Welcome to Quail Hollow Club – the lengthy, hilly, treacherous, and beautifully crafted golf course, which is located about 15 minutes from downtown Charlotte. It’s also the home of this week’s 2023 Wells Fargo Championship.
In case you don’t recall, the Quail Hollow course recently hosted the 2022 Presidents Cup this past September. (It’s also the usual host of the yearly Wells Fargo event, but they played last year’s event at TPC Potomac, because Quail Hollow was prepping for the Presidents Cup.)
Being that the 2023 Wells Fargo Championship is the last Designated event before the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, this week was the last competitive chance for some players – those who aren’t playing in the AT&T Byron Nelson next week – to dial in their equipment.
It’s the last “test drive,” per se, except this particular test drive comes with a $20 million purse. It’s a highly competitive event filled with top players, at a very difficult golf course, so although some are still working to dial in their setup, and reset after The Masters, others are sticking with what they got during this competitive stretch, and focusing all their energy on the task at hand.
It all makes this week kind of a tweener in the equipment world, but since the playing conditions are somewhat similar to Oak Hill (home of the upcoming PGA Championship), playing Quail Hollow against strong competition is actually great PGA Championship preparation for the players in terms of testing equipment setups.
I’m rambling, yes, but I’m attempting to provide a look into the PGA Tour players’ mindsets this week.
For the purposes of this week’s Tour Report here at GolfWRX, we had some action in the gear world. Not a TON, I don’t want to oversell it, but we had some lowkey great action.
Rory McIlroy, for one, switched his putter and wedge again. I’m not gonna lie, he didn’t switch into EXACTLY the wedge I circled in yellow at the top of the story, that was a slight bit of clickbait, but he did switch into one of the TaylorMade MG3 wedges in that photo. His wedges this week are actually a really interesting story, and I’ll summarize it below.
Aside from McIlroy, we had
- A new fairway wood launch from Ping. Yes, for real, and we have photos below
- More Adam Scott changes
- A Jason Day WITB update
- We took a look at arguably the oldest putter grip actively on the PGA Tour
- A new lowkey huge Srixon signing, and
- We look at a guy’s clubs who apparently never misses the center of the face
Longest intro ever, over.
Enjoy this week’s equipment Tour Report from the 2023 Wells Fargo Championship, where I rundown all of the biggest equipment stories from Quail Hollow.
See all of our photos from the 2023 Wells Fargo Championship
1) Tony Finau’s Winning WITB
Finau won last week’s Mexico Open at Vidanta, and he’s not one to make any changes anyway, but still, it’s always interesting to see his clubs up close.
And they’re starting to show interesting wear marks.
His putter, for example, has all of its paint worn off on the sole, aside from a small area on the toe – thus showcasing that he mostly keeps that toe portion in the air at address, and during the stroke.
Check it out…
All of the Finau WITB photos are over in our GolfWRX Forums.
2) A weekly Adam Scott gear switch update
Scott has changed driver shafts, iron shafts, utility irons, and golf balls recently. The action is slowing, but it’s looking like he’s highly considering switching into a Titleist Vokey SM8 48-degree wedge in place of his Miura AS-1 pitching wedge from the full set. He’s still playing those Miura irons 4-9, don’t worry, but it would be a relatively impactful change nonetheless. Softer conditions can certainly call for more bounce, and the higher loft would add a bit of control.
3) Rory McIlroy’s latest changes
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Alright, it’s Rory time.
We all know he switched into a custom Scotty Cameron blade putter for the Match Play and The Masters, and he’s been playing a Vokey lob wedge for 2023.
This week, he had four TaylorMade MG3 wedges in the bag (obviously he’s only picking one for this week), all with different bounce options.
As it turns out, McIlroy has been working with the TaylorMade team for months to get the lob wedge designs dialed in. He took inspiration from his previous Mike Taylor-designed Nike wedge, and from the Vokey wedges he’s been using, to craft a TaylorMade MG3 lob wedge that perfectly suits his eye.
He says he’s going with the LB-08 this week.
He says he likes the versatility of the wedge grind in different playing conditions.
McIlroy also switched out of the Scotty Cameron putter, and back into his TaylorMade Spider Hydro Blast putter. This time, though, it had a new SuperStroke Zynergy “Rors” grip on it, replacing his older Ryder Cup-custom SuperStroke grip.
We’ll all just have to sit back and watch the show to see how he plays this week with the gear updates.
McIlroy’s mini WITB from Quail Hollow
4) Tommy Fleetwood speaks on the benefits of a mini driver
I told the full story over on pgatour.com, but I’ll put his highly interesting quotes below:
“For me, if I HAD to hit a fairway, I’m more comfortable hitting a driver than a 3 wood. I would tee the driver down, and I would hit a little cut, or a neck-y cut in the fairway. The 3-wood isn’t for that. The 3-wood, generally, is a pretty hot club that I’ll hit from 270 or 280 in the fairway on a par 5.
“You get some courses where a 3-wood is not always that necessary. [With the BRNR] you put a normal swing on it, and it goes a little shorter than a driver, and I’m more comfortable hitting it straight. It’s a replacement for a 3 wood, basically. You could almost think of it in terms of wedges at the low end of the bag. Some people have 4 wedges, some people only have 3, and they have to manufacture a 52 to go 100 yards, or 105 yards. There are different shots. That’s effectively what you do with your main driver, you’d be manufacturing it to hit that shot in the fairway, which is great, but maybe you want something you can just hit.
“You can still hit it off the ground, and it goes a very similar distance to a 3 wood. It spins enough. It’s not a deep enough face where it’s so far off the bottom that the ball doesn’t rise. So you get a pretty decent strike, enough to get in the air. It’s a big-head 2 wood really.
“For me, I remember the TaylorMade Burner in 1998. It was my first ever proper driver. Lee Janzen did a clinic, when he was the U.S. Open champ, and it was the Open at Birkdale. I was 7. Some juniors could go up and hit a shot and they gave you like a Burner driver, and I went up and hit a shot, and I got a Burner. It was my first ever proper driver.”
5) Does Davis Riley have the oldest grip on the PGA Tour?
Now that Jordan Spieth changed into a new putter grip, and Harris English had to change his out, Davis Riley might just have the most used grip on Tour.
And below is the putter head itself, a Scotty Cameron T7.2 dual-winged mallet.
Sometimes, a familiar feel wins out over new technology. It will have to change eventually, but not yet.
6) Underground Signing Alert?
Although the company hasn’t yet officially spoke on it, apparently Lucas Glover inked a deal with Cleveland-Srixon?
All I know right now is that Lucas Glover is using a new Srixon staff bag, and he also has been using a Srixon driver, irons, and Cleveland wedges.
He’s also using a Srixon Z-Star XV.
7) Ping launches new G430 LST fairway woods (finally)
It’s been a long wait, but Ping has finally launched its new G430 LST (Low Spin Technology) fairway woods to PGA Tour players.
Lots of players are already dialed into their Ping G430 Max models, but I was told multiple players did test the G430 LST out this week. We’re currently waiting on official word on Friday to confirm who switched. I’ll have a separate story on that later, including Tour player feedback, but for now, check out all of the G430 LST photos in our forums (including comparison photos with the G430 Max).
8) Is one of the oldest putters on Tour in danger?
So, in 2023 so far, Taylor Montgomery leads the PGA Tour in putting average, overall putting average, 1-putt percentage, putts per round, and he’s 3rd in Strokes gained: Putting.
He’s been using a TaylorMade Ghost Spider S – which came out in 2013 – but he tried out a new Scotty Cameron Tourtype mallet this week. In all likelihood, he’s probably not going to switch this week, but you never know. It’s something to keep an eye on this week.
This would be a shocking switch, since he’s obviously not one to switch up his putter often. See more photos here.
9) Ryan Cole: Confirmed ball striker
We got a look at Ryan Cole’s WITB this week (he plays on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica), and he has an absolute gamer setup. He plays with mostly older clubs, including a stock Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 from 2013, and a Titleist H2 818 hybrid.
Most notably, though, check out the wear mark on the face of his hybrid and putter! Pretty cool to see someone’s clubs who never misses the center of the face. I unfortunately can’t relate.
10) Jason Day’s putter is back
Seems to be a brand new version, too, seeing that the paint job is fresh. We’re working to track down more info, and we’ll update this story upon further word.
For now, check out all of the photos from Jason Day’s WITB this week.
11) Cameron Champ is testing new Ping “Becks” long neck putters
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Cameron and his wife are expecting their first child soon, to be named Beckham, so the “Becks” nickname seems to be appropriate.
And, with that family-friendly tidbit, the Tour Report says goodbye to Quail Hollow in Charlotte. Next up is the 2023 AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas. The good BBQ continues on!
See all of our photos from the 2023 Wells Fargo Championship