September 22, 2022
By GolfWRX, PGATOUR.COM
Quail Hollow Club course preview for Presidents Cup
Quail Hollow Club, the venue for this week’s Presidents Cup, is rightfully regarded as a big ballpark. But don’t focus solely on the length of this layout that measures at more than 7,500 yards. With two drivable par-4s, a range of more than 60 yards in the par-3s and reachable par-5s mixed in with beastly par-4s, every piece of equipment will be challenged, especially when you consider the variety of formats in use this week.
As the International Team looks to win its first Presidents Cup since 1998, and the United States team hopes to continue its winning streak, GolfWRX has broken down the five key golf clubs for each team, with insight from the respective players.
Below are the clubs that we think could play a big role for the United States if it wants to defend the Cup on its home soil.
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER’S MID-IRONS
TaylorMade P-7TW (5-PW; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts
2022 stats: 4th in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green; 1st in greens in regulation (72.3%); 2nd in proximity from 175-200 yards (29’,4”)
Scheffler says: “Something I worked on a lot over the last few years is just working the ball a bunch of different directions and being able to hit a ton of shots. And I think that would be what helped me make the biggest jump to (fouth in Strokes Gained: Approach). I feel like I just have a lot of different shots that I can hit to attack pins, and so that’s something I want to see out of my mid-short and pretty much all my irons, is the ability to work the ball both directions, hit it high, low, and so that way you can kind of feed the ball into pins.”
GolfWRX says: Even before signing with TaylorMade in the days before this year’s PLAYERS Championship, Scheffler employed the Tiger Woods co-designed P-7TW blade-style irons. As Scheffler told our Two Guys Talking Golf podcast, he used to use the P-730 blade model, but then he played with Woods at the 2020 Masters and noticed how well he works the ball in both directions and controls trajectory. Scheffler said he went home the following offseason to test out the P-7TW irons and realized he had a greater variety of shots available.
TaylorMade released the P-7TW irons to the public in May 2019; they have thin toplines, long blade lengths, and they use tungsten plugs in their 1020 carbon steel bodies to shift the center of gravity (CG) into the center of the hitting area.
CAMERON YOUNG’S DRIVER
Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees; Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Pro White 70TX shaft)
2022 stats: 2nd in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee; 3rd in Driving Distance (319.3 yards)
Young says: “I like it to spin probably a little bit more than what is optimal for distance, just because I feel like it helps me keep it in the fairway a little bit, and I feel like with a little more spin, I don’t miss it right as badly.”
GolfWRX says: We spotted Young’s launch monitor numbers during a recent practice round, and it showed he hit his drive with 190 mph ball speed, 349 yards of carry, 13 degrees of launch and 1,975 rpm of backspin. Those are nearly optimal numbers, so whatever he’s doing with his driver setup is working. Young is using the newly launched Titleist TSR3 driver, which became available for PGA TOUR players at the 2022 Travelers Championship. The D1 setting on his SureFit hosel means that it has 0.75 degrees less loft than advertised on the driver, so it actually measures 9.25 degrees.
COLLIN MORIKAWA’S LONG IRONS/5-WOOD
TaylorMade P-7MC 5 iron, P770 4-iron, TaylorMade Stealth Plus 5-wood
2022 stats: 3rd in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green; 1st in proximity from >200 yards (43’,1”); 1st in proximity from 225-250 (37’,8”); 3rd in proximity from 200-225 (33’,9”)
Morikawa says: “We're talking about 5-iron and out. I think it's just gapping distances. At the end of the day, I think from that far of a distance, if you put it within 25 feet, you're hitting a great shot. We're not pin seeking as much as we would if we were … (hitting) an 8-iron from 160.
“I think when it comes down to it, it's just feeling comfortable with the clubs you have. … I've got the P7MCs with the 5-iron and I've got a 770 4-iron. It's all about gapping everything and making sure you have all these gaps. With the 770 4-iron, I can't work it as much, but that allows me to go for par-5s, and that allows me from 230 out to aim at the middle of the green.
“I think 5-wood is like cheating. The thing goes straight up in the air, and the wind doesn't touch it as much as you might think. It's an amazing club. I don't know, I think maybe because I hit it shorter, maybe I have more 200-plus-yard shots out, but to be honest, I think anytime I have an iron in my hand, even that 5-wood, I feel very comfortable, especially when I'm swinging well. I don't treat it like anything else. I just treat it like another club and figure out where I want to hit it and kind of know the dispersion. I think that's the biggest thing, knowing where you're going to miss, and you can kind of get away with those ones that look bad and end up all right.”
GolfWRX says: Although Morikawa uses blade-style P730 irons for his short irons (7-PW), he uses more forgiving cavity-back P-7MC irons in his 5 and 6 irons, then adds even more forgiveness with the hollow-bodied P-770 in his 4 iron. Morikawa places emphasis on launch windows, and the low center of gravity in his longer clubs help him produce a higher trajectory, which is great for both forgiveness, and for landing the ball softly on the greens from 200-225. He also added a 5-wood to his arsenal in 2021, which we recommend for any golfer looking to get more height and distance on long shots. Five-woods and even 7-woods have become extremely popular on the PGA TOUR in recent years, so don’t hesitate to try one out for yourself.
SAM BURNS’ PUTTER
Odyssey O-Works Black #7S putter
2022 stats: 10th in Strokes Gained: Putting
Burns says: “Specifically on Bermuda, I grew up on Bermuda, so I’m really comfortable on it. Obviously I’ve spent a lot of time on it and so I think it comes a little more natural to me. I don’t have to think about, you know, the grass near as much as maybe some other guys that didn’t grow up on Bermuda. I like (my putter) to set up really square. I haven’t really changed a lot in my putter the last four or five years, … feels good in my hands. I can start it on-line consistently.”
GolfWRX says: They don’t call him Bermuda Burns for nothing! Three out of his four PGA TOUR victories have come on Bermudagrass greens (the Valspar Championship in 2021 and 2022, and last year’s Sanderson Farms Championship, which he will defend next week). Look out for Bermuda Burns this week, since the Quail Hollow greens are made from Champion G-12 Bermuda. As for the putter itself, Burns has been a longtime user of the Odyssey O-Works #7S black, which hit retail in 2018. Burns has ranked in the top 30 of Strokes Gained: Putting in all four of his PGA TOUR season, including two straight seasons in the top 10.
KEVIN KISNER’S PUTTER
Odyssey 2-Ball 11
2022 stats: 9th in Strokes Gained: Putting
Kisner says: “I’m always trying to find the most stable face. You know, I don’t want a lot of face rotation. I’m always looking for the least margin of error. So if it doesn’t rotate a whole lot, I’ve got a pretty good chance to hit it where I want to.”
GolfWRX says: We spotted Kevin Kisner switch to the new Odyssey 2-Ball 11 at this year’s Charles Schwab Challenge. It’s an oversized mallet shape, with Odyssey’s ever-popular “2-ball” design on the crown that helps with alignment. Kisner’s model has a double-bend shaft, which keeps the face more square throughout the stroke compared to a plumber's neck or flow neck, which both support more of an arcing stroke. For amateur golfers, it’s best to work with a local fitter or professional to decide what your stroke style is, and what hosel construction and head design would be best suited for you.