Wall-to-Wall Equipment: Two major winners switch to one-of-a-kind irons
Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Equipment, the Monday morning gear wrap-up in which GOLF equipment editor Jonathan Wall takes you through the latest trends, rumors and breaking news.
Just for me
Custom, one-of-a-kind irons aren’t as common as some might think in the professional ranks. Save for minor modifications, a larger majority of the golfers with a Tour card rely on products currently found in the retail line. For equipment manufacturers, it’s easier to rectify a club issue with something that’s readily available than expend the resources to whip up a new design from scratch.
To be clear, that doesn’t mean a pro isn’t worth the effort if they need a prototype. Callaway spent the time (and money) to create an initial version of the Apex Pro specifically for Xander Schauffele. Bryson DeChambeau has been the beneficiary of more custom Cobra prototypes than he can probably remember. And who could forget the custom work that went into building a set of blades for Tiger Woods? Exceptions do exist — they’re just few and far between.
And then came last week’s revelation that Adam Scott and Justin Thomas were using irons designed specifically for their wants and needs. In Scott’s case, it was the addition of offset in a blade profile he’s come to trust. Thomas, on the other hand, prefers “zero offset” in his 621.JT blades. While we’ve seen both players use their design modifications in the past, last week was the first time they’ve ever used a set of irons with their fingerprints (and initials) all over them.
“I guess I like offset, and they have a little more offset, a longer blade, a higher toe, they’re less boxy and less symmetrical,” Scott told GOLF.com. “… Also, they have quite a sharp leading edge and sole, and that kind of turf interaction is a big thing for me. It’s quite a sharp edge and it keeps me very shallow, and I know if I’m getting steep the club is going to stick in the ground a little bit so it helps me keep my swing where I like it.”
Neither profile is currently available at retail, which might disappoint gearheads out there who have aspirations of trying the Scott and Thomas-inspired blades for themselves. But don’t completely dismiss the idea that these are destined to be Tour-only prototypes forever.
A statement from Titlesit confirmed additional details will be released in the future.
“Feedback from the best players in the world is a cornerstone of the Titleist R&D process, and these prototype irons (621.JT and 681.AS) have been developed in collaboration with each player to better understand some key design variables such as shaping, sole design and CG placement – that ultimately may find their way into future Titleist iron development,” Titleist said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing additional updates on these prototypes as we gain feedback and learn more from each player’s experience.”
In other words, there’s still hope these can be acquired up at some point.
Back on track
TaylorMade’s TP5x Pix golf ball earned a spot in Tommy Fleetwood’s bag following a Monday practice session with his coach that revealed he was “misaligned fractionally” with the putter at address. Fleetwood went from adding a single line to the cover, for aim purposes, to trying out TaylorMade’s Pix design with the sharpie line.
Co-developed with Rickie Fowler, the pixelated parallel markings, when aimed and impacted correctly, create what looks like a pathway on the ball as it rolls end-over-end.
The combination of the two alignment aids allowed Fleetwood to lock in on his target during practice rounds and the pro-am. Fleetwood would go on to put the ball in play during the first round.
History nearly made
Rickie Fowler nearly broke his streak of Tour wins with a Scotty Cameron putter at the CJ Cup. Using a Cobra “Sport-45” Prototype putter for the second straight week, Fowler came oh-so-close to capturing his sixth Tour title with the custom wand. Created from a block of 316 stainless steel, Cobra 3D printed the head and then milled it to Fowler’s final specifications.
The putter utilizes Sik’s DLT face technology — the same design found on Cobra’s recent putter line — and includes heel-toe weights for swingweight purposes. To keep the head from corroding, the trace mineral Molybdenum was also added to the 316 stainless steel during the design process.
Quick-hitters: One week after Ping attempted to salvage Harris English’s Ping Palm Lock putter grip, the trusty handle was retired for good. … Detailed in-hand photos of the equipment Rory McIlroy used to win the CJ Cup. … Gary Woodland was spotted rolling putts with a Scotty Cameron T-5 Proto that featured a custom Knuckle Neck.
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.