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Tour Report: 2017 SBS Tournament of Champions

Golf is officially underway in 2017 as the PGA TOUR kicks off the new year in Hawaii at the Kapalua Resort. Last season, a TaylorMade driver was in the bag of a PGA TOUR champion an astounding 13 times. Jason Day and Dustin Johnson captured 5 of those titles, so we had 7 additional #TeamTaylorMade athletes secure a win in 2016—a significant feat considering a 2016 PGA TOUR victory is the only way to earn a berth in the annual Tournament of Champions.

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2016 TaylorMade champions and their qualifying events:

Fabian Gomez – Sony Open

Dustin Johnson – U.S. Open, 2016 BMW Championship, WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Jason Day – Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC Match Play, PLAYERS Championship

Vaughn Taylor – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Jim Herman – Shell Houston Open

Pat Perez – OHL Classic at Mayakoba

Si Woo Kim – Wyndham Championship

Billy Hurley III – Quicken Loans National

Rod Pampling – Shriners Hospital for Children Open

Equipment Insights:

Jason Day

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World No. 1 dropped by the Kingdom (TaylorMade’s premier fitting facility) in November for a testing/fitting of 2017 equipment:

·      2017 M1 10.5° 460cc Driver

o Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage TiNi 70X tipped 1”

o Settings: 10.5° set to "lower" setting. Adjusting loft down with the Loft Sleeve also slightly opens the clubface, which helps Jason avoid a left miss.

o Jason also has the highest launch on TOUR, so lofting down helps him control distances

·      2017 M1 15° fairway

o Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage TiNi 80X tipped 1.5”

o 15° adjusted to 14°

o Again, moving loft down opens the clubface to avoid a left miss and control height

·      TOUR PROTO irons 4-P

o True Temper Dynamic Gold X7

o R&D worked closely with Jason to develop these irons, so he’s been waiting for 2 months to be able to put them in play on TOUR

o Very minimal offset helps deliver the club to the ball earlier in his release, which helps avoid his dreaded left miss

o Less offset also promotes a lower flight as the earlier delivery of the clubface shaves off fractions of loft

·      60° Milled Grind (MG) Wedge

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o New lob wedge in the bag of the SB.09 variety

o The new MG wedge comes in LB, SB, and HB (Low Bounce, Standard Bounce, and High Bounce)

o Jason opted for the SB primarily because he’s shaped his short game over the years to standard wedge bounces (LB would benefit “flippers” or those who take shallow to no divot, while HB would benefit “diggers,” golfers who take a lot of turf)

·      TP5x Golf Ball

o Colin Swatton, Jason’s lifetime coach/caddie, was the biggest proponent of playing the all-new TP5x ball.

o Ball held up better than any ball they’ve ever seen against Kapalua’s notoriously high winds

o  Jason said, “The new irons and new ball might be the purest combo I’ve ever felt.”

Si Woo Kim

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·      2017 M1 9.5° 440cc Driver

o Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ 70X

o With the added forgiveness of the 2017 M1 driver, Si Woo felt comfortable moving down in head size from 460cc to 440cc, saying that it psychologically "feels faster."

o Kim also has the T-Track weight a few ticks short of the furthest back setting possible to promote a little more spin for more control

·       TP5x Golf Ball

o Significant gains with his metalwoods and long irons with the reduced spin

o Like Jason, Si Woo noticed much better control in Kapalua’s windy conditions


Fabian Gomez

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·      2017 M1 9.5° 460cc

o Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ 70X

o Fabian creatively used 2017 M1’s moveable weights to control his preferred fade by moving the front track weight two clicks toward draw

o He also loved the new topline finding the cosmetics look more square at address


Keep an eye out this weekend as TaylorMade Tour players look to claim an early victory in 2017 using some new sticks, and expect to see more equipment adjustments in the coming events as word spreads of the new clubs and the revolutionary new TP5x ball. 13 PGA TOUR wins in 2016 will be a tough achievement to top, but with JDay, DJ, and many talented #TeamTaylorMade players geared up for a new season, expect to see M drivers frequently atop the leaderboard as the season rolls on.