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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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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

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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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pga tour

Andrew “Beef” Johnston WITB 2017

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2017 RSM Classic (11/14/17).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 Degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 80TX

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H2 (19 Degrees)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 90HY TX

Driving Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 2 & 3 Iron (17 & 20 Degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Irons: Titleist 718 MB (3-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 50-08F, 54-10S)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat I GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport 2
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T Super Rat II GSS Inlay
Grip: Scotty Cameron Standard Cord Pistol

WITB Notes: Beef was testing a variety of putters ahead of The RSM Classic. We will update this post when his choice is confirmed. 

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Beef’s clubs. 

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Equipment

The hottest blade irons in golf right now

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As we’ve written before, the decision to put a new driver in the bag is usually obvious. Better numbers at testing, perceptibly longer distance, and as long as your bank account allows, you have your new gamer.

The iron switch, however, is a trickier beast. Comfort with the variety of shots one needs to hit is key. Confidence from one’s long irons through the higher lofts is critical. Thus, even the greatest enthusiasm for a new iron release isn’t always followed by a mass exodus to gaming said irons. This is doubly true at the professional level, where the tools are critical to a player’s livelihood.

That said, the combination of forum chatter, GolfWRX member enthusiasm, and what we’re spotting in our WITB photos from tour stops are a reliable indicator of the hottest irons in the game.

And judging by the response to our recent Instagram post, we’re confident that these four models are the hottest blade irons in golf right now.

Callaway Apex MB

Buzz built steadily for the Apex MB iron when we first spotted them in Tour players’ bags at the beginning of 2017. The irons are the product of direct feedback from the company’s Tour staffers, according to Luke Williams, Director of Product and Brand Management at Callaway. Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel, these irons have the shortest blade lengths, the thinnest soles and the smallest overall heads in the vast line of Callaway irons. They’re designed for maximum workability, and for tour-desired turf interaction.

Related: Callaway (finally) launches new Apex MB and X Forged irons

Mizuno MP-18

The pioneers of Grain-Flow Forging, Mizuno went back to its roots with the MP-18 iron model. A throwback to the great muscle backs in the company’s history, Mizuno was shooting for the look of an iron that could have been forged a century ago. Shorter blade length, cambered top line, sharp, compact wedges, all combined with the most minimal badging make the MP-18 an instant classic that set the GolfWRX forums afire.

Related: Mizuno brings the MP family closer together

TaylorMade P730

TaylorMade’s P730, particularly in its prototype incarnations, made quite a splash on the PGA Tour. Building on the heritage of the TP-MB irons, P730 was developed in collaboration with the very best players in the world. The 1025 carbon steel irons irons feature a smaller profile and crisper lines than the MB series irons. The combination of the clean look and a deep rear groove have players drooling. Discussing working with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose to design the P730, TM’s Senior Director of Irons, Tomo Bystedt said, “What these players need is a very low-inertia club that they can [manipulate] easily, almost like a surgeon’s scalpel.” Behold the scalpel.

Related: Taylormade expands forged offerings with P730 and P790

Titleist 718 MB

“For the purist there is no substitute for a one-piece, muscle back iron. The 718 MB is the modern choice for those desiring a traditional forged look and feel,” says Titleist in the 718 MB marketing materials.

It’s hard to argue with that statement from the “appearance of a classic forged iron” standpoint. Purists appreciate that the 718 MB maintains Titleist’s traditional lofts (the 6-iron is 31 degrees, the pitching-wedge is 47 degrees), thin top-line, minimal offset, and limited badging. In short, if it ain’t broke…

Related: Titleist’s 718 irons offer endless possibilities.

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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