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GolfWRX Insider: Viktor Hovland dials in his Ping i210 irons

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The best players in the world are at “Jack’s place” this week, and coming into the Memorial very few players are as hot as Viktor Hovland. With top 25 finishes in every event since the return to play and a solo third last week at the Workday Charity Open, the Oklahoma State Cowboy is on the cusp of a win—maybe even multiple wins fast—if this pace keeps up.

However, the tweaking never stops on tour. This week, Viktor was looking for a “bit more height” and “a bit more” spin without sacrificing any distance. That means “I want to hit this i210 7-iron 174 yards, with this shaft, and this loft, BUT I want a bit more height and a bit more spin.” Not a ton of areas for adjustment in that scenario. So you want it to spin more, go a bit higher, but we can’t change anything? OK. Challenge accepted.

Why? is probably your next question. I mean, the guy is red hot.

The fact that he is red hot is the reason. In this case, with as well as Hovland is hitting the ball, he feels like new opportunities (i.e. birdies) could become possible if the ball could stop a little quicker when it hits the green. Crazy how dialed these guys get. He’s hitting it so well that the ball stopping even two feet quicker is the difference between 17 and 20 under.

For Ping tour rep Kenton Oates, this ask requires some serious savvy. Viktor is a shallow path “picker” of the golf ball. Not only does he not put a ton of spin on the ball, but he also doesn’t interact with the ground all that much. It’s in that turf interaction (or lack thereof) that Kenton found the answer.

“Viktor came to us wanting to add a slight about of height and spin. We discussed our options and decided to try to get the club into the ground more to create more height was the best option as we were not too keen on changing major variables (length, shaft, or loft).

“Our hope was he would see an increase in launch and spin due to the reduced bounce/camber of the sole (four degrees of bounce taken from each iron) and after testing for a few hours on TrackMan, that is exactly what happened (gained approx 1 deg launch 150-250 mph of spin and a 1.5-2 [degree] steeper landing angle) and an added bonus it improved the feel of the irons for Viktor giving him even more confidence.“

These guys are so good.

 

 

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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

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Chuck

    Jul 16, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    That is an astonishing number; removing 4 degrees of bounce. That has to have been fully half, of more, of the total bounce angle per each iron. And what; it was ground off like working with wedges? What happened to all of that swingweight?

    I am not doubting what was done; I am just wondering about the explanation of it.

    • KO

      Jul 17, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      Hand ground each head. About 80% of longest iron down to about 33% of pw. Head weight easily restored with CTP weight in back cavity.

      Hope this helps

  2. jgpl001

    Jul 16, 2020 at 6:08 am

    I can believe there is 4 deg bounce taken off these soles?
    The soles are clean, but wow they are wideee
    Personally, as a sweeper and picker of the ball the soles I would have a mental block looking at the width of these, you could land a 747 on them…
    Still great article and insight on how these great players think and work, more of these articles please

    • Nick

      Jul 16, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      I feel the same way. I’m a picker and I have a hard time playing the I series. I had i25s and went into the i500 because of the thinner sole as I could actually take a divot and get better numbers

  3. Evan

    Jul 16, 2020 at 5:39 am

    Why would less bounce = higher launch and spin?

    • Dave

      Jul 16, 2020 at 6:37 am

      Evan – the ball will usually strike the face a touch higher with less bounce, popping the ball up a bit more. With the club going into the ground a bit steeper the ball will likely stay on the face a bit longer too, getting that extra friction and spin.

    • matt

      Jul 16, 2020 at 9:41 am

      it shouldn’t. yes it should increase launch, because the club is sliding lower under the ball. Impact (or exit point)will come a bit higher on the face due to more skidding up the face. This will reduce spin though. Something else was going on in that fitting. Less bounce almost always equals higher launch and less spin

      I’d also say I think playing with turf interaction is a pretty massive variable..

  4. Karsten's Ghost

    Jul 16, 2020 at 5:31 am

    Now THAT is a classy looking iron.

    Maybe you can order them “Hovland-style” from PingWRX?

  5. Josh

    Jul 15, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Pretty clean soles (ie no iron #) now that they ground the bounce off. Nice touch adding the iron # on backside of each club.

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Equipment

Best of 2021 U.S. Open gear

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The U.S. Open is once again upon us, and and company’s have pushed out the boat with some awesome gear to celebrate this year’s national championship.

Here we’ve highlighted some of the best U.S. Open-themed products that the big brand’s have served up for their players, as well as some gear you can get your hands on.

Footjoy Premiere Series Pacific Sunset Collection

Inspired by the vibrant sunsets of Southern California

Puma’sThe Rocco Collection’

Celebrating the U.S. Open and Torrey Pines, Puma athletes will be wearing items from ‘The Rocco Collection’ this week.

Callaway Staff Bag – Contest to win

U.S. Open Frosted Pint Glass – $13.99

TaylorMade Staff Bag – Contest to win

Srixon Staff Bag – Contest to win

Sik Golf Limited Edition Bryson DeChambeau US Open Commemorative putter – $2,999.99

Celebrating Bryson’s 2020 win, Sik’s US Open Commemorative model (274 available) is a SIK Pro C head with alignment aid on top rather than on the flange and a traditional plumber’s neck hosel.

2021 U.S. Open Commemorative T-Shirt – $39.99

 

 

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the best drivers for a beginner

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In our forums, our members have been discussing drivers for new players to the game. WRXer ‘KWatch’ is looking for a used driver and mentions his preference for TaylorMade, Callaway and Ping – with the latter getting plenty of approval from our members.

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

  • rjdivis: “Most places, i.e. Golf Galaxy, PGATSS, etc…, allow you to hit preowned drivers in store. If there is one nearby, this could be a good way to test them out. Prior gen TM, say Sim or M6, could be a good place to start. Same goes for the prior gen Callaway and Ping. I would likely go with the more forgiving, possibly even Draw based, heads. Sim Max, G400 max or G400 SFT are a few examples.”
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  • Markrip: “Cobra F7, 8 and 9 are all very forgiving drivers. Tour Edge Exs/Exs 220 are also very forgiving if you’re willing to look at other brands.”
  • Tommyboi95: “Anything Ping!”

Entire Thread: “Best drivers for a beginner?”

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (06/17/21): Nike Zoom TW 2012 shoes

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a pair of Nike Zoom TW 2012 shoes ($85)

From the seller (@pingman4): ” Brand new, in the original box and maybe one of Nike’s best shoes ever. Nike Zoom TW 2012 Black with the Nike Shoe bag. Size is 9 1/2 Wide. I had bought 4 pair of these and this is the last pair left. Never worn and ready for someone who still appreciates a great golf shoe – $85.00 shipped.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Nike Zoom TW 2012 shoes.

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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