NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
BROUGHT TO YOU BY GOLF PRIDE, THE #1 GRIP ON TOUR
Don’t let Brooks Koepka fool you.
After winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open two weeks ago, the four-time major champ was, as we’ve come to expect, a man of few words when it comes to his equipment decisions.
“Just going back to old stuff,” Koepka said of his recent gear moves. “Just going back to old stuff. That’s it.”
While Koepka did return to his old faithful Nike Vapor Fly Pro 3-iron at the American Express, it actually was new equipment that buoyed him in his victory. He eschewed his Mizuno irons in favor of Srixon ZX7s in Palm Springs and then switched from a TaylorMade M5 driver to a TaylorMade SIM2 in Phoenix.
Koepka ranked 11th in strokes gained off the tee and second in strokes gained approach in his win.
The long-time equipment free agent isn’t in the business of free ads and rarely mentions a brand by name. However, there is little doubt the surprising move to Srixon has offered a spark.
Sam Burns has been a magnet to leaderboards – out of his past 16 starts he has finished T34 or better 11 times – and improvement off the tee has been a reason for his momentum.
The former Louisiana State University golfer recently tested a 9-degree Callaway Epic Speed driver in hopes of knocking off about 200 rpm of spin to produce a more reliable ball flight off the tee. It took Burns less than 10 practice balls on the range to convince him to switch to the Epic Speed, and he ranked No. 5 in driving distance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Few putters have endured like Odyssey’s 2-Ball collection, and they are enjoying a resurgence of sorts this year on the PGA Tour. The 2-Ball Ten made it into Jon Rahm’s bag and was Odyssey’s most played model in Phoenix. There were 10 players using the flatstick at Pebble Beach, including youngster Akshay Bhatia who opened the week with an 8-under 64 after hitting all 18 greens in regulation. Bhatia was the youngest to play on a U.S. Walker Cup team and has slowly matured as a pro with an all-Callaway bag.
Kevin Chappell made his debut as a Wilson staffer last week. His gear setup includes a Staff Model CB (4) and Blade (5-PW).
Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson have gone back to old driver models. Thomas switched into a Titleist TS3 instead of the TSi3 while Johnson went from a TaylorMade SIM2 into his old TaylorMade SIM.
Justin Rose was spotted with Mizuno MP-20 irons in his bag. Rose split with Honma last May, a little more than a year into a long-term deal that quickly soured for the former U.S. Open winner.
FootJoy had 62 percent of the shoe count and 38 percent of the glove count at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, leading both categories.