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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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Equipment

Fujikura launches new Pro 2.0 and Pro 2.0 Tour Spec shafts

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Fujikura has announced the launch of the second generation of its Pro series shafts: the Pro 2.0.

The first iteration of the Pro shafts were designed with a soft handle section to aid in loading. The Pro 2.0 presents an even more effective loading zone, according to the company, which also says torsional stiffness is 14 percent greater in the 2.0.

“Like all of our shafts, the Pro 2.0 has been designed utilizing enso, a 3D motion-capture technology that no one else in the shaft industry has,” said Alex Dee, Vice President at Fujikura Composites America.

“This technology and advanced data analytics has allowed us to crack the code on how club performance and ball flight are affected by shaft characteristics and swing type. When we compared to the original Pro, we saw the 2.0 was significantly easier to swing, had tighter shot dispersion, and lower spin to deliver the club head with more power, control and distance. We were thrilled with the result.”

The Pro 2.0 is painted “Destroyer Grey” with a metallic blue design in line with the original Pro shaft. The Tour Spec model is painted “Tour Spec White.”

The shafts will be available in weight ranges from 57 to 87 grams (5, 6, 7, 8) and in flexes starting at R2 up to X. $225 MSRP; $250 for the Tour Spec model. Hybrid option available for $140.

Available at over 600 qualified Fujikura charter dealers beginning February 1. Full specs at Fujikura.com.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Pro 2.0 in the forums.

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Fred Couples signs with Bettinardi, will continue to use FCB putter

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Fred Couples has been using his namesake Bettinardi putter, the FCB (Fred Couples Blade), for the past four years. Now, he’s officially joining Bettinardi’s Tour staff.

Couples, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour Champions, will putt exclusively with the company’s flatsticks.

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

“I’m really looking forward to representing Bettinardi and its beautiful range of hand-made putters, as they always give me great confidence when I’m standing over putts,” said Fred. “Having won 5 times already with a Bettinardi putter, there’s nothing I’d rather be putting with.

Couples averaged 1.70 putts per hole when playing in 12 events with the Bettinardi wand last year.

“Having Fred Couples join our Tour staff is a massive endorsement for Bettinardi Golf,” said founder Robert Bettinardi. “We’re so proud and excited to welcome him to our growing Tour staff. I’m sure he will prove to be a great ambassador for our brand, as he attracts huge crowds and media attention wherever he plays.”

Here’s a look at Boom Boom’s FCB putter.

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Odyssey’s new EXO 2-Ball, Works Red and Black, and Toulon putters

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There’s one thing Odyssey has never struggled with: giving golfers options. Today, the company launched a trunk-full of new putters, including eight Works Red and Black putters, Toulon Atlanta and Portland models, and an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball putter that gives the classic 2-ball design a very new, and premium look.

Most of the new putters, actually, are mallets. More specifically, they are mallets that Odyssey says feel like blade putters; that’s because they’re made with toe hang (like a blade putter) rather than face-balanced designs of typical mallets. Toe hang frees up the face of a putter to open and close, a stroke-style that many golfers employ — amateurs and pros alike.

According to Austie Rollinson, chief designer of Odyssey, there’s been a trend of blade users on Tour switching into mallets because of this toe hang, and that will continue to happen. Odyssey says that of the PGA Tour wins last year, 29 winners used mallets — 14 of those were mallets with toe hang — while there were 20 blade winners. Also, of the top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting, 31 players used mallets, 13 of which were toe-hang mallets, and 19 players used blades.

Therefore, many of the new putters from Odyssey are toe-hang mallets. Check out all of the new putters below, with info on design, pricing and release dates.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new putters here

Odyssey Works Red and Black putters

 

The new Works Red and Black putters — adding on to the line of putters released in 2017 — continue to use microhinge face inserts that are designed to “grab” the ball to impart more topspin on the golf ball to get it rolling faster. The new offerings launched today include a No. 1 Wide S, No. 1 Tank, No. 7 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, Marxman S, Jailbird Mini and Jailbird Mini S.

They will sell for $199 with a standard Winn AVS midsize pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke grip starting on February 23.

See more photos and join the discussion about the Works Red and Black putters here.

Odyssey EXO 2-Ball

The new EXO 2-Ball, made with Rose Gold PVD, is a premium version of the iconic 2-ball shape. It’s CNC-milled with a microhinge insert, has an aluminum crown with a steel sole plate and Tungsten in the rear portion of the head. The EXO 2-ball also has black circles instead of the familiar white color for which 2-balls are known.

According to Odyssey, it’s a “statement product,” and it will only sell 5,000 of these putters globally. They will sell for $499.99 starting on February 2.

Odyssey says: “Our new Odyssey EXO 2-Ball is a premium limited edition putter unlike any we’ve ever offered. It combines one of the game’s most innovative and iconic putter designs with top-notch materials and meticulous production to create something truly special.”

Toulon Atlanta and Portland

Odyssey’s premium putter brand continues dipping its toes in the mallet style with its new mid-mallet Atlanta and Portland models. They have gunmetal finishes and are 100-percent milled from soft, 303 stainless steel. They also have Toulon’s familiar diamond-milled faces for improved roll.

The Atlanta and Portland models will sell for $399.99 apiece and hit retail on February 2.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Toulon Atlanta putter here

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