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The third major of the year is here and the set up at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. has the makings of a classic U.S. Open. We spent three days with Team TaylorMade this week during range sessions and practice rounds and have a lot to report.
Let’s get right into it…with the obvious.
The best part of our role on Team TaylorMade is getting to watch our athletes range sessions and practice rounds. You are always bound to see something that makes you go…holy BLEEP. Well, this week’s holy bleep came from none other than last week’s RBC Canadian Open champion and 2011 U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy.
Rory’s Milled Grind 3 wedges cleared customs and made it to Boston and helped him make perhaps the shot of the practice rounds on the gnarly sloped eighth green.
As we showed you on our Instagram (@TaylorMadeGolf), Rory threw a few TP5x’s down in the green side rough (and found them somehow) left of the flag to practice some short chip shots down the slope. Turns out, he didn’t need much practice. The content gods were shining down and we were filming while he landed his chip at the top of the slope and the ball cycled down right into the hole.
The video doesn’t even come close to doing it justice as to how severe the slope is on the front side of that green (this does: HYPERLINK)
and for Rory to get the perfect landing spot and roll down the slope twice is just certified Milled Grind Sorcery (caption credit: TaylorMade caption god Steve Breazeale).
As for this week’s bag, with how fast the fairways will roll out, Rory will go with the higher spinning Stealth 3-Wood to be able to ensure he can work certain shots and keep the ball in the fairway. Rory told us he doesn’t expect to use his 3-Wood too often this week and we should expect to see a heavy workload of his Stealth Plus 5-Wood. Again, with the speed of these fairways, laying back a bit with the 5-Wood won’t sacrifice much distance as he has been seeing shots roll out to 290 off the tee (no big deal) with his 5-Wood.
Additionally, this will be the third week Rory has played a low bounce 60° MG3 as he wanted to get a low bounce option in advance of the difficult rough at venues such as The Country Club and The Old Course at St. Andrews.
Rory McIlroy WITB
Stealth Plus Carbonwood; 9.0°
Stealth 3-Wood; 15.0°
Stealth Plus 5-Wood; 19.0°
Rors Proto Irons; 3-PW
Milled Grind 3; 54°, 60°
Spider X Hydro Blast
For the second consecutive tournament, Collin Morikawa will have the all-new Spider GT Rollback in the bag. Collin loves the feel of the Pure Roll² insert featured in all of our Spider GT putters, as well as the way Rollback sits at address.
INSIDE THE SPEC
Model: Spider GT Rollback Silver
Sightline: Short Line
Swing weight: E2.5
Head weight: 335g
Grip: Super Stroke Pistol GTR Tour
No different than any other week, Collin arrived at The Country Club with multiple 60° including a Standard Bunce Milled Grind 3, a Milled Grind 3 TW and a Hi Toe. Since the Zurich Classic Collin had been playing the TW grind MG3 of its versatility on various types of shots and the differing sole shape when compared to Hi Toe or MG3.
However, with the rough as juicy as it is this week, Collin opted for the larger face of Hi Toe.
“With the Hi Toe if the grass is long it gives Collin more room to hit up and down the face so you don’t have to be as precise as you would with a club that has a smaller face. In these conditions, even if he catches it a little high on the face, with the Hi Toe he still gets the result he wants.”
Todd Chew, TaylorMade Senior Tour Manager
Collin Morikawa WITB
Stealth Plus; 9.0°
SIM Rocket; 14.0°
Stealth Plus; 19.0°
P·770; 4, P·7MC; 5-6, P·730; 7-PW
Milled Grind 3; 50° SB, 56° SB, Hi Toe RAW; 60° SB
Spider GT Rollback
At the PGA Championship last month, we told you the story about Dustin Johnson putting a Stealth 9-wood in the bag as a weapon to combat Southern Hills’ long Par 3s creating a unique set up of Driver, 3-Wood, 7-Wood, 9-Wood. Well, that set up got even more unique this week at The Country Club.
“I’ve talked to a lot of guys out here and 3 wood is the hardest clubs to find the right fit…it just is. It doesn’t matter how good of a golf club is made. To me, they always either go too far or you lose a little bit of control. It’s always been a hard club for me to find personally.”
TaylorMade VP of Tour Operations Keith Sbarbaro, who has worked with DJ on his bag setups for his entire professional career, came up with the idea to try a 5-wood head in a 3-wood spec.
“I was talking to Keith about getting a stronger 7 and a little stronger 9 and just go driver-7-9 and he suggested making a 5-wood closer to a 3-wood spec. Distance wise it is the same as my 3-wood because I can control the 5-wood more and am always hitting it in the middle of the face as opposed to all over the face with a 3-wood. I hit a smoke draw with the 3-wood and it was 283 and did the same thing with the 5-wood and it was 282. I just get better flight and more control, which is all you are looking for. You’re only hitting that club in the first place because within the situation you can’t hit driver so choosing control over a few more potential yards of distance makes more sense.” – Dustin Johnson
From a spec perspective, there is a two-degree difference in actual loft between DJs 3-wood and 5-wood and one quarter of an inch difference in shaft length, which gives DJ about 400 more RPMs spin (3400 vs 3000) with the 5-wood compared to the 3-wood. Now, DJs fairway wood set-up looks as such:
Actual Loft: 18.0°
Length: 41 ¾’’
Average Carry: 280 yards
Actual Loft: 20°
Length: 40 ¾’’
Average Carry: 260 yards
Length: 40 ¼’’
Average Carry: 240 yards
And for DJs full bag:
Dustin Johnson WITB
Stealth Plus Carbonwood: 10.5°
Stealth 5-Wood; 18.0°
Stealth 7-Wood; 21.0°
Stealth 9-Wood; 24.0°
DJ Proto; 4-PW
Milled Grind; 52°, 60°
Spider IB Limited
It’s not quite a Tik Tok trend but the hottest dance move on tee boxes at The Country Club was by far the Scottie Shuffle.
During Tuesday’s practice session we was able to follow Scottie, his caddy Teddy and coach Randy around the front nine of Brookline. It was really cool to see how much Scottie values Randy and Teddy’s expertise, advice and friendship and it’s just such a genuine relationship he has with both of them.
The four of us took the (long) cart ride over to the TaylorMade Tour Truck to get Scottie’s training club re-gripped and loft and lies checked. Everything was all good and we hopped in the cart and went back out to the course.
For what we observed with Scottie on the golf course, check out our video here.
Scottie Scheffler WITB
Stealth Plus Carbonwood; 8.0°
Stealth HL 3-Wood; 16.5
At Colonial in late May, Tommy Fleetwood wanted to explore 2-iron options ahead of the U.S. Open and Open Championship and the TaylorMade Tour Team came up with an interesting strategy. We took Tommy’s TF Proto 3-iron and made it stronger to play as a 2-iron despite it being a 3-iron head. At Colonial, Tommy played both the TF Proto 3-iron (as a 2-iron) and his gamer P·7TW 3-iron and just differentiated between the two based off of the badging.
This week in Brookline, Tommy will choose one or the other depending on what shot and strategy he may need the most each day.
“The TF Proto was carrying about two or three yards further than the three iron but it was rolling out 15 yards further than the P·7TW. There are a few tee shots on the golf course where potentially you can hit the 2-iron and get it rolling out to 250-260 if it’s firm and maybe carry it up to 240 if he needs it.”
Adrian Rietveld, TaylorMade Senior Tour Manager
Length: 39’’ cut
Swing Weight: D3
TF Proto 3-Iron (as a 2-Iron)
Length: 38 ½’’ cut
Tommy Fleetwood WITB
Stealth Plus Carbonwood; 9.0°
Stealth Plus 3-Wood; 15.0°
TF Proto; 2, P·7TW; 3-PW
Hi Toe; 52
We’ll see which option Tommy goes with in round one, but expect it to be a fluid situation depending on conditions in each round. Stay tuned right here to Clubhouse for more coverage of Team TaylorMade at the U.S. Open.
Let's take a look at the rest of Team TaylorMade's set ups for the week. A few changes to note, however. Lucas Herbert switched into a 10.5° Stealth Plus set one notch lower for this week to get a little more launch and spin compared to his 9.0°. Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia made the exact opposite change moving from a 10.5° head turned all the way down to a 9.0° head.
Taylor Montgomery, who soon with be #TourBound, added a Stealth Plus 19.5° rescue for The Country Club and the No. 1 ranked men's amateur golfer in the world switched to a Stealth Plus 8.0° driver head.
Stealth Plus 3-Wood; 15.0°
Stay tuned right here to Clubhouse for more coverage of Team TaylorMade at the U.S. Open.