Rich Beem switching to Scratch irons
IRVING, Texas — Rich Beem, the winner of the 2002 PGA Championship , has trouble finding irons.
"I've always liked offset in my irons," he said Wednesday on the range at the TPC Four Seasons, site of this week’s Byron Nelson Championship. "Over the last couple of months I've been using Ping G15s, which are great and have a lot of offset and I really like the way they look. But at the end of the day I just wanted something that was a little smaller and had more of a blade look."
This week he's playing a set of Scratch Golf AR-1 irons (5-PW). Scratch, which first launched in 2003 with a line of handcrafted wedges, has also made clubs for Ryan Moore, David Duval and Cristie Kerr.
Beem said he's keeping his Ping G15 4-iron in the bag this week. He is also still using two Callaway X Series JAWS wedges.
Beem said that Scratch made him a set of irons during the West Coast Swing, but the heads were too big, so the company made him another set.
"I was home after Charlotte and I knew my iron game had been atrocious all year," Beem said. "I said to myself, 'You need to try another set of irons.' I went to the Scratch irons and I really liked them. I think they are fantastic, good looking and have a really solid feel."
The AR-1 irons are made from forged 1018 carbon steel, the same soft material used in many of the company's wedges. They have perimeter weighting but feature a thin topline at address.
As of Wednesday morning, Scratch probably wasn't aware that Beem planned to use its clubs at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
"The funny thing is that I came out here looking for the Scratch guy this morning," Beem said, "and he's not here this week!" Related: ClubTest '11: Irons | Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook