Jonathan Wall / Golf
Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Gear, the wrap-up of GOLF’s Gear Editor’s Monday morning gear Jonathan Wall It takes you through the latest trends, rumors and new breakoutss.
Big things to come
Callaway officially launched its Drivers Paradym last week for a run in the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Thanks to a stunning final lap from John Rahm, they took the drivers’ race honors for the year opener. Ram, who enjoyed a professional season away from the jersey with Rogue ST in the bag, wasted little time acclimating himself to the new Paradym driver and Fairway wood.
Ram, along with Xander Schauffele, experienced an amazing four mph ball speed increase during testing which equated to an extra 10 yards from the tee. More distance would always be a welcome sight, but what Is that true Rahm was sold on the Paradym Triple Diamond overall aesthetics and tighter dispersion he had seen during testing.
“It’s a process of getting everything approved,” he said, “but I really like it so far.” “It’s the difference between using it at home and using it in competition, of course, but I love it. I like the look of it, it has a matte black driver, I’m a big fan of carpet colors, I always try to have a matte black car and that’s something I love. Plus being able to see the fibers Carbon thru, as a Formula 1 fan, it’s something I really enjoy, it looks really cool.It looks good.
“What I like so far that I’ve tried with, with numbers at least on the Trackman is consistency. My turnover seems to be more consistent with errors. Obviously the better the error, the better it will obviously work for me. So that’s what I’m looking for To him. I’ve enjoyed it so far.”
The improvements were on full display in Kapalua, as Rahm ranked second in driving distance (307.4 yards) and sixth in SG: Off-the-tee (plus-2.503) with Paradym in the bag. Never one to touch the specs for its 10.5-degree driver, Ram stuck with Aldila’s Tour Green 75TX but chose to switch things up with Paradym Triple Diamond woods (16 and 18 degrees), using Aldila’s Green ATX 85 (16) and Tour build. Graphite columns AD DI 8X (18).
Along with Ram, Schauffele—who also experienced a ball speed increase of four miles per hour during testing—Sam Burns, Adam Svensson, and non-staff JG Spoon added Paradym drivers to the bag in the first week the players were made available.
An early win for the new gear doesn’t always translate into season-long success, but with Rahm leading the way for Paradym, there’s a good chance that first win isn’t a fluke.
The first event of 2023 offered a sneak peek at who’s switching club allegiances. Some changes, such as the transition of Kevin Kisner and Trey Mullianex to Wilson, were to be expected. For Wilson it was a matter of addition by subtraction, as they added Kisner and Moulinex to replace previous major winner Gary Woodland.
Thanks to the victory in the Barbasol tournament, Mullinax made his debut with Wilson on Maui. Kisner plans to make things official this week in Oahu at the Sony Open.
“I am excited to be involved with Wilson Golf,” said Kesner. “Wilson is a brand I have always respected; rooted in heritage but always looking for new ways to evolve. I am quite a specialist with my equipment, and the clubs I will play for after extensive testing are second to none.”
As for Woodland, he signed a multi-year contract with the Cobra that will see him play woods and irons — he’s already playing Aerojet driver and 3-wood — this season.
“I’ve built a great relationship with the Cobra Puma golf team,” said Woodland. “I couldn’t be happier putting their gear in my bag. Their technology and innovation is amazing and I’m especially excited to be running the new 2023 driver that has yet to be released. It’s as long and fast as anything I’ve hit and looks great in the title.”
And then there’s the deal many weren’t expecting: Patrick Cantlay quietly announced that he had parted ways with clothing sponsor Hugo Boss during his pre-tournament press conference. What wasn’t made clear until later was that the clothing deal was just the beginning of a major shake-up for Cantlay’s sponsors.
After a decade with Titleist, Cantlay downgraded the full bag deal to a ball, shoe and glove agreement in an effort to add some freedom in equipment.
“I’m looking for two different partners,” Cantlay said. golf Drop Zone Podcast. “It’s the beginning of the year, so hopefully I’ll find out relatively soon and put that behind me and play some golf.”
Even with the ability to mix and match brands, Cantlay refrained from making wholesale changes right out of the gate. He opened the championship with Titleist’s TSR3 driver but quickly reverted to his reliable TS3 over the closing stages of the week. Cantlay admitted he doesn’t like testing, but is looking forward to seeing what it can do for his game.
“For me,” he said, “I want to play the best equipment out there.” “If I think it’s going to be able to help my golf game, I’d like to be able to play it. It probably involves a little more testing than I’d like. But I’m not going to change my game to fit the equipment. With the current situation I am now, it gives me that freedom. It’s a process.” Interesting to see if I can find any better clubs or equipment.”
If you’re going to be looking for equipment advice, going straight to GOAT (The Greatest of All Time) is always a good idea. Hoping to add a slight fade bias to his irons, Matthew Fitzpatrick was told he might want to balance the grips to achieve the goal. The idea sounded good on paper, but he wanted someone to check out the process.
Enter Jack Nicklaus, who has spent most of his career playing irons with an extra weight located at the end of the handles to achieve a certain feel.
“I actually talked to Mr. Nicklaus about it because someone told me he did,” said Fitzpatrick. “I asked him, yeah, we had a quick chat about it about why he did that and other things.”
Few players, outside of Sergio Garcia, still add extra weight to the end of the handle. But as Fitzpatrick noted, the extra weight helped keep Nicklaus’ hands from becoming overactive on impact. Even now, the Englishman is helping to add fading arrows to his ever-growing iron arsenal.
“[Nicklaus] He only said he did it because he stopped his hands from rotating them,” Fitzpatrick said. “She obviously kept them, in my view I think it would feel more of a delay. So I think that’s obviously what works for him.”
The setup seems to suit the US Open champion, too.
Throw it again
Jordan Spieth wasn’t the only player in the Tournament of Champions with Scotty Cameron batting from his teenage years. Justin Thomas used several different racquets last season but kept them mostly for the hammer variety – even the Tournament of Champions. Working with master John Graham revealed some issues with Thomas’ mechanics, eventually leading him to wonder if the Scotty Cameron Phantom T5 model mallet he was using were the best putters going forward.
For now, the answer is no. Besides his regular player, Thomas told GOLF.com’s Dylan Dethier that he’s also been hanging around old middle school Cameron Newport 2. paddle may be Look at green practice, but it is rarely considered for action.
He said, “I travel with a racket that’s a bunch.” “I’ve brought it to tournaments with no intention of really using it, but it’s good to practice with.”
After changes to his mechanics, Thomas, who used the blade putter to win the 2015 CIMB Classic, started rolling courts with his old Newport 2—and something clicked.
He said, “I like to put it with him.” “So why fight him?”
Thomas was 16th in the field in SG: Putting with the wand, which was midway through the field-limited event.
Equipment sweeps are starting to become the norm for Titleist. For the 29th time since the start of 2019, the equipment manufacturer has topped every major club (and ball) category at Kapalua—a feat only achieved by a Titleist on the PGA Tour.
To put the numbers into perspective, of the 39 players on the field, a total of 28 played Pro V1 or Pro V1x ball, and 17 of the top 20 players used Titleist. (Will Zlatoris, Victor Hovland, and Sungjae Im all put the latest model in play for the first time.)
On the club side, TSR was the most played driver on the field with 12. Minimized, 11 of the top 15 players played as the number one Titleist driver during the championship.
Considering the competition Titleist faces each week on the Tour, sweeping the gear plate is still impressive.
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