June 11, 2024

Many golfers at the highest level are extreme creatures of habit, meaning they don’t make changes in haste. Some of the world’s best players have even been known to use discontinued grips, irons and even golf ball models to help keep things consistent when it comes to their equipment.

 

Enter Jon Rahm and his Aldila Tour Green driver shaft, which he has used since his college days at Arizona State.

Or had used.

Last week, word surfaced that Rahm — the 8th-ranked golfer in the world — had switched from his long-time Aldila shaft to an all-new Fujikura Ventus Black 7X, ending one of pro golf’s longest-running equipment relationships (Tiger’s putter notwithstanding) just in time for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

To better understand the reasoning behind the change, we reached out to Callaway’s Tour content manager and mega gearhead Johnny Wunder, who said:

“For a long time, Jon’s Aldila Tour Green worked well for his timing and swing tempo, but as he’s gotten stronger and faster he was finding it more difficult to time up his delivery into the ball and find his feels. This led to a bigger dispersion pattern and a reoccurring left miss, and that’s when he knew it was time for a change. He recently spent some time in Carlsbad to test several shafts, including prototype options, to find one that worked better with his swing and helped to eliminate a left miss.”

When asked why the Ventus Black was the winner after testing, Wunder said: “The Ventus Black profile helped Jon feel the clubhead better and allowed him to swing with his natural tempo without manipulation. This has led to a much better dispersion off the tee and helped to eliminate the left miss. It was never about raising Jon’s ceiling or adding distance since he is already such a good driver of the ball, but instead, lifting his floor.”

Of all the major championship courses to debut a new driver shaft, Pinehurst No. 2’s unique setup — with its waste areas and wire grass — makes sense as it affords some forgiveness off the tee. Whether this change pays off for Rahm will be interesting to follow as he searches for his first win of 2024.

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