Stamped wedges have become a common sight in professional golf over the years and a way for players to show off their personality on the course. For Justin Thomas, his go-to stamping is “Radar” — a nickname that was bestowed upon him during his junior golf days for his ability to find the target.
Before this season, every Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled wedge in his bag had “Radar” stamped on the head in some fashion, with the design creativity coming courtesy of Vokey wedge rep Aaron Dill. Given the success Thomas has enjoyed with his “Radar” wedges, there was no reason to mess with a good thing.
But with the 2019 Masters on tap, Thomas decided to shake things up with Augusta-inspired wedges for one of the biggest events of the year. Of course, not every wedge was stamped with an homage to the tournament. Nestled between his usual “Radar” stamped wedge and one listing his jacket size was a Vokey SM6 lob wedge with “Brooks Koepka’s Money” emblazoned on the head.
Choosing to stamp the name of a playing competitor on your wedge is highly uncommon, but it’s not unheard of. During the 2015 Masters, Billy Horschel briefly used a PXG 0311 Milled wedge belonging to two-time major winner Zach Johnson. The wedge, which had Johnson’s name on the head, turned out to be the ideal grind for Horschel at Augusta. He ended up keeping the “Zach” wedge in play for a few more weeks.
In Thomas’ case, the Koepka-inspired wedge never belonged to Brooks at any point. So what’s it doing in his bag?
You have to go back to last year in Korea when the two were paired together at the CJ Cup.
“We were playing together, and we were talking about how all through the year, we were going to have a little action on how many times we holed out,” Koepka said. “I can’t even remember the last time I holed out.”
According to the Action Network’s Jason Sobel, each hole-out from over 50 yards during the head-to-head wager is worth $1,000.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 18, 2019
“It’s just a little thing we have between us too, just kind of a hole out bet, and the monetary value doesn’t matter,” Thomas said. “Again, it’s kind of like I was saying earlier, it’s more of the fact of me doing that. But that’s just something a little fun between us that we’ve done.”
The money may not matter to Thomas, but he’s clearly enjoying the friendly competition. Thomas made it 3-0 in the season-long rivalry during the BMW Championship when he holed out for eagle from 180 yards on the 16th and yelled “I got some of that Brooks Koepka money” to caddie Jimmy Johnson.
While Koepka still has three more rounds to catch Thomas, he’s pretty much all but accepted defeat.
“I can’t even remember the last time I holed out,” Koepka said. “I don’t really hole out much, so that was a stupid bet on my part. Heck, I’ll pay him on Sunday.”