“A sword is just a sword.”
In the world of golf equipment, that phrase is often used to express the belief that all muscleback blade irons, generally characterized by their slim top lines and compact shapes, are similar enough in their simplicity to that the differences are insignificant.
Justin Rose, a former FedExCup and US Open champion, doesn’t subscribe to that theory.
Over the past several years, Rose, who is currently a golf club free agent (apart from a deal with Axis1 to use his putters), has used a variety of iron makes and models, including multi-blade designs. Starting at this year’s Masters, Rose was using a set of TaylorMade P7MC irons, which feature a compact cavity-back design. However, when he tried it again at the PGA Championship, he had already switched to his current Titleist 620 Forged MB Blade Irons.
Rose finished 13th on the PGA and is coming off a fourth-place finish at last week’s RBC Canadian Open, where he flirted with the lowest round in TOUR history before settling for 60. How he decided on the new clubs is a Interesting story, unlike how most of his teammates choose their team. Most TOUR players test the equipment on the shooting range at tournaments, using the expertise of dedicated clubfitters employed by the equipment companies to mark them.
Rose did, however, visit an off-site club assembly facility in London, Custom Golf Works Sunningdale in London. The installer boasts a decade of adapting players on the DP World Tour, but is also open to the public. It is not affiliated with a single brand of equipment. Titleist clubs just won after Rose’s testing sessions. By contracting with Custom Golf Works Sunningdale to carry out the tuning of his clubs, Rose was able to focus less on testing the equipment during the weeks of the tournament.
“We went through a few different heads, and I really like the look of the Titleist (620 MB forged),” Rose told GolfWRX on Tuesday. “I tried them and they really worked very, very well. Throw, spin and also I think a little bit of spread. You won’t get a ton of difference (between the iron blade designs); it’s more just comfort with how they looked. But the more (I use different blades), the more subtle differences there are between certain irons. These that I am starting to learn come out of the rough a little quicker. A few more bridges, which could be a rhythm thing. Off the street, they spin as much and just as well.”
Playing rough is always a big part of the US Open and this week at The Country Club will be no different. The long grass creates a greater challenge for players when hitting approach shots on the course’s small, undulating greens.
Thick grass generally makes shots fly shorter because the grass creates more resistance against the club at impact. However, the opposite can happen when strands of grass get caught between the ball and the clubface in a way that reduces spin but not speed or distance. Sometimes, however, the grass strands get caught between the golf ball and the clubface in a way that reduces spin but not speed or distance. When this happens, it’s called getting a “jumper” or a “flyer,” and the ball travels noticeably farther. The only problem with a jumper is that it flies like a knuckleball, making it difficult to hit and stop on the green; However, when harnessed effectively, getting a jumper can be very useful. Rose noted that his new clubs produce more raw jumpers than his previous set.
“A jump shot can be a valuable club in the bag if you learn to play it right, so that’s the adjustment I’m learning to make with those (Titleist irons),” Rose told GolfWRX.com on Tuesday.