2 clever tricks this PGA Tour player uses with his gear

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The equipment you choose to use on the golf course can have a serious impact on what your score reads at the end of a round. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your equipment is perfectly dialed into your particular game.

It’s easier than ever to get your perfect clubs, too. Professional fitters can make sure your clubs and shafts are matches for your needs, and many companies allow for color/stamping personalization, too.

Maverick McNealy, the 25-year-old Stanford grad, takes personalization of his equipment up a notch. As we learned on our recent Fully Equipped podcast, McNealy drastically alters the weighting in his irons to fit his release pattern. Also, he marks his golf ball in a particular, unconventional way in order to help with his long game alignment and putting.

We get into the specifics of each equipment alteration below, but don’t forget to listen to our entire interview with McNealy in the Spotify embed.


1) He marks his golf ball a little differently

At one point or another, almost every golfer has experimented with drawing a line on their golf ball to help with alignment on the greens. It usually works like this: read the putt, aim the line on your golf ball right down the target line of your putt, aim the putter down the golf ball line, and stroke away.

McNealy, on the other hand, uses a line on his golf ball, but not for alignment on the greens. As he explains in the Fully Equipped Instagram video below, McNealy draws a line to help with tee shots instead of putts, and he uses a single dot when putting to ensure focus.

Check out the video below to see how Mcnealy marks his Callaway Chrome Soft X golf ball, and why.

2) He uses irons with lead tape in the toe

Lead tape is nothing completely new; many golfers use it to add weight to their club heads. McNealy uses lead tape for weighting purposes, but for a slightly more particular reason.

According to his interview with Fully Equipped, McNealy uses lead tape on his driver, fairway woods and irons in order to shift weight more out toward the toe sections. He says that by shifting CG (center of gravity) away from the hosel, the toe doesn’t shut as fast through impact. That helps him with his release and timing.

“I always have the Callaway guys build my clubs a little light, because I like to put lead tape on there to change the center of gravity,” McNealy explains. “I almost always put lead tape on the toe of my driver and fairway woods, because I like to slow that toe down. For me, the way I feel the clubface on the club is having weight away from the hosel, because that gives me that torque feeling in my hands. So the more weight you put on the toe, the harder it’s going to be to close the toe, and the more feel I have and awareness of the face.”

Lead tape isn’t the only adjustment McNealy makes to his irons, though. He gets some work done under the hood, as well.

I took all of the hosel plugs out of my irons, and I make up the swing weight difference by putting lead tape on the back of my irons and wedges,” McNealy said. “And that’s a huge reason why the Callaway MBs now have a weight button on the back, so I don’t have to use those hosel plugs that most other companies use to match their swing weights. And it matches all the closure rates on my irons. For me, that’s just a fancy way of explaining what I feel, which is I want the club head to feel the same way, and I want to be able to time that face and make that face square to the target the same time every time.”

While not all of us have McNealy’s ingenuity, professional fitters and club builders can help you make specific adjustments to your equipment so that it minimizes your misses, and helps you play better golf. And if you’re fighting a left miss, try out McNealy’s toe-heavy trick!

Want to overhaul your bag for 2021? Visit the expert fitters at our sister company, True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.

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Andrew Tursky

Golf.com Editor

Andrew Tursky is the Senior Equipment Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com.