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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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The drivers used by the top-10 most accurate players on the PGA Tour

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What drivers do the PGA Tour’s most accurate golfers use to find the short grass? Now that the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season is behind us, we can do a thorough examination.

First, here’s a tally of what the top 10 in driving accuracy on Tour are using by driver manufacturer.

  • Callaway: 5
  • PXG: 1
  • TaylorMade: 4

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 2017-2018, the available specifics of their drivers, shafts and how often their tee shots found the fairway.

10. Jim Furyk

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 6.2X
Driving accuracy percentage: 69.77

9. Steve Wheatcroft

Driver: Callaway Rogue
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS T1100
Driving accuracy percentage: 69.79

8. Emiliano Grillo

Driver: Callaway GBB Epic
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV
Driving accuracy percentage: 69.89

7. Brian Gay

Driver: TaylorMade M2
Shaft: Aldila Rogue MAX 65TX
Driving accuracy percentage: 70.92

6. Kyle Stanley

Driver: TaylorMade M1
Loft: 10.5 degrees
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution
Driving accuracy percentage: 71.20

5. Brian Stuard

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero
Loft: 10.5 degrees
Shaft: Project X EvenFlow Max Carry
Driving accuracy percentage: 71.21

4. Ryan Moore

Driver: PXG ZZ
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD IZ-6
Driving accuracy percentage: 71.94

3. Chez Reavie

Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017
Loft: 9.5 degrees
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 60TX
Driving accuracy percentage: 72.09

2. Ryan Armour

Driver: TaylorMade M1 2017
Shaft: UST Mamiya Elements Proto 6F5
Loft: 10.5 degrees
Driving accuracy percentage: 73.58

1. Henrik Stenson*

Driver: Callaway Rogue
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS 6.5 62
Driving accuracy percentage: 74.79

*Stenson, as we know, tees off with his beloved 13-degree Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood with a Graffaloy Blue shaft the vast majority of the time.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “New Ping G410 Driver?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from hervygolf21, and it surrounds the new G410 driver from Ping that is allegedly set for release at the beginning of 2019. Our members have found out plenty of information on the latest driver from Ping since the thread began, apparently, and here’s a quick look at some of the features you might expect from the new model (if you take forum members’ word for it).

According to the thread, the PING G410 will be black with red accents, will have a higher MOI than the current G400 model, will still contain the Ping Turbulators and will be offered in 12 degrees without draw weighting. It’s also believed that the G400 Max will remain current until July/August 2019, but at a lower price point.

Here are a few posts in the thread reflecting on the news, but make sure to check out the entire thread and join the discussion at the link below.

  • lc1342: “Love both the G400 LST and G400 Max, but if they are bringing out something better… I’ll take it!”
  • cz13x4: “This sounds like a very interesting update. Not keen on red but very interested to see what comes out.”
  • roho: “Late January?  Sounds like maybe a PGA Show unveil in Orlando.”

Entire Thread: “New PING G410 Driver”

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Ben Hogan adds Ft. Worth “White” to iron lineup

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After the launch of Diamond Black Metal finish Ft. Worth “Black” irons earlier this year, Ben Hogan’s nickel-chrome Ft. Worth irons are back…sort of. The Texas-baed company today announced the launch of Ben Hogan Ft. Worth White irons.

Now with respect to the “White” designation, If you’re skeptical/confused, well, let’s just have a look at a comment on BH’s Instagram post announcing the iron launch and the company’s response…

jonmodica: “Very unclear the changes from previous model… also… white? It’s chrome…..”

Benhogangolf: ”@jonmodica More progressive specific to each club head, a more aggressive V-Sole pattern and the ‘white’ is opposite of the popular and newly designed Ft. Worth Black.”

There you have it, folks. “White” as in contrast to the Ft. Worth Black irons, and the Ft. Worth White is not merely a re-issue of original chrome Ft. Worth, according to the company.

With respect to the changes to the V-Sole system, the company said this in its marketing materials for the Ft. Worth Black.

“Feedback from strong players and robot testing indicated that the leading edge could be increased on certain irons, and trailing edge softened … especially with less-than-full shots in the shorter irons.”

“So, in our ongoing quest to design and manufacture the best clubs in golf, we’ve modified the V-Sole Technology used on the Ben Hogan Ft. Worth BLACK slightly. The sole maintains the same basic design principles as the original V-Sole but has been optimized for each iron in the set. In effect, we’ve strengthened the leading edge from the sole to the face on some of the Ft. Worth BLACK irons, while reducing the trailing edge bounce on others.”

Obviously, the company scrapped the PreciseLoft system introduced with the original Ft. Worth irons. That system offered four loft profiles, all with consistent four-degree gaps. After finding the vast majority of players preferred the “mid-high” launch profile, the company did away with the others…and returned to tradition iron number (rather than loft) stamping on the toe.

The aforementioned lofts in the 4-PW set range from 22 degrees to 46 degrees.

“The Ft. Worth White Irons are illustrative of how Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company interacts with and listens to its customers,” said Scott White, President and CEO, Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company. “On the heels of our sales success with the Ft. Worth Black Irons, we found many ‘traditionalists’ who wanted to play this iron design with the standard nickel-chrome finish, so we accommodated them with this launch.”

Ft. Worth White irons are available for purchase on the Ben Hogan website exclusively for $700.00 per seven-piece set (4-PW).

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