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TOUR REPORT: Henrik Stenson goes DEEP on his Callaway Legacy Black irons from 2013

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If you love Florida golf, I have sad news to report: This week is the finale of the four-week long Florida Swing on the PGA Tour. What started in Palm Beach Gardens for the Honda Classic in February ends with the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor this week.

Now for the good news: We have an awesome Tour Report from the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort this week.

What makes it so great? Well, for one, I finally tracked down Henrik Stenson for a deep dive into his Callaway Legacy Black irons that he’s been playing since 2013. I had so many questions for him about the irons that needed answers, and I finally got them.

Also, world long driver Maurice Allen stunned us with some truly incredible irons and wedges, Zach Johnson revealed new unreleased irons, and Tommy “2 Gloves” Gainey thrills us with his unique putter.

Let’s get into this week’s Tour Report where we send off the Florida Swing in style.

Cam Smith speaks on his Players Championship winning gear

Before we get into the gear from this week, we have a bit of news about the winning gear from last week. Cam Smith, the 2022 Players Champion, joined our “Two Guys Talkin Golf” podcast to talk about his equipment, including his blacked-out T100 irons.

While I do suggest listening to the entire podcast, Smith’s appearance comes in the last 12 minutes of the episode (around the 45-minute mark). Check it out on SoundCloud below.

Zach Johnson reveals all new PXG irons

PXG staffer and two-time major champion Zach Johnson came to the 2022 Valspar Championship with brand new, unreleased PXG “Black Label Elite 0311T Gen5” irons. From the looks of things, it appears that the back cavity features a multi-material construction, presumably to raise forgiveness on off-center strikes based on the different-colored material on the toe and heel sections.

If I had to guess, I’d say the silver sections are made of heavier Tungsten to shift weight toward the perimeter, but since PXG hasn’t yet spoken publicly about the irons, that’s all just speculation.

To see what GolfWRX forum members are saying about the new irons, check out the comment thread here.

Tommy “2 Gloves” Gainey is using a rarely seen putter

Mr. Two Gloves doesn’t do things the way most pro golfers do. He doesn’t have a cookie cutter swing that hits perfect planes, he wears two gloves, and he also uses a putter that, if memory serves, no other PGA Tour player uses.

Since at least 2015, Gainey has employed an Odyssey Backstyrke Blade putter that was released to the public back in 2010. Being that the shaft enters the club head in a uniquely rearward position, the design helps put golfers’ hands into a forward press position that encourages hitting up on the golf ball. It also provides an unimpeded look at the club face for easier alignment.

Obviously, the Backstryke is far from traditional looking so most golfers haven’t given it a chance. 2 Gloves is not a traditional golfer, though, and the Backstryke has remained in his bag all these years.

Check out Tommy Gainey’s full 2022 WITB here.

Henrik Stenson speaks on his Callaway Legacy Black irons

Since 2013, Stenson has used Callaway Legacy Black irons that were a limited release in 2013 and were never available in North American markets. Stenson’s longtime affair with the irons, and their ultra-limited availability, has made the Legacy Black irons certified classics.

It’s fascinating to me that Stenson has used the same model irons for 9 years now, so I was excited to finally have the chance to speak with him in-depth about them.

Our full Q&A with Stenson is over on PGATOUR.com, but here’s a few interesting snippets from the talk:

“I came off the U.S. Open in 2013, and I hit too many fliers at Merion. My caddie Gareth [Lord] at the time walks into Callaway and asks them to give us some options that don’t fly too much out of the rough, and the boys in Europe built up the Legacy Black. When the irons showed up, they felt great and looked good, and I didn’t hit too many fliers with them. They’ve been in the bag ever since…

“Callaway comes out with some good looking irons every year. It’s just been, I guess I’m a little old school. I know what works for me and I like the look of that. We don’t really have much of an off-season. It’s not like we have two or three months at home to test new stuff. That’s probably the one thing in the bag that it’s like, OK that definitely stays. When they come out with new wedges, we put them in and test them, and new fairway woods even.”

Tommy Fleetwood’s bag tag

Honestly, not much needs to be said about Fleetwood’s TaylorMade bag tag. It’s simply glorious, and I wanted everyone to see it.

Although, he did recently shave his beard after being in a bad mood, so the bag tag may need an update unless he plans on growing it back out.

Sam lets the traditional gap wedge Burn

Valspar’s defending champion made a very interesting wedge switch in the off-season that could be part of a new wave of equipment choices on Tour.

Recently, we saw Dylan Frittelli start using a 1-of-1 Callaway Apex TCB iron for his sand wedge instead of using a traditional wedge shape like most golfers do.

Burns has prescribed to a similar tactic by replacing his Callaway Jaws MD5 50-degree wedge with an “Attack Wedge” that’s part of the Apex TCB set. After noticing his wedge game from 100-150 yards needed some improvement, Burns realized he needed a more forgiving option than his traditional blade wedge to clean up his distance control.

That leaves us normal golfers to answer the question, “Why do we use less-forgiving traditional wedges instead of wedges that are part of the iron set?”

I think it’s time for all of us to do some wedge testing to figure out that answer for ourselves.

For the full story on Burns’ wedge switch, check it out here on PGATOUR.com.

Are these the coolest irons and wedges you’ve ever seen?

World long driver Maurice Allen showed up to the Valspar Pro-Am with a set of absolute stunners for his irons and wedges.

The angular surface and copper rainbow finish gives these Itobori clubs a staggering level of bag appeal. For those who may not know, Itobori custom golf clubs are designed by Mayuki Takai, based in Nagoya, Japan.

Allen is bagging the company’s Cavity Irons, but there’s a slew of different models as per the Itobori website.

We haven’t spoken just yet, but my promise to you is that we will get Maurice Allen on the TG2 podcast to speak on how he got a hold of these gorgeous irons, how they feel, and how they perform. The world needs to know.

And with that, we close out the final Tour Report from the Florida Swing in 2022. We’ll be back next week in Austin, Texas for the 2022 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Get your match play brackets ready for golf’s version of March Madness.

Check out all of our photos from the 2022 Valspar Championship 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.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: TOUR REPORT: Adam Scott’s latest club switch, and a 5-wood from 12 years ago – GolfWRX

  2. HR Fernández

    Mar 20, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Reading Stenson’s irons story, among others of the same, only tells me that OEM’s and fitters are full of it. All they want is for you to buy new equipment every year, and in reality, it won’t be much different than your current setup.

    Unless you are a tour player and you wear out your grooves chances are your clubs are going to outlive you.

    Save your money, and if you buy a new set of clubs is because you want to, not because some jebroni is trying to get you to spend money on equipment which will do nothing for you.

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (10/4/22): Swag Al Capone headcover

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At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways.

It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Swag Al Capone headcover

From the seller (@InFaMoUs ShAnK): “Chi Capone $290”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Swag Al Capone headcover

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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SPOTTED: Cleveland RTX 6 ZipCore Tour Rack wedges at the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open

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New golf equipment was showing up left and right on Monday at the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

In addition to launching new ZX7 MKII irons, Cleveland-Srixon also brought out new RTX 6 ZipCore Tour Rack wedges for PGA Tour players to test for the first time.

While we don’t yet have details on the new wedges yet, based on the overall aesthetics, nomenclature, and design of the wedge, it appears the new RTX 6 ZipCore Tour Rack wedges could be set to replace Cleveland’s previous RTX ZipCore models.

Speaking with GolfWRX recently, Cleveland Product Manager Casey Shultz explained what the former RTX ZipCore wedges were all about:

“RTX ZipCore is designed for the better player with a well-developed short game that can take advantage of the added versatility the line brings to improve their shot-making capabilities around the greens, while still experiencing added forgiveness and consistency over what can typically be found in a blade wedge.”

“RTX ZipCore is the first product we introduced with our ZipCore technology, a low-density material within the hosel that helps to shift the CG and raise MOI, adding spin, enhancing control, and boosting consistency all within a traditional blade style shape. This wedge also has the newest Rotex face design with the sharper, deeper, and closer UltiZip grooves for maximum spin performance. On top of this, a new heat treatment process has been added to ensure these grooves stay sharp and this spin continues round after round.”

While we don’t know exactly what the new “6” is referencing, it could possibly mean these wedges are the sixth edition of “RTX” wedges, since the Cleveland RTX 4 wedges came out in 2018, and the company followed those up with the RTX ZipCore wedges in 2020.

Also, Shultz briefly explained the continued benefits of the Tour Rack program:

“Tour testing and feedback has a big influence on the design of our wedges, especially when it comes to grind offerings and appearance at address. We constantly are making modifications to the grinds for tour players and take notes of what works and what doesn’t and work this feedback in to future designs as well as custom grinding options available in our Tour Rack program.”

It appears that Cleveland’s Tour Rack has helped produced a new offering of RTX 6 ZipCore wedges, which we spotted at the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open below.

Check out the two wedges we saw in Las Vegas, and click here to read what GolfWRX Members are saying about the wedges.

Click here for more photos of the RTX 6 ZipCore Tour Rack wedges!

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Equipment

2023 Titleist Pro V1 golf balls secretly began tour seeding last week

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We’re used to seeing new equipment at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, and indeed it’s the tournament at which Titleist has begun tour seeding for the next iteration of the Pro V1 golf ball in the past. This year, however, staffers apparently couldn’t wait until Vegas and “tour validation,” Titleist’s term for the process of tour seeding and feedback, actually began at last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship.

According to Titleist, Garrick Higgo, M.J. Daffue, and Gary Woodland, who had tested prototype versions of the 2023 Pro V1 and Pro V1x, were clamoring to put the balls in play. Higgo (Pro V1), Daffue (Pro V1x), and Woodland (Pro V1x) became the first three players to game the 2023 models in competition.

This week, Titleist Golf Ball R&D reps Fordie Pitts and Jeff Beyers will be fitting players at TPC Summerlin.

2023 Titleist Pro V1

Jordan Spieth had this to say about the development process behind the new Pro V1.

“The Pro V1 and ProV1x, as a whole, are the best balls in golf so it’s hard to say, ‘How are you going to possibly make that ball better when it’s already the best?’” said Jordan Spieth. “I think when you think of anything being the best, you’re really going against yourself then. You’re trying to beat your former self versus worrying about the competition. And I think Titleist does that. They continue to push being the best and continuing to stay No. 1 – and that’s a really difficult thing to do.”

2023 Titleist Pro V1x

Reigning Masters champion, Scottie Scheffler, described the paces he’ll be putting the new Pro V1 through:

“First thing I’ll always do is take them to the short game area. For me, that’s always the most important. From there I’ll go to the range and just look at numbers, carry, stuff like that. From there, I’ll go out on the course and just start hitting shots. So same thing I do in the short game area, have a few of my ball, have a few of the new ball and just try and hit the same shot and see how the ball reacts, see what it does in the wind and just go from there.”

“One shot that I’m always practicing is when I take some off of it. I need to see that it’s still the same (distance) gaps between my full shot and when I’m taking some off of it. When I’m practicing on the driving range, if I have a little mishit or if a shot doesn’t feel right…I usually have a really good feel for how far it actually carried. If my stock wedge is 140 and I’m trying to hit at 135, and maybe I catch a little bit off and I’m like, ‘man that really feels like 132,’ if it goes that distance, that’s really important to me. And that gives me a lot of faith in what that golf ball’s going to do.”

Stay tuned to GolfWRX for more on the 2023 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x.

“White boxes” of 2023 Titleist Pro V1, Pro V1 golf balls at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

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