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Don’t get AMP’d up. Rickie is just testing shafts, y’all

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As you may have seen in our tour photos this week, Rickie Fowler has a new/old set of irons in the bag. Specifically, Fowler is gaming a set from 2013: the Cobra AMP Cell Pro.

But WHY?! Didn’t we just hear all the buzz about his self-designed Rev33? Well yes, we did.

Although the rumors and conspiracy theories may run wild, in this case, it’s a nothing burger.

He’s testing shafts folks, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100, specifically, to get ready for major season.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JULY 02: A detail of the bag and clubs of Rickie Fowler of the United States during the first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 02, 2020 at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

But why didn’t he put them in the Rev33?

That’s a simple one as well: time and economics. Rather than pull apart his gamers or have a set chauffeured in from Carlsbad, Fowler, who was messing around with the AMP’s at home and who doesn’t have Rev33’s with X1oo’s hanging on his wall, brought them to Detroit this week to test.

If all goes well, we can count on a set of Rev33’s with X100’s to be built at HQ. If not, no harm, no foul, and we go back to the Rev33 with his normal KBS C-Taper 125 S+ shafts.

If anything, I find the coolest thing here is Rickie’s instinct to not be wasteful. That’s a good thing right?

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. 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

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Tdawg

    Jul 4, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Im just confused as to why dabble in a tournament??? All these guys have the best of the best in home sims with all the data and the best facilities to test equipment.

  2. Shane

    Jul 4, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    I can see the testing of the shafts, but why at an event where you’re playing for a living instead of just testing at home? Thanks for the article!!

  3. jmho

    Jul 4, 2020 at 10:43 am

    IF this is true, this seems stingy on behalf of Cobra. But I am gonna assume that he’s trying different irons altogether but they want to keep pushing the 33’s and it’s harder to do that when Rickie is playing something else.

  4. Chip2win

    Jul 3, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Uh…I hate to say it, but he’s not just testing shafts. After he hit a shot today on TV, you could clearly see he’s got the AMP Cells in the bag this week. They are pretty cool looking blades.

    • Mr C

      Jul 4, 2020 at 11:19 am

      Of course he’s using the Amp Cell Pro this week. It’s the entire point of this article. He using a set of Amp Cell Pro with X100 so he can test the X100 shafts as he doesn’t want to pull the shafts from him current gamers and replace them with the X100.

      • gwelfgulfer

        Jul 4, 2020 at 8:11 pm

        Although its a bit of a weak argument. If the ‘gamers’ were working so well, why not just use them. It takes them nothing to build/rebuild a set of irons.

  5. Brandon

    Jul 3, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Might want to stick with the amps as he actually played well for the first time in a while yesterday.

    • Mr. C

      Jul 4, 2020 at 11:21 am

      The Amp Cell Pro are the best blades Cobra has ever produced in my opinion. I’m not surprised he played well with them.

  6. Jack

    Jul 2, 2020 at 11:43 pm

    This story is so shallow and lacking in research ! Waste of space..

    • John Wunder

      Jul 3, 2020 at 12:18 am

      How exactly? The point to the story is there is to inform that 1) He’s just testing shafts 2) This was the easiest way to do it 3) He isn’t planning on switching out of his Rev33’s . Lacking in what research? It’s straight from the person who builds his clubs.

  7. matt

    Jul 2, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    makes absolutely no sense… what does he learn from testing a shaft in a completely different head? I mean sure he might love this combo – but doesn’t mean squat for the performance in different iron. I think the rev is done – that club is ugly as sin and I think Rickie is coming to grips with his ill-conceived thoughts for that club.

    • John Wunder

      Jul 3, 2020 at 12:25 am

      Makes sense to him and the people that work with him. Unless I’ve been talking to a Cobra Tour Truck Catfish that is obsessed with golf club cover ups and conspiracies . That would actually be a fun reality show. Anyway thanks for reading;)

      • Nack Jicklaus

        Jul 3, 2020 at 1:48 am

        I’d watch Tour Truck Catfishing the reality show.

        • John Wunder

          Jul 3, 2020 at 7:11 am

          Right!!?? So would I

          • Brandon

            Jul 3, 2020 at 9:41 am

            Did you happen to ask the tour truck guy why Rickie prefers the F9 to the SZ? He seemed to take the SZ out of the bag really quickly at the beginning of the season.

          • Geo P

            Jul 3, 2020 at 12:32 pm

            Cool story, John! All these clowns saying negative stuff are just keyboard warriors that can’t break 100…..so their useless drivel means nothing! Keep up the great work ????

      • matt

        Jul 3, 2020 at 8:27 am

        love your content Johnny… I don’t doubt that’s what you were told. honestly I’m an iron shafts nerd – i think its a good story unto itself. Wonder what Rickie is after with the switch? He had that cup of coffee with S400s last year and got back into the the C-tapers. My guess is its a stats thing – probably sees how great his driving and putting is and thinks maybe the irons aren’t quite right somehow.

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Top 5 strokes gained: around-the-greens 2020 and the wedges they used

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#5 Hideki Matusyama (.458% AVG, 27.951 SG) 


Wedges: Cleveland RTX Forged Prototype (52-10, 56-8 @57.5, 60-08 @62)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

#4 Brandt Snedeker (.514% AVG, 25.685 SG) 

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (52-10S, 56-10S) Vokey SM8 (60K)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

#3 Aaron Baddeley (.520% AVG, 19.257 SG) 

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52-12SS), Ping Glide (56-10), Titleist Vokey 260 (60-12, @59)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

#2 Rob Oppenheim (.536% AVG, 24.106 SG)

Wedges: Ping I210 UW (52) Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth (56-12SS, 60-10SS)
Shafts: Ping ZZ-65

#1 Jason Day (.632% AVG, 25.287 SG AVG) 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 Satin (50-09SB, 54-11SB, 60-10SB)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

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GolfWRX Spotted: Titleist TSi4 on USGA Conforming List

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After all the excitement caused by the Titleist TSi2 and TSi3 driver and fairway woods, it didn’t take long for another Titleist TSi series driver to pop up on the USGA and R&A conforming club lists, and this time it’s the TSi4.

left-handed driver head from USGA list

Based on the entirety of the information provided in the submission, including the fact that it has been submitted both right and left-handed, leaves us to believe that along with the TSi2, and TSi3, which are currently going through the seeding process on the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours, the TSi4 will also be coming to retail in the near future.

If you remember last year in the spring of 2019, Titleist added the line extension of the TS1 and TS4 drivers to cater to further reaches of the fitting bell curve, for players that needed more launch and spin, and for those that needed further reduction respectively.

The line for the TS4 was simple—the smallest and lowest spinning member of the TS family of drivers. It reduced spin by an average of 300-400 RPM compared to the TS2 and TS3 drivers. All of this while also in a player preferred 430cc package. 

To achieve those kinds of dynamics, MOI of the driver’s head has to be sacrificed in favor of creating a low and forward center of gravity to create lower spin. The curious thing with the TSi4 is if Titleist engineers have been able to boost the head size to a full 460 and keep a similar profile or if they have reverted to a sub 460cc design to replicate the TS4’s mass properties and CG location in a new package with new technology to increase ball speed around the head and increase spin robustness.

Time will tell if and when this becomes available at retail, but based on this information, it’s most likely sooner rather than later.

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Wunder: Titleist TSi driver first impressions

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Three things I want to address before I kick this off.

  1. “Better, best” will not be addressed. It’s never about that these days only what works for me or you.
  2. I’m not adding TrackMan data to this for one simple reason: It doesn’t matter to me for a first impression. I can get lost in the data and ultimately it confuses my ability to just enjoy the sound feel and look of the driver. Obviously, the fitting was on TrackMan, but in the past, successful drivers for me started with the emotional part. Simply, do I like the thing? Can I look at it? Can I trust it? Can I hit shots with it? That’s it.
  3. When I say “spin this” and “spin that,” it’s always addressing a positive aspect.

On Tuesday of this week, I had the good fortune of visiting the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI in Oceanside, California) to do my TSi metal woods fitting. Won’t get too far into that, but essentially it’s golf heaven in every sense of the word. Like TaylorMade’s Kingdom or Callaway’s ECPC, TPI it’s a gearhead paradise.

Titleist Master Fitter Joey Saewitz (@thejoeysaewitz on IG) was my fitter and after hitting a few balls to warm up, we dug into my gamer driver that I adore.

Current Gamer Spec

TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @ 8.5). Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (no tipping) 45 inches, D4, GolfPride BCT 58R

I have been constantly messing with my driver between new shafts, lofts, lie, etc. Since I’ve been playing a bit more this month, I’ve had the chance to work on my swing and the driver has been the last thing to come around. I’m working on decreasing dynamic loft through the bag and have not adjusted my driver to match. The point is, I’m hitting the driver solid but have lost a ton of height and spin to keep it in the air.

I’m saying this now because for key metrics I was at a deficiency because of the craftsman not his tools. The SIM I was fit into was/is excellent. So, as you read on, keep in mind that I knew that numbers-wise apples to apples my setup was vulnerable to getting beat out due to my tinkering.

Thoughts

My average numbers these days are are 105-108 mph swing speed, 155-160 mph ball speed, 14-degree launch, and 1,800-2,000 spin. At 43-years-old, when I’m hitting it solid I get a lot out of my driver. IF I’m swinging well, at my low spin, off days can be nauseating with the driver.

LOOKS

TSi3: If two of my favorite drivers 975D and R7 Superquad TP had a baby, the TSi3 would be it. Its flawless appearance-wise. The heel section gives it an onset look that the faders will love and the top line toe section is a bit rounded off to give it an open look without having to crank it open. Not the first time we have heard that but nonetheless, Titleist nailed it.

The face has a cool matte finish that I can’t get into yet, but it frames a white ball excellently.

TSi2: Like the TS2, it has that high-MOI shape, although I will say the top line and transitions are a bit softer on the eye. It’s a driver that looks like it just wants to go high and far. If I wanted to hit something as hard as I could that’s the shape I would look for.

Side note—the black shafts in the TSi3 are almost too cool to even look at—the closest thing to a Darth Vader golf club I have ever seen.

FEEL/SOUND

This is where they really figured it out. Titleist drivers in the past to my ear sounded good but not great. There was always an essence of ting that I couldn’t fall in love with. The TSi series fixed that in totality, like all the great drivers on the market in 2020 it has that hammerhead thud that I adore. When you crunch it, you literally hear crunch. At impact, however, it has a more compressiony (is that a word?) feel than its competitors. The comparison would be a one-piece forged feel vs a hollow body players iron. Both feel excellent but there is a difference. You can feel the ball squeeze into the face which I think most will notice and respond well to.

PERFORMANCE—Not going to compare it to my gamer as it’s not fair, I gear headed my gamer to the point of lunacy. I will only comment on what the TSi series did while testing.

TSi3: The biggest standout here was usable spin. I am not a high-spin player by any stretch, so if I can find a driver that gets me 2,100-2,200 consistently when I flush it, it’s a contender. For a player at my speed to sneak it out there with the big hitters, I have to launch it at 14 at 1,700 spin, and hope I’m aimed correctly. What I found with the TSi was I was getting that performance at 2,100-2,200, and if anything only giving up 2-3 yards all while doing it 5/10 times as opposed to 2/10.

What does all that jibberish add up to? Consistency and something I can play with. Is it longer than my gamer? I have no idea, but we will find out. What I know is I hit a bunch of really good shots with TSi3, and after I got going with it, it was point and shoot. Stable? Yes. Long? Yes. Forgiving? Yes. Playable? Yes.

TSi2: To be honest I only hit a few with the Tsi2 as its not my genre of music. What I can say is it feels apples to apples with the Tsi3, launches higher with a bit more spin, and goes really straight. No shocker there. The high MOI category has a bunch of contenders, and in my opinion, it’s a head weight game. Heavy is always better for stability.

The setup I landed on

I was fit into the (D4 SureFit setting 9 degrees @ 9.75, flat) however after testing a bit at home on course and range, I landed on the D1 setting, which I like. For whatever reason, I can play Tsi3 at 8.25 and still maintain height spin and it flew about five yards further.

Final setup

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees @8.25, D1 SureFit, 44.5 inches, D4 swing weight)

Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1)

Overall, the TSi Series drivers will be VERY popular but not for the reasons you would think. It’s playable, you can hit shots with it, that’s the mark of a GREAT golf club. It’s not all ball speeds and carry anymore in my opinion. This is a driver I can go out and play well with, that’s huge for a hack like me. In my experience, I can’t say that about a lot of drivers I’ve tried to make work in the last four to five years. That’s just me. Lots of great drivers every year but I’m a hard case and finding one that’s just right is a challenge.

Ultimately, for me, the best driver on the market is SIM hands down because it performs in the hitting bay and even better on the course—my hunch is Titleist has something that will do the same.

It’s a beautiful driver that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know.

 

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