July 21, 2015
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Justin Rose switched to a high-MOI TaylorMade Ghost Spider S mallet at The Open. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Justin Rose has been known to change putters on occasion. Following his win at the 2013 U.S. Open with a TaylorMade Ghost Spider Blade, Rose went to a more traditional TaylorMade White Smoke DA-62 milled prototype the following year at the Masters that gave him more feedback on mis-hits.
"With this particular putter, I was looking for a sweet spot in terms of the feel and face that let me know if I was pushing or pulling the putt," Rose told PGATOUR.COM last year of the one-off milled prototype. "I think sometimes when you put tons of technology in a putter, it's great for the amateur. But over time you lose that sensory feedback."
Rose could return to a blade this season — he's used a blade for most of his career — but for at least one week he decided to go a different direction, putting a high-MOI TaylorMade Ghost Spider S mallet in play.
According to TaylorMade Tour reps, Rose felt the putter provided more stability and forgiveness off the face — something he believed would benefit him on slow greens and long putts.
The change proved to be a positive one for Rose, who finished T6, his best finish ever at The Open Championship.
"I changed putters this week, so that was a bit of an unknown coming into the week and that felt really good," Rose said. "I holed out really well from inside 6 feet this week, and I think that's something I can really build on for the rest of the year."
Driving iron popular again: For the second straight major championship, the driving iron played a key role for a number of the top finishers in the field. Zach Johnson finished on top at The Open Championship with a Titleist 712U 3-iron that he added to the bag to handle the blustery conditions and firm fairways at The Old Course. The forged, hollow-body club boasts 1025 steel construction with a high-speed 455 carpenter steel face insert.
Louis Oosthuizen put PING's 18-degree Rapture driving iron back in the spotlight, using the club on numerous occasions throughout the week. The head of the driving iron is made from 17-4 Stainless steel with a high-strength 455 Carpenter Stainless steel face that was purposely thinned out to allow designers to repurpose discretionary mass low and back on the clubhead for a low center of gravity.
The face was also designed extremely thin to increase ball speed, and flat to improve shot-making and promote a square look at address. In addition to Oosthuizen, five other players in the field used Rapture during the tournament.
And then there's Jason Day, who pivoted between a TaylorMade UDI 1-iron and a TaylorMade RSi TP 2-iron. The UDI, which first came out last year at the John Deere Classic, features hollow body construction with a 450 stainless steel body and 455 Carpenter steel face that was made thinner to increase balls speeds. A 3-millimeter Speed Pocket was also added to the sole that boosts ball speeds.
Adam Scott's Scotty Cameron X6 putter: Adam Scott's decision to switch putters one month ago at the U.S. Open hasn't produced win, but over the course of the last two majors, the Aussie has found himself in contention during the final round.
Scott moved from a Scotty Cameron Futura X long putter — the same putter he used to win the 2013 Masters — to a Cameron X6 prototype at Chambers Bay. The Aussie tested the putter earlier in the year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational but never put it in play.
The high-MOI mallet has a similar look to the Futura X with two weights on the back of the head that boost stability and forgiveness. Two adjustable weights are also noticeable in the sole.
"I switched to a new design by Scotty Cameron at the U.S. Open which I think is a fantastic putter," Scott said, "something we've been working on for quite a while, and sometimes those little switches just spark something.
Scott will have one more opportunity to use the putter (as a long version) at a major before the anchor ban takes effect at the start of 2016.
Tiger Woods' driver shaft: Tiger Woods was never in contention at The Open Championship, but that didn't stop him from making equipment headlines before he departed.
Woods arrived at The Old Course with a Matrix TP7HDe shaft (44.5 inches) in his Nike Vapor Speed Prototype driver. The shaft, which retails for $1,250, is made from high-end materials, including Carbon, Boron, Zylon and GMAT. The materials and HD design techniques mimic the original TPHD and help stabilize the structure and strengthen the tip without adding overall weight.
While the original TPHD had a 16-side hexadecagonal section (HD section) located in the butt section of the shaft, Matrix extended the HD section into the body of the shaft. The design allows for a level of structural strength and stability that wasn't possible with the original shaft design.
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