Beem switches to Scratch

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Rich Beem, winner of the 2002 PGA Championship, has always had trouble finding irons that suited his swing.

Rich Beem, the winner of the 2002 PGA Championship, has always had trouble finding irons that suited his swing.

And not surprisingly.

He prefers offset irons, which most often are targeted at high handicap golfers with slice problems .

“I’ve always liked offset in my irons,” Beem told Golf.com on Wednesday on the practice 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 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 came onto the market in 2003 with a line of handcrafted wedges, has also made clubs for Ryan Moore, David Duval and Cristie Kerr.

Beem, who, for the time is keeping his Ping G15 4-iron in the bag and is also still using two Callaway X Series JAWS wedges, 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 things were on Wednesday morning, Scratch did not seem to be aware that Beem planned to use its clubs at the Byron.

“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!”

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