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The top 10 gear stories of 2022 (so far): Where do Tiger’s FootJoy shoes rank?

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When Tiger Woods showed up on Monday at Augusta National for the 2022 Masters, he did so in a pair of FootJoy Premiere Packard golf shoes. As a Nike athlete for his entire professional career, Woods’ choice of shoes was shocking, and GolfWRX forum members were appropriately buzzing with their takes.

But, was it the biggest gear story of the year thus far?

On GolfWRX’s recent Two Guys Talkin Golf podcast (TG2), Brian Knudson and myself (Andrew Tursky) ranked our top-10 equipment stories of 2022 to see where Woods’ shoes landed on the list.

Below are the top-10 gear stories from 2022. Let us know in the comments what we missed, or where we messed up.

10) Paul Casey claps back at GolfWRX commenters

For years, Paul Casey has used the same Scotty Cameron prototype putter with a smooth sole (pictured on top). Come 2022, however, Casey switched into a nearly identical version (pictured on the bottom), except he had Scotty Cameron add a weight port in the heel.

Since Casey didn’t speak out on the minor change originally, GolfWRX commenters speculated in our forums that Casey was reducing weight in the heel.

When I asked him for his explanation on the change, Casey hilariously corrected the wrong takes.

“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.”

Click here for the full story

9) High lofted fairways continue their takeover

Many amateur golfers assume that pros use unforgiving long irons at the top end of their setup instead of high-lofted fairway woods or hybrids. While maybe that used to be the case in PGA Tour player’s bags, it’s becoming more and more common for even the best players in the world to use 5, 7, and even 9 woods.

Fairway woods, compared to hybrids and long irons, can help golfers achieve more launch, speed and forgiveness, helping golfers hit shots that fly higher, farther, and land softer.

As pictured above, long-hitting Dustin Johnson currently uses a TaylorMade Stealth 7-wood that has 21 degrees of loft. Additionally, 2022 Players Champion Cam Smith recently spoke with our TG2 podcast about the value of using 7-woods out of the rough to advance the ball further toward the green.

If you’re struggling hitting long irons and not achieving enough height or distance, conducting some of your own experimenting with high-lofted fairways from various lies.

8) GolfWRX’s Best Driver list

Your driver is arguably the most important club in your bag, but finding the right driver for your game isn’t easy. There are so many options and head styles, so it’s important to conduct your own testing, and ideally see a professional fitter to get their advice.

To help get consumers started in the right direction, GolfWRX compiled an expert panel of master fitters nationwide to provide their takes on all of the current drivers on the market, and figure out which driver technologies best suit the swings of various golfers.

While there’s no “best” driver, because every golf swing is different, there is a “best for you.” Hopefully this driver list helps you in your driver search.

Click here for the full story. 

7) Webb Simpson finally upgrades his driver

Webb Simpson isn’t big on making changes to his gear setup. He still uses a Titleist TS2 3-wood that was released in 2018, a Titleist 913F.d 18-degree wood and a 913H.d 20-degree hybrid that were both released in 2013, and a 915 H.d 23.5-degree hybrid came out in 2014.

Until recently, he was also still using a Titleist TS3 driver, which hit retail in 2018, rather than switching into the popular new TSi3 version that players such as Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are using.

After extensive testing, though, Simpson finally made a permanent switch into the new TSi3 technology at The 2022 Players Championship.

“(The TSi3 driver release) came at a time when I was driving it well,” Simpson told GolfWRX. “I didn’t really want to fiddle with it. Then I got to a point where I saw how many guys were using it and I knew it was faster…it just took time for me to get the spin right because the new driver spins less for me. I like to hit lower tee balls, and the lower ones I wasn’t getting enough spin, but we finally got the combination right.”

Ultimately, Simpson said he gained 2-3 mph of ball speed by finally making the upgrade.

Click here for the full story. 

6) Tom Hoge’s custom 1-of-1 putter has a wild backstory

Tom Hoge won the 2022 Pebble Beach Pro-Am this year using a 1-of-1 Odyssey White Hot OG 2-ball putter with a plumber’s neck.

Struggling with his alignment on the greens, Hoge was testing various putters at the beginning of 2022. His caddie, Henry Diana Jr., employed the services of Odyssey Tour rep Joe Toulon to develop a custom 2-ball to help fix Hoge’s issues.

The prototype putter was delivered to Hoge during a practice session ahead of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he went on to win with it.

That’s only half of the story, though. Diana Jr. actually suggested a 2-ball putter because he had success with a similar design in the past. His father, Henry Diana Sr., was a tinkerer and a club maker, and he designed a 2-ball style putter before the famous Odyssey 2-ball ever even existed.

“My dad used to be a tool and die maker but he made putters,” Diana Jr. told GolfWRX. “When I was playing professionally I was having a hard time with alignment, so in the mid-90s he made a 2-ball putter. I was using the Pelz putter, but I was aiming too far left. I didn’t like the Pelz putter. He’s like, ‘Well, hell, I’ll make you a putter. I think three is too many, I’ll make you a putter with two…that was 5 years before the Odyssey 2-ball came out.”

With Hoge winning the event, the 2-ball putter officially came full circle for Diana Jr.

Click here for the full story. 

5) Alan Morin’s mind-blowing bag setup

Alan Morin is a dominant PGA professional in the South Florida PGA section who’s won its Player of the Year honors 11 times. He also recently qualified to play in the 2022 Honda Classic, where we got a look into his golf bag.

As it turns out, Morin uses one of the most interesting bag setups we’ve seen for a professional golfer.

The 52-year-old was spotted with a TaylorMade RBZ fairway wood from 2012, three TaylorMade Rescues from 2011, a set of TaylorMade Tour Preferred irons from 2011, and new Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedges with ports in the back cavities for weighting purposes. He also uses an Odyssey Versa 7 putter that’s stacked with lead tape.

With years worth of technological advances available on the market, it’s incredible that Morin stays dominant with a set of clubs from last decade.

Click here for the full story. 

4) Scottie Scheffler signs an equipment deal

Fresh off winning twice on the PGA Tour as an equipment free agent in 2022, Scottie Scheffler announced that he signed an equipment deal with TaylorMade.

The signing didn’t slow Scheffler up at all, though, and he won the 2022 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play as a TaylorMade staffer.

After signing with the company, Scheffler kept his bag setup mostly the same, but he did switch out his 11-year-old Nike VR Pro Limited fairway wood for a new TaylorMade Stealth 3HL 16.5-degree wood. Here’s why:

“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 the previous conditions, which were lower and feature more spin,” said TaylorMade senior tour representative Todd Chew. “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.”

Click here for the full story. 

3) The 48-inch driver ban

In the last couple years, various professional golfers were testing the merits of using 48-inch drivers to see if they could gain a distance advantage off the tee. In response, the USGA put in an optional local rule that would reduce the maximum allowable club length to 46 inches, instead of the previous 48-inch maximum.

While this change didn’t affect most golfers who use drivers that measure less than 46 inches anyway, Phil Mickelson was not happy about the change, calling it “pathetic.” But, alas, the change stands.

So, in 2022, you’ll likely no longer see any 48-inch drivers on the PGA Tour. Is this the last of the USGA equipment rule changes regarding distance? We’ll see what the future holds, but this was the first rule adjustment in recent history.

Click here for the full story. 

2) The ongoing Adam Scott gear drama

Adam Scott, who’s been a full-time Titleist staffer for nearly his entire career, is now essentially an equipment free agent. While he still has a golf ball, glove and shoe deal with Titleist, he’s free to test and use any golf clubs he wants.

Since Scott had been using Titleist clubs for his entire career, it was interesting to see what changes Scott would make in 2022. We’re starting to get some answers.

While Scott has continued using his 1-of-1 Titleist 681.AS blade irons, and Vokey wedges, he’s made a number of changes including using a new custom L.A.B. Golf putter, and TaylorMade Stealth metalwoods.

Will he make any more changes in 2022? It’s clear that Scott is still testing new equipment, so we’ll keep an eye on Scott’s bag throughout the year.

Click here for the full story.

1) Tiger Woods wears FootJoy shoes at the Masters

In 1996, Tiger Woods signed a deal with Nike Golf, which completely changed the landscape of golf shoes and apparel. Woods and Nike helped changed the look and style for golfers, making shoes more futuristic, athletic and cool.

Since 1996, Woods has worn Nike golf shoes for every round of golf that he’s played – at least on TV. That changed at The 2022 Masters, though, when he showed up wearing FootJoy Premiere Packard shoes (pictured above).

Recovering from his surgically repaired right leg following a car accident in 2021, Woods says he needed more stability than Nike could offer with its shoes.

“I have very limited mobility now,” Woods said in a Masters press conference. “Just with the rods and plates and screws that are in my leg, I needed something different, something that allowed me to be more stable. That’s what I’ve gone to. Nike’s been fantastic over the years of providing me with equipment…and…we’ve been working on trying to find something to allow me to do this and swing again. We’re still going to continue doing it, and hopefully we’ll have something soon.”

The gear change was shocking, and is absolutely the top gear story of the year, if not the decade. It’s unfathomable the amount of money Nike pays Woods per year to wear its apparel, and on golf’s biggest stage, the 2022 Masters, with Woods making his highly anticipated comeback, he’s wearing FootJoy shoes instead of Nike.

It’s truly an unbelievable story.

To celebrate Woods’ choice of golf shoes this week, TG2 podcast co-host Brian Knudson had an idea for custom FootJoy Premiere Packard shoes, which are pictured below (the graphic images were made in Photoshop; they are NOT real!).

Do you think FootJoy should consider selling Tiger-striped golf shoes?

Click here for the full story. 

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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. Garrett

    Apr 11, 2022 at 10:33 am

    FootJoy absolutely needs to capitalize on this moment. A Masters-green version with that tiger striped accent would sell like hotcakes.

    Now they have proof – when push comes to shove, the best players in the world use FootJoy. I am going to try these out myself.

    • Bunter Hiden

      Apr 12, 2022 at 11:51 pm

      I’m sure they’re working ’round the clock over in an alley in Shanghai right now on them.

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotlight: RypGolf’s Rypstick

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Product: RypGolf’s Rypstick

Pitch: From RypGolf…

Start hitting longer drives and shooting lower scores. The Rypstick Distance Training Aid
features three interchangeable weights, plus an optional counterweight, all in the convenience of one stick, without any tools necessary.

The versatility of the Rypstick is unmatched, allowing you to swing up to 10 percent lighter than your driver weight, helping to build speed, and up to 25 percent heavier than your driver weight, helping to build strength. For every 1 MPH of added clubhead speed, you’ll gain 3 extra yards of driving distance. All it takes is 15 minutes, three times per week, and you could add 15-25 yards to your game!

Rypstick’s compact, streamlined design fits seamlessly in your golf bag and enables you to build speed from anywhere. The Rypstick is also a great warm up device to use prior to your round of golf, making it an incredibly useful stick.

Over 300 top PGA Teaching Professionals, all use the Rypstick. These top professionals are validating the impact Rypstick’s had on the games’ speed revolution. In addition, Rypstick is used by 75-plus tour athletes, 10 long drive competitors.

Our take on the Rypstick

It seems like everyone is chasing speed these days. And if you’re ready to join the hunt, you’re going to need both a tool for the job and a training program. With respect to the latter, RypGolf offers a four-part training protocol, which we like. And it’s serious business! Four weeks of training for each protocol. Having a swing speed training is great, but without a plan, you’re never going to see 10 or 20 yards of distance gains.

The Rypstick definitely has some weight to it and the first swings take a little bit of strength to get it moving! Like warming up with multiple clubs, you can really feel your muscles working through the swing. After just a few swings at high effort, you really feel like you can swing a normal golf club with some increased speed! The auditory feedback the Rypstick delivers is a big plus as well. We definitely see viability as a warm-up tool in addition to the speed training protocol.

For us, RypStick hits all notes relative to competitor models: weight options, no tools required, available counterweighting, and the price point ($199) is lower than most other swing speed trainers on the market.

You can buy the RypStick here. 

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Mitsubishi Chemical unveils new Diamana GT shaft

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The Mitsubishi Chemical Group has introduced the latest addition to the 5th Generation Diamana Family: Diamana GT.

Built on the platform of the 4th Generation Diamana ZF, Diamana GT provides the blend of Diamana TB and Diamana PD in a mid-launching, low-spinning versatile package.

“After participating in the launch of the original Diamana profile in 2005 people still think I work for ‘Diamana’ and not Mitsubishi Chemical, that’s how big Diamana is! Every time we add a new product to the Diamana family, there is a tremendous responsibility to ensure that product performs as a Diamana should. I have no doubt Diamana GT will carry the name well,” – Mitsubishi Chemical Group VP of Sales & Marketing, Mark Gunther.

The latest shaft features a firm handle with a soft midsection with additional fortification tip-side from Diamana GT. This is designed to create stability in the handle and tip section with plenty of load in the midsection in a bid to provide outstanding feel and increased club head and ball speed.

Diamana GT features the brand’s Xlink Tech Resin System – a new shaft construction process that uses a dual-phase epoxy/non-epoxy high density, interlinked structure that, per the company, “results in a far more carbon-rich structure while driving down resin content,” therefore creating a shaft with minimal resin designed to also feels great, all without affecting the shaft’s durability and actually increasing its overall strength.

The design is capped off with a Consistent Feel Design. Diamana GT was designed to help fitters in fitting bays across the world by using Consistent Feel Design to reduce variance in butt OD, weight between flexes, and balance point to make different weights and flexes feel as close as possible to one another. This is all designed to help the fitter and customer move through different weights and flexes more seamlessly to lock onto the proper fit to produce ideal launch and spin characteristics.

The Diamana GT will be available in September 2022 with a retail price of $400.

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Most forgiving one-piece forged irons? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the most forgiving one piece forged irons on the market. WRXer ‘JStang’ lays out the criteria, saying: “I’m talking no slots, injected goo, tungsten plugs etc. Just a good old solid chunk of metal.”

And our members have been sharing their best picks 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.

  • Jmccas: “New Level 623CB is a single piece forging.”
  • brucedeuce: “Zx7. Not sure anything compares in a one-piece forging.”
  • drumdude96: “I play Adams A4 forged irons, and they are incredibly forgiving for a one-piece forging. They’re certainly not the latest and greatest, but I love them. And I get really good distance out of them too.”
  • CR1977: “Without tungsten? Wilson Staff Blades are pretty forgiving for a simple chunk of metal.”

Entire Thread: “Most forgiving one piece forged irons? – GolfWRXers discuss”

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