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Sean Crocker on signing with Srixon/Cleveland, his testing process and new clubs

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Former University of Southern California standout Sean Crocker has signed with Srixon and Cleveland Golf for a multi-year deal. Crocker will play a Srixon Z-Star XV golf ball, Srixon Z-U65 Utility 2-iron, Srixon Z-765 irons (4-5), Srixon Z-945 irons (6-PW), and Cleveland RTX wedges (50, 54 and 60 degrees).

Crocker, one of the world’s top-10 amateurs, turned pro after three years at USC. During his time as a Trojan, the now 21-year-old helped his team to the NCAA Championship Match Play all three seasons. Crocker was an All-American, the 2015 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, and a three-time All-Pac-12 selection.

He won the Monroe Invitational in the summer of 2016. Crocker finished second in the Northeast Amateur, and in 2015 he reached the semi-finals of the U.S. Amateur, losing to eventual champion, Bryson DeChambeau.

Crocker spoke with GolfWRX about the signing.

The adoptive Californian indicated there’s a great deal of similarity between forged irons and wedges–similarly spec’d and shafted–from OEM to OEM. Thus, he told us the golf ball was his primary concern in choosing a sponsor.

“That was the biggest thing. That’s what I sat on TrackMan with. I made sure I hit it in Europe when I was playing in windy conditions. If your golf ball doesn’t fly right, it doesn’t matter how hard or how solid you hit it; it’s not going to go where you want it.”

Crocker didn’t play a Srixon ball in college, and really hadn’t given anything from the Z-Star line much consideration as he assessed his options. However, he was surprised to find the Z-Star XV “held up perfectly,” performing particularly better than anything he tested in the wind.

Crocker, who had played TaylorMade equipment and balls from the time he was 14, tested equipment extensively last year. He tested woods from multiple manufacturers (and eventually returned to his TaylorMade woods), planning on locking in his irons and wedges last.

After the U.S. Amateur, he decided to broaden his ball search to include Srixon.

“The week before I signed, I played the first stage of (Web.com) Q-School in Nevada. It was blowing 15-25 mph all week, and the ball was amazing,” he said. Crocker tied for seventh (-9/279) at First Stage Qualifying in Dayton, Nevada. “Everything settled into place after that.”

He said the testing process included both range time on TrackMan and on-course work with the ball, and both facets are important.

“You’re always manipulating a little something when you’re on the range. But when you get on the golf course, all you think about is the pin. Especially when you’re practicing. That’s when you start to hit different shots: You’ll pinch one a little bit, you’ll skank one a little bit to see how it spins. That’s when you’re going to get a lot of your feedback. But you do need to see your numbers on TrackMan.”

With respect to his irons, Crocker sang the praises of the Z-945’s dual Tour V.T. Sole: “I’m a little steeper at impact, so they go through the ground a little better.”

He said the split set (Z-765 irons (4-5), Srixon Z-945 irons (6-P)), represented a change for him. “Putting the (4 and 5-iron) in play has been another game changer,” he said. “I’m hitting my long irons so much higher, so they’re landing a lot softer, and it’s easier to hit those closer.”

Speaking to the trend toward combo sets on Tour, Crocker said, “The game’s hard enough. So now you have this butter knife 4-iron. It still looks good to your eye, but guess what, you have an extra three centimeters on the clubface to hit with.”

Crocker is playing a second stage of Web.com Tour Qualifying event at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, starting November 7. He’s hoping to make it to the Final Stage, December 7.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Tomdick

    Nov 6, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    All the local clowns have been talking trash about this kid from the beginning. He just keeps proving them wrong. That’s what makes this kid great. The hush in this area is comical. They still can’t believe he was on tv in the semi’s against Bryson. He tied Jimmy Walker in Europe last month and has made the cut in most of his tour starts.

    I’m not saying he’s going to take down majors, but wait until his short game and putting take off.

  2. mM

    Nov 5, 2017 at 2:06 am

    A Taylormade driver though. lol

  3. Mark

    Nov 5, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Are Cleveland Precision Forged wedges and Cleveland RTX wedges one and the same model of wedge? I always thought they were different wedge models.

  4. 2putttom

    Nov 4, 2017 at 11:25 am

    this will be a great pairing for success

  5. SK

    Nov 3, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Cleveland’s “Precision Forged” is the same as “Coining” explained here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coining_(metalworking)
    The clubhead is not hot forged from a red hot billet of steel; it is cast and then stamped to harden the surface while it is cold.
    Gullible golfers don’t know or care about what they are buying because they only buy brand and bling.

    • etc.

      Nov 4, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      So the precision forged clubs are only forged skin deep? Mizuno’s are fully hot forged, not ‘coined’.

  6. Phil

    Nov 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I wish someone would actually praise (and USE) Srixon’s driver and fairway woods!!!

    • Gilles

      Nov 5, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Why do you wish Srixon clubs deserve ‘praise’? What is so exceptional about them to make your wishes come true?

  7. Nick

    Nov 3, 2017 at 10:59 am

    This kid is going to be really good.

    • 2putttom

      Nov 4, 2017 at 11:24 am

      I agree

    • Gilles

      Nov 5, 2017 at 11:47 am

      I disagree. All he has done is capitalized on his amateur record with an equipment deal for Chinese clubs.

      • Anthony

        Nov 7, 2017 at 5:39 pm

        Chinese clubs? A little bit to the right and lower on the map?

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