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    Q&A: Noh on his Nike switch, mallet putters

  • A new mallet putter had Seung-Yul Noh on track last week at TPC Louisiana. (Chris Greythen/Getty Images) A new mallet putter had Seung-Yul Noh on track last week at TPC Louisiana. (Chris Greythen/Getty Images)

One of the PGA TOUR's rising stars, Seung-Yul Noh knows a thing or two about meeting (and exceeding) expectations. After joining Nike Golf last season, Noh wasted little time making his mark, winning his first title on Sunday at the Zurich Classic in just his third full season on TOUR.

Noh may be just 22 years old, but when it comes to his equipment, he's a seasoned pro who's in tune with every club in his bag -- right on down to the different shaft flexes in his wedges. PGATOUR.COM caught up with Noh to talk about the equipment he used to win at TPC Louisiana.

I saw you put a Nike Method 005 putter in play this week. When did you switch, and what made you go from a blade to a mallet?

Noh: I switched to it about 10 days ago. I spent a lot of time using a blade putter, but the fit recently wasn't that great. Nike's putter man, Steve Stach, spent time working with me to find a putter that felt comfortable and the [Method 005] was the one that worked best.

I really liked the the mallet putter shape, the alignment aid on top and the heavier weight of the head. The mallet putter lined up well at address and I was able to start the ball on line.

Have you ever used a mallet putter in your career before this week?

Noh: I've used one before, but it was when I was about 13 or 14 [years old]. It was just about finding a comfortable putter and the mallet worked for me over the blade I'd been using.

I know you carried a Nike VR_S Forged 2-iron instead of your usual 5-wood this week. Was that a course-dependent club? And if so, how do you decide between the 5-wood and 2-iron?

Noh: This week I tried out both out on the course during practice, but with the tight layout and windy conditions, I decided to go with a club that allowed me to flight the ball through the wind and find the fairway.

Most of the time I use the 5-wood if I'm trying to reach a par-5 in two, but the conditions and layout made me believe the 2-iron was the better club for the course. I used it off the tee during the tournament and it gave me the accuracy I needed.

With the exception of Nike's VRS Covert 2.0 Tour driver, your bag has remained relatively the same since you joined Nike last year. What made you swap drivers?

Noh: Last year's Covert driver was good, but this year's version is significantly better for me. It has a bigger sweet spot and head, and I really like the new shape. It's just an awesome driver that has a solid feel.

I tested Covert against Covert 2.0 last year on Trackman, and the numbers were much better. I put it in play at the Frys.com Open and have been really happy with its performance.

Could you tell me why you use a Project X 6.5 shaft in your VR Forged lob wedge and Project 7.0 in your other three wedges?

Noh: I used to use the same shaft flex in all of my wedges, but about five years ago, I switched to a softer shaft because I realized I hit a lot of control shots with my lob wedge from 50, 60 and 70 yards. I typically hit a lot of 1/2 and 3/4 swing shots with the club where I want the ball to spin or check a certain way, so the softer shaft helps me hit those shots.

What was it about Nike that made you sign with them over sticking with Titleist or signing with another OEM?  

Noh: You want to be associated with the best, and I believe Nike is the No. 1 company. You have athletes like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova using Nike, so being at a company with those athletes is great. With Nike, I feel like I can reach my goal of being No. 1.

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