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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

In-hand photos of prototype Ping “Blueprint” irons

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Our Johnny Wunder paid a visit to Ping HQ in Phoenix, and in addition to getting to step inside to company’s legendary gold putter vault, The Gear Dive host got an exclusive in-hand look at Ping’s new prototype Blueprint irons.

While we can’t provide any additional details at present, we do have these photos of a 6-iron for your viewing pleasure.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the irons in the forums. 

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Bargain Challenge: Putting together a set of clubs for $500

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You have a golf trip planned in two weeks. One day after work, you head to your car to hit the range and get some grinding in for the trip. As you walk to your car you notice your car has been broken into and your clubs are gone. Not good. You need new clubs for the trip but aren’t in a position to shell out the $2,000-$3,000 for a brand new set. What are your options? I recommend hitting the used market.

Every year, thousands of used golf clubs go on the market. Some of the clubs had a rough life and some have barely been hit. As an exercise to see what you can get for your dollar, I browsed one of the web’s largest used golf equipment sites (3balls.com) with a budget of $500 for a full set of clubs in my specs. What I found was really interesting.

Rules: 14 clubs for under $500 shipped. As close to my specs as possible.

Driver

Since I play a low loft driver with a low launch, low spin shaft, I knew I was in for a challenge with finding a driver. Once I took a minute to search, I found this beauty of a driver. I remember hitting the Ping G10 back in the day, and it was one of the most forgiving drivers at the time. Plus, it was very close to my specs at standard length, 7.5 degrees, and a mid-launch Grafalloy shaft.

Wood

While searching for a 3-wood, I had two things in mind, I needed a X-stiff shaft, and I needed it to be heavy. After about five minutes, I found this great Titleist 913 with a heavier X-stiff shaft. Normally I play a 13-degree 3-wood, and this 3-wood would allow me to loft it down to get the desired flight. Really a solid deal for $50.

Hybrid

In an ideal world, I’d be hitting a 2-iron or a driving iron here. The problem is that driving irons can sell for $100-plus fairly easily, so that was out of budget. After searching, I found a nice 17-degree hybrid from Ping with an X-stiff shaft. The shaft is a little lighter than I would like, but it is not a bad pick up for 80 bucks.

Irons

I knew I would want to spend the majority of my money on some solid irons. After searching, with the parameters being a 3-PW set with X100 shafts, I found this great Titleist combo set. I current play a MB/CB combo from another company, so this set fits well with what I am looking for if I was to replace my current set. All of this for $200.

Wedges

Wedge shopping was hard because I needed a lob wedge with good grooves and a gap wedge that wasn’t trash. I got really lucky with the Ping lob wedge. It is in very good condition which is really what matters for the grooves since I will be using it greenside. Since it is blue dot, I can get it sent to ping to be adjusted for my specs. For the gap wedge, I picked up a heavily used 52-degree. Ideally, I would have more money for a slightly better grooved GW.

Putter

Can’t go wrong with a White Hot in my preferred length. Not much more to say.

Total

 

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Is it easier to hit players irons?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day was created by lazyjc4, who asks fellow GolfWRX members for their opinion on what they feel are some of the easiest to hit players irons on the market. Our members have mentioned a multitude of players irons, with plenty of detailed reasoning behind their choices.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • thewral: “New Level 902. Single piece forging, feel great, smallish head, low offset, distance lofts.”
  • naj959: “I went through a couple of sets of irons this year which included 765s, flyz+, and finally settled on the…..Bridgestone J15 DPF. There are some great reviews of these irons. The 765s are forgiving, but the j15s are even more so. They have a very thin top line, are workable, and are lonnnng.”
  • Casper_golf: “Take a good look at the Wilson V6, or if you are looking for something older, guys really like the V4’s that can be found as a steal.  Way underrated irons. Soft feel forgiving and long for the weaker lofts they have. No offset.”
  • Sonja Henie: “Very interested in the comment about the 745s being similar to the 545s in forgiveness.  I’ve been very tempted by the 565s but might do better with the 765s.”

Entire Thread: “Easier to hit players irons?”

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