This U.S. Open course change is forcing professionals to change a key membership within the bag

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Modifications in bunker firmness are forcing professionals to make wedge changes.

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Nobody within the gear world is busier than Aaron Dill main as much as a serious championship. Vokey’s Tour rep is tasked with dealing with any and all wedge requests, which requires him to begin engaged on backups and contemporary units roughly two weeks earlier than the U.S. Open.

After all, being ready for a serious doesn’t imply Dill is home-free as soon as the week commences. For professionals getting their first glimpse at Los Angeles Nation Membership, it’s not unusual for them to make last-minute wedge changes within the days main as much as the opening spherical, particularly if their present setup isn’t geared for the circumstances.

There’s additionally the unexpected Dill can’t predict — just like the USGA making on-the-fly adjustments to the sand within the bunkers in latest days.

“The bunkers initially began out actually agency, however then they fluffed them up slightly bit to make them gentle once more,” Dill advised GOLF.com. “Now they’re including some moisture to compact them. So there’s been some indecision on bounce and sole choice with the latest adjustments to the bunkers.”

Fluffier bunker sand is usually going to require extra bounce to maintain the membership transferring effectively by the sand, however with the USGA including moisture to agency up the bunker base in latest days, Dill mentioned he expects gamers to go the wrong way and take away bounce.


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“The bulk are going right into a decrease bounce choice for pitching and chipping across the greens,” he mentioned. “However they’re looking for one thing that works comparatively nicely in a bunker on the identical time. For weeks like this the place the circumstances are simply dramatically totally different than what guys are used to seeing from week to week on Tour, we’d must take it to a extra excessive place such as you would at, say, an Open Championship.”

In response to Dill, former Open Championship winner Cam Smith plans to change to a Vokey Okay-Grind with a paltry 6 levels of bounce for the firmer circumstances. Different professionals are giving Vokey’s T-Grind a tough look, whereas Patrick Cantlay plans to return to a milled 61-degree Vokey SM8 that provides loads of versatility from the bunker and across the inexperienced.

“[Partick’s] eradicating slightly bit bounce and including some pace to the wedge,” Dill famous. “That’ll assist out of the tough. The tough right here is fairly inconsistent. There’s some spots the place it’s lengthy, however it’s actually not your moist, juicy tough. It’s extra whispy. I believe that’s the place guys are attempting to create some pace, which is the place the decrease bounce stuff helps so much.

“It’s not solely looking for that stability, however after we checked out [Patrick’s] stats over time, [the SM8] wedge carried out nicely for him prior to now. That 61-degree truly has a neat story. It’s fairly customized and strikes this stability the place it’s forgiving at sq. however nonetheless versatile sufficient to hit different pictures, too.”

However what occurs when you don’t really feel comfy rolling with only one lob wedge for the week? For those who’re Justin Thomas and Cam Davis, you carry two to deal with regardless of the course throws your means. With two distinctive grinds for the everchanging circumstances, lob wedge choice can flip right into a game-time resolution every day.

Justin Thomas carries two lob wedges with him most weeks. He’ll choose the very best grind relying on the course setup.

Ryan Barath/GOLF

Being able to choose and select your wedge primarily based solely on the course setup is usually a complete game-changer — if what you’re doing. Fortunately, most experts can deal with making these calls over 4 days.

“They may suppose a sure lob wedge is sweet for Thursday and Friday, after which because the course bakes out they shift right into a decrease bounce wedge for Saturday and Sunday,” he mentioned. “They’ll positively observe with each. It’s not widespread to play two all through the week, however there will be variations in really feel that it is advisable to account for. For those who can play the identical one for 4 days, whatever the circumstances, there’s loads of peace in having the ability to try this.”

Peace (and confidence) within the quick sport setup is one thing each professional within the subject would like to have as they put together to deal with Los Angeles Nation Membership in quest of U.S. Open glory.

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JWall

Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Journal and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Gear. Previous to becoming a member of the workers on the finish of 2018, he spent 6 years overlaying gear for the PGA Tour.

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