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GolfWRX Exclusive: Patton Kizzire speaks on first PGA Tour win, WITB, new 718 irons

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Patton Kizzire nabbed his maiden PGA Tour win at last week’s OHL Classic, outlasting a late charge from Rickie Fowler. He raised his first Trophy with a bag full of Titleist equipment and a Titleist ProV1x.

Following the event, our Andrew Tursky had a revealing chat with Patton about the win and the clubs he used to do it.

GolfWRX: When you’re leading down the stretch, are you leaderboard watching? Does a big name like Rickie Fowler chasing you have any effect on your mentality/gameplan?

Patton Kizzire: For most of the tournament, I try not to look at the leaderboard. I took a long look on 15…and I just wanted to make sure nobody was ahead of Rickie and closer to me, and I just went from there.

GolfWRX: Do you get defensive or less aggressive down the stretch? Are you aiming away from pins, or are you ‘head down, keep it going’?

PK: It’s all situational. On difficult holes, maybe [I] play a bit more conservatively. I certainly wasn’t willing to take any chances with a three-stroke lead. I was playing the percentages. I maybe didn’t hit the best shots of the tournament there toward the end. The beginning of the back nine — 12, 13, 14 — were not my best tee shots. But I certainly wasn’t trying to play defensive. I was trying to play aggressively to conservative targets.

GolfWRX: Were there a lot of nerves coming home down the stretch?

PK: It was a little nerve wracking, but it wasn’t my first time in contention. I was able to draw on some of my near-misses, especially the Safeway Open last year. I was in a very similar spot on the weekend on Sunday, and I didn’t get it done, but I was able to look back at that and learn a little bit.

GolfWRX: It looks like you don’t do a whole lot of switching. You’ve still got a 913 Hybrid in the bag and a putter that’s been in the bag for years, too. What does your testing process look like when Titleist comes out with new equipment?

PK: Titleist has been really consistent for me since I was 15…I’ve played Titleist equipment almost exclusively since I was 15 or so. Every year it seems they come out with something new, and I have so much trust in it. It’s a pretty seamless transition. I don’t switch much. I try to put the new irons in play, the new driver, the new woods.

But something like a hybrid, you kind of have a club you fall in love with over the years, and I’ve been a little bit hesitant to switch that. The new balls, the new woods, the new irons are pretty easy for me to get into. And the Vokey team…have done such a great job with wedges”

And I have to mention the putter. The Scotty Cameron GoLo putter has been in my bag for about five years. And I owe a lot of my success to putting.

GolfWRX: Do you ever look to switch out your putter, or do you just kind of love that one and it works for you?

PK: I’ve toyed around with other putters here and there, but I always go right back to the GoLo. For whatever reason, maybe because I’ve used it so long, it just seems like what a putter should be. I feel really comfortable with it. I always gravitate back to the GoLo.

GolfWRX: What makes the wedges a good fit for you?

PK: The way they go through the turf. I like to have a strong leading edge to go through the turf. And the lob wedge needs to perform well around the greens and in the bunker. I’ve really been hitting my bunker shots well with my new 60 degree. I have different versions of the same wedges. Aaron [Dill] does great work in the truck. He kind of tweaks it here and there for me, and they perform like expect them to.

GolfWRX: How often do you switch out wedges?

PK: I get a new 60 degree the most…every four or five tournaments. New 56 and 52 every six to eight tournaments. I try to keep that 60 degree sharp. If we get to a course with firm greens and my wedge doesn’t have the bite that I want it to have, I’ll definitely give the Titleist guys a call.

GolfWRX: What kind of grind do you have on that 60?

PK: We call it the “Dufner grind.” I saw Jason Dufner had one like that about a year ago, and I told Aaron, “I want one like that.” I don’t know what the grind is, but it’s really good for me. [Note: The grind is a modified K grind.]

GolfWRX: One last question… How do the 718 irons look and feel different than the 716 irons?

PK: They don’t look a whole lot different. They’ve been holding their flight better in the wind. I’m able to get the long irons up in the air a little bit. That’s something I look for, being able to control the trajectory. I kind of imagine the shots that I want to hit, and the 718s are coming out on the flight that I want them to.

The good folks in New Bedford, Massachusetts, were kind enough to furnish us with some details about Kizzire’s setup.

Titleist tells us Kizzire switched to from the 915D4 driver to the 917D3 the first week it was available at the Quicken Loans National last year. He switched to the 718 irons to start the 2017-18 season at the Safeway. After missing the cut at in Napa, he has finished T10 (Sanderson Farms), 4th (Shriners Hospitals Open for Children) and then won the OHL Classic.

Titleist Tour Rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck had this to say about working with Kizzire.

“Patton likes traditional look throughout his bag but needs vertical help with his angle of attack.  A 10.5 degree 917D3 helps him with launch but still controls his swing.  The shaft is based on a platform he had success with us early in his career and he really loves the feel.”

“The 917 F2 was a perfect fit for Patton early on.  He loved the ball speed and having a 16.5 allows him get great launch out of a club he has had trouble with in the past.  Titleist Tour Rep Jim Curran worked extensively on finding him a shaft that felt good, was the proper weight, and yet still launched the way Patton wanted. Tour Blue 95 fit the bill – and Patton has been in it for a year.”

“Patton loves the look of traditional irons and the 718 MB fit the bill for his look and his desire to control flight.  Now, as he moves up through his bag, he has multiple options in 718 which really helps his game. He moves to 718 CB at his 5 and 6 irons, and then carries the 718 T-MB at 4-iron which helps gapping and ball flight at the top of his set.”

Vokey Design Wedge rep Aaron Dill regarding Patton’s wedges:

“Patton has a old school approach to wedge selection.  When he finds a wedge he likes he will rarely make a switch. He doesn’t blame the wedge for poor or mishit shots. His technique is smooth and accurate with mid to high ball flight. His 52 and 56-degree wedges have been in the bag for a while now, and his 60 has changed a little keeping the width but changing the bounce angle for conditions. He likes an old school look which is why we add offset to his 60.”

Kelley Moser on Kizzire’s Cameron GoLo:

“Patton has been using a Scotty Cameron GoLo model since his mini tour days. The one he is currently using was a backup that was made for him when he first earned his PGA TOUR card. He had a stock shaft and silver head version that he used for a long time, but he wanted to shake it up a little so we made him one with a black shaft and a dark finish. He loved it and after his victory said he’s pretty sure this one is in the bag permanently.”

Many thanks to Patton for the talk and the folks at Titleist for sharing some insights on the newly minted PGA Tour winner’s WITB.

You can see Kizzire’s full WITB here

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The most popular golf carry bags on Amazon right now (Winter 2020 edition)

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What are the most popular golf carry bags on Amazon right now? From time to time, we like to get out of our little bubble of OEM releases and what’s being played on tour to look at what golf consumers are buying on one of the largest online retail marketplaces: Amazon.

Here are some of the best-selling golf carry bags on Amazon as of December 2020.

1. Champkey Professional Golf Sunday Bag

From the listing:Takes up very little space in a trailer, camper, or car trunk; when not in use, the bag can be folded and stored neatly until you’re ready to go again. The bag can carry 3-9 clubs easy , the padded shoulder strap for extra comfort and a convenient handle on the side to quickly pick up and go. Made by 600D nylon fabric material that has great water resistant & durable. 6 pockets can carry everything you need in golf(like: cup,divot tool,towel, gloves ,tees & ball etc.).”

Price: $24.99

Buy here.

2. Titleist Carry Bag

From the listing:Full length apparel pocket. Ultra-lightweight design. Premium heathered material. Included Components: 4 Pockets.”

Price: $99.95

Buy here.

3. Craftsman Golf Portable Mini Carry Bag

From the listing: “The material is durable,light weight.And portable. The should strap is adjustable and a convenient handle available. It can hold 5-8 clubs. It can be folded for storageIt or just hook with your golf bag.”

Price: $14.99

Buy here.

4. LONGCHAO Golf Stand Bag

From the listing:The stand of the ultralight golf bag can even be unfolded in an uneven place stably, you could easily get out the clubs. The cool golf bag has a generous and stylish appearance,enough room for as many as 6 or 7 clubs comfortably. Backpack-style shoulder strap for extra comfort provides you a convenient handle on the side to quickly carry and go.And the shoulder soft strap adopts detachable design for detaching freely when needs.”

Price: $49.99

Buy here.

5. Wilson “W” Carry Golf Bag

From the listing:5-way open top with 2 full length dividers and an integrated handle. Plenty of storage with 7 pockets. Lightweight at 4.1 pounds.”

Price: $79.99

Buy here.

6. Golf Bag Clubs Case Foldable Zippered Carry Bag

From the listing:Waterproof and durable. Holds 7-10 clubs. Padded shoulder strap for extra comfort. A handle on the side for more quickly pick up. Great for traveling: takes up very little space in a plane, trailer, camper, or car trunk.”

Price: $34.99

Buy here.

7. Champkey Premium Golf Sunday Bag (Carry 3-7 Clubs)

From the listing:Takes up very little space in a trailer, camper, or car trunk. The bag can carry 3-7 clubs easy , the padded shoulder strap for extra comfort and a convenient handle on the side to quickly pick up and go. Made of premium canvas material that’s has great water resistant & durable.”

Price: $22.99

Buy here.

8. Ranger Sunday Bag

From the listing:Ultra-lightweight stand bag weighs only 2 lbs. Soft grip rubberized top with two compartment dividers. Durable automatic stand legs with slide-resistant traction feet. Convenient carry handle integrated into bag top.”

Price: $63.91

Buy here.

9. Light Weight Water Resistant Foldable Golf Sunday Bag Golf

From the listing:Light weight,foldable.The material is durable. The shoulder strap with shoulder Pad,avoid metal buckle digging into shoulder. The bag is outfitted with a fully adjustable shoulder handle and padded carry handle, so the bag is very easy & comfortable to carry around. It can hold 5-8 clubs,it is decided by the type of your club.”

Price: $39.99

Buy here.

10. Wilson W Golf Bag

From the listing: 5-way open top with 2 full length dividers and an integrated handle. Plenty of storage with 7 pockets. Lightweight at 4. 1 pounds.”

Price: $68.39

Buy here.

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Are staff bags becoming obsolete?

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Earlier this year at GolfWRX, we had some very interesting debates about golf bags and the features and styles that you – the golfer prefer. Opinions were strong and few were swayed but nonetheless, some very interesting discussions were had:

Stand-bags on tour?

The one topic that we never quite got into was a discussion on staff bags. Sure, we see pros use them all the time on TV because they are big, bold and are great for promoting sponsors. But what about regular golfers, do we really need them for day to day use? We don’t get paid to use clubs so why carry around a giant billboard?

This brings us to the PGA Tour, where many trends are born, whether it be clubs, balls, or in this case bags, because a few weeks ago at Sea Island and the RSM Classic, we saw an uptick in caddies and players using what are known as “tour” carry bags—larger “staff-like” stand bags with the full branding of a tour bag, except in a smaller stand bag package.

Both Dylan Frittelli (Callaway – title image) and Nick Watney (Mizuno) are using versions of their companies stand bags this week and we have seen other players using them more frequently, like Camilo Villegas, although under a different set of circumstances since he doesn’t have a current bag sponsorship deal in place. Camilo’s situation is interesting because generally, even sponsorless players use a staff bag, even if it just features their name.

Tour stand bags at the consumer level

There must be something about these tour-like bags that golfers love because many golfers can’t get enough. Ping recently released a Tour Staff bag (above) to serious fanfare with it selling out quickly across most channels and actually being resold online for over MSRP—which is a pretty unusual thing to happen in the golf bag market beyond very limited release items. Other companies also offer larger staff like stand bags including Wilson, Titleist, and Srixon, to name a few.

The only drawback to these larger stand bags is their extra size brings with it extra weight, and for golfers who prefer walking over riding, any extra weight is generally avoided at all costs. This makes tour stand bags a great option for occasional walkers, or for those who use a pushcart, or ride but still enjoy the convenience of a stand bag when going to the range or practice area.

What do you think, GolfWRXers? Do you like the convenience of a larger stand bag or would you still rather use what most tour players use? I mean if you don’t have to carry it—why not?

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Should you be using a blade or mallet putter?

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‘Should I use a blade or mallet putter?’ It’s a frequent question, and here we will provide you with our essential guide to help you decide.

Blade vs Mallet: Which style suits you?

As far as golf equipment goes, your putter may be the most critical item in your bag. That’s why it’s crucial to know the key features of both blade and mallet putters and what they are designed to provide so that you can closely identify which style of putter your stroke and game require to help you lower your scores.

Blade Putter

Scotty Cameron Blade Putter

The traditional blade putter features a sweet spot positioned closer to the heel and designed to offer maximum feel to golfers on the greens

A blade putter contains a traditional head shape and is a favorite amongst golf ‘purists’. Blade putters are heavily toe-weighted with a sweet spot positioned closer toward the heel. This sweet spot position is because the shaft connects to the club head of the blade at the heel or sometimes center of the blade. This heavy toe-weighting and heel sweet spot means that blade putters will typically suit players who have an arc in their putting stroke.

Mallet Putter

TaylorMade mallet putter

A mallet style putter gives players stability and balance in their stroke.

The more modern style mallet putter is a flat-stick with a larger head. The heads come in various shapes and sizes, and because of the size, a lot of the weight is often distributed away from the clubface so that players find plenty of stability and balance in their stroke. 

The ‘game improvement’ style of the mallet putter means that the larger sweet spot will help players who struggle to strike the ball directly in the center of the face, and the added weight in the clubhead is designed to prevent the putter twisting during the stroke.

Mallet putters also offer additional aid when it comes to alignment, offering more prominent features than a blade such as longer or added lines and can also benefit golfers who struggle to hit putts hard enough due to its heavier weight.

Do pros prefer blade or mallet style putters?

With the 2020 season in the books, we can take a look at who were the top-10 performers in the Strokes Gained: Putting department for 2020 and see what style of putter they used:

  1. Denny McCarthy: Scotty Cameron Tour-Only FastbackMallet
  2. Matthew Fitzpatrick: Yes C-Groove Tracy IIBlade
  3. Andrew Putnam: Odyssey White Hot RX No. 5Mallet
  4. Kristoffer Ventura: Scotty Cameron NewportBlade
  5. Kevin Na: Odyssey Toulon MadisonBlade
  6. Matt Kuchar: Bettinardi Kuchar Model 1Blade (Wide)
  7. Ian Poulter: Odyssey Stroke Lab SevenMallet
  8. Mackenzie Hughes: Ping Scottsdale TR Piper C Mallet
  9. Maverick McNealy: Odyssey ToulonBlade
  10. Bryson DeChambeau: SIK Tour prototypeBlade

Blade style 60% vs Mallet style 40%

Should I use a blade or mallet putter?

Typically, this choice comes down to feel and stroke. Your stroke, just like the stroke of a professional, is unique, and your stroke will determine which style of putter will help you perform best on the greens. Like any other club in your bag, fitting and testing is a key element that shouldn’t be overlooked.

That being said, there are two prominent strokes and identifying which category you fall into can help identify where you fall in the Blade vs Mallet putter debate..

Square-to-square stroke vs Arced stroke

Square-to-square stroke

A square-to square stroke is when the putter face is lined up square to the target, and the stroke is straight back and through. If you possess a natural square-to-square stroke, you may be more suited to a mallet putter. The reason for this is that a mallet putter is face-balanced with the center of gravity positioned toward the back of the club meaning the club is designed to stay square to the putter path all the way through the stroke.

Arced stroke

An arced stroke is when the putter face will open and close relative to the target, and the stroke travels on a slight curve. Should you possess an arced stroke, then a blade putter may be more suited for you because of the natural toe-weighting of the blade-style putter.

Other factors to consider

Feel players will also usually opt for a blade-style putter, due to the desire to feel the way the ball reacts off the putter face which allows them to have more control over their putting and to gain confidence. Mallet putters make ‘feel’ less easy to attain due to the softer inserts on the clubface.

Don’t put aside the issue of aesthetics when considering the issue too. The look of a putter can inspire confidence, and each individual will feel different when placing either a blade or mallet-style putter behind the ball at address, so choosing a style which makes you feel comfortable is an important aspect to consider.

Hopefully, you’ve now got more knowledge as to how you can find the right putter shape for you and your stroke. At the end of the day, the right putter for you, whether it’s a blade or mallet, will be the one which helps and inspires you to make more putts.

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