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.
The future of Nelly Korda’s equipment is settled over the next few years. Over the weekend, Korda announced that it is parting ways with Swedish apparel company J.Lindberg to sign a lucrative deal with apparel giant Nike.
On Monday, she made an even more interesting move, striking a multi-year deal with TaylorMade Golf — GOLF.com first reported the imminent signing on Saturday — to play all 14 clubs, including the TP5 golf ball.
Korda rose to prominence in women’s golf during her tenure with Titleist, but according to the 24-year-old, she saw the opportunity to take her game to new heights with TaylorMade equipment.
“I signed with TaylorMade because of their proven ability to raise the game of the best golfers in the world,” she said. “While testing with the TaylorMade Tour Team, it was clear that I was not only working with high-performance gear, but also a team that shared my passion for working as hard as possible so I could be in the best position to win. I am thrilled to be a part of Team TaylorMade.”
This week’s Tournament of Champions event in Orlando will be Korda’s first official start with the new TaylorMade equipment, but she’s spent the better part of a month testing and acclimating to the new setup at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida.
According to TaylorMade, Korda plans to replace its lightweight TSR1 driver with the drawing-biased Stealth 2 HD (9 degrees), and the trail woods TS-Series (TSi2 and TSR2) with the Stealth 2 (15 and 21 degrees). A combination set of P770 (5-6) / P7MC (7-PW) irons and a 3-wedge (50, 54-degree) milled grind complete the setup. (Not to mention a lob wedge, it’s very likely that Korda will keep the Vokey WedgeWorks prototype for now.)
Then there’s the switch from Titleist’s Pro V1 to the TaylorMade TP5. Nothing is more important to elite pros than being in sync with a new ball. For Korda, it’s very likely the gear change that defines her shift to TaylorMade.
one of us
Major equipment manufacturers have unveiled new clubs at a furious clip over the past few weeks, including Callaway and Ping. While weekend golfers have to wait until the official retail drop to get their hands on the Paradym and G430, the pros have the luxury of testing Literally everything Before we even know what will hit the market.
The thought of testing every available driver might seem daunting to some golfers – but former Masters champion Adam Scott is not one of them. The Australian posted a snap on Instagram from an early week practice session in Hawaii with the caption, “Testing now”.
Resting comfortably in Scott’s bag were three drivers: TaylorMade’s Stealth Plus, Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond and Ping G430 LST. Scott, who was already using Stealth Plus, wanted to know how some of the new low-spin offerings stacked up against his player.
In the end, Scott chose to stick with the Stealth Plus. Auditioning can be a lot of fun, but as Scott’s last session revealed, it’s always going to be tough to beat the right player.
Callaway’s Paradym Triple Diamond driver has been on the run for two weeks and already has two wins (Jon Ramm and Si Woo Kim). It’s safe to say that Callaway’s latest low-spin innovation is starting to heat up.
Along with Kim, Callaway Tour representative Joe Toulon confirmed that more than 70 percent of the staff has switched to the Paradym during the first full Tour event in 2023. Many non-contract players — a good measure of how well a driver will perform head-to-head testing — also chose to give the Paradym a try. Chance in competition, including Jimmy Walker and MJ Daffue.
“It’s a pretty good percentage for this early stage of the product,” Toulon told GOLF.com via text message.
Back to form?
Chris Kirk has won three of his four PGA Tour titles playing Callaway equipment and TravisMathew clothing. At the Sony Open, the 37-year-old confirmed he would return to Callaway and TravisMathew for 2023.
“This is my first week back,” Kirk confirmed. “I spent a few years with Callaway Golf, and wore TravisMathew apparel for probably my first nine years on tour. This is my first week with these two companies, as a Callaway Golf player, wearing TravisMathew apparel. Yeah, I was definitely excited about it and excited to get going. “.
Kirk wasted little time acclimating to the new equipment as he scored a third-place finish at the Sony Open, his best showing since the runner-up result at the 2016 Sanderson Farms Championship.
Sony runner-up Hayden Buckley scored the best finish of his career on the PGA Tour with his Titleist Pro V1 in the bag. Buckley admitted that he usually prefers to keep reform to a minimum. However, after testing the Pro V1 at home, the results swayed him to change the ball for the first time in four years.
“I really don’t like change at all,” he said. “I think most of my clubs stay the same. Ball has stayed the same for four years. But seeing things get better, I saw it in the driver, I see it in the ball. Seeing things get better and knowing that people are really coming home experiencing these things and putting a lot of time and effort into it, It’s really comforting to know I’m playing my best ever.”
It performed well across the board during testing, especially with the driver, which is a club to rely on.
“With the ’23 ball, I saw the ball fly a little bit higher, which was cool. I saw the spin go down a little bit. I’m a quick spin guy. So, for me, it’s really tough when it’s very windy. And I looked, judiciously left and right, I saw the ball A little narrower. Many shots were catching the edge of the green rather than missing. And really around the greens, it was perfect. Everything I wanted. But for me, the driver is something very important, and it’s one of my strengths. And I saw a bit more speed with the new ball, And I don’t think anyone complains about an increase in rev. And a little bit of understeer. I was turning the driver a little bit, and I saw that rev coming down a little bit. And that’s something we’re all looking for.”
A total of 29 players on the field used either the Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x models in Hawaii.
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