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Michael Kim on why he switched to a Titleist TS2 driver, and the change he’s making for The Open

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Michael Kim set a tournament scoring record at the John Deere Classic last week, so, needless to say, the UC Berkeley alum was firing on all cylinders.

With respect to one of those cylinders, Kim, historically not a great driver of the golf ball, was 34th in Strokes Gained off the tee and tied for second in driving accuracy with a new Titleist TS2 driver in his bag last week. For reference, he’s 192nd in Strokes Gained off the tee and 183rd in driving accuracy for the season. In other words, while Kim’s incredible putting (+13.51 strokes gained: putting) helped, the Titleist TS2 driver he began experimenting with at the FedEx St. Jude Classic also played a role.

We caught up with Kim by phone from Carnoustie and asked him about the decision to put the new TS2 in play.

“When I hit it, I liked it right away. I noticed the biggest difference on mishits. On my old driver, the ball speed would drop a little bit on a toe or heel hit, but with the new one, you barely saw any [drop in ball speed]. And it was definitely going straighter off the mishits. Straighter and longer, honestly.”

“Generally, I don’t make a switch, especially with the driver mid-year, but I put it right in play. And I’m working on some new things with my swing…I kind of turned the corner at the Quicken Loans…obviously hit it great at the Deere.”

“I tried the TS3, but it was a little too low spin for me. So we kept the same shaft [Aldila Rogue Black 60X] and I think it’s the same setting.”

Kim also mentioned he’s putting a steel-shafted driving iron in play for The Open this week–on the recommendation of a guy who knows a thing or two about playing well at the British Open.

“Zach Johnson told me on the plane ride here that I should maybe try a driving iron. So…I got out here and I asked to try a couple of different driving irons…On Tuesday, I tried out a couple of different T-MBs…2-iron, 3-iron. The 2-iron was going way too far, so I tried the 3-iron on the golf course. The way the course is set up, it’s just so firm…It’ll be great if there’s some wind. Exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll put it in play and I’ll probably use it a decent amount throughout the week.”

With respect to Kim’s wedge setup, Vokey Wedge rep, Aaron Dill, offered this comment

“Michael Kim has a really good short game that shows tremendous confidence. Michael uses a great system with his gap wedge having higher bounce, this help with flight and consistency, his 56 is high bounce for bunker and all shots needing extra bounce, and his 60 is a low bounce L for all tighter conditions and shots that need easy and fast lift. The beauty of this setup is it covers multiple shot window and types.”

We’ll see how it works out for him. Kim is competing in his first Open Championship. He tees off at 9:04 a.m. local time with Ryuko Tokimatsu and Chez Reavie.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Jack

    Jul 18, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Too little spin on driver and driving iron going way too far? Wish I had those problems LOL

    • ogo

      Jul 19, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Lots of ‘spin’ on CNN…. leading the charge to impeach Trump… or execute for ‘treason’… {{{shudder}}}

  2. iye

    Jul 18, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    FBI/CIA/NSA…. planning elimination of POTUS…. believe it!

    • Dyson Bochambeau

      Jul 18, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      You might get some agents show up to your house with messages like that

    • Chuck

      Jul 18, 2018 at 11:09 pm

      You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    • rondon

      Jul 19, 2018 at 12:26 am

      Eric Swalwell, Democrat CA congressman has called Trump a “traitor” on FOX News tonight. This means the POTUS must be removed, eliminated, overturned… because he is a “traitor”.

      • ogo

        Jul 20, 2018 at 7:11 pm

        It’s called “high crimes and misdemeanors” and when a head of state commits “treason” the penalty is usually “execution”. If that happens to Trump watch out for his Amendment 2 supporters coming out in full force against the leftist mobs… and a Civil War!!

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Equipment

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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Equipment

Ping’s new Sigma2 putters are length-adjustable, and one of them “fetches” the ball from the hole

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We recently spotted photos of Ping’s new Sigma2 putter line in our GolfWRX forums, but what we didn’t know at the time was that there is an adjustable-length system built into their Pistol grips.

The USGA conforming, length-adjustable feature allows golfers to change lengths between 32 and 36 inches in approximately 0.25-inch increments with a turn of the small Ping wrench that fits into the butt end of the grips.

“The adjustable shaft is just a really cool technology,” said John K. Solheim, Ping President. “Our engineers took a very complex technical challenge and simplified it for the benefit of golfers. It allows you to experiment with various lengths and ultimately self-fit yourself. You’re no longer limited to a specific length measurement. You simply adjust it until you’re comfortable, ideally with your eyes directly over the ball. We call it ‘invisible’ technology but once you customize it to your length, the results will be very clear on your scorecard.”

Also, we’ve since learned that the Sigma2 Fetch putter head fits into a standard size golf hole, and the design allows golfers to simply place the bottom of the putter head into the hole to pick the golf ball out without bending over.

Each of the 9 new head models in the Sigma2 line have a new face technology as well, made to be softer and more responsive than the Sigma G putter faces. The “dual-durometer” face inserts, which are made of PEBAX material, have a softer outer layer, and a firmer inner layer, designed for greater player feedback, according to Ping.

Additionally, Ping’s familiar TR face design pattern alters in depth across the face to speed up mishits — the goal being to have greater speed consistency regardless of where the golfer strikes the ball on the face.

The Sigma2 putters, which are now available for pre-order at Ping golf shops around the world, are offered with either the PP60 (midsize and lightweight), the PP61 (inspired by the PP58), or the PP62 (larger, more rounded shape) grip, which are each equipped with the length-adjustable system.

Read below for full specs of each putter, as per Ping’s press release.

See more photos and discussion about the Sigma2 putters here.

Ping Sigma2 Anser

Putter Type: Blade
Finish: Platinum or Stealth
Head Weight: 350 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/- 2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 ZB 2

Putter Type: Blade
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 350 grams
Stroke Type: Strong Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Kushin C

Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 360 grams
Stroke Type: Straight
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Arna

Putter Type: Mid-Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 360 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $215

Ping Sigma2 Tyne

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Tyne 4

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 370 grams
Stroke Type: Strong Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Wolverine H

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 370 grams
Stroke Type: Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/- 4)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Valor

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Stealth
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

Ping Sigma2 Fetch

Putter Type: Mallet
Finish: Platinum
Head Weight: 365 grams
Stroke Type: Straight
Lie Angle: 20 degrees (+/-2)
Loft: 3 degrees (+/-2)
Price: $235

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Ping Sigma2 putters.

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Whats in the Bag

Marc Leishman’s Winning WITB: 2018 CIMB Classic

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution IV X-Flex

Fairway Woods: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (15 and 18 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura Motore Speeder Tour Spec VC 9.2X

Irons: Callaway X-Forged 2018 (3-9 irons)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 130X

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (48 and 54 degrees), Titleist Vokey SM7 (58 degrees)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 130X

Putter: Odyssey Versa #1 Wide (Red)

Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Leishman’s clubs.

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