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USGA Distance Study: PGA Tour, PGA of America, Titleist respond

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The USGA and R&A’s annual Distance Report hit the golf mediaverse Monday. Now, responses from other industry powers are following in the report’s wake.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan wrote a letter to PGA Tour players offering his thoughts on the USGA’s findings

“Having carefully reviewed the data, we do not believe the trends indicate a significant or abnormal increase in distance since 2003 or from 2016 to 2017,” the commissioner stated.

Monahan pointed to fluctuations between seasons, increases in clubhead speed and bigger, stronger players.

“While this may seem significant when taken in isolation, it has not been uncommon over the past 15 years to see significant gains or losses. Since 2003, there have been three instances where a significant gain was recorded between years, and five instances where the average decreased. … There is a strong correlation between clubhead speed and the total distance gains seen since 2003. We believe this increase in clubhead speed is mostly attributable to a combination of factors, such as increased player athleticism and fitness, physical build of the player, enhancements in equipment fitting and the proliferation of launch-monitoring capabilities. It is interesting to note that since 2003, the average age of a Tour member has gone down and the average height has gone up.”

Titleist, industry leader in the golf ball space, also issued a response.David Maher, CEO and president of Titleist’s parent company, Acushnet, said:

“In any given year there are variables that impact distance, and any movement as in 2017 is not suddenly indicative of a harmful trend. We continue to believe equipment innovation has benefitted golfers at all levels, and our analysis of the 2017 Distance Report affirms that the USGA and R&A have effective regulations in place to ensure the game’s health and sustainability.”

Titleist points out that removing new venues from the equation, distance gains were only 0.5 yards at the 33 events held at the same courses in 2015-2016 and 2017-2018. In fact, Titleist points out, at 15 of the 33 PGA Tour events contested at the same venue the past two season, distance decreased. The company also highlights the outlier of the more than 20-yard increase at U.S. Open venues (Oakmont in 2016, Erin Hills in 2017).

“A closer look into the numbers in the report underscores the complexity of making any meaningful year-to-year comparison. There were several contributing variables in 2017, including course selection and setup, agronomical conditions and weather, which need to be considered when assessing the data.”

Read Titleist’s full response and research here. 

Per Golf Digest PGA of America CEO, Pete Bevacqua also expressed skepticism.

“Having just received the full report last evening, it is difficult for us at the PGA of America to provide meaningful comments on its content at this time. However, given the recent industry discussions and media reports regarding a potential roll back of the golf ball for all players and/or a segment of elite players, our Board of Directors has discussed this topic at length. Based on the information we have seen, we are highly skeptical that rolling back the golf ball in whole or part will be in the best interests of the sport and our collective efforts to grow the game.’

Bevacqua indicated the PGA of America will poll its nearly 29,000 PGA Pros this week to get their feedback before issuing a full response.

We’ll continue to monitor substantial responses as the debate continues.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. G March

    Mar 8, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Doesn’t Merion prove a point that you don’t have to limit technology to challenge the pro’s? Look at the finishing scores of the 2013 USOpen. Justin Rose won it with a +1. Course design will keep the bombers under control. If they can bomb it down the middle then all the better. But if they miss the fairway then they should not be able to advance it the way they can. Short rough is not enough of a penalty. Merion was considered a short track and the couch coaches all said they were going the shredd the “short” course. Well it didn’t work out that way did it?
    All the best.
    G

  2. Robert Parsons

    Mar 8, 2018 at 1:27 am

    Put restrictions on the players. Nobody under 35 years old. Must be under 5’10”. Players can not take full backswing. And tees must not stick out of the ground more than 1 inch.

  3. Charlie

    Mar 7, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Why not use Iron Byron to test the balls and the equipment at the same courses (3 should suffice) at the same time (not hard since tournaments generally happen at the same time each year). If the balls and clubs make no difference; why do so many people waste their money upgrading so often? Of course, the tour players are better, stronger and have their clubs custom made for their swings. If the ability of the great players is accentuated to the point that the average golfer can’t feel a relationship between the tour players and themselves, that could be the end of a viable golf industry. I am a member of the USGA but am starting to believe that the relationship to the game is more liked that of the NRA; that is they represent the manufacturers more than the average golfer.

  4. HDTVMAN

    Mar 7, 2018 at 11:20 am

    The USGA reminds me of the NCAA…both need to be replaced! Listening to Hank Haney yesterday on his Sirius/XM show, the USGA is so far out of touch with the game of golf it’s not funny! Don’t they test the balls, clubs, and measure the length of putters??? Oh well, gotta get my feathery, hickory sticks, and this brand new sandy wedge this guy Sarazen is using…got a tee time at 1pm.

  5. Tom54

    Mar 7, 2018 at 11:18 am

    If the golf ball and the clubs are already maxed out to their legal limits then there has to be other factors for the ball to be traveling too long. Players are bigger and stronger than ever. Every course for the events are tried to be firm and fast. That obviously means more roll out on tee balls. Until these great players are shooting 59s every week no need for changes. Every golfer alive realizes there are way too many variables that go into a score in golf. Hitting the ball further is just one factor. If ball is restricted the bombers will still be longer than the rest. That’s their skill, no matter what.

  6. Jeffrey Fish

    Mar 7, 2018 at 11:10 am

    The USGA is trying to craft a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

  7. Chris M.

    Mar 7, 2018 at 9:54 am

    It appears that the USGA is searching for a way
    to remain relevant. They have run Erin Hills up the flag pole and have noted the 20 yard increase in driving distance. Yet, it was the USGA and not any new ball that contributed to distance jump. Some players had complained about the difficulty of Erin Hills during the practice rounds. Suddenly, the. USGA orders that acres and acres of high fescue be mowed to create the widest fairways in all of creation. Then they have the audacity to complain about how far everyone is driving the ball. Disgusting!

  8. 1putt

    Mar 6, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I am looking in the attic for my black & white tv.. this is the result of great junior programs, extensive high school programs, and a collegiate schedule that provides year round as well as world wide experience.

  9. Robert Najarian

    Mar 6, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    How much are the club manufactures paying for these ignorant replies. The last 40 years they’ve ruined the game of golf. Why don’t we go back to persimmon Woods a lot of balls then tell me what the difference is the game I love has become a joke. Even a sport like baseball that allows its players to use drugs outlawed the aluminum bats why doesn’t golf do the same

    • Dr Insight

      Mar 7, 2018 at 6:23 am

      It’s the fault of technology; the world was of course a much better place before the invention of the wheel let alone the jet engine. Coping with change is something that few of us can actually embrace.

  10. Richard Ramon

    Mar 6, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Golf is like any other sport. Players today are bigger stronger and faster. Get over it little men of the USGA, it’s not the ball.

  11. A T Meeks

    Mar 6, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Meant USGA not PGA.
    Sorry

  12. A T Meeks

    Mar 6, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Pga reminds me of Hollywood. Out of touch with the real world. They think way too much of themselves.
    LEAVE US ALONE

  13. DD

    Mar 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    i dont see where the problem is. There are plenty of tournament courses long enough tough enough. The golden bear doesnt have to build every course to host a tournament especially as hundreds of courses are closed each year. im a 2 cap and a long ball hitter. i rarely play tips and never see anyone else playing tips ever. much less clamoring for longer courses. half the courses i play even the nicer ones dont even have tee markers longer than 6500 out even if they are mowing the 6800….what problem are the trying to fix. Rolling back the ball only for tour player will hurt the pga. no one wants pros playing a different ball. no one will be wowed by their distance anymore. no one will be able to compare their drives to the pros(as i like to) no one will be able to compare their ability to the pros. all of that will be over. They will be completely separating the professional league from the consumer. good luck with that.

    • Richard Ramon

      Mar 6, 2018 at 4:15 pm

      Indeed. Why does the LPGA not attract fans like the PGA? Because good players don’t see shots on the LPGA that they couldn’t hit at one point in their life or another. Dustin Johnson having a yap in for eagle on a 421 yard par 4 is incomprehensible. The USGA has outlived their time. I can’t stand the USGA any more. They Ruin the US Open every year with their egos.

  14. Stump

    Mar 6, 2018 at 10:11 am

    The USGA wants to roll the ball back…now they are using stats that support that position. As Mark Twain said: there are lies, damned lies and statistics.

    • DB

      Mar 6, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Exactly. And if they are including outliers that show 20+ yard increases (due to agronomy – I saw those fairways at the US Open and The Open) then the statistics are pretty much flawed.

  15. Dr Troy

    Mar 6, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Thank you….At least weve got someone with common sense. And I dont mean Mike Davis….

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GolfWRX takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Callaway ball plant

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In Chicopee, Massachusetts, there is an unassuming red brick building that predates the existence of every modern golf OEM. From the outside, it could be confused for any other American manufacturing facility if not for the proudly displayed Callaway sign. Inside, there are over 400 hard-working people producing the highest quality golf balls using state-of-the art manufacturing techniques and tools — this red brick building is the Callaway golf ball plant.

To understand what you see when you first enter the ball plant, it’s best to first understand why it is here in the first place. When I initially asked this question to one of my tour guides, Vincent Simonds, the Senior Director of Global Golf Ball Operations, his answer started with a story that predated cars…it was at this point I knew that these guys mean business.

The modern history, however, starts in 2003 when Callaway purchased Top-Flite brand and subsidiaries, and with it purchased the entire Top-Flite manufacturing facility. In its it heyday, Top-Flite/Spaulding was producing its full line of clubs and balls out of this building, and that included equipment made for Bobby Jones. Chicopee, Massachusetts, was essentially the center of the golf club technology universe.

Part of the original Spaulding golf club factory

Letter from Bobby Jones discussing the advantage of the newly designed ball

Page 2 of the Letter from Bobby Jones

When its comes to balls, most modern golfers don’t equate Top-Flite with premium equipment or breakthroughs, but during this time period the ball plant in Chicopee was responsible for just as many technology and scientific breakthroughs as its modern Callaway self.

One Example is Bob Molitor. In 1972, Molitor developed the first two-piece golf ball with a Surlyn cover by combining the right amounts of various ionomers. This allowed golf balls to have much greater durability and along with it improved distance. This development is part of the reason the USGA had to establish the “One Ball Rule” because players would switch out depending on the hole since there was a huge distance advantage to this Solid Core Surlyn Cover design. Imagine that – the USGA having to change rules to accommodate a new technology, seems to me our current daily discussions about bifurcation aren’t something so new after all.

There were a lot of other great innovations over the years that lead to new technology making its way into the bags of players all over the world, one of which caused a revolution that we still benefit from today. In the 90s Top-Flite, under the Strata brand, cracked the code of merging the soft, high-spin “tour ball” performance with the lower-spinning, longer-flying, and more durable “distance ball”, this three-piece ball was like two balls in one. Strata’s design team accomplished this feat by placing a soft polyurethane cover on a Top-Flite distance ball, and then added a thin layer between the cover and the core that encased the ball’s already large and solid rubber core. In short, the modern golf ball was born. 

This brings us back to the modern day Callaway ball plant, a facility where the average employee tenure exceeds 20 years, and where every single premium Callaway Ball on the planet is made. The thing I quickly realized upon entering the plant for the first time is the pride every person has for their role in making world class golf balls. This sense of pride, and a friendly, yet hard-working environment is something I witnessed before at Callaway’s Carlsbad facility too — a testament to the company’s corporate leadership and the culture that they promote everyday. The “Victory Flag,” as they call it, was flying high thanks to Xander Schauffele’s win just a few days before my visit. 

The start of production begins with materials formulation

I was able to observe a pre-shift meeting, and you would think that based on the discussion of machine tolerances, quality control, & equipment inspections this plant is making parts for a yet-to-be-seen shuttle being sent into space, but they’re talking golf balls. Speaking to the tolerances the plant works within, the in-house machine shop had some amazing equipment, including some things I unfortunately could not share through pictures. This equipment works with the tolerances of less than the 1/30th the thickness of a Post-It Note. For example, each single side to a cover mold for the Chrome Soft line takes more than 30 hours of machine time to complete — an amount of time which might seem excessive, but when you think of the speed and forces impacting a golf ball from first driver strike and along its parabolic trajectory, we really are talking space shuttle physics.

Some of the most impressive equipment has nothing to do with the performance of the balls but rather how they look. I’m talking here about the Truvis patterned balls. What was perceived by many golfers at first as a gimmick (and something than even some Callaway management believed would be a fad) has proven to be an absolute slam dunk. The pentagon pattern provides a tangible benefit by creating an optical illusion that makes the ball look bigger (and easier to hit) especially out of the rough, and also gives visual feedback for short game shots and putting.

Let’s just say that what started as a toe dip with one machine has turned into an area of the plant with more than a dozen machines,  and Callaway is also producing Truvis balls with custom colors and logos — they’re not just printing pentagons anymore.

GolfWRX Truvis

For actual production, every ball starts as raw materials, and compounds are precisely mixed in house, allowing Callaway to control the entire production process. The amount of materials engineering and chemistry I witnessed was way beyond what I was expecting, and to be frank, I went in with already high expectations. After initial mixing each batch is tested and sent to the next step.

Mixing Station

Pre cut core “slugs” ready for baking

Ever wonder why the cores of various golf balls from a single OEM are so bright and differently colored? It’s actually done to make each material identifiable in the process and give production staff another way to make sure materials get to the right manufacturing line. Of all the questions I asked, this one had the most simple answer.

Callaway ERC ( Left ) vs. Chrome Soft ( Right )

The next step is the “cooking” process of the inner core. Each oven press is precisely controlled for pressure and temperature along multiple areas of each unit, this ensures a core that comes from the outer part of the press is formed and “cooked” to the exact same spec as one from the middle. The same process is used for both parts of the dual core.  

Hydraulic press “oven” for producing cores

 

Cores post-pressing and still hot

Callaway utilized a proprietary manufacturing and molding technique to ensure exact specifications are met for centering the core and achieving correct cover thickness. Once the covers are in place, we officially have a golf ball, but we’re not done yet. There are still more quality control checks done by machine as well and humans to once again ensure each ball that leaves the plant is built to the highest quality standards and will perform just like the one before it.

Chrome Softs just after the cover process – Still very warm to the touch as the urethane cools

Even the final paint and clear coat are highly engineered to resist staining, sheering, and stay on during deformation. To quote of one my tour guides, “The force applied to the cover and paint on the ball by a wedge would be like taking a hatchet to the paint on the side of your house.” It might seem like a simple process, but to ensure full coverage of sphere requires some pretty unique tools to get the job done.

This brings us to the new Triple Track Alignment system and how it was developed to help golfers play better. The new system helps improve alignment on putts from all lengths and it also happens to be on Callaway’s longest ball to date: the ERC Soft.

The alignment aid wraps 160 degrees around the ball and offers three parallel lines with high contrast (no more need to try and draw that long Sharpie line around your ball).  For those who choose to putt without the Triple Track alignment, Callaway considered you too, since the other 200 degrees around the ball unsure that you won’t see those lines from address.

Triple Track Alignment visible vs hidden

Every shot taken means something to someone, whether it be a golfer trying to break 100 for the first time, or a tour professional lining up a putt on Sunday afternoon of a major championship. The golf ball is the one piece of equipment a golfer will use on every shot, and each person at the Callaway ball plant in Chicopee, Massachusetts, is proud to put their name behind it, even if you don’t see those names on the box.

 

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Phil phires a 60 | Lowry leads in Abu Dhabi | Bernhard the bricklayer’s son

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

January 18, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1.  Desert Classic
A “rusty” Mickelson leads with nothing less than a 12-under 60…
Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner…”If this is his idea of rusty, it could be another special year for Phil Mickelson…Before heading out to begin his 28th year on the PGA Tour, Lefty alerted his 250,000-plus Twitter followers that he was “excited” and “fresh” and “ready to get started,” but also, um, “rusty,” which is a golfer’s subtle way of suggesting that expectations should be lowered. Mickelson even told his playing partner, Aaron Wise, the reigning Rookie of the Year, as much before the round: “I’m rusty, so don’t expect much.”
  • “But Mickelson has been doing the improbable for nearly three decades now, and so maybe it shouldn’t have been such a complete surprise that in his first round of 2019, at 48 years of age, with no expectations, he carded his lowest score in relation to par in his long and decorated Tour career – a 12-under 60, to take the lead Thursday at the Desert Classic.”
  • “It was kind of a lucky day in the sense that I did not feel sharp heading in,” Mickelson said afterward. “Sometimes it’s just one of those days when it clicks.”
2. Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour…
AP Report…”Nearly three months after Lewis became a mother, and six months after she last played on tour, she opened with seven birdies on Thursday for a 5-under 66 that left her one shot behind Brooke Henderson and Eun-Hee Ji at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.”
  • ”Pleasantly surprised,” Lewis said. ”Had pretty low expectations going into the day. Just really made a lot of putts. I had some weird shots, which I knew was going to happen having not played in a while. I don’t know where it came from, but I’m going to take it.”
  • “Henderson overcame a slow start with a bogey on the second hole and a par save on No. 3 at the Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons. She birdied five of her last eight holes for a 65 to tie Ji, who had a bogey-free round.”
  • “The tournament – the first season-opener in Florida for the LPGA since 2015 – is only for LPGA winners each of the last two years.”
3. European Tour
A report from The National...”Shane Lowry has a three-shot advantage to take into Saturday’s final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.”
  • “A birdie at the 18th gave him a round of 67 to leave him on -17, three ahead of South African Richard Sterne.”
  • “An eagle on the final hole from Ian Poulter lifted the Englishman to -12 and gives him hope he can prevail on Saturday.”
  • “Pablo Larrazabal will start the final round on -11 ahead of a quartet of Maximilian Kiefer, Thomas Pieters, Soren Kjeldsen and Scott Jamieson.”
4. The bricklayer’s son
Bernhard Langer’s “My Shot” runs in Golf Digest this month.
A few morsels…
  • “My father built our house. When I was a boy, he would call on me to help him lay bricks. I would shovel the material for the mortar into a small mixing machine, then join him in laying the bricks, setting them carefully, one by one, using string to make sure everything was straight. I consider it a miracle to have come this far.”
  • “WE CADDIES were given four hand-me-down clubs to share. There was a 2-wood, 3-iron and 7-iron, all with bamboo shafts, and a putter with a shaft bent like an archer’s bow. By the time I was 12, I saved enough money to buy a new set of Kroydon irons. They weren’t top of the line, but they were shiny, new and all mine. I added a Blue Goose model putter that had a small indentation in the head. It was a magical putter, and I quickly became the best putter at the course, Golfclub Augsburg, and possibly all of Germany. One day the putter went missing. I frantically went through the members’ bags, and sure enough, found my Blue Goose with the indentation. But I was in a terrible situation. I couldn’t confront the member-he surely would deny everything, and I would be fired. So I kept it to myself. I never did get the Blue Goose back. I’ve spent the past 50 years looking for a putter that suits me as well.”
5. Latin American Am
AP Report…“Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico had an ideal start Thursday in hopes of turning his fortunes in the Latin American Amateur Championship, opening with a 6-under 66 to build a three-shot lead after the opening round.”
  • “Ortiz has been runner-up in the Latin American Amateur the last two years. He finished five shots behind Joaquin Niemann of Chile last year, and he lost in a three-man playoff to Toto Gana the previous year.”
  • “The winner earns a spot in the Masters in April, and is exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open and British Open.”
6. Pins in at Augusta National? Maybe…
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…”Will players really be allowed to putt with the pins in during at the Masters?”
  • “Asked that question Thursday at the Latin America Amateur Championship, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley didn’t say no.”
  • “Under the new Rules of Golf, which went into effect on Jan. 1, players are now allowed to leave the flagstick in while on the greens, as Bryson DeChambeau so eagerly demonstrated.”
  • “Addressing the possibility of Augusta National going against the Rules of Golf during Masters week, Ridley first thanked the USGA’s Mike Davis and R&A’s Martin Slumbers for their work, then preached a message of “consistency” at the game’s highest levels.”
  • “We will, as we always do, collaborate with the governing bodies. We will talk about those local rules and conditions that will be implemented,” Ridley said.”
  • “We think it’s important that there be some consistency in top championship golf, and so you should expect that the Masters Tournament, from a rules perspective, will look very much, if not the same, as what you’re seeing in the major championships and the professional tours.”
7. The weirdest lies in golf history
Great stuff here from Coleman Bentley rounding up some of the most absurd lies (and resultant shots) in golf history (although it’s hard to believe there’s any way his list could be comprehensive, but hey, headlines, and you have to admire the effort)
  • “Golf is a game of minutely controlled chaos. Atoms crashing into atoms. Weight swooping into inertia. A ballet of bounces, spins, kicks, and ricochets that goes wrong just as often as it goes right. The beauty of a such an unpredictable game-one of inches, not yards-however, is that when it goes right it’s spectacular and when it goes wrong, well, it’s equally spectacular. Beg to differ? Well, keep on begging, because as the weirdest, wildest lies in golf’s weird, wild history prove, chaos is a beautiful thing indeed.”
  • “Shane Lowry – 2018 Abu Dhabi Championship…Before Shane Lowry could tie the course record at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Championship, he first had to conquer Trash Heap Corner. P.S. If no one’s taking that couch, we might know a guy who’s interested.”
  • “Phil Mickelson – 2014 Barclays Championship…The Leave: Just to the left of Big Jeff’s Hotdog Haus. One day Phil Mickelson will save par from the surface of the moon. We’re sure of it. Until then, his walkabout at the 2014 Barclays Championship will have to suffice.”
8. Kang & McNealy
A couple of Las Vegas-based golf pros are a couple!
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell...”Danielle Kang watched Maverick McNealy with special interest when he was mic’d up on Golf Channel’s telecast of the Web.com Tour event in the Bahamas earlier this week.”
  • “They are dating.”
  • “Kang wasn’t sure whether to reveal McNealy is her boyfriend, but she couldn’t help herself.”
  • “He’s a dork,” she cracked when asked to review his running dialogue on Golf Channel. “But he’s my dork.”
  • “She was applying the Kang needle. Both she and McNealy live in Las Vegas. She said they met at a golf course there, The Summit Club.”
  • “He’s a sweetheart,” Kang said. “I have so much respect for him and vice versa.”
  • Aww!
9. Back in black!
Titleist 718 AP2 Black and AP3 Black released in limited quantities. Previously only available in a traditional chrome finish, the new Titleist 718 AP2 Black and Titleist 718 AP3 Black irons are finished with a sleek, high polish black PVD coating. The irons feature True Temper AMT Onyx shafts stock.
  • Titleist has unveiled new 718 AP2 Black and 718 AP3 Black irons in limited black finish that will be available to purchase from March 1.
  • Previously only available in a traditional chrome finish, the new Titleist 718 AP2 Black and Titleist 718 AP3 Black irons are finished with a sleek, high polish black PVD coating. The irons feature True Temper AMT Onyx shafts stock. The shafts’ powder coat matte black finish aims to minimize glare (in addition to looking cool). An all-black Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grip is standard as well.
  • Speaking on the move to release the irons in black, Josh Talge, Vice President, Golf Club Marketing said
  • “One request we heard from both tour players and amateurs, particularly those who have gravitated toward our Jet Black Vokey SM7 wedges, was if they could have these same irons in a darker finish. Our team spent a lot of time making sure the aesthetics were done just right. It’s a look that you just have to see.”
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Equipment

Brooks Koepka with Mizuno JPX 919 irons, TaylorMade M5 driver in the bag at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

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Brooks-Koepka-Mizuno-JPX919

Brooks Koepka is in action this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship equipped with a new driver and set of irons.

Golf.com’s Jonathan Wall broke the news, via Twitter, that Kopeka has TaylorMade’s new M5 Driver in his bag this week, as well as Mizuno’s JPX 919 Tour Irons.

The three-time major champ used TaylorMade’s M3 460 Driver and Mizuno’s JPX 900 Tour irons throughout 2018, and it appears as if Koepka is happy to make the transition to both manufacturers latest additions of those series of clubs right from the get-go in 2019.

Brooks-Koepka-Mizuno-JPX-919

Koepka is currently T13 after two rounds of play at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and sits five shots off the lead.

 

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