The changes that helped Collin Morikawa
3 Min Read
Written by GolfWRX @GolfWRX
Equipment adjustments played a key role in Collin Morikawa’s second major championship victory.
Morikawa, 24, won The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s on Sunday, adding to last year’s PGA Championship and becoming the first player to win two majors in his debut.
After struggling with his trademark iron play during last week’s Scottish Open, where he finished T71, Morikawa switched from his TaylorMade P730 irons to the brand's P7MC model in his 7-iron through 9-iron. He made the switch after finding the P7MCs aided his turf interaction and provided a more centered ball strike, as well as a touch more forgiveness.
"I changed my irons, my 9- through 7-iron that I normally have blades in. I changed to the MCs strictly because I couldn’t find the center of the face,” Morikawa said after his second round at Royal St. George’s. “Those are three crucial clubs that are some of my favorite clubs. My 8-iron is my favorite club in the bag, and when I wasn’t able to hit it (well) last week well, I knew I had to try something different.”
TaylorMade’s Adrian Rietveld described Morikawa as “that type of guy that nothing is going to change unless there’s an out-and-out reason to change.” There was this week.
Prior to The Open, Morikawa had a P Series combo set consisting of P770 4 iron, P7MC 5-6 irons and then P730 7-PW. After some discussion and watching Collin go through his warm-up routine, Rietveld noticed the issue could be in the transition from his 6-iron (P7MC) to his 7-iron (P730) due to the different sole geometry of the models.
“The sound off the P730 was not Collin-like,” Rietveld said. “It’s unique to say this, but it was just fractionally different to what I’m hearing. Then he goes into the MC and you can hear the strike come back.
The higher spin the P7MC also aided Morikawa’s distance control, Rietveld said.
The Californian also added a new TaylorMade MG2 Hi-Toe (60 degree) wedge while also making a weight adjustment to his TP Juno putter.
As is often the case on the slower greens across the pond, Morikawa was finding it difficult to get the ball to the hole at last week's Scottish Open.
To help his speed on the slow greens at Royal St. George’s, Morikawa decided to remove the two 2.5-gram weights and replace them with two 7.5-gram weights, providing him with 10 grams more weight in his putter.
As well as the weight adjustment to his putter, Morikawa has even altered his stroke on certain putts this week.
A proponent of the saw grip, Morikawa was struggling with his speed on lengthier putts on the links greens last week, so he is now putting with a conventional style on longer putts while using his saw grip for the shorter efforts.
“It’s a feel thing, but it’s more I couldn’t get the tempo on the saw grip. I think the saw grip is amazing for me. But from outside 25, 30 feet, I just couldn’t get that hit. I couldn’t get that tempo that you see like a Brandt Snedeker puts on his putts," said Morikawa. "That is something you need out here because the greens are slower than what we’re used to playing. “Just switching to conventional, I didn’t have to change anything mentally. I just kind of went at it like I normally felt, and kind of matched the speeds.”
It's a strategy that has worked wonders for Morikawa this week, who has looked dialled in on the greens as he goes in search of his second major victory.