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Interesting photos from Tuesday at the RBC Heritage – Part 2: Action around the course

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This week, the PGA Tour is decompressing in Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town and GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to spy a glimpse into the bags of some of the world’s top golfers. The field of 134 is getting ready to battle starting Thursday on the tight treeline Pete Dye designed course, for the $7.1 million purse with $1.28 million going to the winner.

In part one of this week’s “most interesting photos”, we covered putters, and for part two were covering everything else we spotted around the practice area and on the course.

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

We’ve all made that look

After hitting a drive off the first tee Tuesday during a practice round, (with his Titleist TSi3, and Patriot Editon Fujikura Ventus) Rory Sabbatini made the look saying either “kinda missed that one and it still got away with it” or “I smoked that!.”

Speaking of Rory, it looks like he has opted for a lighter-weight vessel carry bag this week, which, with a sponsor like Centinel Spine, is probably a great thing for his caddie’s back too.

Maverick is back to the Nikes

After some serious testing, of his Top Gun Proto Apex MB irons, including putting them into play during The Players, Maverick McNealy has gone back to his trusted Nike VR Blades for the RBC Heritage this week. It doesn’t mean he won’t continue testing, but for now, the VR’s are staying put.

Prototype PXG Gen4 irons spotted

It wasn’t that long ago PXG unveiled its Gen4 line of irons, but the one set that was missing compared to the previous generation was a new “ST” or Super Tour milled blade. The ST is a unique club in the PXG line since it doesn’t offer a hollow structure, and the only new blade currently is the 0211 ST, which doesn’t offer the adjustable weighting in the back and also comes at a much lower price point.

Based on the centrally positioned weight and the thin body of the irons we spotted in Wyndham Clark’s bag, it looks like some Gen4 0311 ST irons could be on their way.

Use them until the grooves are gone

Even into his 40’s, Paul Casey is playing some of the best golf of his life, and one of his biggest strengths continues to be his iron play. Paul is currently ranked 17th in strokes gained: approaching the green., and based on that stat alone I don’t think his Mizuno MP-5 irons are going anywhere soon.

Is Daniel Berger ready to move on from his 10-year old irons?

Although they are still in the bag based on this image, it looks like Daniel Berger’s 2011 TaylorMade MC irons could be on a short leash, since he was spotted with a new set out for testing.

Checking in on some cool old stuff

Consider this a regular check-in on Chris Kirk’s Callaway Big Bertha driver from 2016, and Jason Dufner’s Titleist 915F 21-degree 7-wood. Keep on keeping on!

I spy a Banksy

Based on his alignment stick cover, English golfer Tom Lewis is a Banksy fan.

Wait! Is Tom Lewis Banksy, and he just plays professional golf as a way to globetrot and cover the world in graffiti? Pretty clever if true…

Nick Watney

Like quite a few players on tour this week, it looks like Nick Watney is lightening the load for his caddie by swapping in a “tour” stand bag for the full-blown staff bag. I mean, if it was up to me as a caddie, I’d be throwing everything into a Sunday bag—it’s not like your player is gonna lose a dozen balls, right?

Bill Haas looks like the sneaky +4 at your club

Bill Haas has won over $30 million, on the PGA Tour in his career, but with the Titleist hat, RLX shirt, and his glasses, he also looks just like “Steve” from the club that never practices and somehow never shoots over 70 in the scratch events around town.

Anirban Lahiri is testing some irons

We spotted these Proto irons a little while back: ProTo Concept woods, irons & wedges – 2021, and it looks like they have made their way into Anirban Lahiri bag this week again for testing. Anirban is one of the last holdouts on tour using the Srixon Z945, and it could be that getting a replacement set isn’t in the cards based on their age.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

1 Comment

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  1. No Donkeys Allowed

    Apr 15, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    No pics of the Big Donkey Kuch? Kdouuuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuuuuuche, Kdouuuuuuche….

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Equipment

A deep dive into the development of Titleist T100 irons

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Since their introduction, Titleist T100 irons have been one of the most successful irons ever launched by the equipment manufacturer. Not only have they seen massive success on the PGA Tour by being at or near the top of the iron count since they were released, but they, along with the whole T-Series, have also made major waves with recreational players too.

As a complete gear junkie, and someone who has always had a fascination with the engineering and design process, I reached out to Titleist to get the inside scoop on the development of the popular iron and spoke with the team behind the T100.

titleist t100 irons

Ryan Barath: How long is your standard development cycle for irons, and was there any part of the process that was unique for the T100’s?

Titleist: At Titleist, we have a two-year product lifecycle, meaning we introduce new irons every two years. However, the creation timeline of new irons stretches well past those two years as we start working on early engineering three to five years before launch. In those early years, we focus on two areas

  • The first is the feedback we get from the best players in the world, our PGA Tour staff, what are they looking for to optimize their game.
  • The second is about researching the emerging types of engineering or material advances that our team can utilize in future performance enhancements. For T100 specifically, we started this process early as our stated goal was to create the best modern tour iron, ultimately replacing AP2 as the most played iron across global tours.

With T100 the goal was to give the club a tour-preferred look at address while retaining the solid feel and best in class overall performance. The response to T100 has been overwhelming as not only did we see AP2 players shift to T100, but so did many CB players helping T100 quickly become the new #1 iron across global tours.

RB: With the evolution of the players’ line beyond the MB and CB irons, what is the hardest part of making already great better? 

T: There are a couple of challenging things when improving tour irons. The first is that tour pros know exactly what they want an iron to look like in the address position. Generally, they want short, compact blade length, minimal offset, and a narrow top line.

Feel is also incredibly important and that comes from materials, engineering, and the sole for turf interaction. T100 stands out in all of these areas and delivers on both the look and feel players are looking for in an iron. The dual cavity design, combined with our tungsten toe and heel weighting, helps separate T100’s performance making it the true modern tour iron. This is an iron that has a blade-like look, feel, and versatility that tour players want, but also provides an extra degree of forgiveness and precision that players can take advantage of at the highest levels of the game.

RB: With tour player feedback being a crucial part of the process, how are players like Jordan Spieth involved in the discussion? Is it a wants vs needs discussion?

T: Tour player feedback is a key component in continuing to make our irons perform better as they give us input on size, shape, and performance attributes they are looking for such as launch and spin.

Jordan Spieth is one of the players we really enjoy working with as he gives very detailed feedback, especially on turf interaction. We worked extensively with Jordan and others to design a sole for T100 that would provide the turf interaction they are looking for. In fact, we have been working with Jordan on refinements to that sole for our next iteration of T100.

From a wants vs. needs standpoint, we try to give players all of their “wants” because that pushes our team to innovate and ultimately yields the best product.

Jordan’s “wants” in a new iron are for it to deliver consistent performance on every shot. He wants to be able to work the ball in both directions as well as control his launch window and spin. Jordan is also looking for a little bit of forgiveness as while he is one of the best ball strikers in the world, he still appreciates getting closer to his number when he doesn’t make perfect contact. This is where T100 really shines as even a player of Jordan’s caliber realizes the value of increased precision when his carry distance and spin are more consistent.

RB: As a follow-up, can it be difficult to have a player be critical of an iron they are currently playing when on the search for better?

T: In partnership with our PGA Tour team led by JJ Van Wezenbeeck, we believe we have our players in the best product for their game. But the constant quest for better is in large part what drives both our Tour players and our R&D team so we are always pushing them on what are they looking for in future products as we want to get better just as much as they do.

We love it when during the testing process when a player says, “I love this, can I keep it?” and it is a little disappointing to have to tell them “soon!” but it is worth it knowing that we have found something they really enjoy. And we know if the best players in the world have vetted an iron that the rest of us will love it too.

Another important thing to know is there are plenty of prototypes that we test that don’t work for the players and that feedback is just as valuable as it helps us refine or in some cases completely eliminate ideas. At the end of the day, we are fortunate to have such a large and diverse tour staff to rely on for insights, testing, and ultimately validation during our product creation process.

RB: The T100 and the T100s irons have demonstrated tremendous success all over the golf world from the PGA Tour down to everyday golfers. What are you most proud of with this iron?

T: It is incredibly rewarding to see the best players in the world have success with irons that we design, but it’s just as fun seeing the in bags of regular golfers when we are out playing. The T100 is a great iron as it is the perfect combination of performance, looks, and feel. We feel just as comfortable putting that iron in the hands of any single or even low double-digit handicap index golfer as we do Jordan Spieth.

That’s what I’m most proud of with this iron, that we’ve combined the look and feel of a tour iron, with modern technology that makes it playable for so many golfers.

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Whats in the Bag

Davis Love III WITB 2021 (April)

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Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X

3-wood: Titleist TSi3 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK 80 TX

Irons:Titleist U500 (3-4), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Elevate Tour

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 50-08F, 56-14F (@ 55 degrees), WedgeWorks 60-10K
Shafts: True Temper Elevate Tour

Putter: Scotty Cameron Masterful

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/15/21): Pinehurst Titleist LinksMaster

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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 an exclusive Pinehurst LinksMaster bag from Titleist. These bags are only offered to a select number of golf clubs and courses and are built to the highest quality.

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Pinehurst Titleist LinksMaster bag

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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