Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Equipment, the weekly equipment roundup where the GOLF Equipment Editor jonathan wall takes you through the latest trends, rumors, and breaking news. The latest batch of Team Notes will be released early due to the Bank Holiday weekend.
The wait is worth it
ping i210 iron made his tour debut a little over four years ago at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis. Needless to say, it’s been a minute since Ping released a new i-Series iron. But that could be changing in the near future after Tyrrell Hatton was seen with what appears to be an unreleased i-Series prototype iron.
Hatton is one of several high-profile Ping employees, along with Viktor Hovland and Lee Westwood, who put their faith in the i-Series model. With a longer blade in the long irons and a more compact profile in the short irons, the i210 blurs the line between better player and game improvement with a clever combination of forgiveness and maneuverability that has earned it high marks since its introduction.
The new Hatton irons are likely to have similar features and benefits as their predecessor. Of course, there are some visible changes to the overall shape and design.
Let’s start with the weight screw on the tip of the iron, a new addition that wasn’t part of the i210’s design. Recent iron releases from Ping (Blueprint, i59, i525) have featured a machined tungsten screw in the dropout for MOI (sorry) purposes.
What remains to be seen is what happens under the hood. The latest additions to the i-series (i59 and i525) featured completely different designs, so it’s probably one of two ways. The i59’s multi-material cavity was built around an aluminum core, one-third the density of traditional stainless steel, which allowed approximately 30 grams of weight to be redistributed for trajectory and MOI purposes. The hollow cavity of the i525, on the other hand, was filled with an EVA polymer, situated directly behind the face, which helped tune the sound at impact. Looking strictly at the redesigned cavity and who the irons are designed for (better players), it probably comes first in this case.
In terms of shape and profile changes, a softer toe box and a more subdued cavity design (which emits iBlade vibrations) evoke a classic, straightforward iron that top players are sure to appreciate.
If the iron is already in Hatton’s bag, weekend golfers likely won’t have long to wait to play it, too.
When the LIV tour was first introduced, many wondered who would handle grip checks, loft/lie, and other equipment-related requests during a tournament week.
At the moment, it’s Ben Giunta and Jason Werner.
Giunta, former Nike Golf Tour representative and founder of The Tour Van, and Werner, who worked at TaylorMade’s The Kingdom facility and is a partner in the company, were at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club for the first part of the week handling each and every one of the requests for the original The Tour Van. (A second Tour Van truck is located at the Hermitage Golf Club in Nashville, Tennessee.)
“It’s easier to handle requests here because the course is smaller,” Werner told GOLF.com. “They needed someone here who could support the events. There were a lot of loft and lie checks this week, but we also did some axle testing. The guys usually bring things from their manufacturers here and we can help them where needed.”
According to Werner, the plan is for The Tour Van to support LIV players at the remaining events in the United States (Bedminster, New Jersey, Boston and Chicago), but not when the tour heads overseas.
in a row
Titleist’s TSR rollout continued on the DP World Tour, where 21 players transitioned to the driver in Ireland. At the John Deere Classic, Titleist saw 28 players use the driver after 18 made the switch the week before at the Travelers Championship.
JT Poston, who finished second in Travelers, continued his strong performance in the John Deere Classic with a new TSR3 driver in the bag. Poston saw a 2 mph increase in ball speed during head-to-head TSi/TSR testing, prompting him to make the change official.
“That’s definitely more,” Poston said after first contact last week. “I really like the sound of that. It feels good. Sounds great. Looks great.”
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