2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational
Following one of the sternest challenges on the PGA TOUR at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead course, the PGA TOUR headed inland to Bay Hill Club – home of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the final stop on the Florida Swing.
The adoption of M UnMetalwoods on Tours around the world has already exceeded expectations, and the momentum has carried into Bay Hill. This week, 35 players chose to put an M1 or M2 driver into play – making up 30% of the entire field. As players continue to finalize their setups in advance of the season’s first major championship, we anticipate further insight into M adoption to be rolling in over the next few weeks.
Until then, here’s a look at some of the notable equipment changes from Bay Hill:
Chez Reavie and Kyle Riefers have long been testing M1 and M2, but they both had an interesting experience that led to a switch at Bay Hill. During practice rounds, both Chez and Kyle were finding mud balls with their gamers but not with the M1s they were testing, which were also considerably longer. They both did some Trackman testing after their practice rounds and confirmed a shallower landing angle with less spin and more roll. On top of the roll out, M1 was getting more optimal launch conditions, so neither staffer sacrificed any carry distance.
John Huh introduced PSi 4-6 irons into his bag to provide added height since he hits his long irons lower and needs higher trajectory to hold greens. They are also slightly more forgiving compared to PSi Tour, which gives him the added edge of knowing he can go after his long irons on par 3s and into shorter par 5s. Huh currently plays 7-PW in the PSi Tour variety to obtain more feedback and control from the fully forged faces. This combination of PSi and PSi Tour gives him added workability in his shorter irons while achieving the launch window he is looking for in his longer irons.
Davis Love III switched into an M1 460 from an SLDR. He loves the maximum low forward CG M1 provides as well as the added forgiveness in comparison to the SLDR. He’s only seeing about 2-3 yards of distance gains, but his dispersion has tightened significantly. Love has also noticed more control when working the ball, especially right to left – perfect for his go-to high cut.
Jason Day holds the 36 lead with 66-65 (-13)
Keep an eye out for M drivers and fairways in play as we head into the weekend at Bay Hill, and stay tuned as more players make the jump in advance of the season’s first major.
Check out the "Inside the Ropes" gallery at Bay Hill here: