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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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pga tour

Joaquin Niemann WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Valero Texas Open (4/16/2018).

Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

3 Wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7x

Hybrid: Ping G400 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-95x Hybrid

Irons: Ping iBlade (4-9)
Shaft: Project X 6.0

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (46-12SS, 52-12SS, 56-12SS, 60-06TS)
Shaft: Project X 6.5

Putter: Ping Anser 2
Grip: Ping Pistol

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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

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Zach Cabra WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Houston Open (3/27/2018).

Driver: Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Max 75X

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White d+ 80X

Irons: Mizuno MP-Fli-Hi (2, 3), Piretti Limited Edition (4-PW)
Shaft: Aerotech SteelFiber hls880 (2), Aerotech SteelFiber i80 (3-PW)

Wedges: Callaway MD3 Milled (50-10S, 54-10S), Callaway Mack Daddy PM (60-10)
Shaft: KBS Tour 125 S+

Putter: Piretti 801 CU
Grip: Piretti Pistol

WITB Notes: We spotted Cabra with 15 clubs in the bag ahead of the 2018 Houston Open. We’ll update this post when we confirm the 14 clubs we used in competition.

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

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TaylorMade is releasing its TP Black Copper putters to retail

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We first spotted TaylorMade’s new TP Black Copper putters at the 2018 PGA Show, but the company wasn’t saying anything about specs, release date, pricing, technologies, nothing.

Then, we all saw Rory McIlroy switch to a TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto proto putter ahead of the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he won by 3 strokes. Of course, Rory’s specific Soto putter was made with a special insert. Click here for all of the info and specs on Rory’s putter.

Now, TaylorMade is releasing retail versions to the public in four models — Juno, Soto, Ardmore 3 and Mullen 2 — which will hit stores on 4/20 selling for $199 with a standard Black Lamkin Crossbone Pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke Pistol 1.0 GT grip.

The putters have a triple-plated finish; nickel, then copper, then black chrome, according to TaylorMade’s Bill Price (Senior Director of Product Creation for Wedges and Putters). They’re then hand-polished to achieve the antique and non-glare finish. Overtime, and especially on the sole, Price says the copper will tarnish or oxidize to unveil a gradually more antique and rustic look. Rory McIlroy himself actually had a hand in inspiring the new finish.

“Rory was talking about certain finishes,” Price said. “He wanted something non-glare, with an antique type finish…. he wanted to be reminded of something old school.” 

Thus, the TP Black Copper finish was born.

Also, the putters are machined from 303 stainless steel, they have adjustable sole weights and have the company’s familiar Pure Roll inserts in their faces. Check out more info about each of TaylorMade’s TP Black Copper models below.

Juno

  • Hosel: #1 L-Neck
  • Dexterity: RH/LH
  • Toe Hang: 36 degrees
  • Offset: Full shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 346 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees

Soto

  • Hosel: Long Curve
  • Dexterity: RH
  • Toe Hang: 47 degrees
  • Offset: Full shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 346 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees

Ardmore 3

  • Hosel: #1 L-Neck
  • Dexterity: RH/LH
  • Toe Hang: 12 degrees
  • Offset: Full shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 350 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees

Mullen 3

  • Hosel: Double Bend
  • Dexterity: RH/LH
  • Toe Hang: Face Balanced
  • Offset: 3/4 shaft
  • Length: 34 and 35 inches
  • Head Weight: 355 grams
  • Loft: 3.5 degrees
  • Lie Angle: 70 degrees
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