E. Michael Johnson

ROD Pampling put on a spectacular display of putting in the final round at the Shriners, posting a 2.968 strokes gained/putting for the round including six putts made outside 10 feet.

Pampling uses a Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 Midlength putter with a long grip and made four of those putts over the final six holes, including a 32-foot bomb for birdie at the last to secure the title—the first PGA Tour title in more than a decade for the 47-year-old Australian.

The better story, however, is Pampling’s Srixon Z Forged irons. Pampling plays his irons a half-inch short of Srixon’s standard finished length – a spec he has settled into over the years. Pampling had been attempting to get a new set built to match his gamer set for quite some time. Jeff Burleigh, one of Cleveland/Srixon’s tour reps who works closely with Pampling, built him multiple sets trying to match up a new set. The set he’s played for over a year were built out on the Web.Com Tour, but not by Burleigh.

None of Burleigh’s attempts were to Pampling’s liking. Burleigh, one of the best in the business, was more than perplexed as he knew the builds were spot-on. He finally had enough and decided to dismantle one of Pampling’s gamer irons at the Safeway Open in an attempt to uncover the mystery.

Burleigh found that in addition to the irons being heavier head weights (standard procedure for shorter-length clubs), they had small, 4-gram lead plugs in the hosel to achieve the correct swingweight. Burleigh had built every other set with small hosel plugs as well, but used some with brass, some with tungsten. When he discovered the set of irons Pampling had such an affinity for had lead, Burleigh had to track down some lead plugs at the company’s California facility. He got them this week, and built the clubs first thing Monday. They were in the bag for good by the fourth hole of the Monday Pro-Am and on Sunday, assisted Pampling in his win.

Interestingly, according to Srixon, they almost never use hosel plugs in builds as it can throw off the center of gravity location and the balance of the clubface. If clubs need additional weight they will normally use a heavier weight clubhead and lead tape to achieve it.

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV

Driver: TaylorMade M2 (UST Mamiya Elements prototype), 10.5 degrees

3-wood: TaylorMde M1, 14 degrees

Irons (3): Ping G Crossover; (4-PW): Srixon Z Forged

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Custom (50, 54 degrees); Cleveland 588 (60 degrees)

Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 Midlength