Jason Day showed up to Bay Hill this week with some new toys. After testing RSi earlier in the season, Day was hesitant to change weaponry after victory at Torrey Pines with Tour Preferred MCs in the bag. It’s no secret Day is one of the top ball strikers in golf, but even the best can’t pure it 100% of the time. For a boost in confidence, Day reverted back to RSi experimentation and was pleased enough to put a set in play this week at Bay Hill.
RSi is specifically designed for forgiveness. Though RSi TP’s forged design is still highly responsive in feel and feedback, the performance across the face is highly improved from Day’s previous Tour Preferred MCs. After averaging 64% of greens in regulation in 2014, he has hit 75% GIR at Bay Hill. A small sample size, but considering Day’s recent results, the correlation carries validity. His new RSi TP set is comprised of irons 2-9 + pitching wedge.
Continuing the trend of revisiting previously tested product, Lucas Glover and Kyle Reifers put old-new drivers in play. Glover tested AeroBurner back in February and just now put a 9° in play this week. Reifers similarly tested an R15 earlier in the month and just made the switch, gaming a 10.5° variety. The Tour Team also worked extensively with Shawn Stefani and James Hahn with new driver options. Stefani didn’t switch and Hahn wasn’t in the field, but the team is confident the two are following the test-now-play-later trend and should have new gamers in coming weeks.
The unreleased Tour Preferred EF Wedge underwent further testing by our wider Tour staff at Bay Hill. The course conditions were far from ideal as the harsh (by Florida standards) winter made the grass thinner than usual. The testing staff was chalked full of notable names: Camilo Villegas, Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day, John Senden, Daniel Berger, Trevor Immelman, Carl Pettersson and Justin Rose. Reteif instantly added a full set to the bag (52° ,56°, 60°) and Sabbatini added a lone 60°. Immediate changes came as a surprise as the unusually soft condition of the course made it extremely difficult to judge spin and bounce. In general, all feedback was positive featuring a common theme of exceptional feel, supreme look and finish, superior spin, and high versatility. We expect a majority of staffers to make a switch to EF leading up to the Masters. Wedge play is of paramount importance at Augusta and this wedge easily gives our staffers the best control possible around the swift moving greens.
Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia each put two EF wedges in play back at the Northern Trust Open after seeing them for the first time only two days earlier. Johnson hit one of the most impressive wedge shots of the year in a clutch playoff situation. Only weeks later, he used a full three EF wedge set for his victory at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. In fact, the wedge testing that took place this week was urged on by fellow staffers after seeing such early adoption and success. The Tour Team expects the Tour Preferred EF to be one of our hottest products of the year.