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

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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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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

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Whats in the Bag

Kevin Na’s winning WITB: 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge

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Driver: Callaway GBB Epic (9 degrees)


Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6-TX

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 70 TX

Hybrid: PXG 0317 X Gen 2 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95X

Irons: Callaway Rogue Pro (4), Callaway Apex Pro 16 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (50, 54 degrees), Vokey Design prototype (’18) (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Madison

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Equipment

The top-5 longest drivers on the PGA Tour and their driver/shaft combos

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Let’s take a look at what the PGA Tour’s biggest bombers thus far in 2018-2019 are using to launch their rockets.

1. Cameron Champ

Average drive: 315.6 yards


Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees @ 7.9)


Shaft: Fujikura Pro 63 TS (44.75 inches, tipped 1.5 inches)

T2. Luke List

Average drive: 314.4 yards
Driver: TaylorMade M6 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ 80TX

T2. Rory McIlroy

Average drive: 314.4 yards


Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees)


Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK White 70TX

4. Tony Finau

Average drive: 311.5 yards


Driver: Ping G410 Plus (9 degrees @ 8)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana RF 70-TX (45.25 inches, tipped 1 inch)

5. Wyndham Clark

Average drive: 311.4 yards


Driver: PXG 0811 XF GEN2 (10 degrees)


Shaft: Accra Prototype (45.25 inches)

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

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Product: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

Pitch: The TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3 is a stronger-lofted version of the standard TaylorMade M5 3-wood. The Rocket is 14 degrees. The standard M5 is 15.

Our take on the TaylorMade M5 Rocket 3

“WOW, you really hit that 3-wood like a rocket!”

” Not like a rocket… an actual Rocket!”

The beloved 3-wood. A favorite club of both average golfers and pros alike, a club that many will hold onto well after what some might consider their “best before” date. But with new options and improved technology, these old faithfuls are getting the boot quicker for a lot of reasons including the ability to better dial in a fit and help minimizing misses.

Since making a club faster off the middle is becoming more and more difficult thanks to the limits set forth but the USGA, OEMs are changing the way we think about clubs and putting a greater focus on decreasing dispersion and optimizing misses. TaylorMade is doing this with TwistFace, which was originally introduced in drivers a generation ago, and has now been included in the M5 and M6 fairway woods.

I got to spend some time with the knowledgeable crew at TaylorMade Canada in their new indoor facility just north of Toronto (lets call it Kingdom North) In that time, we went through a driver fitting, and then to the new M5 fairway woods to try and replace one of my oldest faithfuls: a 14-degree SLDR Tour Spoon. To say I have a unique ability to elevate a fairway wood is something that even my fitter was a little surprised by. My numbers with my cranked down to 12 degree (measured) fairway off the deck were good but could be improved. I can hit it both ways (as much as a 6-handicap can actually claim that) but my trusted go-to shot is a slight fade with some heel bias contact because of my swing. I am willing to sacrifice some distance but usually hit it where I want.

What I saw at the end of the fitting was a club that produced longer shots along with a tighter dispersion without having to make or to try and make any changes to my swing. The final fit was a 14-degree “Rocket” M5 fairway set to 12 degrees. It beat out my SLDR by a total of nine yards, which is an increase of just over a total of three percent, including an additional six yards of carry.

To say I was honestly surprised would be an understatement. The SLDR TS is a club that the first time I hit it I went WHOA! Low spin, workable, looks exactly how I want that club to look (small and compact). You can see from the numbers below when it works it works.

Why does TwistFace work?

Let’s explain and get a little deep in the technology weeds for a second. Bulge and roll is not a new concept. In fact, it would be a lie to claim that all OEMs haven’t done something similar to this is the past or played with these two variables to help golfers hit better shots. Fact: Every OEM optimizes the bulge and roll on their clubs to increase speed and maximize performance. Tom Wishon actually had a line of woods at one point that went the other way had VERY limited roll from the top tine to the sole. With this design, more loft on the bottom of the head helped players who miss low or need help elevating the ball off the deck increase launch and spin. It worked. Cobra also has what it calls E9 technology to tweak bulge and roll to help maximize the speed and forgiveness of their woods. It also works.

What makes TaylorMade’s TwistFace different is that it is the most aggressive iteration of this bulge and roll tweaking yet, and by introducing it into the fairway woods and hybrids, it’s proving to be a winner — even for this now-proven wrong skeptic.

At the end of the day, the M5 Ti “Rocket” was a measurable improvement over my previous 3-wood. Now it would be disingenuous to say “if you aren’t using TwistFace in your fairway woods you’re not maximized,” but if you are someone that struggles with fairway wood dispersion and looking to find some extra distance for taking on par-5s, taking a look at the new M5 and M6 fairway woods as part of your next fitting should be very high on your list.

 

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