I can’t make very many definitive predictions about the upcoming Ryder Cup. The event is known for great drama and momentum shifts, so it is a fools game to make specific predictions. Pick a side maybe, but any more than that is a shot in the dark. I do know one thing for sure, the Ryder Cup wouldn’t be much to watch if the players didn’t have any clubs…
Equipment plays an important role in every round of golf on tour, and this week is no different. So in preparation for the 2012 Ryder Cup, let’s take a look at what clubs some of the biggest names will be using.
Tour pros don’t pay for clubs, but safe to say Brandt could afford a few if he had to. The newest FedEx Cup champion, and 10 million dollar man, Snedeker is one of the hottest players on tour. For his victory at East Lake last week, Snedeker had a wide variety of brands in the bag. Like many players on tour he was wielding a Taylor Made driver, with his choice being the Burner SuperFast. From there he had a Tour Edge 3-wood, Ping Anser hybrid, Bridgestone J40 irons, and an Odyssey putter. He also used the Bridgestone B330 golf ball. For what it’s worth, Snedeker wears Bridgestone on his visor, so they must be the highest bidder of that wide array of companies.
I think even most non-golf fans know that Tiger Woods is a Nike man. When you look through his equipment list, you see exactly what you’d expect. Nike all the way through, from his hat to his shoes and everything in between. His driver is the Nike VR Tour, and he plays the VR Pro Blade irons. Tiger is famous for having his clubs customized and tweaked, so I would imagine the clubs in his bag bear very little resemblance to those ones you’d find on the rack.
The world’s number one player is similar to Woods in that he uses one brand throughout the bag – however, McIlroy’s choice is Titleist. Those huge drives are coming off of his Titleist 913D3 driver, and all of those putts have been holed using his Scotty Cameron by Titleist GSS. He has Vokey wedges, Titleist MB irons, and plays the Pro V1x.
Mr. Ryder Cup himself has taken to the podium as an individual this season, winning at the Wyndam Championship. Sergio’s weapon of choice is TaylorMade, and he stays consistent with them through the bag. He is using the Penta TP golf ball, and rolling it with a TaylorMade Ghost Tour MA-81 putter. His driver is the TM R11S, 3-wood is the TM RocketBallz, and 5-wood is the TM Burner SuperFast. He plays TM Tour Preferred MB irons, and TM ATV wedges.
McDowell is an interesting case, as he uses a variety of clubs that are lesser known than most of the other top players. His driver is a Cleveland Classic 290, his 3-wood is a Cleveland Launcher FL, and he uses an Adams Idea Pro a12 hybrid club. For irons McDowell uses Srixon Z-TX II’s, with Project X 6.5 shafts. He uses Cleveland wedges, and Odyssey putter, and the Srixon Z-Star XV ball.
Just as Tiger Woods is synonymous with Nike, Phil is well known for playing Callaway equipment. For this season, his choices include the RAZR Fit driver, Big Bertha Diablo fairway wood, and Callaway X Prototype hybrid. He uses Callaway X-forged RAZR irons, X series wedges, and a prototype Odyssey PT 82 putter.
By this point in the season, most of the players have settled in with their equipment and most of the tinkering is done with. They have made this team by playing well, and are unlikely to make major changes ahead of Friday’s start. So what will they do equipment wise during the week? Probably mostly maintenance, such as fresh grips and maybe new wedges with fresh grooves. As the practice rounds progress, the players will assess which clubs they need most. It is possible some could decide to opt for an extra wedge instead of a long iron, for example.
One thing that stands out from looking at this bag review is the variety of brands and styles present. If anyone ever tells you that you ‘HAVE’ to play a certain brand or club, just point to this example. Most of the best players in the world are assembled at the Ryder Cup, and yet they are using a wide array of clubs. You can get the job done with numerous different brand names. Pick something that works for you, and trust it. That’s what these guys do, and that’s part of the reason they have become the great players that they are.