Inside Nelly Korda’s bag: 7 things I learned inspecting Korda’s clubs
Nelly Korda’s equipment setup is full of gear gems that come into view only when you take a look at the entire setup. It’s a glorified equipment Easter egg hunt, which is something I thoroughly enjoy when inspecting the clubs used by one of the best golfers on the planet.
Here are 7 things that stood out after taking a closer look at the photos I captured of Korda’s setup.
1. Numero uno
Before switching to Titleist’s TSR1 driver, Korda was one of the only pros on Tour wielding the lightweight TSi1. While the driver was noticeably absent from last month’s TSR release, the inclusion of TSR1 in Korda’s bag all but confirms it’s coming at a later date.
Korda, who won a major with TSi1, admitted past success and reliability made it challenging to let go of her old gamer — until she saw ball speed increase from 152 mph to 154 mph.
“It was a great driver,” Korda said of TSi. “I had success with it and knew what it could do, but the numbers I saw with TSR1 made it clear I should give it a try.”
A combination of more ball speed and lowering the stated loft from 9 to 10 degrees helped Korda drop roughly 400 RPMs and lower launch from 12 to 11.5 degrees, resulting in an additional 10 yards of carry distance (290 yards).
“It’s a lot less spin, which is what I’m looking for,” Korda said. “My [TSi1] was flying nicely, but it was spinning a bit much. Since we’ve been able to drop the spin, I’m still seeing a similar carry and more rollout. The overall look of the two drivers is pretty similar, except where the shaft is inserted on the TSR1,” Korda said. “It looks a bit more pronounced. It’s nice to look at, and it doesn’t hurt when you can make the switch without having to make a bunch of adjustments.”
Ball speed is one way to gain more distance, but as you can see from Korda’s adjustments, there’s more than one way to squeeze yards out of the big stick without negatively affecting carry.
2. Anything but stock
As I mentioned in last week’s deep dive on Lydia Ko’s gear, Korda doesn’t use the same SureFit loft sleeve setting on her three Titleist woods, which allows her to adjust loft and lie angle. On the driver, Korda is stock across the board at A1 — 9 degrees with a standard lie angle. The lie angle remains standard on the 3-wood, at D4, but loft increases by .75 to 17.25 degrees for a slightly higher launch. As for the 5-wood, the C4 setting adds .75 degrees with a flatter lie angle (.75 degrees).
So what can we learn from the different loft sleeve settings? It highlights the importance of using a piece of technology that few weekend golfers use. Knowing how the different settings can help (or hurt) your game will make you a smarter player in the long run if you can locate the ideal setup to match your game.
3. Fairway finder
Having a reliable driver can take a lot of stress off the rest of your game. But if you want to have a well-rounded gear setup, it’s important to possess a secondary option that can find the fairway with regularity. For most golfers, it might be a 3- or 5-wood. In Korda’s case, it’s a 16.5-degree Titleist TSi2 fairway wood.
“The first week I put the TSR1 driver in play, I think I hit it four times during the tournament,” Korda said. “I rely a lot on my 3-wood because it’s long and accurate.”
You can tell by the wear spot in the center of the face that Korda rarely misses with the club. It’s the kind of secondary option every golfer dreams of having in their bag.
4. Long John
The flashiest headcover in Korda’s bag actually sports the name of another golf icon — John Daly. Korda’s father, Petr, said at last year’s PNC Championship that he started to get interested in golf when Daly won his second major championship.
“I start kind of paying attention (to golf) when Mr. [John] Daly was — when he won the  British Open when Constantino Rocca missed the chip and then he made the phenomenal putt,” Korda said.
Petr and Nelly wound up being paired with John and his son, John II, last year at the PNC. Petr’s admiration for Daly’s game has since carried over to Nelly, who sports a smaller version of the famous multi-colored lion headcover that can be found on Daly’s driver.
5. Worthy replacement
The 26-degree Ping G425 hybrid in Korda’s bag is a reminder that traditional long irons are no longer needed. With game-improvement offerings, utility irons and high-lofted hybrids filling the gap, weekend golfers are better off following Korda’s lead and adding one of the above clubs to replace their 4-iron.
The combination of forgiveness and a higher launch makes it a no-brainer. Even better? The adjustable hosel makes it a cinch to turn down the launch on a windy day.
6. Different weights
Similar to Ko, Korda plays the same shaft in two different weights. In her Titleist T100 irons, it’s Aerotech’s SteelFiber i80 at 85 grams. In the wedges, it’s a heavier Aerotech SteelFiber i95 at 95 grams. The goal for many pros is to maintain a consistent feel throughout the irons and wedges but increase the feel in the scoring tools.
It’s partly why many players increase the weight and drop down ever-so-slightly in flex to make the shaft more active for delicate pitch and chip shots. It’s a small adjustment that’s turned into one of the more popular gear trends in the professional ranks.
7. Less loft
You can learn two things from looking at this picture. First off, Korda has consistent loft gaps (four degrees) throughout here wedges, including the 46-degree pitching wedge. Keeping the gaps consistent from one wedge to the next is a surefire way to reduce the possibility of a carry yardage hole that might require you to take something off or step on it to hit your number.
I also love the fact Korda uses a 58-degree lob wedge instead of the standard 60-degree. It’s enough loft to still execute a flop shot but can still be turned down to execute a higher pitch shot, if needed. And with Korda’s exceptional hands, the low bounce on the T grind allows her to keep the leading tight against the turf to nip the ball. It’s a winning combination for Korda’s short-game needs.
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