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Rory, JT and Spieth make big equipment changes in Memphis, and Penny Hardaway’s SICK custom clubs

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Typically, the FedEx Cup Playoffs mark the start of “slow season” for equipment changes on the PGA Tour. This late in the season, players are already dialed into their gear, focusing on the FedEx Cup prize, and awaiting the off-season to conduct more serious gear testing to make any major changes.

That’s not exactly what we saw this week at the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis, though. Big names such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth all made changes to their setup this week.

We also got a look at the awesome custom clubs that Penny Hardaway – a former NBA superstar and current head coach for the University of Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team – used during the Wednesday pro-am.

Check out all the gear news you missed from Memphis in this week’s Tour Report below!

Big name WITBs, and their recent changes

With the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings collected in Memphis, it was time to dive back into the WITB setups for some of the bigger names on Tour to see if anything has changed. This week, GolfWRX photographer Greg Moore captured WITB photos for Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Cam Smith, Cameron Young, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, plus we caught up with Jordan Spieth.

We noticed a few changes.

McIlroy, who’s been changing up his 3-wood head quite often throughout the year, changed up his 3-wood shaft this time. We spotted him using a Mitsubishi Kai’li White 80 TX in his TaylorMade SIM2 15-degree fairway wood for a slight adjustment in spin characteristics.

He’s also using a new 58-degree TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 Raw wedge, made with a standard bounce of 11 degrees, except it was bent by one degree to slightly increase the bounce.

Justin Thomas, who continued using his previous TSi3 driver model through the 2022 Open Championship, made the switch into a new Titleist TSR3 driver, equipped with a Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60 TX in the D1 hosel setting, this week in Memphis. PGATOUR.com has the full story on the switch, but here’s what JT had to say about the new driver:

“The biggest difference is the spin,” Thomas said after his first-round 67. “When I heel it, it doesn’t spin crazy high and when I toe it, it’s somehow spinning a little more. It’s unbelievable in terms of misses…I like it being a little bit open (the D1 setting delofts the driver by 0.75 degrees and opens the face). I don’t like when I can’t see a lot of face because then I feel like I have to get it up in the air and then I start getting underneath it and that gets the two-way miss going. I feel like when I’m driving it my best, although I like to work it both ways, I feel like I aim at something and rip it and it goes pretty straight and falls right. Kind of letting the openness in the club let it fade a little bit.”

Jordan Spieth played in the 2022 Travelers Championship using a TSR3 driver, but has since switched back into his previous TSi3 gamer. At the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship, however, Spieth switched out his longtime TS2 3-wood for a new TSR3 15-degree fairway (D1 setting), equipped with a Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 75 TX shaft.

For more WITB photos from the forums, click here

Playoffs?!

Playoffs? You talkin’ bout playoffs?!

Jim Mora, former head coach for the Indianapolis Colts NFL football team, still has one of the most legendary press conferences ever, as you can see in the clip above.

Odyssey, a putter manufacturer that’s known to make custom headcovers for various PGA Tour events throughout the season, made a Jim Mora-inspired custom cover ahead of the first FedEx Cup playoff event this year.

Mora is to the word “playoffs,” as Allen Iverson is to the word “practice.” A great choice for a custom design from Odyssey this week.

See more photos of the playoff headcovers here

The backstory to one of the coolest wedges on the PGA Tour

Funny enough, one of the coolest wedges on Tour doesn’t actually belong to a PGA Tour player – at least, not anymore.

 

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Mike Thomas, father and coach of Justin Thomas, carries around one of his son’s Vokey SM6 wedges every week to use as a walking stick. We’ve written about the wedge before here on GolfWRX, but this week, we collaborated with PGATOUR.com to tell the full story on video, with input from both Mike and Justin. In my somewhat-biased opinion, the video above is well worth a watch if you love custom golf equipment.

Penny Hardaway with a bag full of 1-of-1 custom clubs

Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, a former NBA superstar and current head coach for the Memphis Tigers men’s college basketball team, played in the Wednesday Pro-Am at TPC Southwind. Mr. 1 Cent showed up with a bag full of mind-blowing 1-of-1 Sub 70 equipment, which he discusses in the video here. The clubs are lasered with the Tigers team logo and Penny’s personal logo, and come with Tigers blue-and-white paintfills (custom work done by @wedge_fx on Instagram).

We also shot photos of Penny’s full WITB; check out some of the highlights below, including his custom staff bag with a shoutout to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics where he helped Team USA win a Gold medal:

New Scotty Cameron, Odyssey and Ping putters 

Apparently, it was a hot week for fresh putters down in Memphis. Scotty Cameron (T-12 proto and Masterful+/Timeless+) , Odyssey Toulon and Ping all unveiled new putters, and we were there to take in-hand photos. Check out a selection of photos below, or click the links above to see more.

New spikes spotted

Lastly, we spotted Ryan Palmer wearing some custom white Jordan shoes equipped with new Soft Spike Tour Flex Pro spikes in their soles. With Penny Hardaway getting a mention in this week’s Tour Report, I found it all-too-fitting to end off the week with a note about sneakers; I wonder what Lil Penny would have to say about them?

And with that, we say goodbye to Memphis, and we’ll see you next week at the 2022 BMW Championship in Wilmington, Delaware.

See all of our photos from the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship here

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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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Equipment

SPOTTED: Rickie Fowler’s unreleased Cobra King Tour irons in Napa

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Rickie Fowler showed up at Silverado Resort and Spa on Tuesday ahead of the 2022 Fortinet Championship with a new set of unreleased Cobra King Tour prototype irons (4-PW) in the bag.

During an interview with GolfWRX, Fowler revealed he’s switching into the new irons this week after testing three different models of irons: an MB (muscleback), a CB (cavity back), and the King Tour that he had in the bag Tuesday.

 

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Here’s what Fowler had to say on the new irons:

“[Cobra Tour Rep Ben Schomin] and the guys built me up a few new sets. Some of our new MBs, a CB, and then a King Tour. These ones are definitely bigger than what I’m used to, but I was also excited to hit them to see…I knew they were going to be more forgiving, but I also wanted to make sure the numbers were as consistent, make sure there wasn’t going to be any higher spin, or lower spin depending on contact.

“I took them out, did a day of testing between the MB, CB and the King Tour. I saw one with a wider sole a little more bounce in the front half. Super clean and quick through the turf. Numbers were very consistent, all the lofts and lies were the same, so I wasn’t using different lofts. All the numbers as far as distances – everything you look at as far as when you’re testing irons. They were very consistent.

“One of the things that I did like and what I saw, mishits a little off center, or a little low on the face, or heel-toe bias, really stable. Especially the ones a groove or two low, the misses weren’t as short. I’d see some, if I hit the MB or the CB a little thin, distances could drop anywhere from 7, 8, 9 yards. I was seeing these more in the 4, 5, 6 [range]. A few yards here and there can make a big difference.

“Overall, I just saw more forgiveness, but at the same time, keeping the characteristics that I want with flight and spin. We’re going to give them a go.

“Cavity backs have been in and around every once in a while, but I’ve been primarily blades or MBs. Always have loved the look and the feel, but if I’m able to basically get still a great look, really good feel with these. It feels like there’s a lot of mass behind it, but at the same time get a little more forgiveness, why make it harder on yourself?”

For more photos of Rickie Fowler’s irons, click here!

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Equipment

Ping unveils 10 new putter models

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Ping Golf has today introduced 10 new putter models.

The 10 models, consisting of high moment of inertia blades and ultra-forgiving multi-material mid-mallets and mallets, are available for pre-order beginning today for $300 (U.S. MSRP), with each model available to custom fit for stroke type, length, lie, loft and grip type.

“What’s most exciting about our new PING putter models is how different they are from each other. Rather than applying one common technology to every model, our engineers took a more singular approach, applying proven innovations to different head styles to improve the performance of our most popular designs while introducing some brand-new models. For example, several of the new models offer milled faces for a firmer feel and others provide a softer feeling insert.”

“In the blade models, which includes the Tony Finau-inspired Anser 2D design, we put a priority on delivering high-MOI, clean-looking designs by placing tungsten weights in the heel and toe. The use of aluminum and stainless steel in the larger mallet designs has resulted in some of our most forgiving models to date, led by the Tomcat 14. Each model also provides confidence- inspiring alignment cues, from single lines to multi-line alignment aids. It’s a very diverse offering but the one thing they all have in common is they offer precision performance on putts of every length.” – John K. Solheim, PING CEO and President

2022 Ping Putters:

Anser

  • Std Length: 35″
  • Stroke Type: Slight Arc
  • Head Weight: 345 g

“The winningest putter in history is updated using tungsten toe-heel weights to provide stability and forgiveness, and the shallow milled face delivers a firmer feel and consistent ball speed with pleasing acoustics. Employs color blocking where the platinum topline contrasts with the black cavity, drawing focus to the front of the putter for improved aiming.”

Anser 2D

  • Std. Length: 35″
  • Stroke Type: Slight Arc
  • Head Weight: 360 g

“Made popular by multiple-time winner Tony Finau, a PEBAX insert with shallow milled surround ensures a softer feel and consistent ball speed with pleasing acoustics. Tungsten toe-heel weights provide stability and forgiveness, a single white alignment line contrasts with the matte- black head, and a ball-width cavity floor help frame the ball to make aligning to the target easier.”

Kushin 4

  • Std. Length: 35″
  • Stroke Type: Strong Arc
  • Head Weight: 355 g

“Tungsten toe and heel weights provide stability and forgiveness for improved accuracy, and the shallow milled face ensures a firmer feel and consistent ball speed with pleasing acoustics. A platinum topline contrasts against a black cavity to draw the focus forward, where a short alignment line and ball-width cavity floor frame the ball. Fits a strong-arc stroke type.”

Shea

  • Std. Length: 35″
  • Stroke Type: Slight Arc
  • Head Weight: 360 g

“Forgiveness is high in the mid-mallets, aided by tungsten toe-heel weights to ensure stability, while the shallow milled face delivers a firmer feel and consistent ball speed with pleasing acoustics. A platinum topline contrasted against a black cavity with its longer alignment line draws the focus forward, and the ball-width cavity floor helps frame the ball.”

DS72

  • Std. Length: 35″
  • Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
  • Head Weight: 365 g

“Named in honor of Doug Sanders, who served as Karsten’s chief engineer for many years, the DS72 has a shallow milled face to deliver a firmer feel and consistent ball speed with pleasing acoustics. A platinum topline contrasts against the black cavity where a white alignment line and ball-width cavity floor focus the eye. The more squared off will be aesthetically pleasing to the mid-mallet player. Fit for straight and slight-arc stroke types.”

DS72 C

  • Std. Length: 35″
  • Stroke Type: Straight
  • Head Weight: 370 g

“The center-shafted head offers a visual symmetry, and tungsten toe-heel weights ensure stability for improved accuracy. The shallow milled face provides a firmer feel and consistent ball speed with pleasing acoustics. The color-blocked head features a platinum topline contrasting against the black cavity with its white alignment line to draw the focus forward.”

Tyne G

  • Std. Length: 35″
  • Stroke Type: Straight, Slight Arc
  • Head Weight: 360 g

“A trio of white lines, ball-width cavity floor and ball-pickup cutout feature distinguish the easy-to- aim Tyne G. The cutout redistributes mass to the perimeter for added stability and forgiveness to improve accuracy with the added benefit of a “gimme” ball-pickup feature. A PEBAX insert with shallow milled surround ensures a softer feel and consistent ball speed with pleasing acoustics.”

Prime Tyne 4

Std. Length: 35″

Stroke Type: Strong Arc

Head Weight: 365 g

“A top performer evolves for 2023, featuring the customary twin forks that make the head highly stable to ensure forgiveness and accuracy. The shallow milled face delivers a firmer feel, consistent ball speed and pleasing acoustics. New color blocking utilizes a platinum topline contrasted against the black cavity to draw the focus forward.”

Mundy

  • Std. Length: 35″
  • Stroke Type: Straight, Slight Arc
  • Head Weight: 355 g

“Forgiveness is driven way up by joining a lighter aluminum body to a 304 stainless steel sole plate for positioning the center of gravity low/back. A PEBAX insert with a smooth milled surround delivers a softer feel and consistent ball speed with pleasing acoustics. Three full-length, ball-width alignment lines draw the eye to the point of contact with the ball, simplifying aiming.”

Tomcat 14

  • Std. Length: 35″
  • Stroke Type: Straight
  • Head Weight: 380 g

“Multi-material construction creates extreme MOI in the Tomcat 14, built with a lighter aluminum body joined to a 304 stainless steel sole plate for positioning the center of gravity low/back for forgiveness. Ball-width runway-style dotted lines track all the way to the ball to aid in alignment. The smooth milled face delivers the firmest feel of the newest PING putters, and slightly faster ball speed.”

DS72 Armlock

  • Std. Length: 41.5″
  • Std. Loft: 6°
  • Stroke Types: Straight, Slight Arc
  • Head Weight: 365 g

“Built with a longer shaft and grip and more loft to perform for the armlock style of player, the DS72 offers a shallow milled face delivers a firmer feel and consistent ball speed with pleasing acoustics. A platinum topline contrasts against the black cavity where a white alignment line and ball-width cavity floor focus the eye. The more squared off will be aesthetically pleasing to the mid-mallet player.”

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Whats in the Bag

David McKenzie WITB 2022 (September)

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Driver: Titleist TSR2 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X

4-wood: Callaway Epic Speed (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 S

Irons: Titleist U505 (3), Titleist T100
Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD Hybrid DI-105 S (3), Project X 115 5.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (48-10F, 52-12F, 58-10S)
Shafts: Project X 5.5

Putter: MacGregor Bobby Grace
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour 2.0 XL

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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