Equipment Q&A: Tyler Duncan, RSM Classic winner

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Equipment Q&A: Tyler Duncan, RSM Classic winner

Equipment

Equipment Q&A: Tyler Duncan, RSM Classic winner

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A day after Tyler Duncan won the RSM Classic, the first-time PGA Tour winner spoke with Golfweek’s David Dusek about his golf equipment and the changes he made this season.

David Dusek: From an equipment standpoint, you made a few changes to your bag in 2019. Would you consider yourself someone who is open to changing things up or do you prefer to stick with what you know?

Tyler Duncan: It was a bit of a coincidence. It wasn’t really planned, it just kind of happened that way. After last season I was almost planning on going with no contract and just playing what I wanted, and then I tested the Titleist driver and that was the selling point for me. I have always played the Titleist ball, and I was not willing to give that up. I tested the driver and it was awesome. It fit me perfectly, so we were off from there.

DD: Midway through the season you changed into a TS3 fairway wood that is listed at 13.5 degrees. There are lots of pros who use only one fairway wood, but typically it’s around 16.5 degrees. Have you always carried only one fairway wood, and had it been so strongly lofted?

TD: It probably has a little more loft on it than that, but I’ve always been trying to use one that fits the numbers that I’m looking for. I can hit roughly 255 yards in the air with that club. That’s really the gap that I’m looking for, but into a par 5, the way that it’s set up, I can launch into a green with a high cut with some spin or a hard draw with no spin. It’s just very versatile.

DD: You also carry a U500 2-iron. Is that club course specific? Also, there’s a big gap between a strong 3-wood to a 2-iron to your 4-iron. There must have been a lot of tinkering to make that setup work.

TD: Yup. The 2-iron is bent to 19 degrees, so it’s a degree weaker, and the 4-iron is a degree stronger. That’s narrowed those gaps on either side just a little bit. I switched to the U500 just before the Korn Ferry Finals. It has a little less offset, and I was able to launch it a little bit higher but hit it just a bit farther without too much spin.

DD: So you are going to be able to stop that shot.

TD: Exactly.

DD: Have you always played a graphite shaft in your driving iron?

TD: Yes, I’ve always played graphite in the driving iron because it allows me to launch it with the spin that I want  and also get more distance out of it when I need to.

DD: So if your 3-wood goes about 255, what are the stock yardages for your driving iron and your next iron, the 4-iron.

TD: 230 and 210, basically.

DD: To a recreational player, those gaps may sound pretty big, but you know them. If you need more or less, you can hit a cut or turn a shot from right to left with a draw. Have you played this setup for a while?

TD: Yes, I used to play a 3-iron, but this is now my third season playing four wedges. I felt that adding that extra wedge was going to be a better help than a 3-iron. Most of the time you are not going to make many birdies with a 2-, 3- or 4-iron, but you can make a lot of birdies with your wedges. Being able to narrow those gaps and get my numbers dialed in with the wedges, I felt, was much more important than five or so yards at the other end of the bag.

DD: I noticed that you, along with a lot of other Titleist players, added some SM8 wedges to your bag last week. Did you work with Aaron Dill (Titleist’s PGA Tour rep for wedges) or Bob Vokey to make that transition, and what did you like about the new sand wedge and lob wedge?

TD: I worked with both of them. When Bob’s around he’s always a great person to talk to. I see Aaron almost every week. He comes and checks in to make sure that we have everything that we need. The SM8s are awesome; they went straight in the bag. That speaks for itself, but for me they were launching the ball a little lower, which is something that I have been working on. But I was able to keep the spin up, or higher, which was really helpful.

DD: Finally, I know that you play a Pro V1. Have you always been a V player, or did you switch over from the Pro V1x at some point?

TD: I played the Pro V1x until 2015, and that’s when I switched over to the Pro V1. I noticed that the Pro V1, especially with the irons, was allowing me to launch it a little bit lower and spin it a little bit less. I’m a pretty high-spin player, especially with the irons, so being able to launch it lower and with less spin was something that I needed.

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