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Arnold Palmer Invitational Tour Truck Report: Rickie’s iron experiments continue, MMT train rolls on, Rose tests a ton

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The fleet of tour trucks arrived southwest of Orlando this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

It’s an appropriate place to be digging into the nuances of pro golfers’ gear, given the club building, tinkering, and general gear junkie-hood of the tournament’s namesake, Arnold Palmer, whose 10,000 club-filled workshop is gear nut’s cave of wonders.

Let’s dig into the tweaks and wholesale switches we’re hearing about at the King’s place.

Titleist

Byeong Hun An plugged a Mitsubishi MMT Utility 125 TX shaft in his Titleist U500 2-iron.

Bernd Wiesberger is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD DI9 TX shaft (tipped 1.5 inches) in his TSi2 3-wood as he searches for more of a consistent cut ball flight. His current gamer features a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 8 TX shaft with the same tipping.

Denny McCarthy, Robert Streb, and Byeong Hun An are all testing new Project X EvenFlow RipTide shafts (which began tour seeding in late January).

And on a related note, while we haven’t heard specifics of anyone putting one in play, we spotted prototype Scotty Cameron 11.5 putters that feature an expanded range of sight lines (more photos here).

Vokey

The report from @vokeywedgerep: “Tons of fresh wedges this week anticipating firm and fast greens at Bay Hill as well as prep for The Players. Many players checked loft and lies, also.”

Bernd Wiesberger has a fresh set of wedges and Byeong Hun An added a 60T SM8.

Doug Ghim, who is usually in an SM8 60-08AD+, is going with a different grind/bounce profile this week: 60-06K.

Patton Kizzire switched to a 52M Proto.

JT Poston is switching to SM8 56-10S reducing some bounce on his wedge (from 56-14).

Jazz Janewattananond may have some of the most unique wedge stampings on tour. Gotta love the skateboard tricks (and the skateboarder stamped by AD) on the 60T!

 

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A post shared by Aaron Dill (@vokeywedgerep)

Callaway

Both Kevin Kisner and Matt Every have switched into Mitsubishi MMT iron shafts (125 TX) as the composite iron shaft surge continues (more on the MMT shafts here).

Francesco Molinari is testing a Callaway Epic Speed (Triple Diamond) driver.

Tyler McCumber has a fresh set of MMB irons.

Sam Burns is in an Epic Speed LS driver with a Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X shaft (and going down three swingweight points, D6 to D3)

Marc Leishman moved into an Epic Speed 4-wood with a Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X shaft.

Matt Wallace is putting an Epic Speed driver (9 degrees) in the bag with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X shaft.

Maverick McNealy is gaming “Proto Top Gun irons” (that we are eager to get a look at!) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Ping

Tyrrell Hatton is testing a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X (tipped 1.5 inch) shaft in his G425 driver. Compared to his gamer, Hatton saw an increase in ball speed, more consistent spin, and less curve to the right.

Cobra

Jason Dufner testing a prototype 3D-printed Cobra putter “Agera.” It seems to feature the same SIK Descending Loft Technology (DLT) as the King Supersport-35.

Rickie Fowler returned to his Rev33 irons—albeit with some fresh grinding to the soles of the sticks. Have we arrived at Rev34?

TaylorMade

Pretty quiet on the TM front—save for some superb limited AP headcovers.

 

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A post shared by Chris Trott (@trottiegolf)

Robert MacIntyre is taking the full SIM2 plunge: SIM2 Max driver, SIM2 Titanium 3-wood, SIM2 Rescue (19.5 degrees).

Tommy Fleetwood is gaming the 2021 TP5x ball.

PXG

Jim Herman is testing a PXG Gen4 driver with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6X (tipped 1 inch).

Zach Johnson was testing a Gen4 driver as well.

Scott Garrison/KBS

Jordan Spieth got a new SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0 grip on his Scotty Cameron 009 putter.

 

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A post shared by GolfWRX (@golfwrx)

Bryson DeChambeau’s SIK Pro C got a loft and lie check.

Free agents

Justin Rose is looking at new blade-style prototype Axis1 Rose putter models—as well as both Mizuno MP-5 and MP-18 irons—in addition to Ping G425 5 and 7-woods (both LST and MAX) with Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange shafts.

A final note: If you’re wondering what 1990 champion Robert Gamez will be playing, here’s a look—Wilson D7 irons, Wilson Staff blades, multiple Cleveland RTX wedge varieties, and a T.P. Mills flatstick. Nice!

Check out all our photos from Bay Hill, here.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. ForeRightPecky

    Mar 7, 2021 at 5:29 am

    Love seeing what the guys are up to before we get the trickle down at retail. MMT shafts gonna get a look to get out of the X100s as my bones get older

  2. JP

    Mar 6, 2021 at 10:59 am

    These weekly reports are awesome!

  3. No Donkeys?

    Mar 4, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Kdouuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuuuche….Where’s the big donkey?

    • gwelfgulfer

      Mar 6, 2021 at 12:29 am

      Was lame 2 years ago…

    • Your bud Joe Biden

      Mar 23, 2021 at 10:49 am

      Yeah I don’t like someone why aren’t they here in front of my face?!!?!?!?!!!!! Worse than those TDS anti-orange liberals

  4. T

    Mar 4, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Funny out Cobra “finally” gets to Rev33 for Rickie’s “perfect” irons, release them to the public, then Rickie goes and changes them again. Rickie is a great player but, sheesh, he sure is in search mode right now.

  5. Tim

    Mar 3, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    Pretty sure Homa used a Phantom 11.5 to win Genesis.

    • Ben Alberstadt

      Mar 3, 2021 at 9:28 pm

      He did. It’s the alignment options that we’re seeing for the first time.

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Tour News

Valero Texas Open Tour Truck Report: Stenson back in Diablo, Rickie’s limited-edition driver, latest AutoFlex-er

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With the Masters next week, players who have punched their tickets to Augusta National will be making the proverbial “final tune-ups” to gear and games at TPC San Antonio.

Those who are without an iconic Masters invitation card have but one path into the field of the first major of the year: a Valero Texas Open victory.

Accordingly, there’s a whiff of desperation blowing in the Texas wind. Even players who can count themselves among the fortunate next week are searching—such as Henrik Stenson, who is returning to his beloved Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood.

As a reminder, you can check out all our photos from the Valero Texas Open here

Callaway

Phil Mickelson is testing a new prototype version of the PM Grind wedge. Unfortunately, Callaway is mum on any further details!

Also on the Phil phront: Mickelson put a Fujikura Ventus Black 6 TX shaft in his Mavrik driver.

As mentioned in the introduction, Henrik Stenson has shelved his Mavrik 3-wood in favor of his immortal beloved, Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood.

Stenson is also gaming an Odyssey 2-Ball Ten putter.

Branden Grace is testing an AutoFlex shaft.

Titleist

Bernd Wiesberger is testing a new TSi2 13.5-degree fairway wood with a TPT Hi 14 shaft (he’s currently gaming a 15-degree TSi2).

Lanto Griffin moved into a TSi3 (10 degrees, D4 SureFit setting).

Chesson Hadley is testing a TSi3 (10 degrees). He’s seeing better control and increased ball speed. (Hadley is currently in a 10-degree TSi2).

An update, of sorts—and an aesthetically pleasing one—on Byeong Hun An’s 60-T

 

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A post shared by Aaron Dill (@vokeywedgerep)


Cleveland/Srixon

Graeme McDowell is testing Mitsubishi MMT iron shafts.

Cobra

Rickie Fowler has the limited edition Cobra Palm Tree Crew (PTC) RadSpeed XB in play.

Jason Dufner is testing Mitsubishi MMT iron shafts in his King Cobra Forged CB irons.

Scott Garrison (SEG Golf)

Brian Gay had a KBS Hybrid shaft installed in his TaylorMade SIM2

KJ Choi added a LAGP shaft to his Cobra RadSpeed driver.

Gary Woodland had new KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 Black wedge shafts installed

Sam Bennett’s Bettinardi BB8 raw putter got a LAGP putter shaft and SuperStroke grip.

Free agents

Charl Schwartzel has his old Nike wedges back in the bag.

Equipment free agent extraordinaire Ryan Moore swapped out his Mizuno MP-18 irons for Ping Blueprint.

As a reminder, you can check out all our photos from the Valero Texas Open here

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Tour Photo Galleries

Most interesting photos from Tuesday at the 2021 Valero Texas Open – Part 2

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This week, the PGA Tour is at TPC San Antonio on the Oaks Course for the Valero Texas Open. GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to catch a glimpse into the bags of some of the world’s top golfers.

The field of 144 is getting ready to battle starting Thursday for the $7.7 million purse, with $1.386 million going to the winner. The tournament is also the last event where players can qualify for The Masters, just like Canadian Corey Conners did last year.

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Hunter Mahan going “G”

OSU—Oklahoma State University—is a golf powerhouse. Golfers from OSU who have gone on to great professional careers include Charles Howell III, Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland, and of course one of the “OG’s” Hunter Mahan who also happens to by playing a Ping combo set with a new G425 long iron.
Yeah, I shoehorned all that in there.

Charles Howell’s bag is a treasure trove of gadgets

Charles’ bag includes an Orange Whip, alignment sticks, extra alignment sticks, extra driver shafts, and multiple putters. This is why gearhead golfers love CH3.

Phil loves to flex

 

Phil Mickelson will always be a showman, and this week as he tunes up for Augusta National he was flexing all kinds of gear on the range at TPC San Antonio.

  • Three drivers in the bag
  • Custom Callaway alignment stick cover
  • Double launch monitor/iPad set up
  • His own “Air Phil” logo on his shoes
  • And how can we forget those calves?

The second coming of the 2-Ball is upon us

I can remember it like yesterday. It was the summer of 2001, I just got a brand new set of irons, I was working at a golf course and playing every single day, and the Odyssey 2-Ball had just been released. That putter was everywhere, and 20 years later in 2021, I have those same feelings all over again—minus the whole “working at a golf course and playing every day” thing.

The new Odyssey 2-Ball Ten is all over professional golf right now, and we spotted more than one on the putting green in Texas.

Hideki gonna Hideki

Here is your weekly reminder that Hideki Matsuyama “out gears” every other golfer on tour when it comes to the weekly testing of driver shafts and putters.

Branden Grace is looking to go “Auto”

Branden Grace, how sweet the swing,
So flowing and so free,
The AutoFlex shaft, he is trying,
Might be the final key….for him to win for the second time this season.

Branden already won this year at the Puerto Rico Open and in Texas this week he was on the range deep into testing with the AutoFlex shaft in his Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond.

Japan forged Apex MB’s still going strong

The very limited edition “Japan forged” Callaway Apex MB’s which were originally made exclusively for Francesco Molinari have still been finding a place on the tour—and my goodness, they look fantastic.

Fluff is like the Energizer Bunny

Famous PGA Tour caddy Mike “Fluff” Cowan is 73 years young, looking fit, and still an absolute boss!

You don’t always need a staff bag

Luke Donald was seen grinding away on the range, and lucky for his caddie, Luke’s rig has been made a little bit lighter this week by swapping out the traditional staff bag with a tour stand bag instead.

It’s True, seriously

Former Ping staffer turned free agent, turned Scratch Golf staffer and part-owner, turned free agent, turned PXG staffer, turned free agent once again Ryan Moore has been playing a mixed bag that included Ping Blueprint irons, and an ever-changing array of wedges and woods.

The one constant for Ryan is his dedication to his True Linkswear shoes (a company he co-owns with his brother), and his love for his alma mater UNLV. This is why Ryan Moore is a True GolfWRX gear head legend!

It’s BACK!!!

It’s no secret Henrik Stenson has been struggling recently on the course, and like many golfers, it appears that he is looking to right the ship, or at least free it from the banks of the Suez Canal of poor play by going back to his faithful Diablo Tour strong 3-wood.

The mega combo set

Canadian Adam Hadwin isn’t well known as being a gearhead in the traditional sense, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t afraid to mix things up. His iron set is a combo of three different models which include the Apex MB, Apex TCB, and an older model Apex UT.

The graphite godfather is in the field

Everyone made a big fuss when Bryson went to all graphite in his clubs, but the true modern graphite iron shaft godfather is KJ Choi. He has used a variety of graphite iron shafts going back to 2003 and he has a yet-to-be-identified set in his Srixon ZX7’s.

You know, maybe there is something to graphite iron shafts and weight lifting, since it has been well documented KJ Choi was a competitive powerlifter in his teens before turning his attention to golf. So before we give Bryson all the credit for beefing up and using graphite shafts, we should remember KJ was doing it before Bryson was in diapers.

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

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Most interesting photos from Tuesday at the 2021 Valero Texas Open

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This week, the PGA Tour is at TPC San Antonio on the Oaks Course for the Valero Texas Open. GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to catch a glimpse into the bags of some of the world’s top golfers.

The field of 144 is getting ready to battle starting Thursday for the $7.7 million purse, with $1.386 million going to the winner. The tournament is also the last event where players can qualify for The Masters, just like Canadian Corey Conners did last year.

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Cobra guys sticking together

Both Rickie and J-Duf, played a practice round together and showed off their unique bags full of Cobra gear. Rickie is playing the new Palm Tree edition RadSpeed XB, while Jason has his trusty F9 bag in the bag.

Oldies but goodies

Looks like Daniel Berger isn’t the only golfer on tour with an affinity for 2011 TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons. We spotted those along with some PXG Gen2 X long irons in the bag of David Hearn. Charl Schwartzel also has a very mixed bag with some older gear including Miura 001 blade irons—and Nike VR Pro wedges!

Are you team site line or dot?

Site line preferences are all over the map on tour, and we caught some prime examples of two of the most popular options. On the top, we have a Toulon San Diego with a topline site dot, and on the bottom, Jimmy Walker is using a classic Newport 2 style with a flange site line.

Hold still now

This is a classic drill to help reduce head movement during the swing, and this caddie is demonstrating the perfect technique.

Pat Perez’s shoe game is HOT!

Pat Perez is one of the biggest sneakerheads on tour, and he also happens to be a Jordan athlete. That means fresh kicks all the time including these custom 2020 Jordan 35’s with the TW13 “Free” soles.

Mizuno JPX900 Tours still going strong

Vaughn Taylor continues to use the irons that kick-started the Mizuno JPX revolution on tour when Brooks Koepka won the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Game improvement = game improvement

Longer iron with less loft are harder to hit – it’s just physics. It’s the reason why combo sets like the one Greyson Sigg has are so popular with many golfers on tour. Greyson has replaced his long irons with Mizuno JXP919 Hot Metal Pros.

New irons and new ferrules

Adam Schenk was working with some new Ping irons on the range, but what makes them unique is their “ringed” ferrules. Ping has never done custom-style ferrules from factory before, so either they have started a small program with their tour players, or these irons were built by someone other than Ping.

Getting those Masters vibes

Although Luke List isn’t yet qualified for the 2021 Masters, his putter headcover which showcases some of the most popular menu items from Augusta National’s famous concession stands is giving off plenty of vibes. Maybe it’s a good omen for this week to be the last golfer to sneak into the field.

Texas well represented

I wouldn’t call a more than four-hour drive from Fort Worth to San Antonio a quick trip, but either way, it’s cool to see a “local” SMU Mustang in the field. SMU also happens to be the Alma Mater of the reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.

Lust for rust

Robby Shelton likes to keep it clean as far as stamping is concerned on his Vokey wedges, but when it comes to glare reduction, he trusts the rust!

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

 

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