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How the pros switch: A deeper dive into Brian Harman’s Titleist fitting

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Brian Harman, now a Titleist staffer, sat down with the company to talk about why he signed on with the purveyors of the No. 1 Ball in Golf.

The left-hander is gaming a full bag of Titleist clubs, as well as the Pro V1 golf ball. He just put Titleist’s 917 D2 driver in play at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he impressively finished third behind Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm.

Titleist’s full talk with Harman is available on the Team Titleist blog. It is well worth a read in its entirety, but this bit about his driver and iron setup will be of particular interest to GolfWRX members

Q: Let’s talk about some of the clubs in your bag. You’re gaming a new 917D2 driver here at Kapalua. Can you talk a little bit about the fitting process and why the 917D2 is right for you?

Brian: It took all of about, I don’t know, maybe 25 minutes for us to get it figured out. It went right in, man. It’s one of the easiest hitting drivers I’ve ever hit. JJ [Titleist Tour Rep JJ VanWezenbeeck] and I worked on that. It didn’t take much time at all. The numbers were perfect. I actually spun my old driver a little too much at times. And with the 917D2, the spin came right down and I’m just so excited about the year, I can hardly stand it. I’ve been hitting it at home for a long time, and it’s just been itching to get in play. So, I’m excited about this week.

JJ VanWezenbeeck, Titleist Tour Rep: We spent some time working on shaft length and setting. We were able to show Brian that the length of his previous driver was part of the cause of some of his dispersion issues. So when working on shaft length we were balancing swing speed versus dispersion. We found by shortening his driver by 1/2″ we were able to not sacrifice speed. The D2 head was a great fit for him and we were able to test some SureFit settings that optimized spin and direction.

Q: And how about your irons? You mentioned that you’ve played Titleist irons since the CareerBuilder Challenge last year. Were those CBs?

Brian: Yep, I started with 716 CBs in Palm Springs and I’m playing 718 CBs now. I just love the look at address and how they feel. But more important is the consistency. I can control the trajectory and I know exactly how far the ball is going to carry.

JJ VanWezenbeeck: Brian’s iron game had been very good since switching to the Titleist CB and he was very happy. We double-checked his numbers with the 718 CBs heading into the new season and everything was spot on. The one issue he had this year was his 4 iron. It was slightly height deficient and caused some gapping issues. 75% of Titleist iron players on Tour play a mixed set, so this wasn’t anything new. We tried TMB and AP2 with limited success. Brian prefers a much shorter blade length, so to solve the issue we used a 718 CB 3 iron bent weak to give him a little more speed and height. It fit the gap perfectly and gave him better height.

File this as the 10 millionth example of the importance of fitting both to achieve a desired ball flight and set a player up with the equipment s/he is most comfortable and confident with.

Also, as Sean Crocker told us in our interview earlier this year, and a quick perusal of the WITB section reveals, considering a mixed/split set is often worthwhile in the fitting process (even though Harman eventually went with all 718 CBs).

A final interesting equipment-related tidbit: Harman marks his ball in the manner below. Can you guess why? (Clue: he’s an avid hunter)

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Norman Hall

    Jan 10, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    How tall is he really? I stood 20ft from him last year on the 17th tee at the TPC and I’m not sure he is even as tall as I am. I’m 5’4″…he is reported to be 5’7″. Just curious

  2. rex235

    Jan 9, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Am happy for USGA Mens Junior Champion and PGA Tour Champion Brian Harman.

    Am also glad Titleist changed their minds on making LH equipment, because at one time….

    • JIM MURPHY

      Jan 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      LIKE ALL THESE ARTICLES, THERE IS NO SPECIFIC MENTION OF EXACT LENGTH, LIES,LOFTS.THERE ARE MANY OF US OUT HERE WHO TINKER AND WANT TO KNOW PRECISE NUMBERS, I.E W=35.5 INCHES, 5 IRON=60* LIE, 27* LOFT.
      THE ARTICLE IS PRETTY MUCH USELESS WITHOUT THIS DATA. AS HAS BEEN SAID MANY TIMES, IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL.

      • John

        Jan 11, 2018 at 2:01 pm

        It’s not useless, his specs have no correlation to what someone else needs.

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Accessory Reviews

Talking with Alonzo Guess of Sunfish…and a look at the insane headcover they made GolfWRX

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We last talked with Alonzo Guess of Sunfish in November of 2017 after the Nashville-based company launched a custom headcover and accessory builder on its website.

The company has been producing custom headcovers, yardage books, and other accessories since 2013 when it entered the market with its signature wool headcovers.

We wanted to see what was up, and Guess was kind enough not only to answer a few questions, but to design a pretty incredible GolfWRX driver cover using some raw assets we sent over.

BA: What’s new at Sunfish since we last talked? 

AG: 2018 was a great year for innovation at Sunfish. We worked hard to develop new design and construction techniques, and it has been really exciting combining these new creative elements into one of a kind headcovers and accessories. 2018 was our eighth year in business, but it was probably the most significant in terms of innovation. We’re excited to see where we can go from here!

BA: Looking at your websites, I know one of the new things you developed is something you call Photoflux. What exactly is Photoflux?

AG: Photoflux is our proprietary high-resolution printing process, that gives us the ability to apply to our products anything from photos to complex patterns to intricate logos. The level of resolution and detail is truly unmatched, and can’t be achieved with embroidery. We apply it to our leather and Duraleather products, even our hand-made copper ball markers and divot tools! Those are really exciting, because we can make custom copper ball markers with full color logos, on demand

BA: How the heck did you come up Photoflux?

AG: A customer ordered a scorecard holder with his family photo to be embroidered on each side. We made the piece and weren’t happy at all with the result. The embroidery process couldn’t do justice to the photographs. It was clear that there were certain limitations to embroidery, and we were motivated to overcome them. After months of trial and error, long hours and strenuous testing against sun, rain, and wear, we developed the current process.

BA: What are ways the Photoflux process can be used?

AG: Photoflux is perfect for applying photos, but can also be used for intricate logos or family crests. Really any graphic element can be expressed accurately using Photoflux, including shading. Recently we’ve had fun developing custom patterns such as tiger fur and using them as stripes on headcovers. The sky’s the limit!

Photoflux is best in concert with other design techniques, such as embroidery, laser engraving, and precision cutting and sewing. The featured piece (shown in this feature) incorporates Photoflux, precision cutting and sewing, laser engraving and embroidery. The result is as much artwork as it is a functional golf accessory.

BA: What are the limitations of the technology…what products can you apply Photoflux to?

AG: It’s great for leather and Duraleather headcovers, putter covers, scorecard and yardage book holders, alignment stick covers, cash covers, valuables pouches, wine bags, barrel style tartan headcovers…and even copper ball markers and divot tools!

BA: Tell me about this headcover you made for GolfWRX. I suggested the use of a graffiti wall, a GolfWRX logo, and skeleton hand holding up one finger to denote one club/driver, and you really went to town!

AG: So for the headcover you have, we used Photoflux to apply the graffiti wall image to the top of the cover (did you notice the ‘GolfWRX’ spraypaint in there? We threw that in there for you as an Easter egg!). On top of that, we embroidered the skeleton hand. For the stripe, we laser cut the outline of a typical urban skyline, and laser engraved the chain-link fence pattern over the top, than sewed that down. The bottom portion is a Photoflux image of GolfWRX that you sent over.

With so many new ways to decorate and manipulate the materials, we’re really excited about combining it all for our fans and customers to create really unique products. We feel the sky is the limit, and we hope this headcover illustrates that.

 

 

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Equipment

New XXIO Prime woods, hybrids, and irons aim for lightweight power

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XXIO’s latest club offerings, XXIO Prime, looks to offer easy distance and easy accuracy for the moderate swing speed golfer, according to the company.

XXIO Prime woods

xxio-prime

XXIO Prime Woods feature a new re-designed hosel structure, and reduced stiffness at the tip of the driver shaft, which is designed to help moderate swing speed golfers to close the clubface through impact.

Forged from Super-TIX PLUS Titanium, the new cup face includes a sweet spot that is noticeably larger than previous designs, which aims to increase distance performance significantly. The Super-TIX PLUS Titanium Cup Face is thinner, lighter and stronger than previous additions, creating a maximum COR across the face, which aims to increase ball speed and distance.

According to Chuck Thiry, Vice President of XXIO USA

“The speed increases, higher launch angles, and draw bias of the new Prime will show immediate results from swing one. It’s legit lightweight power for the players that absolutely need it the most.”

Featured in the XXIO prime woods is the SP-1000 shaft, with TORAYCA T1100G carbon fiber and NANOALLOY resin, which creates a strong but lightweight club. Along with the lightness in the shaft, XXIO has made weight savings in the grip and club head, which aims to produce woods that are both fast and easy to swing.

The XXIO Prime woods feature an expanded toe and narrowed heel, a tungsten-nickel inner weight that is low and deep, a lighter hosel repositioned closer to the center of the face, and reduced stiffness at the tip of the shaft, all with the aim of offering golfers with maximum forgiveness from their woods.

The XXIO Prime woods will be available from March 1 and will cost $579,99.

XXIO Prime hybrids and irons

The new XXIO Prime hybrids feature an expanded COR and a lower center of gravity, which is designed to increase distance and ball speed while delivering a straighter ball flight.

The hybrids from XXIO contain a Forged Maraging Steel Cup Face which includes a large sweet spot which aims to increase distance performance.

Just as with the woods, the XXIO irons also feature the Super-TIX PLUS Titanium Cup Face, though along with this, they also contain a CNC milled speed groove, which significantly increases the COR, creating a larger sweet spot, designed to provide greater distance, ball speed and accuracy.

Both the hybrids and irons include the SP-1000 Shaft, with TORAYCA T1100G carbon fiber and NANOALLOY resin. The hybrids and irons also feature weight savings in the grip and club head, with the aim of increasing swing speed.

With an expanded toe and narrowed heel, plus a crown step that moves weight low and deep, XXIO claim that this is their most forgiving suite of Prime hybrids. While with two high-density tungsten nickel sole weights and an overall profile that is 3mm shorter than the previous model, the company also claims to have created their most forgiving irons yet.

Speaking on the new XXIO Prime series, Chuck Thiry stated

“XXIO Prime is, quite frankly, the most unique and beneficial product ever available to moderate swing speed players. Period. People might think that is marketing hype, but they simply haven’t hit Prime yet.”

Both the XXIO Prime hybrids and irons will hit retail stores on March 1. The Prime hybrids will cost $379.99, while a single graphite iron will be available for $259.99.

 

 

 

 

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Equipment

SPOTTED: 2019 Mitsubishi shafts

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The Diamana shaft line from Mitsubishi Chemical is probably one of the most iconic in the sport. Released in 2005, Blueboard, Whiteboard, and Redboard, were the first generation of shafts.

Photos of the full fourth generation Diamana lineup, offering new materials and technology, along with new names, have surfaced in the GolfWRX forums. Like previous generations, each color shaft offers different ball flight and spin characteristics.

“RF” is the highest launching and spinning in the Diamana line, offering high launch and mid spin, while the “BF” is the mid-launch and mid/low-spin model. Finally, the “DF” is mid/low-launching and the lowest-spinning shaft in the lineup.

All of the fourth generation Diamana shafts use updated technologies and materials that you would expect from a premium lineup. DIALEAD pitch fiber is helps reduce shaft deformation, while still producing exceptional energy transfer.

Each shaft contains MR70 carbon fiber that is 20 percent stronger than conventional materials and Boron fiber for its compression strength and shaft reinforcement. ION plating has been done before in the Diamana line, in vacuum chambers — silver alloy ions are bonded to the shaft to give it a chrome-like finish that can’t be replicated by paint.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying in the forums.

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