Golfers make up a unique breed of athletes. They’re the most superstitious of all the major sports in the world, and they don’t want to change anything about their normal routines when they’re in a groove. Unless they’re in a funk and trying to shake things up, golfers bring the same clubs, the same caddie, and the same equipment to every PGA Tour event.
But Jordan Spieth, who’s playing his best golf in nearly four years, has made a surprise equipment change just a week ahead of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah. Spieth is hoping his brand new secret weapon can reward him with his first major championship since 2017 and the historic career Grand Slam.
Jordan Spieth adds a secret weapon to his golf bag
Spieth has utilized the same golf ball — the Titleist Pro V1x — for the entirety of his PGA Tour career. With 12 wins on Tour and three major championships to his name, it’s safe to say the Pro V1x has worked pretty well for the 27-year-old golfer.
Spieth has been playing the 2017 version of the golf ball for the last four years, so he’s gotten used to the feel and spin of the ball. But he made a surprising switch last week leading up to the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch.
Spieth ditched the 2017 version for the new 2021 version of the Titleist Pro V1x. The new golf ball provides “longer distance, high trajectory, low long game spin, increased Drop-and-Stop™ greenside control and softer feel,” per Titleist‘s official website.
Spieth said he made the change mostly because of the improved spin and higher launch angle he noticed in the 2021 version.
“I’m trying to optimize launch conditions through the bag,” Spieth told Titleist over the weekend. “For me, the 2021 Pro V1x, I get more spin around the greens. It’s softer, spinnier around the greens with my short game shots. And then when I went up the bag, I started to get a little bit higher launch, but it didn’t add spin in the long clubs. It just added ball speed and launch.
“So it’s a little higher window, but it just looks like it’s screaming through the air. And then from the 7-iron on down, I didn’t see much difference in the full shots, just like I said more action around the greens.”
Spieth impresses in first tournament with the 2021 Pro V1x
Leading up to the AT&T Byron Nelson this past weekend, Spieth was playing some of the best golf of his career. He came into the event with five top-five finishes and a win in his last seven starts on Tour, so many wondered why he made the switch when he did.
But Spieth immediately proved the doubters wrong.
The World No. 26 fired a ridiculous 9-under 63 in his first professional round with the 2021 Titleist ProV1x. Spieth made seven birdies and a walk-off eagle on Thursday to share the first-round lead with J.J. Spaun. He went on to shoot 70, 66, and 71 in the following three rounds to finish in a tie for ninth place.
Next up: the PGA Championship at Kiawah.
Spieth looks to make history at the PGA Championship with his new secret weapon
Just a week after Spieth made his surprising equipment change, he will tee it up at Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course for the 2021 PGA Championship starting this Thursday. With a win, he will become just the sixth player in PGA Tour history to accomplish the modern career Grand Slam.
Spieth is hoping his new golf ball will help him make golf history.
“When you get into some trouble with some windy, tough golf courses, and you’ve got to hit these shots to short-sided hole locations, to be able to have that extra spin around the greens will be really nice,” Spieth said.
Hmm, sure sounds a lot like Kiawah.
Is another major championship in store for Spieth this weekend?