English Golf Courses

2016 Open: The key gear change-ups

The Irish Open - Day One

Open Championship gear

We’ve finally reached Open eve and the players have their bags set for tomorrow’s opening round – but what changes have they been making? Well, there have been a few.

Traditionally, Open week brings with it a raft of equipment changes within the field as everyone adjusts to the links challenge they’re about to face.

One of the key changes tends to be at the top end of the bag. Out go the high-flying hybrids and in come the longer irons with a flight that is easier to control.

Marc Warren is one man who has put a new 2-iron in the bag. Well, it’s actually a Callaway XR Pro 3-iron that he says plays like a 2-iron, and he’s had it in and out of the bag for the last month as he ramped up his preparations for the Open.

“I can hit it pretty high when I need to, but with the wind you need to be able to hit it low at times and it’s easier to do with a 2-iron than it would be with a hybrid or a 5-wood which I would normally have in the bag,” Warren told bunkered.co.uk. “It’s a tournament you have to get the bag set up the best you can for the windy conditions and a course that is likely to be running fast.

“It’s one of the weeks that is different from a normal week conditions wise. You’ll see a lot of guys putting in things like 2-irons, so a lot of change.”

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While we’ve already told you about the long iron changes the likes of Rory McIlroy and Jason Day have made, we spotted American star Tony Finau also considering a similar switch by trying out a few different Nike Vapor Fly Pro 3-iron options, above, during this week’s practice round.

On top of that, make sure keep an eye out for new TaylorMade M2 Tour 3-irons in the bags of many of the brand’s tour pros.

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Day1

Another area players tend to adjust ahead of the Open is the bounce on their wedges, just ask Jason Day. The guys on the TaylorMade tour truck built him a new 60˚ wedge for this week as shown above.

According to Aaron Dill, Titleist’s wedge expert, he hasn’t seen as many changes as usual due to the wet weather and softer conditions that are expected this week.

He told bunkered.co.uk: “When we come here from the States, we anticipate it to be really fast and it’s just not at all this week. We’ve seen some adjustments in bounce on wedges, players lowering it here and increasing it there, but not at all as much as usual for the Open Championship.”

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Lee Westwood

We’ve also seen a number of players wearing new prototype versions of FootJoy shoes. Lee Westwood posted a picture of the new prototype Pro SL shoes, above, while Ian Poulter shared these prototype FootJoy ICONS he received despite not teeing it up at Royal Troon this week.

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And finally…

Did you see Charl Schwartzel’s dramatic switch to PXG announced at the start of this week? The PXG logo will appear on his hat and his bag, while he will also use ‘a number’ of the brand’s clubs.

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Originally published on bunkered on July 13, 2016.

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