Andrew Landry made a timely change in the shafts and lofts of his irons heading into this week’s Valero Texas Open, and it might have been just what he needed to capture his first US PGA Tour title.
Landry switched to Nippon 105-X shafts from KBS Tour-S in his Ping iBlade irons. He also changed the lofts, having the 4- and 5-iron bent 1 degree weaker, while the 6-iron through pitching wedge were altered a half degree weak.
Landry came into the week ranked 98th in greens in regulation but hit 73.6 percent for the week at TPC San Antonio, despite only hitting 10 greens Sunday. It took enough pressure off to the point where he only had four bogeys for the entire week and only two over the final 61 holes.
The play typified Landry’s all-or-nothing season. Since a playoff loss to Jon Rahm at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, Landry had four consecutive missed cuts before a T-42 at the RBC Heritage. For the season he has missed as many cuts as he has made (six), but has made the weekends he worked count with four top-10s (including three finishes in the top four).
The iBlade features a super-thin face to provide added ball speed, and an elastomer insert behind the face helps dampen vibration while helping allow the face to flex at impact. A high-density tungsten plug in the toe area helps boost stability on off-centre strikes as well.
That technology along with a couple of well-timed tweaks proved a winning combination for Landry in San Antonio.
Landry’s win is the 17th for Titleist golf ball players on the 2017-18 US PGA Tour, more than three times the nearest competitor with 5, while he also used the Vokey SM7 wedges (52, 60 degrees) with great effect.
Titleist was the top choice in golf balls at the Valero Texas Open with 114 players (73%) using a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x, more than six times the nearest competitor (18). Titleist was also the field favourite in hybrids (22/29%), irons (43/27%), wedges (210/50%) and putters (58/37%).
Andrew Landry’s equipment at the Valero Texas Open
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Ping G30 (Aldila Tour Blue 65X), 9 degrees
3-wood: Ping G, 14.5 degrees
5-wood: Ping G, 17.5 degrees
Irons (3-PW): Ping iBlade
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52, 60 degrees)
Putter: Ping PLD