Inside the PGA TOUR
August 21, 2019
By Andrew Tursky, PGATOUR.COM
Inside the PGA TOUR
TOUR Championship preview
ATLANTA – With one final event of the season left and $15 million on the line for the winner, the 30 TOUR Championship participants were making their final tweaks and adjustments to their game heading into Thursday. For most, their equipment setups were all but set in stone, but some players did make changes.
Most notably, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, and Dustin Johnson made equipment adjustments, which we cover more in-depth below.
Dustin Johnson’s driver
Johnson has bounced back-and-forth between a TaylorMade M5 and M6 driver – sometimes playing both in the same event – and he’s used a few different shaft setups, as well. Ahead of the TOUR Championship, Johnson was spotted testing different heads and shafts again, but as of Wednesday afternoon, it appears he has settled on using a TaylorMade M.5 10.5-degree head equipped with a Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec X-flex shaft. Johnson has used that same shaft for years, but he used a Fujikura Ventus Black prototype for much of 2019.
Johnson made some tweaks to the sole weights in his M5 driver head, too. At the BMW Championship, the weights were configured in a high-forgiveness setting, but ahead of the TOUR Championship, they were in more of a low-spin and slightly fade-biased setting as seen in the photo above. Keep an eye on his driver shaft and head throughout this week to see if anything changes.
Schauffele and the Callaway team noticed that because of the way Schauffele adjusted his hands before stroking a putt, the lie angle of his Odyssey Stroke Lab Tuttle putter was changing slightly. To combat this issue and garner greater consistency, the Callaway team grinded the front portion of the sole and added weight to the rear of the club head. Now, according to a Callaway representative, the sole sits flatter on the ground, even when Schauffele adjusts his hands before making a stroke.
DeChambeau goes back to the blade (and Cobra wedges)
After extensive and thorough testing from Monday-to-Wednesday on the practice greens and on the golf course, DeChambeau is switching back into the SIK Golf -- SIK stands for “Study in Kinematics” -- blade-style putter that he’s won five times with on the PGA TOUR.
Throughout 2019, DeChambeau has bounced between different SIK (Study in Kinematics) Golf prototype putters; one of the putters is his familiar blade-style putter, and the others are mallet-style putters, called “Flow,” that have higher MOI (moment of inertia). Most recently, at the 2019 BMW Championship, DeChambeau used a mallet-style putter as pictured above. He referred to his blade putter as his “magic wand,” when talking with PGATOUR.COM on Wednesday ahead of the TOUR Championship, however.
Like DeChambeau himself, SIK Golf putters are different. The putters have four planar surfaces on their faces, basically meaning the loft is different on different spots on the putter face, rather than having a flat surface. The top of the putter face has more loft than the bottom of the face, which helps achieve greater consistency in loft at impact and therefore launch angle. DeChambeau’s blade-style SIK putter, according to company representative Greg Harrison, has 6 degrees of loft with 2-degrees of effective loft at impact due to DeChambeau’s forward-press and armlock putting style. His putter measures 43 inches in length.
Additionally, DeChambeau has gone back to a set of Cobra wedges after using PXG wedges during recent events.