Wyndham Clark’s club swaps, and Rory McIlroy dishes on unreleased ball | Wall-to-Wall
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. This week’s Wall-to-Wall is brought to you by Jonathan’s partner in gear nerdiness, GOLF senior equipment editor Ryan Barath, who was on the ground at Pebble Beach for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Wyndham Clark makes several club swaps — and wins
Wyndham Clark shot an impressive Saturday 60 at Pebble Beach, and after weather forced Sunday’s final round to be canceled it turned out to be the difference in securing him the win by one over Ludvig Aberg. Although Clark’s new Odyssey Ai-One putter was the buzziest club in his bag, Clark had several other notable new additions to his arsenal, too.
They include a new TaylorMade Qi10 3 wood, a 2024 Mizuno Pro FliHi driving iron and new Vokey SM10 wedges by Titleist.
Beyond the putter, another quiet change for Wyndham Clark @attproam this week is a new @Titleist TSR3 driver in the bag.— Ryan Barath 🏌️♂️ (@RDSBarath) February 4, 2024
Had continued to use a TSi this year and finally made the switch this week. pic.twitter.com/iwc5V5WNSc
Another quieter change for Clark last week: After working with Titleist’s JJ Van Wezenbeeck, Clark switched from his previous Titleist TSi3 to the newer TSR3. When asked about the swap on the range, Wezenbeeck said that Clark was seeing more consistent speed with the TSR3 but just needed to get everything dialed before commiting — well, I guess they got everything dialed!
Titleist Vokey SM10 Raw Custom Wedge
New Ping wedges are popular
It’s no secret that Ping has new S159 wedges out on the PGA Tour, and to be fair it’s hard to keep a secret when almost all of your staff players have quickly made the switch.
Much like their Blueprint S and T irons, which saw quick adoption by many players and immediate wins by Sahith Theegala and Louis Oosthuizen, the S159s can be found in a majority of Ping players’ bags, which shows that players are liking the new models.
It’s probably not going to be long until we see these at retail.
PING Blueprint S Custom Irons
Center-shafted putter trend
It wasn’t long along that center-shafted putters had almost grown extinct from retail shelves and on the PGA Tour save for a few holdouts. But, be it because of the surge in center-shafted long putters or players just looking to find something that better helps with alignment, center-shafted putters are trending again on the PGA Tour.
Almost every manufacturer had at least one option available at Pebble, with Ping, Bettinardi and Odyssey having the most models. When you add in the long putter options, I’d expect to see a few more center-shafted-putting winners like Matthieu Pavon before the end of the year.
New Mitsubishi putter shafts
Driver and iron shafts aren’t the only things that can get fit for flex and profile, and Mitsubishi proved that with two new putter shafts out for testing at Pebble Beach that offered various flex options to help fit players for stroke type.
Scheffler testing Olson putters
We’ll continue to follow this story, but the development above paired with Olson Manufacturing’s official mailing address now being directed to the same address as TaylorMade’s HQ, confirms the putter maker’s relationship with the brand and their continued efforts to help Scottie Scheffler on the greens.
Rory talks new golf ball
Rory McIlroy had a typically lengthy press conference at Pebble, and although most of the focus was on LIV, yours truly was able to ask the important stuff gear nerds want to hear about when it comes to his recent play and switch to a soon-to-be released TaylorMade ball.
Barath: You played the same golf ball for a number of years now. How do you find the new ball has performed for you, and what was it like going through the testing process like?
Rory McIlroy: Yeah, I thought it was a good opportunity to at least test it in Dubai. You’ve got desert conditions, there’s not a ton of wind, it’s a place that I’m comfortable with. I obviously tested it a little bit at home and liked that it was a touch of a lower launch than the golf ball I was previously playing, then a touch lower spin as well.
It was a great test — it was two weeks in Dubai, because the greens got pretty firm at the weekend on both courses, so it was a good test to still make sure that the mid-irons were spinning enough going into greens and still being able to hold greens. And it’s fast, it’s a really, really fast golf ball. Definitely feel like I’ve picked up a little bit of speed with it, especially off the tee.
And it’s a little funny, it’s a lower spinning ball, but it feels a touch softer to me around the greens, so I like that feel of it. I think the sort of lower launch with the short irons and then a little bit more of a softer feel around the greens was sort of the big selling point to me.
Barath: Is that mid-iron control — other than the short game — one of the most important things for you?
Rory: Yeah, I like to play a low spin ball but not so low spin that when you’re hitting a 6-iron or something into the green you can’t hold it. But I also like that — a very comfortable shot for me at the minute is sort of hitting this hold-off sort of cut. The fact that it doesn’t spin too much when I hit that shot I really like because I’ve always had this fear with whatever golf ball that I’ve played that if I hit that shot, there’s a tendency to come up short because it spins a little too much. But I don’t really have that fear with this golf ball, which is a really nice feeling.
TaylorMade Qi10 LS Custom Driver
Sure sounds like Rory has found a new TaylorMade ball for 2024, and it likely won’t be long before we’ll have more info to share for everyone else.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2024? Find a True Spec fitting location near you.