Justin Rose, who won the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion and is the current Olympic gold medalist in men’s golf, is a long-time TaylorMade staff professional. He comes to the Reynolds Kingdom of Golf periodically for clubfitting and fine-tuning his equipment. Rose also is the official host of the Justin Rose Junior All-Star Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee, the new American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) event at Great Waters. Taking some time from his busy schedule, Rose fielded some questions about his equipment, career, and relationship with Reynolds.

How important is it for a touring professional to have the right equipment?

It’s important for golfers of all abilities to have the right equipment, as correctly fitted clubs will give a player a far better chance of playing their best golf. When I’m out competing against the best players in the world, I want to have every edge and advantage that I can to beat them and TaylorMade gives me that with the great work that their reps do for me on the PGA and European Tours.

When you make a change in equipment, how much work do you do with a launch monitor and how much do you rely on feel?

It’s a mixture of both as I want to know what each club is capable of in terms of distance, launch, and spin, but I also want to be able to shape the ball when needed, so that is where the feel element comes in.

Is it easier to change equipment based on the ease of trying new heads and shafts with the turn of a wrench?

It’s incredible how far golf club technology has come in the past few years and it’s also incredible as to how adjustable the TaylorMade clubs are now. To be able to change the flight and distance that a club hits a ball with a few clicks of the wrench is mind-boggling but also very useful. Club testing and fine tuning is way easier now and the Research & Development Team at TaylorMade deserves a lot of credit as they began the revolution of golf club adjustability a few years ago.

Do you have a club that’s difficult to take away from you?

My driver is my favorite club in the bag. The tee shot I hit on the 18th hole to win the U.S. Open at Merion in 2013 was one of the best shots I’ve ever hit under pressure and I vowed never to change that driver but the team at TaylorMade continues to amaze me and innovate and improve on their products, so here I am with the new M1 driver and I love it!

What impresses you about the Reynolds Kingdom of Golf?

Quite simply, everything! The facilities are first-class and the staff is very attentive to every detail that golfers of all levels need to help them play their best golf. Whether you’re one of the best players in the world or a beginner, the Kingdom will help make you a better, more skilled golfer. And as for The Ritz-Carlton within the Reynolds community and its staff—wow!

You won five big amateur titles in the U.K. at age 15. What was significant to you about your development as a junior?

Junior golf taught me how to compete as well as how to win. I was able to learn how best to practice and prepare for tournaments as well as become a gracious winner and, more importantly, a gracious loser. Junior golf was a very important time in my development as a golfer as it made me realize how much I loved the game and that I wanted to do all I could to become one of the best golfers in the world.

You weren’t quite 18 when you holed the famous wedge shot at Royal Birkdale to finish fourth in the 1998 Open Championship. How did you reach the decision that your junior career was over and that your professional career was about to begin?

I had won at every level of my junior career and had also won some of the biggest amateur tournaments in the world, as well as competing in the 1997 Walker Cup, so I felt I had more than proven myself in junior golf. I always wanted to test myself at the next level and by finishing fourth at The Open Championship, I wanted to push myself, learn from the best, and compete against the best players possible. It was a tough decision but one which has served me well with the career I’ve had to this point.

You’ve lent your name to the AJGA Justin Rose Junior All-Star Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee. How did you come to choose this event to support and how important is junior golf to you today?

I’ve always had a great relationship with the folks at Reynolds as well as the AJGA, so when the opportunity came up for me to be associated with a Junior All-Star Invitational at Reynolds, it was something that I was very excited to be a part of.

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