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  • EQUIPMENT

    2019 PGA Championship Equipment Recap: PGA pro makes cut with driver he designed, Spieth’s putter hot again

  • Jordan Spieth made 394 feet, 4 inches worth of putts at the PGA Championship with his Scotty Cameron putter. (Andrew Tursky/PGA TOUR)Jordan Spieth made 394 feet, 4 inches worth of putts at the PGA Championship with his Scotty Cameron putter. (Andrew Tursky/PGA TOUR)

While tools of the trade typically take a back seat during major championship coverage, there were a number of interesting storylines at the 2019 PGA Championship when it came to equipment. In the recap below, we highlight those stories, including Jordan Spieth’s fairway wood switch, Dustin Johnson’s putter change, Ping club designer Marty Jertson, and Emiliano Grillo’s very rare decision.

Swapping an 8-iron for a hybrid?

You almost never see a golfer use an iron set that’s missing an 8-iron, unless you’re playing with a buddy who lost or broke it. For Emiliano Grillo, however, he purposely opted to leave his Callaway Apex MB 8-iron out of the bag for competition this week, instead substituting it for a Callaway Apex 2-hybrid. According to Callaway, he chose to use a hybrid instead of an 8-iron because he had a “specific carry number that he liked with the hybrid,” and he “liked how it performed in testing.”

While the decision surely left Grillo with a few difficult shot-making decisions into the green with his mid irons, the move may have worked out since Grillo finished T23 on the week.

Last minute putter changes

In addition to Adam Scott’s putter switch for the week, there were two other putter changes that proved crucial.

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The PGA Championship’s runner-up, Dustin Johnson, who has shown in the past that he’s not afraid to test multiple putters and make last-minute putter changes, used a new TaylorMade Spider X putter with a “T” alignment aid on the crown of the putter this week. His flatstick was equipped with a SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0 Tour grip.

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Luke List, who finished in 6th place at the PGA Championship, did so with a new Axis1 prototype putter that’s nearly identical to the putter that was designed for Justin Rose, who has been using that “Rose Proto” Axis1 throughout 2019. List finished 2nd in Strokes Gained: Putting on the week.

Marty Jertson makes the cut using a driver he designed

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Jertson, who was one-of-three PGA Club Professionals to make the cut at Bethpage Black, is also the Vice President of Fitting and Performance at Ping. Previously at Ping, he’s also held job titles such as Director of Product Development and Senior Design Engineer.

While his new role at company focuses more on fitting and optimizing clubs for better player performance, as his current job title implies, he was the lead designer of the G410 drivers. Of course, while competing in the 2019 PGA Championship, he was using a Ping G410 Plus driver (9 degrees), which was equipped with a Project X HZRDUS T1100 shaft.

Koepka remains a free agent, and it’s paying off

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Although Brooks Koepka is certainly leaving big money on the table by not signing an equipment contract, he continues to justify his equipment free agency with major championship victories and huge winner’s checks.

Currently, Koepka represents four different equipment companies in his bag setup: TaylorMade metalwoods, a Nike driving iron, Mizuno irons, and Titleist wedges, putter and golf ball. See his full winning setup here.

Spieth switches out an old friend

Jordan Spieth won the 2015 U.S. Open with a Titleist 915F fairway wood (15 degrees) in the bag, and while he has experimented with other Titleist fairway woods throughout the years, the 915F mostly remained in his competition setup ever since. That changed ahead of the 2019 PGA Championship, however.

Spieth finished T3 this week using a Titleist TS2 (15 degrees) fairway wood, equipped with a Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 7X shaft. According to Titleist Tour rep Jim Curran, Spieth “loved the distance and overall ball flight that he was seeing.”

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A club that’s likely not to change anytime soon? His putter. Despite a rocky relationship with his putting over recent years, Spieth still has his Scotty Cameron 009 prototype putter in the bag, which he used to lead the 2019 PGA Championship field in Strokes Gained: Putting, gaining a whopping 10.6 strokes over the field – that’s more than three shots better than second place in that category for the week (List, with 7.2 strokes-gained). Spieth also made an astounding 394 feet, 4 inches worth of putts on the week.

Check out our rundown of custom gear made specifically for the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black for more.