Equipment editor Hannah Holden rounds up all the gear news from Royal Portrush
It’s time for another major – and we all know what that means. So let’s dive straight in with the 2019 Open equipment…
2019 Open equipment: What are those
Thank goodness Koepka’s golf is better than his styling. I mean really what are these metallic monstrosities?
If you really want to purchase them I would suggest checking the Nike website, or maybe don’t.
While we’re discussing bad outfits, check out these ‘trousers’ Erik Van Rooyen was sporting today.
Love the colour, not sure about the ankle exposure. You can check these out on the Greyson Clothiers website.
First the hats, now the polos. Someone tell Nike sometimes less is more…
On another note look how cool Bubba Watson’s caddies shoes are.
2019 Open equipment: To a T
Before today Spieth had never teed off in a tour event without a set of Titleist AP2 irons in his bag, but that all changed on Thursday as Spieth has switched into the brand new T100 iron.
— Titleist Europe (@TitleistEurope) July 18, 2019
Spieth said the redesigned sole, thinner top-line and reduced offset provided the exact improvements he was looking for.
You can see his full WITB rundown here.
2019 Open equipment: Nike off, FootJoy on
There was something unfamiliar about Justin Rose when he strolled on to the 1st tee at Royal Portrush on Thursday…
The Nike shoes he’s worn all year have gone and instead he is sporting the new FootJoy Contours.
If you like the look of them my spies tell me they’ll be released by in time for the 2020 season.
— Hannah Holden (@HannahHoldenNCG) July 18, 2019
2019 Open equipment: You want some?
Well I don’t think any of us expected this. Rory McIlroy turned up for his press conference on Wednesday sporting a rather fetching blue Nike jacket. Only something wasn’t quite right. Ah yes, there was a massive Stone Island logo on the arm.
Stone Island announced the collaboration on Instagram…
Nike’s golf VP Kelly Tweeden said: “Knowing that the conditions during the tournament can change quickly, and can be quite challenging, we wanted to focus on outerwear. As experts in creating product that performs as well as it looks, Stone Island was a natural partner in finding the best solutions.”
Maybe they don’t know what we do.
Moving on, you may remember a video of McIlroy as a youngster chipping balls into a washing machine on a chat show in his homeland. Well Nike have decided to play on that by putting a washing machine logo on his polo shirts for the Portrush Open…
That’s more like it.
“It’s just Nike doing what they do,” McIlroy said of the brand that also revived ‘Frank’ for Tiger Woods’ shirts at the Masters.
“They wanted to do something special for me this week. Thought washing machine, I grew up here, long winter nights hitting golf balls into my mum’s washing machine, so it was a nice little touch.”
Much better. If you need any more information you can find it on the Nike website.
2019 Open equipment: Miz dynamite
OK this isn’t strictly Open-branded gear but the big guns love a launch during major week. We’ve already had our hands on the Titleist U-Series irons and Ping Glide 3.0 wedges, so what else is going on?
Well there’s the new irons from Mizuno, and as usual the Japanese brand get it spot on with the aesthetics.
I couldn’t take my eyes of these when I got my hands on them on the Mizuno tour truck on Monday. The new range features the MP-20 MB, MP-20 MMC and MP-20 HMB models, which you can see in this little gallery…
Beautiful, aren’t they?
Now, as well as the traditional MB blade Mizuno have added the HMB which provides the looks of a blade with more playability, offering more ball speed and forgiveness than the MB without compromising on looks.
The MMC is a multi-material iron designed to provide more forgiveness on off centre strikes but keeping the feel of a muscleback iron.
The key theme behind this range is the addition of copper-plating within the heads to add addition feel through impact.
In terms of availability, all the information I have at the moment is “autumn” and they will cost £150 per iron for the MP-20 MBs, £165 for the MP-20 MMCs and £180 for the MP-20 HMBs. The left-handed MP-20 SEL will set you back £1,240 for a 3-PW set.
Keep your eye out for a full review once I’ve got my hands on them…
2019 Open equipment: Epic times
Elsewhere, Callaway have unveiled new Epic Forged irons and Epic Flash hybrids.
I haven’t got them yet so you’ll have to wait for the review, but with the Epic Forged irons we are definitely looking at a game improvement club. I’m expecting serious ball speed with a high, controlled launch.
First impressions? They look great and I can’t wait to try them out.
Meanwhile the Epic Flash hybrid features the same Flash Face technology we have seen in the drivers and fairway woods this season and looks set to provide increased ball speed on previous models.
Both will be available on August 9 of this year and the irons will set you back £1,999 and the hybrid comes in at £297. You can check out the Callaway website for more information.
I’m afraid that’s all I can give you for now. Keep your eye out for the full review when I get my hands on them.
Callaway’s players at the Open will also have a special Northern Ireland-inspired bag which features a hexagon pattern across the main panels inspired by the region’s famous Giants Causeway, while the main badge features Dunlace Castle which is located on the nearby coast. The bag and its accessories also feature the Irish Shamrock.
It’s pretty cool, and you can flick through some photos here…
2019 Open equipment: X on the beach
It wouldn’t be major week without Puma and their main main Rickie Fowler doing something cool. The new X Collection is a head-to-toe assortment of apparel, accessories and footwear.
It is, they say, themed around sophisticated styling with the same great performance and comfort you expect from Puma gear.
Have a flick through the gallery and see what you think…
The range has been inspired by Fowler’s 10-year relationship with Puma and celebrates his “unique ability to bring the X-factor”.
But can it bring him a maiden major? You’ll find out in a few days’ time.
The X Collection is available now at limited stockists so head over to the Puma website for more information.
2019 Open equipment: Fresh kicks
FootJoy love making a major-themed shoe and the Open is no different.
The shoe features all of the performance benefits of the regular Pro/SL but also features the iconic Claret Jug logo on both the saddle and tongue.
The Pro/SL is made with Chromoskin leather for a soft, comfortable, waterproof leather upper and has a TPU moulded outsole offering outstanding spikeless traction.
We are set to see lots of players hit the links in these next week, including 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter, and 2018 British Masters winner Eddie Pepperell.
They’re available now but in a limited quantity at FJ stockists and they’ll set you back £160. If you need more information you’ll find it on the FootJoy website.
2019 Open equipment: New balls please
And of course Titleist are celebrating with a limited-edition range of Open-branded Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls.
Available in dozen boxes, Titleist have wrapped them up in Open-themed packaging and stamped the ball with the Claret Jug logo.
This week 66% of the field are relying on a Titleist golf ball in a bid to win at Portrush
You’ll have to hurry, though. Head over to the Titleist website for more information.
2019 Open equipment: Adidazzlers
Adidas are making sure the players joining the quest to be named Champion Golfer of the Year begins next week at Royal Portrush will be looking sharp.
Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Sergio Garcia will be debuting polos from the brand’s autumn/winter 2019 line.
World No. 2 Johnson will be making his 11th start in the Open and will look to incorporate some new blue colourways to his style.
He will be kicking off the test for his second major in the Ultimate365 Gradient Polo in his traditional collegiate navy colourway, which he will also wear in white and tech ink on Friday and Sunday, respectively. On Saturday, he will wear the Ultimate Colour Block Polo in a new shade – glow blue.
Garcia is also looking to win his second major and, no stranger to bold style, will wear the Ultimate365 Gradient Block Stripe Polo in tech ink and hi-res coral on Thursday and Friday. For the weekend, the Spaniard will wear the Heather Blocked Polo in grey on Saturday and tech ink on Sunday.
Many people are backing Schauffele to well at Royal Portrush, and if he wins he’ll do it wearing the Ultimate365 2.0 Heather Polo in coral on Thursday and in tech ink on Saturday, before switching to the Climachill Tonal Stripe Polo in collegiate navy and glow blue for the weekend.
If you want more information or to buy them, head over to Adidas website.
2019 Open equipment: Ready for anything
Also on my scripting radar at the Open is Jordan Spieth, and Under Armour have made sure he’s ready for all the different types of weather Northern Ireland will throw at him.
Spieth is looking to lift the Claret Jug for the second time and the Storm Full Zip and Storm Daytona Half Zip will help keep him protected from the elements. You can see his full scripting below…
His scripting also includes a custom Spieth 3 shoe. The navy colourway has pops of gold and maroon, a subtle nod to the Royal Portrush Golf Club logo, with a collar lining mimicking the iconic carpet pattern seen throughout the clubhouse.
If you want more it’s all on the Under Armour website.
2019 Open equipment: It’s coming home
Just in time for the Open, Toptracer have added the tournament’s most famous venue to their ‘Virtual Golf’ mode.
The Old Course at St Andrews is available now as a premium course at all Toptracer range locations – of which there are now 50, so you have no excuse – allowing all golfers to experience playing the Home of Golf.
If you don’t know how Toptracer works, the software uses cameras mounted around the hitting bay to track an array of ball data including shot shape, distance, speed, launch angle and more. Data is instantly displayed on 21-inch monitors on individuals player profile via the Toptracer community app.
In short, it’s about as close you can get to playing a golf course without actually playing a golf course.
That’s not it, of course. Keep an eye on this column for any updates during the next few days…