Here are the top 10 equipment stories of the golf season, as ranked by GolfWRX.com:
1. Lucas Glover’s new putter helps revive his career:
- Lucas Glover, a former U.S. Open winner, struggled with putting due to the yips.
- He switched to a long putter, specifically the L.A.B. Golf Mezz.1 Max, and found immediate success.
- This change led to high finishes and back-to-back wins at the Wyndham Championship and FedEx St. Jude Championship.
2. Michael Block’s decade-old 7-iron gets a $50k offer:
- Michael Block made a hole-in-one using a TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC 7-iron from 2014.
- His feat earned him a $50,000 offer for the club, along with interest from museums and galleries.
- Block continued to use the club at the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge due to his preference for it over modern technology.
3. The Jailbird’s the word:
- The Odyssey Versa Jailbird putter, with lead tape and an elongated SuperStroke grip, became incredibly popular among PGA TOUR players in 2023.
- Rickie Fowler, Wyndham Clark, and Keegan Bradley were among those who found success with this putter.
- It became a hot trend on the PGA TOUR, with players continually testing its merits.
4. Blade irons continue to disappear:
- Many professional golfers switched from blade irons to cavity-back technology during the season.
- Notable players making the switch included Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, Chris Kirk, and Adam Scott.
- Mixed sets, combining blade and cavity-back irons, also gained popularity among top players.
5. Scottie Scheffler’s 13 clubs:
- Scottie Scheffler had a remarkable season, leading several PGA TOUR statistical categories.
- He used a unique set of clubs, including a TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver, Srixon Z-U85 driving irons, Tiger Woods-co-designed TaylorMade P-7TW blade irons, and Titleist Vokey wedges.
- Scheffler's precise ball striking contributed to his impressive year.
6. Steve Stricker’s longstanding putter:
- Ryder Cup Vice Captain Steve Stricker continued to use his Odyssey White Hot Pro No. 2 putter, which he started using in the early 2000s.
- Stricker described his attachment to the putter and its role in his career.
7. Tiger Woods' distance inspires Rory McIlroy’s driver switch at Riviera:
- Tiger Woods outdrove Rory McIlroy during a round, prompting McIlroy to switch to a 9-degree TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver.
- McIlroy sought optimal spin and distance, leading to his driver change.
- McIlroy later led the PGA TOUR in driving distance.
8. Adam Schenk emerges as the coolest gear guy on TOUR:
- Adam Schenk qualified for his first TOUR Championship and became a favorite among gear enthusiasts.
- Schenk regularly adjusted his equipment, even switching clubs based on wind conditions.
- His gear-loving approach drew attention from fans of golf equipment.
9. Rory McIlroy’s equipment show in Scotland:
- Rory McIlroy tested persimmon drivers and showcased the technology's impact on ball speed.
- Despite having tremendous speed, he acknowledged the difference modern technology makes.
- McIlroy also switched to a new TaylorMade 760 2-iron, leading to remarkable shots and a victory.
10. Taylor Montgomery’s wildly successful putter project: - Taylor Montgomery ranked second in Strokes Gained: Putting on the PGA TOUR. - He continued to use a TaylorMade Ghost Spider S putter he began using in college over a decade ago. - What made the putter special was that Montgomery repainted it himself, showing that fancy equipment isn't always necessary for success.
These stories highlight the significance of equipment in golf and how players' choices can impact their performance and careers.