The gear crew at GOLF.com spends an excessive amount of time at Tour events snapping photographs of the tools used by the best players in the world. Posting club images online without context works in some cases, but it doesn’t help the weekend golfer under the why behind a pro’s setup. In a fresh series for GOLF.com, equipment editors Jonathan Wall and Ryan Barath attempt to answer those questions by highlighting interesting clubs in the bag, unique weighting, loft sleeve settings and more. Welcome to “BaySpy.”
Jon Rahm and his Callaway equipment have been front-and-center since the year began for all the right reasons. Coming off his third win in five 2023 starts at the Genesis Invitational, now feels like as good a time as ever to dig into the Spaniard’s Callaway equipment setup to see what makes him tick.
Below are seven things we noticed while shooting Rahm’s gear during the PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing.
Keeping it straight
Rahm and Callaway’s Paradym Triple Diamond driver have been a lethal combination since they linked up this year. But instead of talking about the driver’s design (click here if you want a full gear rundown), I want to point out something interesting located just above the loft sleeve adapter.
When Rahm conducts driver testing with Callaway’s Tour reps, it’s common from him to hit multiple heads with slightly different lofts or weight setups in an attempt to find the best build for his game. The number 2 written in permanent marker on the head denotes it was the second head in the testing lineup.
What’s interesting is Rahm also found the second head to be the best fit when he used Callaway’s Rogue ST driver. Rahm rarely finishes second these days, but it’s a number that resonates with him when it comes to driver builds.
Even when Rahm’s wife, Kelley, and his two kids, Kepa and Eneko, aren’t on the road with him, they’re still close by. Rahm has been known to get creative with his wedge stampings in the past. Early last year, it was skull and crossbones, which is the polar opposite of the current stamp job on his Callaway Jaws Raw wedges.
Rahm’s 52-degree is stamped with his wife’s name; the 56-degree has Kepa’s name on the back of the head; and the 60-degree has the first initial for Kelley, Kepa and Eneko, along with the word “AITA,” which means “dad” in his native Basque language.
Rahm may be a terminator on the course, but he’s a big softie around his family.
We’ve penned plenty of stories on the importance of understanding wedge bounce, and how it can benefit your game. Rahm is a perfect example of a pro who embraces more bounce. That’s right: more bounce. Most weekend golfers assume pros play wedges with lower bounce that allow the leading edge to sit tight against the turf. If you have elite hands, low bounce is a definite option.
But for the most part, golfers need more bounce in their life to keep the club from digging into the turf. In Rahm’s case, he has elite feel and touch around the green but prefers to play mid to high bounce — 10 degrees in the Callaway Jaws Raw gap and lob wedge, 12 degrees in the sand wedge — due to how he impacts the ground. (Some more inside baseball: His wedges are about as stock as they come with no modifications to the sole geometry.)
Conduct an online search for Odyssey’s White Hot OG Rossie S putter and you’ll find a White Hot insert housed inside the head. What makes Rahm’s Rossie interesting is the fact it has a White Hot Micronhinge Star insert, making it a one-of-a-kind wand.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Star version, it’s designed to provide the same roll benefits as the White Hot Microhinge with an overall firmer feel and sound at impact. The visible grooves contact the ball for a consistent end-over-end roll — something Rahm noticed during initial testing.
Something else Rahm noticed? The impact ratio with the Star insert matched up with his feel. In layman’s terms, it means his speed control was better from every distance.
So long, old friend
Rahm has been playing Aldila’s Tour Green shaft in his driver and 3-wood going back to his time at Arizona State University. It’s one of the few equipment variables he’s been unwilling to change over the years — until recently. During the Genesis Invitational, Rahm swapped out the Tour Green shaft in his Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond T 3-wood and replaced it with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI Black 8X shaft.
It’s important to point out he was already using the AD DI Black shaft in his 5-wood, so it’s a familiar product. The change came about after Rahm noticed he was hitting it too far with the 3-wood. Hoping to shave off some distance, Rahm switched to the AD DI Black shaft and gained 500 RPMs of spin; he also dropped his ball speed from the high 170s to the mid-to-low 170s.
Rahm’s recent shaft swap is a reminder that you don’t always need to change heads to find the perfect club.
Here’s a gear trivia question: What’s the oldest piece of equipment in Rahm’s bag? If you’re familiar with his setup, the answer would likely be Aldila’s Tour Green driver shaft. But you’d be wrong.
It’s actually his midsize Golf Pride New Decade MultiCompound grips. They’ve been part of Rahm’s setup for at least a decade, which is an eternity in “equipment years.”
For those who follow me on social media, you know I’m a sucker for wear patterns. With Rahm’s Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond T fairway wood — the Tour-only head has extra camber on the sole and a neutral center of gravity — you can tell he uses the club off the tee and from the fairway based on the wear marks low and high on the face. The deeper face on the T head makes it a versatile option, as you can tell from the above photo.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.