NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
BROUGHT TO YOU BY GOLF PRIDE, THE #1 GRIP ON TOUR
Before the 2021-22 season, Cameron Young never had made the cut in a PGA Tour event. The Wake Forest product won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour in the pandemic-extended campaign to earn his ticket to the big leagues, and Young made an immediate impact against the game’s best.
Consider that in his first season, Young ranked No. 2 in strokes gained off-the-tee and No. 3 in driving distance, skills that helped him register 12 top-25 finishes and reach the U.S. Presidents Cup team. Among those memorable performances was a runner-up in the Open Championship and a tie for third in the PGA Championship, so it was no surprise when Webb Simpson – a fellow Demon Deacon – crashed a recent Young press conference to present him with the Arnold Palmer Trophy for the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award.
Later on in the C.J. Cup in South Carolina, Simpson presented Young with something much more unexpected.
Young plays a 10-degree Titleist TSR3 driver set to 9.25 degrees in the D1 SureFit setting. His drives are so powerful that he routinely checks the face for cracking, a common practice for players with high swing speeds. Young definitely qualifies for that distinction, given that his average ball speed was above 185 mph on the PGA Tour last season, ranking No. 4 just behind Cameron Champ, Brandon Hagy and Wyndham Clark.
At Congaree, Young started hitting some odd shots with his driver during the second round. He thought the club was not reacting as it normally would.
“I hit a couple off the heel that didn’t act correctly,” Young told PGATour.com.” I know the ‘heely’ ones tend to cut a little bit, but I hit a couple that curved like 60 yards. It just didn’t seem right.”
He checked the face for cracks, but he couldn’t find any. Still, he figured there was something wrong with the clubhead. The equipment vans already had left for the week, and Young didn’t have a replacement with him.
In stepped Simpson, who offered Young a backup 9.5-degree Titleist TSi3 clubhead that he had in storage. The TSi3 was the driver Young had been using before switching to the popular TSR3 later in the year, although he had been playing a 10-degree version and not 9.5 degrees like Simpson had. Regardless, Young attached the head to his typical Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Pro White 70 TX shaft and noticed an instant improvement.
“As soon as I hit the other one, the driver flights were just a lot straighter,” Young said. “I think the (original) driver was not fully intact. He (Simpson) was nice enough to give me one.”
Young didn’t miss a beat. He shot 66 in the third round with the replacement driver head and averaged more than 320 yards per drive for the tournament. It’s further proof that while top players spend many hours honing their skills to match certain equipment, they also are extraordinary athletes who can make quick adjustments on the fly.