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Dustin Johnson switches to TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini at The Players Championship

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Dustin Johnson didn’t putt well at the RBC Heritage his last time out, finishing 63rd in strokes gained: putting for the week. Thus, the world No. 1 made a couple of significant changes for this week at The Players: DJ is both using the AimPoint green reading method and putting with a TaylorMade Spider Mini.

If you’ve seen the leaderboard today, you know the changes are working so far. Johnson poured in more than 100 feet of putts, carding a 6-under 66 for his Thursday effort. He was 15th in strokes gained: putting among the morning wave of players.

DJ transitioned from the Spider Tour Black to the Spider Tour Mini we spotted at least week’s Wells Fargo Championship. He looks to be sticking with a SuperStroke Pistol GT 1.0 grip.

TaylorMade’s Global Communications Manager, Jory Mendes, told us Johnson liked the fact that the Mini blends his preferred putter shapes, saying the “forward CG of Mini allows him to feel the putter release in a similar manner to his blade and the mallet shape gives him the stable feeling of the Spider Tour.”

Johnson himself echoed these sentiments after his opening round

“I always liked putting with a blade, I putted with one forever…I’ve been using the Spider for the last year or so and this was kind of in between.”

Johnson told reporters after his round that he has historically struggled with reading TPC Sawgrass’ greens. He and his brother/caddie, Austin, refined the AimPoint technique during a nine-hole practice round with Adam Scott (also an AimPoint user) Wednesday.

“It’s definitely helped,” Johnson said about using AimPoint. “Because I’m a feel putter anyways and so the way you’re doing it really is you’re just feeling it, so it definitely, it works.”

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Ruby Rhod

    May 12, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    OMG… OMG… OMG… 😮 😮 😮

  2. Boyo

    May 11, 2018 at 11:24 am

    AimPoint, or how to make a 6 hour round when you are a +10 golfer….

  3. Johnny Penso

    May 11, 2018 at 9:03 am

    If you’re a feel putter, isn’t that the wrong kind of putter for you?

  4. Mike Hunt

    May 11, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Is that grip sideways?

  5. acew/7iron

    May 11, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Like the back of the Millennium Falcon …

  6. Travis

    May 11, 2018 at 7:40 am

    That putter looks like a Scottish Fold cat…

    • Ruby Rhod

      May 12, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      No… it’s a purrfect penµs putter metaphor…. sooo obvious

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Equipment

Tiger Woods opts for lead tape on his Newport 2 rather than a heavier putter: Here’s why it makes sense

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After days of speculation about which putter Tiger Woods might end up with an attempt to tame the greens at Royal Portrush, we now officially know he settled on his old faithful GSS Scotty Cameron but with a twist—some added lead tape.

The whole reason the speculation was in high gear early in the week was because of Tiger was spotted with a new custom Scotty that had the Studio Select weights in the sole to increase head weight to help with slow greens, something Tiger has talked about in the past—especially when it comes to the greens at The Open Championship.

We can even look back a few years ago when Tiger finally put a Nike putter in play, the original Method (those were nice putters) and talked about both the increased head weight and the grooves on the face to help get the ball rolling on slower greens.

The decision to stick with the old faithful with added lead tape goes beyond just a comfort level, even if the two putters look the same at address, it’s about feel and MOI around the axis.

Let me explain. Sure the putter heads weight the same, but depending on where the mass is located it will change the MOI. The putter with the Select weights vs. lead tape in the middle will have a higher MOI because there is more weight on the perimeter of the head—it’s like a blade vs. cavity back iron. Sure, two 7-irons can weigh the same but the performance will vary significantly.

For a player with such deft feel like Tiger Woods, any change like that can could cause doubt. Tweaking an already great putting stroke and on the eve of the last major of the year is not really something you want to do, which is why it isn’t surprising he stuck with his legendary Newport 2.

Lead tape in the middle allows Tiger to increase the head weight with very little change to the natural rate of rotation for hit putter and hopefully manage the slower Portrush greens better.

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Equipment

Tour Van Intel @ The Open: P790 UDI seeding, possible new putter for Tiger, Bryson with PXG wedges, Spieth in T100 irons

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Whispers from the tour vans at The Open Championship, via our Johnny Wunder’s crack reporting. JW has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the world of reps, techs, new builds, and new product. Here are his notes on equipment switches of note from Royal Portrush.

1. Tony Finau had a Ping Blueprint 2-iron built up. The strategy here is self-explanatory: knee-high fastballs.

2. Tiger Woods was seen testing a heavier headed Scotty Cameron proto that is a replica of his famous wand that he’s used to win 14/15 majors. In addition, he also added lead tape to the back of his famous Scotty. The strategy here is to create a heavier head feel which is helpful on slower greens.

3. Do we see Bryson Dechambeau with PXG wedges in his bag?! The rumor is after messing around with a friend’s wedges during a practice round, he liked, he wanted, and he now has. Where this will go from here is anybody’s guess.

4. TaylorMade has distributed several Proto P790 UDI 2-irons this week. Tiger, Rory, Fleetwood, DJ, Rahm, all testing amongst others.

5. Jason Day is testing a new TaylorMade Spider X Chalk which would be the first switch he’s made from his Red Spider Tour in a long time. DJ is as per usual testing new putters he was seen with a Spider Copper Mini. What he will land on for the Open is anyone’s guess.

6. Jordan Spieth is now into a set of Titleist T100 irons: 5-9, Project X 6.5 shafts.

Per Titleist…

“While Spieth waited to put the T100’s in the bag until the season’s final major, he is not unfamiliar with the iron. In fact, according to lead Titleist Tour Representative, J.J. VanWezenbeeck, Jordan was clearly the most influential player in the development process.”

“It was over two years ago that Jordan and [Titleist Director of Iron Development] Marni Ines had already started discussing what Jordan was looking for in a next generation iron,” said VanWezenbeeck. “The keys for Jordan were sole, offset, and overall look. As we created early prototypes and discussed specifics with Jordan and other players, we found an opportunity to take everything we learned with the AP2 line and build an entirely new iron. There was an obvious challenge to surpass the most played tour iron in the world.”

“The final T100 prototype was revealed to Jordan and other select players during a Titleist photo shoot at Scioto CC during the week of the Memorial.”

“Jordan immediately commented that the offset and top line was everything he wanted,” said VanWezenbeeck. “As we moved to the tee, Jordan kept commenting to Marni about how the club set up and the look was just what he was looking for. Knowing we succeeded in those categories, now the question became, ‘are you getting the performance of the AP2 line and more, despite being in a sleeker chassis?’ His performance and responses at the hitting session confirmed we succeeded at what we set out to do.”

7. Webb Simpson is also into a set of Titleist 620 MB irons: 5-9, True Temper Dynamic Gold TI X100 shafts.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Tuesday & Wednesday at the U.S. Open

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links!

We have plenty of general galleries packed with a bundle of great photos in our forums, as well as specialized and WITB galleries for you to enjoy. Here are ten interesting photos from Tuesday and Wednesday to get you fired up ahead of today’s opening round!

Bernd Wiesberger testing the new Aldila Rip X proto shaft.

Checking out Paul Casey’s custom Mizuno irons.

New Mitsubishi iron shaft.

Tiger Woods’ famed and trusty Scotty.

Justin Rose rocking Nike’s Roshe G Tour shoes from their “No Denim Allowed” pack at Pebble this week.

Amateur Matt Parziale gaming the “old school” ProForce V2 shaft in his 3W.

Up-close and personal with Kodai Ichihara’s wedges.

Rickie Fowler showing off the Cobra x CRU’s Headcover from Puma’s U.S. Open Patriot Pack.

Brett Drewitt getting into the spirit of things this week with appropriate wedge stampings at Pebble Beach.

Austin Eckroat’s Ping Redwood flat-stick has been impressing our members in our forums.

Check out all of Tuesday’s photos in our forums.

Check out all of Wednesday’s photos in our forums.

 

 

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