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GolfWRX Insider: Europe’s next star Sam Horsfield (WITB)

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Sam Horsfield has risen to the top of every class he has played in. From a young standout in the UK system to a dominant player at the University of Florida, and now, after being on tour since 2017, finally catching fire on the European Tour with two wins over that last three weeks.

Yes, there are many young players in the game who have serious potential, but I believe this situation to be different.

Horsfield is not a big kid by any stretch, standing only 5’10” and weighing 170 pounds. As far as physical stature goes, he’s more Rory than Rahm or Bryson. However, he (like Rory) has ridiculous speed naturally and has a swagger about him much like a lot of the Euro players we see at the top today (namely Rory, Rahm, and Tommy Fleetwood).

NEWPORT, WALES – AUGUST 16: Sam Horsfield of England plays his tee shot on the sixth hole during Day four of the Celtic Classic at the Celtic Manor Resort on August 16, 2020 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

The funny thing is, he’s actually two or three years behind schedule, which is odd to say. When he turned pro, Horsfield was a Nike athlete—and immediately they went out of the club business. He was full-bag Nike for his entire career, so he had to find his feet equipment-wise on day one of turning pro. That’s a huge challenge to add to an already stressful and massively difficult time for a young player.

His birdie and eagle counts on the European Tour are off the charts. Being a UK player raised in the U.S., he is already used to playing the bigger ballparks you see in the States—so that the adjustment period will be short.

To me, it’s a foregone conclusion that Sam gets into the top 10 in the OWGR sooner rather than later (currently No. 80). He has that presence about him. My needle these days is the tour reps. Every once in a while they will tell me about a player who just has it, and according to my sources, what Sam has is very special. This kid is the real deal.

Sam Horsfield WITB

Sam Horsfield’s bag, Hotel Room Edition, from Celtic Manor in Wales 8/21/2020

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @8.75, 1-degree sleeve)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70 TX

  • Sam has mega speed. He cruises in tournament play at around 184-185 mph, but in testing, it will get to 190 with little effort. 

3-wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees @15.5)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD VR 8 X (42.75 inches, D2, tipped 1.5 inches)

5-wood: TaylorMade M6 (18 degrees @18.5)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD VR 8 X (42.25 inches, D3, tipped 2 inches)

  • As you can see in the metal woods, Sam likes adding loft to the woods to the desired face angle. Like Collin Morikawa, he prefers a look less open then the tour norm.

Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4), TaylorMade P7TW (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS C Taper 130X (Std length, 3.5 degrees flat, D4.5 swing weight)

  • Sam’s irons are VERY flat vs standard 57.5 degrees in the 5-iron. In regards to the P7TW, like Tommy Fleetwood, they have a similar look and feel to the Nike blades both played coming up and the spin and ball flight with those irons were spot on. Sam also prefers draw-biased clubs (lofted up metal woods) and with the long blade length of the P7TW, he feels the optics help him see that shot.

Wedges: TaylorMade MG Raw (52-9, 56-12 @55-11, 60-9 @59-8)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

Putter: Bettinardi Dass BBZero (@33.75 inches)

Ball:  Titleist Pro V1x

England’s Sam Horsfield on the 6th during day four of the Celtic Classic at Celtic Manor Resort. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

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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

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. 190cc forever

    Oct 9, 2020 at 6:20 am

    The detail you provide Johnny is just what everyone wants on this site. The more detail the better. Its really interesting to know the specifics, not just the make and model, which seems all too common these days.

  2. Adam

    Aug 23, 2020 at 12:38 am

    The analysis on different sections of his bag was great. Enjoyable read!

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Equipment

The most popular golf hitting nets on Amazon right now (Fall 2020 edition)

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What are the most popular golf hitting nets 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 hitting nets on Amazon as of October 2020.

1. GoSports Golf Practice Hitting Net

From the listing:Improve your swing both indoors or outdoors with this portable at-home golf hitting net (mat not included). Beware of other nets made by foreign companies with no real golf experience. The GoSports golf net was designed in the US and is made by golfers for golfers. Incredibly durable reinforced nylon net with innovative golf ball return feature for added convenience and increased golf swing practice time – no more chasing balls.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

2. FUNME Golf Hitting Net with Target Sheet Golfing Portable Swing Training Aids

From the listing:Golf net practice is made of high intensity nylon and high quality polyester,oxford built the base and the net Golf driver net is wide-opened tent, 9.8ft W x 5.9ft H x 6.5ft D. Perfect for indoor and outdoor use.Like backyard and indoor.Available in two sizes, adults or kids,every golf net has a durable carry bag. Designed with large hitting area and target sheet, this golf net target sheet can better helps beginner improve swing, ball striking and strength, helping you become a professional golf player.”

Price: $60.99

Buy here.

3. Heavy Duty Golf Net 

From the listing:Once the net is setup the hitting area 10 feet wide by 7 feet tall. This will give you plenty of room to hit any club from a driver to a lob wedge and hit the net. You can use this net as and indoor golf net or the backyard, at a park, in a garage, in the basement, at any field. Simply setup and start swinging. You can setup and take down this net in minutes. You will swing in minutes. When you finish practicing and training you can collapsible in minutes and place in the supplies carry bag.”

Price: $79.99

Buy here.

4. MESIXI Pop Up Golf Chipping Net

From the listing:The chipping net is not that easy to get flimsy with enhanced design. TWO Color: Very classic colors: red and blue. Pick your favorite color and show off to your friends. NO-BLOW-AWAY DESIGN: We sent 8 ground nails with the pack to spin the net and hitting mats to the ground. No blow away anymore.”

Price: $39.99

Buy here.

5. RELILAC Pop Up Golf Chipping Net

From the listing:Your Rolilac Golf Chipping Net is a perfect compact and versatile chipping training aid. It features multiple pockets and targets to improve your short distance pitching accuracy and keep challenging yourself. Best for golfers of all levels! Your Rolilac Golf Chipping Net can be packed in a 1.2 ft. handbag, and weighs a mere 1 lbs. Since it’s lightweight, foldable and portable, You can play golf whenever and wherever (backyards, parks, on the course and more) you want, indoor/outdoor day&night without weather limitation.”

Price: $19.99

Buy here.

6. SAPLIZE Golf Practice Net with Hitting Mat

From the listing:The dimensions of the net is up to 10ft (L) X 7ft(D) X 7ft(H)?large , light but stable. Increasing 30% area of chipping training curtain gives more protection of driving practice. Support driving and chipping practice. Hitting Mat is also included in the the package. The net is made of high impact polyester fabric and oxford cloth with good anti-tearing characteristics. Ideal golf nets for all golfers and can be used for training at indoor, backyard, outdoors, etc.”

Price: $79.99

Buy here.

7. Aoneky Golf Sports Practice Barrier Net

From the listing:Reinforced with a 1/4″ rope border along perimeter. Knotless mesh construction, rugged durability and premium quality. Hang/Install from vertical poles, cables/wires, structures, fences/trees, hooks. Works great as a barrier for homes or outdoors to practice shots with irons.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

8. SUNHOO Pop-up Golf Chipping Net with Dual Turf Hitting Mat

From the listing:Sunhoo golf chipping net Combo comes with the Lawn Saver Mat, practice Golf Ball and removable Rubber Tee, greatly save your shopping time and shipping cost. The golf net measures 12” by 12” only when folded, 25” by 25” after fully open; Really portable to carry thanks to the collapsible design.”

Price: $39.88

Buy here.

9. IPOW Golf Practice Net

From the listing:IPOW Golf Training Net adopts the super-strong 210D encrypted Oxford cloth, 170g / yard polyester mesh, and 11mm fiber poles, which makes it able to handle all kinds of severe weather and heavy use. Save Your Time & Energy: The uneven bottom design (high on both sides, low in the middle) is to allow all your shots to be collected into the net, avoiding the trouble of picking up the ball frequently.”

Price: $69.99

Buy here.

10. Club Champ Golf Practice Net

From the listing:9-feet wide by 7-feet tall. Net stops the hardest of shots. Sturdy, weather-resistant nylon net. Plated steel poles lock together. Easy set up and take down.”

Price: $19.97

Buy here.

Alternatively, find out how to build your own hitting net and simulator in Ryan Barath’s guide here.

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WRX Insider: Inside the bag of Ryan Palmer

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Ryan Palmer has seen a bit of a career resurgence in the last 9-12 months. The four-time PGA Tour winner has always been known as one of the most consistent ball strikers out there, but even more, a player who stays ridiculously loyal to his clubs.

Case in point: The irons he played before his current set. Palmer cycled through multiple sets of Titleist AP2 710’s for almost nine years. In that time, Titleist introduced four iterations of the AP2.

“Why would he do this?” you ask. “Because they worked,” is the answer.

The same can be said for multiple drivers, 3-woods, and 5-woods that stayed in the bag for 3-4 years at a time.

It might not seem like a big deal but on tour it is. OEMs cycle in new gear almost every year, and these days the equipment improves from cycle to cycle, so having a player like Palmer stick to certain parts for so long is a bit of a rarity. The only other players I know who do it at this rate would be Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer.

RP and I have become friends over the past couple of years, and his approach to equipment is what every golfer should aspire to: it has to work. And if it does, don’t ditch it until it breaks or something comes around that is significantly better.

Over the past 9 months, Ryan has made more changes to his bag than any over the past decade. He replaced a driver, a four-year-old 3-wood (M2), and a five-year-old 5-wood (R15).

But as you will see when we look a bit closer, the changes have been for the better in every capacity.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees, Upright Setting, 18G Back weight)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke RDX USA Limited Edition 60 6.5 (D4, Tipped 1″, 45.25 Inches) 

“This combo was good from the start. Faster and longer than my M6 setup. I wanted to draw it a little easier than my M6. We dialed it in with Shawn Mullin and True Temper. It started more left than I wanted, so Adrian went to work to help correct my start line. I still wanted to hit my fade off the tee. He went and changed the sleeve to half-degree flatter and boom…was exactly what I was looking for. I’m excited about what this driver has. Faster, longer, and more stable. Even my mishits are longer and not as offline. With the help of Shawn and True Temper and the great mind of Adrian, we dialed it in. Getting longer at 44 will add to the excitement 2021 will hold.”

According to TaylorMade’s Senior Tour Manager Adrian Rietveld

“The main fix was I found a sleeve that sat max 1/2 flatter for the driver, and I bent loft onto his 3-wood without telling him before I ran it out to him on the course. I knew the 3-wood was near perfect, and when he asked for a backup driver exactly the same, I knew that was money too. He is as good off the tee as anyone—in my top 10 for sure.”

3-wood: TaylorMade Sim Max ([email protected] degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke Green “Hulk” 70 6.5 (D4, Tipped 1.5″, 43 Inches)

According to Ryan, his old 3-wood was just fine, but it took a lot of work to turn it over, so on a hole like 13 at Augusta, he couldn’t hit the shot he wanted, with the SIM Max, not only can he turn it over at will, he has every other shot. Rietveld simply added .5 degrees of loft to get spin up a bit. RP says off the tee he can get 280-290 out of this no problem and is champing at the bit to get to Augusta with it.

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke RDX 80 6.5 (D4, Tipped 2″, 42 Inches)

How did this 5-wood finally bump the trusty R15 out of the bag? “It does everything way better. I loved my old 5-wood because I trusted it with multiple shots. When Adrian dialed me into this one, I added even more versatility to it and some distance, which I’ll never run away from.”

Irons: Srixon ZU85 (23), Srixon Z 785 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Elevate VSS Pro X (4), KBS Tour 130 X (5-PW)

After his final set of 710 AP2 irons basically keeled over and died, RP tested a few sets and fell in love with the turf interaction of the Z785.

“I already get into the ground fine, so I like irons with a bit of bounce to add some speed through the turf. Once I had a chance to get around with these at home, it was pretty clear that they were an ideal replacement to the 710. Now I just hope I can stockpile 20 sets.”

His U85 came after some testing with the Z585 4-iron he played for a few months. He liked but didn’t love that iron for a few reasons but it was a shaft test with the U85/Elevate combo that won him over.

“I was at a tournament and finally brought this combo out to try and VERY quickly knew it was a gamer. I can hit it up/down/left/right and it flies to my number with a nice descent angle. It’s the first time I’ve had that much versatility with a club between my 5-wood and 5-iron. The shaft was the key—it’s simply awesome.”

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-08F, 56-10S @55, 60-04L)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X (50), KBS Tour 120 S (56, 60)

SPECS Length/Lie/SW

According to Vokey’s Aaron Dill, Palmer is fairly low maintenance when it comes to his wedges.

“RP is a pure feel player with impeccable tempo. It may look like he’s gliding thru the ball but with his lag and great hands, he not only creates great speed at the bottom when he needs to but can also take a lot off with little thought. The only real tweak we have made lately is going to a softer shaft (KBS 120 S) in his 55/60. This helps with feel obviously but also added a bit more spin out of those shorter shots.”

Putter: Odyssey Rossie II

“I tried some different putters over the past year or so, but this one just has so much history for me. I’ve used it since college, and no matter what, I can always go back to it and feel at home.”

– Ryan Palmer

Grip: Flat Cat

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

58R/+3 wraps/Logo Down

  • ONLY WADE LILES on TM truck does his grips, no one else.

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x ‘21

“I’m killing this thing. It’s really fast off the driver.”

Carry Distance (Stock) 

Driver: 295

  • Swing speed: 117 (Stock) 120 (Hard)
  • Ball speed: 175 (Stock) Low 180 (Hard)
  • Spin: 2100-2200 (Stock) 1800-1900 (Hard)
  • Launch: Try to stay at 12-13 degrees

3-wood: 265 carry off ground. 275 carry off tee

5-wood: 245 off ground. Stinger 5-wood flies 230-240 and runs out to 270-280

U: 225

5: 200-205

6: 190

7: 175-180

8: 165

9: 152-155

PW: 142-145

50 degree: 130

56 degree: 115

60 degree: 92-95

 

 

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Whats in the Bag

Wyndham Clark WITB (October 2020)

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Driver: PXG 0811 Proto (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana TB 60 TX

Hybrid: PXG 0317 Gen 1 (17 degrees @15.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White HY 90 TX

Irons: PXG 0211 FB Proto (3-9)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 130 X

Wedges: PXG 0311 Sugar Daddy (46), Sugar Daddy Milled (52 degrees @51, 56, 60 degrees @61)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 130 X

Putter: PXG Gunboat

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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