There was an excessive amount of drama this week – at least as far as golf equipment goes – at the 2022 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas.
Adam Scott continued his equipment reality show, Scottie Scheffler finally ditched a longtime 3-wood for a new flame, and Paul Casey addressed internet rumors about his putter.
…also, 49-year-old Englishman Richard Bland showed up with one of the coolest WITBs we’ve seen in a while at GolfWRX.
Welcome to this week’s Tour Report, where we breakdown all of the most noteworthy gear news from Austin.
Adam Scott continues testing, and changing
Scott, a longtime Titleist staffer, recently became an equipment free agent, which means he’s free to test and play with any golf clubs he wants.
So far in 2022, Scott has continued to use Titleist 681.AS Forged irons and Vokey wedges, but he’s started testing out clubs in other areas of his bag in recent weeks. For example, he switched into a L.A.B. Golf putter ahead of the 2022 WM Phoenix Open, and TaylorMade Stealth woods ahead of The Players Championship.
In Austin, he had two new clubs in the bag on Tuesday. The first new club was a Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond “S” prototype driver, which didn’t make his final bag setup come competition time on Wednesday. He was still using a TaylorMade Stealth Plus 10.5-degree driver during his first round match up. The other addition, which did ultimately make his 14-club competition setup as per Getty Images on Thursday, was a Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi 3-iron (equipped with a KBS Tour 130X shaft).
Clearly, Scott is testing out new equipment right now, and he’s making changes and testing new clubs every week. The Adam Scott equipment reality show continued again this week, and we’ll be back next week for more updates.
Bland’s far-from-bland setup
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for old golf clubs. So, when I saw that Bland was still using a TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 5-wood, which came out in February 2010, I needed to get his take on it.
His full explanation is over on PGATOUR.com, but here’s a snippet:
“You see a lot of guys, they might be playing with a 3-wood that’s 5 or 6 years old. I think, like the fairway woods, it’s not necessarily about the technology, it’s about the flight that you get. That’s what I like about that 5-wood; I can hit it high, I can hit it low, it gives me a bit of versatility. I was a TaylorMade player for years. They were trying to get it out of the bag for God knows how many years. It stood the test of time.”
Bland is also using a mixed-brand iron setup, consisting of Honma “Rose Proto” short irons (8-PW), and Callaway Apex Pro long irons (3-7 iron). Check out Bland’s wildly interesting WITB and explanations here.
Paul Casey clears up the rumors
Paul Casey had been using the same Scotty Cameron GSS proto putter for years. Come 2022, however, Casey added a weight plug in the heel of his putter.
That led GolfWRX commenters and Instagram users to speculate on why he added the weight. Most commenters guessed that he was removing weight from the heel portion of his putter.
I caught up with Casey on Tuesday to get his (hilarious, yet informative) response:
“People have no idea, it’s quite funny. I read a post the other day, some guy claiming he knew what was going on.
“There’s a post on there, the guy is like, ‘Oh, he drilled it out and he removed weight from the heel.’
“First of all, no.
“So what you got to remember is – go ask Scotty – every time you see a plug, it’s adding weight, it’s not removing weight. If you remove weight, you just grind it off. You never see it. To remove weight, you just shave the bottom.
“So that plug is… he drilled a hole. You lose about 6 grams. That plug is about 12-13 grams. That gives you about a net gain of about 6-7 grams. Adding the weight to the heel is like adding weight to the heel of a driver. It makes the toe lighter, and it makes the toe faster. In other words, it makes the putter rotate more.
“My tendency through the years, and why I went cross handed a while ago, is that I tend to – I don’t shut the blade going back, but it’s probably shut to the path. I don’t rotate the putter. I don’t open the putter as much as I’d like to. So that weight in the heel and lightening the toe allows the putter to rotate better… Look, everybody’s an expert, but I know why I did it.”
He also added a dot to the sightline of his new putter. Check out the full story for Casey’s explanation on why.
Pour one out for Scheffler’s Nike fairway wood
Scheffler warned us at The Players Championship: “It’ll be a sad day [when the Nike comes out of the bag], but it has to happen eventually.”
Fresh off a new equipment deal with TaylorMade, Scheffler began testing a TaylorMade Stealth 3 HL 16.5-degree fairway wood to replace his longtime Nike VR Pro Limited 3-wood, which originally hit retail back in 2011.
While he continued using the Nike fairway wood at The Players, he switched into the Stealth 3-wood at the Match Play event this week.
I asked TaylorMade why he ultimately made the Stealth switch. Here was the entire answer from Todd Chew, Taylormade’s Senior Tour Rep:
“After testing the Stealth 15.0-degree head in the preseason, which was simply going too far for the types of shots Scottie was trying to hit, in Palm Springs we built him a Stealth 3HL 16.5-degree head with a [Fujikura] Ventus 8X shaft. His previous 3-Wood was about 12.5 degrees of loft, and in order to match launch conditions and distance with Stealth, we had to go to the Stealth 3HL, make it an inch shorter and finish the loft at 16 degrees. We were really close with matching launch conditions, which was important to Scottie. It was coming out of a different window because of the difference in loft in the heads, and he has since been able to figure out how to flight it the way he wants to flight it. The benefits of the 16.5-degree head are that he can hit it much higher and farther if he wants to but also match previous conditions, which were lower and feature more spin.
“Scottie could actually do more with the Stealth 15.0-degree head, but it would go too far. With a titanium Stealth Plus head he could hit it even further, but that’s not what he needs from this club. The 16.5-degree Stealth head is more of a weapon because of the added distance and height capability he can get when he wants it. That is the benefit of taking a lot of the spin out of the head and being able to use more loft compared to older technology. With the previous club you wouldn’t want to launch it higher in the air because it would spin too much. With today’s technology taking so much spin out of the club, you can use more loft which makes the club so much more playable and versatile.”
Meet Viktor Hovland’s caddie
PGA Tour golfers are amazingly skilled and fun to watch, but their caddies are the some of the most interesting people in golf. They’re filled with stories, experiences, and valuable information to learn from.
Last week on our “Caddie Corner” series, we asked Hovland’s caddie, Shay Knight, a wide array of questions to get to know him better.
He was filled with great advice, but here was my favorite part:
GolfWRX: Caddies are known for having the best stories. Without incriminating yourself, what’s the funniest story you have about caddie life?
Knight: I wouldn’t say it’s a funny story, but it’s probably the best moment of my caddying career. It was when I had a game of golf with Tiger Woods. We were at Isleworth. Shane Joel, who used to caddie for Mark O’Meara, he lived in Orlando and he would always go to Isleworth just to work with O’Meara and Tiger was always there. He lived just on the other side of the driving range and Shane invited me to go to Isleworth and just hang out there for the day. We’re going to play some golf with O’Meara and John Cook, and Tiger was on the range. We got introduced to him, and he was just an unbelievably nice guy. We went over to the chipping green and we hit some chip shots and he was telling me a bunch of stuff.
I said, “Are you playing golf today?”
Tiger said, “Oh, we’ll see.”
So we get in the golf cart and we start going to the first tee, and Tiger goes into his house. Then, two seconds later, he comes back out and starts following us.
I said to Shane: “Is this really going to happen?”
He goes, “Yes, it is.”
I’ve never been more nervous in my life, but it was the best day of my life. We played 9 holes with him, then went into Isleworth where they have this half court basketball court. He put his hat on backwards and starts shooting hoops and starts telling me Michael Jordan stories. It was an unbelievable day. It was cool.
Maurice Allen’s international drip
2018 World long drive champ Maurice Allen once hit a golf ball from Canada to America, clearing Niagara Falls. The accomplishment itself was impressive (especially since John Daly failed at the feat), but Allen won more than long-ball pride; he also received a custom gold rope chain and medallion out of it (pictured above).
Deepali Sawlini from Garden of Diamonds saw the feat and made Allen a custom Niagara Falls medallion, with a silhouette of his swing on the back, to commemorate the moment.
How do I know this? Well, Allen himself joined our TG2 podcast this week to talk about gear, his Itobori irons, his insane shoe collection, the state of long drive contracts in golf, the Niagara Falls chain, and so much more.
Check out the full interview with Allen below on SoundCloud, and we’ll see you next week in San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open!
Lydia Ko WITB 2023 (September)
- Lydia Ko what’s in the bag accurate as of the the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
Driver: Ping G430 LST (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana GT 50 S
3-wood: Ping G430 Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 60 S
5-wood: Ping G430 Max (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana GT 60 S
Hybrid: Ping G430 (22 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD HY 65 S
Irons: Titleist T200 (5), ProtoConcept CO5 (6-9)
Shafts: AeroTech SteelFiber fc 70
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 48-10F @49, 54-10F, 58-08F @59)
Shafts: AeroTech SteelFiber fc 70 (46), AeroTech SteelFiber fc 80 (48-58)
Putter: Scotty Cameron TG6
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Spotted: Amy Yang’s T.P. Mills Fleetwood putter
This week, we spotted Amy Yang with a rare putter in her bag at the 2023 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. The putter was made by legendary putter maker T.P. Mills and the head shape is called “Fleetwood.” If you are not familiar with T.P. Mills, the company was founded in 1963 by Truett P. Mills, Sr. who wanted to make a better putter than what was available. His original putters were crafted with basic hand tools in his garage out of of carbon steel. His son David is now crafting the handmade putters after many years learning and working with his father. The company still offers the classic Softtail, Huey, Ming, 8802, and many more putters from his shop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The Fleetwood is considered heel-shafted and has a wide flange that blurs the line between blade and mallet. Amy’s Fleetwood features a single sightline on the wide flange and some “snow” stamping on the top of the bumpers. Those bumpers flare up at the toe and heel, pushing weight to the outside for added stability and a balanced feel throughout the stroke. The large back cavity has some snow stamping above “My Wand” text that is stamped and filled with white paint. The topline looks slightly rounded for a softer look and blends in nicely with the width of the putter. A half-shaft offset flow neck is welded to the head while the face features a shallow milling pattern and unique “Mills” stamping near the heel.
The “Super Bullet” sole contains a large oval cavity where material is removed to dial in the desired head weight of the putter. This main cavity is in combination with two additional round cavities out at the toe and heel area. Yang’s Fleetwood is milled from Swiss-German stainless steel, as that is what is stamped into the center of the sole.
A traditional chrome steel shaft is installed and the putter is finished off with a Rosemark 1.52 MFS (microfiber silicone) putter grip in a white and teal.
- Check out the rest of our photos from the 2023 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship (LPGA)
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (9/27/23): National Custom Works wedges (Don White hand ground)
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 set of National Custom Works wedges (Don White hand ground).
From the seller (@cronejt): “Wedges: 50, 54, 60. Wedge heads. Don White Hand Ground. Raw finish, rust can be removed if desired. Highly Custom 1 of 1 stamping. Paid $1200 ($400 per head) for the heads alone. Took same time as iron set 1. Club build was done by Mike at TXG in Toronto. Asking $1000.”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: National Custom Works wedges (Don White hand ground)
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