Rory McIlroy’s ‘garage club’ won the Scottish Open | Wall-to-Wall
Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Equipment, the weekly gear wrap-up in which GOLF equipment editor Jonathan Wall takes you through the latest trends, rumors and breaking news.
Rory McIlroy called it one of the “best shots I’ll hit in my career.” Everywhere you looked on Sunday, there was McIlroy’s 2-iron missile playing on a loop — a 201-yard approach into the last that barely got off the ground and somehow settled inside 15 feet to set up an improbable birdie-birdie finish to win the Genesis Scottish Open.
It’s the kind of shot every golfer hopes to execute at least once in their career.
What makes the shot even more fascinating — at least if you’re a gearhead — is it wouldn’t have been possible had McIlroy not made a trip to the garage for an extra club prior to departing for Scotland. The TaylorMade P760 2-iron he used to pull off “the shot” wasn’t even in the bag prior to the tournament.
Figuring a 2-iron could be handy at Hoylake — site of his lone Open Championship triumph — McIlroy unearthed the club from his garage and brought it along for the trip across the pond. Equipped with a Project X HZRDUS Black 6.5 105-gram graphite shaft, the 17-degree long iron (D4 swingweight) was built to be a weapon off the tee and into par-5s. But with McIlroy’s incredible length, he never saw a need to put it in the bag over a 5-wood or 3-iron, until last week.
The 2-iron is actually the third P760 long iron McIlroy’s added to the bag this season after inserting a P760 3- and 4-iron, for increased launch, earlier this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. (It’s also worth noting TaylorMade didn’t even make a 2-iron for public consumption when P760 was initially released, but when you’re one of the best golfers on the planet, you get the Tour treatment.)
“I feel by going back to that [TaylorMade P760] long iron in the 3- and the 4-iron, just to give me a bit more extra flight into the par-5s,” he said. “I feel like sometimes with the 3- and the 4-iron in the blades they can come in a little flat at times, where the par-5 and the second shots into the par-5s specifically this week are very, very important, so I thought having a little bit more flight on those long irons could be helpful.”
The last time McIlroy removed his 5-wood for a 2-iron at Hoylake, he departed on Sunday evening with the Claret Jug. He’ll be hoping for a repeat this week with a familiar club in tow.
Not going anywhere
Jon Rahm will remain the face of Callaway’s Tour staff after coming to terms on a multi-year extension with the equipment manufacturer. The two sides announced a “new long-term partnership extension” (financial terms were not disclosed) on Monday that will see the two-time major winner continue to play Callaway and Odyssey equipment, wear Callaway headwear, TravisMathew apparel and footwear and promote Topgolf’s global golf entertainment venue business.
“I’m so happy to continue this incredible relationship with Callaway and I truly have played the best golf of my career with their equipment,” Rahm said in a statement. “From the driver to the golf ball, they continue to set the bar higher with every new product line, and I’m looking forward to many more great years with their team.”
What makes Rahm’s extension unique, when compared to his counterparts, is that it includes an equity position in Topgolf Callaway Brands, “a position that both aligns interests and demonstrates Jon’s confidence in the company’s strategic direction of its portfolio of global brands.”
It’s been a minute since Ping released an updated Blueprint iron. Four-plus years, to be exact. At the Genesis Scottish Open, golfers received their first look at an iron called “Blueprint S.” Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton were the first two pros to put the iron in play in Scotland.
Scant details are available, but based on photos captured during the tournament, the iron sports a modest cavity-back design and toe weight. Compared to the previous Blueprint, it appears to have a slightly larger profile and more heel-toe forgiveness.
Hatton paired six Blueprint S prototype irons (6-PW) with i230 long irons (4-5). Looking at how his setup was constructed, it’s very possible the prototype has a profile that complements one of Ping’s most popular i-Series irons — with a touch more workability.
It’s been a while
Project X’s new Denali shaft (the company’s first new graphite wood shaft in six years) delivered on the hype in its first week on Tour. A total of 30 shafts went into play across the three tours in Week 1, a number that shattered Project X’s early expectations.
The low torque shaft features a stable butt section and straight taper midsection to deliver a consistent feel with added energy transfer. The mid-stiff tip section helps to deliver “ideal launch and spin conditions for modern-day equipment.”
According to Project X, the shaft was selected 75 percent of the time over two “of the most popular shafts on Tour” during double-blind testing. Based on the early adoption rate on Tour, it appears the trend is continuing with elite pros as well.
Quick-hitters: Lydia Ko switched to a Scotty Cameron Phantom X6 STR putter … Continuing the run of good form for Ping’s G430 Max fairway woods, Vincent Norrman won the Barbasol Championship with a G430 Max 3- and 5-wood in his setup … Sam Burns added a Vokey WedgeWorks 56-10S wedge to the bag.
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