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U.S. Open Tour Truck Report: #7woodSZN, mini drivers, fresh grooves, and tinkering

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A nearly 7,700-yard, par-71 track featuring penal rough off the fairway and green, Torrey Pines’ South Course presents a difficult, demanding examination for players at this week’s U.S. Open. From every television, computer, and mobile device screen this truth is being conveyed to the point that, as is often the case in the leadup to U.S. Opens, a certain fatigue sets in.

However, it’s worth pointing to the obvious in order to highlight the fact that some players are making changes to their setups to accommodate the long approaches into par-4s and the need to maximize descent angle into — what are expected to be — thoroughly baked out greens.

Additionally, we’re hearing a ton of players are putting 7-woods in play primarily for the purpose of advancing the ball from the rough — not exactly “a get out of jail free” card, but hopefully a key to slip out of one’s cell.

Let’s get into the specifics.

Titleist

Jordan Spieth is testing a 21-degree TSi2 fairway wood, which is a game-time decision to add to the lineup in place of his 818 H2 hybrid.

Both Lanto Griffin and Matt Jones are adding TSi2 (21-degree) fairway woods in place of their utility irons.

Adam Scott is going with four woods this week. He’s adding a 13.5-degree TSi2 fairway wood. The Australian is also putting a Vokey 60A wedge in play (switching from a 60-06K). With four degrees of bounce, the wedge works well on tight lies.

Titleist Tour Rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck: “The rough is really, really difficult this week. And the greens are starting to firm up. So we have a lot of players evaluating TSi fairway wood options. The TSi 21-degree 7-wood has been very popular. Players are really liking what it does out of the rough and then into the greens – really high launch angle and landing very softly has been really effective.”

Max Homa put a new Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5, which is a similar profile to the 11.5 model he played earlier in the year. Homa likes the feel, forgiveness, and ease of alignment in the smaller profile.

Vokey

Not surprisingly, the majority of players asking for fresh grooves this week.

Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill on wedges this week: “This golf course is a beast. As you would imagine, rough is long and thick, but it’s a really cool different style of golf course where you’ve got a couple different types of grasses and just the way they put it together, it makes it extremely challenging. Because of this rough, because of the fairways, because of the greens, you would think that you’d want a little bit more bounce because of just how juicy and thick and healthy this rough is. But the reality is the more bounce you get, the slower it moves through that tall grass.”

“And so we see a lot of guys gravitate to something with less bounce: T grinds, A Grinds, L Grinds, Low-bounce K’s. Adam Scott switched to a 60A this week. He dabbled a little bit with it at Augusta National this year, but this is that week where it really fits the conditions. He wants that speed. He wants that comfort. He wants to be aggressive, so it’s great fit for him. Guys like Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth are bringing in fresh 60’s this week. So these guys are prepared. They’re ready to go. But again, very difficult golf course. You’ve got to have fresh grooves and you’ve got to have a little bit less bounced to maneuver through this tall grass.”

(Photo via Titleist)

Callaway

Phil Mickelson was spotted with a TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver (Fujikura Ventus Black shaft) in practice rounds. He’s also reportedly testing a 5-wood with a Fujikura Ventus Red 9 X shaft.

Akshay Bhatia is testing a Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X shaft in an Epic Max LS driver.

Patrick Rodgers is testing a Callaway Epic Speed 7-wood (Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 TX).

Henrik Stenson has new Jaws MD5 Slate wedges in the bag (52-10S, 58-08C).

(Photo via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder)

TaylorMade

Dustin Johnson looks to be returning to a TaylorMade TP Bandon putter (now outfitted with an LA Golf shaft) after rolling it with his Spider IB Limited at the Palmetto Championship. He’s sticking with the prototype LA Golf shaft in his driver, which makes sense, considering he now owns part of the company.

Sergio Garcia has a new TaylorMade Spider X Chalf in the bag.

Quick rundown of Matthew Wolff’s setup: SIM (9 degrees), P770 3, P750 4-PW, Spider X, TP5 Pix

Collin Morikawa put a MG2 Hi Toe (60-10) in play.

Robert MacIntyre changed up his flatstick and is going with a TP Bandon 3.

Ping

Reportedly “half of the tour staff” are putting 7-woods in play, according to our source at Ping. Bubba Watson and Mackenzie Hughes included.

Watson’s 7-wood specs: Ping G425 Max (23.5 degrees). 40.5-inch Fujikura Black 9 X shaft in custom pink (tipped 2 inches, D2+).

Cole Hammer is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD HD 7 TX shaft in his driver.

Others, free agents

Hideki Matsuyama is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD UB 9 X shaft in a SIM2 Max 3-wood.

Rikuya Hoshino is testing Graphite Design Tour AD UB 9 X in a Srixon ZX5 driver.

Shane Lowry has a new Cleveland RTX Full-Face 58-degree wedge in play.

Zack Sucher is putting a 16-degree Srixon ZX hybrid in play.

The king of stout shafts, Jhonny Vegas is testing a Fujikura Ventus Black 100 X shaft in his 5-wood.

Richard Bland has a spread of TM wedges: MG (46 degrees), MG Hi Toe (54, 60 degrees).

Cameron Champ put TaylorMade wedges in play: (MG Hi Toe 56, 60 degrees).

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about PXG’s apparent new golf ball

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In our forums, our members have been discussing PXG’s apparent foray into the golf ball market. With the ball landing on the USGA Conforming List recently, WRXer ‘Scott406’ has reached out to fellow members for their thoughts on the new addition from PXG, who have been sharing their takes in our forum.

The Bob Parsons-founded company has provided no details on any upcoming launch or technical details of the ball or balls.

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.

  • snagy2000: “$49.99 is the rumor.”
  • golfinbrad: “Not sure why club companies want to get in the golf ball market. Way too many choices already. I look at Mizuno. Decent ball, but I’m not going to drop top dollar to try a ball when you know Pro V, TP5, etc., have already been proven. If PXG handles like the clubs, they will run some crazy low sales. Maybe it will work, and I’ll be wrong. Not the first time.”
  • Highlander24: “Alignment aid looks like Vice to me.”

Entire Thread: “What GolfWRXers are saying about PXG’s new golf ball

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Whats in the Bag

Kevin Kisner WITB 2023 (February)

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kevin kisner witb 2023

Driver: Titleist TSR3 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Red 6 X

Driver: Ping G430 LST (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Red 6 X

3-wood: Wilson Dynapwr (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 80 S

Irons: Wilson Staff
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro prototype

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (52-10S), Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60-T)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 125 Wedge

Putter: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Seven
Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Tour 2.0

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

More photos of Kevin Kisner’s what’s in the bag in the forums.

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Equipment

VRST Golf unveils new clothing line for 2023

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This week, a new golf clothing line was announced by VRST Golf.

The brand launched in 2021 and is a men’s apparel line that brings style and versatility to both the athlete and everyday man, where pieces can be worn for training to casually getting around town.

With the Golf season right around the corner, their first-ever golf collection brings modern style that can be worn on-course and off. You can find all of the available items here: VRST

VRST Golf offers versatile and trendy golf tops, bottoms, and layering pieces. The line provides styling options for the versatile golfer with gear that goes beyond the course. The collection is now available online and at select DICK’S Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy locations and will be expanding to over 180 store locations by end of February.

Check out VRST’s launch video here:

 

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