June 12, 2017
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Kevin Chappell used the FedEx St. Jude Classic as a trial run for a 2-iron that could come into play at Erin Hills. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Kevin Chappell used the FedEx St. Jude Classic as a proving ground for a PXG 0311X 2-iron that could go in play this week at the U.S. Open. In search of a long iron to use off the tee and for approach shots at Erin Hills, Chappell had PXG Tour reps build him a 2-iron with 17.5 degrees of loft.
The 0311X has become a popular long-iron alternative for TOUR players since it debuted earlier this year. The club features a slightly longer blade length (0.173 inches), wider sole (0.065 inches) and larger club face (0.1 inches) than the original 0311.
While it has a similar profile to the game-improvement 0311XF, the Tour-only X version has reduced offset that's comparable to the standard 0311.
Chappell finished T4 in his final tune-up before the U.S. Open.
Peter Uihlein tests 3-wood for Erin Hills: When it comes to unique bag setups, Peter Uihlein is one of the only players in professional golf who carries a single metalwood in his bag on a regular basis. The former U.S. Amateur champion starts his set with a Titleist 917D2 driver and immediately transitions into a 716 T-MB 2-iron.
According to Titleist Tour reps, Uihlein regularly carries the 2-iron 260 yards and has never seen the need for a fairway wood. However, that might change at Erin Hills, where the course could stretch over 7,800 yards during the tournament week.
To prepare for the possibility of some lengthy approach shots, Uihlein began testing a 15-degree 917F2 3-wood that was cut down 1-inch to give him some additional control. Even with the shorter shaft length, Uihlein was reportedly carrying the fairway wood 275 yards on the practice range at TPC Southwind.
Uihlein plans to test the club again at Erin Hills before making a final decision on his set makeup at the top of the bag.
Schwartzel bags new sticks, grips: Players are used to receiving wedges with fresh grooves prior to a major championship. Charl Schwartzel took the standard practice one step further at TPC Southwind with the addition of a new set of PXG 0311 irons.
"Charl rarely changes his equipment and had been using the same irons since last year," said Matt Rollins, PXG's Tour rep. "It was time to get him a new set and it just so happens this was the week he broke them in."
Schwartzel's custom 0311 irons have the back shaved off each head to make the sole play thinner than the standard version.
Along with breaking in a new set of irons, Schwartzel made a grip change from Golf Pride's New Decade Multi-Compound to V55 Full Cord. Schwartzel felt the Multi-Compound was too soft for his liking and wanted a firmer grip that offered more feel.
Berger's iron setup: It's not uncommon to see a player with at least two different iron models in the bag. Many utilize a setup that includes larger profile long irons that offer extra forgiving and a higher launch, and more compact short irons for workability and distance control.
Daniel Berger follows a similar blueprint with his irons — with one interesting exception. Instead of going from Callaway's Apex CF '16 long irons into the MB1 muscleback, Berger decided to sandwich in a single Apex Pro '16 5-iron.
Why go with a single better player mid-iron? According to Callaway representatives, Berger felt the Apex Pro '16 5-iron offered a better distance and offset transition between the game-improvement long irons and muscleback short irons.
Adam Scott's 5-iron: Adam Scott added a second Titleist 716 T-MB to his iron setup. In addition to the 3-iron he started carrying last year, Scott replaced his 680 MB 5-iron with the multi-material model.
Scott noted the T-MB produced a more consistent distance gap between his 3-iron and 5-iron.
Notes: No longer under contract with Hopkins Golf, Vijay Singh was spotted using a PXG 0341X fairway wood and 0311T wedges (56 and 60 degrees). ... Billy Horschel requested a PXG 0311X 2-iron (105-gram Fujikura MCI graphite shaft) to test for the Open Championship.