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Wells Fargo Championship Tour Truck Report: Rory’s new (old) irons, Bryson’s proto 2-wood, Jason Day is SIK

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The tour trucks rolled into North Carolina this week for the Wells Fargo Championship. With the second major of the season — the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course — just two weeks away, players are keen to fine tune (if things are going well) or find answers (if things are going…less well).

For example, searching for answers and 98th in strokes gained: putting, Jason Day was spotted grinding away on a Quail Hollow putting green with a SIK Flo C-Series putter in hand and an EyeLine Mirror at his feet. The long-time TaylorMade Spider devotee was acclimating himself to the flatstick’s unique Descending Loft Technology.

If you’re unfamiliar, the company describes the tech as follows

“We have four flat surfaces that are milled into our putter face. Each plane descends in loft by 1° from the top of the face to the bottom of the face. When your shaft is pressed at impact the ball contact will be higher on the face, same is true in reverse. DLT delivers consistent launch angles from putt to putt which lead to more consistent and predictable rolls.”

Beyond J-Day, also in the department of seekers, Rory McIlroy, who already reverted from P7MB irons to P730 this season, is rumored to be turning back the clock even further.

Specifically, the Ulsterman was spotted with his 2017 TaylorMade Rors Proto irons.

TaylorMade

As mentioned above, Rory McIlory returned to his 2017 Rors Proto irons. McIlroy began the season with P7MB irons before switching back to P730 blades.

Ryan Barath offered some context on the prototypes: “The Rors Protos were part of the custom series of irons made for a number of prominent TaylorMade staff players, including Dustin Johnson and (at the time) Justin Rose. They all featured slightly tweaked profiles of the TaylorMade P730 blade, featuring either a unique grind or blade length profile.”

Tommy Fleetwood has an eight-degree SIM2 in the bag with a Mitsubishi Tensei Pro White 1K 70 TX shaft.

Harry Higgs is into a 15-degree SIM2.

Beau Hossler put a SIM2 Max (10.5 degrees) in play.

Doc Redman put the 2021 TP5 ball in play.

Non-staffer Ryan Moore Ryan Moore has P7MB irons (5-PW) in play.

Non-staffer Keegan Bradley is now gaming a SIM2 Max 3-wood (15 degrees).

Titleist

Lanto Griffin is moving back to a TSi2 driver (from TSi3) for more launch and forgiveness.

Jimmy Walker is testing a TSi3 fairway wood (15 degrees) and a U500 2-iron.

Bill Haas is testing the Pro V1x Left Dash.

Non-staffer Rafael Campos is testing 620 MB irons with Mitsubishi MMT shafts.

Also a non-staffer, Scott Piercy is testing Pro V1x Left Dash.

Callaway

Phil Mickelson is testing a Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X shaft in his Mavrik Sub Zero 4-wood.

Tom Lewis had a 14-degree Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond built. Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X shaft.

Photo via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder

Cobra

Bryson DeChambeau has a modified RadSpeed Big Tour Bryson Prototype (pictured in the featured image) in the bag. While we originally thought it was a new prototype, per Cobra’s Ben Schomin, it’s the same head size and shape as the retail Big Tour, but it’s lower lofted (being played at 10.5 degrees) and features a glued hosel and is the same Proto BAD has had in play for a couple of months. Most apparently, however, the club features small rails, which were added after the fact for better strike consistency/less digging.

BAD has also returned to his Cobra King LTD driver (pictured below).

Jason Dufner was testing a prototype (presumably 3D printed) putter.

Rickie Fowler tested multiple Fujikura Ventus Red driver shafts on the range; was also working with a Fujikura MCI Practice shaft in an iron.

Ping

We got in-hand looks at new i59 irons and Glide Forged wedges from Ping.

Ping staffer Rob Oppenheim plans to put a two-driver setup in play. One is eight degrees in loft and the other is 10.5.

PXG

Also in the in-hand look department, we were able to check out the new Gen4 0311 T and ST irons.

More photos here. 

Pat Perez looks to have returned to his Gen4 0311 P irons after a detour to Gen2’s.

Free agents, others

Charl Schwartzel is testing a TwoThumb putter grip.

Rafa Campos reshafted his Mizuno MP-20 irons with KBS TGI 110 shafts.

Scott Garrison installed a LAGP putter shaft in Jhonny Vegas’ Cameron.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Selty

    May 6, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Is Rory using the G Force training aids?????

  2. ski_co

    May 6, 2021 at 8:58 am

    So how is the SIK concept so different than the Teardrop (that was never accepted)?

  3. Tim

    May 5, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    Is J Day putting with a Bridgestone ball new??

    Also, it’s Oppenheim.

  4. Simms

    May 5, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    Great to see how Pro players continue to search for perfection and the club companies are right there to help….This is the question if Callaway after years and years cannot build or fit a driver Phil can hit into the fairway who is the amateur that thinks they can fit him?

    • Jack

      May 6, 2021 at 6:31 pm

      Its the fact he is using the 47.5 shaft that causes the misses rather then the club or fitter

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Whats in the Bag

Garrick Higgo’s winning WITB: 2021 Palmetto Championship

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Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X

3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue  7 X

Hybrid: Titleist TSi3 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos HB Tour Spec Blue 8 X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-12F, 56-14F, 60-06K10S)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x (2021)

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Whats in the Bag

Chesson Hadley WITB 2021 (June)

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Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (16.5 degrees, B2 Setting)
Shaft: UST Elements Gold 8F5 X

bill-haas-witb-2020

Hybrid: Titleist TSi3 (20 degrees)

Irons: Titleist 620 MB (4-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT White Tour Issue X100 (4-9)

Wedges: Vokey SM8 (48-10F, 52-12F, 56-14F, 60-08M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 2-Ball

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Equipment

SST Pure: A deep dive into the technology

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Due to the manufacturing process, all golf shafts contain irregularities in straightness, stiffness, and roundness. And depending on how a shaft is aligned, the inconsistencies can adversely affect a shaft’s performance and consistency.

SST PURE was developed as a solution to this problem.

In simplest terms, the SST PURE (stands for it stands for Plane of Uniform REpeatability) process finds a shaft’s most stable orientation to minimizing twisting and off-line bending during the swing. This results in longer, straighter ball flight and more consistent performance in all PUREd shafts. Subjectively, PUREd shafts are often described as feeling “softer” than their non-PUREd counterparts.

For more background on SST PURE and PUREing on tour, we talked with SST founder Dick Weiss, independent rep Scott Garrison, who has the only SST Pure machine on a tour truck, and rep Arnie Cunningham.

Here’s what they had to say.

SST founder Dick Weiss

GolfWRX: Give us a 101-level overview of SST PUREing.

DW: What we do at SST is we analyze the irregularities in a shaft and based on various algorithms, various mathematic formulas, determine which is most asymmetric. Which is the one that’s causing the shaft to bend and twist out of line at impact and also in the first load – the transition between backswing and downswing, there’s a lot of movement in there also. What we do is identify that and mark it so it can be assembled into the club head.

It’s a technological development. It’s come about because we have computers today to do this. We don’t do it by eyeball. The computer doesn’t care who’s going to play it, what level of skill they have, what the material composition is of a shaft, who made it, what kind of ball you’re going to hit. That’s not what we do. What we are saying is we want to analyze a shaft to get it to perform to the best of its ability. You can take a shaft based upon irregularities in it – because shafts are not round or straight.

If you take any shaft and roll it on a table like a pool cue, you’ll see 90% of the time they’ll bounce along because they’re not round. There’s high points and low points, thicker and thinner areas. All we want to do is locate that and say, “Let’s make it work as an asset, let’s make it work as a support for a shaft so they don’t torque out or twist out at impact.”

GolfWRX: Can you give us a brief overview of exactly what goes on in the SST PUREing process?

DW: Sure. In the PUREing process, there’s approximately fifty-six steps you have to take assuming you do what we call a retro-PURE. There’s two ways to PURE. One is if you take a brand new head, a brand new shaft, PURE the shaft and assemble it into a head – that’s a brand new club. The second way would be what we call a retro-PURE. One is we take apart an existing club, keep the shaft, take the grip off, peel the tape off underneath the grip. We use our Weiss-Gibson Ultimate Extractor, we cut the ferrule off. We remove the shaft. We drill out the old epoxy in the head and acetone the head down. We then drill out any old epoxy that may be in the tip of the club. We turn down and clean the outside tip of the club if there’s any epoxy or residue from the epoxy itself where the ferrule may have been. We then go ahead and PURE the shaft. We come back and fit a ferrule, reassemble the club. We use a fast dry epoxy with shafting beads in it.

GolfWRX: Now what would you say to those who don’t believe in the SST PUREing process?

DW: In any technology, people question it which is good. People still don’t think the Earth is round. I think if they are honest with themselves – forget about Dick Weiss and SST as an entity. If they’re honest with themselves and they know anything about clubs whether they make them in their garage or professionally, they have to be able to tell that shafts can not perform the same just randomly or haphazardly assembled. Each shaft has its idiosyncrasies.

So I say for the ones that don’t believe in it, do a test yourself without any type of process. Take a club out, hit it, bring it back in, try to stay off the quadrants, 90 degrees left, 180, another 90, that’s not the way to do it. Move it 30 degrees to the left or right. Put it back in and go hit it. Flip the plane upside down, put it back in, and go hit it.

We’ve started doing a lot of internal testing is because everyone says, “Let us see some independent testing.” We said okay and did it. We took the tour van and five workers with us. We used clubs I hadn’t seen. They came from tour. We didn’t look for asymmetric products. We just took what was there, new shafts, new heads, some of the heads I’ve never seen before. It doesn’t make any difference. We’re happy to subject it to any tests.

Scott E Garrison

“Studies have shown the irregularities in shafts, and that causes offline shots. If you play pool at a bar, you’re going to take the straightest queue.”

GolfWRX: How do you showcase the benefits of SST PUREing when players visit your truck?

SEG: When I have a player in the truck, and I do a quick demonstration and put a shaft in the machine, within two minutes, they’re in…they’re hooked.

All the OEMs, they’re seeing their players want this done, so we’re PUREing up shafts and getting them back to [their trucks] so they can build PUREd clubs for their players.

GolfWRX: What performance examples can you give us where a player PUREd his shafts and saw tremendous improvement?

SEG: It was about seven years ago when I just finished re-gripping Ben Martin’s putter with a SuperStroke grip. As he was leaving, I asked him if he had ever had his clubs PUREd. He said, “No, but I had heard about it and was curious.” I showed him a set I was in the middle of PUREing and he was sold. It was Monday morning, the week of the RBC Heritage and it was pouring. He said to PURE his entire set. That’s what I did Monday afternoon. I ripped his gamers apart and PUREd the shafts and put them back together (a retro-PURE). He was leading the tournament, he shot a career-low round and finished third. He told me later how much better his mis-hits were.

Arnie Cunningham

GolfWRX: What’s the most obvious benefit of PUREing?

AC: It’s about dispersion patterns. Until a person can really dive deep into the numbers—and we’ve done it throughout the years at Golf Laboratories and its proved over and over that the dispersion pattern is better PUREd vs not.

GolfWRX: Are there any misconceptions about PUREing?

AC: Detractors might be looking for some miracle feel, but really, it’s about the dispersion and an improvement on the already good technology in shafts.

GolfWRX: Tell us about the USGA restrictions on PUREing.

AC: You’re stabilizing the golf shaft. You’re putting it in the best playing position possible. If you PURE a shaft, by USGA rules, you can not turn that shaft to allow for a draw or a cut. Just that rule tells me they know it works because they’ve tested and they’ve seen the difference in performance.

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