Putters

Wall-to-Wall Equipment: Tony Finau’s latest gear change could be a game-changer

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.

Conventional route

A prescient putter change took Jon Rahm’s game to new heights — and a major title. Tony Finau will have to wait nine months until he gets another shot at a major, but he’s hoping the latest putter change produces a similar spark.

Working with Ping Tour reps beginning at the Memorial, Finau toyed around with the idea of going to an arm-lock option on the greens but quickly dismissed the notion in favor of a more conventional setup.

It didn’t take Finau long to realize one model, in particular, seemed to be tailored to his stroke: Ping’s Anser 2D.

“We started by showing Tony about five to six head options we thought he might like and quickly noticed in the testing process that the extra offset of the Anser hosel allowed him to set his hands more neutral at address,” said Ping Tour rep Kenton Oates.

Prior to testing Anser 2D (along with an Anser D), Finau felt he needed to have an excessive amount of forward press during the stroke. The Ping putter Finau landed on differed significantly from some of the creations he’s used in recent years, including a Piretti Matera Elite with a shaft entry point that was welded to the back flange to give the putter one ball of onset.

Along with adjusting his hosel and hand position, Finau went flatter (2 degrees) after testing the putter at home prior to departing for the Open Championship; the loft was also adjusted from 6 degrees (during arm-lock testing) down to 4.5 degrees when he landed on the more neutral setup.

The deeper head on the Anser blade is already being used by Bubba Watson and offers another layer of stability to the traditional shape.

Finau, who ranks 115th in SG: Putting this season, didn’t take long to warm to the neutral setup. Even though he finished T28 in Minnesota, he ranked 10th on the greens (plus 5.316), a promising improvement for a pro who seems to be one strong putting round away from securing his second Tour title — or a major.

Fresh sticks

Matthew Wolff offered a sneak-peek at TaylorMade’s yet-to-be-released MG3 wedges at the 3M Open. Making his fourth start since the Masters in April, Wolff added three MG3 scoring clubs (50, 56 and 60 degrees) to tackle TPC Twin Cities.

The wedge appears to have a cleaner look with fewer lines than its predecessor. A raw face was also visible on Wolff’s wedges, which indicates it isn’t suffering from a lack of spin.

The Champ is here

For as much as pros (and amateurs) tend to fixate on distance, Cameron Champ proved on Sunday that you don’t need an extra-long driver to win. If you’ll recall, Champ went to a noticeably shorter club setup at the end of 2019 that included a 44.25-inch driver to hit low cuts on command.

A brief stint with a 45-inch driver in 2020 didn’t improve one of Champ’s biggest weapons, so he went back to 44.25 inches earlier this year in his Ping G425 LST driver. The change hasn’t stopped Champ from bombing the ball off the tee. He ranked 10th in driving distance (317.6 yards) with the shorter big stick.

Quick-hitters: Dustin Johnson returned to TaylorMade’s TP Bandon 1 (LA Golf shaft) putter. … Going into the Olympic break, Titleist has recorded 30 PGA Tour wins this season. … Robert MacIntyre inserted a TaylorMade P790 3-iron. … Cameron Champ’s putter change paid off. … Odyssey has been tops in putter usage at every major championship in 2021.

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.

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