The broken 6 iron shaft, emergency replacement and Swing DNA session that lead to Eddie Pepperell’s British Masters win.
When a tour player is on a good run of form – it can take a strange twist of events to encourage any equipment changes. So with Eddie Pepperell having the season of his career (his first with Mizuno), and recently switching to a new set of JPX919 Tour irons, Mizuno’s Matt McIsaac knew it wasn’t the right time to talk shafts.
“Eddie is very much a feel player – so if he likes what he’s playing and in good form, it’s poor timing to discuss a change of shaft. Any small change can take getting used to, even if the trackman says it’s an improvement. Eddie put the 919 Tour heads straight into play because he preferred the thinner topline. We decided that should be the last change until the offseason,” stated McIsaac.
“But Eddie needed a 6 iron shaft in Scotland. The Mizuno truck had left and he had to raid a local shop ‘Auchterlonies’ for an emergency replacement. All that was available at short notice was the KBS C Taper which he used in his 6 iron. This was the iron he hit all his best shots with.”
On Monday of the British Masters, Mizuno had a filming session booked with Pepperell to demonstrate its Shaft Optimizer, a fitting tool used through its retail fitting network. With no script to follow, McIsaac took Pepperell through Mizuno’s 3-swing diagnostic process and by some coincidence – it recommended the KBS C Taper. The same shaft Pepperell had picked up at Auchterlonies in St Andrews. One new set of JPX919 Tour irons, with KBS C Taper shafts later and Pepperell was a wire to wire winner of the British Masters.
According to McIsaac, the moral of the story is not the KBS C Taper itself (Eddie had previously been using the KBS S Taper). “It’s that there’s a ‘best fit’ shaft for everyone – for Eddie, it was the KBS C Taper – for someone else it will be the S Taper. Wait for the moment when you’re open to improvement, throw away your preconceptions and try the Optimizer. It doesn’t know if you’re male, female, a tour winner or a 24 handicap. It just measures your move and finds the best shaft for it.”
Published: October 2018