ORLANDO, Fla. — Take a peek inside Brooks Koepka’s golf bag and you’ll find one Nike club remaining from his days as a Swoosh equipment staffer — he’s still under contract for apparel — a Vapor Fly Pro 3-iron with a Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 95X shaft that’s managed to withstand countless clubs changes over the last few years.
It was Koepka’s “favorite club” when he was still under contract with the Nike for his gear, back in 2016, so it’s easy to understand why he’d want to keep it in the bag. But there’s a chance the long iron could get bumped this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational for a custom Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro 3-iron.
Koepka received the club last week at the Honda Classic and took it home to test before showing up with it in the bag on Wednesday at Bay Hill. As you’d expect with one of the best players in the world, the 3-iron has some custom touches that separate it from the retail version of Hot Metal Pro you’d find at the local golf shop.
According to Mizuno Tour rep Jeff Cook, Koepka wanted to see a slimmed-down profile, which required the back section to be ground down to make it less visible when the three-time major winner sets it down at address. The grind and build process reportedly took one hour to complete.
“We took just enough off to give him what he wanted to see at address,” said Cook.
While the club doesn’t have a number stamped on the sole, Cook confirmed it has 3-iron loft (about 20 degrees) with the same Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 95X shaft he’s been using in his Nike Vapor Fly Pro. The Mizuno RunBird logo was also left off during the grinding process and replaced by Koepka’s initials.
Compared to the game-improvement JPX 919 Hot Metal, the Pro model, which was released earlier this year, features a multi-thickness, one-piece face construction and re-engineered sound ribs for feel. The overall head size was also reduced, but not to the extent of Koepka’s iron.
Koepka almost always shows up with the 14 clubs he plans to use for the tournament week, but it looks like the 3-iron could be a game-time decision at Bay Hill. Mizuno and Nike 3-irons were both spotted in the bag after Wednesday’s Pro-Am round, meaning we’ll have to wait until Thursday to get official confirmation.