NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
BROUGHT TO YOU BY GOLF PRIDE, THE #1 GRIP ON TOUR
It’s been almost two years since Ping released an iron model for better players, as the Blueprint irons came out in 2019. Next in line is the Ping i59 irons, which Viktor Hovland quietly put into his bag at the Zurich Classic.
The Norwegian is using a mixed set of i59 irons (7-PW) to go with iBlades (4-6), and it’s not the only changes he has made. Hovland, fresh from testing during an off week before New Orleans, has added a Ping Glide Forged Pro prototype wedge and a new Titleist 2021 Pro V1 ball.
The i59 irons appear to be very similar to the Blueprint set, but offer a slightly more recessed cavity that aids in forgiveness.
Hovland’s teammate and countryman, Kris Ventura, also broke in new irons the same week as his partner. Ventura is now split between Ping i210 (4-7) and Blueprint (8-PW) irons as he tested the i210s during the Masters week when he wasn’t playing. When Ventura got to TPC Louisiana, he discovered the Blueprint irons were better for flighting short irons.
Patrick Cantlay turned heads when he put an Odyssey White Hot OG 2-Ball into play at the RBC Heritage, but the experiment only lasted one week. Rather than go back to his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 that has long been in his bag, Cantlay joined the large group of players going for a Scotty Cameron Phantom X5 mallet with a SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0 grip. The putter built for Cantlay has a double-bend shaft and no lines to help with alignment.
Despite Cantlay’s switch, Callaway and Odyssey have been on a roll lately. In New Orleans there were 10 equipment free agents who decided to use a Callaway driver, including Michael Kim (Epic Speed), Chris Kirk (Great Big Bertha) and Aaron Baddeley (Mavrik SZ D). Odyssey’s 2-Ball Ten mallet led the field with 10 putters in play.
Count Thomas Pieters and Brendan Steele as the latest players to join the 7-wood brigade. The two added TaylorMade SIM2 7-woods. Keegan Bradley also added a SIM2 fairway wood, his being 16.5 degrees.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat moved into Callaway Apex TCB irons after having used a combo set of Apex Pro 19 and Apex MB irons. Aphibarnrat, whose last top-10 finish came at the CJ Cup in 2019, has plummeted to No. 388 in the world just a few years after finishing 2017 and 2018 in the top 50. He credited an added forgiveness and workability to his iron shift.