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Why do so many pros play blade irons but mallet putters? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing why professional golfers would choose to play blade irons but mallet putters. WRXer ‘2717B’ queries why players would opt for less forgiving options in their irons but desire more forgiveness on the greens, and our members have been having their say.

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.

  • bombs: “Blades, when struck well, are the most predictable in terms of carry, consistency and workability.”
  • gbartko: “I think forgiveness is more important with the putter. With an iron, you may be off a few yards but still on the green/in bounds/over the hazard. But a small miss with the putter means you miss the putt period.”
  • shortset: “I believe that the skill that carries players to the pro ranks is ball striking. Hence the blades. Tour players are not necessarily the best putters in the world hence the need for forgiving equipment.”
  • 1Mordrid1: “Less than 30% of PGA Tour players use blades, so pros and blades do not go hand in hand. The same reason that less pros are using blades now days is the same reason more players are using mallet putters. The stigma of what’s in the bag just does not matter much any more, as long as what is in the bag is working for them.”
  • greenwavegolfer: “There’s absolutely no downsides to a forgiving design on a putter whereas there’s a performance tradeoff between a blade and a chunky, forgiving GI type iron when you’re a pro looking for consistent ball speeds and spin control on good shots. They don’t want “flier” shots or reduced spin on irons, and that’s what dictates their choice of clubs. For a putter, they want what they can get a good roll with and align properly, and if that’s a mallet, it’s a mallet.”

Entire Thread: “Why do so many pros play blade irons but mallet putters?”

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Primal

    Sep 4, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Majority of “pros” use what they’re told too!

  2. Sean

    Sep 3, 2020 at 10:05 am

    The market influences what players use from the time they take up golf all the way to the tour. Take an old blade putter in its simplicity it would be very hard for OEM to charge big money for a blade like putter. One of the reasons they are not great putter are the putters alignment lines, they don’t encourage a arc stroke for a beginner or amateur.

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Whats in the Bag

Sam Burns WITB 2023 (January)

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Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 TX

4-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (17 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (21 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X

Irons: Callaway Apex TCB
Shafts: Project X 125 6.5

Wedges: Callaway Apex TCB (AW), Callaway Jaws MD5 (56-10S
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (AW), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (56)

Putter: Odyssey O-Works #7s Black
Grip: Odyssey

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

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Whats in the Bag

Aaron Wise WITB 2023 (January)

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Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15 @ 15.75)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 TX

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM2 MAX (19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 100 6.5

Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52-12F, 56-08M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Corza
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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Equipment

TOUR REPORT: Jason Day’s new Scotty Cameron, celebrity Ben Baller’s WITB, and Xander’s new 3-wood

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The West Coast swing continued this week on the cliffs of San Diego at Torrey Pines for the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open, and we caught up with some of the top players (and celebrities) in attendance to see what clubs are in their bag, and what changes they’re making.

As GolfWRX uncovered, Xander Schauffele, Jason Day and Justin Rose made equipment changes ahead of the event. We also caught up with famous celebrities Ben Baller and Gareth Bale to get glimpse at their equipment setups; both players competed in the Pro-Am on Wednesday. We also spotted some new equipment that players were testing, and we caught up with Gary Woodland to check out his new Cobra setup.

Let’s waste no more time and get right into this week’s Tour Report from the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

Check out all of our photos from Torrey Pines here

Day switches to a new blacked-out Scotty Cameron…and a 7-wood

Back at the 2022 Shriners Open in October, I caught up with Jason Day to learn why he switched into a Scotty Cameron putter for the first time in his career, and what he liked about his new rounded mallet putter. He said the previous putters he used in the last few years – TaylorMade’s Spider Tour, and Odyssey’s Toulon Daytona – sat a bit too square, and looked as if they were pointing left of the target. The rounder Scotty Cameron mallet looked to point a bit more to the right, helping him to start the ball on a better line.

Here’s a look at his original Scotty Cameron build:

Last week at The 2023 American Express, however, Day switched into a nearly identical head, except this time it was made with a “Tour Black” finish. He ended up finishing 2nd in Strokes Gained: Putting on the week, and we caught with him on Tuesday at the 2023 Farmers Insurance this week to get a look at the new putter for ourselves:

Could this be the putter that helps Day get his magic back on the greens?

I went into way more depth into the putter switch over on PGATOUR.com, so click the link if you’re interested. We also have more photos and discussion of the putter in our GolfWRX Forums.

For this week, due to the particularly heavy rough and firm greens at Torrey Pines, Day also put in a TaylorMade Stealth 7-wood, equipped with a Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 80X shaft. His caddie says he flies it about 245-250 yards and lands softly.

Check out more photos and discussion of Day’s switches here

Schauffele finally changes up his 3-wood

While Schauffele upgraded into a new Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond driver at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions, he kept his old Epic Speed Triple Diamond 3-wood in the bag that week. As we covered in our full story on PGATOUR.com, he struggles with 3-woods that spin too low when he hits a right-to-left shot; he doesn’t want the ball coming in too hot and not being able to hold the green.

Since then, however, he found a new Paradym Triple Diamond 3-wood setup that minimizes that concern. His new 16.5-degree HL fairway wood, which is actually bent down to 15.3 degrees, has helped Schauffele tighten spin variation due to the spin consistency across the face.

He put the new 3-wood into play on Wednesday at Torrey Pines.

Xander Schauffele’s full WITB at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open

Woodland’s new Cobra setup

Gary Woodland officially signed an equipment deal with Cobra at the beginning of 2023, and we finally got a first look at his full WITB setup as a full-time Cobra staffer at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open. Most notably, Woodland switched into a new set of Cobra King MB irons, which he said are “literally off the rack.”

Check out the rest of his 2023 WITB here

Hideki tests an all-new Graphite Design putter shaft

According to Graphite Design rep Erik Boysen, there have been only two prototypes made of a new Graphite Design putter shaft, and Matsuyama tested one of them this week at Torrey Pines. The shaft is designed to provide increased stiffness and stability throughout the stroke. While Matsuyama isn’t putting it in play just yet, we’ll certainly keep an eye on his putter shaft going forward, and keep an eye on Graphite Design to see how this product may progress.

Join the discussion about the new shaft prototype here

Ben is a Baller

Ben Baller is a famous actor/jeweler/designer/entrepreneur/avid golfer/TaylorMade staffer, and he was also on the winning Pro-Am team this week.

Ahead of his victorious round at Torrey Pines, we got a look at all the clubs in Baller’s bag.

We expected nothing less than an eye-popping custom Scotty Cameron Masterful putter, engraved with his name and paint-filled with Lakers yellow. Uniquely, though, Baller went with a driver-less setup to help avoid the rough at Torrey Pines, so he went with a top-end setup full of TaylorMade Stealth2 and Stealth fairway woods and hybrids.

He fills out his bag with TaylorMade Stealth irons, TaylorMade Hi-Toe wedges and custom TaylorMade golf balls with his logo on them.

Check out Ben Baller’s full WITB here

Kickin’ it with Gareth Bale

 

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Gareth Bale – a newly retired Welsh soccer player (or footballer, if you prefer) – also teed it up alongside Ben Baller on the winning Pro-Am team. While we didn’t get a chance to capture photos of every club in Bale’s bag, we managed to capture a few photos of his setup.

He doesn’t have a bad golf swing, either, especially for being a former world-class member of Real Madrid and Tottenham.

 

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Justin Rose switches drivers

The last time we caught up with Rose at the 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open, the equipment free agent had an old TaylorMade M2 2016 driver in the bag. He’s been conducting extensive driver testing recently, though.

This week, he ended up switching to a new Callaway Paradym 8.5-degree head, equipped with a Fujikura Ventus Black 6X shaft.

Justin Rose full 2023 WITB at Torrey Pines

Ben Martin’s new EvnRoll putter

Martin was previously using an old Guerin Rife mallet putter, but he switched into a new EvnRoll EV5.2 mallet putter at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open.

James Hahn shows up with a mixed bag

Former PXG staffer James Hahn has apparently gone the free agent route in 2023, since he showed up at Torrey Pines this week with a mixed-brand setup, which includes a Titleist driver, TaylorMade fairway wood, PXG hybrid, Callaway irons, Titleist Vokey wedges, and a Scotty Cameron putter.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Hahn’s new free agency and golf clubs

TaylorMade’s San Diego head covers

TaylorMade’s Carlsbad HQ is just down the road from Torrey Pines, so the company typically designs some San Diego-inspired headcover heat when the PGA Tour comes into town. The 2023 Farmers Insurance sunset versions certainly did not disappoint.

Unfortunately, the sun is also setting on this week’s Tour Report from Torrey Pines. We’ll see you next week as the Tour travels up the West Coast to Pebble Beach.

Check out all of our photos from Torrey Pines here

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