In search of major gains

Adam Scott reached a world ranking of number one for the first time in 2014, yet is leaving the year slightly disappointed as he did not add a major title to the Masters he won in 2013. Looking ahead to 2015, the Australian is armed with new equipment from Titleist, which he discusses exclusively with Robin Barwick.

Get used to seeing a lot of the new Titleist 915 D3 driver in Adam Scott’s hands over the next 12 months. The Australian golfer, currently ranked number two in the world, has been frustrated that his consistency in the majors has not seen him add to his first major title, the 2013 Masters, and having seen Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy surge to victory in the majors this year, playing a more aggressive brand of golf, Scott is planning to adopt a more aggressive game plan in the biggest events himself next year.

Adam Scott“The way I’ve seen the guys win the Majors this year, they have played fearless golf,” states Scott, whose best major finish this year was a tie for fifth in the Open Championship at Hoylake, when he found himself on the wrong side of the draw for the changing weather conditions over the first two rounds. “Bubba [Watson] had it dialed in at Augusta, Martin Kaymer free‑wheeled and blew everyone away at the US Open; then at the Open, Rory just opened up with his driver, bombing it down, playing more fearless golf.

“I’ve got to flick that switch on to just let go and play and let the hard work and talent fall into place on the golf course, and give myself a chance to make a ton of birdies, because all the others are, every week.”

For a start, that means taking the driver off the tee more, so Scott can take better advantage of his prodigious length.

“I put the new Titleist woods in the bag throughout the Play-Offs and I have tried two of the new drivers, and I have also changed shaft,” explains Scott. “I have started using the new 915 D3 driver, and I will definitely use that in 2015. The bag set-up I used for the Tour Championship was certainly impressive, so I will be sticking with that for sure.”

The new Titleist 915 D2 and 915 D3 drivers are due at retail from November 14 with an RRP of £379, and they feature new and proprietary Active Recoil Channel technology. A long, wide and deep sole channel, Titleist promises ‘ARC’ actively flexes at impact, and recoils to launch the ball off the face with higher speed and lower spin for greater distance.

“Some things are gimmicks [but] Active Recoil Channel is not,” adds Scott, who was ranked 13th on the PGA Tour in Driving Distance in 2014, with an average of 303.5 yards. “The fact is it’s producing more miles per hour off the club for my ball speed. That’s massive. Picking up 10 to 15 yards carry is a big deal. It makes a huge difference if I’m hitting a wedge in instead of maybe an 8-iron or if I’m hitting a 5-iron instead of a 3-iron.

“Not only by adding ARC are you gaining the miles per hour, but with the other innovations and redistribution of weight throughout the head the sweet spot gets bigger as well. I certainly feel like my miss hits – if you can even call them that, because you’ve almost got the whole face to play with – have been very good. The [lost] carry distance of what I’d call a miss hit has been negligible [compared] to the ones flushed out of the middle.”

“The new 915 drivers are a game-changer for us,” says Dan Stone, Vice President of Research and Development, Titleist Golf Clubs. “We’ve increased speed and lowered spin without sacrificing MOI or forgiveness – and we’re the first to get that combination right. The Active Recoil Channel is a major technical leap in the area of spin reduction. In player testing, we’ve seen significant distance gains, up to 15 yards for players who need spin control.”

 

Old and the new

Elsewhere amid Scott’s golf bag for 2015, the Scotty Cameron Futura X Prototype putter at a length of 49 inches is likely to remain in play. While other tour golfers with anchored strokes began to gravitate away from broom-handle putters in 2014 – ahead of the ban on anchored strokes which comes into play at the beginning of 2016 – Scott seems determined to stick with the long putter until the clock chimes 2016.

“I am not going to worry about changing putters until the end of next year,” says Scott, who was ranked 54th in Total Putting on the PGA Tour in 2014, and ranked 55th in Strokes Gained (Putting). “I don’t think there is anything to worry about – I am pretty good with the short putter too.”

Scott has also put the new Titleist Prototype Pro V1x ball into play.

“I will probably put the new [Prototype] Pro V1x into play next year,” he confirms. “It became available on tour from the middle of October. It is similar to the old one but has a very slightly softer feel, which I think is a great benefit.”

After a 10-week break following the Australian triple crown of tournaments in November and December (the Australian Masters, Open and PGA) Scott is likely to embark on his 2015 PGA Tour campaign in the Honda Classic in Florida in February.

Bag & Braces

Inside Adam Scott’s golf bag, and what he is wearing:

Driver: Titleist 915 D3

Fairways: Titleist 915 F

Irons: Titleist 712U

Wedges: Titleist Vokey TVD

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X Prototype (Length: 49”)

Ball: Titleist Prototype Pro V1x

Shoes: FootJoy DNA

Apparel: Uniqlo