NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
BROUGHT TO YOU BY GOLF PRIDE, THE #1 GRIP ON TOUR
Now that the PGA Tour has been back in action for three weeks, everyone involved is starting to become accustomed to his or her new routine. That particularly includes equipment reps who are used to being in close proximity with players and caddies.
One of the busiest reps on tour is Aaron Dill, the Titleist wedge master who touches more clubs put into play than just about anyone. Averaging the total number of wedges in play by the number of tour players comes to nearly 2½ for each bag, and Vokey wedges account for more than half of all gamer wedges each week. At Colonial, there were 242 Vokey wedges in play.
During the pause, many players told Dill they were working on their short games far more than normal, causing a large number of players to ask for fresh grooves. Now that tournament play is back, things have returned to normal except for one large caveat.
“We are so used to having access to the players, range, course, and facilities, and not having that makes our jobs a little more challenging,” Dill told PGATour.com. “Distance from the players is also forcing us to diagnose issues using our phones and computers.”
While wedge alterations are rarely given the same attention as driver changes, they can play a critical role in a player’s game. Take Justin Thomas, who switched his 60-degree K-grind Vokey to a T-grind. The move came about at last year’s Presidents Cup, and Thomas has kept the new version in play.
“Justin called me and said he anticipated very firm and fast conditions at Royal Melbourne,” Dill said. “He mentioned that he was concerned about getting the feel right with his K, that maybe he had too much bounce. He was spot-on in thinking that, and it motivated me to get him a few options he could feel comfortable with in those kinds of firm conditions. I sent Justin three options (T, L and A), and the T, he said, felt and performed the best.
“Justin had shared this option with some of his peers participating in the event, which sparked further testing with other players preparing for the Presidents Cup.”
The T-grind offers a narrow forward bounce, with its minimal camber and wider overall flange. Having a flat sole with less bounce makes it a strong option for firm conditions or for players with shallow angles of attack.
Also for Titleist: The FootJoy brand accounted for 58 percent of shoes and 35 percent of gloves at last week’s Travelers Championship.