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The inside story of the surprise popularity of the TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue on tour



“Let’s build ’em hybrids. What the hell.”

The TaylorMade tour staff photoshoot has become an early November tradition that is well known to the golf junkies of the world. For civilians, it’s when Tiger, Rory, DJ, Rahmbo, and the rest of the staff will get their first look at the new TM equipment.

Fun for us onlookers, but extremely stressful for TM marketing, R&D, and tour departments.

“First impressions are everything. If we don’t get ’em excited right away, it could go the other way fast.” – Chandler Carr, TaylorMade Product Creation

The task of prepping the new clubs falls on the shoulders of TaylorMade’s Product Creation Team—Chandler Carr and Patrick Baxter. Every year, they get staff specs, pillage the stock for the right components, and assemble the full gamut of what each player typically games. One thing that is never in the conversation is hybrids, however—nobody on staff hits ’em so why build ’em?

This is where this story gets fun.

Either as a joke or out of general curiosity, Chandler had the thought to build up hybrids for the entire staff. Obviously, team TaylorMade has all players specs dialed in but hybrids? Without knowing the exact hybrid specs there was a good amount of guesswork involved as well as some healthy debate between those in the room (including Baxter) on the practicality of building a hybrid for Tiger Woods, Rory, or any of the staff that has never even sniffed a hybrid.

I know Chandler well, and he is a gearhead of the highest caliber as well as a person who will take a risk just to see the outcome. What’s the worst that could happen? Nobody hits ’em and they end up back at HQ in a pile of “I told you so?”

So, after finally convincing Patrick Baxter to go along, the Rescues were built to spec and shipped off to sit in the bags of the highest-ranked tour staff in the world.

Now, there are hybrids on tour—lots of them. But they are not the most desired choice for multiple reasons the main one being a left-miss tendency. And frankly, most players would rather look at a 5-wood or 2-iron. In relation to TaylorMade, they don’t really make hybrids for the tour: they are for the higher handicap player.

Rory McIlroy was testing a SIM Rescue ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open.

The story continues…

The TaylorMade staff shows up at the Floridian in West Palm Beach, Florida, for a day of content with people like Me and My Golf, for testing with Tomo Bystedt, Bazz, and Keith, interviews with selected press, and the fun of all being in one place at one time on a day off.

When each player approached the new bags of goodies, Rory was the first to comment

“There is a hybrid in my bag, is someone trying to tell me I need help with my long irons?” 

He was kidding, obviously, but it was a weird thing for a player like that to see in his bag. However, during a break, Rory decides to kill some time and starts hitting the 19-degree Sim Max Rescue. He put on a ballstriking clinic that had the whole place in awe.

“The flag was 260 out and he was peppering this thing with draws, fades, stingers on command.” – Chris Trott, TaylorMade Sports Marketing

Low and behold DJ gets wind of the action, hits a few, loves it and puts it in the bag.

This is a unicorn situation for TaylorMade…sort of. A few weeks later, the buzz around Rory and DJ putting Sim Max Rescues in the bag hit Instagram during the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, and it was a big deal. That buzz created curiosity that trickled down the world rankings, and within days the TaylorMade tour crew had orders coming from some of the best players on the planet, staff and non-staff.

Looks good for marketing, but for Wade and the boys in the truck, it’s been a club building calculus problem.

Heres the thing, Sim Max Rescues are production-only heads…not tour spec heads. They’re built for big box retail and online buyers. When a product goes to Tour, it’s built for the tour, which in this case means it would have a longer hosel for manipulation, center of gravity would be different, and there would be a hot melt port for sound and swing weight, etc.

The issue is the heads that went out to the truck for the first event stateside were retail production heads. So, if a guy wants to try one and give it a fair shot, the TM tour trailer has a component that is damn near impossible to bend (due to the short hosel), tricky to weight with no hot melt alleyway, and also it’s a head built specifically for a 65-gram 40-plus inch regular flex graphite shaft. For the club builders out there, you can see the dilemma.

In a one-off situation, it’s not a huge issue, but due to the volume of players wanting to test, TaylorMade literally ran out of Rescue heads this week in Phoenix. Wade and crew are in full grind mode on the truck. This is the “influencer” thing working. Situations like this where the world No. 2 gets excited, puts it in play and boom, instant curiosity from his peers.

I’m assuming the plan is to create a tour head to allow for an easier build, but that could take weeks. (I’ll keep you posted on that)

So it goes like this: TaylorMade owes Chandler and Patrick a thank-you for the bold idea, and Chandler and Patrick owe the boys on the truck a case of apology beer for the chaos created. And if sometime in April Rory flings his Sim Max Rescue into the eighth green at Augusta and has a four-footer for eagle to take the lead, Chandler and Patrick can say “I told you so.”

Not all heroes wear capes.

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG



  1. Ben

    Mar 11, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    I hit the 4h 22* looking to replace my 4 iron using the stock shaft. Stupid long, launches high and is as long as my R15 3h. Now looking for a 5h in xstiff. Will need to custom order. Sound was fantastic too. I might look for a low lofted one to replace my 3w

  2. Martin

    Feb 20, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    This just shows us how reluctant the guys on tour really are to try new stuff. Unless another player use it, they wont use it. They just follow the pack. So there is nothing special with this hybrid, its just another hybrid on the market.

  3. derek gzaskow

    Feb 15, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    anyone seen it in their bags at Riviera?

    • Juanny

      Feb 17, 2020 at 9:57 am

      Nope. All out of the TM guys bags now. Every hybrid they’ve come up with since the Aeroburners in 2014 have the same identical shape.

  4. Jim

    Feb 5, 2020 at 11:41 pm

    Great article Johnny. It was hilarious hearing Chandler and Tomo tell the story. I liked the feel of the SIM Max Rescue. The trajectory was great. I just need a flatter lie to work for me.

    • Mamba

      Feb 17, 2020 at 4:53 am

      No doubt. I bet all the hybrids, woods and drivers on tour have a flatter lie than what the manufacturers make for us. They always seem too upright.

  5. Alex

    Feb 5, 2020 at 10:44 am

    I completely get it. The way these guys hammer driver their 3 wood is too long for approach into a par 5. So you either bag a one trick pony 5 wood for 2 shots a round or…bag this hybrid for the 250/260 shot and it also serves the purpose of a long iron to hit off the tee on a short par 4. These guys are long enough with 4 iron for all par 3s they’ll see so it’s actually the perfect fit. Also let’s you carry 4 wedges and have the gaps all covered. I bet we’ll see more of this come back into the tour bags unless you are Cam Champ long or Jim Furyk short. I can’t figure out guys that carry nothing between 3 wood and 3 iron, seems like a gigantic gap in a range that these guys have to be good from to make birdies on par 5s.

  6. MadMex

    Feb 2, 2020 at 4:35 am

    Looks like a V-Steel remake,,,, old is new?

    • geohogan

      Feb 5, 2020 at 11:06 pm

      My TM 5 W has always been easiest to hit.

      if the SIM Max rescue hybrid improved upon the V steel, they may a winner.

      • geohogan

        Feb 5, 2020 at 11:10 pm

        The perfect shaft for the Sim Max Rescue is the Nunchuk Hybrid shaft.

        No stiffer without being boardy, and no straighter shaft on tour.

        • derek gzaskow

          Feb 15, 2020 at 2:18 pm

          I’ve never seen the Nunchuk compared to any other shaft on trackman tests on you tube. its about time someone does it.

  7. Ben Hogan

    Feb 1, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Rory and DJ aren’t putting these in their bags as part of a marketing ploy. The best players in the world are trying to win. TM isn’t going to force them to do this at the price or their careers. They may have 14 club deals but not deals that say you must play our newest equipment. That’s just silly.

    • Joe

      Feb 1, 2020 at 10:54 am

      YET THE HYBRID NEVER MADE IT IN THE BAG. All marketing. Neither player has a hybrid in the bag for actual play.

  8. MCoz

    Feb 1, 2020 at 4:36 am

    Sometimes I wonder why I read comments from golf sites. There is a lot of stupid people here who have no clue. I am sorry but the “haters” have no idea what they are talking about. I have commented here on GolfWRX in the Forum discussion on this new SIM Max Rescue. I was asked to try this club out the first week in January, as I received the other SIM clubs. I really wasn’t interested in a new Rescue. The oldest clubs in my bag are such. One from 2005 (Cleveland Hi Bore 16* #1 that really plays like a 2i and a 2013 RBZ Stage 3 that plays like a 3.5i. I have had great success with these two and wasn’t looking for anything else. But I said I would look at it. Fujikura sent me a couple of shaft options to put in it. (Thanks Chad) I received two Atmos HY shafts. The first one I tried was a Blue 8S Tour Spec. Magic!! This is a real revelation. While in Orlando at the PGA Show I got 4 rounds of golf in with real players and this was the club that just shocked everyone I played with during the week. I can say it was the best club in the bag the whole week. My friends have already ordered the club for themselves, some even ordered two lofts. So while “haters” want to hate, I hope you don’t mind losing to those who want to win. This is a remarkable club and while it may not look a lot different that the previous models (M6 and earlier), it definitely plays different. This is a players utility. Don’t let the “boneheads” expound on things for which they have no clue!

  9. Guanto

    Jan 31, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Still have a couple aeroburner tp hybrids which are the best hybrids to date.

    • TomStanford

      Feb 25, 2020 at 9:42 am

      Nope — RBZ Stage 2 Tour Hybrids are some of the best ever made by anyone. Most perfect look at address of any hybrid (slight toe open — unique to the Tour as I recall).

      The Aeroburners were good but had to much of a draw bias built in (the TP version less so).

      Just my .02.

  10. Larry Y

    Jan 31, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    Does anybody else think the SIM hybrid looks a lot like the Adams Super LS?

    • dave hollander

      Feb 5, 2020 at 2:43 am


    • MBU

      Feb 19, 2020 at 5:23 am

      Exactly! I just bought a new 17 degree Adams LS 17 hybrid last week and you can easily see where the similarities are. And of course they bought up Adams..

  11. Travis Boerner

    Jan 31, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Chandler and the product creation team are genius for this. Pin seekers from 260, are you kidding me!? Did you see Rory’s bunker shot at Torrey with that hybrid? A classic case of not judging a book by its cover. Get the product in their hands and let it speak for itself. Well done.

  12. Steve Wilkins

    Jan 31, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    Great read! So cool that we can dig a little deeper and hear from the people who make all these things happen.

  13. JohnK

    Jan 31, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    I’m just glad to finally have a left handed 5 hybrid option. I can finally retire my TM burner 5 hybrid from the mid to late 2000’s.

  14. Charles

    Jan 31, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    I love all the hate towards Taylormade, this is a story more about a few guys changing the game more then most people will ever take the initiative to do so. Hybrids have become a staple in recreational golfers bags for a quite a few years and good by them to go out and take a risk and bridge the gap between common folk and the greatest players on the planet.All the industry animosity is quite redundant if you have no allegiance play the clubs that fit your game! Props to the team guys like Patrick and Chandler are the reason you have the ability to play the latest and greatest Taylormade product. And I am sure that if it were another companies tales you haters would be all about it….. GROW THE GAME!

  15. Sevestyle

    Jan 31, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Finally… a fresh 585 . H

  16. Max

    Jan 31, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Cool story, but I agree with the skeptics that this is totally just a clever marketing story from Taylormade. The SIM hybrid is literally just a re-skinned M6 hybrid, which was literally just a re-skinned M4 hybrid, which was literally just a re-skinned M2 hybrid. There is literally nothing new with the SIM hybrid over the pat 4-5 iterations of the same club to warrant a sudden interest by the pros. Literally.

    • M Coz

      Feb 4, 2020 at 1:48 am

      Before you make wild comments, maybe you should try things out before you spew knowledge-less hate. Read my comments from Feb 1. Also While I have tested the previous hybrids you mention none of them even had a chance to get into my club mix. This club may not look that much different on the outside but it is clearly superior to the M6 which tended to be a “hook” club.
      TM didn’t expect this club to be this well received by the Tour Staff, that’s why they only had one club at the photo and filming at the Floridian. It is also why they only made one design for all players.

      • Max

        Feb 5, 2020 at 5:37 pm

        Lol, how do you know I haven’t tried it? In fact, I have tried it. The clubs have been available to try for some time now, you’re not special in getting it early and your free shafts and name dropping the guy from Fuji doesn’t make your opinion or experience any more or less more authoritative than mine. It was fine, just like every other iteration of Taylormade hybrid before it. Great clubs all. Still just a cool marketing story. Just my non-hateful BUT knowledgable opinion.

        • Shawn

          Feb 17, 2020 at 10:21 am

          Dead on Max. It’s just marketing fluff. They both did not play it this week and it’s over. Buddy above thinks he’s on tour but, likely just another name dropping know it all.

  17. roho99

    Jan 31, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    hard to believe tm designed a head for a regular flex shaft only.

  18. Rusty Cockering

    Jan 31, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    I’ve been playing Taylor Made hybrids for years. Its just a smaller-headed, shorter fairway wood, really.

  19. Mehas Tinecock

    Jan 31, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    I use hybrids after my 7 wood. A lot of hybrids. I’m so cool.

  20. Joey5Picks

    Jan 31, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Taylormade hate is strong with this crowd.

  21. Cody Reeder

    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Nice article. Thanks.

  22. Benny

    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    Love it JW & Golfwrx. I know its not easy to find great stories in the golf world. But appreciate you always trying to entertain. Awesome!

  23. Ty Webb

    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    I got one of these with some points I had. 19 with a project x hzrdus smoke 90 hybrid in 6.5. I must say this thing is pretty solid. High tight draws.

  24. NoHolesParred

    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    This is the kind of content we need. Like the other guy said, most of these articles are reworked PR fluff with no actual insight. Hopefully you guys do the work to make this a trend going forward.

  25. Blubber Watson

    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Cool story bro!

  26. Fj27

    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    This is a marketing move, plain and simple. What’s the easiest way to sell hybrids? Have Rory put one in the bag and, oh, also let’s grant some interviews to golf media so they can write fluff pieces about how impressed our staffers were.

    Call me a cynic, but I’d be shocked if Rory has a hybrid in his bag come The Players.

    • ht

      Jan 31, 2020 at 2:51 pm

      Exactly my thoughts. And better yet, claim there was a mixup and the pros were putting THE SAME CLUB YOU CAN PURCHASE AT A RETAIL STORE in play! How convenient

    • dat

      Jan 31, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      Where’s Tiger’s hybrid? Oh, right… Nowhere.

    • BigFoot

      Jan 31, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      The nail on the head, you have hit!! The whole situation was awful convenient for TM wasnt it?

  27. I know donkeys

    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    What about Matt Kouchar? Kduoooooooooooooooche, Kduooooooooooooooooche, Kduoooooooooooooche, Kduooooooooooooche….

  28. Barney Adams

    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Sell that snake oil taylormade, sell it!!!

  29. Rich Douglas

    Jan 31, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    A lot of the time, these articles are just re-warmed press releases. But not this one. I really appreciated the candid admission that what you can buy is not what these pros get to work with. Most of us know that, which is why some of us buy from club-fitters instead of off-the-rack.

    Just like the ball. Bridgestone made golf balls for Nike in general, but one specifically geared for Tiger alone. You couldn’t buy it. (Nor should you, necessarily.) But the golf equipment industry has held tightly to the illusion that you’re buying the same gear and, thus, the same results. (You would NOT get the same results with their gear.) But this article tells the real truth, and it’s a good one.

  30. JP

    Jan 31, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Reading ability is not a gift everyone was born with.

    • Funkaholic

      Jan 31, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      It is literally something nobody is “born with”. Reading is a learned skill ,common sense on the other hand……….

  31. 19_Majors

    Jan 31, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    First impressions are everything? If we don’t get them excited? What are they going to do, leave their contracts?! Taylormade pays these guys huge amounts of money to play their gear. They are going to play the new stuff regardless of if they are completely thrilled about it or not. The people who work at Taylormade sound incredibly insecure and really put these Tour guys on a god-like pedestal…

    • Prime21

      Jan 31, 2020 at 12:16 pm

      That’s what you got from that article? Tough crowd.

    • Funkaholic

      Jan 31, 2020 at 4:35 pm

      They only have the best staff players on tour. Do you think these players beg to be with Taylormade? Just because they are aggressive in the marketing department doesn’t mean they make bad gear. They have a lot of equipment being bagged by non-staffers on tour.

      • Hype

        Jan 31, 2020 at 7:07 pm

        Dont they get paid to have one or two clubs from a different manufacturer in their bags so a manufacturer can say they are first in hybrids or fairway woods.

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Whats in the Bag

Anirban Lahiri WITB 2020



  • WITB accurate as of January 2020

Driver (two models): Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees, D4 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 M.S.I. 60 TX


3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (15 degrees, DS OptiFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 70 TX


5-wood: Ping G410 (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX


Hybrid: PXG 0317 X (22 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi MMT UT 105 TX


Irons: Srixon Z 785 (4), Srixon Z 945 (5-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7  (50-12M)
*We were unable to photograph Lahiri’s other wedges

Putter: Toulon Design Austin Stroke Lab

Putter: OnOff Prototype


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A Deep Dive: The equipment timeline of David Duval, 1993-2001



Like Tiger, David Toms, and Fred Couples there are certain players that I have been obsessed with for years. If you go to my Instagram, you can see it in plain sight. When it comes to DD it was more than the what, it was the why, the how that sparked my curiosity. Let’s face it, in 2000 with the Mossimo gear, Oakley shades, jacked-up physique, and on Titleist staff, was there ever a cooler looking player?

No. There wasn’t or isn’t.

That’s where my interest in Larry Bobka came about. I saw David and Larry walking the fairways of Sahalee at the ’98 PGA Championship.

At the time, I was already knee-deep in David Duval fandom but that experience took me over the top. Bobka had a handful of clubs in his hands and would pass DD a 970 3-wood, Duval would give it a rip and the two would discuss while walking down the fairway. Of all my time watching live golf, I have never been so awestruck.

This is an homage to David’s equipment during his prime/healthy years on the PGA Tour. From his early days with Mizuno, into the Titleist days, and finally Nike.

1993-1995 Mizuno

*This was an interesting time for Duval from an equipment standpoint. The pattern of mixing sets to put together his bag began and it was the time he transitioned from persimmon (Wood Bros driver) into metal woods. It was also the beginning of his long relationship with Scotty Cameron, a relationship that still stands today.

What was in the bag

Driver: TaylorMade Tour Burner 8.5 w/ Dynamic Gold X100 (*he also played with the Bubble XHKP Prototype)


King Cobra @14 w/ Dynamic Gold X100

TaylorMade Tour Issue Spoon @13  w/ Dynamic Gold X100


1993: (1) Ping Eye2, (3-PW) Mizuno Pro TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

1994: (1) Ping Eye2, (3-PW) Mizuno Pro TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

1995: (2,3) Mizuno TC-29, (4-PW) Mizuno TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

Wedges: Mizuno Pro (53, 58) with Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Classic Newport (35 inches, 71 lie, 4 degrees of loft)

Ball: Titleist Tour Balata 100

Glove: Mizuno Pro

1996-2000 Titleist

The beginning of the Titleist years started off quietly. There wasn’t any new product launched and David wasn’t quite the star he would become 12-18 months later. However, it gave Titleist the opportunity to get to know DD and his overall preferences, which aren’t dramatic but certainly unique. He didn’t win in 1996 but did qualify for the Presidents Cup Team and finished that event off at 4-0. So the buzz was going in the right direction and his peers certainly took notice.

It was 1997 that things took off on all fronts and it was the year that Titleist made David Duval the face of the DCI brand and with that decision spawned the greatest cast players cavity ever: the 962B—and also equipped David Duval to go on a 3-year run that was surpassed by only Tiger Woods.

Hence the deep dive article I wrote up earlier this month

What was in the bag



TaylorMade Bubble Tour 8.5 w/ Bubble XHKP Prototype


TaylorMade Bubble Tour 8.5 w/ Bubble XHKP Prototype

King Cobra Deep Face 9 w/ Dynamic Gold X100

Callaway Warbird Great Big Bertha 6.5 w/ Dynamic Gold X100, True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ Fujikura Prototype X


Callaway Warbird Great Big Bertha 6.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

1999: Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) @ 7.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

2000: Titleist 975D 7.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X



King Cobra @14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100


King Cobra @14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100


Callaway S2H2 (1 Dot) @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X

Callaway Steelhead 3+ @13 w/ RCH 90 Pro Series Strong

Titleist 970 (Dark Grey Head) @13 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X (only tested this one)


Callaway S2H2 (1 Dot) @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X

Cobra Gravity Back 14.5T w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X



(2-PW) Titleist DD Blank Prototype w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (w/sensicore)

(2-PW) Titleist DCI Black “B” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (w/sensicore)

*This prototype set was a blank set of the DCI Black “B” but with sole modifications. 

1997, 1998, 1999, 2000: (2,3) Titleist DCI Black (4-PW) Titleist DCI 962B w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (with sensicore)

*David liked the original prototype version of DG Sensicore X100 that had weight removed from the center of shaft to create better feel and a slightly higher trajectory

24 Feb 2000: David Duval watches the ball after hitting it during the World Match-Play Championships at the La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. Mandatory Credit: Harry How /Allsport


1996: (52 @53, 58) Mizuno Pro, (56 @57) Cleveland 588 RTG w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1997: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTG, (58) Titleist Bobka Grind, (57 @58) Cobra Trusty Rusty w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1998: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTGw/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1999: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTG w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

2000: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 “Gun Metal” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400


1996: Scotty Cameron Classic Newport 1 35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft, Scotty Cameron Long Slant Neck Laguna Custom (double welded neck)

1997: Odyssey Dual Force Rossie 2, Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

1998, 1999, 2000: Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

2001: Nike Golf and The Open Championship

The relationship with Titleist Golf ended quickly and when David showed up to Kapalua with a non-Titleist stand bag the rumor mill went nuts. The story (although super speculative) was that David opted out in the middle of a $4.5 million per year deal with Acushnet, a lawsuit followed, but Davids’s stance was that he had a marquee player clause that allowed him to walk if he wasn’t “marquee” aka highest-paid.

Apparently he had a point, Acushnet had recently inked big deals with Davis Love and Phil Mickelson leading someone on the outside to do the math. However, I’m not an attorney, wasn’t there, and have no clue what the legality of any of it was. Point is, he walked and landed at Nike with a new head-to-toe contract. 



Titleist 975D 7.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975E Prototype 8.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Nike Titanium w/ True Temper EI-70 II Tour X (pictured below)

Nike Titanium Prototype 7.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X (featured image)


Callaway Steelhead Plus 4+ @15 w/ RCH 90 Pro Series Strong

Nike Prototype @14 degrees w/ True Temper EI-70 Tour X

Sonartec/Excedo (SS-03 head) Driving Cavity @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X


(2-PW) Titleist 990B w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100  (with sensicore)

(2-PW) Nike Prototype “DD” Grind MB w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (with sensicore)

(2) Titleist DCI Black w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100  (with sensicore)



(53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 “Gun Metal” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

(53,58) Nike DD Grind w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip


Over the years the one constant was David’s iron and wedge specs. As a shut-faced player he has always favored traditional lofts in his irons. However, a cool thing to note is his lie angles remained constant 59.5 (2-4), 60 (5-9). The running theory here was being a shallow (low hands) and shut faced player, keeping the lie angles at a constant (flatter) lie angle allowed him to feel like his angle of attack could remain the same for each iron. It’s just a feeling but that’s what he did. If the “why of it” is true, it looks like he was doing Bryson things before Bryson did.

David Duval Iron/Wedge Specs


  • 2-17/59.5/40.25/D5
  • 3-20.5/59.5/39 1/6/D4
  • 4-24/59.5/38 9/16/D4
  • 5-27/60/38 1/16/D4
  • 6-30.5/60/ 37 9/16/D4
  • 7-35/60/37 1/16/D4
  • 8-39/60/36 9/16/D4
  • 9-43/60/36 5/16/D4
  • P-47/61/36/ 1/16/D5
  • GW-53/62/35 5/8/D4
  • LW-58/62/35 9/16/D6

Whew…since this prolific run, David transitioned into some interesting projects with smaller companies like Scratch, B.I.G Golf (AKA Bio-engineered in Germany), back to the mainstream with Nike, and most currently Cobra Golf.

I hope you all enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me, Duval is not only fascinating from a career standpoint but digging into the equipment of DD has been quite the experience.

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“Why can’t I hit my new irons to a consistent distance?” – GolfWRXers have their say



In our forums, our members have been discussing irons and how to hit your numbers consistently. WRXer ‘Hubb1e’, who is a 15 handicap, is having issues and says:

“I recently upgraded from 20 year old Taylor Made 360 irons to a set of custom-built Callaway Apex 19 Forged irons. Old irons were traditional cavity back. New irons are categorized as players distance irons. Both have the same fit.

My new 3 iron will go 230 yards or 130 yards and not even make it far enough to reach the fairway. My new 7 iron will typically go 160 yards but will often will fly 175 yards or drop out of the air at 120 yards. I can’t control the distances of my new irons, and I spent a fortune custom fitting them to my swing. Why is this happening? This was never an issue with my old irons. A bad hit would go 10-20% shorter, but I never had balls fly over the green or completely fall out of the air. What is going on with my new equipment?”

Our members offer up their solutions in our forum.

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.

  • ThreeBoxers: “Strike quality is your answer. Tech or no tech, irons will not have 50-yard distance discrepancies. Not super familiar with the Apex irons, but they’re pretty forgiving no? You might lose 10 yards on toe or heel strikes but 40, 50? You’re probably hitting it heavy. If they have a beveled edge, it may mask the feeling of hitting it fat a bit, but not the result. My Mizunos have a pretty aggressive front edge grind which helps a ton on heavy shots. It’s the difference between landing 15 yards short and 50 yards short. +1 on using foot spray to check impact.”
  • extrastiff: “It also would not hurt to check your swing speed. Even strike being terrible that’s a large discrepancy. Maybe your last build had a weight that helped you get consistent swing speed.”
  • WristySwing: “I would say inconsistent strike is the biggest issue. Now that can mean a couple of things. It could mean you, as in the person swinging, are not hitting the ball properly because of inconsistent delivery. The other option is the fit is bad, and it is causing you to be extremely inconsistent because you cannot feel the head. It might be a little bit of column A and column B. However, I would lean more towards column A in this scenario because even a horrifically misfit set someone could get used to it eventually and not have 100 yards of discrepancy in carry shot to shot. I’ve seen people who are playing 50g ladies flex irons with fat wide soles who are very shallow and swing a 6i 92mph still not have 100 yards of carry flux with their sets. If your miss is toe-side 9/10x that is because you are coming too far from the inside. When you get too stuck on the inside you typically stall and throw your arms at it. When you break your wrists (flip)/throw your arms at it you get a very inconsistent low point average that often manifests in extremely fat or thin strikes….typically fat since your squat and rotate is out of sync with your release. As others have said, get some impact tape/foot powder spray and see where you are actually making contact. Then if you can get on a video lesson and see what the issue is. As of right now, we can all only assume what is going on. If your low point control is good, you don’t get stuck, and you are hitting it in the middle of the head — then fit comes into question.”
  • larryd3: “I”d be on the phone to my fitter and setting up a time to go back in and see what’s going on with the irons. You shouldn’t be getting those types of results with a properly fit set of irons. When I got my fitting earlier this year at TrueSpec, the fitter, after watching me hit a bunch with my current irons, focused on increasing the spin on my irons, not on distance but on consistency. So far, they seem to be working well when I put a decent swing on them.”
  • fastnhappy: “One possibility that wouldn’t necessarily show up indoors is sole design and turf interaction. You may have a real problem with the newer clubs because of a sole design that doesn’t work for your swing. That’s hard to tell when hitting inside off a mat. If so, you’d see major distance inconsistency because of strike. The feedback I’ve seen on the players distance irons is exactly what you’re describing… difficult to control distance.”

Entire Thread: “Why can’t I hit my new irons to a consistent distance?”

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