TOUR REPORT — 2017 Honda Classic.

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If there’s anyone on Tour who epitomizes a “feel player,” it’s Sergio Garcia. That’s why TaylorMade’s engineers value the feedback they get from the 37-year-old Spaniard when testing prototype products.

Sergio recently completely overhauled his bag, adding new 2017 product, from the M2 driver all the way through to the TP5 golf ball. The results spoke for themselves, as Sergio picked up his first international win of the year before heading back to the U.S. to kick off his 2017 PGA TOUR campaign.
We caught up with him at the Honda Classic, where he finished runner up in ’16, to learn more about what he’s looking for when he makes equipment changes and what he’s currently got in the bag.

“I’ll only make the change if I like what I see and it performs. I’m not going to change if it doesn’t look and feel right—it’s that simple.”
– SG.

Driver:
This year, he added the all-new 2017 M2 driver to his bag (9.5°), keeping his usual MRC Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 80XTS shaft. With his win in Dubai, he finished the week 3rd in driving (305 yards) and 2nd in driving accuracy (69.6%).

“I like the more aggressive topline on the new drivers; last year was so good, but I like this, too. The sound and forgiveness are great.”
– SG.

Fairways:
Sergio likes to use his fairway woods off the tee on shorter par 4s as well as from the fairway into par 5s. Prior to Dubai, he switched into two new ’17 M1 fairways—a 15° and 19°—to complement his new M2 driver. Unlike many tour pros, he seeks consistency in his weighting, so both his 3 and 5-woods have the same shaft as his driver – a very uncommon setup on Tour.

Irons:
If you take a closer look at Sergio’s golf swing, you’ll immediately notice he gets the club deep at the onset of his downswing, thus creating tremendous lag. With his P750 irons (3-PW), he utilizes counterbalancing, as it helps him with his transition and gets the club more on plane, allowing him to obtain the desired trajectory & shot shape. He uses Nippon N.S. Pro Modus Tour 130x throughout the set. Making this change was a quick one for Garcia.

“I’m a feel player, so it comes quick. It took me just a few practice sessions to know I wanted to play the 750s.”
– SG.

So far, so good, as he lived up to his billing as one of the best ball-strikers in the world, leading the field in Dubai by hitting 81.9% of greens in regulation en route to victory. For comparative purposes, the Tour average for GIR is around 70%.

Wedges:
In any event Sergio plays on Tour, odds are high that you’ll find him in the Tour truck, grinding his wedges to his exact specifications. However, this year, the precise grinding is already done for him. The new, yet-to-be-released Milled Grind wedges are machine milled to exacting degrees, so each and every wedge is perfect every single time.

Sergio’s wedge set-up:

Milled grind – 52° SB-09
Milled grind – 58° SB-11

Ball:
Sergio played the (’14) Tour Preferred X ball for three years, but when introduced to the new TP5 golf ball Sergio stated.

“I could see instantly that it was giving me something the TPX didn’t. With the TP5, I was seeing everything I wanted both off the tee as well as from the fairway with my irons and around the green with my wedges.”
– SG.

Putter:
At a company photoshoot just prior to the Ryder Cup, Sergio was introduced to the TP Collection. It didn’t take long before he was asking our product teams if he could take one home. He wouldn’t take no for an answer, so he became our first Tour player to play one in competition—on the biggest of all stages—at the Ryder Cup. Known for changing putters often, Sergio’s TP Juno putter has found a permanent home in the bag.

With a complete bag of all-new 2017 product, Sergio has already found success on the international stage. Now in his second PGA TOUR event at the Honda Classic, Sergio looks to compound his momentum with a run at PGA National. Keep watch through this week and into the rest of the year, as Sergio’s confidence continues to build with a full bag of equipment that supports his game.

 

Rob Brooks @golfnation_

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