NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
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There was a time not too long ago when 10.5 degrees of loft on a club would only be associated with a driver. Bryson DeChambeau is changing that.
DeChambeau’s Cobra RadSpeed Big Tour Proto B is a 10.5-degree fairway wood designed for his tremendous clubhead speed. It has a railed sole toward the front of the head — a feature found in the Cobra Baffler utility club that emerged in the 1980s — and also has an adjustable weight in the sole. The rails aid in keeping the clubface moving forward instead of stuck in the turf, which improves the strike.
Because of the height and spin DeChambeau generates, the longest clubs in his bag are designed to combat those variables. By putting more mass close to the face and away from the back of the head, the club’s center of gravity is moved forward and decreases shaft deflection, which in turn decreases loft and launch.
It had been a struggle for Rory McIlroy to gain momentum in 2021, but a change in equipment provided a spark. McIlroy went back to TaylorMade Rors Protos at the Wells Fargo Championship instead of using the TaylorMade P760s and P730s he had been using this season. He picked up more than four strokes on the field in strokes gained approach to the green in the second round on his way to victory.
The Rors Proto blades were part of a custom series of irons tweaked slightly from the P730s made for some prominent TaylorMade staffers. McIlroy has been heavily experimenting throughout the year, putting in several new clubs.
Both Jason Day and Sergio García took a look at Sik putters at Quail Hollow, while Gary Woodland became the latest to put an LA Golf TP135 multi-material putter shaft into his Scotty Cameron Prototype. The former U.S. Open champion felt so comfortable with the new shaft that he also added it to his backup putter.
Viktor Hovland put in a new Ping iron called the i59 into his bag recently, and now he has some company. Corey Conners put a fresh set of the new irons into play, swapping out of Ping iBlade irons.
Rickie Fowler could not reverse his downward spiral at the Wells Fargo Championship, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. He did extensive testing on the range, including looking into the popular Fujikura Ventus Red driver shaft. Fowler also was using a Fujikura MCI Practice shaft, which some players use to help improve tempo. It’s an extremely light shaft meant to expose any slight errors in the loading and unloading process of the swing.
Phil Mickelson, the first-round leader in Charlotte, North Carolina, switched to a Fujikura Ventus Blue 8X shaft in his 3-wood to combat a left miss.