Jack Nicklaus Award winner is making his pro debut this week at Congaree
June 10, 2021
By GolfWRX, PGATOUR.COM
- John Pak has signed with TaylorMade. (Courtesy of TaylorMade)
With a buddy on the bag and fresh off receiving the Jack Nicklaus Award in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, celebrated amateur and Florida State standout John Pak is making his professional debut at this week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree — and he’ll do so as a TaylorMade staffer, the company announced today.
College golf’s top player, Pak has played TaylorMade gear and a Titleist ball since his amateur days. And as we found out from Ryan Ressa, TaylorMade’s player development manager, who has worked with Pak since he was in his early teens, it’s not surprising Pak will continue with the same bag setup and ball combination as he joins the professional ranks.
The Scotch Plains, New Jersey, native is an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy when it comes to his equipment, which is a trait Ressa sees among many of the game’s best. (Another TaylorMade staffer Tiger Woods, for one, comes to mind).
Ressa and TaylorMade have had a relationship with Pak for nearly a decade, and it’s Ressa’s job to not only make sure Pak is in the right equipment for his game but is also navigating the matrix of amateur competitions, college, and the decision to turn pro successfully.
According to Ressa, Pak, and other junior standouts, need new equipment, or at least a fitting, roughly every six months as their bodies and swings change.
Even so, while he’s transitioned into new fairway wood models as they’ve become available, the DNA of Pak’s bag has stayed largely the same.
“Jon is a very simple guy when it comes to equipment, and he doesn’t do a lot of tinkering outside of driver shafts,” Ressa said. “Deep down, he’s a great competitor. He just loves to compete and is focused on getting the ball in the hole. He’s stayed really, really consistent with the look of his irons, the loft of his wedges, and his bag setup. He’s been easy to work with and only needs one or two visits per year to get squared away.”
All of this dovetails with the swing Pak has built with coach Sean Hogan, says Ressa. Pak’s action is tight, consistent, and repetitive with simple checkpoints to get back in sync when things go slightly awry. According to Ressa, when it comes to hitting the ball straight, Pak is “on another level.”
Digging into the specifics of his bag: As mentioned, Pak regularly levels up into the latest generation of TaylorMade woods and usually makes the switch quickly after launch. He played the P750 irons — which Jon Rahm was in for years, as well as Collin Morikawa — before switching into the cavity-back P7MC.
A few other notes: Pak has historically moved between a half-mallet TaylorMade putter model and a Spider (he’s in the Spider X Copper currently), and he plays the standard bounce on his wedges (no unique sole grinds here).
Check out Pak’s full line up clubs below.
WHAT’S IN THE BAG: JOHN PAK
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 S
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 7 X
Utility: TaylorMade TP UDI (2)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95 X
Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (3-9)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 125 S
Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (48, 50, 54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (slant neck)
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Grip: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord