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Ben Kern WITB: 2018 PGA Championship (only PGA Club Pro to make the cut)

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Attas G7

3 Wood: Titleist TS2 (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Black 95 MSI 80X

Driving Iron: Titleist 718 T-MB (3 iron)
Shaft: KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 95X

Irons: Titleist 718 AP2 (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: KBS $-Taper 120

Putter: Scotty Cameron T5.5M

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

WITB Notes: We photographed Kern with an Odyssey O-Works Red Marxman putter early in the week, but based on photos during the event, he switched into a Scotty Cameron for competition. 

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Jason

    Nov 17, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Not to be that guy but 16.5* is a 4 wood

  2. Mat

    Aug 28, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    I love when guys take the time to paint their gear.

  3. Francis

    Aug 13, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Do most club pros have access to proto/unreleased clubs?

    • Billy Bob

      Aug 13, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      For big events like this, yes.

    • MnPro

      Aug 28, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      Depending on your relationship with the rep normally we do. We have had the TS2 and TS3 stuff for about a month now

  4. steve

    Aug 13, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Re horizontal strips of lead tape on wedges… probably 2-3 strips at the flange. The lead would nominally raise the CofG to reduce the height trajectory. Since lead is about 30% heavier than steel the added mass would be insignificant where it is located. To effectively raise the CofG Kern should have put the lead tape on the top line.

    • Robert B

      Aug 13, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Ny guess is he was just adding weight to the head to change swing weight. I’ll ask, when I see him.

    • Gordo

      Aug 28, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      Need a ton of lead tape to change the flight. Prob so much it would be detrimental to the shaft performance. It’s purely to get the swing weight to his personal preference.

    • Lefty tx pro

      Feb 23, 2019 at 9:44 pm

      As a guy who has played a lot of golf with Ben. I can tell you it is there purely for weighting and it helps create a certain feel that he likes

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Equipment

Top 5 golf grips of all time

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Tour Velvet Cord Golf Grip

Grips might seem simple, but there is a lot that goes into making good ones. From formulating compounds, and adding color, to creating tooling to make sure they hit all of the required specs. Grips are often the most overlooked part of a golf club, and they shouldn’t be. The grip is the singular connection you as a player have with your clubs, and it should offer equal amounts of control and comfort, depending on how often you play and the weather conditions.

Yes, golfers generally pay a lot of attention to their putter grip,s but when it comes to the rest of a set, many golfers will just say “give me whatever is stock,” which is not a great idea.

These are the top-five grips of all time.

Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Tour velvet Cord Grips

How could we begin to talk about great grips without starting with the Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord? It’s the gold standard of durable all-weather performance. A soft rubber infused with a tight-weave cotton twill fiber (cord) adds additional traction that you just can’t get from an all-rubber grip on its own. It’s the most-used cord grip on tour and a favorite of golfers needing weather defying traction. (Honourable mention the classic non-corded Tour Velvet)

Winn Grips Excel

Winn Excel soft golf grip

The Winn Excel might not be the most durable or best all-weather grip ever made, but I challenge anyone to find a grip that offers greater comfort for fair-weather golfers, or players needing maximum shock absorption. The Winn Excel is Winn’s number-one selling grip of all time by a large margin, and speaking from experience, I have installed my fair share of full cases of these back in my big box retail golf days. From Winn “The Excel grip has been hailed by arthritic and hand fatigue sufferers as the reason they can still play golf.” With that in mind any product that is able to help golfers enjoy the game more belongs on the list!

Lamkin Crossline Cord

Another cord grip might seem like an odd addition to the list, but hear me out. Grip aficionados will tell you right away why they prefer the Lamkin Crossline Cord over others on the market. The taper is slightly different, the cord is a bit rougher, and for those in need of anything bigger than a standard grip—the Lamkin Crossline Cord is the ONLY full cord grip on the market that comes in an oversized option (weighing in at a whopping 76g). That alone makes it unique and earns its spot in the top five.

Iomic Sticky

Iomic Stick Golf Grips

Bold, colorful, and tacky are all words best used to describe the Iomic Sticky grip. It was one of, if not the first, mainstream grips in North America to offer a HUGE selection of color options and there’s a scientific reason why. Iomic grips are made from an elastomer resin, which is neutral in color: this means that any change to the color won’t change the weight of the grip, and that means you can mix and match up your set without having to worry about changing feel. It also gives grip designers endless freedom to come up with wild combinations too. According to Iomic, the elastomer resin offers a number of distinct advantages over rubber which includes lower torque, greater durability, and all-weather traction.

Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound

Golf Pride New Decade golf grips

Easily making its way into the top five is the Multi-Compound or as many call them the NDMCs. This grip was a game-changer for Golf Pride and the industry as a whole. It made grips “show up” on TV and got regular golfers to rethink their grip buying habits from just plain rubber to multi-material colorful options. From a performance perspective, the NDMC offers the best of both worlds, cord on the top (gloved hand) and a softer material under the bottom hand for additional traction and comfort.  Still considered a premium option, you can find New Decade grips on a lot of OEM stock products.

What do you think GolfWRXers? Are their any grips you think belong in the top five that aren’t included? Any that are included you don’t think should be?

 

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Tour professionals and their Vokey wedges”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from SMAC43 who created a topic dedicated to Tour player’s love of Vokey wedges. SMAC43 asks fellow members just why so many Tour pros choose to play Vokey wedges, and WRXers weigh in with their reasoning.

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

  • Downtown_Brown_4: “I think it has a lot to do with Aaron Dill. He’s able to take feedback from the players and custom grind anything they could ever want.”
  • straightshot7: “Vokey is probably what most of them played with as a junior and in college. Some guys don’t like to tinker with their short game equipment. Vokey is tried and true.”
  • Matty01984: “Vokey’s definitely seem to be the most popular wedge out there, and they have been for some time. The grind options and the guys that Titleist have working for them are definitely a big part of that. Interesting to see them cropping up in bags of guys that are on staff with other companies.”
  • Pepperturbo: “Remember, next to putters, wedges are the most used clubs on the PGA Tour. For that reason, Tour players replace wedges multiple times per year. A few players with contracts have been known to replace them every two-three months. However, if a tour player uses forged wedges, they are replaced more often because the sole and grooves wear quite fast with excessive use; cast not so much. I played forged for years before switching to Vokey SM6 when they were introduced; still have them in the bag too, even though I practice near daily with the LW. Last but just as important. Even though wedge grooves wear a good player can still spin the ball. Spin is about how you impact the ball and speed.”

Entire Thread: “Tour professionals and their Vokey wedges”

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Whats in the Bag

Henrik Stenson WITB 2019

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henrik stenson witb 2019

Equipment is accurate as of the 2019 Houston Open.

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash (9 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow Prototype 6.5 62 (unconfirmed)

henrik stenson witb 2019-driver

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow Prototype 6.5 62

henrik stenson witb 2019-3-wood

5-wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 80 TX

henrik stenson witb 2019-3-wood

Irons: Callaway Legacy Black (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour120 X

henrik stenson witb 2019-3-wood

Wedges: Callaway MD3 (46-08S), Callaway Jaws MD5 (52-10S, 58-08C)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour120 X

henrik stenson witb 2019-3-wood

Putter: Odyssey O Works #7
Grip: Garsen Max

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Wrap Cord

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