Titleist Tour Van Notes – West Coast Swing

Posted: February 11, 2010

With all of the recent news about equipment in the golf press, one might think that the Titleist Tour Van has been a hub of non-stop activity in the opening weeks of the 2010 PGA Tour season. The truth, though, is that Titleist equipment players were prepared for the new season well in advance, and most of the Tour Van visits so far this season have been for minor set composition or equipment specification tweaks rather than major changes.

One player who is not generally known for making equipment changes is Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker. The world number two golfer did, however, win the recent Northern Trust Open with a new Titleist 909H hybrid in his bag.

Strick arrived in Hawaii for the SBS Championship in January and asked the guys on the Titleist Tour Van to build him a 21° 909H (bent to 20°) to replace his 3-iron (he also has a 19° 909H (bent to 17°) in the bag). He indicated that the 909H would provide him with a more playable trajectory and perform better out of the rough than his 3-iron. Looking forward to April, he also felt that the hybrid would work well for the second shot into 15 at Augusta National.

During his two weeks off at home in Wisconsin after returning from Hawaii, Strick worked with the new hybrid to get all of the critical shots dialed in. The new club made its way into the bag in Los Angeles, and Steve went on to collect his fourth PGA Tour title in his last 14 events.


Titleist Brand Ambassador Steve Stricker with a 909H hybrid during the
Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club.

Steve Stricker
Model: 909H
Loft: 21° (bent to 20°)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Proforce V2 Hybrid 100X
Length: 41"
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord Ribbed .580 (+2 wraps left hand, +1 wrap right hand)
Swingweight: D4

With the sea level golf courses and cool, wet California winter weather in effect at Torrey Pines, Riviera and Pebble Beach, a few players have adjusted their driver specs to increase spin and launch for more carry. Titleist Brand Ambassador D.J. Trahan was fit into a 909D3 (8.5°) with the new Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7X to replace his previous 909D3 (9.5°) with the Aldila VooDoo XPP7. Despite the lower loft, the new driver provides D.J. with more launch and spin due to the new shaft's more responsive tip section.

D.J. Trahan
Model: 909D3
Loft: 8.5°
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7X
Length: 44.5"
Grip: Lamkin Tour Black Cord .580 (+3 wraps)
Swingweight: D3

Titleist Brand Ambassador Jeff Klauk, on the other hand, switched back to a previous driver/shaft combination to combat the cold, heavy air encountered on the seaside courses. The 909DComp (8.5°) with Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 73X that worked its way back into Jeff's bag provides him with more carry than the 909DComp (8.5°) with Matrix Ozik F6M2X he was fit into last year for more roll.

Jeff Klauk
Model: 909DComp
Loft: 8.5°
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Blue 73X
Length: 45"
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord .580 (+1 wrap)
Swingweight: D3

Lefty Titleist Brand Ambassador Greg Chalmers has been working with his swing coach recently on technique changes. Swing changes often lead to a need for equipment spec changes, and the technique Greg and his coach are working on calls for an additional 1/2" in length to his CB irons, which were already 1/2" over standard. Greg will likely continue to game the 1/2" over standard set while working into the swing changes and new set.

Properly fit equipment is essential for optimal performance on the PGA Tour and for everyday play. To learn more about the fitting opportunities available for your Titleist equipment, be sure to visit FittingWorks.com.

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Evman1023


Hi: what is the reason for bending the loft on hybrids? Especially from 19 to 17?

THANKS!

Evman1023


If you want a 17 degree club why not just buy one., why buy a 19 degree and bend it to 17??  Same for wedges, if you want a 60 degree, buy onn, why buy a 64 and bend to a 60?? To much time on there hands. I know players who shoot 65-73 on fitted clubs, but they never bend? what gives.

Evman1023


What are the loft and length specs on Stricker's irons? Thanks

Evman1023


I have noticed with using multi-compound grips the swing weight goes up considerably.  2-3 points typically.  Since these grips are immensely popular on tour how do you guys compensate for such a light grip?  Using lighter club heads?  Or do you get heavier multi-compounds....

Evman1023


The bending of the clubs is for the player to get a particular look with the club, the bending of the loft will effect the offset of the club which will then make it look slightly different to the players eye. Head size is another factor, the head might be a little smaller in a certain loft so bend it to the loft you want, its all about looks and feel with these guys!

Evman1023


+1 I would like to know the answer to this as well.

Evman1023


Sam & David-

Bending the loft of a driver/fairway/hybrid also changes the face angle.  When bending to stronger lofts, as Strick has done with his hybrids, the face angle becomes more open, which is a look preferred by many players on Tour.

Evman1023


Ryan-

+1/4" length, standard lofts on the 4 & 5, 1° strong on the 6-P.

Evman1023


Patrick-

There are performance reasons for the adjustments made to players' equipment on Tour.  Bending lofts strong on drivers/fairways/hybrids also opens up the face angle, giving the clubs a look and ball flight preferred by many players on Tour.  Adjusting lofts on wedges also affects the bounce angle and offset of the club, again promoting a look and shot performance preferred by the individual player.

Evman1023


Jared-

Lighter heads can be used to counteract the lighter weight of the New Decade Multi-Compound grips, but many players also have one to several layers or partial layers of build tape beneath their grips, which helps add weight to the grip end of the club.