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Ryan Palmer speaks on his 1-of-1 Jordan shoes, lead tape, gear free agency, and first tee nerves



There are few things that stop me in my tracks on a PGA Tour range more than custom shoes. As a sneakerhead myself, I love the new wave of tour players embracing the shoe game, and all of the custom designs that come along with it. Not all of the custom shoes that players wear are hits – there are plenty of fashion missteps, in my humble opinion – but I love that players are having fun with it.

On Tuesday at the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Ryan Palmer’s custom Jordan 11 shoes with an elephant print upper nearly made my heart stop. The Jordan 11 is one of my favorite silhouettes in general, and I think they translate really well into a golf shoe, too. Then you add in the classic Jordan elephant print?! I needed to get the backstory on these.

I’d never seen that exact design before, so I asked Palmer himself about them.

During our conversation about kicks, we also talked about the lead tape on his Srixon irons, equipment free agency in general, the new TaylorMade Stealth driver, and his tips for overcoming first tee nerves. I figured you’d enjoy the talk as much as I did, so below is the full convo.

Tursky: I noticed you were wearing some wild Jordan’s yesterday. I mean the (all-white) versions today are really cool, but yesterday they had elephant print on them. Where did you get those?

Palmer: I followed Nomad Customs on Instagram. He had a pair he made for somebody, a blue pair. I thought those were really cool, so I sent him a note. I DM’d him and got his number, said I liked ’em. I sent him two white pairs and had him do black and navy.

I buy the white ones, the 11s, and then I send them to him, and then he does all the elephant paint work for me. It turned out pretty good.

Does he charge you for that?

Yeah, it’s a nice price, but it’s good. The work he does is unbelievable, and it makes for a good conversation piece because I get a lot of good comments on themem.

Are you like a sneakerhead?

Not really. No. I’m really not. I went through plantar fasciitis for 2 years and went through every shoe company. Harold Varner III brought me a pair of the 11s to the Shark Shootout. I tried them one day, and I thought they were unbelievable. The cushion and the comfort, and I haven’t worn anything since.

So HV3, he was the original plug for you, and now you’re a Jordan guy?

For the 11’s yes. Now I can’t find the them anywhere else. I’ve tried them all, it’s just the 11’s are good for my feet. I have small bone spurs. Now I need more. I’ll just have to go seek them out and buy ’em.

Do you rock Jordan’s off the course?

Yeah, I have a couple pair of 1’s that I wear that are comfortable. My son’s getting into a little bit more. I got him a few pair, and my wife, as well.

So he thinks you’re the coolest dad ever right now?

He gets a few pairs, yeah (laughs). They’re always a good thing to have.

I just had a quick question about the irons, too. I mean, lead tape is nothing new on irons – pros use it all the time – but I noticed the lead tape on yours are particularly low on the club.

I think it’s where they put [the lead tape] because of the way the head’s designed, but typically when you move the lead tape around, if you put the weight lower, it puts the center of gravity lower in the head, which helps the ball get up a little higher. And it just happens to be where they put it on these heads.

But I’ve always had it toward the bottom of the club. I can’t see it (from address), for one, and it’s supposed to help the ball perform as far as getting launch a little higher.

So that’s something they do for you, you don’t apply it yourself?

It depends. If I get a new set of irons that are lighter, I’ll do it myself. But most times, the guys in the trucks do it if it needs to [be applied]. Heads are so different weight wise, so if I get to a new set of irons and they need to weigh a little more, they’re quick to do it and they do a nice clean job with it.

Are you a free agent right now, equipment wise?

Yeah, I have been, for quite a few years now. I play the Titleist ball and glove, but other than that, I play whatever I want equipment wise. It keeps me able to try new things, and I’ve got a lot of great corporate sponsorships, which makes it even nicer. So yeah, I enjoy the freedom of playing what I want.

I was curious about that, because as of like 6 years ago, everyone had brand deals. It was like, what were you doing if you didn’t? Now everyone’s kind of going more the free agent route.

Yeah, it’s changed a lot over the years since more companies have brought in the ball. TaylorMade, you have to play the ball. Srixon, you have to play the ball. Callaway, the ball. And you have to sign more club deals. I used to play Titleist irons forever, and now I play Srixon irons, Vokey wedges, I’ve played TaylorMade woods since 2005 or 2006. I was on the TaylorMade staff for a little while, and I still play the TaylorMade woods, but, I just keep myself open to trying new things if I need to and I play what works for me.

You like the new red face?

It’s awesome.

You have the new Stealth in the bag?

Oh yeah. It’s real.

Would you consider yourself a gearhead?

I like to test things. I wouldn’t call myself a gearhead, but I love grabbing new things and testing them. I don’t hoard clubs like a lot of people do. If I don’t like a club, I give it right back to them. Sometimes it’s not as good, and I don’t want to take a bunch of clubs home. But I guess you could call me a tinkerer at home a lot. Just testing new things, but I’m always back to the gamers that keep me going.

Last question: First tee tip. With all of the celebrities at Pebble Beach, there’s a special buzz around the first tee this week. Do you have any tips for someone who gets really nervous on the first tee?

I always call it the hardest shot of the day, the first one. Just try not to put too much into it. Be relaxed. The first shot is always the hardest. Probably the best thing for an amateur to do is get the driver and hit it as hard as you can, and get it out of the way.

For all of our photos from the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, check out the link 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. F

    Feb 6, 2022 at 12:39 am

    If Hideki is with Srixon and can hit the Srixon driver well, I don’t see why Palmer couldn’t. It’s not the tech. It’s purely the head shape and he’s used to it.

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Adam Scott makes 3 more big changes to his equipment setup at the Memorial



If you thought Adam Scott was slowing down on the equipment changes, you’d be wrong.

GolfWRX got the first look at the retail version of Adam Scott’s Miura AS-1 irons back at The 2023 Players Championship, but it wasn’t until this week at the 2023 Memorial Tournament that he actually put the new irons in the bag. He was previously using the original Miura prototype heads that, coincidentially, he first put into play at last year’s 2022 Memorial event. In exactly a year’s time, Scott replaced those prototype heads with the Miura AS-1 irons that were recently made available to the public.

This week, we also got an in-hand look at Scott’s new Srixon ZX Mk II driving iron, which he’s now equipping with a True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shaft.

Additionally, Getty Images spotted Scott with a new TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver in the bag this week.

According to TaylorMade, Scott is using a Stealth 2 Plus driver in combination with a BRNR Mini this week, and he’s currently leading Strokes Gained: Off the Tee after the first round of the Memorial, where he shot a 2-under 70.

Scott’s Stealth 2 Plus and BRNR Mini specs and launch numbers

Head: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (9 degrees, with 10 degrees of actual loft)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 7X
Length: 45 and 1/8 inches CUT (tipped 1 inch)
Weights: 19g back, 15g front
Swingweight: D3.5
Stealth 2 Plus launch conditions: 11.5° degrees launch at 2400 spin, 305 carry, 320+ total, 181 ball speed

Head: TaylorMade BRNR Mini (13.5 degrees, with 13 degrees of actual loft)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 7X (tipped 1 inch)
Length: 44 inches
Weights: 13g back 5g front
Swingweight: D3
Launch Conditions: 11 degrees at 2800 spin, 282 carry, 305 total, 173 ball speed

“The BRNR Mini driver went into the bag for Adam this week because of the golf course and the distance gap between his driver and 4-wood,” said Adrian Rietveld, TaylorMade Senior Tour Manager, according to TaylorMade. “At Muirfield, drivers run out and the gapping with his 4-wood left him too far behind. As he told us during testing, with BRNR Mini, he can play the golf course instead of the golf course playing him.” 

The Adam Scott equipment-centric weekly reality show continues on, and it’s appointment television at this point. Check out what the GolfWRX Forum members are saying about Scott’s latest switches in our forums.

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Whats in the Bag

K.J. Choi WITB 2023 (June)



Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (9 degrees)
Shaft: Radian Tank Technology 6 X

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 7 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (19 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 7 X

Irons: Srixon ZX Utility (4), Srixon ZX7 (5-PW)
Shafts: AeroTech SteelFiber i110 cw X (4), Project X 6.0 (5-PW)

Wedges: Cleveland RTX6 ZipCore Tour Rack (50-10M, 54-10M, 60-09M), RTX Full-Face (50-9, 54-9, 60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #7S
Shaft: BGT Stability Tour 2 Polar
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour 1.0

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

More K.J. Choi WITBs

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Whats in the Bag

Rose Zhang WITB 2023 (June)



Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 5 S  (45.5 inches)

3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST LS 3+ (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 6 R (43 inches)

5-wood: Callaway Rogue ST LS (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 6 R

Hybrid: Callaway Paradym 4H (21 degrees @20)
Shaft: KBS Tour Hybrid

Irons: Callaway Apex ’21 (5-PW)
Shafts: Nippon 850 R

Wedges: Callaway Apex ’21 A (49), Callaway Jaws Raw (54-10S, 58-08C)
Shafts: True Temper XP95 R300

Putter: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Double Wide

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X Star

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