7 interesting gear finds inside Tommy Fleetwood’s golf bag | Bag Spy
The gear crew at GOLF.com spends an excessive amount of time at Tour events snapping photographs of the tools used by the best players in the world. Posting club images online without context works in some cases, but it doesn’t help the weekend golfer understand the why behind a pro’s setup. In a fresh series for GOLF.com, equipment editors Jonathan Wall and Ryan Barath attempt to answer those questions by highlighting interesting gear in the bag, unique weighting, loft sleeve settings and more. Welcome to “Bag Spy.”
Armed with one of the purest swings in professional golf, Tommy Fleetwood commands attention when he’s in the field. His equipment setup also deserves awareness for a number of reasons. On paper, Fleetwood’s bag makeup would be considered traditional by today’s Tour standards. However, a closer look reveals several subtle alterations that separate his setup from his peers. Call them gear fingerprints.
Below are seven “fingerprints” we noticed while shooting Fleetwood’s gear during the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
Fleetwood played a 9-degree TaylorMade Stealth Plus last season, so it’s easy to assume they built him a similar driver in the Stealth 2 Plus and sent him on his way. But according to TaylorMade Tour rep Adrian Rietveld, it’s a little more complex than a simple plug-and-play.
Fleetwood was offered two options during testing — an 8-degree Stealth 2 Plus in the standard setting with more weight set back in the head to induce launch, and a 9-degree set higher up with a heavier weight upfront and lighter weight towards the rear of the head to “optimize spin with more loft.”
Fleetwood wound up choosing the 9-degree with more loft and a slightly more forward center of gravity (CG) and has been playing the driver since Dubai. More loft can make it easier to increase launch and optimize carry, but paired with additional weight near the face, it has the potential to generate low spin with a higher launch. This is one recipe to max out driver carry distance.
Mind the gaps
The Hi-Toe version of TaylorMade’s Milled Grind wedge was initially designed to make it easier to open the face on mega-flop shots by raising the toe section, thereby eliminating the chances of missing the ball at impact. What TaylorMade soon realized was how much the higher center of gravity — a benefit of the thicker toe pad — also helped improve launch and spin in lower lofts.
Tommy Fleetwood is one of the pros who found a benefit to the design in the 52-degree. In fact, it’s versatile enough that Fleetwood only carries three wedges — a 47-degree P7TW, 52-degree Hi-Toe 3 and 60-degree Titleist Vokey.
The 8-degree gap between the gap and lob wedge isn’t advisable for the average golfer, due to all the tweener shots it would invariably lead to, but Fleetwood is adept from inside 120 yards. He’s more than aware of the tradeoff that comes with expanding the wedge loft gaps to add a longer club at the top of the set.
Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet grip is the most played model in the professional ranks by a mile. But it’s important to remember the grip comes in a couple of different variations, including a cord option Fleetwood currently uses on his woods and wedges. (His irons actually feature a tackier Iomic grip.)
Unlike the standard rubber offering, Golf Pride fuses a brushed cotton cord into the grip to wick away moisture. The cord also improves traction and increases the overall firmness of the handle. It’s interesting that Fleetwood prefers a firmer feel with the woods and wedges, but a softer, tackier feel with the irons. Fleetwood’s grips are a great example of why you should test out different grips before opting for a single texture or firmness across the board.
Axis1’s TM Elite prototype putter is the newest addition to Fleetwood’s bag. Before this year, the brand boasted ambassador Justin Rose as its most notable user. But the putter has been gaining traction in recent months. Billy Horschel and Jimmy Walker used the putter in competition before Fleetwood made the transition official at Riviera.
Few details are available on Fleetwood’s TM Elite, but it should be noted the black insert is a new addition to Axis1’s putter menu.
Mixing it up
Similar to the grip situation, Fleetwood plays different shafts in his irons and wedges. The irons feature a stout Project X 6.5, while the wedges are built with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400. Going with a softer flex in the wedges in a common setup on the PGA Tour, and was actually popularized by Tiger Woods — True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 in the irons and S400 in the wedges — during his heyday.
It varies from player to player, but most amateur golfers will notice a slightly lower ball flight and more feel in the hands with a softer flex. For some, it can also help maintain spin compared to using the same shaft across the board. Considering many Tour players prioritize feel, consistency and control on shorter approach shots, it’s easy to see why Fleetwood drops down in flex with the wedges.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, Tiger Woods should be proud to have some of the biggest names on Tour playing a set of TaylorMade P7TW irons that were designed specifically for his wants and needs. In addition to Fleetwood, Scottie Scheffler also wields the P7TW, which is the more traditional muscleback in TaylorMade’s iron lineup.
Housed inside the head are tungsten slugs designed to achieve a specific combination of flight, feel and control. The blade length is also extended to match Woods’ preferences.
Fleetwood actually received a set with TF Proto stamped on the head just before he signed with TaylorMade in 2020, but they didn’t last. By 2021, he was into a full set of P7TWs. Fleetwood is one of the best ball-strikers on the planet, so if anyone should be playing Woods’ irons, it’s “The Flusher.” (It should be noted: The only other time Fleetwood has used the TF Proto version since then is when he trotted out an 18-degree 3-iron at the 2022 U.S. Open.)
Reppin’ for Europe
Fleetwood has represented Europe in the last two Ryder Cups (2018, 2021), but he still has a headcover from 2018 protecting his TaylorMade fairway wood. It happens to be the last edition where Europe came out on top and was a coming out of sorts for Fleetwood, who won all four matches — a Ryder Cup first — with partner Francesco Molinari, earning them the nickname “Moliwood.”
Fleetwood will be hoping for a similar result when the Ryder Cup heads to Rome in September. For now, though, he has a headcover to remember an incredible week.
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