Equipment Report

    Why Joohyung Kim's wedges are stamped with Justin Thomas' nickname

  • Joohyung "Tom" Kim has a special reason for the stamping on his wedges. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)Joohyung "Tom" Kim has a special reason for the stamping on his wedges. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)

Justin Thomas first had his Titleist wedges stamped with the nickname “Radar” when he was just 10 or 11 years old, a reference to his pinpoint accuracy with his shorter clubs. It’s a nickname that can be traced back to Mike Reid, who won twice on TOUR in the 1980s, but Thomas has introduced it to a later generation.

Thomas, now 29, still has “Radar” stamped on his Titleist wedges, but it’s no longer unique. There’s an another “Radar” at this week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Joohyung “Tom” Kim, the 20-year-old winner of last week’s Wyndham Championship, has multi-colored “Radar” stampings of the same moniker on the back of his Titleist wedges.

It’s no coincidence, though. In a video recently posted to Titleist’s Instagram account, Kim explained that he was inspired by Thomas when Titleist’s Vokey wedge rep and master stamper Aaron Dill put the stamping on his wedges.

“I saw JT’s (wedges), you know, I’m a big fan of JT,” Kim said in the video. “His wedge game is incredible. I saw (the stamping) a couple of years ago and thought, that’s what I need, as well. I mean, it’s radar, and that’s what you want with the wedges. I’ve been using (Titleist wedges) for a long time, and Aaron’s been really cool to do some crazy stamps, and it looks absolutely incredible.”

A look at Joohyung "Tom" Kim's 56-degree wedge. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)

Kim elaborated on the stamping in his Tuesday press conference at TPC Southwind, saying, “I’ve been watching this TOUR for my whole life and I'm very, very interested in the players who are at the top of their game. … It was kind of matching of what I wanted to do, as well. So I kind of did copy him a little bit, but I want to say it's kind of mine, too.”

Although Thomas says “Radar” is a “nickname that nobody calls me,” Kim may soon be getting a bill (albeit a fake one) for a cut of his recent winner’s check. Thomas jokingly told the press on Wednesday that he’d may slip a fake invoice into the rookie’s locker for his trademark infringement.

When asked if Kim’s emulation of his longtime stamping makes him feel old, Thomas replied, “I would prefer to look at it as more of an honor than old.”

Kim can make most of us feel old, however. He’s the first PGA TOUR winner born in the 2000s and the second-youngest winner on TOUR since World War II (only Jordan Spieth was younger).

Justin Thomas' wedge stamped with "RADAR." (Courtesy of GolfWRX)