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5 stories of great US Open teams

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Koepka played with a TaylorMade M5 driver and a Titleist Pro V1x ball at the US Open.

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Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Equipment, the Monday morning equipment roundup from the GOLF Equipment Editor. jonathan wall takes you through the latest trends, rumors and newsyes

Brooks Koepka shakes it

Koepka received approval to play Titleist’s Pro V1x ball at the US Open.

Jonathan Muro/GOLF

Less than six months after the ink ran dry on a multi-year team deal with Cleveland/Srixon, Brooks Koepka shook things up in a big way at the US Open, replacing his Srixon ZX7 driver and Z-Star golf ball. Diamond with an older one. TaylorMade M5 model and 2017 Titleist Pro V1x.

The sight of Koepka playing non-Srixon gear had many wondering if the deal was on the ropes. In the end, Cleveland/Srixon released a statement confirming that they had temporarily granted Koepka the opportunity to wear both kits at The Country Club.

“In this early stage of our partnership, Brooks Koepka has validated the performance of the Srixon golf ball and driver,” a Cleveland/Srixon representative told GOLF.com in a statement. “Although the performance has been promising, the features still don’t quite fit the bill.”

Instead of requiring him to use a driver ball combination that hasn’t been a “perfect fit,” Cleveland/Srixon confirmed they’re shifting focus to products that haven’t been released yet and designed specifically for Koepka’s needs.

“To get through this adjustment period in the most efficient way, we decided to focus our energy on adapting Brooks to the next generation of Srixon prototype golf balls and drivers that will debut on tour in the near future – products developed with the needs in mind. Brooks’ opinions and needs. ”, continued the statement. “As we set this up over the next two months, Srixon is temporarily allowing Brooks to use his old driver and ball. Of course, he will continue to play Srixon irons and Cleveland Golf wedges. Both parties are fully committed to the partnership, and we are confident that Brooks will soon return to a Srixon driver and golf ball.”

With Srixon’s new driver and golf ball still in production, Koepka will most likely continue to play a setup that helped him win multiple majors when he arrives in Scotland for the Open Championship.

Many options

McIlroy wears a TaylorMade Stealth 3-wood this week at the US Open.

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Rory McIlroy wore the TaylorMade Stealth 3-Wood for The Country Club last week, but he had another option (SIM Ti) waiting in the wings if conditions changed. The week before the US Open, McIlroy used both 3-woods from his arsenal to win the RBC Canadian Open. After starting the week with SIM Ti, McIlroy switched to Stealth over the weekend when he needed a 3-wood that could work the ball.

With precision at a premium, McIlroy opted to stick with Stealth for the US Open.

“There weren’t a lot of opportunities for SIM last week,” McIlroy told GOLF.com. “If I need something that is 310, the SIM card is a good option from the start. But if I don’t have that number, I usually stay further back and take a 5-wood or long iron. Last week was one of those weeks where I noticed there really wasn’t much need for a SIM, which is pretty much a 2-wood for me, so I put Stealth on. I did not hit [Stealth] a lot anyway, but I thought it would fit in better over the weekend.”

According to McIlroy, he typically shows up to the field with both and then picks the 3-wood that best suits the setup. Unsurprisingly, McIlroy’s 3-woods have different performance characteristics.

With a true 13-degree loft, the SIM Ti carries over 300 yards for McIlroy with a spin rate hovering around 2,700 RPM, making it, as the four-time major winner called it, a glorified “2 -wood” with very little. movement. The Stealth, on the other hand, is moderately weaker at 13.75 degrees and goes up to 290 yards with a touch more spin (3100 RPM on the draw and 3600 RPM on the fade) and provides the ability to work the ball both ways.

street finder

Smith’s TSi3 controller required additional weight after it was shortened.

Getty Images/Jonathan Wall

Videos of dropping a ball raw they have become a US Open tradition. It’s a reminder that no matter how accurate you are, there will come a time during the week when you have to take your medicine and figure it out. To reduce his chances of spending a considerable amount of time in the rough, Cam Smith worked with Titleist Tour representatives to adjust his spread by going to a shorter driver length.

Smith had his Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6X driveshaft shortened by a half inch to 44.5 inches. Going shorter required the Titleist reps to add about 4 grams of weight to the head to compensate for the reduced shaft length.

Going shorter allowed Smith to find the center of the face more often during testing, something he had struggled with in recent weeks.

US Open Specific Change

Morikawa adds a TaylorMade Hi-Toe lob wedge for the US Open.

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Collin Morikawa carries several lob wedges with him to handle every conceivable course configuration. But when it comes time to choose a setup for the US Open, only one option is good enough: the TaylorMade High Tip (60 degree).

“I tend to use the Hi-Toe at the US Open because it gives you more surface area if you miss it,” Morikawa told GOLF.com. “I can chip it raw or open face up and I know I can grab it by the toe and it will still finish when I need to. It’s a great club for a lot of different shots, which is why it’s always added this week.”

What makes the 60 degree wedge special, aside from the extended nose section, is a plethora of ZTP raw grooves that run across the entire face, increasing the amount of zipper each wedge can produce. Laser etching between each deep, narrow groove reduces face-up slippage and allows the ball to produce a consistent launch while generating more friction at impact for additional greenside spin.

It’s not a wedge that Morikawa uses regularly, but for at least a week a year, it’s the best choice for his bag setup.

look alike

Pereira was one of the only players on the course to use a draw-prone fairway wood.

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Draw-biased products typically don’t see the light of day on the pro circuit. There are exceptions to every rule (Keegan Bradley’s TaylorMade SIM Max D controller), but losing it is usually a death sentence for most pros. When Mito Pereira asked the Ping Tour reps to find a 5-wood that looked and reacted like their G425 Max 7-wood, the initial idea was to start with a Max version and see if they could make it worth their while with some mods. minors.

After initial testing, Ping Tour representative Kenton Oates added a draw-biased Ping G425 SFT to the list of possible options. Yes, a head biased by the drawing. The decision behind trying SFT was simple: Mito tends to miss well with the 3-wood, so why not try a 5-wood with a lower loft that mitigates the miss?

After setting the loft sleeve to the “Big Minus” (the change moved the loft from 16 degrees to 14.25 degrees), Pereira was able to get the desired distance and eliminate his usual flaw with the drawing bias model. Problem solved.

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jonathan wall

jonathan wall

Golf.com Photographer

Jonathan Wall is the Managing Editor of Equipment for GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. Before joining the staff in late 2018, he spent 6 years covering teams for the PGA Tour.

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