From the Tour Van

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From the Tour Van

Cat’s out of the bag Bridgestone Golf CEO Dan Murphy has spilled the beans. In a statement congratulating Tiger on record-tying victory #82, Murphy expressed how honored he and the brand is to be a small part of Tiger’s historic legacy and career. He explained that Tiger won 64 of those 82 events using a Bridgestone ball. So surprise! What a lot of us speculated over the years is in fact true; Nike golf balls were indeed designed and manufactured by Bridgestone. The company made the popular Precept balls in the 90’s and early 2000’s, but didn’t begin to manufacture and sell equipment under the Bridgestone name in the U.S. until 2005. Nike never operated its own ball plant, so it was always a curious question as to exactly who was producing them. 

Dufner joins Cobra staff Jason Dufner unveiled a full bag of Cobra sticks at the Mayakoba Classic. The 2013 major winner was already playing the brand’s F9 Speedback driver for most of 2019, so it made sense to get aboard. It appears fellow staff players Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau helped recruit their buddy to join the team. Here is the gear J-Duf is currently playing:

King F9 Speedback Driver, 10.5 loft, LA Golf OLYSS 6X shaft

King Driving Iron, #4, LA Golf Proto Rev A shaft

King Forged CB Irons, 5 – PW, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts

King V Grind Wedges, 52-56-62, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts

Brendon Todd WITB (What’s in the Bag) Brendon Todd is the hottest player on the planet, having just won his second tournament in as many starts (Bermuda Championship) at the Mayakoba Classic. Like many of his tour peers, Todd did it without an equipment contract and his bag is a real hodge-podge as 6 different brands are represented. You got to go with what works, and his setup is definitely working.

Driver: Ping G410 LST – 10.5 degrees, Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei  CK Blue 60 grams – Get Yours >

3 Wood: Taylormade M5 – 15 degrees, Shaft: UST Mamiya VTS Tour SPX – Get Yours >

Hybrid: Callaway Rogue – 19 degrees, Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK 90

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4-5 irons)Titleist 718 CB (6-PW), Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT S400 – Get Yours >

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50 and 54 degrees) Fourteen Golf (60 degrees), Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 – Get Yours >

Putter: Sik Golf Pro C-Series 

Golf Glossary

Manufacturers use a lot of buzz words when it comes to advertizing their equipment and discussing their design philosophies on why their line is the best for your game. Some of these terms have been around for awhile, and some are new and fresh out of the R & D departments. Allow me to break these down for you and give you some simple definitions, so next time you are reading up on the newest driver or irons, you have a good understanding of what that particular club is designed to do and if it will fit your particular game. 

MOI (Moment of Inertia) MOI refers to the clubhead’s resistance to twisting at impact. You’ll hear MOI a lot when talking about putters, especially mallets. The higher the number of MOI, the less the clubhead twists on offcenter strikes. This means a straighter ball flight or a straighter roll on the green. MOI is usually a product of perimeter weighting. 

Center of gravity COG is just that; the heaviest point of the club usually accomplished by strategically adding a weight or material. A driver that has the center of gravity low and away from the face will produce a high, low spinning ball flight. A driver with the center of gravity high and closer to the face will produce a lower, more penetrating flight with spin. The rule of thumb is, the lower the COG, the higher the ball flight. 

COR or Characteristic Time COR or Coefficient of Restitution used to be the term used to measure the speed at which a ball would travel off the face of a golf club. The USGA would shoot a ball at a driver face and if it came off faster than .830 mph it was deemed illegal. The method has since changed to Characteristic Time. They now measure the microseconds that the ball stays on the face at impact. Anything higher than 257 microseconds has too much spring-like effect, and is deemed nonconforming. They do not test fairway woods however, just drivers. 

Low kick point and high kick point There are literally hundreds of golf shafts on the market available to every manufacturer and for every type of player. But you can take 6 shafts that all say stiff flex on them and not only will each flex be different, but the weights and kick points could be different. You can get a regular flex shaft with a mid kick, and you can get a regular flex shaft with a low kick. The key here, though, is that the difference is simple. A low kick point shaft equates to a high ball flight and vice versa; a high kick point produces a low ball flight. A mid kick? You guessed it……a mid ball flight. The kick point is simply referring to the section of the shaft with the most flex. Low is down near the head, and high is up near your hands, or grip. 

Game improvement irons The industry-leading brands in golf tend to categorize their clubs for a specific ability or type of player. Game improvement irons are geared towards your beginner or high handicapper. Literally every detail is designed and integrated to accomplish one thing; give the player the best chance to hit the ball high and straight. The typical characteristics of a game improvement iron is an oversized head, wide sole, low center of gravity, deep cavity-back, and a lightweight shaft. The lofts of each club are usually a couple degrees stronger to help the player hit each club farther. The game is just a bit easier and more fun when you’re hitting an 8 iron instead of a 7, especially if you’re a 22 handicap. Irons such as these are more forgiving and have a larger sweet spot, which offer more room for error and better results.

Players club This is another club category that equipment will fall into if it is designed for or geared towards the better player and low handicapper. Player’s irons are more compact in design, have less offset, are usually heavier, and are typically forged. They feel super sweet and soft when you catch them on the sweet spot, but are not very forgiving when you don’t. This club will spin more, so the better players prefer them because they can shape shots with them more easily. But forged irons or player’s irons have become more forgiving over the years with the addition of forged cavity-backs, or perimeter weighting. This offers the look and feel of a hard to hit blade or muscle-back, but a little forgiveness and a center-of-gravity similar to a game improvement iron. 

Swing weight The swing weight of a golf club is a concept that has been misunderstood or confusing for years. The swing weight of a club relates to how heavy a club feels when a player swings it. What is taken into account is the actual physical weight of the club, and the distribution of weight throughout the grip, shaft, and head. A club with more of its mass concentrated at the head, is going to have a higher swing weight and require more energy to swing it. Drivers these days typically have a swing weight somewhere in the C’s. Irons with a steel shaft are usually D1 or higher. The C and D rating come from the Swing Weight scale. C is lighter than D. The scale is A0 to G10. Drivers are built to be swung with speed. Irons have a heavier swing weight because they are shorter in length, overall heavier and built to be swung with control. Cutting down a shaft or simply choking down, and adding or removing lead tape can all affect the swing weight. Any serious or experienced club fitter will have a swing weight scale. All the major manufacturers claim to check the swing weight after building a club and shipping it to the consumer. Let’s say you are having control issues with your driver. It is 46” in length. You cut it down from the grip end to 45”, just one inch. You just dropped the swing weight by 6 points. You like the length but feel that it is now too light. Adding lead tape to the head will get that swing weight back up. But if you add the lead tape under the grip, you will actually decrease the swing weight even more. Yes you are adding physical weight, but it’s under your hands thus making the head feel even lighter when you waggle or swing the club. 

RSM Classic Picks Mexico wasn’t very kind to your boy last week as my picks for the Mayakoba didn’t fair too well. Tony Finau missed the cut, Denny McCarthy finished t-48, and Charles Howell III grabbed me a top-20. Now we head to the land that Davis Love III built, Sea Island GC in Georgia. DL3 recently renovated the Plantation course and he plays host this week. There is a ton of tour players that call Sea Island home, and a lot of them are in the field this week. Sleeper Brian Harman – Local resident who finished t-4 two years ago. Has three top-20’s in this 2019-2020 season so far. Winner Matt Kuchar – Tied for 14th at Mayakoba with a 62 on Sunday. Has five career top-25’s at Sea Island.  Will Contend Kevin Kisner – He won in 2015 and has four career top-10’s as the event’s all-time money winner. 

Enjoy the game and each other,

Written by Seth Zipay, Head Golf Professional
Published and Design by Craig Walton

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