Home' Australian Golf Digest : March 2018 Contents 128 australiangolfdigest.com.au | march 2018
average distance (metres)
& driver specs
swing & fitness
▶ 2015/16 280.5 2016/17 290.0
taylormade m2 2017, 8.5 degrees adjusted
to 8 degrees, Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70 XTS
shaft, 451⁄2 inches, D -7 swingweight, Golf
Pride New Decade Multicompound grip.
▶ 2015/16 269.3 2016/17 277.3
callaway great big bertha, 9 degrees,
Graphite Design DI-8 shaft, 44 inches,
D-5 swingweight, IOMIC X grip.
▶ 2015/16 270.9 2016/17 278.9
taylormade m1 460 2017, 9.5 degrees,
Aldila x-Torsion shaft, 451⁄4 inches,
D-3 swingweight, Golf Pride New Decade
▶ 2015/16 263.4 2016/17 271.1
taylormade m1 460 2017, 10.5 degrees
adjusted to 11 degrees, Fujikura Speeder
661X shaft, 451⁄2 inches, D -3 swingweight,
Lamkin Tour Black Cord grip.
▶ 2015/16 276.7 2016/17 284.4
taylormade m2, 9.5 degrees, Mitsubishi
Diamana+ White 70TX shaft, 45 inches,
D-4 swingweight, Golf Pride Tour Velvet
Cord Midsize grip.
▶ 2015/16 275.5 2016/17 283.2
titleist 917d2, 8.5 degrees, Mitsubishi
Diamana BF60 TX shaft, 45 inches,
D-3.5 swingweight, Golf Pride Tour Velvet
60 Round grip.
▶ 2015/16 269.6 2016/17 276.7
titleist 917d2, 10.5 degrees, Fujikura
Atmos 7, 45 inches, D -3 swingweight,
Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58 Round grip.
▶ 2015/16 251.7 2016/17 258.0
taylormade m1 2017, 10.5 degrees
adjusted to 11 degrees, Matrix Ozik 65 shaft,
453⁄4 inches, D-3 swingweight, Golf Pride
Tour Velvet 58 Round grip.
▶ 2015/16 256.1 2016/17 262.3
pxg 0811, 9.25 degrees, Mitsubishi
Diamana Blue Board 73X shaft, tipped
1⁄2 inch, 451⁄4 inches, D -3 swingweight,
Golf Pride Tour Velvet 62 rib grip.
▶ 2015/16 267.9 2016/17 274.4
pxg 0811x, 9 degrees, Fujikura Atmos 6X
Black shaft, tipped 1 inch, 451⁄4 inches, D-4
swingweight, Golf Pride New Decade Multi-
compound Plus 4 60 grip, one extra wrap.
▶ Switched to TaylorMade M2 driver and
company’s TP5x ball at the Players after
starting season with Callaway GBB Epic Sub
Zero driver and Titleist Pro V1x ball. Said M2
driver let him find centre of face more often.
▶ Sometimes improvement comes from
consistency. Matsuyama, who for years
played an older Srixon driver, used a Callaway
Great Big Bertha all year, which he said led
to more solid contact.
▶ Switched from Nike to a TaylorMade driver
and Titleist Pro V1 to start 2017 and won
the Valero Texas Open. Later changed to
a lower-lofted driver (9.5 instead of 10.5) and
switched to Pro V1x ball.
▶ Another player who moved from Nike to
TaylorMade. Stanley won the Quicken Loans
National with a Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolu-
tion X shaft in his driver but changed to the
company’s Speeder 661X model.
▶ Although Koepka used the same
TaylorMade M2 driver nearly all season,
he made a golf-ball change, swapping
Nike’s RZN Tour Platinum for Titleist’s
2017 version of its Pro V1x.
▶ Thomas, the US PGA Tour Player of the
Year, used Titleist’s 917D3 driver in 2016 be-
fore changing to a 917D2 in March 2017. The
switch was made to increase forgiveness and
spin, and to produce more ball speed.
▶ A practice session last autumn had Jones
keeping a Titleist 917D2 with a Fujikura
Atmos 7 shaft as his backup. At Pebble
Beach in 2017 he used it instead of his
915D2 driver, saying it was “much hotter”.
▶ It’s difficult to pinpoint any one equipment
change helping Choi improve his driving
distance. The reason: Choi is one of the
most frequent equipment changers on tour,
switching drivers on a regular basis.
▶ Johnson stopped tinkering with his
driver’s configurations and settled on
extra weighting near the heel to help hit
a draw. The result has been increased
ball speed of 3 to 4 miles per hour.
▶ Horschel visited PXG in December 2016
with the goal of more consistency and dis-
tance. A change to a Fujikura Atmos 6X shaft
brought a higher launch with lower spin that
maximised his performance off the tee.
▶ “Rory has always been blessed with a high
swing speed,” says swing coach Michael
Bannon. “His gym work helps, but it adds
more in terms of swing consistency, stability
and body protection for longevity.”
▶ Matsuyama was surprised he had made
such a substantial leap in distance, noting
that he had not changed anything in his
strength work and training in the gym.
▶ Chappell worked on more hip turn in
his back leg by letting it extend more. The
lengthened swing loaded the centre of
pressure into the trail heel so he could post
up into the lead leg in the downswing.
▶ After Stanley’s win, swing coach Jerome
Andrews said that Kyle doesn’t use very
much leg action and stays on the balls
of his feet. The rotation of his body reacts
to the swinging of his arms and club.
▶ Koepka struggled early in the year with his
path being too neutral. His instructor, Claude
Harmon III, had him exaggerate a move to
the left and work on keeping his body speed
up through impact.
▶ “If my alignment is off, it affects my swing,”
Thomas said. “My swing got longer with the
club across the line at the top. So I worked
on getting shorter and wider. As a result,
my consistency improved off the tee.”
▶ The Australian didn’t make any swing or
fitness changes, but he said the new driver/
shaft combination gave him the confidence
to use his driver more often off the tee, which
led to his distance increase.
▶ Choi, 47, worked on not taking the club back
as far outside well into the nor thern summer
before seeing the results kick in. Because of
his new swing, he’s been working hard to in-
grain it. “I’m building up my body and swing.”
▶ The two-time Major champion said an
increased focus in the gym with Dr Troy
Van Biezen has contributed to more
distance, as has tightening up his swing
by working with Mike Bender.
▶ Horschel benefited from working in the
gym with the Super Speed golf training
system. He also worked on improving the
sequence of his downswing with instructor
▶ from left Kevin Chappell, Kyle Stanley, Matt Jones, K .J. Choi and Zach Johnson.
Equipment Tour Analysis
126-129_AGD0318_Improved Drivers.indd 128
8/2/18 10:14 am
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