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Equipment Report
  • Highlights

    Equipment Roundup: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

  • Highlights

    Dustin Johnson’s 129-yard approach sets up birdie at Bridgestone

Dustin Johnson’s win last week at the RBC Canadian Open didn’t stop him from tinkering with the putter midway through the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Johnson started the week with a TaylorMade Spider Tour before pivoting to the smaller Spider Mini (35.25 inches) over the weekend.  

The change paid off in a big way as Johnson rocketed up the leaderboard, picking up more than four strokes on the field with the putter over the final 36 holes, en route to a T3 finish.

According to a TaylorMade representative, Johnson ordered the putter after The Open Championship with a double bend shaft and softer Surlyn insert — he typically uses an aluminum insert — that allowed him to be more aggressive with his stroke.

Johnson briefly used the Mini version in a red finish during THE PLAYERS Championship. The smaller head results in a more forward CG — 37mm to 30mm away from the leading edge — which in turn releases the head through the hitting area like a blade putter.

TIGER BACK TO UDI

Tiger Woods hinted at The Open Championship that the 17-degree TaylorMade GAPR LO 2-iron he used for the first time in place of his usual 20-degree Tour Preferred UDI could have a temporary spot in his bag.

The key difference between GAPR and UDI for Woods was a stronger loft that produced a more penetrating flight for the firm conditions at Carnoustie.  

"Obviously, it rolls out whereas mine back home, I've generally liked having it 20 degrees because I can hit the ball into the par 5s as an option,” Woods said of GAPR. "This one's not really designed for hitting the ball in the air to par 5s as an option. It's more of a driving club.”

As expected, Woods found little need for a strong-lofted driving iron at Firestone and shelved GAPR for his usual UDI.

“[UDI is] a versatile club,” Woods told PGATOUR.COM in December. “I can use it off the tee and from the fairway and it always comes off the face hot. It’s easy to hit and gets the ball In the air. I’ve tested other options but keep coming back to this one.”

HIDEKI'S NEED FOR SPEED

Over the course of the last few months, Hideki Matsuyama has bounced between three different driver models from Callaway (Great Big Bertha), TaylorMade (M3) and PING (G400 LST).

At the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama added another driver to the mix in Callaway’s XR Speed.

Matsuyama’s new driver still featured a Graphite Design AD DI-8TX shaft but lacked the adjustability of Great Big Bertha and M3. Only available in Europe, XR Speed boasts a carbon composite crown but does not include the company’s Jailbreak Technology.

SPIETH’S NEW FAIRWAY WOOD

Jordan Spieth became the latest Titleist staffer to added a TS fairway wood to the bag. The three-time major winner replaced his 915F2 with a 15-degree TS2. He also swapped the 718 T-MB 3-iron he carried at The Open Championship for a 21-degree 818H2 hybrid.

"Jordan preferred the look and feel of the TS2 and launched easier off the turf for him,” said Titleist Tour rep J.J. VanWezenbeeck.

STROUD GOES BACK TO OLD FAITHFUL

Hoping to rekindle the success on the greens that led to his first TOUR win last season at the Barracuda Championship, Chris Stroud returned to the Odyssey White Ice D.A.R.T. putter he had in play that week.

"I literally just got it rebuilt back the way it was when I won here last year,” Stroud said. "I'm going to see if I can make a big run at the FedExCup.”

NOTES

Tommy Fleetwood is using his last set of Nike VR Pro Blade irons.

Cameron Smith (15 degrees) and Brian Harman (13.5 and 15 degrees) added Titleist TS2 fairway woods.

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