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.
A positive Covid-19 test cut Jon Rahm’s week short at the Memorial, which is a shame considering the putting performance he put on during the third round with an Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie S putter that was making its Tour debut.
Rahm needed just 14 putts on the back nine en route to a third-round 64 that stretched his lead to six shots. The performance on the greens was a welcomed sight for Rahm, who ranked outside the top 100 in SG: Putting entering the week.
“He’s been struggling for a little bit now,” said Odyssey Tour rep Joe Toulon. “He just hasn’t been making those 8- to 10-footers that he normally makes to keep a round going, keep the momentum going. He wanted something to match his stroke with what he’s doing now. His stroke mechanics have changed a little bit and he wanted to get back to a different feel.”
To match his stroke mechanics, Rahm returned to a short slant neck — he most recently used a double-bend shaft — that allowed him to consistently rotate the head and square up the face at impact. (For those who are unfamiliar with Rahm’s putter history, the slant neck was his preferred option while using a TaylorMade Spider.)
“He gets it in a better position in his back stroke so he can make a more aggressive stroke through, without having to worry about pushing or pulling it,” Toulon said.
Rahm also swapped the traditional White Hot insert for a White Hot Microhinge that offered a quicker roll off the face to cut down on putts coming up short of the hole.
Rahm didn’t leave Ohio with the trophy, but he can rest easy knowing his putter search is over.
Collin Morikawa wanted to take a look at different putter options, so he did what many recreational golfers usually do — he went online and started building his own putter.
Using TaylorMade’s MyTP site, Morikawa combed through a myriad of options before sending along his specific asks to TaylorMade’s Tour department. According to TaylorMade, a consumer could spec out 90 percent of Morikawa’s current putter by using the MyTP site.
The putter looks very similar to Morikawa’s previous TP Juno — with a few exceptions.
The loft was reduced to match his new setup which features a more forward hand position at impact. A stainless steel insert was also fashioned to the face to give it the firmer feel he prefers at impact.
Join the club
If you can’t beat them, join them. At least that’s one way to look at Xander Schauffele’s latest putter change. One of the best putters on Tour, Schauffele tested a SuperStroke Traxion WristLock grip recently and noticed an immediate improvement with his stroke. (Schauffele had two degrees of loft added to his Odyssey O-Works #7 CH Red mallet to fit the grip and technique change.)
“It’s just, it’s better, it’s easier, it’s more consistent,” Schauffele said. “My coach and I work a lot — Derek Uyeda, in San Diego — we work a lot on start lines and making sure the ball’s doing what we think it’s doing. And the fact that it’s anchored to your arm, there isn’t a whole lot of — you can flinch in your hands, but you can’t flinch your entire left arm, so that’s the process behind that.”
Schauffele ranked 13th in SG: Putting with the new putter grip. While it was a positive start to his first foray with the new stroke (and grip), Schauffele made it clear where he stood with regards to the armlock method.
“I am for banning the armlock putters, but if everyone else is going to use it and I feel like they have a bigger advantage, I may as well do the same,” he said.
Quick-hitters: Joaquin Niemann switched to a Ping G425 LST driver (Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6X; 10.5 degrees) with the score lines painted black to make the face look visually square at address. … Why Justin Thomas switched to Titleist’s TSi2 driver. … Rory McIlroy returned to Mitsubishi’s Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 70 XTS shaft in a new 8-degree TaylorMade SIM2 Max head. … TaylorMade’s 300 Mini Driver was spotted on the USGA’s conforming list. … Max Homa went back to a Scotty Cameron T5W putter. … Patrick Cantlay’s win at the Memorial marked his fourth start with a Scotty Cameron X5 Tour Prototype putter.