PGA TOUR | Farmers Insurance Open | HOMA WINS IN FIRST WEEK WITH NEW PRO V1
Max Homa put the NEW Titleist Pro V1 golf ball in play for the first time this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, leading the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green on his way to the sixth win of his PGA TOUR career.
- Homa decided to make the switch to 2023 Pro V1 following a visit last weekend to the Titleist Performance Institute, where he worked with his coach Mark Blackburn and J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s Director of Player Promotions, testing the performance of the new model through the bag.
- A week later, Homa was on the 18th green at Torrey Pines, rolling his NEW Pro V1 in for birdie to win by two shots and move to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup Standings.
- Homa gained more than 10 strokes (+10.620) on the field over the three rounds on the South Course (where stats were tracked), gaining 4.595 of them during his closing 6-under 66.
- “With ’23 Pro V1 we saw Max’s ball speed jump a little bit off the driver with lower spin,” Van Wezenbeeck said. “It was flying great. He was even more consistent with his irons and the short game performance was as good as ever. It was a no brainer.”
- Homa is a longtime Pro V1 player, having used a Pro V1 model for all six of his PGA TOUR victories. “It is the best feel, most predictable, best spin rates for my game,” he said. “I’ve used it pretty much my whole life because I think it’s the best golf ball in the world.”
What’s In The Bag: Max Homa
Golf Ball: NEW Titleist Pro V1 golf ball
Driver: NEW TSR3 10.0° | Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black 65 TX
Fairway Metals: NEW TSR3 16.5° | Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 80 X and NEW TSR2 21.0° | Graphite Design Tour AD XC 9 TX
Irons: T100•S 4-iron | KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X, T100 5-iron | KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X and 620 MB 6-9 | KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X
Wedges: Vokey Design SM9 46.10F | KBS TOUR $-Taper 130 X and Vokey Design SM9 50.12F, 56.14F, 60.04L | KBS Hi Rev 2.0 125 S
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 tour prototype
HOMA’S DECISIVE SWING ON NO. 16 – NEW PRO V1 + T100S 4-IRON
- Max Homa was trailing by a shot when he stepped to the tee Saturday afternoon at the 227-yard par-3 16th, the most difficult hole of the final round which was playing almost a half-stroke over par. There had been just one birdie made there the entire day.
- Homa pulled his T100•S 4-iron. took aim, then watched his 2023 Pro V1 fly toward the flagstick, stopping just 15 feet from the cup. It was the closest approach of the day on No. 16.
- He made the putt to get to 12 under, securing what would prove to be the clinching birdie.
- The shot highlighted a ball striking week for the books on Torrey’s South Course, with Homa gaining more than eight shots (+8.387) on the field with his approach shots, better than anyone else in the field.
- Having traditionally carried a full set of blade irons, Homa exchanged his 620 MB 4 and 5 irons last season for a T100•S 4-iron and T100 5-iron.
- The T100•S went in the bag for the first time a year earlier at the 2022 Farmers following a session at TPI.
- He added the T100 5-iron at The Genesis Invitational, two starts later.
- “I was down in San Diego with J.J., who was fitting me at TPI. And he said, ‘Hey, you should try this 4-iron. It’s a T100•S. It’ll be a lot easier to hit. It will launch a lot higher. So it’ll come down a lot softer. It’ll go a little bit farther in the air, but then shorter once it hits the ground.’ So I tried it and it was super easy to hit, especially if the lie’s not perfect. I think with the blades, if it’s sitting on a little downslope or sitting a little bit down, you’re not going to get any lift out of it. And it becomes just a club that you are hoping to hit near or maybe on the green. Now with this 4-iron, because of how much easier it is to hit, the forgiveness of it, it’s become a weapon, especially on par 5s.”
- “And then, like two weeks later, we’re sitting around, my caddie and I, Joe, thinking about how a 5-iron has started feeling similar to how that blade 4-iron felt. So we put a T100 in. It feels very, very easy to hit. I can work it a little bit, but it just comes down a lot softer. So those long par 3s, especially that 5-iron, has become a big deal to us.”
HOMA WINS AGAIN WITH NEW TSR DRIVER & FAIRWAYS
- Max Homa's victory Saturday at Torrey Pines marked his second win since making the switch to his NEW Titleist TSR driver and fairway metals – and win No. 31 for TSR drivers across the worldwide professional tours.
- Homa immediately switched to his NEW TSR3 10.0° driver, along with TSR3 16.5° and TSR2 21.0° fairways, at last summer’s Genesis Scottish Open, his first start after the new models debuted at the Travelers Championship.
- “I actually like the sound quite a bit. Sounds like you’re smashing it, which is nice,” Homa said of his NEW TSR driver before he teed it up in Scotland. “I did notice that the spin didn’t change as much when you mishit it. The heel and toe strikes kept the spin a little closer to your good ones. That’s obviously something I think everybody would be happy to have. It’s a mile an hour faster for me, just ball speed. So, yeah. It just doesn’t feel like any reason not to use it. I hit basically only two types of golf shots with my driver, and they both are still flying very similar. So it feels like a no brainer.”
- Homa currently ranks 23rd in Driving Accuracy (66.2%) after finishing 2021-22 at 92nd (60.62%). He ended the 2021-21 season at 130th (58.44%).
- “I think really what changed, part my golf game – I drive the ball really well now, that’s a big advantage out here,” Homa said Saturday. “You don’t need to be in the short grass all the time, but you do need to be in it if you want to make birdies.”
- Homa also made a driver shaft change to start the year, moving to the Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black, a featured stock shaft in the Titleist TSR driver lineup.
- Tensei 1K Black is a low-launch/low-spin model, built with 1K Carbon Fiber Weave technology to enhance feel and stability.
HOMA MAKES IT FIVE VICTORIES WITH PHANTOM X
- It’s now five wins and counting for Max Homa with a Scotty Cameron Phantom X putter model in the bag.
- The run began at the 2021 Genesis Invitational, where Homa, gaming a Phantom X 11.5, became the first player to win with a Phantom X model putter on the PGA TOUR.
- Four months later, he switched to the Phantom X 5.5, which he used to win the last two Fortinet Championships as well as the Wells Fargo Championship last May.
- This week, Homa gained more than 4.5 strokes on the field putting (+4.595), ranking ninth for the week. He gained 3.46 strokes during the final round alone.
- Said Homa, on his switch to Phantom X: “I was just struggling with face control with my putter. So I tried a few mallets, ended up going with one of the Phantoms and it just felt like it swung a bit better. It didn’t feel like I needed to work so much with my hands to release the putter. And at that time that’s really what I needed and then I got hooked on them.”
- “I think you almost don't have to do as much with your hands, so you can just focus on the big muscles. And I feel like, especially with putting, especially when you’re nervous, that’s a huge part of being consistent and having a lot of repetition. I felt like that was something that I was missing. And when I switched to that, I felt like it just became a lot more predictable just because I could take out a variable.”
- “Speed control became much easier with the Phantom style. I felt like because of the weight of the head or just the way it swung, I just felt like it was a lot easier to control my putts from 15 to 25 feet. That’s where I’ve typically struggled. That’s definitely the most obvious impact I saw.”
- “I think we work a lot on alignment with my putting, with getting the face square to the target line and something about the way they set up, I feel like they’re very square. I feel like that’s helped, but I really do think that the speed control has been the main benefactor (to my wins), holing a couple extra 10 to 20 footers. And that typically is mostly speed based, less start line than the closer putts.”
‘CAM’S DAD’ AND HIS FOUR VOKEY WEDGES
- Max Homa was playing a fresh set of four Vokey Design SM9 wedges this week, built and stamped by Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill.
- Dill stamped each wedge with “Cam’s Dad.” On Saturday, Cam (Homa’s three-month old son) was there to see his dad lift the trophy.
- Homa plays 46.10F, 50.12F, 56.14F and 60.04L models.
- Said Dill: “When we started working together on his set matrix, Max was playing more bounce in his 60 (M Grind). When you ask guys the question, ‘Why do you have this grind and this much bounce’ a lot of times they’ll say, ‘I don’t know. It’s just kind of what I’ve always played.’ So spending some time with him, and digging a little deeper into how to build his set makeup, we realized that he was a little limited in the types of shots he could hit, especially greenside. I gave him an option that was a little bit less bounce, and he began to realize that ‘Oh my gosh, some of the shots that I was afraid to hit, I can hit those again.’ By taking some of that bounce away and giving him the thinner sole of the L grind, he can now fearlessly go to any shot that he’s facing and obviously pull off some miraculous ones.”
- “Max has a high bounce sand wedge (56.14F) and low bounce lob wedge (60.04L), and that combination gives him the ability to hit anything he wants. He was playing an M grind in the 60 before and he just had a little too much width. I think when you’re faced greenside with shots like some of those where you create lift in a hurry, you need to be able to open up the face and feel like you can slide through the ball easily. When you have a lot of sole width, it can be tricky to do that. So by giving him a little bit thinner sole, he can open it up. It sits nice and close, and he can just freely do the things that he needs to do, which is chip it in off the side of the green to win a championship.”
- “I think when you look at the correlation between the types of players who use an M Grind on the PGA Tour, they’re a little steeper. Max is a very shallow player. He’s very good at hitting low and high shots. But I think for him being a shallow guy, he doesn’t have to be too fearful about sticking into the ground. So he and (his coach) Mark Blackburn have done a terrific job of dialing in his short game and keeping him out of that style of shot so he can play a low bounce wedge and not have any discomfort with it.”
DP WORLD TOUR | Hero Dubai Desert Classic | CHAMPION WINS AFTER SWITCH TO VOKEY WEDGES
The winner of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic called his short game display “as good as I can remember” after adding two new Vokey Design SM9 wedges to the bag at the start of the week.
- The No. 1 player in the OWGR made the switch from competitive models to an SM9 56.10S (@ 55) sand wedge and a WedgeWorks SM9 58.06K (@ 59) lob wedge – getting up-and-down for birdie from 27 yards and 103 yards on Nos. 17 and 18, respectively, to win by one shot.
- “I think the way I managed my game [this] week, I think the short game display that I put on this week was as good as I can remember,” he said. “Some things I need to tidy up with the long game but overall, if I can win golf tournaments of this caliber not having my best stuff, it gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
- The now three-time winner of the Dubai Desert Classic was a perfect 4-for-4 in sand saves and he ranked 11th in Scrambling (75%).
- “I didn’t have my best stuff today. I didn’t have my best stuff all week. But I managed my game well and being able to put it in good spots and get up-and-down when I needed to,” he said.
- In Round 1, the champion holed out for eagle on the par-4 8th from 116 yards in the native desert area with his new Vokey 54.10S sand wedge.
- “All I was thinking about was catching it clean,” he said. “My tendency out of those lies is to hit it a little bit heavy. As soon as I struck it, I knew it came out really nicely and it was right down the pin. Again, anything inside of 20 feet, I would have been happy with, so that was certainly a bonus. It was 116 yards, and I used a 54-degree wedge. Went down the grip a little bit just to make sure of the strike and just tried to put a good swing on it.”
KORN FERRY TOUR | The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
Ben Silverman (Pro V1) won in his first start of 2023, making par in a sudden-death playoff on the par-5 18th to claim his second career Korn Ferry Tour win.
- Silverman made five birdies in his first nine holes of the final round to go out in 31.
- The Canadian held on to post 15 under, coming out on top in extra holes over Cody Blick (Pro V1x Left Dash).
- Seventeen out of the 21 players finishing inside the top 20 positions on the final leader board played a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball model.
PGA TOUR AUSTRALASIA | TPS Victoria Hosted by Geoff Ogilvy
Min A Yoon (Pro V1x) posted a final round 8-under 63 to win by one shot at the mixed-gender TPS Victoria event held at Rosebud Country Club.
- Yoon posted rounds of 67-66-64-63 to reach 24 under, with her hole-out eagle from the greenside bunker on the par-5 16th in the final round making the difference.
- Each of the top eight finishers played a Titleist ball, and Titleist was No. 1 in all recorded equipment categories.