Patrick Cantlay on new drivers, old irons and his shamrock-covered putter

Patrick Cantlay Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Cantlay on new drivers, old irons and his shamrock-covered putter

Equipment

Patrick Cantlay on new drivers, old irons and his shamrock-covered putter

Patrick Cantlay broke through and won his first PGA Tour event Sunday, the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. On Tuesday afternoon he spoke with Golfweek’s David Dusek about his equipment.

David Dusek: If you don’t mind my asking, how tall are you and how much do you weigh?
Patrick Cantlay: I’m about 5-11 and 175-180, depending on the day.

DD: I ask because when a lot of people think about guys who are effective off the tee on the PGA Tour, they think of big guys like Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Bubba Watson. But you finished last season ranked 10th in strokes gained: off-the-tee. Is it hard for you to find a driver that does what you need?
PK: For me, it was not too difficult. I switched out of an older driver and into a newer driver recently (Titleist 917D2 with 9.5 degrees of loft and a Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Plus 73X shaft), but I could not tell you exactly when I switched. My old one cracked, so I tried out the new ones and they were faster, better and straighter, too. Everything about them was better than the one I had before it was cracked. I don’t have a lot of trouble finding equipment because I don’t change very often. I’m not trying to experiment or do anything too crazy. I’ve got the same driver shaft that I’ve been using for a long time, which I think is a key part of the equation.

DD: Did the crack happen when the PGA Tour van was at the event or were you in competition?
PC: It happened at home.

Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

DD: What was the fitting process like, and was the shaft something that you were willing to change?
PC: I went down to TPI (Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif.) and tested drivers with one of the guys down there who works on Tour, J.J. (J.J. Van Wezenbeeck). I hit the D3s and then some D2s, and the 917D2 had some better numbers on TrackMan, so I decided to use that. I like it when the face is a little bit open, so I found one that was the most open looking and it works great.

DD: You said you don’t like to change clubs, and I can tell that by the irons you play (Titleist 714 AP2). If history repeats itself, we’ll see new Titleist irons in June, so at this point, are you just waiting for those before you upgrade?
PC: Coming back after being out for so long (because of a back injury), I didn’t want to change very many variables. I haven’t hit any of the new irons yet but I am planning to this winter, and I would not be surprised if I had new irons in play at the beginning of next (year).

DD: Your wedges are tweaked so the actual loft is about 1 degree different than the stated loft. For example, your 54-degree wedge is really 53 degrees. When did you start bending your wedges and how much difference, really, does 1 degree make?
PC: I started having four wedges toward the end of high school, so around 2009 or 2010, and really, it’s all about having the appropriate gaps. I have 4 degrees between all my (higher-lofted) wedges and 5 degrees between the gap wedge and the pitching wedge. It’s less about what it says on there and more about having the appropriate gaps so I can hit more full wedges.

Patrick Cantlay's Scotty Cameron putter

Patrick Cantlay’s Scotty Cameron putter. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

DD: What’s the story behind the shamrocks on your Scotty Cameron putter?
PC: I got that putter a long time ago, right around the time I turned pro. It was my back-up for a little while, and then sometime during my first year I switched over to it. The shamrocks … my name is Patrick and I was born on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day). I really like that model, and I do a lot of good work with Paul Vizanko (director of putter fitting and player development at the Scotty Cameron studio) on my stroke, but I don’t tinker too much on my putter. I love it and don’t see that changing.

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