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16 Revealing Photos from the RSM Classic

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GolfWRX was live from the 2015 RSM Classic at the Sea Island Golf Club in Sea Island, Georgia. If you missed any of the albums, be sure to check them out here.

It’s a sad time of the year for a golf fan. This is the final official PGA Tour tournament in 2015, although Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge and the Franklin Templeton Shootout are still something to look forward to.

For a gear head, it’s an exciting time of the year, however. Players are more likely to make equipment changes now than mid-year, so it’s interesting to see which players are trying new clubs

We captured some photos of players testing new equipment this week, as well as some other revealing photos. Check them all out below.

Tour protos from TaylorMade

They feature an off-colored, raised sight line, but is it 21.35 millimeters above the putting surface? Check out our review and see what the significance of 21.35 is.

$200 says he can hit it through that door, over the patio, into the river, and make that pelican fly off its perch

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You got this shot pards… It’s a hooded 4 iron.

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If you haven’t seen Tin Cup, the “Pelican scene” is one of the best scenes in the movie, and possibly any golf movie… and possibly any movie ever. Some A+ commentary from Gary McCord throughout this movie, but especially in this scene. “Can someone get control of that guy?”

Nike Flexberry

RevealingPhotos035Nike’s new Flex 440 driver looks like the company took a sparkly blue Vapor Fly driver and dipped it into melted RZN like fondue. Its resemblance to a chocolate covered strawberry is astounding.

Strawberry

See more photos of the Nike Vapor Fly Flex 440 driver here.

Warning: If your opponent’s putter looks like this, DO NOT play him for money

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You should be weary of anyone that has a wear mark on their putter, no matter where it is. It means they practice hard, have had the same putter for a while and hit the same spot on the club face consistently.

Note to self: Keep my wallet away from Tim Weinhart, a local Georgia PGA Professional.

Here’s his full WITB.

A lead tape masterpiece

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This is such a beautiful application of lead tape on Derek Fathauer‘s Callaway V-Series fairway wood. It’s rare to see lead tape applied so crisply, with such artistry. It was clearly cut to match the curvature of the club, which lead-tape connoisseurs are sure to appreciate. But for the love of lead tape, please don’t let Phil Mickelson see this photo. We need not push him off the wagon.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this should help explain it.

Dru Love’s clubs, like father like son

DruLove1 DruLove2

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Is Dru Love playing his father’s old golf clubs? With a SLDR fairway wood, a Mizuno Fli-Hi 2-iron, Ping S55 irons and a Scotty Cameron Tour Rat prototype, it sure appears that way.

See more photos of Dru Love’s clubs here.

Chuckie 3 Sticks is the hero GolfWRX needs

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No one tinkers more than Charles Howell III on Tour… well, maybe K.J. Choi. He’s constantly on a chase to become better, and find better equipment. He’s currently testing a PXG 0811 driver with 4 screws — opposed to the standard 5 screws — set in the forward position, thus moving CG forward, most likely for lower spin and a lower flight. He’s also wearing what looks to be FootJoy prototype shoes.

If there was a Gear Head Hall of Fame, Chuckie 3 Sticks would be first ballot.

Another pair of FootJoy prototypes spotted 

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And some tremendous footwork, too.

Vijay just refuses to stop grinding on the range

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Some people have different passions in life. CHIII has golf clubs, Bubba Watson has the hashtag #urwelcome, Keegan Bradley has club twirls, Phil Mickelson has lead tape, Jordan Spieth has winning tournaments and Padraig Harrington has making the sound “eh” in interviews. Grinding on the range from sun up to sun down just happens to be Vijay’s passion.

Question to ponder: Do you think Vijay finds playing golf as an annoyance because it cuts into his range time?

Ouch

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Patrick Rodgers, who’s testing Nike’s new FlexBerry 440, just put my back into a pretzel from looking at this photo.

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But yet, a smooth finish. Impressive.

Davis Love III showing off new PXG 0311T irons and the USA Ryder Cup bags

RevealingPhotos044I wonder if Tiger Woods will use the same Tour bag this year, except with “Vice Captain” under his name. He just have to change “USA” to… what’s his bag sponsor, again? It’s been too long, Tiger.

Breaking the rules

RevealingPhotos045I see you rules officials with your phones out. NO TEXTING! The guy on the right knows he got caught, too. Such a guilty grin.

Pressure-sensing mats, the newest trend on Tour

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If you’ve never used one, they are great way to see how your weight transfers throughout the golf swing.

Related: Where Tour pros distribute their weight at address

I need to know…

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What is Jason Dufner listening to? What’s on his iTunes playlist? Is it Taylor Swift? Is it Biggie Smalls? Is it the Biebs? If someone could reach out to Dufner to confirm, that would be great.

Peter Malnati’s custom Scotty putter, and an interesting ball selection

RevealingPhotos078The Missouri-grad uses a golf ball with the number 7. Personally, I don’t want numbers on my golf ball that I wouldn’t want on my scorecard…but he just won his first PGA Tour event, and I’m analyzing a close-up photo of his golf equipment. Keep doing you, Pete.

Home course advantage

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Harris English is a member at Sea Island Golf Club, host of The RSM Classic. Surely there’s something comforting about using your own locker during a PGA Tour event.

Also, here’s an unexpected answer to a question you’ve never asked: What’s the difference between Harris English and Hudson Swafford, who also played on the University of Georgia golf team. Answer: Nothing!

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Proofreader

    Nov 21, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Very impressed that those TM prototype putters feature Cleveland golf technology.

  2. Johnnylongballz

    Nov 21, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Love these articles, keep them coming!

  3. Ryan

    Nov 21, 2015 at 2:15 am

    It’s not a prototype it’s just the hyperflex anyways great article!

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Whats in the Bag

Shane Lowry WITB

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Driver: Srixon Z 585 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White 70X

3-wood: TaylorMade M4 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8X

Irons: Srixon Z U85 (2, 3), Srixon Z 575 (4, 5), Srixon Z 785 (6-PW)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX (2), KBS Tour 130X (3-PW)

Wedges: Cleveland RTX 4 (50, 58 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom

Putter: Odyssey Stroke Lab Exo 2-Ball
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Image c/o Srixon (obviously, Lowry does not have all wedges pictured in play)

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Tommy Fleetwood’s bag is as awesome as he is (Tommy Fleetwood WITB)

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I’m obsessed with this guy. If there was a movie about his life, Aaron Taylor Johnson would play him…can we make that happen?

His bag has taken over for my past obsession with Charles Howell III, David Toms, and Rocco Mediate. I’m drawn to players that tweak a bit, it keeps it fun for me on Getty Images at 3 a.m.

Much like a Bernhard Langer, there is no telling what OEM sticks will land in Fleetwood’s bag. It’s awesome and a sign of the non-contract “eat what you kill” mentality shared by some of the biggest names out there (BK and Patrick Reed to name a couple).

Tommy has messed around quite a bit in the past two years with his bag and the fun part is, he’s not afraid to shake it up.

Here is a partial list of clubs that were previously in the bag since ’17 leading up to his current setup

  • TaylorMade M3 driver (Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70X shaft)
  • Titleist 917 D2 driver (@ 8.5 degrees) (Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70X shaft)
  • Nike Vapor Fly 3-wood (13 degrees) (UST Mamiya VTS ProForce Red 7X shaft)
  • Nike Vapor Fly 5-wood (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 80TX shaft)
  • Titleist 917 3-wood (14 degrees) (UST Mamiya VTS ProForce Red 7X shaft)
  • Titleist TS3 3-wood (12.75 degrees) (UST Mamiya ProForce Black 7X shaft)
  • Nike VR Pro Blades
  • Callaway MD4 wedges
  • Ping G410 3-wood (14 degrees) (UST Mamiya ProForce Black 7X shaft)
  • Ping G410 7-wood (18 degrees) (Mitsubishi Diamana BF 80T shaft)
  • Odyssey 2-Ball (plumbers neck)

His grips are also a fun one, he goes Blue Golf Pride TVC in his woods, Iomic Sticky in his irons, and black Golf Pride TVC in his wedges. God, I love this guy!

Tommy Fleetwood WITB @The Open

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (9 degrees @7.5)
*has lofted up a bit, his driver has been down to 6.5 I’ve heard.
Shaft: Mitsubishi DF 70X (45 inches)

3-wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees @14)
Shaft: Mitsubishi DF 70X (42.5 inches)
*was in a Ping G410 until the Scottish Open where he switched into the M6.

Irons: TaylorMade GAPR Lo (@18.75), Srixon Z785 (4-iron, 23 degrees), TaylorMade P7TW (5-9)
Shafts: GAPR: Project X 6.5 (39.5 inches), 4-iron: Project X 6.5 (38.5 inches), 5-9: Project X 6.5 (38 inches @ 5-iron, minus 1/2 inch from there) (26, 30, 34, 38, 42 degrees)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (47, 52, 55, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedge notes: 48.10F (bent to 47) Tour chrome finish
52.08F raw
56.10 (bent 55) raw
60.08 raw

Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro #3
Grip: Super Stroke Mid Slim 2.0


Quick thought: I do see a specific trend when it comes to free agents, and it’s mildly telling. Keep in mind I understand that it’s not 100 percent, but the trends are there.

In woods and wedges specifically, TaylorMade seems to be a popular choice in the overall woods category for non-signed players and Vokey is hands down the wedge of choice. Makes sense in my opinion, I’m not a big “best company” guy, but I do understand the choice. Both companies make and have made extremely high-performing sticks for many years. Consistency in anything is a hard opponent to beat. When Nike bounced out of clubs Rory, BK, Casey, and a few others put Vokeys straight in, and a BK and Casey put TM woods in the bag. (Just an example for context)

Anyway, Tommy Fleetwood is four back going into the final round. I have a weird feeling if it blows he could be holding a trophy.

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Tiger Woods opts for lead tape on his Newport 2 rather than a heavier putter: Here’s why it makes sense

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After days of speculation about which putter Tiger Woods might end up with an attempt to tame the greens at Royal Portrush, we now officially know he settled on his old faithful GSS Scotty Cameron but with a twist—some added lead tape.

The whole reason the speculation was in high gear early in the week was because of Tiger was spotted with a new custom Scotty that had the Studio Select weights in the sole to increase head weight to help with slow greens, something Tiger has talked about in the past—especially when it comes to the greens at The Open Championship.

We can even look back a few years ago when Tiger finally put a Nike putter in play, the original Method (those were nice putters) and talked about both the increased head weight and the grooves on the face to help get the ball rolling on slower greens.

The decision to stick with the old faithful with added lead tape goes beyond just a comfort level, even if the two putters look the same at address, it’s about feel and MOI around the axis.

Let me explain. Sure the putter heads weight the same, but depending on where the mass is located it will change the MOI. The putter with the Select weights vs. lead tape in the middle will have a higher MOI because there is more weight on the perimeter of the head—it’s like a blade vs. cavity back iron. Sure, two 7-irons can weigh the same but the performance will vary significantly.

For a player with such deft feel like Tiger Woods, any change like that can could cause doubt. Tweaking an already great putting stroke and on the eve of the last major of the year is not really something you want to do, which is why it isn’t surprising he stuck with his legendary Newport 2.

Lead tape in the middle allows Tiger to increase the head weight with very little change to the natural rate of rotation for hit putter and hopefully manage the slower Portrush greens better.

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