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TOUR REPORT: Maverick McNealy explains his “11-iron,” and a 12-year-old 5-wood finally gets replaced

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Welcome to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas for the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge.

As always, this week’s Tour Report will highlight the most interesting equipment that we spotted on the grounds this week ahead of the event. But first, a quick history lesson…or rather, a quick historical debate.

You may have heard that Colonial Country Club is nicknamed “Hogan’s Alley,” due to his five professional wins at the event (1946, 1947, 1952, 1953 and 1959). The “Hogan’s Alley” name, however, has also been applied to Riviera Country Club, because he won three times on the course in less than 18 months (he won the L.A. Open twice at Riviera in 1947 and 1948, then he won the U.S. Open at Riviera in 1948). There’s a third “Hogan’s Alley,” too. On the 6th hole at Carnoustie, Hogan reportedly split the out of bounds line on the left and the fairway bunker on the right for 4 straight days en route to winning the 1953 Open Championship. That small strip of fairway then became known as “Hogan’s Alley.”

Which one is the real Hogan’s Alley? Unfortunately, that’s not my call to make, so I’ll leave that debate up to the GolfWRX Forum Thread regarding the topic.

Nickname debates aside, let’s get into this week’s Tour Report from Colonial Country Club (a.k.a. Hogan’s Alley?!).

Click here to see all of our photos from the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge.

Ben Hogan’s unbelievable prototypes revealed

Apparently, Ben Hogan wasn’t just a legendary golfer and ball striker, but he was a golf club visionary, too.

On Tuesday at the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge, the Ben Hogan Foundation brought out a number of Hogan’s old personal clubs for PGA Tour players to try on the range. It’s always cool to see the modern players test out clubs that were made well before they were born.

Thanks to Robert Stennett, CEO of the Ben Hogan Foundation, GolfWRX was also granted the opportunity to check out a collection of Hogan’s personal prototypes from the early 1960’s that were previously locked away in a safe.

Hogan’s prototypes reveal that he was well ahead of his time as a club inventor. The five clubs that Stennett showed to GolfWRX included:

  • A driver made of metal (remember, TaylorMade didn’t come out with their first metalwood until 1979, and Hogan’s prototype was estimated to be made in the early 1960’s!)
  • A hybrid made of metal (the first “hybrid” as we know it today was released by Cobra in 1998)
  • A wooden driver with a bore-thru shaft and modern head shape
  • An extremely lightweight iron with an aluminum head and wave-like grooves
  • A putter with the shaft entering into the toe section of the putter rather than the heel

These golf clubs are truly one of a kind, and a huge THANK YOU goes out to the Ben Hogan Foundation for the opportunity to see the clubs and share their stories. You can check out our full feature story on the golf clubs over at PGATOUR.com, or click here for the all of the photos in our GolfWRX Forums.

Also, head over to the Ben Hogan Foundation’s website to learn more and get involved.

JT’s dad has an awesome Vokey wedge

Mike Thomas – Justin Thomas’ father and swing coach – can usually be seen walking alongside his son at PGA Tour events carrying around a Titleist Vokey SM6 wedge, which doubles as a walking stick.

In case you haven’t seen up-close photos of the wedge, it’s stamped with notable memories and events that Mike and Justin have shared together over the past few years. Each of the stampings is done by Vokey wedge rep and stamper extraordinaire Aaron Dill.

Dill has another stamp to add: the “2022 PGA Championship,” where JT won his second major championship in a playoff against Will Zalatoris last week.

The wedge is running out of room for stampings, so maybe for the upcoming Father’s Day, JT can gift his dad a fresh Vokey SM9 wedge to act as a blank canvas for future stamps.

Check out all our photos of the wedge here.

Maverick McNealy puts prototype 10 and 11 irons in play

In case you haven’t been following along to this ongoing gear story, Maverick McNealy revealed new Callaway Apex MB prototype irons at the 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson a few weeks ago. McNealy and the Callaway team had been working on the prototypes for over a year, and he put the 4-7 irons in play at the Byron Nelson.

He spoke in-depth on the designs with GolfWRX here.

Well, at the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge, we caught up with McNealy, and he’s since filled out the set. Not only did he put the 8 and 9 iron prototypes into the bag, but he’s also using 10 and 11 irons this week.

Unlike the 4-9 irons, which have 17 narrowly spaced grooves, the 10 and 11 irons have 14 grooves that are more widely spaced for lower launch and additional spin/control.

“The 10 and 11 iron is a fun project for us because I almost never chip with a pitching wedge or gap wedge, and if I do it’s a bump and run, so I just want something that’s going to flow straight through from my short irons to my approach irons, or however you want to call them,” McNealy told GolfWRX. “I’ve seen them launch lower with a little bit more spin, which is great for distance control, and they feel just like my irons, which is a pretty exciting project.”

Our full story on the new full bag of Callaway prototypes is over on PGATOUR.com.

Pure bag appeal

Thanks to his copper Cobra King MIM Tour irons and rusted Titleist Vokey SM9 raw wedges, Erik Compton’s bag is one of those that you walk by and just have to do a double take. The irons, specifically, show that even pro golfers use designs with modern cavity back technology through the set; not all of them use blades or ultra-compact CB options.

To figure out which iron style and model may work best for your particular game and preferences, check out GolfWRX’s Best Irons for 2022.

Interestingly, Compton also bags an Axis1 Rose proto putter that was designed for Justin Rose. Speaking with Phil Long from Axis1 on Tuesday, GolfWRX learned that Justin Rose has 44.094 Strokes Gained: Putting in his last 34 measured major championship rounds since switching to his Axis1 Rose putter in 2019. Yeah, that’s pretty strong. No wonder the putter has also caught Compton’s eye.

Erik Compton’s full 2022 WITB at the Charles Schwab Challenge

An update on one of the most interesting WITBs on Tour

In our Tour Report from the 2022 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March, we highlighted Richard Bland’s especially noteworthy WITB, which included Honma “Rose Proto” short irons with the “Rose” scratched out, and a TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 5-wood (released to retail in 2010).

At the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge this week, we got an update on his setup. Apparently, Bland has finally switched out his 12-year-old 5 wood for a new 21-degree TaylorMade Stealth 7 wood, which he’s equipping with a Fujikura Ventus Red.

And with that, we say goodbye to Fort Worth and the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge. We’ll see you next week at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday.

Click here to see all of our photos from the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge.

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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. ChipNRun

    May 29, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    I find it amusing that the 10i and 11i are called prototypes.

    Years ago, MacGregor regularly featured the 10i and 11i in several of its 1960s and 1970s iron models.

    From 1974-1994, I played with MacGregor MT flatsole blades which contained a 10i rather than a PW. The 10i was great for half and full swings from fairway and rough, but fell short as a PW for touch shots around the green. The sharp leading edge tended to grab at the wrong time.

    For greenside, I used either a 7i chip or a SW cut shot (SW had a decent wedge-style flange).

    Today, Honma is one of the current manufacturers that offer 10i and 11i.

    Honma TR21 X IRONS

    CLUB #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11
    LOFT 18.0° 20.0° 23.0° 26.0° 30.0° 34.0° 38.0° 43.0° 48.0°

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Whats in the Bag

Xander Schauffele’s winning WITB: 2022 Travelers Championship

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Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond S (10.5 degrees @10 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kai’li White 70 TX (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch)

3-wood: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (15 degrees @14.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kai’li White 70 TX

7-wood: Callaway Apex UW (21 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kai’li White 90 TX

Irons: Callaway Apex TCB Raw (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (52-10S), Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (56-10S), Titleist Vokey Design SM9 WedgeWorks (60-06K)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Odyssey O-Works #7 CH Red
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion 2.0 Tour (10 grams)

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip

More Xander Schauffele WITBs

 

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Whats in the Bag

Haotong Li’s winning WITB: 2022 BMW International Open

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Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Pro Orange 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (14 degrees)

Hybrid: TaylorMade Stealth (19 degrees)

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (4-9)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 120 X

Wedges: TaylorMade MG3 (46, 50), MG3 TW (56), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 120 X

Putter: Odyssey Stroke Lab 7

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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Equipment

Details of Kevin Kisner’s putter switch

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GolfWRX caught up with Kevin Kisner ahead of the Travelers Championship to discuss a relatively new putter switch. While Kisner started the year using an Odyssey Exo Seven mallet putter, he switched to an Odyssey 2-ball 11 at the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge.

“I switched to this putter a couple weeks ago, and it’s been pretty good,” Kisner said. “I haven’t made a ton but I roll it really nice.”

When I asked Kisner if he ever played a 2-ball back in the day, he answered, “Yeah man. That’s why I always like going back to this. I used to play with a Backstryke, too. I did it all.”

Apparently, Kisner isn’t afraid to experiment with all sorts of different Odyssey mallet putters. For now, though, he’s going with the Odyssey 2-ball 11.

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