After capturing his first win on the PGA TOUR Sunday at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, we had the opportunity to sit down and ask Titleist Brand Ambassador Patton Kizzire about the victory, his all-Titleist setup and how he produces his skillfully controlled swing. Enjoy our conversation with Patton in the Q&A below.
Q: What kept you steady throughout the final round Sunday?
Patton: The putter. I rolled the ball really well all week, and my caddy was a good influence on me, he was a little under the weather, but he kept me calm. I felt so good standing over my putter that I just knew the hole was never over until I got a putter in my hand. It was a great equalizer.
Q: How did you choose the Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour?
Patton: That's a great question. I walked up to one of the tour bags before I was on the PGA TOUR, that had all the putters around it. I'd kind of been going towards a mallet about five or six years ago and I gravitated towards the GoLo. It had a nice, solid mallet feel so it was perfect for me.
Q: When did you switch to the black head and the black shaft?
Patton: [Scotty Cameron Tour Rep] Kelley got me into that. I'd always use the silver shaft and a dark head. I wanted a backup and said, " Let's make this thing look cool," and Kelley did with a black shaft and black head. I told him, "That's what I'm looking for right there." I have had several GoLo putter and I've used different versions of them over the last several years, and they all seem to have had some magic in them.
Kelley Moser, Scotty Cameron Tour Rep on Patton's GoLo putter: Patton has been using a Scotty Cameron GoLo model since his mini tour days. The one he is currently using was a back up that was made for him when he first earned his PGA TOUR card. He had a stock shaft and silver head version that he used for a long time, but he wanted to shake it up a little so we made him one with a black shaft and a dark finish. He loved it and after his victory said he's pretty sure this one is in the bag permanently.
Q: Did you do anything special to celebrate the win?
Patton: I spent the evening with my wife. We ate a lot of sushi and had margaritas, so it was pretty low-key. We're having a get together here in St. Simons Island. [The tournament] does a Tuesday night party there every year this week, but they also do a party there for any of the winners from our Sea Island crew, so it was kind of a double whammy.
Q: This week is a home game for you, and now that you have a victory under your belt, has your mindset changed at all?
Patton: Yeah, I feel like it hasn't. I've always applied pressure to myself just to have high expectations. So my expectations are high still, which is good. I might not feel the pressure as much, which I think that combination will be pretty productive for me.
Q: And with a schedule that includes the Tournament of Champions and now the Masters, what are some of your goals for the season?
Patton: I want to contend in majors. I think that's a step. I would love to jump right into winning majors. That would be awesome, but contending in majors first. Maybe I can change my goal on Saturday night of a major, but to win in tournaments, that's all I'm looking for. Just to play consistent golf and hold more trophies, that's the key.
Q: Do you remember the first Titleist golf ball you ever played?
Patton: It had to be the 384 Tour. As a kid, I felt pretty excited when my dad bought me brand new golf balls.
Team Titleist: We like to ask, because last week, Patrick Cantlay was telling us he doesn't remember anything other than Pro V1 ...
Patton: He's a lot younger than I am.
Q: Last year you visited Ball Plant 3, where Titleist makes its Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls. What was it like seeing the Pro V1x that you play, being made?
Patton: That was quite a treat. I have such a greater appreciation for what goes into making the Titleist golf ball. It starts from scratch, and we get these beautiful, perfectly round, seamless, white Titleist golf balls. I would say that if you really want to appreciate how good your Titleist golf ball is, you have to go through the plant, because they're so precise with every little detail, you can't even believe it until you see it.
Q: You have a blended set of Titleist 718 irons, with CB, MB and T-MB irons. How did Titleist Tour Reps J.J. VanWezenbeeck and Jim Curran help you find your perfect setup?
Patton: My question to them was, 'Where's the switch start?' They helped me settle into the pitching wedge through 7 iron [MB], 6-iron CB and 5-iron CB, and the 4-iron T-MB. They make sure that everything in my bag is where it needs to be. They're here every week and spend a lot of time with me. They're fun to work with and we're friends. I love having them on my team.
Titleist Tour Rep J.J. VanWezenbeeck on Patton's setup: Patton likes the look of traditional irons and the 718 MB fit the bill for his look and his desire to control flight. As he moves up through his bag, having multiple options in 718 really helps. He moves to 718 CB with his 6 and 5 iron, then moves to 718 TMB at 4 iron, which helps gapping and ball flight at the top of his irons.
Q: You have developed a swing that's so consistent. Are there any adjustments you have to make being taller at 6'5"?
Patton: Yeah, it's hard to have good posture when you have to bend over so far for the ball, so that's kind of an adjustment. Finding the athletic stance with being so tall, you have bend in so many different places. Knees, hips, you have to hunch over a little bit. It's tough, but finding that athletic stance allows me to rotate and settle into that posture.
Titleist Tour Rep J.J. VanWezenbeeck on Patton's driver: Patton throughout his bag likes traditional look but needs vertical help with his angle of attack. A 10.5 917D3 driver helps him with launch but still control his swing. The shaft is based on a platform he had success with early in his career and loves the feel of.
Q: Even though you are all out of college, are there still any rivalries out on Tour between Alabama, Auburn and the SEC teams?
Patton: Yeah, the rivalries definitely stem from the football field. There's a lot going on between all the Alabama guys and the Georgia guys, and LSU. Pretty much the SEC's just a big fraternity, and we pay attention to football as closely as we do golf.
Q: What's one piece of advice or a drill that you could share with Team Titleist members?
Patton: I always give putting advice because I enjoy putting more than I do anything on the golf course. I would say to focus on the putting green before you warm up. Give it some focus, and start really close to the hole. See the ball go in, even if it is two feet away. If you make 10 or 12 two to three footers in a row right before you go to the first tee, it definitely helps your confidence.
Q: Lastly, what does Titleist mean to you in one word?
Once again, congratulations to Patton on capturing his first career PGA TOUR title. We look forward to following along this 2018 season!