TOUR REPORT: Xander’s red putter and Rory’s funny Tiger-related reason to switch drivers

Mar, 2023

The 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational is at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. This historic course is one of the most challenging on the PGA Tour.

This week’s tournament is a competition, but it’s also about the players. It’s also about honoring the legacy of Arnold Palmer. GolfWRX was treated with the chance to see an exhibit containing Palmer’s artifacts, photos, memorabilia and old golf clubs. You can read more about that below.

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Bay Hill also interviewed Xander Schauffele on his clever putter switch, Patrick Cantlay on his major shaft experiments, Sam Burns on his driver switch and Rory McIlroy regarding his recent driver change that involved Tiger Woods.

It was an intense week, with many big names switching equipment. Let’s not waste any time with the introduction. This week’s Tour Report is from the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

1 Xander Schauffele goes into the dark with a red putter

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Schauffele is back using a red Odyssey putter at Bay Hill, but it’s not the same one he used between 2020-2022. The hybrid design combines his previous Odyssey O-Works #7CH red putter and his latest Odyssey Toulon Design XS Proto sterling putter.

The new Odyssey Toulon Design Las Vegas prototype features a #7CH form, a red-painted crown and 3 white alignment lines. It also has a dual-colored, diamond-milled, custom sole plate and custom red screws.

Visit to see our full report.

2) Sam Burns finally switches to Paradym driving

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Burns, who was ranked 128th in Driving Accuracy so far on the PGA Tour in 2022-23 was searching for more forgiveness from his driver and made the switch at Bay Hill. Burns said he also switched to Paradym because it has tighter downrange dispersion. This is the consensus among tour players.

Burns stated Wednesday at Bay Hill that one of the reasons he switched was because the downrange dispersion was tighter. “That’s what we really want out here. It’s not like we are trying to reach greater distances, I think. This one seems a little more consistent than the misses. It’s not about the good ones, it’s about getting closer to the bad ones. This is how we arrived at this. The S is a smaller head. It is more compact which I love. It has a more pronounced face, and creates a really beautiful .”

Burns uses a Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond S 9+ degree head. It is a 420cc structure and has a 12-gram weight in its front port and a 14-gram in its back port. For a little more stability, he also tipped the Fujikura Ventus 7TX shaft by a half inch.

You can see all our photos here or visit to view our complete report.

3) Rory explains why he made a surprising change at the Genesis mid-event.

McIlroy used the TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver this season. McIlroy decided to change his Stealth 2 Plus driver after the first round.

Why did he make the switch-up in the middle of an event? I asked him this question during his Bay Hill press conference on Wednesday, and he replied with gold:

“I was tired of Tiger outdriving (he laughed). It had partly to do with this. I noticed that my spin numbers for my driver were a bit low when I played the (WM Phoenix Open). Then I drove to Los Angeles and put my driver up in a click-in loft. However, I am very particular about drivers’ face angles. When I was up a click-in loft, I could see more of my face and it looked a little farther left to me. Riv was my first day. I drove one out of the middle of Riv’s face. I had to try another thing.

“I feel that the Stealth 2 head has a bit more twist to it. But at a neutral or what I perceive as a neutral face angle. It is slightly open to the eye, but it looks square to me. It was all about the face angle. Riv was my Thursday night success. That was my first attempt at consistent spin numbers. I started middling it and then got to a point where I liked the range. I then just kept going with it. It felt good to drive it for the last three days at Riv. And it’s been quite good in practice the past week .”

Please click here to read the complete story.

4) GolfWRX enters a new Arnold Palmer exhibit

We had the pleasure last month of visiting Pebble Beach to see Arnold Palmer’s 1960-61 Wilson irons which he used for 3 majors. They are and currently selling at $250K.

We had a full immersion experience at Bay Hill this week, including a look at some of Arnold Palmer’s old golf clubs. This exhibit is located right off Bay Hill’s 18th green. It was created by Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation in order to launch their new Sincerely Arnold Palmer – The Latrobe Legacy Campaign.

Here are some photos from the experience. However, there is also a 190-photo tour available in our GolfWRX forums.

5) Custom Arnold Palmer merch

The modern companies on the PGA Tour celebrated Arnie and Bay Hill by turning it up, as usual. Below are a few photos, but you can also browse all our photos from Bay Hill for more Arnie-inspired merchandise.

6) Patrick Cantlay goes in depth on his recent shaft testing

Cantlay was reportedly fiddling with his shaft weights lately, but he is now an equipment-free agent. I asked Cantlay during his Wednesday press conference how equipment testing was going and whether he had made any changes.

Cantlay answered (gearheads will particularly enjoy this)

“Yeah. I have done some testing. In general, though, I am not a great tester. If something is better or more likely to work, I am now in a position to go out and do it right away. That’s exciting. This year, I have done only a few shaft changes. I tried some things in the off-season, and again at the start of the year. I was thinking that maybe heavier weights would make it easier to hit the ball straighter. Recently, I’ve been hitting the golf ball a bit faster than usual. It’s important to aim for longer shots these days. It’s the easiest and fastest way to improve.

“So, I noticed that the shaft or club started to feel weaker. I decided to find the right nudge to make it stiffer. I tried to make everything heavier, from DG 120s up to X 100s. Then, it was only 10 grams more in the same wood shafts. It was difficult for me to feel the same sensations with heavy changes. What I did was to go back to the old weights with the same shaft and tip the wooden shafts before hardstepping the iron shafts. It’s helped me to straighten out my ball flight and not have to worry about too much draw. It was easy, and much more comfortable than going heavier in terms of the feelings em>

Cantlay won all the GolfWRX “Gearhead Points” this week.

7) A new Callaway wedge is on the horizon?

We don’t have the answer to that question yet. We have photos of a prototype Callaway wedge covered in lead tape.

What do you think of the design?

We say farewell to the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill. Next week, the Florida Swing will take us to TPC Sawgrass’ THE PLAYERS Championship. For the 17th hole, don’t forget to bring an extra set of balls.

View all our Bay Hill photos here

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