Scottie Scheffler’s gear changes that helped him reach No. 1
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Written by GolfWRX @GolfWRX
Scottie Scheffler wins the 17th to advance to the finals at WGC-Dell Match Play
Scottie Scheffler became the No. 1 player in the world with Sunday’s win at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. He’s just the sixth player to reach No. 1 at age 25 or younger and only two players, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth reached the top spot in fewer starts as a professional.
Like Woods and Spieth, Scheffler isn’t one to change his equipment very often. He has more of a set-it-and-forget-it approach, rather than constantly changing equipment and making tweaks to his setup.
Scheffler’s ascension to No. 1 in both the Official World Golf Ranking and FedExCup came just weeks after he signed a multi-year deal with TaylorMade and on the heels of three notable equipment changes. Here’s a look at the three gear changes that have helped Scheffler win three times in his last five starts:
GOODBYE, OLD FRIEND
The most intriguing change also was the most recent. Scheffler switched into the TaylorMade Stealth 3HL (High Loft) 16.5-degree 3-wood last week in Austin, replacing a club that had been in his bag for more than a decade.
Scheffler’s previous 3-wood showed his loyalty to his equipment. Scheffler started using the Nike VR Pro Limited 3-wood, which was released to the public in 2011, during his amateur days at the University of Texas. The writing was on the wall, though, when Scheffler signed with TaylorMade.
“It’ll be a sad day (when the Nike comes out of the bag), but it has to happen eventually,” Scheffler told GolfWRX.com at THE PLAYERS. The change came after “extensive testing” to match the launch characteristics of his previous club, TaylorMade said. Scheffler’s previous 3-wood had just 12.5 degrees of loft, compared to 16 degrees in his new club, which came with a Ventus 8X shaft that was cut down an inch.
“The benefits of the 16.5-degree head are that he can hit it much higher and farther if he wants to but also match the previous conditions, which were lower and feature more spin,” said TaylorMade senior tour representative Todd Chew.
Scheffler also tested a TaylorMade Stealth 15-degree head, but according to Chew, the club was simply going too far.
“With a titanium Stealth Plus head, he could hit it even farther, but that’s not what he needs from this club,” Chew told GolfWRX.com. “The 16.5-degree Stealth head is more of a weapon because of the added distance and height capability he can get when he wants it. That is the benefit of taking a lot of the spin out of the head and being able to use more loft compared to older technology. With the previous club, you wouldn’t want to launch it higher in the air because it would spin too much. With today’s technology taking so much spin out of the club, you can use more loft which makes the club so much more playable and versatile.”
Scheffler switched into TaylorMade’s Stealth Plus driver at the start of the year, before officially joining TaylorMade’s staff. His offseason testing showed that the 8-degree driver helped him unlock an extra 3.4 mph of ball speed (177.4 mph with Stealth Plus, compared to 174.0) and 11.1 more yards of carry compared to his previous driver (305.8 yards vs. 294.7).
“During our initial driver fitting, we were working on the range into a pretty substantial wind. He was delivering some amazingly consistent shots, despite those conditions,” said TaylorMade senior tour representative Adrian Rietveld. “Because of the launch characteristics of the Stealth Plus head, we were able to get him into at least half a degree more loft than he’s traditionally played, which means that he’s not only gaining speed, but the loft is helping with forgiveness and shot shaping.”
ON A ROLL
Scheffler also switched putters right before winning the WM Phoenix Open. The switch paid immediate dividends, as he earned his first TOUR title at TPC Scottsdale and then won the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard before his Match Play victory.
Scheffler changed into a new Scotty Cameron Special Select Timelesss Tourtype GSS prototype putter the week of the WM Phoenix Open. The 36.25-inch putter has two 25-gram sole weights to help dial in the feel and performance for Scheffler’s stroke, and it’s helped him bag over $6 million in winnings in the five events as his gamer putter.
Back in December 2021, Scheffler took a trip to the famous Scotty Cameron Putter Studio in California to work with Scotty Cameron tour rep Brad Cloke.
Before the trip to the studio, Scheffler had been experimenting with a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Timeless putter at home — for those who may not know, Scotty Cameron’s Newport has a bit rounder and softer edges than its Newport 2 style. While Scheffler liked the slightly different look of his Newport 2 Timeless putter at home, he wanted to get something more dialed in. And there’s no better place to do it than Scotty’s studio, where the fitters can make custom adjustments to weighting, profile, look and materials.
“He just wanted to switch things up a little bit and give himself a slightly different look heading into 2022,” Cloke said in a Titleist press release. “Prior to visiting us in the studio, he’d been messing around with an older Newport 2 Timeless he had at home. He’d added bunch of lead tape to the sole to try and get it to a similar swingweight as his Super Rat. He really liked the profile but the feel wasn’t exactly where he wanted it, so we went to work on building him a new setup with adjustable weighting.”
If Scheffler’s equipment history is any indication, he could be locked into this current club setup for awhile.