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Equipment Report
  • EQUIPMENT

    Inside the driver big-hitting Brandon Matthews is bringing to the PGA TOUR

    One of Korn Ferry Tour’s leading players is in Wells Fargo Championship field

  • Brandon Matthews won his first Korn Ferry Tour title this season at the Astara Golf Championship. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)Brandon Matthews won his first Korn Ferry Tour title this season at the Astara Golf Championship. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Brandon Matthews’ big-hitting game is headed to the PGA TOUR. The 27-year-old Temple alum is playing this week’s Wells Fargo Championship on a sponsor’s exemption and looks likely to become a PGA TOUR member later this year.

Matthews is near the top of the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points list after a posting a runner-up and victory in back-to-back weeks in February. Matthews, who’s 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, led the Korn Ferry Tour in driving distance in 2019 (331.3 yards) and is capable of pushing 200 mph of ball speed off the tee. At last week’s Hunstville Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour, Matthews went without a driver because of the tight venue and the fact that he could carry his 3-wood 320 yards. 

To gain more insight into Matthews’ game, and how he sets up his driver to hit it such impressive distances, we spoke to the Cleveland-Srixon team that works closely with Matthews on his equipment; Matthews has been a Cleveland-Srixon staffer since 2019.

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“Brandon makes 199 ballspeed look like a walk in the park,” a Srixon representative told GolfWRX.com. “It’s effortless power, stunning to see in person. The toughest thing about working with Brandon is to not allow yourself to get sucked into the distance absurdity, and really dive into what he needs on the golf course to play his best golf. He’s grown so much in learning how to use his power effectively.”

To suit Matthews’ preferences on performance and looks, he currently fits into a Srixon ZX7 with an 8.5-degree head, equipped with an LA Golf Trono 75X shaft at 44.5 inches. Compared to the ZX5 driver that Srixon offers, the ZX7 model that Matthews employs has a rounder and more compact shape that’s made for lower spin and a penetrating ball flight.

While some may assume that a player with such speed may require specific alterations to the clubhead, Srixon says that Matthews uses a mostly neutral setup.

“His driver setup is pretty normal,” the Srixon rep said. “It is weighted very neutral, but with lower loft than most guys play these days. He plays a stout shaft, but it’s not absurd considering his speed. His feels are important to him. Brandon likes to see a lot of heads and compare them, really prefers the “sit open at address” look. He likes to see a hair more spin than some might say is ideal. He feels that when spin gets too low, his ball moves too hard left to right.”

According to Srixon, Matthews doesn’t use his driver to hit draw shots. When he wants to turn the ball from right-to-left, he opts for a fairway wood or driving iron, instead. By selecting just one shot shape, Matthews can find more consistency off the tee despite his long distances.

“Brandon always prefers to see the ball move left to right with the driver,” Srixon said. “He has really committed to that and has been very disciplined in using 3-wood and driving irons when he wants to move it right to left. He’s so talented, he can do just about anything. But being more committed to a particular shape with the big stick is paying dividends for him.”

And it should be wowing fans on the PGA TOUR sooner than later.