NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
BROUGHT TO YOU BY GOLF PRIDE, THE #1 GRIP ON TOUR
There are certain types of clubs that immediately catch your eye as you walk down a PGA Tour practice range. One of those throughout this year has been the Titleist Vokey Design SM8 Jet Black wedge with black paint filling in all logos and markings.
It’s common to see different finishes on wedges, but many associate Vokey wedges with the classic chrome finish. That could be changing as more and more players are going for the “Darth Vader” all-black style.
Cameron Smith, who won this year’s Sony Open playing multiple all-black SM8s, is among the tour players who prefer the Jet Black. It’s becoming a common sight to find others joining him. Some go for even more black than the head – a True Temper Dynamic Gold Black Onyx shaft and black/gray Golf Pride New Decade Multi Compound grips create a blackout.
“I’ve been stocking more and more Jet Black heads on the tour van each year,” said Vokey tour representative Aaron Dill. “Players love the look of it, and the contrast you get when you add custom stamping and paint-fill – it just pops. Jet Black also helps players reduce glare on those really bright days. When you add in the black shaft and grip, it’s a sharp setup.”
Tommy Fleetwood opted for a black shaft two weekends back at the PGA Championship, but this one came in his 8.5-degree TaylorMade SIM driver equipped with a 2-degree loft sleeve. The No. 13 player in the world has been quiet lately, playing just three events since the restart, but he found comfort in his new Fujikura Venus Black 7X shaft that allowed him to depend on a right-to-left ball flight.
Fleetwood has been busy with equipment changes recently, as he inserted what appear to be new TaylorMade prototype 4- and 5-irons. He still employs TaylorMade P7TW irons – “Tiger’s irons” – throughout the rest of the bag, but the new long irons have more of a partial muscle-back design.
It was a busy equipment week at the PGA Championship, but one of the slightest tweaks of all may have influenced the outcome more than others. Collin Morikawa used a new head in his TaylorMade SIM driver that featured an additional 5 grams of back weight, a change that helped him avoid a right miss he had been experiencing since the restart.
And as for the big putter news of last week, Tiger Woods has remained noncommittal about whether he will continue forward with the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Timeless prototype. He performed well with the new putter in the first round at TPC Harding Park, but looked mostly lost the other three rounds.
It won’t be a surprise to see him go back to his Newport 2 GSS, but it sounds like he could continue practicing with a combination of the Newport 2 Timeless, a classic 8802-style blade and his sand wedge.