Wall-to-Wall Equipment: Putter change propels Korn Ferry Tour pro to big week at Colonial
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.
Positive putter vibes
Making just his fourth start on the PGA Tour since 2016, Erik Compton departed Colonial with his first T20 finish in six years. For Compton, who teed it up in Fort Worth on a sponsor’s exemption, the strong finish was connected to a recent putter change — a club that’s befuddled him at times this season.
While the results don’t necessarily show the work Compton has been putting in behind the scenes — not to mention the Korn Ferry Tour doesn’t use ShotLink to keep tabs on Strokes Gained — the switch to an Axis1 Rose model at the Korn Ferry’s Veritex Bank Championship wound up being a turning point.
Struggling with a left miss on the greens, Compton found the Rose model helped correct the issue during initial testing.
“I put in a lot of work on the putting,” Compton said. “I’ve been working with Phil Long with Axis1 and grinding away and trying to get that right. I think that’s been the missing part of my game.”
Compton finished the week T3 in SG: Putting at Colonial, picking up a combined 7.7 strokes on the field with the relatively new flatstick.
While Axis1 doesn’t have anywhere close to the same following as Odyssey or Scotty Cameron on Tour, the putter manufacturer has been gaining noticeable traction in recent weeks. Justin Rose led the field in SG: Putting at the PGA Championship, gaining an eye-popping 11.727 strokes for the week. (Going back to the start of the 2020 season, he’s picked up just over 31 strokes on the greens in his last 18 major championship rounds.)
In addition to Rose and Compton, Luke List has used the putter at various times, going back to last season, with noticeable success, including a top-10 at the 2020 Memorial Tournament.
One week after Sergio Garcia officially rejoined TaylorMade, Justin Rose made a similar move — albeit without the fanfare and multi-year contract.
The former TaylorMade staffer swapped his Mizuno MP-20 irons for a set of P730’s at Colonial. The blades are best known as the set he used following his public split from Honma in 2020.
Out of the gate
It didn’t take Jason Kokrak long to get acclimated to a new set of PXG 0311T Gen4 irons (4-PW). Making his first start with the new set, Kokrak notched his second Tour win while ranking second in greens in regulation (75 percent) on one of the tighter Tour layouts.
Kokrak’s T (“Tour” version) irons feature reduced offset and a blade-style look that’s preferred in the professional ranks. The large, interchangeable weight allows fitters to drastically increase or decrease swing weight to help dial in the exact feel and performance each golfer needs.
A new XCOR material is sandwiched between the thin faces and five-times forged 8620 body to increase face deflection for a more efficient energy transfer and faster ball speeds. The back surfaces are also milled for precision, and to reduce wall thickness.
Quick-hitters: Justin Thomas switched to Titleist’s TSi2 driver. … Steve Stricker swapped his trusty Odyssey White Hot #2 for a White Hot OG #7S mallet. … Titleist led the way in every major equipment category at Colonial.
Want to overhaul your own bag for 2021? Visit the expert fitters at affiliate partner, True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.