February 05, 2019
By Andrew Tursky, PGATOUR.COM
- A hand-me-down from Jordan Spieth, Tony Romo uses a Titleist Vokey SM7 wedge. (Andrew Tursky/PGA TOUR)
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif -- Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current NFL commentator Tony Romo, fresh out of the broadcasting booth at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, is set to play in the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week. In a field full of celebrity golfers, he’s arguably the most competition-tested. Romo made his PGA TOUR debut in 2018 at the Corales Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic, although he missed the cut following a second-round 82.
Being a high-level player without an equipment contract, the clubs Romo chooses to use are particularly noteworthy. Below, I take you through the clubs and shafts in his bag this week, along with insight from two different equipment TOUR reps.
Driver, fairway wood and hybrid
After calling the Super Bowl game on Sunday, Romo was out on the Pebble Beach range on Monday afternoon, braving the rainy and windy 40-degree weather for a practice session. He hit buckets and buckets of wedges and irons, and he eventually broke into a driver testing session. He showed up to the range with a TaylorMade M3 driver and a Fujikura Atmos Blue shaft, but he tested a TaylorMade M5 with a Fujikura Ventus 7X shaft in it, under the supervision of Fujikura TOUR rep Patrick McCoy.
I caught up with McCoy for his insight on how the testing session went:
“The driver that we made him was standard, 45.75 inches end of grip, (swing weight) D3, which was his gamer specs with the Atmos Blue,” McCoy told me. “We had him try a Ventus 7X in a 10.5 (degrees) M5… as we went thru the fitting we slowly opened up the face a little bit and then moved the weights a little bit forward, which lowered his launch and then also eliminated some spin. His misses were either low on the face or high on the face, but at the same time he was kind of working on his golf swing… I have not worked with him on a launch monitor in a while, but he’s gotta be over 170 ball speed… we know Ventus was a little bit weaker in the handle for him, and you could see that in transition, he’s got a very fast move from top to bottom.”
As McCoy explains, Romo is currently making changes to his golf swing with teacher Chris O’Connell.
“His body has a tendency to outrace his hands at times, which changes his low point of impact, or the bottom of his arc,” McCoy said. “He wants to feel like he’s more level and he’s still driving. That’s his miss, the handle gets up, shaft droops, and the face gets open. So (his miss is) high on the face where there’s more loft, or low on the face … he knows how to fix it and that’s awesome that he can make the changes. He likes to see it fall a little bit right. His misses are probably a little on the spinny side, but at his speed, that’s OK because it keeps him in the fairway. Or when he’s off, he’s just a little off … Once he got where he liked the face angle, he said the shafts -- both Atmos and Ventus -- felt good. They felt stable… it looked like he tended to bend the Ventus a little bit more from the top, yet it didn’t sacrifice anything at the bottom with his impact location and his face direction.”
It will be interesting to see which driver – the TaylorMade M3 with a Fujikura Atmos Blue shaft, or the TaylorMade M5 with a Fujikura Ventus shaft -- Romo ends up using come competition time on Thursday. It should be noted that the Ventus comes stock in a Dallas Cowboys’ colorway.
To fill out the top end of his bag, Romo is using a Callaway Rogue 3+ fairway wood with a Mitsubishi Diamana W-series 70X shaft, and a Titleist 818H2 hybrid with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90HY shaft.
Mizuno irons, per usual
Jeff Cook, a Mizuno TOUR rep, told me that he and Romo go way back to when Romo was just a second-string quarterback for the Cowboys, and he had a “hodge podge set of clubs.” Romo and Cook met through Cook’s college roommate, who was a General Manager of Trophy Club, a country club in Dallas, at the time.
“We actually had a cookout at my buddy’s backyard (in Dallas) and Tony came over,” Cook told me. “I didn’t even know who he was, because he was the second string quarterback. He came over, we had a cookout, and we ended up throwing the football in the backyard, talking golf. And then we ended up playing golf while I was down there. He was good. I mean, he’s always been basically a scratch golfer, and obviously a gifted athlete. And that’s how it all started. He didn’t really have any clubs, he had kind of a hodge podge set of clubs. And I took care of him on Mizuno clubs. He’s been in our clubs ever since he came to Dallas.”
Flash forward to 2019, and Romo is using a combo set of Mizuno MMC MP-18 irons (4-6 iron) and MP-18 blades (7-PW), each equipped with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 shafts.
Jordan Spieth’s wedge
You may recognize Romo’s Titleist Vokey SM7 wedge; it’s a hand-me-down from Jordan Spieth.
“He’s best friends with Jordan,” Cook said. “He plays a lot with Jordan at the same club, they play all the time at home. When Jordan gets done with his and gets new ones, he gives them to him, or whoever else he gives them to.”
In addition to the 60-degree, University of Texas-stamped “JS” wedge, Romo also has a 50-degree SM6 F-Grind and a 56-degree V-grind Vokey prototype. The 60-degree wedge has a Project X 6.0 shaft, while the 50- and 56-degree wedges have a True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft in them.
Tiger Woods’ putter
Romo is also the recipient of another hand-me-down golf club from a champion golfer. Inside Romo’s bag is one of Tiger Woods’ old Method 001 putters, stamped with Tiger Woods on the hosel, Woods’ classic dot alignment aid on the topline, and a blacked-out Ping putter grip. It’s the same style putter that Woods used to win THE PLAYERS Championship in 2013.