Sam Burns, a professional golfer on the PGA TOUR, is making a surprising change to his iron setup during his time in Scotland. Scottish golf courses are known for their links style, which is a departure from the typical American golf courses that prioritize an aerial game. The Scottish courses tend to have firmer and faster conditions, especially when the wind is strong. In such conditions, it is important to keep the ball low to the ground to avoid being blown off course and to maintain control over both direction and distance.
To adapt to these conditions, PGA TOUR pros often make adjustments to their equipment setups when playing in Scotland. One common change is switching to clubs that allow for a lower ball flight and less spin. This means that golfers who usually rely on high-flying, high-lofted fairway woods may opt for lower-flying and lower-spinning driving irons instead. Driving irons enable players to hit shots similar to Tiger Woods' famous "stinger," which minimizes the effect of wind and allows the ball to roll quickly on the firm and fast fairways of Scottish courses.
Sam Burns is one of the players considering adding a driving iron to his bag for the Genesis Scottish Open. He is testing a new Callaway X Forged UT driving iron, equipped with a True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shaft. If he decides to include the X Forged UT in his bag, it will likely replace the Callaway Apex UW (Utility Wood) that he typically carries during PGA TOUR events. The driving iron is designed to produce a lower ball flight.
In terms of his irons, Burns had been using the Callaway Apex TCB irons (4-PW, AW) with Project X 6.5 shafts. However, for this tournament, he has made a change to the True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts. The X100 shafts offer slightly different design characteristics that suit Burns' preferences, providing him with the desired flight and spin, including more spin and control.
According to Callaway representative Johnny Wunder, Burns wanted more spin and control on off-speed shots, which proved challenging with the stiff Project X shafts that he had been using for a long time. The new iron setup has improved his dispersion and distance control, addressing these concerns.
While Burns is expected to adjust his iron setup to achieve a lower ball flight with the driving iron in Scotland, he is actually making a comprehensive change to his entire set of Apex TCB irons. The aim is to gain better spin and control on his off-speed approach shots near the green. Currently ranked 146th on the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green, Burns hopes that the increased spin control will help him improve his standing in this category.