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With the 2023 Masters in the rearview, Titleist Tour representative JJ Van Wezenbeeck decided it was time to surprise Cameron Young with something special at the RBC Heritage.
Two years earlier, at the same event, Van Wezenbeeck began pre-wearing Young’s irons (a process Vokey Tour representative Aaron Dill performed in the truck) to improve turf interaction. The modification was minor, but Young felt it prevented his irons from digging into the turf on impact – so it stuck.
Titleist’s tour team didn’t mind carrying Young’s clubs upfront, but with the introduction of one-off iron sets for Justin Thomas and Webb Simpson tailored to all of their wants and needs, the conversation eventually turned to the question whether Young could benefit from similar treatment.
Van Wezenbeeck said there was no harm in going down the rabbit hole. With great support from Marni Ines, Titleist director of product development, and Scott Knudson, Titleist research and development manager, the trio set out to develop a prototype 9-iron that Young could test without his knowledge.
“Cameron is a high-speed shoe with a lot of shaft lean, so we knew we had to start with the sole,” Van Wezenbeeck said. “I took the iron to Cameron in Hilton Head to get initial feedback to see if we were close, and he immediately loved the spin consistency and how it held the ball on part of the face. that he wanted.
“At that point I asked him, ‘If there was one more thing you could change, what would it be?’ The only thing he mentioned was that the 6-iron might start a little higher at the top end of the set due to the transition to the T100, but he still wanted the look of a blade 6-iron.”
Young was completely sold on the idea of developing a unique blade. What made the process incredibly easy for Titleist’s iron team was Young’s list of wants, which ended up containing only a handful of changes.
“From the beginning, Cameron was excited about making an iron with the things he wanted,” Van Wezenbeeck said. “He still liked the offset and 620MB profile, so we didn’t have to start from scratch. With the short irons, it was the interaction with the turf and the greater bounce on the leading edge that we presented to him for testing in a full-featured 9-iron prototype.”
In fact, the 9-iron was so good that Young didn’t request a single change after initial testing. To get the 6-iron to a similar location, Ines lowered the center of gravity by widening the sole and removing the weight from the pocket to achieve a higher launch (approximately 1 to 1.5 degrees higher than the 620 MB of Young).
Young tested the 6-iron for the first time at the Memorial tournament and found himself in an almost identical situation – hitting shot after shot without being bothered by the design.
“We were very lucky,” said Van Wezenbeeck. “Both prototypes we released in Hilton Head and Memorial required no modifications. Once you have the bookend irons, it will be easier to assemble the rest of the set. Marni’s team is making pretty good progress in developing these irons and Cameron has provided great feedback. They did it on the first swing.”
With both irons in a good location, Ines added a slightly wider sole and more bounce to the 7 and 8 irons to keep the center of gravity, launch and turf interaction consistent throughout the rest of the set . According to Van Wezenbeeck, it took Scott Knudson about a day and a half to cut and mill each head in Young’s 631.CY set, or about two weeks for a complete set.
Titleist T100 Custom Irons
The iron of choice for more Tour pros now rewards players with an even more solid feel at impact as well as subtle refinements that continue to make the T100 the standard for modern Tour iron performance. For the best players in the game, feel is crucial. The Titleist T100’s refined, fully forged dual-cavity construction provides a more solid feel at impact, while the precise CNC face milling process provides smoother contact and better control. IMPROVED FEEL The latest evolution of T100 dual cavity forged construction features an improved rear bar to produce a more solid feel at impact. Based on modal testing and tour input, the T100 irons are tuned to provide the stability and feel the world’s best players want from a well-struck shot. REFINED FOR MORE CONTROL In addition to improvements to the body construction, the T100 benefits from a new precision CNC face milling process. Combined with a subtle shift in center of gravity, this results in better control and a consistent ball flight, especially when transitioning from the fairway to the first cut. EFFORTLESS INTERACTION WITH THE TURF Working with tour pros and the grinding experts at Vokey Design, our engineers further improved our Variable Bounce sole by smoothing and softening the trailing edge to help the club flow through the turf faster even after contact . A simple but surprisingly useful improvement. BETTER TUNGSTEN FOR BETTER FLIGHT Using dense D18 tungsten and a 2000° aerospace brazing process, Titleist engineers can eliminate spot welds and make CG placement more precise to give you the advantage of advanced engineering performance with a solid forged feel offer.
Young chose to make his iron debut last week at the World Wide Technology Championship, where he shot a perfect 18-for-18 green on the regulation courses in the first round. At the time, Young played the only set in existence, but the performance was enough to convince Van Wezenbeeck to move Young “up a little” for backup sets, which are being cut this week.
With Thomas, Simpson and Young now playing custom iron sets, the obvious question is whether the rest of the Titleist Tour team will follow suit. Van Wezenbeeck was quick to point out that Jordan Spieth and Tom Kim are perfectly happy paying for the inline T100 and see no reason to mess things up.
In other words, not everyone needs your very own personal set.
“We always listen and try to find the best solution for each player,” said Van Wezenbeeck. “In some cases that might mean trying something different, like we did with JT, Webb and Cameron. What we never want to do is force things. We definitely feel like we’re on the right track.”
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https://golf.com/gear/irons/cameron-young-titleist-631-irons-wall-to-wall/ The story behind Cam Young’s Titleist 631.CY irons