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TOUR REPORT: McIlroy switches drivers during Genesis Invitational (plus Tiger’s iron change)

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Welcome to the 2023 Genesis Invitational – a.k.a Tiger’s event – at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.

Tournament host Tiger Woods was always expected to be on site for the event, but he surprised the golfing world by actually playing in the tournament despite lingering questions about his injuries. Lucky for us, we got a special look at his golf clubs, including his famous Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS putter.

Aside from Woods’ clubs, it was an entertaining week in golf equipment overall, with notable switches from Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Jordan Spieth, and Adam Scott.

Let’s get into this week’s Tour Report below for all of the equipment highlights.

Jordan Spieth (finally) changes putter grips

Spieth is still using his familiar Scotty Cameron 009 putter head, but he switched into a new SuperStroke Zenergy Flatso 1.0 grip this week. It was about time, too, because his previous SuperStroke Traxion grip was nearly falling off because it was so worn out. As previously reported, SuperStroke’s new Zenergy grips feature enhanced texture in the gripping zone, and a number of new colorways. Justin Thomas switched into a new “JT” Zenergy grip last week, and Xander Schauffele switched into one this week, too.

Tommy Fleetwood makes a putter change

Fleetwood is a prolific putter tester, but he’s not always a putter switcher. Although he frequently tries out new putters, he tends to revert to his familiar Odyssey White Hot Pro #3. This week, however, Fleetwood tested out an Axis1 TM Elite prototype putter with a face insert, and he decided to put it in play.

Here’s a closer look, thanks to Axis1…

 

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Click here for more in the GolfWRX Forums

Adam Scott’s putter from down under

 

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On Monday, while playing a practice round at The Los Angeles Country Club North course in preparation for the 2023 U.S. Open, Scott started testing out a custom blue L.A.B. Golf MEZZ.1 long putter with dancing kangaroos on the sole, equipped with a TPT prototype shaft. Apparently, the testing session went well because he put the putter in play this week at the Genesis Invitational.

Aside from the blue colorway, L.A.B. also adjusted his lie angle from 79.5 to 78 degrees, helping Scott get the putter more flush to the ground at address. He also tested out a Ping G430 LST driver, but decided to stick with his former TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver, which offered a slightly more penetrating flight to navigate this week’s windy conditions.

Adam Scott’s full WITB at the 2023 Genesis Invitational

Rory McIlroy makes a mid-event driver switch

We spotted Rory McIlroy testing the new TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus at the 2023 Waste Management Phoenix Open, but he ended up staying in his original Stealth Plus. And, although he started out the Genesis Invitational using the Stealth Plus in round 1, he switched into the new Stealth 2 Plus for round 2 after a range session following his first round. According to a TaylorMade rep, he found the Stealth 2 Plus to offer faster speeds and overall distance.

See Rory’s full WITB here

The GOAT’s putter, and an iron change

Woods made two minor changes to his bag setup since the last time we saw him at the 2023 PNC Championship. He switched out his previous P-770 3-iron for the new 2023 P-770 model, and he switched out the Scotty Cameron putter grip he used at the PNC, replacing it with a familiar Ping PP58 Pistol grip.

 

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This week, we also got an especially up-close look at Woods’ famous Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS putter that he’s used to capture 14-of-his-15 major championship victories.

More up-close photos of Woods’ putter in our GolfWRX Forums

And with that, we say goodbye to Riviera and the 2023 Genesis Invitational. We’ll see you next week at The 2023 Honda Classic for the start of the Florida swing.

For more WITB photos from this week at the Genesis Invitational, click 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.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Carolyn

    Feb 18, 2023 at 11:30 pm

    Come on people get a clue if some of the best Drivers of the golf ball in the world cannot hit a fairway with a custom version of a club what chance is there a $700 copy of that driver is going to work for the amateur. All smoke and mirrors. a good swing hits the fairway not an expensive golf club.

  2. M

    Feb 18, 2023 at 1:16 am

    Tampon tampon! Put a stamp on!

  3. Benny

    Feb 17, 2023 at 8:17 pm

    If thats GSS then why is it rusting? His GsS was uikt several years before any GSS made it into Cameron putters. 6-7yrs from what I remember.

    Why has Cameron tried so hard for so many years to get Tiger to switch?

    Is that GSS really gss?

    If the world were to find out a magnet sticks to Tigers wand it would certainly ruin the GSS empire Cameron built.

    Just saying….

    • Paulo

      Feb 19, 2023 at 6:13 am

      I doubt anyone would care

    • Tom 54

      Feb 21, 2023 at 11:05 am

      I’m just wondering why his putter has so many dings on it. I’ve had nice Scotty Cameron putters for years and as long as it’s covered mine still look damn near perfect. As yes that rust is very concerning too.The cover comes off when you walk to the green and it gets put back on when you leave. Even though that putter has won 14 of his 15 majors it sure looks beat up to me.

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Equipment

Limited-edition gear spotted at the PGA Championship

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The second major of the season is here, and with it, custom gear aplenty! Taking inspiration from both Louisville, Kentucky, and host course Valhalla, the OEMs have been having some fun with the designs.

Check out PGA Championship staff bags, some custom kicks, and a very cool putter grip from SuperStroke.

2024 PGA Championship staff bags

Callaway

Cobra

TaylorMade

Scotty Cameron’s putter cover features the Scotty Dog in Viking helmet

Bettinardi’s KFC-inspired putter covers

Ping’s bourbon-inspired putter cover

Rory McIlroy’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail-inspired Nike Air Zoom Victory Tour 3 shoes

FootJoy x Todd Snyder Mint Julep Premier Series

(Photo courtesy of FootJoy)

Brooks Koepka’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail-inspired Nike Air Zoom Infinity Tour shoes

(Photo courtesy of Nike)

SuperStroke’s PGA Championship grip

Check out all of our photos from Valhalla here.

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Whats in the Bag

John Daly WITB 2024 (May)

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Driver: Ping G430 LST (9 degrees)
Shaft: Newton Motion 6-Dot

3-wood: Ping G430 LST (15 degrees)
Shaft: Newton Motion 4-Dot

Hybrids: Ping G430 (17, 22, 26 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold

Irons: Sub70 659-CB (6-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

Wedges: Sub70 TAIII (50, 54, 60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

Putter: Odyssey Ai-One Milled One T CH
Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Tour 2.0

Grips: SuperStroke custom

More photos of John Daly’s WITB in the forums.

 

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Equipment

Toulon Golf collaborates with Valhalla Golf Club for latest Small Batch putter

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Toulon Golf has today officially announced its latest Small Batch putter — the Valhalla.

Discussing the putter, Preston Toulon of Toulon Golf said: “This putter is a collaboration with the club at Valhalla and incorporates three of the many things that make the state of Kentucky great – horseracing, bourbon and championship golf. The head of the putter and headcover have several allusions to a jockey’s silk and there are thoroughbreds on the sole.”

Inspired by Toulon’s classic tri-sole Santa Monica design, the company sought to modernize the profile and design leveraging its 904 stainless steel and 6061 aircraft aluminium across the sole. Toulon describes the Valhalla’s profile as “slightly oversized blade whose proportions are meticulously balanced to maintain the look and feel of the Santa Monica, while increasing the putter’s inertia to create one of the most forgiving putters we have ever designed.”

Throughout numerous prototypes, Toulon paid particular attention to the L-neck, with its full shaft of offset, adding a bit of length for better blending with the slightly wider and longer blade.

On the rear of the putter are homages to horse racing in the form of jockey silk diamonds and Churchill Downs-inspired font.

The sole of the putter features a large cavity covered by a 6061 aircraft aluminum sole plate. According to Toulon, this allowed for the addition length to the putter and improved inertia as well as moving more mass to the perimeter for greater forgiveness.

In another nod to Valhalla, Toulon uses a milled watermarked limestone pattern, a reference to stone featured widely on the property.

As with all the Toulon Small Batch putters, the team paid particular attention to the topline thickness and radius to achieve a desired look. “Soft yet crisp was the design intent,” according to the company.

Toulon Golf Small Batch Valhalla specs

  • Material: 904L Stainless Steel/6061 Aluminum Sole
  • Face Mill: Fine Double Fly with Big Tuna
  • Finish: Kentucky Bourbon PVD
  • Grip: Custom Toulon Collection Vintage Blue Pistol
  • Shaft: Chrome Stepless Steel
  • Headcover: Valhalla Custom Leather
  • Head Weight: 355 g
  • Toe Hang: 40 degrees
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie: 70 degrees

Pricing and availability

The Small Batch Valhalla is available for purchase today via the company’s website — ToulonGolf.com.

Supply is extremely limited. The price is $1,800.

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