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11 huge equipment stories from the 2022 US Open

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Welcome to the Tour Report from the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. If you like insider equipment info, prototype golf clubs, cool custom gear, and even a little bit of drama, you’re going to love this week’s gear report.

As always, GolfWRX was on site from Monday to Wednesday, taking photos of players’ golf gear, and speaking with expert fitters, insiders and players themselves to learn about what’s in the pros bags and why. Fair warning, there was A LOT going on this week, so the Tour Report below is packed.

Let’s dive right in.

All of GolfWRX’s photos from the 2022 U.S. Open

1) Brooks Koepka makes surprising driver and golf ball switch

After Nike stopped making golf clubs in 2016, Brooks Koepka became an equipment free agent, and he stayed a free agent until Novemeber 2021, when he signed with Cleveland-Srixon. Since then, Koepka had been using a Srixon driver and golf ball, in addition to his Srixon irons and Cleveland wedges.

When he showed up on Monday at the 2022 U.S. Open, however, he had his former TaylorMade M5 driver in the bag, and he was using a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball.

Rumors began flying that maybe Koepka and Cleveland-Srixon were on the rocks, or ending their relationship.

The company cleared all of it up in a forthright statement:

“In this early stage of our partnership, Brooks Koepka has validated the performance of the Srixon driver and golf ball. Though performance has been promising, the characteristics are not a perfect fit, yet. To work through this adjustment period most efficiently, we decided to focus our energy on fitting Brooks into the next generation Srixon driver and golf ball prototypes that will debut on tour in the near future—products developed with Brooks’ input and needs in mind. While we get this organized in the next couple months, Srixon is temporarily allowing Brooks to use his previous driver and ball. Of course, he will continue playing Srixon irons and Cleveland Golf wedges. Both parties are fully committed to the partnership, and we are confident Brooks will be back in a Srixon driver and golf ball soon.”

In our “Two Guys Talking Golf” podcast this week, equipment aficionado Brian Knudson and myself discussed our thoughts on Koepka’s changes for the U.S. Open. You can listen to the full podcast on Apple Podcasts here, or in the SoundCloud embed below.

2) Exclusive equipment interviews on GolfWRX’s Instagram

Typically, GolfWRX is the home of gear photos and written stories about golf equipment on Tour. This week, though, we brought the video cameras out (a.k.a. my iPhone camera) and recorded gear interviews with Adam Scott (on his custom Miura irons), Sam Burns (on his Apex TCB attack wedge iron), Justin Rose (about his new Titleist 620 MB irons) and Justin Thomas (on his custom Scotty Cameron putter and Vokey wedges).

To watch those videos, click on the links for each players name in the paragraph above, or head over to GolfWRX’s Instagram page. Below is the Adam Scott interview, where he explains exactly why he switched into the custom 1-of-1 Miura irons, and what’s different about them:

 

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3) Rory explains his dueling 3-woods

Rory McIlroy has been constantly rotating between different 3-woods throughout the year. At The Players Championship, he first switched into a TaylorMade Stealth Plus 3-wood. Then he switched back into his former TaylorMade SIM Ti at the Valero Texas Open and The Masters. After conducting testing at home prior to the Wells Fargo Championship, he switched into the TaylorMade Stealth model. He used the Stealth again at the PGA Championship, but switched back into the SIM for the Memorial and RBC Canadian Open. This week at the 2022 U.S. Open, he switched back into the TaylorMade Stealth.

Why so much switching? I caught up with McIlroy to get the full breakdown of his dueling 3 woods:

“SIM is almost like a 2 wood. It’s very low spinning. It’s pretty hot. It’s always been a hot head…I can get high 170 ball speed out of it and carry it over 300 yards…some weeks, like Memorial, where, like, 310 yards is a really good distance off the tee; it’s good for weeks like that…I got these two 3 woods that I travel with…the Stealth I carry 285 to 290. It’s a little weaker, a little spinnier, sort of more just to get it in play. The SIM is a little hotter, a little lower spin, sort of get it out there a little more… [the Stealth is] a little more workable. A little more spin. A little more in control. That SIM 3 wood I spin it at like 2600-2700 rpm. It’s like a mini driver.”

Simply put, McIlroy uses the two different 3-woods for different purposes depending on course layout and conditions. He plays the TaylorMade SIM at 13 degrees, and the TaylorMade Stealth measures 13.75 degrees.

Check out our full report of Rory’s 3-wood switchups over on PGATOUR.com

4) 40 “What’s in the Bag?” galleries in the GolfWRX forums

GolfWRX’s legendary photographer Greg Moore was on fire this week, capturing 40 different WITB galleries and thousands of gear photos. Check them all out over on the GolfWRX Forums.

Unbiased journalism aside, my personal favorite among the WITB posts was of Chris Gotterup’s setup. Gotterup recently turned professional, and he’s a fellow former Rutgers University golfer (although he transferred to the University of Oklahoma to finish his collegiate career, where he recently won the Haskins Award that goes to the United States’ top collegiate golfer). I don’t recall any former Rutgers golfers ever playing in a U.S. Open, so us Scarlet Knights are particularly proud of Gotterup’s success. He finished 7th in the PGA Tour University rankings, earning exemptions on a PGA Tour international tour, PGA Tour Canada, and the second stage of the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament. He also finished T7 at the 2022 Puerto Rico Open in his PGA Tour debut.

Still an equipment free agent, Gotterup plays a mixed setup, including a TaylorMade driver (he was testing between the SIM2 and Stealth drivers at the U.S. Open), raw Callaway Apex MB irons, TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 wedges, and a PXG Bat Attack putter.

Check out Gotterup’s full WITB here.

5) Cam Smith shortens up his driver length

To combat recent struggles with the driver, Cam Smith worked with Titleist tour fitter J.J. Van Wezenbeeck this week to find a solution. They ended up cutting Smith’s Titleist TSi3 driver down a half-inch to 44.5 inches; he stayed with the same Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6X shaft. The length changeup required adding weight back into the head to keep swing weight the same, and it resulted in Smith tightening dispersion and gaining control over workability.

We went deep into the change over on the PGA Tour’s Equipment Report.

Speaking of Fujikura Ventus TR shafts, the company unveiled a custom Folds of Honor 1/50 shaft at the U.S. Open this week. Learn more about the shafts and enter the giveaway here.

6) Ping unveils all-white PLD prototype putters

 

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Ping unveiled two new PLD prototype putters with an all-white finish this week at the U.S. Open. While the white finish may seem brand new for Ping, a company representative told GolfWRX that Ping actually experimented with white putters back in the 1960’s and 70s.

Still in the prototype phase, Ping isn’t revealing details on the new putters yet, but you can check out our photos of the two white mallets in the GolfWRX Forums.

7) Three filthy custom putters

These three putters are just too cool not to highlight. Pictured above are Lanto Griffin’s blacked-out Scotty Cameron Tour Only T7, Kevin Chappell’s Bettinardi QB6 DASS, and Gary Woodland’s Squareback 2 with a super long neck.

I was able to speak with Griffin about his new Scotty, which he switched to for the final round of the Memorial:

“[I switched] for the final round of The Memorial. I was in like 65th or something. I haven’t been putting that great. I love my old putter, the SIK putter. It’s been really good to me. But, the T7, they gave it to me a couple months ago. I make everything on the putting green with it, but it’s hard to change from a gamer to something new… I think I gained 2.3 strokes gained putting with a 3 putt from 6 feet. We figured we’d use it Monday in the qualifier, it went great, so we’re going to give it a go. It feels really good.

“It’s black and it’s got some white lines on it. It looks great. It looks very similar to my SIK putter I’ve been using for 5 years. It’s hard to go away from a gamer, but everyone once in a while you try something new and it invigorates you a little bit. And to make the other one jealous, it might wake up.”

8) Inside info on U.S. Open wedge changes

Golf ain’t no hobby for Kevin Kisner, and wedge fitting/building ain’t no hobby for Vokey rep Aaron Dill, who worked with Vokey users all week to get them dialed in with their wedges.

Speaking with Dill on Wednesday, he provided great insight into what the players are dealing with around the greens at The Country Club, and what changes they’re making to combat the challenges:

“[The U.S. Open setup has] compact bunkers, heavy and dense rough, unique greens requiring precise landing spots and tight-cut runoff short game areas. This combo encouraged many to get fresh grooves, and if you came with a mid-high bounce wedge, it was a good time to test less bounce. The other common thing players mentioned was the rough, and the way it slows down wedges [at impact].”

9) Custom U.S. Open gear from the OEMs

At every major championship, golf manufacturers create custom gear for the players to use during the event. The 2022 U.S. Open was especially packed with festive designs inspired by the host city of Brookline, nearby city of Boston and The American flag. They are all deserving of a round of applause for the awesome designs this week.

See all of our photos of the custom gear here.

10) Collin speaks on his new mallet and dedicated U.S. Open wedge

After using a blade-style TaylorMade TP Juno putter for most of his professional career, Collin Morikawa switched into a TaylorMade Spider GT Rollback mallet putter at the Memorial. Also, Morikawa travels every week with 3-4 lob wedge options, but decided on a TaylorMade MG Hi-Toe option with 7 degrees of bounce on it this week.

We spoke with Morikawa about both of those equipment decisions on Wednesday at the U.S. Open. Check out our full story over on PGATOUR.com, or read a couple brief snippets of what he had to say below.

On his Hi-Toe wedge…

“When people talk about U.S. Opens, they always talk about the rough and tough conditions. I think every U.S. Open I’ve used a Hi-Toe. …When there’s really long rough and the ball sits down, and you’re going to have a lot of different lies, I think the Hi-Toe obviously gives you a lot more surface area on the face to hit the grooves. It just allows you to get away with the misses. I think it’s a lot easier to chip out of the rough. If you find a grind that works out of the fairways, it’s awesome. To be honest, I don’t know why I don’t use it more. It works.”

On his putter…

“I’ve had a little inconsistency with my blade off the face, just speed wise. And I think that’s the biggest thing; matching your speed and what you feel. It just hasn’t been coming off the face great. I gave this [Spider GT Rollback] a try…it has wider grooves. I don’t really know the science behind it. It just comes off the face how I want, and that’s the biggest thing. At least it’s reacting to how I’m feeling. And from there hopefully we can put a good stroke on it.”

11) DJ explains why he’s using a 9-wood

Dustin Johnson switched putter grips this week to a SuperStroke 2.0 PT grip, which has a slightly different shape and larger size than his former grip. Johnson said he simply likes the way his hands fit on the grip, and he’s staying with his longtime TaylorMade Spider Tour Limited black putter head.

He also has a 9-wood in the bag. Yes, it’s a TaylorMade Stealth 9-wood with 24 degrees of loft. To figure out why he’s using such a high-lofted fairway, I asked Johnson for his take on it:

“I like my 7-wood so much that I asked Keith (Sbarbaro, the VP of Tour Operations at TaylorMade), ‘Do we have a 9-wood?’

“He’s like, ‘Yeah, we got one.’

“So he got me one and he built it up.

“I started hitting it and it’s…I hit it a lot better than I can hit a 3-iron. More so if I have to hit it into a green; it’s a little bit easier to stop it. I still bring my 3-iron with me for golf courses where I need it off the tee. Probably at like the Open Championship I’ll use a 3 iron instead of [the 9 wood]. It just takes the place of my 3 iron, which honestly…there’s not much difference between a 3 and a 4 iron as far as carry wise. I think a 4 iron is a little easier to get up in the air. So, for me, it just fit really nicely in the bag.

I hit a nice high cut with it, but I can turn it over if I need to. It’s a little bit easier for me to turn it over if I need, especially getting it up in the air and turning it over if I have to. I mean, I can hit a low draw with a 3 iron. It’s gonna roll forever. But to hit one and stop it on the green is a little bit difficult.”

The lesson here? Don’t be afraid to try out high-lofted fairways and ditch your long irons. Even DJ says they’re easier to hit.

Read more about the 9-wood here.

And with that, we say goodbye to Brookline and the 2022 U.S. Open. We’ll see you next week in Connecticut for the Travelers Championship.

For more gear insight from this week, don’t forget to listen to our latest “Two Guys Talking Golf” podcast below!

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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: Jordan Spieth switches to Titleist TSR driver, Kevin Kisner on his new putter/wedge – GolfWRX

  2. L

    Jun 20, 2022 at 2:51 am

    At least Taylormade doesn’t have to display that fugly bag anywhere now, since an Englishman won and put that to rest lololololololol

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Equipment

Scotty Cameron unveils new Special Select Jet Set putters

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Scotty Cameron has today introduced the new range of Special Select Jet Set putters.

The limited release features a four-model collection designed for the player looking for a particular design aesthetic in a high-performance configuration with attention to shape, color palette and finish.

Precision milled in the United States from a block of 303 stainless steel, each new Limited Release Special Select Jet Set putter incorporates Scotty’s performance balanced weighting technology featuring customizable sole weights, as well as purpose-built aluminum sole plates designed to optimize weight distribution in the wider profile of the Plus models.

Speaking on the new range, Scotty Cameron said:

“A lot of golfers want to game the same putters the pros play. Our new Special Select Jet Set putters offer a taste of that experience with a few extras that put them in a category of their own. The Tour Black finish is something a lot of people really like, so when I can, I make putters using it combined with dark, smoky accents. The overall tone-on-tone look is inspired by custom car builders, and that’s where the Jet Set name comes from. We’ve offered this concept in years past. This is the next version of Jet Set. Specifically, the ‘Plus’ models that are in between the width of a Newport 2 and a Squareback 2. I developed this “tweener” size working with a few Tour players who wanted something in between the width of a traditional blade and our Squareback flange width. The Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus and Newport 2 Plus offer those desired sizes and happen to be the first we’ve created for everyone. Limited releases like these new Special Select Jet Set models are for those who want a high-performance putter, but also that little extra.”

In addition, the Special Select Jet Set Newport, Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus, Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 and Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 Plus feature custom graphics, a Tour Black finish with a dark, tonal color scheme, a specialized Pistolini Plus grip, shaft band and headcover.

Displaying the evolution of Scotty’s research in bringing the benefits of higher MOI to blade putter shapes, the line’s “Plus” models introduce slightly wider profiles than standard face-to-flange blade dimensions in design to offer maximum performance from a blade putter.

Special Select Jet Set Newport

“A souped-up version of Scotty’s classic heel-and-toe weighted blade, the Special Select Jet Set Newport includes a plumbing neck, the model’s distinctive rounded features and a unique sight line milled on the topline. Precision milled from 303 stainless steel, this limited release putter has a solid face, misted Tour Black finish, adjustable performance balanced raw tungsten sole weighting and includes the line’s new textured Pistolini Plus grip and Jet Set headcover.”

Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus

“Crafted slightly wider when measured from face to flange, the Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus offers a new size in high-performance blade putter design. Relying on proven multi-material design methodology, Scotty accommodated the fuller profile by distributing weight to the perimeter and incorporating a 6061 aircraft grade aluminum sole plate, anodized black and engraved with the line’s Jet Set graphics. A milled flange sight line provides clean alignment, while customizable stainless steel sole weights provide balance. A new, textured Pistolini Plus grip, Jet Set shaft band and specialized headcover complete the package.”

Special Select Jet Set Newport 2

“Designed with the proven shape, plumbing neck and tri-sole of a modern Newport 2, the Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 is milled from 303 stainless steel with customizable tungsten sole weights, a Tour Black finish and the line’s Jet Set graphics package, including a specialty shaft band, headcover and textured Pistolini Plus grip. Incorporating a subtle design characteristic—and inspired by the putters he makes for touring professionals—Scotty included a milled sight line on the topline rather than a standard flange line. A limited number of left-handed Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 models were also created.”

Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 Plus

“Splitting the difference in flange width between a Special Select Newport 2 and Squareback 2, the Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 Plus offers a Tour-inspired shape that introduces the next profile in high-performance blade design. Milled from 303 stainless steel with a solid face, the Newport 2 Plus has a 6061 aircraft grade aluminum sole plate, anodized black and engraved with the line’s Jet Set graphics. A milled flange sight line provides clean alignment, while customizable stainless steel sole weights provide balance. The putter includes the line’s new, textured Pistolini Plus grip, Jet Set shaft band and specialized headcover.”

The limited release Special Select Jet Set putters will be available worldwide on Aug. 19, 2022, at Titleist authorized golf shops, and are priced at $650 each.

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Equipment

2022 TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 wedges launched

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What you need to know: TaylorMade is launching the latest iteration of its “Swiss Army knife” Hi-Toe 3 wedges. In contrast to TaylorMade’s MG3 wedges, Hi-Toe 3 wedges feature a higher toe peak, higher center of gravity for lower launch and more spin, a four-way cambered sole, and full-face scoring lines all aimed at maximizing versatility and performance around the green.

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3: What’s new

  • Full length scoring lines on all lofts above 54 degrees for additional spin on open-faced shots.
  • Raised micro-ribs between the full grooves (introduced in MG3 wedge) add texture to the face for increased spin and performance on partial shots.
  • Aged copper finish to complement the raw face

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3: Additional technology

In order to assist in executing “all the shots” TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 marketing references, TM engineers again incorporate a four-way cambered sole into the 8620 carbon steel Hi-Toe 3. Generous bounce and a wide sole meet a low leading edge for enhanced playability from a variety of lies.

And of course, the weighted toe pad “high toe” portion of the Hi-Toe 3 raises the center of gravity and moves it closer to the center of the face in an effort to produce lower launching, higher spinning shots.

ZTP Raw Grooves are implemented in the Hi-Toe 3 for optimal spin across a variety of conditions.

Full face ZTP RAW grooves

What TaylorMade says

“Our athletes all offered great input individually, but collectively everyone wanted something versatile. They wanted a single wedge that could perform around the greens from deep rough, thick fescue, bunkers with different sands, in wet conditions and from tight lies. That’s a lot to fit into a single design, but with Hi-Toe 3 we’ve done it.” — Bill Price, Product Creation, Wedges and Putters

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3: What it looks like

52 degree

56 degree

60 degree

Pricing and availability 

Hi-Toe 3 is available for order now at www.taylormadegolf.com and at retail locations with an MSRP of $179 USD. Hi-Toe 3 comes stock with the KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 shaft (115g) and Lamkin Crossline 360 Round 52 gram grips (Gray/Blue/Black End Cap).

Hi-Toe 3 is available in standard bounce (50, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 60 degrees), low bounce (58, 60 degrees), and high bounce (58, 60 degrees).

KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 115 shafts are standard along with Lamkin Crossline 360 grips.

MyHi-Toe 3

Added elements of personalization are available through MyHi-Toe 3. They may choose from four different finishes, including the classic brushed copper, chrome, black and raw, before selecting text, logos, and paint fills to create a purely unique design.

A complete list of customizable options includes:

  • Finish
  • Grip
  • Shaft
  • Length
  • Personalized text
  • Loft & bounce
  • Custom paints fills: Logos, icons, carbon steel, hosel rings, text

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (8/9/22): Mint Ping i500s

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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 set of mint Ping i500s.

From the seller (@lawrencedc1): “Asking $725 Plus Ship.  Played 5 rounds.  Didn’t make the Bag!”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Mint Ping i500s

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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