If you’re an equipment enthusiast or a keen follower of golf-related Instagram accounts, you remember the name James Patrick Harrington.
Patrick, incredibly, began designing distinct, beautiful wedges in his mother’s garage in Minnesota. And they were everywhere for a while…a sensation. The 30-year-old designer’s signature hand-ground-and-stamped styles looked like this.
Not surprisingly, Patrick’s singular work and stellar craftsmanship caught the attention of major equipment manufacturers—similar to the way Sean Toulon’s Toulon Design excited Callaway so much they had to absorb his putter company into theirs last August.
In April of 2013, Wally Uihlein, President and CEO of Titleist’s parent company, Acushnet, flew to visit Harrington in his garage studio. Uihlein asked the upstart designer: ‘If you had the full resources of Titleist, what could you create?”
Two months later, he signed on with Titleist.
Those of us who followed Harrington’s rise knew this part of the story. But in the four years since, nobody really knew what was going on. Harrington went radio silent and Titleist didn’t furnish any updates. The obvious speculation was that Titleist was grooming JP to be the aging Bob Vokey’s successor.
In short, Harrington has spent the past few years traveling the world to hone his craft further—spending a great deal of time in Japan, in particular. He worked with numerous Tour pros to verify his assumptions about wedge design. All of this was in service of creating his own line of wedges for Titleist, piggybacking off their superb R&D capabilities.
What he’s created, answering Uihlein’s ice-breaking question, is a unique four-piece wedge. More specifically, Harrington has created 16 different wedges, with lofts between 45 and 60 degrees, with each available in multiple sole grinds. And they’re beautiful.
Harrington will hand build each wedge as part of the “JP Fitting Experience,” at Titleist’s Performance Center in California. And he’ll customize that back of the wedge…similar to the look of his pre-Titleist models, so the rear of most JP wedges won’t be blank, as they appear in the promo shots (unless, of course, that’s what you want).
If all of that’s too technical, here’s the takeaway: If you were previously unfamiliar, remember this as the day you heard the name JP Harrington. He’ll soon be sitting in wedge king Bob Vokey’s throne.