Five questions about new world No. 1 Jon Rahm’s equipment
5 Min Read
Written by GolfWRX @GolfWRX
Jon Rahm’s winning highlights from the Memorial Tournament 2020
When Jon Rahm became world No. 1 this weekend with his three-stroke triumph at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, it should have surprised no one.
RELATED: What's in Rahm's bag?
Rahm has been a world-class player since his junior days, holding the top spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking for a record 60 weeks. Now he’s a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR and currently eighth in the FedExCup standings. It was only a matter of time until he reached an achievement that even his fellow Arizona State Sun Devil Phil Mickelson has yet to reach: the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.
With more eyes trained on the top dog in professional golf – he’s just the second Spanish player to hold that distinction; the first was his idol, Seve Ballesteros -- it’s a good time to dive into the equipment that he uses. Rahm's bag is actually a very interesting case study, and it's in the simplicity that makes it work. Although the optics of Rahm's bag have changed a bit from time to time, the foundations have remained constant since his college days.
GolfWRX chatted with Chris Trott, Director of Global Sports Marketing for TaylorMade, about the TM staffer’s sticks.
GolfWRX: Going from M5 to SIM metal woods, what specific benefits did Jon see in the new head?
CHRIS TROTT: Jon actually changed very quickly. Obviously, he’s world No. 1 now, but if you look at his start to the season, a lot of the groundwork was there before the break. Overall, the SIM was just a more consistent driver for him. Of course, speed is always the thing as well, SIM added speed and never has a TOUR player turned that away. Honestly, you find these guys one mile per hour and they’ll take it
In regards to the rest of the metals, spin in the fairways was a plus point, then the V steel technology and how that plays into the turf interaction and feel has been a win with all the guys.
GolfWRX: Jon has been loyal to the Aldila Tour Green since his college days. What about that shaft benefits him beyond the feel and his loyalty to it? From a fitter’s perspective, does he sacrifice anything staying in that shaft?
TROTT: Shafts are such a personal thing, and it’s rare that a player will not be required to adjust/evolve between generations of wood models, but obviously there is something about that shaft he loves. Trust comes into the equation and with a player at his level, it becomes more about the shaft manufacturer figuring out their next alternative that works for Jon but also embraces new tech. Personally, I think if you stay in an old shaft for 10-plus years, you do lose some benefits that tech offers, but like all fitting at the top level, it becomes about the player making the final decision. Plus, it helps that this particular shaft was best in class, albeit a few years back.
GolfWRX: He was the first player on TOUR to go into the TW grind wedge. How did that come about?
TROTT: Anytime Tiger is in the presence of the Team TaylorMade athletes or he puts his name to anything, all these guys (players, marketeers, golf teachers, club fitters), we all take note. The photoshoot and seeing how everyone watches Tiger is one of my favorite weeks of the year.
Having spoken to Tiger about his wedge, the sole design is such that the different degrees of bounce and touchpoints of the camber is leveraged for different shots.
And while I haven’t directly asked Jon, I think that appealed to him. He likes to play a lot of creative shots, he likes to feel shots like his idol Seve, and he has great respect for Tiger and other top performers like his love for Kobe Bryant, so I think being able to use that wedge was attractive. The interesting part though, when you look at his wedges in detail, is that he still puts in the high toe in the lower loft. Again, it rings true for his creativity and the fact that all the different models appeal to him
GolfWRX: TM has some new irons seeding slowly out on TOUR. Is Jon the type of player to switch quickly? Slowly? What’s that process like? Rory seemed to jump in quickly.
TROTT: [Matt] Bovee [Senior Manager of Product Creation] and the crew have taken Jon’s feedback and put many of his preferences into this new model we have coming. I expect him to change fairly quickly --- he better now that I’ve said it!
This isn't the first time Jon has had direct input into a club -- the High Toe "4 way camber" sole was all Jon’s doing, and he played that religiously for a while. The original plan for that was TOUR-only, and it did so well we added it to retail.
GolfWRX: What can the weekend golfer learn from Jon Rahm's short-game approach?
TROTT: Have fun with it and be confident!
It’s no fluke when you watch him pitch or chip, the guy is a worthy holder of the No. 1 spot. When it comes to the short game, his imagination is off the charts, and that's where his true magic lies. Like I mentioned, he idolized the king, Seve.
Getting more technical, I think he turns his body well when he pitches, and I think he has the ability to control the low point very efficiently out of the rough. Obviously the chip-in on 16 was unreal, but to control the low point like that with the consistency he does shows there’s a lot of body control opposed to throwing the bounce at the ball -- like we have all experienced.
It’s great to see and I’m excited about what he can do in the fall with the majors coming up. Good times for TaylorMade and Jon, and it’s amazing to have a front-row seat.
JON RAHM WITB (7/20/2020)
Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees) Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75TX
5-wood: TaylorMade SIM (19 @17.5 degrees) Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI (Black) 8X
Wedges: TaylorMade MG High Toe (52-09SB) MG2 (56-12SB, 60-11TW) Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5
Grips: Golf Pride MCC
Ball: TaylorMade TP5