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Brian Gay on what we might expect from the new Pro V1 and Pro V1x

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“Tactician” is the first word that comes to mind when I hear Brian Gay’s name. He has never been a long hitter rather finding success plotting around the golf course and letting his putter and wedges do the talking.

If you want to put Brian Gay in a bucket, he would fall in the Kevin Na, Ryan Moore, Brendan Todd, Zach Johnson category…even Collin Morikawa could fit in there. These are precision-first players.

With the Bryson Effect, players like Gay, in theory, should be dying out little by little, but that hasn’t been the case. In fact, it’s gone the other way.

The “shorter” hitters are finding advantages in other places, and I believe that the golf ball provides more benefit to these players than the big hitters.

In an interview Brian Gay did with Titleist earlier this week, he discussed the different nuances of how he chooses a golf ball and gave us a little insight into what we may expect with the new Pro V1/X series.

Titleist: You put the new Pro V1 in play at Shriners. How do you come to the decision to change into a new golf ball – the one piece of equipment you use on every shot?

Brian Gay: Great question. The Titleist guys sent some of the new golf balls to my home in September, but I didn’t really get to even test them out before I went to Vegas. I didn’t play Puntacana and then the next week was Sanderson Farms. I was intending to play there but my lower back was kind of locked up and I couldn’t go. So, I just took the new golf balls with me to Vegas, practiced and played with them for a couple of days and told the guys I’m was in, “I’m going to play the new Pro V1 this week.”

I’d been using the Pro V1x Left Dash most of the last two years or so. I did play the 2019 Pro V1 when it first came out and even the 19X a little bit. But I found the New Pro V1 incredible. It’s super soft. I love the soft feel, especially with the putter. I thought it worked very well in the wind. The other thing, like I was saying, I’ve been working on my wedge game shots, say 50 to 100 yards, and it really flights nicely. I like that. The Left Dash is a higher flying ball and I was able to hit more low spinner shots with the New Pro V1 with my wedges.

Titleist: How do you prioritize what you are looking for in a golf ball?

Brian Gay: Being more of a short game player, not a power player, it’s important to me how the golf ball reacts on short shots. However, I am still concerned about distance, and that was what I loved about the Pro V1x Left Dash when it came out. When I tested it, I hit it higher and a little further from my mid-irons on up, yet I still was getting the spin with my wedges. It was just more of a feel thing versus spin and a little bit higher flight with the New Pro V1. Honestly, it’s a combination. Does it spin the right amount with my irons? The new Pro V1 was super soft. I love that feel. And I don’t feel like I lost any distance. It’s still going as far as the other ones, so I thought it was a good mix.

Titleist: So how much does distance come into play and how did this distance compare to the Left Dash?

Brian Gay: Distance does come into play. Like I said, I didn’t get a chance to really do extensive testing at home before I went to Vegas with it. I just took it out on the course. I did hit some drivers on the Trackman on the range. I did a little bit of comparison on the course, but I loved the feel of it. I know what the best numbers are on my driver and I was getting the same numbers with it. So I didn’t feel like I was giving anything up.

It’s easy to look at the long hitters and try to emulate what they do. However, if you really want to get better, paying attention to what Gay, Champions Tour players, and the LPGA is where you will find actual real-world nuggets to implement into your own game. All golf ball makers these days have great product,t and understanding what each ball really does and how it enhances your particular game is as important as anything. For me personally, it’s always ball first, clubs second.

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2 Comments

  1. Lame

    Nov 7, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    How much did titleist pay for y’all to run this?

    • John Wunder

      Nov 9, 2020 at 7:19 am

      3 Beyblades and a Wally Joyner rookie card.

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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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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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