John Deere Classic winner J.T. Poston on switching drivers and preparing for his first Open Championship
Being able to get into the mind and discuss the game with some of the best golfers on the planet is always a thrill. This week after his win at the John Deere Classic I had the opportunity to speak with PGA Tour winner J.T. Poston about his recent hot play, his transition to the new Titleist TSR3 driver, and his plans to prepare for the Open Championship.
Below is a section of a full interview, which has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Ryan Barath: First off, congratulations on winning the John Deere Classic to mark your second win on tour. Was there something about your game that you felt was firing on all cylinders leading into the week?
J.T. Poston: There is never just one thing that I can put my finger on when I’m playing well, because it always feels like everything is just coming together. The great thing about playing well is that you feel like every part of your game is stress-free, and that helps create a lot of confidence. The one part of my game that I always have confidence in is my putting, specifically inside 10 feet, which flows into the rest of my game. When my iron game does get sharp, I can really take advantage of the opportunities I give myself. When you add in a few extra made putts in that 15-20-foot range, all of a sudden the scores get lower.
RB: Moving away from your putter, to the other end of your bag – you quickly made the switch to the new Titleist TSR3 driver at The Travelers Championship outside of Hartford. What is the transition process like when putting a new driver into play during the season?
JT: Yeah, I mean to be really honest the process is easy for me. At The Travelers, the rep came over with one of the new heads on the range and I just put it right onto my shaft with a few clicks of the wrench.
The new driver looks very similar to my old one from address, so that gives me confidence when I’m looking down at it. As soon as I hit the ball-flight window I want to see, I’m ready to go. I even just put the head into the standard (A1) setting and immediately saw great numbers with a bit of extra ball speed, which I can always use. I have so much trust in the gear and the reps we work with on Tour, it makes a driver switch seamless.
RB: Now speaking of switching out gear, your win at the John Deere qualified you for The 150th Open at St Andrews. The one thing so many players talk about is making sure their wedges are ready for links golf – do you currently have any plans to do any wedge testing once you get over to Scotland?
JT: I don’t have much experience playing links golf, so I’m excited to get over there and get familiar with the conditions we are going to face next week. As for my wedges, were really lucky to have Aaron Dill out with us on tour and one thing he really tries to make sure when setting up our wedges is versatility built into our sets.
I like the way my set is built from my (SM9) pitching wedge down to my lob wedge, and since I already use a 60° (L-Grind) with just 4° of bounce I don’t think I’ll be going to anything lower for the conditions – but you never know. I’ve always used a lower bounce lob wedge to help get under the ball on tight lies around greens and the grind I use makes it easy to open the face and still feel like I can get under it which should help over there.
RB: Thanks for your time JT, and and good luck at The Open next week.
JT: Thanks Ryan.