment manufacturer in the world and have a set of custom clubs overnighted to them if they so please.

That’s why we’re surprised to hear that K.J. Choi, who has won eight times on the PGA Tour, took a detour on his way to The Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, on Monday to visit a Dublin-area Golf Galaxy, where he purchased a set of off-the-rack irons that he has been using on the range and on the course at the Memorial Tournament in preparation for the event.

From GolfWRX member Eec55: My best bud is the Pro there. He texted me this pic while he was there. He said he was a nice guy. Did his business then left while his assistant whipped out a credit card then that was it.

KJ Choi buys clubs

Earlier this year, Jim Furyk bought an off-the-rack Odyssey Versa #1 Wide putter from an Edwin Watts golf store in Orlando. Click here to read the story.

Choi is known as one of the most frequent equipment tinkerers on Tour, but he took it took it to a different level at Golf Galaxy. There are no equipment vans allowed on site at the Memorial, so Choi tested four different sets of irons at the retail golf store before purchasing a set of Mizuno MP-64’s with the company’s stock grips and stock True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts.

“He tried a few different Mizuno irons, the MP-59’s, MP-69’s and MP-64’s,” said Doug Fleischmann, a players assistant at Golf Galaxy. “He also tried the Titleist [712] CB’s.”

Click here to see more photos and what members are saying in the forums.

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Above: A photo of Choi’s bag on the range on Wednesday of the Memorial Tournament, which included the MP-64’s. 

According the Fleishmann, Choi went into a hitting bay at the store and hit each club about five to 10 times. Choi had store employees check the swing weights and lies on the clubs, and commented that all of the irons with the exception of the MP-64’s had swing weights that felt inconsistent.

When the swing weights were measured, Fleischmann said that the other clubs had swing weights that ranged from D2 to D4, while all of the swing weights of the MP-64’s (4 iron through PW), were D2.

Update: Choi played the MP-64 irons during all four rounds at the Memorial, shooting 72-74-70-71 (1-under) to finish T21 and earn $58,202.50.

Click here to see more photos and what members are saying in the forums.

 

Click here to see more photos and what members are saying in the forums.

 

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Iron2850

    Jun 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I am confused. Mike says he s the pro sat the store and says KJ was cool, easy to deal with. Then Richard says he works at the store and that KJ was a jerk, elitist……..I am thinking Mike was really there…..KJ seems like a pretty good guy to me…..

  2. Chris Carpenter

    Jun 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    KJ needs a better agent. I don’t buy that tour van stuff either. Park your tour van in the gas station down the road if you have a vested interest in the player who is pimping your stuff. Club deals are a $1m+ per player game and you don’t just “sit one out” if fat Jack says no handlers in the parking lot…you find a way to keep your boy out of the golfmart, you give him the sticks that have had all the gages on them, and you swat him on the butt and tell him to go grab some hardware and airtime in that final pairing with your product. Purity isn’t the issue here, Jack. You are making bank off of TV, sponsorships, admissions, and marketing. To deny that to the players who are marketing their sponsors’ wares just for the sake of some facade of purity is disingenuous at best.

  3. Rep

    Jun 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    It didn’t help him much though, did it? heehee

  4. t

    Jun 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    first, jack wants his tournament to be more like the masters, which i have no problem with. and second, it doesn’t matter if you order your irons custom, the swing weights and overall weight of the clubs will likely be off. and just because a shaft says s300, doesn’t mean its really an s300. it could play like an R or an X. Get your stuff tested at a good repair shop.

  5. Pingback: Choi buys off-the-rack irons for the Memorial – GolfWRX | Golf Products Reviews

  6. Richard

    May 30, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I work at the store. KJ was a Jerk. I almost told him off. Very bossy with an elitist attitude.
    His whole stop at the store was a marketing gimmick. There was cameras there, pictures and video.

    All a big gimmick.

    • Mark

      Jun 1, 2013 at 2:28 am

      Check your attitude first before blame others !

    • Jack

      Jun 3, 2013 at 2:46 am

      Gimmick? Look at his golf bag. Does he even have a sponsor?

    • Jim

      Jun 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      really? I find this hard to believe that KJ has an elitist attitude. what did he say or do that turned you off? What was the gimmick? thanks.

    • TonyK

      Jun 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      Hmm.. KJ is one of the last persons on tour I could imagine ever being bossy or jerk.

  7. Pingback: Tour Pros Buying Off-The-Rack Clubs | DimpleHead

  8. llamont

    May 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

    This article calls BS on a lot of today’s marketing ploys. Way to go KJ and good luck this week!

  9. Mat

    May 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I have to guess he’s after a wider sole for wet turf there…

  10. Mike

    May 30, 2013 at 1:07 am

    Say what you want.. I’m the golf pro at the store there and was working with gim he was really cool guy to deal with and very specific on what he wanted. Just hope he wins with those sticks now!

    • Mike

      May 30, 2013 at 1:43 am

      *him

      • neil

        May 30, 2013 at 3:00 am

        his Miuras have parrallel KBS X tipped to his specs.Bog standard S300s will feel pretty soft to him?

    • morphy

      May 31, 2013 at 9:27 am

      maybe you should have a chat with Richard, who posting KJ was a jerk, can’t be two different KJ’s in the store.

    • Fred

      Jan 9, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      So Mike, after Richard’s comments, does he still work at the store 🙂 There are a few well-known professional athletes out there who are known to have attitudes. The majority of them don’t play golf. Even if KJ has an attitude, I doubt he would bring it to a retail store. If Richard is correct in his appraisal of KJ’s visit, judging by his comments, maybe Richard was the real jerk, and KJ just responded accordingly.

  11. Jeremy

    May 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Why aren’t there any equipment trucks allowed at the Memorial?

    • Glen

      May 30, 2013 at 1:10 am

      I think Jack wants the tourney to honor the tradition and beauty of the game and cut out the extraneous noise. He also got rid of TV towers on 18 and had a new tv facility built that will not soil the views. Kudos to jack.

  12. L

    May 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Goes to show you the super quality of the Mizzys!

    • Shark

      May 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

      My post above was actually a reply to your comment on how good mizuno is…. Mistakingly hit reply to person above.

    • Trigger

      May 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      That’s Japanese quality for you.

  13. CoryKorea

    May 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I can’t believe a guy who can get custom Miura’s (including the beautiful CB-501’s he won the Players with) is going to game US spec Mizuno irons off the rack. Hey KJ, feel free to send me the 501’s if you’re done with them!

    • Shark

      May 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

      Uh…? Out of 3 sets of mizunos…. Only 1 were correct swing weights… So…. Quality? Uh no… If wrong on 66%

      • Ho

        May 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm

        There is no such thing as correct swingweight with Mizzys. They are mostly best when ordered custom. Therefore, NONE of the ones that KJ tested are specifically correct nor incorrect – he just happened to find the one set make-up that he liked which had SW of D2 all the way through the set, the way HE likes it, which may not be the way that others would like.
        Most of the time, it is unusual that the SW would be D2 through the whole set anyways, it should progressively get heavier from D2 at 3 iron to D4 or D5 for the PW, therefore the other 2 sets, the 59 and 69, probably were closer to what one would expect to see in a more “normal” set (I’m holding back from saying “correct”).

        Capisce?

        • christian

          May 31, 2013 at 8:11 am

          The SW was inconsistent..Plus, Mizuno, like all OEMs puts the SW spec on their website. So, of course there is a wrong and right SW.

          • K

            Jun 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm

            Mizuno does not put swingweights on their website for irons.

        • 1badbadger

          Jul 25, 2017 at 9:25 am

          It’s VERY normal for all clubs in a set of irons to have the same swingweight, and it’s what most players prefer. It’s not wrong if your irons get progressively heavier from the long irons to the short irons, but I don’t know of any OEMs who design and build their irons that way.

  14. scott

    May 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I hear more and more stories about how consistent Mizuno products are right of the rack. I also hear more often than not about the lack of quality control with Titleist, TMAG, Callaway.

    • Jacob

      May 29, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Well, if I read the article correctly, he tried various sets of Mizuno’s and only the 64’s were consistent (not the 59’s or 69’s).

    • jor

      May 31, 2013 at 7:32 am

      As a club maker and repairman for years and working with a lot of pros I have found Mizuno to be a very good product. I have replaced heads on other brands, especially TM who do a poor job of building clubs. Titleist, Callaway , Ping, aren’t bad but vary in weights etc. Not Mizuno, they seem to be right on and very good quality.

  15. Ronald Montesano

    May 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Wow, nice free PR for Mizuno!

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Whats in the Bag

Lee Westwood’s winning WITB: 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

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Driver: Ping G410 Plus (10.5 degrees at 10 degrees, neutral)
Shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV Green 65 X (tipped 1/2 inch)

3-wood: Ping G410 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV Green

Hybrid: Ping G410 (19 degrees at 19.7)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green Hybrid 85 X (40.5 inches)

Driving iron: Ping G Crossover (2)
Shaft: Ping JZ Stiff

Irons: Ping i210 (4-UW)
Shaft: Ping JZ Stiff w/Cushin stepped 1 strong

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees)
Shaft: Ping JZ Stiff w/Cushin, stepped 1 strong

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord 58 Rib (+2 wraps) on woods, Ping ID8 White 1/2 Cord (+2 wraps) on irons

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

 

Additional specs on Ping.com

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From a Fitter: Everything you need to know about wedge shafts

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This is such a dark corner of the golf industry that I truly believe needs a lot of work. Hopefully, this article can shed some light on wedge shafts for you.

I will mention some standards, explain some of my experience, and hopefully, help you make some good choices.

Linking back to the first article on aspects of a wedge that I target when fitting, I place a lot of weight on the style, bounce, grind, and loft/lie/length to get my wedge fitting started. As we move into shaft options, I look at crossing T’s and dotting I’s to ensure a player enjoys their new wedge setup.

We carry a bunch of shaft options built into different heads. As yet we do not have a consistent way to swap shafts in wedges during a session that still allows them to play at a reasonable swing weight and perform as we would like. Moving forward, I will be looking to explore this area to see if we can deliver better service and experience.

Generic standards for wedge shaft setup

  • Dynamic Gold “wedge flex”
  • Matching exactly the same shaft in your irons to your wedges
  • A slightly heavier shaft in your wedges
  • Putting an 8-iron shaft in your wedges
  • Using a wedge-specific shaft

During an iron fitting, we see a lot of variables in flight and feel, this is mainly because we use 6-irons as our demo clubs. When clients are hitting 6-iron shots, they are often looking for max carry, flight, and shot-shaping ability. This leads to hitting a lot of full swings and placing the shaft under a decent amount of load, therefore, we see some notable changes when we swap shafts. This will not show up as drastically in wedges as we are not always trying to hit the full shot. 

As we get into wedge fitting, I discuss with my clients in-depth what they use each wedge for, how far they hit them, what is the most common shot they play, what are the most common bad shots, how does the ball react on the green and what shots do they feel they need in the bag. Basically, trying to get a good overview of their game in a short period. In very few cases do players mention the ‘full shot’ lets them down? Often players say they are more comfortable hitting “softer shots” or 3/4 swings, this gives them the flight/shot that they require on a regular basis and the niche shots and consistency lets them down.

Logic here says to me, you probably do not want exactly the same shaft in the irons all the way down to the lob wedge when you are hitting soft shots 95 percent of the time. When I look at shaft specs, I am trying to build a shaft that can easily put up with the stress of a full shot and handle a softer shot without feeling blunt (for all clubs in the bag).

When I merge this process into wedges, the only wedge a “matching iron” shaft seems to be applicable (for the majority) is the gap wedge or the wedge that is predominantly a full-swing club. This is the club you hit full and maybe knock-down shots with, but you’re rarely trying to hit “flicky” spinning shots. (Those shots are why you also have a sand and/or lob wedge in the bag).

It would then make sense that if you are rarely hitting any full shots with your sand wedge or lob wedge, you probably want a softer golf shaft in those (as they are not trying to put up with your “flat out” swing), still ensuring the shaft does not feel ‘blunt’ or hard work to play around the greens with.

This is not a one size fits all theory, but I think a lot of players would have success even thinking about their wedge shaft layout in this way.

As an example: Personally, I am playing True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue 120g X100 flex iron shafts. I hit a lot of full shots with my 50 and 54, so I have chosen to play the DG 120TI X100 shaft exactly the same way in those two clubs. My 60-degree however, I rarely hit the full shot, so I feel need it a little softer in stiffness, but I need the weight to get my tempo correct and to give me more control to hit lower shots. For this club, I play the Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue. I chose this shaft as the profile is very close to my iron shaft but it is 13g heavier and has a slightly softer tip section, which I feel gives me a little better response.

Please see the S3 shaft profile comparison below

(I am very lucky to have the S3 shaft data, it gives me an apples-to-apples comparison of shaft profiles and weights and make wedge shaft selection a lot easier).

I also wanted to capture some data to highlight the difference wedge shafts have as simply as possible. Below is a graph showing a PGA pro’s shot grouping with a few shaft options. His 6-iron speed is about 94mph, and he has a sharp back-swing to down-swing ratio. This would put him at the quick end of people I fit. This generally means the player enjoys stiffer shafts, stiff style profiles, high swingweight, high total/shaft weight (and again not in all cases).

He tested three shafts all in the same wedge head, with the same length, loft, and lie.

Please see the grouping below

The three shafts tested were: Nippon Modus 105 Wedge specific, Dynamic Gold Wedge flex and Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400.

In no way am I trying to demonstrate the DG S400 is the best shaft for wedges, but in this group of data all that shows up is, the stiffest profile, heaviest shaft (of the test group) gave the player the tightest grouping for his 55-degree wedge shot. His explanation was that he felt the club’s position in the swing better and the strike through the turf was much more consistent, producing more consistent land zones with the DG S400. This small test shows that the wedge shaft alone has an impact even for a skilled golfer.

There are however always exceptions to theories (especially in golf!)

When I have a player using, for example, C-Taper 130 X or Dynamic Gold X100 in their irons it is tough to find a profile that matches closely that is heavier and not any stiffer. In these cases, I tend to have them play the same shaft all the way down to their LW, but I try to increase swing weight and decrease FM in the niche shot wedges (SW and LW). This can just mean adding head weight to soften the shaft a little, or sometimes soft-stepping the product to get some ‘feel’ back. 

The key take-away points

  • Think about the shots you play with your wedges most and how hard you hit them
  • Think about linking your shafts to your irons, but they do not always have to match
  • Test options and measure: grouping, turf interaction and flight consistency
  • Try and break down if the ‘”feel” of stiffness or weight help or hinder you making a consistent swing/strike
  • Don’t just settle with the shaft the wedges come with… unless they match in with your setup!

Getting all the information in one article is always tough, and I hate generalizing, so feel free to shoot me some questions—I like to try to help and also hear your experience and ideas when I can!

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Equipment

2020 Scotty Cameron Special Select putters

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Scotty Cameron has been refining and defining putters for more than 25 years at Titleist, and to celebrate 2020, he’s releasing the new Scotty Cameron Special Select putter line to showcase timeless, tour-proven designs, crafted with impeccable attention detail.

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Putters are unique clubs because the great styles and classic shapes never go out of style, kind of like cars. Yes, we have seen a growth in larger geometry and technology packed designs, but the classics are classics for a reason, and they will continue to live on.

2020-scotty-cameron-select-5

The inspiration for the new Special Select putters came directly from combining Scotty Cameron’s most classic shapes with tweaks driven by tour player requests. When it comes to Cameron-designed putters, it’s never going to be about reinventing the wheel, it’s about taking a proven philosophy and refining the end product to perfection. That also means using the best materials, controlling the process start to finish, and milling from a solid block of 303 stainless steel in the USA.

2020-scotty-cameron-select-7

Each model in the Special Select putter line has been completely reworked, including Cameron’s classic Newport, Newport 2 and Newport 2.5 style blades. A newly refined Del Mar joins the new Fastback 1.5, Squareback 2, Flowback 5 and Flowback 5.5 mid-mallet models.

“With Special Select, I wanted to get back to the pure-milled shapes and faces that I’ve been crafting for tour players for over two decades now. We’ve brought those designs into the modern era with new setups, necks, faces, grips and weights. Every aspect of every putter has been redone. When it all came together, it was pretty special.” – Scotty Cameron

2020-scotty-cameron-select-16

The Performance Behind Special Select

Everything Scotty Cameron and Titleist is driven by the endless pursuit of creating the most high-performance products for the best players in the world and then bringing that technology and performance to dedicated golfers. The changes made to the new Special Select line to differentiate it from previous Cameron putters of the past are all tour inspired and include

  • Soft Tri-sole Design: Special Select blade models are milled with a tour-inspired soft tri-sole design. This self-soling feature promotes the putter sitting square to the target line at address. The key to this design feature is a slightly negative bounce sole that puts the putter in the correct position time after time.
  • New Balanced Weighting: Heel and toe positioned weights in the sole of Scotty Cameron putters are not new, in fact they have been around for more than a decade now in other select models, but like the rest of the Special Select series it’s about refinement not reinvention. These customizable weights assure that each putter is properly balanced based on putter length, and the golfer’s stroke. There are stock configurations but putters can be made lighter or heavier by request through custom order.
  • More photos of the Scotty Cameron Special Select putters in the forums.
  • See what WRXers are saying about the 2020 Cameron lineup. 

2020-scotty-cameron-select-16
The blade models all come fit with new tungsten sole weights that are heavier than previous steel ones. This allows for sleeker shapes with larger sweet spots. The mid-mallet putters use a stainless steel sole weights for optimal balance and weight distribution.

  • Refined Hosel Configurations: This is the true nitty gritty, to be sure every attribute of each model is perfect before being put in the hands of the golfer. The Newport and Newport 2 putters, for example, feature a slightly shorter plumbers neck for medium toe flow, with a newly-defined socket radius (where the hosel neck meets the top line) repositioned with onset to provide better visibility of the leading edge at address, allowing for easier alignment.

Scotty Cameron Special Select Models

As mentioned, there are eight models to choose from in the new Special Select line; three blade models and five mid-mallet options with a look and toe flow for any stroke.

  • Newport, Newport 2, Newport 2.5, Del Mar, Fastback 1.5, Squareback 2, Flowback 5, and Flowback 5.5.

Final Touches

Each Scotty Cameron Special Select putter comes stock with a new grey Pistolini Plus grip with distinctive white lettering. The new Pistolini Plus maintains the shape of the original Pistolini but with a slight build-up lower hand.

The Special Select line’s un-plated stainless steel heads are bead blasted for an easy-to-maintain glare-resistant look that won’t show wear like putters with traditional plating or applied finish. The signature red cavity dots have also been given a styling upgrade with each dot milled with a recessed channel, which is then polished and hand-painted with cherry red translucent paint.

Pricing and Availability

Special Select putters will be priced at $399 and will be available Jan. 24 in North America and March 27 worldwide through Titleist authorized golf shops.

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