Small Adjustments Big Part of Open Prep
Posted: July 18, 2009
Major championships aren’t usually the time or place for Tour players to make significant changes in their equipment. However, in an attempt to fine tune their instruments to attack a particular course they will make some adjustments in hopes of saving a shot or two. Replacing fairway metals with hybrids or hybrids with long irons was one way to answer the firm, windswept turf. Also, wedges were among the most scrutinized clubs in the bag as the Ailsa Course is home to nearly 100 bunkers.
Former Open Champion Ben Curtis addressed both. He replaced his 17 and 21 degree hybrids with a 3 and 4 irons; and worked with Bob Vokey on a fresh set of wedges. Curtis’ normal custom grind includes some heel and toe relief, but Voke also added some relief on the leading edge to match the wedges Ben used to nip his Pro V1x off the firm turf on his way to winning the 2003 Open Championship.
Among the players adding long irons, Davis Love III (above right) pulled his 17 degree hybrid in favor of his 2 iron. Ross Fisher did the same, and it came in handy for both of them on the 13th tee in Friday's second round.
Titleist loyalist Branden Grace (left) used a fresh set of wedges en route to a first round 67. Among Bob Vokey's other projects, he worked with Peter Hanson to get the right configuration on a 58 degree lob wedge. Voke had him compare a standard TVD 58M to a 60 degree version bent to 58. Peter opted for the tweaked 60 because in adjusting the loft, Vokey took off a degree or two of bounce as well. Hunter Mahan came to visit Bob for a new 54 degree spin milled Vokey sand wedge when his golf clubs didn’t arrive with the rest of his luggage at the start of the week.