On the eve of the 148th Open Championship, Jordan Spieth has made a significant equipment switch.
The 2017 ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’ has elected to put the new Titleist T100 irons into play for the first time at Royal Portrush this week
Officially launched at the US Open last month, the T100 has quickly become one of the most played models on the PGA TOUR.
Charles Howell III and Cam Smith switched into them at Pebble Beach, followed more recently by Charley Hoffman and Sungjae Im, helping to cement Titleist’s status as the most played iron brand on the PGA TOUR for six consecutive years and for 15 of the last 16.
While Spieth waited to put the T100's in the bag until the season's final major, he is not unfamiliar with the iron. In fact, according to lead Titleist tour rep, J.J. VanWezenbeeck, the three-time major winner was the most influential player in the development process.
"It was over two years ago that Jordan and [Titleist Director of Iron Development] Marni Ines started discussing what Jordan was looking for in a next generation iron," said VanWezenbeeck. "The keys for Jordan were sole, offset, and overall look.
“As we created early prototypes and discussed specifics with Jordan and other players, we found an opportunity to take everything we learned with the AP2 line and build an entirely new iron. There was an obvious challenge to surpass the most played tour iron in the world."
The final T100 prototype was revealed to Jordan and other select players during a Titleist photo shoot at Scioto CC during the week of the Memorial.
"Jordan immediately commented that the offset and top line was everything he wanted," added VanWezenbeeck. "As we moved to the tee, he kept commenting to Marni about how the club set up and the look was just what he was looking for.
"Knowing we succeeded in those categories, the question became, 'Are you getting the performance of the AP2 line and more, despite being in a sleeker chassis?' His performance and responses at the hitting session confirmed we succeeded at what we set out to do.”
Spieth saw immediate improvements in sole interaction and feel on the face, as well as an increase in ball speed at the top of the bag, which allowed even better distance gapping.
"The way these turned out is amazing," he said. "I remember a couple of years ago when we were talking about my AP2's and the Titleist team asked what I'd like to see improved. I told them I preferred the sole being a little bit different and the least amount of offset and top-line as possible.
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“When I set the new T100s down for the first time, I could already tell the difference compared to my gamer AP2 irons. They made the exact improvements I was looking for in an iron. They look really, really good. They slide through the turf nicely, and my mishits are straighter and further than on my AP2 irons."
Spieth, who is not one to change equipment without a lengthy testing period, asked if he could put the T100s in play that week. However, the tour launch for the new irons was not scheduled until the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Due to the player feedback Titleist received at the photoshoot, the launch was accelerated two weeks earlier to the US Open. Spieth decided to take the irons home and familiarise himself with them during an extended time off but is confident the new irons are ready for this week.
"When I first saw the T100 irons and it didn't say 'AP2' on it, I had to have full trust," said Spieth. "I'm sitting there saying, 'Man, I played the same iron that said the same thing on it since 2010, probably earlier.' But I've been playing Titleist clubs since I was 12-years-old, and they've never led me the wrong direction and they've always gotten better. And the idea of a name change – really an entire change across the board with their irons – is big. But there are big changes. These T100s are fantastic."