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Equipment Report
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    Top 5 gear stories of the 2021-22 PGA TOUR season

  • A look at Jake Owen's clubs from the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. (GolfWRX)A look at Jake Owen's clubs from the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. (GolfWRX)

Throughout the 2021-22 PGA TOUR season, GolfWRX.com has been hard at work on the Equipment Report, keeping PGATOUR.com readers informed on the latest equipment releases, player staff deals, “what’s in the bag?” (WITB) changes, custom TOUR designs, and the stories behind them all.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be releasing the top-10 gear stories from the 2021-2022 Equipment Report, as selected by our committee of experts. We selected the top gear stories based on reader engagement, overall industry impact, and the always-important cool factor.

Enjoy the first five stories below from our top-10 list and tune in next week to see the remaining five stories.

Inside John Daly’s wild equipment setup

No one gets the people going quite like John Daly, and the ever-eccentric 56-year-old didn’t disappoint with his unique set of custom equipment at the 2022 PGA Championship.

In addition to bagging an unreleased PXG “TD” prototype driver that had just hit the USGA Conforming Clubs List, Daly showed up to Southern Hills Country Club with a set of TaylorMade P770 irons that were slathered in lead tape. While lead tape is a commonly used substance to manipulate weight for different feels and performance characteristics, Daly was using an uncommon amount.

Since his SuperStroke S-Tech Club Cord oversize grips weigh-in at 82 grams, which is about 30 grams heavier than a standard grip, Daly needed to offset the grip weight by adding about 30 grams of lead tape on the club heads. That made the clubs balanced, and it also made the club heads nearly unrecognizable, but in the coolest way possible.

Read the full story on Daly’s WITB setup and custom irons here.

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(Courtesy of GolfWRX)

Tiger Woods’ purported “Tiger Slam” irons hit the auction block

When Tiger Woods won the “Tiger Slam” (2000 U.S. Open, Open Championship, PGA Championship, and 2001 Masters) he did so with a custom set of Titleist 681-T irons (2-PW) and Titleist Vokey wedges (58 bent to 56 degrees, and a 60-degree). Between the “TIGER” stampings on the back of the wedges, and the dime-sized wear mark directly in the center of the face on the 8-iron, the clubs are easily identifiable and breathtakingly cool.

As the story goes, Houston businessman Todd Brock purchased the irons and wedges for $57,242 in 2010 at auction, and he kept them in a frame in his office since obtaining them.

Back in March of 2022, however, Brock made the clubs available to the public by putting them up for auction through Golden Age Auctions. The final selling price on April 9 was an eye-popping $5.15 million, confirmed by the auction platform on social media. As it turns out, that was quite a savvy $57K investment by Brock in 2010.

There was, however, a bit of controversy surrounding the authenticity of the items in question. Although Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, told Golf Digest that Woods has the authentic set of Tiger Slam irons in his house, Ryan Carey, the owner of Golden Age Auctions, says he spoke with “dozens of people intimately familiar with these clubs,” and that “we can say with 100% confidence that these clubs were used by Tiger Woods during his legendary 2000-01 seasons.”

This story has it all: Tiger Woods, cool custom equipment, a multimillion-dollar sale, and a little controversy. No wonder it was the most read equipment story on PGATOUR.com this season.

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(Courtesy of GolfWRX)

Tony Finau’s heart-warming and hilarious golf ball markings

In the midst of Tony Finau’s back-to-back PGA TOUR victories in July (2022 3M Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic), we learned that he has a unique system for marking his golf balls that is equal parts practical, heart-warming, and hilarious.

Inspired by his five children, Finau marks his Titleist Pro V1 Left Dot golf ball with the initials of one of his kids. To keep all of his kids involved, when one set of initials is underperforming, he then cycles in a different child’s initials.

“I start with one (kid) and see how they perform,” Finau told GolfWRX on Tuesday at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “If they’re not performing well, I just start switching them out. I’m pretty lenient, I’ll give them some time, but right out of the gate, if it’s lip-out and lip-out in a couple holes, it’s the next one up.

“The good thing is I have five kids, so usually one of them is working, at least.”

On the side of each golf ball, regardless of which kids’ initials he puts on the front, Finau also places a series of four small lines and one larger line to use as an alignment guide. He simply aims the larger line at his intended target on the greens, and putts along that line; if the ball rolls end-over-end, then he knows he hit a solid putt, and if the lines wobble, then something went wrong with his stroke or face angle at impact.

Read the full story here.

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(Courtesy of GolfWRX)

Celebrity clubs at the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am offers fans a special opportunity to watch their favorite PGA TOUR players, as well as their favorite celebrities, compete on one of the world’s most scenic golf courses.

This year, a number of celebrity golfers showed up to the historic Pebble Beach Golf Links with some show-stopping custom equipment setups.

Making his first appearance in the event, NFL quarterback Josh Allen from the Buffalo Bills was using custom-stamped “QB1” TaylorMade Hi-Toe wedges; QB1 is a common name for the starting quarterback of a football team.

MLB right-fielder Mookie Betts also got in on the custom stamping fun, with dancing No. 50’s on the back of his Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges. Betts also wears No. 50 on the back of his Los Angeles Dodgers baseball jersey when he’s at his day job.

Not to be outdone, country singer Jake Owen, who’s good friends with PGA TOUR player Rickie Fowler, was using a set of copper-finished Cobra RF Rev33 blade irons, and a custom Scotty Cameron putter with the title of his hit song “Beachin’” stamped on the sole.

Check out what the other celebrities in the field were using at Pebble Beach here.

Tom Hoge’s custom putter has an incredible back story

Another huge equipment piece that came out of Pebble Beach this year was eventual champion Tom Hoge’s custom putter, and the multi-faceted story about how it got in the bag.

In short summary, Hoge’s caddie Henry Diana Jr. was a former professional golfer himself in the mid-90’s. At the time, Diana Jr. was using a David Pelz 3-ball putter, but his father – who was a tool and die maker – built him up a 2-ball putter to fix his son’s alignment issue on the greens. This was before the famous Odyssey 2-ball mallet putter even existed.

Hoge was going through similar alignment issues to Diana Jr. in early 2022, and he was in search of a putter. Hoge’s caddie, Diana Jr., stealthily approached Odyssey Tour rep Joe Toulon with an idea to make Hoge a custom Odyssey 2-ball putter to help out.

Eventually, Toulon and team crafted a one-off Odyssey White Hot 2-ball putter, built exactly to Hoge’s preferences, and it showed up to Pebble Beach just days prior to the start of competition on Thursday.

Hoge decided to put the new custom putter in play, and he drained a 20-foot birdie putt on the 71st hole en route to his first ever PGA Tour victory.

Following the event, GolfWRX spoke to Diana Jr. for the full backstory.

“My dad was a tinkerer and he was always forward-thinking in a lot of ways and he had great ideas,” Diana Jr. told GolfWRX. “Pelz was obviously the pioneer of it, and then [my father] tweaked it, then Odyssey obviously came out with it. But it really worked…it’s just unbelievable how full circle it went.”

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(Courtesy of GolfWRX)