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Golfers competing in the Ryder Cup are typically set with their equipment several weeks, if not months, ahead of the biennial competition. However, according to Callaway, Xander Schauffele is going with a slightly different driver at Whistling Straits after tinkering and working with the company’s fitters for the past few weeks.
Throughout most of 2021, Schauffele, who currently is ranked No. 5 in the world and who finished the last PGA Tour season ranked 22nd in driving distance, used a 45.5-inch Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond driver (from $529.99 at Carl’s Golf Land) with 9 degrees of loft fitted with a Graphite Design Tour AD BB 7 X shaft.
The Triple Diamond version of the Epic Speed is the most-played version of Callaway’s flagship driver on the PGA Tour. Compared to the retail version, the Epic Speed Triple Diamond is slightly smaller at 450 cubic centimeters in volume instead of 460. It has a higher toe, an adjustable weight in the back of the sole like the retail version and another weight in the front that the retail version lacks. It is designed to produce slightly less spin and a lower ball flight. It also has a neutral shot-shaping bias which pros tend to like. Using the adjustable hosel mechanism, Schauffele’s club has 8 degrees of loft.
Schauffele’s Epic Speed Triple Diamond has a second adjustable weight in the sole. (David Dusek/Golfweek and Callaway)
However, after switching to the Callaway Chrome Soft LS ball before the U.S. Open in June (from $47.99 per dozen at Carl’s Golf Land and Dick’s), a low-spin version of Callaway’s Chrome Soft, Schauffele’s spin rates dipped too low. According to Callaway, he was generating between 1,900 and 2,000 rpm with a ball speed of 175 mph. That may sound great, but Schauffele needs more spin to create the tight draw off the tee that he likes to hit.
Xander did not want to stop using the Chrome Soft LS ball or the Graphite Design Tour AD BB shaft, but at the Tour Championship, he went with a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 7 X shaft. That shaft has a softer tip section, creating a slightly higher launch angle and more spin.
The Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond LS turned out to be perfect for Schauffele. (Callaway)
However, according to Callaway, Schauffele, who lives in San Diego, did more testing last week at the nearby Ely Callaway Performance Center in Carlsbad, California. Eventually, he switched into an Epic Speed Triple Diamond LS driver with 10.5 degrees of loft adjusted to 9 degrees and fitted with his beloved Graphite Design Tour AD BB 7 X shaft. The Triple Diamond LS (from $529.99 at Carl’s Golf Land) is a lower-spinning version of the Triple Diamond. Lowering the loft opens the club’s face angle, so it appears to point slightly more to the right, which Schauffele and many elite players prefer.
That combination got Schauffele’s spin rate up to between 2,200 and 2,400 rpm and helped him hit the draw he wanted.
Driving during the Ryder Cup will be critical, and Schauffele, who finished 41st in strokes gained off the tee last season on the PGA Tour, can blend distance with accuracy. Armed with a new driver, he could be primed to help the United States win back the Cup.
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