PGA Tour StatsMay 21, 2019

Charles Schwab Challenge: Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm have a scoring advantage this week at Colonial

Rickie Fowler excels at it. So does Jon Rahm, Scott Piercy, Talor Gooch and Nate Lashley. It’s scoring on the par 4s on the PGA Tour, and it’s a useful skill to have as the tour moves to Fort Worth for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club. Being one of the tour's venerable par-70 layouts, Colonial offers a dozen par 4s—with five of them measuring 408 yards or less. That’s a target-rich environment for players that feast on such holes. Also, in order to win, feast you must do. The past four winners at Colonial have all made 10 or more birdies on the par 4s that week, with an average of 13. Here are the players in the field who, statistically, have the best shot of playing well on the two-shotters, along with the irons they use.

Sam Greenwood

Talor Gooch
Par-4 Scoring: 3.95
Irons (4): Callaway Apex Pro 19; (5-6): Callaway X Forged 18; (7-9): Callaway Apex MB; (PW): Callaway Mack Daddy 4

More and more, tour pros are breaking up their iron sets, employing two and often three different types of irons. Talor Gooch goes a bit further, employing three different kinds of Callaway irons, as well as a 46-degree Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (with 10 degrees bounce) pitching wedge that matches the rest of his wedges instead of having a wedge that matches his iron set. Gooch’s shafts are Nippon’s N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 125 (X-flex).

Jared C. Tilton

Nate Lashley
Par-4 Scoring: 3.96
Irons (4-PW): Ping i210

The Ping i210 irons used by Nate Lashley are the epitome of the modern-day players iron, as it packages plenty of forgiveness and feel in a visually appealing package. With an emphasis on shotmaking, precision and feel (the latter the result of a larger and softer elastomer insert wedged into the back cavity), the iron’s larger, wider port for the elastomer yields more perimeter weighting for forgiveness. Also, by tightening the groove spacing on the pitching wedge, the company has achieved more consistent spin.

Stuart Franklin

Scott Piercy
Par-4 Scoring: 3.96
Irons (4): Titleist 718 AP2; (5-PW): Titleist 680 MB

Scott Piercy is old school in a number of ways. For starters, he plays a lot. Piercy has played 643 par-4 holes thus far this season, the 11th most on tour, making his 3.96 scoring average on them even more impressive. He also likes Titleist’s venerable 680 muscle-back blade irons for the bulk of his iron set. Then there’s the gobs of lead tape that adorn the back of those irons, primarily on the low part of the rear of the club, making it easier to get those blades airborne. Finally, he uses True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X-100 shaft, a mainstay of True Temper’s shaft line for tour players for many years.

David Cannon

Jon Rahm
Par-4 Scoring: 3.96
Irons (4-PW): TaylorMade P750 You would think a player of Jon Rahm’s skill set wouldn’t need a lot of help, but the primary reason the Spaniard gravitate toward the company’s P750 cavity-back model was its forgiveness factor. “I played musclebacks most of my career because I thought it was cool,” Rahm told Golf Digest last year. “But when I tried these irons it was just a lot easier, a lot more comfortable. You know that even if you don’t hit it perfect it’s still pretty much going to carry the same distance.” Rahm’s irons have Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts.

David Cannon

Rickie Fowler
Par-4 Scoring: 3.96
Irons (4-PW): Cobra King Forged MB

Rickie Fowler has used his Cobra King Forged MB irons for some time, however Fowler made a significant shaft change to them right before this year’s Masters. Feeling he needed more spin on his iron shots downwind (in order to create consistent distances when playing with the breeze), Cobra’s tour rep built Fowler a set with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold S400 shafts (Fowler had used KBS’ C-Taper Tour 125 S+ since 2015). The shafts were “soft-stepped” (soft-stepping is changing the flex profile of a shaft by taking the shaft for one club and putting it in another, for example a 6-iron shaft in a 7-iron). Fowler, whose iron shafts are a half-inch shorter than standard, saw an immediate difference and put the new shafts in play.