The coolest custom gear spotted at the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines
It’s U.S. Open week at Torrey Pines, which means players are doing everything they can to get their games firing on all cylinders. They’re making last-minute tweaks to their swing, preparing a course strategy and, of course, ensuring their gear is perfectly dialed in to play their best.
After perusing the gear setups of some of the top players in the world this week, I noticed a number of notable equipment changes and customized pieces of equipment; everything from lead tape on golf clubs to custom bags made by manufacturers.
Below is a rundown of standout custom equipment from the 2021 U.S. Open. Let’s get into it!
U.S. Open bags and headcovers
There was plenty of source material for equipment manufacturers to create custom staff bags this week. TaylorMade and Srixon went for the retro SoCal vibe, while Callaway went with a red-white-and-blue color scheme to celebrate our nation’s event.
Ping also joined the party with stars-and-stripes headcovers, as seen hanging from Tyrrell Hatton’s golf bag.
Custom wedge stampings
Already known for his Happy Gilmore custom stamping, Will Zalatoris has two new stampings on his Titleist wedges. On his 55-degree Vokey SM8, Zalatoris has an Owen Wilson reference; Zalatoris looks a bit like the actor, and Wilson’s trademark “Wow” — which he says in several movies — is stamped on a wedge. Then, on his 60-degree WedgeWorks wedge, Zalatoris has what can only be assumed is a reference to his skinny frame: “If he lays down sideways ya can’t see him.”
Max Homa’s Vokey SM8 wedges are especially American. They’re also unique because most Vokey wedges are printed with the loft number, but Homa’s pitching wedge is stamped with a custom “P” instead.
Horschel’s ultra-custom irons
It’s not uncommon for players to apply a bit of lead tape to their irons in order to manipulate CG (center of gravity) or head weighting. Billy Horschel’s irons have more than just a few strips of lead tape on them, though. In order to change the performance of his irons, Horschel and the Titleist team bent his 620 MB irons by 4 degrees per iron, which also added bounce and changed the offset. The soles have a custom grind on them, and the numbers on the irons have been changed to reflect their new lofts. That’s a new level of customization.
Justin Thomas switches to his backup
For years, Justin Thomas has used a custom Scotty Cameron X 5.5 “Inspired By” putter, which was the predecessor to the new Phantom X 5.5. Thomas is staying in the same head shape, but he’s switching things up a little bit by going to his backup (pictured on the left). Compared to his previous gamer (pictured on the right), Thomas’ backup has a slightly different matte finish, and a smooth face rather than a milled face. According to Scotty Cameron rep Drew Page, Thomas just wanted to try out a slightly different feel off the face after trying it out at home.
Charl Schwartzel’s custom irons and wedges
Charl Schwartzel, who we know likes to tinker with his irons himself, has Miura MB 001 irons in the bag with a few strips of lead tape on the back of each iron to affect weighting. He also plays with custom Artisan Golf wedges with a South African colorway. If you look close enough at his wedges, you can see three circular shapes on the sole, which typically indicates that Tungsten plugs have been added to shift weight in the heads.
Xander Schauffele’s razor-sharp putter
Xander Schauffele recently switched to an armlock-style Odyssey O-Works Red No. 7 CH putter, and he made some changes to the head for this week. In order to dial in his launch and spin, Odyssey rep Joe Toulon added a bunch of lead tape to the sole — about 30 grams — to move weight downward, and they slightly lowered loft on the head to induce more top spin. For those wondering how the application of lead tape looks so smooth, Toulon said he simply used a razor to smooth it out and trim along the edges.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2021? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below!