Jason Day is coming off a T9 finish at the Players Championship, but to tailor his equipment perfectly for TPC Four Seasons, host of this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship, Day is adding a new weapon to his bag -- a 1-iron.
Day explained the unusual decision in his pre-tournament interview on Wednesday:
JASON DAY: I made one club change, which I'm going to put a 1 iron in, take my 2 iron out and put a 1 iron in this week.
Q. A 1 iron?
JASON DAY: Yes.
Q. That's amazing.
JASON DAY: Yes.
Q. How many players do you think have a 1 iron in their bag?
JASON DAY: I wouldn't think there would be too many. They don't physically tailor made doesn't make a 1 iron we got a Rocketbladez 2 iron and bent it to a 1 iron. I was out there today and hit a couple of it was downwind and it was 10 to 20 mile an hour wind out there and there was a couple that went 300 easy with the bounce and roll as well so I want to say today with the wind hit about four, maybe five drives total, everything else was a 1 iron and I didn't pull out the 4 wood at all. The ball flight is very strong.
Day went on to admit that the equipment change was made with an eye on the third major of the year in July.
What the experiment was, was we were going to try a 1 iron and try it out here because we know if we have a 1 iron here and it works well in the wind, when we go over seas to the British this year we can have the full confidence that it's going to go the right distance and can come out low and hit different types of shots when I need to.
I know that it's not British Open course but the wind is very strong here.
It's been three years since TaylorMade brought the Spider line of putters to the Tour. With adjustable weights in the back corners of the head, it resists twisting on impact, and even miss-hits roll nearly as far as those hit in the sweet spot.
Last season the company released a line of white Ghost putters, touting them as easier to aim than black, chrome or metallic putters.
So this year it should come as no surprise that TaylorMade is bringing those two putter families together—combining the forgiveness of the Spider with the ease of alignment of the Ghost.
There are two versions of TaylorMade's new Ghost Spider putter, one with a single-bend shaft and the other with a straight shaft that goes directly into the center of the face.
Like other Spider putters, the Ghost Spider's steel-framed head is designed with more weight in the back to increase the moment of inertia (MOI). You can make the head heavier or lighter by changing the weights as well.
The white head of the Ghost Spider contrasts sharply with green putting surfaces, which should help you square the face more easily at address. To further help alignment, there are two golf ball-size ovals on the crown, as well as an alignment line extending from the face to the back of the putter.
The face itself includes TaylorMade's new Pure Roll surlyn insert, which the company claims will promote forward spin, improved sound and enhanced feel.
Jason Day and Retief Goosen have been using prototypes of the Ghost Spider for several months, and you'll find them in pro shops starting July 15th for $179. Belly-putter versions are also available for $199.
Typically, a pitching wedge has about 47° of loft, and while pros sometimes have unique clubs in their bags, I couldn't think of a reason why a player would want two clubs with almost exactly the same loft—especially now that pros have to play the new USGA-conforming grooves. The clubs should produce almost the same shots.
On Monday I went to TaylorMade's Tour van here at Colonial Country Club to ask the men who build Day's clubs if I'd been sent incorrect information.
Nope, it turns out that Day does carry both clubs in his bag. However, I was told that Day's pitching wedge has been de-lofted to 46°, creating a 2° gap between the two clubs.
My next stop was the media center where Day was talking to reporters. I began our conversation by asking him why he chooses to play a split set of irons, going with TaylorMade Tour Preferred long-irons (3-5) and R9 TP mid- and short-irons.
Watch the video below for Day's thoughtful answer.
Next I asked him about the wedges.
"I hit my pitching wedge 140-145 yards, my 48° 130-135 yards, my sand wedge (54°) 110-115 yards and my lob wedge (60°) 90-95 yards," Day said. "I like to play two shots with every wedge. If I have 130 yards I'll usually hit a 48° wedge shot to the pin because it goes higher, but I could hit a half-shot with my pitching wedge if I want to hit it lower."
Rather than creating uniform distance gaps with his four-wedge setup, Day thinks more of trajectory options, visualizing the ideal shot and then picking the right club and swing-length combination.
"If the pin is at the front of the green and there is a bunker there, then I will want to bring the ball in high with the 48°," he told me. "But if the pin is in the back, then I can hit it lower and let the ball release to the pin with the pitching wedge."
Crafty stuff from a guy who's just 22.
See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMadeclubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.
GOLF.com first told you about the five-piece TaylorMade Penta TP golf ball in August. In this video from TaylorMade, Dean Snell, senior director of ball research, explains how he got the company's staff pros—including Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and Retief Goosen—to try it.