May 11, 2015

6 Memorable Equipment Setups at the Masters

Jordan Spieth made history this past weekend by comfortably winning the Masters. Below we’ve listed the clubs he used to win. He’s made some interesting choices regarding his putter grip, his 52, 56, 60 wedge setup and his wood shafts. He’s clearly been fit properly based on his preferred shot shape, common misses, short game skill, angle of attack and spin numbers. We thought it would also be interesting to look at some of the most memorable equipment setups used at the Masters by players like Mickelson, Watson, Jimenez, Snedeker and others.

Driver: Titleist 915D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 60TX
3 Wood: Titleist 915F (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 7X
Hybrid: Titleist 915H.d (20.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 95X
Irons: Titleist 714 AP2 (4-9)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.0
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 (46-08 F, 52-08 F, 56-10 S and 60-04 L)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.0
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009 Prototype
Grip: SuperStroke Flatso Ultra (Black/White)

1. Zach Johnson wins with his wedges
Augusta National is famous for its tight lies and reachable par 5’s. But in 2007 Zach Johnson did the unthinkable, winning the tournament without going for a single par 5 in two. His ‘lay up and hit it close with the wedges’ strategy worked to perfection. What most insiders found even more interesting is that Johnson used a 54˚ Titleist Vokey sand wedge with 12˚ of bounce and a 60˚ Titleist Voeky V-Grind Lob wedge with a measured 18˚ of bounce, which based on his swing resulted in an effective bounce of 12˚. Based on the rest of the field these wedges would be considered ‘high bounce’, and some would argue (incorrectly if you ask Zach) that low bounce wedges work better at Augusta. It shows again that all norms and generalisations can be thrown out the window when it comes to your wedges, best to get fitted properly to the correct wedge bounce based on your angle of attack and release pattern.

2. How many hybrids?
YE Yang beat Tiger Woods down the stretch to win the 2009 PGA Championship. On the last hole he hit a near impossible shot from the rough with a hybrid that landed softly on the 18th green shutting the door on Tiger. Safe to say he’s a fan of hybrids. He takes at least 3 hybrids to Augusta. That means that his set of irons only start at the 6iron. This Major champion is joined by many others on tour who have swopped out their 3 and 4 irons for easier to hit hybrids. Maybe your ego should let go of those long irons, hybrids are easier to hit out of the rough, allow you to land the ball softly on greens with the correct trajectory and with the correct graphite shaft you’re bound to find your ‘money club’.

3. Bubba and Phil risk nose bleeds
These two Masters champions both used a 64˚ Lob wedge in winning their green jackets. For most people this would be a very difficult club to hit. But their aggressive action through the ball when pitching allows them to get the optimal spin numbers for all the touch shots around the slick greens of Augusta National. With any wedge there are ideal trajectory and spin numbers you want to be creating, best to get yourself to a launch monitor to see if your wedge lofts are working in your favor. Another aspect of adding wedges to your bag is making sure that you pick the right lofts based on distance gapping.

4. Mickelson carries 2 drivers
When Phil won the 2006 Masters he did so by playing two drivers all week. He fine tuned them so that one had a slightly longer carry and draw bias, while the other was slightly shorter and allowed him to hit a cut easily. You might be used to hitting a certain shape with your driver, but with slight changes to the head and shaft you could easily change or negate that shape, adding distance and carry in the process.

5. Jimenez throws in lucky number 7
Not too many players use a 7 wood, but the most interesting man in golf surprises us again as he strolls into Augusta every year with a 3-5-7 fairway wood setup. The trajectory and stopping power this club has is perfect for long approaches into the firm and tricky Augusta green complexes that demand spin and accuracy.

6. Snedeker goes old school
Brandt SnedekerBrandt Snedeker prefers a very flexible equipment endorsement deal. He sticks with what works regardless of the ‘latest and greatest’. His driver is a Taylormade Burner Superfast, that is 6yrs old. This means that when he shows up for the Masters he has a driver in the bag that has had a longer PGA Tour career than Rory McIlroy. He’s been refit many times in the last 6 years and his existing driver comes out tops every time. He also uses a putter model, Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie, that is 9yrs old. Hey as long as you’re looking at accurate launch monitor and SAM PuttLab data, if it works don’t change it!

The clubs in your bag should serve one purpose, to help you play your very best based on your unique swing, course conditions and strategy. If you have any questions about your current equipment setup or want to accurately measure your performance on a launch monitor while getting some expert advice, give us a call or visit us at Golf Science. www.golfscience.com

Cheers

Warren Lake
Managing Director, Golf Science