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Tour Report: Bryson’s new 5-degree driver, a $4,000 wedge, and a righty wedge in a lefty’s bag?!

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If you love golf equipment stories from the PGA Tour, then you’ve come to the right place. Every week, I’ll be giving a “Tour Report” from everything I saw and heard inside the ropes at that week’s event.

This week was especially packed with new gear, 26 WITBs, player insights, and cool stories from the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines

There’s no sense wasting time, let’s get right into this week’s report. Here are 11 gear takeaways from this week at Torrey.

1) Berger sees huge speed increases with new driver

Daniel Berger was a hot topic in our gear news this week because of his comments about the irons he “bought from some guy on the internet.” Berger, who’s been playing TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons since high school, started running out of backup sets. Being that the irons were first released in 2014, and TaylorMade no longer produces the iron, Berger took to his social media direct messages to buy his current set. You don’t see that everyday out on the PGA Tour. Click here for that full story.

In our conversation with Berger about his irons, though, he also revealed that he’s switched into a new TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver (with a slightly fade-biased weight setting). Berger, who’s notoriously slow to switch into new technology, saw undeniable distance gains with the new Stealth, and he switched immediately this week.

Here’s what he had to say about making the change:

“I just switched to the Stealth driver and picked up some ball speed, which was nice. I’ve actually never tested a driver and actually gained any ball speed. So that was really cool. Everything else is pretty much the same. I just kind of stick to what I got once I know it works…

“I hit some different drivers, but the biggest thing that I found with Stealth was that it’s faster. Like I said, I’ve tested hundreds of drivers over my lifetime and I found that I’m pretty much standard 176-177 mph ball speed when I hit one good. I was easily getting to 180 with the new Stealth and when I’m hitting it hard I can get to 182-183 mph, which is a huge jump for me, which I’ve never really seen before. It’s hard to not play a driver when you see an advantage like that, especially when in my past I’ve never seen that advantage.”

Daniel Berger’s full 2022 WITB

2) True Temper reveals new “Mid Tour Issue” shafts

True Temper’s Dynamic Gold steel shafts have been one of the most popular iron and wedge shafts on the PGA Tour for decades. Tour pros, and amateurs alike, use the shafts for their superior stability and spin-reducing capabilities.

Now, True Temper has revealed a new mid-launch shaft to tour players. With a wider mid-section diameter, the Dynamic Gold Mid Tour Issue shaft is designed to increase launch and spin for a higher ball flight and steeper landing angle.

If you’re struggling to hold the greens with your irons and you find the ball flies a bit too low, these will certainly be shafts to look out for in the future. Since the shafts just launched on tour this week, we’ll keep an eye on which players switch into the new shafts, and I’ll catch up with them to learn what they’re seeing performance-wise.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the shafts here.

3) Dylan Frittelli’s $4k wedge

This story about Dylan Frittelli’s 1-of-1 prototype Apex TCB sand wedge is interesting for two reasons: 1) the wedge cost about $4,000 to make since it never existed before, and 2) a tour pro is now using an iron-like sand wedge rather than a more traditional wedge shape.

Could this be the start of a new movement? If so, Frittelli is leading the charge.

“I’m like, why do I use a sand wedge with a blade? I asked the Callaway rep and Roger Cleveland, they were all like, ‘No, there’s no reason, it’s just people do that,’” Frittelli told GolfWRX. “It took two or three months for them to make it, but I started using it last week and it’s really good. Roger said to me it’s a $4,000 wedge basically. I don’t know what steel it is, but they ground it out and milled it and did whatever they could to get to the shape. They 3D modeled somehow so they can reproduce it cheaper and quicker.

“For me, in my head, I just see spin numbers are more consistent on the longer shots, full shots, and slight mishits just fly to the yardage a lot better. And then out of the rough you have a little more mass behind it, which again, mishits and off-center it flies a lot better.”

Even better, Frittelli responded to GolfWRXer replies in an exclusive Instagram video.

4) Bryson’s 5-degree driver

By the sounds of it, the longest driver on the PGA Tour may have picked up some accuracy and consistency. Bryson DeChambeau has switched into a new Cobra King LTDx standard head (5 degrees), with a LA Golf prototype shaft, and he’s quite content with the performance thus far.

“(I’m swinging) a lot freer,” DeChambeau told GolfWRX. “The ball’s not going to go in places that I’m not expecting…it’s just allowing me to be over 190 mph consistently and I’m excited to continue to keep trying to hit it farther and farther. I’m not afraid of it, and I love trying to push barriers like always.”

For Bryson’s full thoughts on the switch into the new driver, check out the full story over on PGATOUR.com.

5) Cam Champ reveals Ping i525 irons

Cam Champ hits the ball absurd distances, but he’s unique because of how low he hits it. To help increase height in his long irons, Champ has opted for Ping’s hollow-bodied i500 irons in the past.

This week, he switched into unreleased i525 irons (3 and 4), and he’s seeing improved sound and feel compared to the previous version. He also hits them farther than most golfers hit their drivers; Champ says the 4-iron is his 250-260 club, and the 3-iron flies about 265-275 and then rolls out. Yeah, that’s insane.

“They’re good. They look kind of similar to the previous irons, but they have a little bit more defined look, which I like,” Champ said Tuesday at Torrey Pines. “And they sound better too. I have nothing negative to say about them. For me, they’re pretty much the same (as the i500s). That’s why I put them in. As long as they do what I need them to do, I can care less what it is.

“But yeah, they’re good. The sound is one thing. Definitely maybe a little bit softer on the face, which I like. You can feel it easier. But for me, for the ball flight that I want, it comes out perfectly.”

Click here for Champ’s full thoughts, and more photos of the Ping i525 irons.

6) New JumboMax Lite grips

You might recognize the JumboMax name because Bryson DeChambeau uses the company’s oversized grips on his clubs. Well, JumboMax has just revealed an all-new JMX Zen Lite grip that weighs in at 50 grams. It’s unknown for now what players will try the grip out, or whether DeChambeau is considering making a switch, but we’ll keep an eye out for any news.

7) Dustin Johnson switches right away

As we covered in-depth this week, Dustin Johnson has switched into the new TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver (10.5 degrees). While he struggled making the change into last year’s 2021 SIM2 Max driver, Johnson has wasted no time getting the Stealth Plus driver into the bag.

GolfWRX caught up with Johnson this week to get his initial thoughts:

“Speed-wise, it’s similar [to my previous driver],” Johnson told GolfWRX. “I’ve seen my spin rates are more consistent, and I’m getting consistently faster numbers. For me, the mishits have been much better. I love the new driver. It’s great.

“The feel is great. It doesn’t feel like it’s – it still feels like it’s titanium. Feel is funny, because feel is all sound, so as long as the sound is good, it’s gonna feel right. They did a really good job with the sound, and I think it sounds really good. It sounds solid when you hit in the middle. Obviously, I can feel if I hit it off the heel or the toe, so I’m getting really good feedback from it, so I really like that. Then, like I said, the numbers have been really good, consistent, and that’s all I’m looking for.”

Dustin Johnson’s full 2022 WITB

8) A righty wedge in a lefty’s bag? 

When I was walking past Seth Reeves’ PXG golf bag on Tuesday, I paused in my tracks. Reeves is a lefty, so when I saw a right-handed wedge in his bag I was caught off guard. Was it a training club? Has he started chipping righty? What is going on here?!

His answer was simple:

“That’s for [my right-handed caddie],” Reeves told GolfWRX. “He’s a former player, and I’m lefty. It’s for him to like, when we’re talking through stuff, or we’re working on chipping, he can show me. It’s hard for a righty to pick up a lefty wedge. That’s strictly the reason why it’s in there.”

9) First look at Pat Perez’s new free-agent setup (and filthy headcovers)

Pat Perez is no longer technically on staff with PXG, but he’s still bagging a setup full of mostly PXG equipment. He has made a few changes, though.

Based on our WITB photos, it seems Perez is going with a new Stealth Plus driver and an Odyssey O-Works Jailbreak putter; it should be noted that the lead tape application on his putter is absolutely perfect. Having watched Odyssey Tour rep Joe Toulon apply lead tape onto putters before, I’m going to assume that’s his work. I’ll catch up with him next week for a tutorial.

Perez has also switched into LA Golf graphite shafts in his 0311P Gen4 blacked-out irons, and his elephant-printed headcovers and bag are absolutely sick. Ah, the perks of being a Jordan athlete.

Pat Perez full 2022 WITB

10) A beautiful Masters bow

Speaking of headcovers, this custom job from Swag Golf is an awesome tribute to Hideki Matsuyama’s 2021 Masters win, and the beautiful moment where his caddie Shota Hayafuji bowed to Augusta National out of respect.

If you search the internet hard enough, you could track down one of these limited-run headcovers for yourself, but it’s unlikely you’ll find the ones pictured above. Matsuyama signed them himself on site at the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open.

We covered the full story earlier this week.

11) Phil Mickelson’s WITB

Finally! If you’re like me, you couldn’t wait to see an in-hand look at lefty’s new bag setup for 2022. Now, it’s here

Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Max LS (7.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 6X

3-Wood: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond (13. 5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 7X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 9X

Driving Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (18 and 25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi MMT UT 105TX

Irons: Callaway Apex MB (6-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour V 125 S+

Wedges: Phil Mickelson PM-LTD proto (50-14, 55-12 and 60-10)
Shafts: KBS Tour V 125 S+

Putter: Odyssey Phil Mickelson Blade

And that’ll do it for this week’s Tour Report. I’ll be out at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am next week to do it all again. To see all of our photos from this week out at Torrey Pines, click here!

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chuck

    Jan 28, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    I count at least a half-dozen players on just this page — one report from one tournament — reporting that new equipment is helping them hit the ball farther. Either by producing faster ball speeds mechanically, or by mechanically reducing the amount of off-line hits allowing them to swing “freer” (DeChambeau) which I equate to swinging “harder” and “faster.”

    In any event, more distance.

    Meanwhile, the manufacturers continue to claim that because equipment testing standards remain the same, distance isn’t really much of an issue. At least not from distance=producing equipment.

    This is now the most obvious problem in all of sports. OF COURSE elite golfers are hitting the ball much farther. And equipment is helping them do that. (Although, as the USGA and R&A once declared, whatever may be the cause of significantly increased distance, it does not matter. The solution must be to better regulate equipment.

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Whats in the Bag

Taylor Moore WITB 2022 (June)

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Driver: Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6 X

3-wood: Ping G (14.5 degrees @ 15.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV RAW White 75 TX

5-wood: Ping G425 MAX (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV RAW White 85 TX

Irons: Srixon ZX (3), Ping i210 (4-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 105 X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Mid X100 (4-9)

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro (50-10S, 54-10S, 60-10S)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping PLD Prototype
Grip: Ping

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Grips: Golf Pride MCC

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Whats in the Bag

Ludvig Aberg WITB 2022 (June)

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Driver: Titleist TSi2 (9 degrees @ 9.75 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue M-AX X

3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees @ 15.75 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana 70 X

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (2), Titleist T100 (2021) (3), Titleist T100 (2019) (4-PW)
Shafts: Titleist (2), KBS Tour 130 X (3-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50-08F, 56-10S, 60-08M)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X

Putter: Odyssey Works Versa #1
Grip: Winn Excel Vision

Grips: Golf Pride MCC, Golf Pride Tour Velvet (56)

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Whats in the Bag

Sam Bennett WITB 2022 (June)

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Driver: Ping G410 Plus (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana 70 TX

3-wood: Ping G425 MAX (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV RAW White 75 TX

Hybrid: Ping G425 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 105 TX

Irons: Ping iBlade (4-6), Ping Blueprint (7-PW)

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro (50-10S, 56-10S, 60-10S)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X

Putter: Ping PLD Prototype
Grip: Ping PP58

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet (Driver-3-wood, 4-PW), Golf Pride Z Grip Cord (Hybrid, 50-60)

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