Max Homa has been on a roll this season. With two victories and eight top-25 finishes in 14 starts, the 31-year-old has rarely been out of contention when he’s teed it up. That level of consistency typically means every club in the bag is doing its part.
“Man, that is such a tough question,” Homa said. “I think my [Titleist TSi3 driver] has to be MVP. It has been my rock this season. I’ve been driving it a little bit further and straighter. It’s been super predictable. I always like to say my 7-wood because not many people have been using that club, so it’s nice to throw that in. But my driver has been great all season so far.”
The numbers don’t lie. Homa currently ranks 16th in SG: Off-the-tee following his fourth Tour win at the Wells Fargo Championship — a massive improvement from last season where he finished 78th in the statistical category.
For Homa, the improved driving can be chalked up to swing improvements and a move into the TSi3 that allowed him to start going after the ball and not fear the dreaded big miss.
“I was such a bad driver of the ball in [2017 and 2018] and started to get better in 2019,” he said. “For me, the change was starting to swing better and switching to the TSi3. The equipment is not hurting that. It’s nice to be able to swing easy, catch the ball out of the middle and watch the ball fly hard. It’s not a coincidence that the timing of the better driving, especially from the jump of 2020-21 to 2021-22, as I’ve gotten into the new head has made a big difference.”
Homa also made an important adjustment to the driver during this season’s Farmers Insurance Open that’s paid dividends. During a testing session at Titleist’s TPI facility in Oceanside, California, Homa was informed his speed was up — thanks to an offseason training regimen — but an uptick in launch and spin were keeping him from maximizing distance potential.
“My speed was way up, but my launch and spin was also on the bad end of that,” he recalled. “[Titleist Tour rep JJ Van Wezenbeeck] said, ‘You should be hitting it further than you are.’ Part of it is I like to hit this squeeze cut off the tee, so my launch and spin numbers are always going to be a little bit inflated on the course.”
To get his speed and launch characteristics on the same page, Homa switched to a Fujikura Ventus Black 6X shaft and watched his issue disappear in a few swings.
“Once they put me in [the Ventus] shaft, I was able to go at it and keep it as straight as I was hitting the other one,” Homa said. “My swing speed and ball speed also had a crazy jump. I finally felt comfy going hard. That was huge. As the weeks have gone on, I’ve had this new level of pop. It’s been fun having this shaft that’s cooperating.”
The minor adjustment has turned Homa’s driver into a weapon as he heads to the PGA Championship. With the game peaking at just the right time, Homa’s MVP could give him an edge at a course that rewards exemplary driving.
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