Wall-to-Wall Equipment: Why Rickie Fowler returned to 7-year-old irons
Rickie Fowler changed irons last week in Detroit. Photos posted on social media led some to speculate there had been a falling-out between Fowler and his Cobra RF Prototype blades — better known as the sticks that took Cobra designers 33 revisions to land on the version Fowler put in play at the TaylorMade Driving Relief charity match.
The irons had Fowler’s initials on them. They were made specifically for him. And just like that, they were replaced less than two months later by a set of Cobra AMP Cell Pro irons that debuted seven years ago.
Fowler changed driver shafts — adding another LA Golf shaft to the bag to compliment the putter — but the irons were the big story. That was until Cobra Tour rep Ben Schomin cleared the air on the iron switch, which ended up being much ado about nothing.
According to Schomin, Fowler was busy working on his game at home in preparation for the majors when he decided to test a set of Cobra AMP Cell Pros equipped with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts.
Fowler has bounced between KBS and True Temper over the last year but chose to go back to KBS Tour C-Taper S+ 125 — a shaft he’s used since 2015 — at the beginning of 2020. That ended up being the shaft Fowler had installed in his RF Prototypes when the final version was sent to his home.
Unsure if the X100 shafts he tested were going in the bag for the long-haul, Fowler chose to play the shafts in his old irons instead of having his gamer set pulled apart and rebuilt. It’s not like Fowler’s custom irons are plentiful at the moment.
Fowler ranked 19th in Stroke Gained: Approach-the-Green with the AMP Cell Pro/X100 combo, which is the kind of improvement that could lead the shafts to earning a permanent spot in the bag.
If that ends up being the case, expect Fowler to have his RF Prototypes sent to Cobra HQ to be built up with the same X100 shafts.
Aiming for accuracy
Too much spin can be a distance killer when it comes to the irons. The same can be said about not having enough RPMs throughout the bag. Too little spin tends to lead to poor launch conditions and control issues.
For Matthew Wolff, the goal recently has been locating the ideal launch and spin characteristics for his irons (3-PW). Looking for more spin — particularly on half shots — Wolff gave Project X’s 7.0 a chance, but the shafts still didn’t spin enough for his liking. So he moved down in flex to the slightly softer 6.5.
Not only did the shafts complement the iron work he’s been putting in recently with instructor George Gankas, they hit the ideal spin rate and put Wolff in control of his golf ball. The runner-up showing was his best finish since last year’s maiden Tour title at the 3M Open.
Kevin Kisner switched to Odyssey’s EXO #7 putter last week at the Travelers Championship, but something still didn’t feel right. Although the three dots on the topline matched what he was used to seeing on his trusty White Hot Pro #7, Kisner still felt his contact could be more consistent.
To give the putter an identical look to his old gamer, two white lines were added to the EXO wings to help frame the three dots (and ball) at address. The simple sightline addition helped Kisner improve his contact and ball speed issues. He ended the tournament 11th in Strokes Gained: Putting — his best performance on the greens in four starts since the restart.
Bryson DeChambeau isn’t the only tour pro who spent the quarantine picking up speed off the tee. Recent swing changes for Seamus Power resulted in him switching from Ping’s G410 Plus driver to the low-spin G410 LST to reap the benefits of his newfound speed.
Power retained the same shaft but reduced the loft on his 9-degree head by roughly a half-degree. The result? Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 yards of additional distance off the tee.
Power posted a T12 showing while ranking 3rd in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (plus-4.742) and driving distance (332.4 yards).