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Here’s why Jordan Spieth switched into a new Fujikura Ventus TR Blue shaft at Pebble Beach

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When Fujikura’s new Ventus TR Blue shaft launched in January 2022, we learned all about the updated construction and potential performance benefits compared to the original Ventus Blue. It was unclear at the time, however, exactly who would make the switch into the new TR design on the PGA Tour.

Well, we’re starting to get some answers.

Jordan Spieth, who’s been relatively slow to change into new products throughout his career, is among a handful of names making the change. Spieth conducted recent testing with a Ventus Blue TR 7 X shaft in his Titleist TS2 15-degree fairway wood, and he put it in play this week at the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Titleist Tour representative J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, who works closely with Spieth on his equipment, said that Spieth came to the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) on Friday before the 2022 Pebble Beach Pro-Am for a check-up on his equipment. Since Spieth was previously playing Ventus Blue shafts in his Titleist metalwoods, he was intrigued by the new TR version.

As it turned out, Spieth found the new shaft to help with his transition and directional control.

“Coming from Ventus Blue, anytime they update a shaft you’re just intrigued on that, and he liked how [the Ventus TR Blue] loaded compared to the original Ventus Blue for him,” Van Wezenbeeck told GolfWRX on Tuesday. “He felt like when he mishit it, there was a little more control. So that was a good option for him…we did a little bit of internal work on the head to make sure there’s enough spin, because want to make sure his 3 wood doesn’t have too low of spin. He liked how the TR reacted on mishits where the spin didn’t drop, and it had more consistent spin from swing to swing.”

Due to a new Spread Tow fabric in the butt-end section, which is essentially a checkerboard pattern of woven material, the torque on the TR version is 10 percent stiffer in the mid-to-grip end of the shaft. As a result, Fujikura says the TR shaft is designed to improve stability and consistency compared to the original Ventus Blue.

Based on Spieth’s results with the TR shaft during testing, it seems Fujikura’s case holds water.

Spieth is using a Ventus Blue TR 7 X version in his fairway wood.

Pat McCoy, Director of Tour Operations at Fujikura, spoke with GolfWRX about the new shaft, and what players are seeing in their testing out on Tour.

“Compared to the original Ventus Blue, the TR has a stiffer mid-section and lower torque,” McCoy said. “Basically what the shaft does is it eliminates some of the dynamic loft. It eliminates some of the rotation. Obviously, the Ventus Blue was a very stable shaft and one of the best launching shafts we’ve ever had. And we just made it better.

“As far as ball speed and launch and spin, I’m not going to say it’s faster, but we have seen players who have achieved faster speeds with it. It provides more consistency and the ability to turn swing speed into ball speed better. And that’s it. It’s a little stiffer than the original Blue, and it’s a little bit weaker than the [Ventus Black]. It’s a ‘tweener. It gives you something in the middle, and depending upon loft and impact location, you get a better fit.”

The fairway wood shaft wasn’t the only potential change that Spieth will make in 2022, though.

In addition to putting the new Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges in the bag, Spieth is also considering adding another option to the top end of his bag.

Typically, Spieth changes between a hybrid and long irons, depending on course conditions. During the recent session at TPI, though, Spieth took a liking to Titleist’s U-505 wide-bodied driving iron. Ahead of the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Spieth took a U-505 2-iron (Graphite Design AD-DI 105X shaft) out onto the course for testing.

“He’s experimenting with a U-505 this week (ahead of the event at Pebble Beach),” Van Wezenbeeck told GolfWRX. “He’s always gone between a hybrid and either a 2 iron, or a hybrid and 3 iron, and we brought out a 505 as kind of a third option on a week where he isn’t sure whether he should play an iron or a hybrid. The 505 being a wide body iron is kind of a blend between the two. And he was really intrigued with how high it launched on a standard shot, and he could flight it more off the tee, where as with a hybrid he can’t do.

“So on weeks he feels like there’s a lot of irons off the tee, he likes to play the iron. On weeks where there are a lot of shots into par 5s, he likes the hybrid. On weeks where there’s a little of both…he felt the 505 might be an option, so he was taking it on the golf course [on Tuesday] to see how it would react.”

While it’s unclear exactly when Spieth will break out the new U-505, it seems like it’ll certainly be in the rotation going forward. The Ventus TR Blue shaft, on the other hand, has already earned a starting spot in the bag this week.

These changes may seem minor to some, but it shows Spieth’s willingness to find small equipment tweaks to improve his game. For amateur golfers, use this as a lesson when gearing up for the new season. Go through your bag, test some of the new shaft and head options, and see where you can make improvements. Now is the perfect time to take inventory and get prepared.

 

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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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. F

    Feb 6, 2022 at 12:41 am

    Yeah. It’s the lower torque in the lighter weight shaft. Duh

  2. Matt

    Feb 5, 2022 at 4:56 am

    Jumping to TR probably had something to do with seeing his bro Zalatoris nearly win with it. For a guy who’s ‘slow to change’ in 2yrs its been driver twice, all wood shafts (now some twice), irons, wedges twice. About 5 different iron and wedge generations since the last time Stricker got a new sand wedge. The only thing consistent during the drought is the hybrid and putter.

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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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Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K lineup now includes mallets

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What you need to know: In January 2022, in the name of creating a blades with the MOI of mallets and forward CG, Odyssey threw everything at the wall with the Tri-Hot 5K family of blade putters: stainless steel, tungsten, 6061 aircraft grade aluminum. A year later, the company is bringing the same technology package to mallets with the Rossie and Seven models. The Tri-Hot 5K lineup now stands at seven putters (four with multiple necks).

2023 Odyssey Tri-Hot putters: Features and technology

Engineers applied the “Tri-Hot formula” utilized in blade putters in 2022 to move CG forward and raise MOI for a more forgiving mallet design — and a 5,000 IZZ inertia level (hence “5K”). Golfers will see improved speed and spin control, as well as consistency on off-center hits, according to the company, resulting in golf balls that finish closer to the hole when sub-optimally struck.

Stainless steel front: Odyssey touts the side-spin reducing capabilities of the 303 stainless steel hosel and face area for off-center putts. Tighter dispersion and putts that a more likely to go in results. Acting in a complementary fashion, the rear of the mallets are milled for tighter shape and weight tolerances that allows the CG to remain forward.

Tungsten front weights: Up to 120 grams of tungsten is positioned behind the face in the heel and toe sections of the putter heads. The resulting forward CG improves roll and increases inertia.

Interchangeable front weights: Available in 5, 10, 15 and 20 grams to dial in head weight and performance.

White Hot insert: 2023 Tri-Hot 5K putters add the iconic two-part urethane White Hot insert, which was originally developed using the same material as Callaway’s Rule 35 golf ball. White Hot, with its “firm but soft” properties has been a long-time favorite of Callaway staffers and recreational golfers. According to Callaway, “They’ve been asking for us to bring these technologies back and we’ve listened.” Can’t argue with that.

Stroke Lab shaft: The newest generation of Callaway’s multi-material Stroke Lab shaft features a shortened steel section and reduced weight (seven grams). Additionally it is stiffer. All of this leads to more stability and consistency.

Additional model details

Full lineup details — and who they’re for — including 2022 releases, via Callaway. 

One: A classically shaped heel toe weighted putter with a crank neck hosel creating moderate toe hang making it suitable for strokes that have moderate arc and face rotation

Two: A classically shaped heel toe weighted putter with a crank neck hosel creating moderate toe hang making it suitable for strokes that have moderate arc and face rotation. Less rounded than the One.

Three: A classically shaped heel toe weighted putter with a flow neck hosel yielding more toe hang making it suitable for strokes with more aggressive swing arc and face rotation

Double Wide (CH, CB): CH: A wide blade with a crank neck hosel yielding moderate toe hang making it suitable for strokes with moderate swing arc and face rotation. CS: Face-balanced center shafted wide blade making it suitable for strokes with minimal swing arc and face rotation

Triple Wide (DB, CS): DB: A face-balanced double bend wide blade making it suitable for strokes with minimal swing arc and face rotation. CS: A face-balanced center shafted wide blade making it suitable for strokes with minimal swing arc and face rotation.

Rossie: (DB, S): DB: A face-balanced double bend mallet suitable for strokes with minimal arc and face rotation. S: A mallet with a short slant hosel, suitable for strokes with arc and face rotation.

Seven (DB, S, CH): DB: A face-balanced double bend mallet suitable for strokes with minimal arc and face rotation. S:  mallet with a short slant hosel, suitable for strokes with arc and face rotation. CH: a mallet with a crank hosel, suitable for strokes with moderate arc and face rotation.

Pricing and availability

At retail: March 2, 2022

Price: $399.99

Standard grip: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Pistol

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Best players irons of 2023 – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the best ‘Players’ irons of 2023. WRXer ‘odshot68’ kicks off the thread saying, “Looking to get a new set of players irons this spring and wondering what you guys like. Distance control is very important; I’m not a fan of irons with hotspots,” and our members have been selecting their favorites from recent releases in our forum.

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.

  • noodle3872: “Titleist T100/T100S should be in the conversation.”
  • sadclevelandsports: “I love my T100s, but recently tried the new Cobra CBs, and they are just as high quality.”
  • edwelly: “I have been fortunate enough to have several nice sets of irons. A couple of Maura sets and, most recently, the Bridgestone J40s. Today I took out my new Srixon ZX5/ZX7s, and they are phenomenal irons. I cannot recommend those enough. “
  • KevCannon: “T100 should be on the shortlist to try.”

Entire Thread: “Best Players irons of 2023 – GolfWRXers discuss”

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