Cameron Young debuts custom irons at World Wide Technology Championship
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Written by Sean Martin @PGATOURSMartin
Cameron Young combines elements of old and new schools of thought. That made him a perfect candidate to be the next player to receive Titleist’s custom-iron treatment, something that has been limited to a select few on the PGA TOUR.
Young is expected to debut the fruit of that collaboration at this week’s World Wide Technology Championship. He had the clubs in his bag Tuesday and during Wednesday’s pro-am.
While this is Young’s first PGA TOUR start since he finished T15 at the BMW Championship in August, he spent part of those two months testing the new irons and getting comfortable with them for use in competition. The new irons are “1 of 1”, meaning they are a new model built specifically for him and his clubs are the only ones in existence. That’s why his initials are in the model number, 631.CY.
Young’s new irons comprise Nos. 6-9 in his set. As he was previously, Young is using this year’s edition of the Titleist T150 for his 3-iron and the Titleist T100’s for his 4- and 5-irons, as well as a Vokey Design SM9 wedge for his pitching wedge instead of using the same model as his irons.
Justin Thomas and Webb Simpson are among the previous players to benefit from what Titleist calls “Project Feel” by receiving their own irons.
Each of these individual sets is given a model number featuring the player’s initials, speaking to the attention paid to each player’s unique preferences. For example, Thomas’ 621.JT irons have no offset. Simpson’s 682.WS clubs combined his favorite aspects of three different Titleist irons: the shape and increased offset of a Titleist 680, the size of the 620 MB and the sole shape and grooves of a Titleist T100.
The goal of “Project Feel” is to make “the best-feeling irons for everybody,” said J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s Director, Player Promotions. Producing custom irons for TOUR players provides invaluable learnings in this endeavor.
“We started with Justin Thomas because he was playing blades and we made various prototypes with different materials and different soles and everything else until we found the set that Justin is still playing with today and what he won the (2022 PGA Championship) with," Van Wezenbeeck added. "We started doing that with other players, and we thought this round Cameron Young would be unique because we were doing some custom grinding to his 620 MB’s.”
Young is one of the TOUR’s most powerful players, and he’s also known for his ability to keep the ball low, famously with the stingers he hit around Royal Liverpool en route to his T8 finish at this year’s Open Championship, his fourth top 10 in his last seven majors.
Cameron Young | Swing Theory | Driver, iron, wedge
Young’s new clubs look similar to the 620 MB’s -- muscleback blades that feature thin soles, thin toplines, a compact head shape and little offset -- that he had been using, featuring little offset and a classic shape. The difference is in the sole.
“Cameron has that unique, modern, little bit steeper swing with more shaft lean,” Van Wezenbeeck said.
Titleist already was grinding the sole of Young’s 620 MBs to give the clubs more bounce and keeping his short irons from digging into the turf through impact. The 631.CYs start with increased bounce so that no modifications have to be made to the head.
“The short irons in the 631.CYs have a little more leading-edge bounce, and then they float to a little bit wider sole than the 620 MBs into his 6-iron,” Van Wezenbeeck said. “All the (631.CYs) are higher-bounce than the 620 MBs, but there's also a little more sole width as you graduate (through the set).”
Because a player’s swing is less steep as the iron grows longer, there was less need for the increased bounce that was featured in the short irons. Instead, as the clubs in Young’s set grow longer, the sole becomes wider to lower the club’s center of gravity and help Young hit the ball higher.
Van Wezenbeeck said Young is launching his new 6-iron about 1 to 1.5 degrees higher than his previous set.
Sean Martin is a senior editor for the PGA TOUR. He is a 2004 graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Attending a small school gave him a heart for the underdog, which is why he enjoys telling stories of golf's lesser-known players. Follow Sean Martin on Twitter.