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The 10 hottest equipment stories from The 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrews

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If you can’t get fired up about the 150th Open Championship at The Old Course at St. Andrews – the Home of Golf – then what are we even doing here?

Hopefully, you’re as excited as I am about this week. Plus, the course is playing firm, fast, crispy and windy. To me, those are exactly the conditions that make St. Andrews so fun to watch (and play). Bake it out, kick the wind into high gear, and let’s have some fun.

From a historical aspect, 150 is a lot of Open Championships, and the scene at St. Andrews was dripping in nostalgia. On Tuesday, past champions collected to play in the four-hole team event called Celebration of Champions, and all the big names showed up – Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Sir Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, and of course, not Greg Norman.

To honor the unique history, local flavor, and the significant 150th anniversary, golf companies and merchandisers went all out this year with the custom gear. And, to keep things especially interesting on the equipment front, Open Championship competitors were making a TON of changes to deal with the super firm and windy conditions.

GolfWRX photographer Greg Moore and myself, Tour reporter Andrew Tursky, took the pilgrimage over to Scotland to cover both the Genesis Scottish Open and the 150th Open at St. Andrews. Greg deserves a special shoutout for being the designated oppo-road driver; things went almost flawlessly on our roadway travels, aside from our run-in with the local police (Greg relays the full story in our forums, and there’s a driver giveaway involved, so it’s worth checking out). All of our content from the Scotland trip is either on GolfWRX.com, in the forums, on Instagram, on YouTube, on our new TikTok account (no dancing videos, just golf…at least so far), or on the Equipment Report on PGATOUR.com. There’s A LOT more to get released in the coming week, so be on the lookout.

Anyways! Let’s get into why you clicked on this story.

Below are the top-10 gear stories from The 2022 Open Championship at the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Tiger Woods makes four gear changes

Woods revealed at the recent JP McManus Pro-Am that he was testing out a Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X shaft in his TaylorMade Stealth plus 9-degree driver, and he still had the new shaft in the bag at The Open when I followed him for a few holes on Monday. That was change number 1.

No. 2, Woods also changed shafts in the TaylorMade P770 3-iron he used at the PGA Championship. He previously had a True Temper Dynamic Gold MID Tour Issue X100 shaft in the new head, but he since switched back into a regular Tour Issue X100 for a lower flight/spin. St. Andrews is stinger heaven out there, so the lower launch the better.

No. 3, Woods played with two TaylorMade MG3 Raw wedges (56 and 60 degrees) at the PGA Championship, and although he kept the 60-degree MG3 Raw in the bag for The Open, he switched into an MG2 TW Grind 56-degree wedge.

No. 4, he did that thing again. You know, the thing where he adds lead tape to his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS proto putter. The added weight helps Woods’ performance and feel on the slower green speeds overseas. We’ll call it 3.5 changes for Woods this week, since the lead tape addition is essentially a given when he plays The Open.

Tiger Woods 2022 WITB from The 2022 Open Championship 

Callaway’s locally designed staff bags/art pieces

 

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For its 2022 staff bag, Callaway partnered up with St. Andrews and commissioned local artists to come up with their best bag designs. Out of the 10 finalists, 17-year-old Iona Turner’s design was chosen as the winner. The other finalists had their versions turned into large staff bag sculptures that were scattered throughout the city of St. Andrews, easter egg style. Greg Moore captured photos of some of the Callaway sculptures, which you can check out in the forums.

TaylorMade and Cleveland-Srixon also unveiled Open Championship custom bags this week. Titleist did, too, but their’s is a retail version, not likely one that you’ll see its Tour staffers carrying this week.

Titleist Pro V1 150 golf balls

Titleist golf balls have typically always been numbered 0-99, even in its custom programs, but the 150th Open Championship is a special occasion. The custom 150-numbered golf balls are housed in new packaging made special for The Open, and they have The Open logo on the side of the Pro V1 golf balls. Check retail shops near you for a chance to purchase.

Stinger Season

Rory’s Stealth UDI 2-iron at The Open

As mentioned before, it’s windy and firm at St. Andrews, making for the perfect conditions for players to experiment with and switch into driving irons rather than using a high-launching fairway wood. And they did. Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Marc Leishman, Joaquin Niemann, Justin Thomas, Mito Pereira, and a slew of others were testing driving irons ahead of the event this week. If you count Woods’ 3-iron as a driving iron, then you can add him to the running list, as well.

Most notably, McIlroy and Morikawa were testing out TaylorMade’s new Stealth UDI clubs, which were only officially launched on Tour last week at the Scottish Open.

Our full story on driving iron switch-ups is over on the PGA Tour’s Equipment Report.

Bounce, bounce

When you can throw a golf ball at the ground on the fairway and it bounces back up at you, that’s a big clue it’s time to switch into a low-bounce wedge.

Webb Simpson’s new 60T low-bounce wedge

Speaking with Titleist Vokey wedge rep Aaron Dill on Wednesday, he revealed that he built up 25-30 (!) of Titleist’s lowest-bounce wedge offering – the T grind, which comes with just 4 degrees of measured loft. Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson and Justin Thomas were among the notable names that Dill mentioned who made wedge adjustments/changes for lower bounce.

“It’s really firm here,” Dill said. “This grass, it doesn’t work well with a lot of bounce…Most guys would tell you the fairways are running faster than the greens. Trying to calculate that in these really firm conditions is tricky. A lot of guys have spent their time over the last 3 days figuring that out…you’re seeing guys reduce bounce for the square faced pitches, you’re seeing guys reduce bounce on the trailing edge to allow the ball to pop up easily, but finding the perfect combination that fits these bunkers (the sand is sticky and clumpy) is tricky.”

McIlroy also switched into a low-bounce MG3 Raw custom wedge this week, whereas he typically opts for a HB (high bounce) model.

Tiger’s 1995 replica pullover

@golfwrx Tiger Woods wore a classic St Andrews pullover in the 1995 Open Championship. Since then, The Golf Shop of St Andrews has been selling a replica design, and they want him to stop by and sign it while he’s in town @theopen #tiger #sweater #standrews #fashion #tigerwoods #golf #golftiktok #scotland #beunbxd ? Countless – Official Sound Studio

Back in 1995, when Tiger Woods played his first Open Championship at St Andrews, he wore an incredible Titleist pullover celebrating The Home of Golf. Shortly after the event, The Golf Shop of St Andrews designed what could be considered a replica, and nearly 30 years later, they’re still selling the pullovers. Given Woods’ apparel deals, and the fact he’d get mobbed with selfie seekers and autograph hounders if he walked the streets of St Andrews, it’s probably unlikely that Woods turns up to sign a pullover for the local shop, but I still think it’s a cool design with a fun backstory regardless.

Scotty Cameron headcovers

 

 

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Scotty Cameron almost always creates custom putter covers for the major events, and for special tournaments or events throughout the year. The dates on these festive covers showcase the years than an Open Champion won while using a scotty Cameron putter.

Ping i230 irons (finally!)

We first caught a glimpse of Ping’s still unreleased i230 irons in early July, and now we finally have in-hand photos of the irons. Stewart Cink is currently gaming a set (4-PW, UW) in The Open Championship, and we got word from Ping regarding Cink’s feedback on the new designs:

Ping Player Development Manager Spencer Rothluebber said:

“Once Stewart saw that the i230s were smaller heel to toe in the long irons, he was instantly excited to play them. He loved the feel and sound, the i230s have a very solid impact experience. He also found the transition to the new iron very easy as the sole design of the i230 compared to the i210 didn’t change.”

More Ping i230 photos and discussion here

Mizuno releases limited-edition Pro 221 blue irons

This ain’t the Rolling Stones, but we’ve Got the Blues.

Unveiled at The 2022 Open Championship, Mizuno announced that its releasing a limited run of Mizuno Pro 221 blue-plated irons. There will be 1,221 sets produced, selling for $2,210 each (3-PW), and they come stock with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts.

We have in-hand photos of the entire set here. 

FootJoy x Harris Tweed shoes

Ahead of The 2022 Open Championship, FootJoy partnered with Harris Tweed on these Premiere Series Packard shoes, featuring unique pieces of wool cloth that were dyed and spun off the coast of Scotland. According to FootJoy: “Every meter of the fabric must be handwoven in the homes of Outer Hebrides islanders to ensure it upholds the quality standards protected by the Harris Tweed Act of Parliament.”

They sell for $240 a pair, but size options are going fast if you want them for yourself. Check out more imagery of the shoes in our TikTok below:

@golfwrx 150th Open Championship merch, including custom bags, are here in St Andrews. What do you think?! #open #standrews #merch #golf #golftiktok #scotland #balls #fashion #custom ? Calm LoFi song(882353) – S_R

And with those tweed heaters, we say goodbye to Scotland. Greg will be onsite at the 3M Open next week for more equipment photos, WITBs, and the latest equipment releases. I’ll personally be back on the road for the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. See you then!

Check out more of our photos from the 2022 Open Championship at St Andrews

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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.

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Whats in the Bag

Michael Johnson WITB 2024 (July)

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Driver: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond Max (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 60 TX

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS T1100 70 6.5

7-wood: TaylorMade Stealth (21 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 90 6.5 TX

Irons: PXG 0317 CB Raw (4-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: PXG Sugar Daddy II (48-10S, 50-12S, 56-12S, 60-07)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (48), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (50-60)

Putter: Odyssey Ai-One #5 DB
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol Lock 1.0

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

See more in-hand photos of Michael Johnson’s clubs here.

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Equipment

New Callaway Opus, Opus Platinum wedges announced

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We spotted Callaway’s new Opus wedges on the PGA Tour in May. The design, however, in its “S6” incarnation, has been present in pros bags for much longer, game by the likes of Jon Rahm, Yuka Saso, and Xander Schauffele.

Today, Callaway is officially announcing the retail launch of its Opus and Opus Platinum wedges and pulling back the curtain on the most tour-tested, tour-validated wedge in company history in the process.

2024 Callaway Opus wedges: What’s new, key technology

Spin Gen Face Technology

Callaway engineers combine three elements for what they’re calling “Spin Gen Face Technology.” More grooves are present on the face thanks to decreasing the distance between each groove. As with previous designs, engineers also leverage offset groove-in-groove design for more spin, particularly on open-face shots. Finally, the face has been aggressively blasted with quartz to create additional roughness. The sum total of all these elements? More spin, particularly from the rough and in wet conditions, as well as lower launch.

Tour feedback

As a result of extensive testing and input from tour professionals, Opus wedges feature a higher toe peak, refined leading edge radius, and smooth hosel transition for what the company calls its “best wedge shape ever.” Owing to professional input, Callaway offers Opus wedges with a full range of grinds.

2024 Callaway Opus wedges: Additional model details

Opus Platinum wedges

In addition to the standard Opus wedge, Callaway is also unveiling premium MiM (metal injection molded) Opus Platinum wedges. The wedges feature 17 grams of tungsten bonded high in the topline of the club for lower launch with more spin as well as a proprietary blend of metals in the body of the club for optimum feel and performance.

What Callaway says

On the name…Paul Winterhalter – Product Manager: There is an art to the game, and we really felt this quote summarized what this product really meant: where the art meets science. So, with that, introducing the new name for our franchise of wedges is Opus. In general, the name has an air of elegance to it. There’s a sense of beauty, and especially as you look at the product and we get these in your hands, you’ll see that there really is just a new look, just a beautiful sense to them. They’re quite elegant…for us, there was a ton of time and effort put into this product, and we really felt that the product was befitting of the name Opus.

On the different design mentality…Brian Herr – R&D Manager, Wedges: “We started with a different mentality this time. We didn’t design a wedge and then bring it out and see what they thought. We started from the ground up, we started with shaping. We had multiple different shapes that we brought out and showed, we got their feedback, we iterated, we got their feedback, we iterated again. So, we really let the Tour players design this product to a shape they wanted. And then after we got a shape that we loved, we started on the sole grind. So, there’s notes here all over of what Dean tested and what he built and how he went about making products for players and getting their feedback. But really, it was 18 months in the making of going and testing and then iterating and then going back out, getting as many players as feedback as we could and helping them to have them help us design it.”

On the available grinds…Paul Winterhalter: “Looking at the grind offerings, as wedges go, this is crucial for us. On the right-hand side, we have the S and W grinds where we do the lion’s share of sales. The S is our standard everyday grind with a standard sole, while the W has a wider, more forgiving full sole…We also wanted to create a product that’s a better fit for better players, so we introduced the T grind, which is new, and the C grind.

Brian Herr: The T grind is narrow and sits low to the ground, incredible for open-faced shots, particularly for players who pick the ball cleanly without taking a divot. On the other hand, the C grind is a departure from what we’ve done before, designed to keep the leading edge low when opening the face, suitable for versatile shot-making from various lies. The wider sole in the C grind provides better feedback through the turf compared to the T grind. Both grinds cater to skilled players who want to make any shot around the green.

On the Opus Platinum wedge design…Paul Winterhalter: The Opus Platinum looks super premium with MIM (Metal Injection Molding) lines in the back and elevated curb appeal. As a quick elevator pitch, we have the Spin Gen face technology as with Opus and Tour-validated shaping so those are kind of baked into the product. But what we’re doing to take it up another level is that trajectory control using tungsten. And then that unique MIM construction. We’ve talked about this already but through a large amount of tungsten being bonded into that topline to help the CG placement…and the next piece of that is the Metal Injection Molding – it’s not caste, it’s not forged, it’s kind of something new for us.

Brian Herr: MiM is a different way to manufacture, it’s more precise, and it also provides better feel. We’ve done extensive testing on MIM versus other manufacturing methods. MIM dampens better than other materials even the same material in different methods. MIM is a better dampener, so you’re going to notice a premium good, soft feel.

Pricing, specs, and availability

  • Price: Opus ($179.99), Opus Plantium ($229.99)
  • Pre-sale: 7/19
  • At retail: 7/26
  • Opus finishes: Brushed chrome, black shadow
  • Opus Platinum finishes: Blue, chrome
  • Stock shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold MID 115 grams (steel), UST Recoil DART HDC 65 grams (graphite)
  • Stock grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet +2 Gray

Full Callaway Opus specs

Callaway Opus

Callaway Opus Platinum 

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (7/15/24): TaylorMade MySpider X L-Neck putter

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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 TaylorMade MySpider X L-Neck putter.

From the seller: (@Need4spd): “TaylorMade MySpider X L-Neck. Asking $315 • Plays 33.5” • Dead mint condition • SuperStroke Pistol Tour (used for four rounds) – It’s the black and white one, pic won’t upload for some reason. • New and unused MySpider headcover included.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: TaylorMade MySpider X L-Neck putter

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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