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The drivers that the Top 10 longest hitters on the PGA Tour are using

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What drivers do the PGA Tour’s longest golfers use to bomb their tee shots? Here’s a tally of what the top 10 in driving distance on Tour are using by driver manufacturer.

  • Cleveland: 2
  • Callaway: 1
  • Nike: 1
  • Ping: 1
  • Titleist: 2
  • TaylorMade: 3

But this is GolfWRX, so of course you want to know more. Below is a breakdown of the driving-distance leaders on the PGA Tour in 2014-2015, the specifics of their drivers, shafts and how far their average tee shots flew.

*Denotes photo is not the player’s gamer driver, but a stock image

10. Keegan Bradley

KeeganBradleyWITB

Driver: Cleveland Classic 290 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro 63X Tour Spec
Average driving distance: 306.1 yards

9. Patrick Rodgers*

NikeVaporPro-681x456

Driver: Nike Vapor Fly prototype (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution 757 (X-Flex)
Average driving distance: 307.7 yards

8. Brooks Koepka*

Titleistd4

Driver: Titleist 915D4 (9.5  degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage S 70X
Average driving distance: 308.2 yards

7. Tony Finau*

TonyFinau

Driver: Callaway XR Pro (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8X
Average driving distance: 309 yards

6. Charlie Beljan

CharlieBeljanDriver

Driver: Cleveland Classic 290 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Miyazaki B. Asha 5X
Average driving distance: 309.8 yards

5. J.B. Holmes*

JB_Holmes_Driver_M1_430

Driver: TaylorMade M1 430 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 83X (Made for J.B. Holmes)
Average driving distance: 309.9 yards

See all the clubs J.B. Holmes is playing

4. Adam Scott

Titleistd5

Driver: Titleist 915D5 Prototype (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 80X
Average driving distance: 311.6 yards

See all the clubs Adam Scott is playing

3. Jason Day*

TaylorMade460

Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (10.5 degrees, adjusted to 9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage S TiNi 70X (tipped 1 inch)
Average driving distance: 313.7 yards

See all the clubs Jason Day is playing

2. Bubba Watson

BubbaWatson

Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees at 8.25)
Shaft: Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Rocket Pink X-Flex (tipped 0.5 inches)
Length/Swing Weight: 44.5 inches, D4
Average driving distance: 315.2 yards

See all the clubs Bubba Watson is playing

1. Dustin Johnson*

TaylorMade460

Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661X (tipped 1 inch)
Length/Swing Weight: 45 inches, D7
Average driving distance: 317.7 yards

See all the clubs Dustin Johnson is playing

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56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. bim

    Dec 11, 2017 at 10:50 am

    i don’t understand how a left hander can get into this list

  2. Stephen A Davis

    Jun 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Guys- like most people you tend to focus on what a pro is using- not me- I want to know who that 70 year old is doing to hit 350 yard drives, and 9 irons 200 yards! Me I am 70 years old in July 2017, I use a Taylor Made 2013 head with my replacement shaft which is an EXTRA stiff graffalloy x65 gram extra stiff shaft. I hit it 245 yards with a 5 -10 yard draw, nine iron 135 stiff shaft yards made by yards Gigagolf , TRX PowerMax Slot Irons. with a solid 8 handicap. Who give a rats behind on all the million dollar precision clubs which , except touring pros can obtain. Where the news on my style of Golf that real golfers need. not bragging, but I ain’t half bad. Plus I use
    A U S MADE TAPE MEASURE ( real feet) ((not a Chinese foot) TO CHECK MY YARDAGE, NOT TV HYPE!

  3. Merle

    Jan 18, 2016 at 4:22 am

    Appreciation to my father who stated to me regarding this weblog, this website is truly awesome.

  4. Tourgrinder

    Dec 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Bad attention to detail by Golfwrx. Not a big deal, but I wanted to see where both Day and Johnson placed the movable weights on the M1. Then I noticed the photo shown is the same photo, most probably a TM stock photo and not the actual M1 head of either golfer. And I here I thought Golfwrx was into full and complete details and real, true photos of the actual clubs. The Cleveland photo shown is most likely a stock photo as well, although not as objectionable because of its nature.

  5. Benny

    Dec 26, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I loved this article. So much that I searched hard for a Tour Issue Cleveland. I went right toYTC’s (your tour collection) ebay site and bought a Tour Issue Cleveland 290 Classic 9.0 / 2* open, (thanks Marc for the deal)! Lets hope I can bomb it like Keegan come spring…

  6. Pingback: The Drivers the Top 10 Bombers on the PGA Tour Use | Honourable Society of Golf Fanatics

  7. SeanM

    Dec 23, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Eight different drivers among the 10 longest hitters. Further proof that it’s the “Indian, not the arrow”. These 10 guys could play any one of those 8 drivers and still land in the top ten longest.

    • JohnTNO

      Dec 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Really don’t think Bubba could 😉

      • Jack

        Dec 23, 2015 at 11:04 pm

        I think he’ll still out drive me with my right handed driver though!

    • Gorden

      Dec 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      It is the Indian with a team of fitters for each one….as for we armatures it is up to how you feel about the company who’s name in on the product. IE, if your a Callaway guy or a Ping fan you will find the Cleveland and Taylormade a piece of junk, as if your a Cleveland guy you find Ping and Callaway nothing but a waste…….that is the fun of golf play what you like because that is what your going to play best with (unless your under 18 years old with a lot of professional swing coaches leaning you to one club or the other, the Country Club kid with access to every club on the planet).

  8. justincase

    Dec 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    This is a Lazy report. How about the lengths of the drivers and the swingweights of each one. Grade: D

    • Matt Tippin

      Dec 26, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      It’s awesome when morons like you ask for things that are stated in the article. justincase you get an F.

  9. Carlos Danger

    Dec 23, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Im always amazed at the weight of the shaft the Pros who use the Cleveland Classic have. 50-60 grams

    Im no pro, but I hit it a long ways and would have no idea what to do with a club that light…maybe I should try:)

    • Tom

      Dec 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      justincase all the info is available in the above article just piont and click.

  10. Pingback: Which is the Best Driver for 2016? - D'Lance GolfD'Lance Golf

  11. JJ

    Dec 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    it should be noted how the PGA tour calculates “Average Driving Distance”, Two par fours or fives are selected for each round. The holes chosen are ones that play down wind and down grade. The tour takes the average distance of those two drives, Not saying that the above players don’t bomb it, but the numbers are slightly distorted to help sell equipment and advertising.

    • Jack

      Dec 23, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      That’s interesting. But it’s still very hard to average 300 yards. Occasionally bomb a 300 yarder possible, but average!

    • Pete the Pro

      Dec 24, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Nearly right. The figures are collected for various reasons. One of them is to better inform golfers about performance. If the manufacturers failed to capitalise on the better results, it would be unusual. In my view, there is nothing wrong in trying to sell golf equipment. Golf instructors, for instance, use data collected to help inform their clients. Club fitters use the data to assist golfers get fitted with the best clubs for them. Measurement is two holes but they need to be wider faiways on a good driving hole where the players are most likely to use the driver. Data becomes complex if it’s a narrow par 4 and half the field hit 3 wood, hybrid and longer iron for position.

    • mhendon

      Dec 24, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      Well unless they’ve changed the way they choose the two measuring holes you’re wrong. As I’ve always understood it they try to choose two hole in opposite direction so one is down wind and one into the wind and generally they try to choose flater holes where the majority of the field will hit driver.

  12. Jon

    Dec 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

    That is somewhat of an eclectic mix, especially with Cleveland having to representatives in the mix and Callaway with just one. The one item I would like to know is the playing length of these drivers. How many are 45″ and under? Or 45″ and over?

    • Tom

      Dec 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      you must be using an app that doesn’t allow you to see ( it’s there) the information your requesting?

      • Jon

        Dec 24, 2015 at 9:48 am

        Sorry, my bad. I guess 2 of the 10 are listed and the 2 that are listed, Bubba & DJ, are the ones I didn’t look at.

  13. Simon

    Dec 23, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Cleveland classic is still a beast of a club.

  14. Liv2Golf

    Dec 22, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    One thing is very apparent. There is no magic club, shaft or swing that creates power & distance. You just have to find what works for you!

  15. Chuck D

    Dec 22, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    I like seeing Kuro K representing with 3 shafts in the mix!

  16. emb

    Dec 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    I find it funny that there are two cleveland drivers on here and I have literally never seen anyone, anywhere, EVER, using one. Not saying its not a good driver as obviously its being used well by many pro’s, just I’ve never seen anyone who’s not a pro using one.

    • cody

      Dec 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      it is what i play.

      • Carlos Danger

        Dec 23, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        has he ever seen you?

        • cody

          Dec 23, 2015 at 4:59 pm

          no, but i was simply stating there is at least one person out three. On this forum at one time it was very popular. up there with a 9016d

    • Regis

      Dec 23, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Not that I count for much but I gamed a few Cleveland Drivers recently including the 588 and the Black. They are great drivers, especially for the money and especially for lower swing speed golfers. The only problem I see is that a some of their recent offerings are not adjustable and although they come with very good stock shafts-Matrix Black Tie and Mitsubishi Bassara E Series they do not offer the wide variety of stock shaft options that are offered by the big sellers. They are also not a big presence in big box stores. But I see a few in guys’ bags and any Senior or low SS player should seek them out.

    • Tom

      Dec 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      One of the best kept secrets.

    • Jack

      Dec 23, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      It’s a good club. I’ve tried it before, and it’s well regarded. I think the styling is a bit classic, but that’s intended!

    • tiger168

      Aug 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      how arrogant of opinion and close minded golfer!

      I always pay respect to other golfers on the course and praise their good drive with whatever big stick they have at the time.

      I also do that in the parking lot when people bring classics to the courses. Nice driver, I always say, And you will hear a lot of interesting stories and make a lot of friends.

  17. Jack

    Dec 22, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Are these more what we shouldn’t be using then? Yeah I know we need to get fitted etc to be sure, but I’m pretty sure most of us’ swings are nothing like the pro’s. I went to an indoor range last night (don’t know how accurate but it’s close) I can max out 260 in no wind, flat conditions, but my average is only 220. Yeah those mis hits and hooks count too. These guys all average over 300. I used to tell people that I hit 250 when people ask (but of course they didn’t say average LOL). But max and average really is not the same thing. Changing up my swing so hopefully will get some consistency and distance gains.

    • Ian

      Dec 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      If this helps you as much as it’s helped me you can check out an iPhone app (also works on newer iPads) from the app store: Perfect Form Golf.
      For the price of a bucket of balls it helped me to acquire tempo (since mine was crap), this allowed me the timing to finish my shoulder turn, get my hands extended but with relaxed wrists, then get my elbows in front on the down swing with the net result I got huge distance gains.
      But since the effort level had dropped I could also keep accuracy. Your mileage may vary but I went from 200-220 to 285-300 (yeah, I know, my golf buds didn’t believe me either until they saw it for themselves). I then used the app to compare my irons, chipping/pitching, and even putting to a 3D motion capture avatar of a pro swing against mine in slo-mo, and got improvements there as well.
      For whatever reason actually seeing the differences overlaid, versus being told about them seem to be the key to getting really fast improvement. My swing is a work in progress and winter up here slows things down, but I was pretty much blown away at how far from a decent swing mine actually was, and how quickly I could start bringing the pieces together for decent tempo and kinetic sequence. Like I say, your mileage may vary but I guarantee there will be some significant component that you will be able to modify to get closer to your goal.

  18. Joey5Picks

    Dec 22, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I want to know what kind of socks the shortest hitters wear so I can avoid those.

  19. mhendon

    Dec 22, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I find it interesting both Titleist players are using prototype models not available to the public. For years people ragged on taylormade for that very reason. Oh and if I’m not mistaken I believe Keegan is using a Srixon driver unless he went back to the Cleveland.

    • Tim

      Dec 22, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Went back to the cleveland, but he’s using a 53 gram shaft made specifically for him. Not the 63 it says above.

    • emb

      Dec 22, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      D4 is available at retail thru titleist’s MOTO program

    • Prime21

      Dec 22, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      The D4 is available, pay attention.

      • mhendon

        Dec 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm

        I actually knew that and figured I get corrected on that one. But to me if its not in retail and it’s a major up charge to get it then it’s still an exotic head similar to what Taylormade was always complained about by so many WRX’ers.

  20. jon

    Dec 22, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    guys, he’s just the listing clubs that the top 10 longest hitters use, he’s not saying that the top 10 hitters have gotten in this list BECAUSE of their clubs.

  21. tom

    Dec 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Pretty cool there are two Cleveland Classics on there.

    • Tom

      Dec 22, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      I agree. Absolutely love my Classic 290 even though I only hit it 250.

  22. DJ

    Dec 22, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Is Rory not on here due to not enough rounds or what? With koepka and finau going Nike, they will have 4 guys on this list if you include Rory

    • Benny

      Dec 23, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      Thats correct. Rory was shown in the putting article but was the only one not to have Strokes Gained Putting because he did not meet the approved amounts.

  23. Tim

    Dec 22, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Get Tom Stickney on here to write a real article about what these 10 guys do similarly in their swings. They could all hit it the same if you swap the sticks…

  24. Chris

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I am nearly positive the shafts Jason Day, Adam Scott, and Brooks Koepka are using are the kuro kage xts, not the regular kuro kage tini.

  25. cody

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I like seeing the cleveland on there. That is what i play. mine is the tour version as well with a 3 degree open head.

  26. Michael

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Silly season on WRX.

  27. Johnny Utah

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    What I would like to see is:

    The grips, the shafts, the wedges the top players are using.

    • Andrew

      Dec 22, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      There’s a link under each player about showing their WITB.

      Pretty sure though you’ll mainly find wedges by their sponsors, golf pride tour velvet and some variant of Dynamic Gold Tour Issue across all the players

    • Prime21

      Dec 22, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      Geez, I guess they better do an article on that then, cause you’re quite important. You do realize they have a WITB on EVERY player right?! R E A D

  28. Ryan

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    So they are playing what they are paid to play… WOW.

    The putter article was a little more significant, as some were using a non sponsored brand… this is one, i dunno.

    What is next? “The HATS the least tan players on tour are wearing?”

  29. juels

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Um… These guys could all hit Tour Exotics, Mizunos, Wilson or any other brand that still releases quality equipment and still be in the top 10….

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Equipment

What It’s Like: TaylorMade Golf’s “The Kingdom”

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One of the best parts of this job, beyond the people we get to meet, is the facilities. All of the core OEMs have a “place” that is exclusive, away from anything normal, and you gotta know someone to get a ticket in.

That’s what the “What It’s Like” series is about. Those certain OEM places with no doors open to the public. Those places that if you happened to sneak in, there is no way you can Fletch your way around into two steak sandwiches and a bloody mary.

I never admit this, but I used to manage a night club in Los Angeles called Les Deux (it was cool for a minute). It was a fun although soul-sucking endeavor but the thing that made the experience stick out was the exclusivity of it. If you got in by knowing someone, greased the door guy (me), or got invited, it was four hours of awesome. Yes, it’s a lame example, but there is, unfortunately, something about getting to the other side of a closed door that is just awesome.

TaylorMade Golf’s Kingdom is location No. 1, and as you would expect, it’s nothing short of pure golf ecstasy.

My Experience

I have been to TaylorMade HQ quite a number of times, and typically those visits involve time at what I call the gear junkie mecca (short of Tiger Woods’ garage or the Nike Oven graveyard now called Artisan) AKA The Kingdom.

The coolest thing about it is how subtle the location is. Located just steps away from the front door of TM HQ (and a very random corporate basketball hoop) sits a small-yet-elegant building that if you didn’t know was there, you would fly past it. Once you pull into the side parking lot, unload your sticks, and head to the door, there is still that feeling of “will they actually let me in?”

Here’s the thing. The best (all of them) have been in here. To test, practice, hang out, get fit, get wowed to potentially be on staff and everything in-between. A schmuck like me should get nervous, but then it happens, the door opens and you are not only let in but you are greeted by the master of ceremonies and a man I truly adore Tom “TK” Kroll.

With the passion to match not only yours but anyone else who walks in, he makes sure every nuance is seen and experienced. From the lobby with current TM athletes on the wall to the locker room with your custom locker that sits next to an exact replica of Tiger’s bag. There are snacks, extras shoes, gloves, swag, coffee, beer, and all your wildest dreams…and we are barely in the facility.

From a 35,000 foot view, The Kingdom has everything a golfer would ever want, need, or wish for. Starting with Duane Anderson’s putter studio that has tested thousands of strokes from players ranging from a 20 handicap to Rory McIlroy. The data compiled in this room is staggering. We did a video (link below) that gives you the full rundown.

There are three (one with an Iron Byron for testing) main inside hitting bays with all the bells and whistles you would assume. TrackMans, cameras, big screens, fresh gloves hanging on the wall, and a club fitting matrix with every TM combination you could think of.

The outside hitting area is heaven on earth. There is no other way to describe. Huge hitting area with multiple styles of grass, lies, pins, etc. Any shot you would need to hit can be recreated here on grass with a ball flying into the air and not into a screen. My favorite area is the Flick Tee. In honor of the great teacher and longtime TM staffer Jim Flick. Its tucked up high and privately in the corner of the range under a tree and this may sound ridiculous but you can almost feel Mr. Flick standing there with you as you look out onto the facility. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

As mentioned, the man who manages your experience is Tom Kroll. He’s about as respected and beloved as anyone in the industry and for good reason. You combine passion with service you get an awesome human to hang out with. Everyone that has been through these doors has a TK story, which includes a chuckle and a smile.

I chatted with him recently about The Kingdom, and this is what he had to say.

JW: Walk me through how The Kingdom came to be what it is now? Basically origin to current day…

TK: Back in 1994, I was in R&D, running player testing, and we needed to find our own testing range. We built our headquarters in Carlsbad in the 1990s and added the range in 1998. Only robot, cannon and player testing were done at the start. Once in a while, a tour or staff pro would come out and test, but it was all operated from one building. At the time, what’s currently the clubhouse at The Kingdom was actually a maintenance building. But in 2010, The Kingdom was reimagined to the layout we have now.

Over the last three years I’ve been at The Kingdom, we’ve added GEARS, Quintic high-speed cameras, and a Foresight simulator bay. We transformed the putting lab with a Perfection Platforms articulating floor and SAM technology. Last year we resurfaced the main tee, redesigned and dedicated the Flick Tee, underwent a complete renovation of the short game area with new bunker complexes, redesigned the targeting downrange, and developed a par-3 routing. We partnered with Kurt Bowman Design, a longtime designer under Jack Nicklaus.

Our superintendent Mark Warren and his crew have done incredible work with our current maintenance equipment, and I can’t wait to see the conditions after we deliver a brand new fleet of brand new Toro equipment. We structured a long-term partnership with Toro and Turf Star Western.

JW: What is the simple function of The Kingdom? 

TK: We still have the robot bay and R&D does development work almost every day. We are mostly a resource for the entire company: Global Sports Marketing (Tour), developmental pros and ams, AJGA standouts, our Crusaders (club professionals), and commercial teams. We host pre-lines to introduce new product to our at-large teams and training events. We’re even a PR resource, hosting media, social influencers, celebrities, and professional athletes.

We also act as a hub for our Crusaders. They send their members to us, and we wholesale back to the staff account. I’ll do a significant amount of corporate events, charity events and have had “Flicks at The Kingdom” where we set up a giant projector and our employees bring their kids, beach chairs and blankets to watch a movie out on the range. Really a fun and cool event.

JW: Give me three awesome stories or experiences from your time there that you are cool sharing.

TK: It’s tough to only pick three! From Reggie Jackson stopping by to Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, President Bush. Those may be the most haughty name drops of all time! What can I say, it is beyond the coolest job I have ever had! It’s truly tough to pick, but here are my three…

Story 1: Tiger was preparing to make his first PGA Tour start after fusion surgery and he just spends the day grinding out here. He was testing an early proto of the TW irons and to see how much speed he still had. There’s a sound that only he and maybe two or three others make when they center it up. That sound is something that goes through your body, I can still hear it. It sticks with you.

He’s playing old school lofts, which are three degrees weaker than any other tour pro, but the carry distances were still there, the windows he hits it through, holding it against the wind, flighting a 6-iron even ripping a 5-wood 275 yards. His feedback and ability to discern the most minute details working with the advanced teams developing the irons was fantastic to witness.

To come full circle, I played with him in the Southern Cal Amateur when he was 16-years-old and had a front-row to his 62 at Hacienda, I was keeping his scorecard so he has my autograph. To again be standing three feet from him while he goes through the process is just special.

Story 2: I’m going to put two guys in the same bucket (because The Kingdom is so magical, I hope the golf gods are okay with it). Rory now spends a day out here the week of Farmers–he has for the last two years, and with the U.S. Open there 2021, I think he’s a lock for the next few. He went through two sets of irons in a wind quartering off the right at 20-25 mph. The consistency of launch, speed and spin were shockingly close! It was one of the greatest ball-striking exhibitions I’ve ever witnessed. We handpicked the range after his day, it took us 10 minutes He’s also the most gracious, down to earth person.

Jon Rahm stops by five or six times a year. To watch his sessions in the putting lab, to see Duane show him what’s changing and getting Jon back to baseline and see his confidence, to the 4-iron flop shots after we tell our Seve stories. Jon is part of the family. His brother and dad came out before Jon and Kelly’s wedding. He’s one of the two or three others where the sound goes through you.

Story 3: Has to be Operation Game On (OGO). We have partnered with  Tony Perez for over 15 years, we are the cherry on top of a 6-10 week program where wounded veterans take lessons and the graduation is a fitting at The Kingdom. I had a dear friend, Joe Horowitz, who’s a golfer and a musician, here late one day and I mentioned the OGO guys were coming the next day. It’s Veteran’s Day and the Marine Corps Birthday. Not to mention Jon Rahm would be here for a last tweak before he left for Dubai. Joe shows me a video of him singing the national anthem at the Jaguars game a few weeks before, and we both say let’s do that for the OGO guys. I get in early and send an email to all employees to be on the tee at 9 a.m. sharp. We have the OGO guys arrive and Jon is hanging in the locker room. I’m stalling to get all the employees onto the tee through the side gate, I walk the boys into the bay and hit the roll up door. Outside are 250 employees cheering these guys on! Joe sings the anthem (goose bumps every time), then happy birthday to Jon and the marine corps. There’s fittings, a pizza truck, Jon Rahm signed U.S. Open staff bags for the OGO boys. Then, get this, Jon goes on and wins that week in Dubai!

JW: If you could change anything about the property or the experience what would it be?

TK: At TaylorMade, the relentless pursuit of improving is in our DNA. The Kingdom is no different. We’re constantly innovating and reimagining the downrange experience. From targeting, to conditions and turf types, we’re always nuancing and squeaking out ways to be better. One example, we’re designing each of our targets with a specific purpose. When players are testing at The Kingdom, we want them to feel that every shot has a consequence. So, we want to deliver a real-world experience in every testing situation. We went through a massive redesign last fall and are currently still working with the advanced research team on new ways to enhance our testing and fitting experiences to meet the way that players perform in competition.

When it comes to the overall experience, The Kingdom has transformed from a predominantly R&D and fitting facility to the most capable environment to test, measure and understand how equipment performs and how golfers interact with their equipment. I call it the ultimate truth machine. We help golfers at every level uncover the insights they need to improve. After each session, we’re going to know everything about the club, the player and the ball flight.

So we came from a place where we were mainly focused on research, fitting, and selling. Our goals have changed. Now we obsess over how to help golfers get better.

What would I change? If you’re curious and passionate about making change, the answers are out there. The first thing we do is listen. We’re going to change everything that needs to be changed in order to meet our goals. I have an incredible focus group to bounce ideas off of. To ask our tour pros, club professionals, and teachers for feedback on the design ideas and what they like and prefer is fortunate. We’re constantly learning, we’re constantly improving, and if there’s a better way do something, then we’re going to figure it out and do it.

JW: What does the kingdom look like in 10 years?

TK: We have a lot of incredible plans for new targeting, bunker complexes, and refining the purposeful design of the range and short game area. Beyond that, we have designs for new teeing areas, a new short game complex, adding another GEARS system and Foresight Simulator, along with other new technologies. I can’t disclose all we do, since the R&D guys get a bit jumpy when I start going on about all the cool stuff and high science! I don’t know exactly what The Kingdom looks like in 10 years as technologies and our understanding continue to improve, but I do know give me six months, and we’ll have done something new. Always grinding to get better!

JW: Tell me a little bit about your career at TaylorMade.

TK: 31 years is hard to do in a “little bit” but I’ll try to give you the Clif Notes! Bob Vokey ran our Tour department and had me running his repair shop in Vista after George Willett took a job driving the Tour truck for TaylorMade. I was refinishing wooden clubs and repairing clubs for the local country clubs. I told Bob I was going broke making $4.50 an hour and driving all over San Diego. I asked if he could get me a job at TaylorMade and I started on the custom line with Wade Liles! Get to work at 2 p.m., off at 1 a.m. and golf in the morning. It was the life! Not to mention, I was lucky enough to meet my wife who worked for the company.

I started our player testing and worked for the great Dr. Benoit Vincent–the smartest man I know. I was a pretty good player, and I played a bunch of USGA and national amateur events. But when I did a TV commercial, I lost my amateur status and made the decision to turn pro. I quit my job and started that journey. Our CEO wanted me to take a leavem and I said: “I need to be all-in on this.” I had two children, a mortgage, car payments and had to buy health insurance while getting through all three stages of Q School. I realized I was a better amateur than a tour pro. We had our third child, and then I got the sales rep job in San Diego. After 10 years of sales, I moved inside the building and the ran innovations department before taking over our metalwoods category when we hit our highest market share in history. I spent a few years in product creation, ran global experiential for a few years and then got the best gig in all of golf here at The Kingdom. Been here for three years, and we’re just getting started!

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Puma Golf teams up with Ernie Els in support of Autism Awareness Month

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Puma X Els Autism

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and Puma Golf has teamed up with ambassador Ernie Els in support of the Els for Autism Foundation.

Throughout April, Puma will donate a portion of every individual sale of the brand’s Ignite Pwradapt Caged shoes with the proceeds going towards the Els for Autism Foundation.

Puma X Els Autism

Every pair of Caged shoes sold this month will include a blue Els for Autism shoe bag and puzzle piece ribbon lapel pin – with the color blue and the puzzle pieces representing Autism Awareness.

Puma X Els Autism

The Els for Autism Foundation helps deliver and facilitate programs designed to serve individuals with autism spectrum disorder. You can purchase the shoes here.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about “Boutique brands vs Major OEMs”

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In our forums, our members have been discussing both boutique brands and major OEMs and why the former “trail the OEMs in drivers and woods”. WRXer ‘gr8 flopshot’, who plays a bag full of boutique clubs bar woods, poses the question and it’s got our members talking in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • DaRiz: “Irons, wedges, and putters don’t change much, and for all the technology OEMs try to pack in there, it’s more about how they look and feel. So boutique can fit in nicely here. Drivers/FW, on the other hand, definitely benefit from the millions of dollars in R&D, and it is probably really hard to compete. You can argue that COR is maxed out, but the tiny changes in launch conditions, spin rates, and forgiveness add up.”
  • MattM97: “One reason why I and most other lefties don’t go boutique is options. At least with OEM’s for drivers and most woods we get the most of what is released, some versions and loft we don’t get but better than nothing. I’m not against boutique; I love my putters, I love the look of a lot of wedges, I would absolutely love a set of Japanese forged CB irons one day. Just woods I’ll stick to OEM options.”
  • sniper: “The Wishon 560’s I had built years ago were as good (or better) as anything I’ve had. My current set of MP-18SC’s and Wishon’s are the best feeling irons I’ve played. Both came from a club builder and not built by the OEM. Obviously on the Wishon’s.”
  • RogerInNewZealand: “Genuinely good point. It’s like why we buy JDM, Yonex Ezone 420…and the famed J33 Bridgestone driver from long ago! T.E.E is another one..always a surprise there. With your wood/driver if your sorted that’s fine! You don’t have to bag an exotic club to hit fairways.”

Entire Thread: “Boutique brands vs Major OEMs”

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