Wall-to-Wall Equipment: Henrik Stenson’s latest club addition costs less than a box of golf balls
Welcome to Wall-to-Wall Equipment, the Monday morning gear wrap-up in which GOLF equipment editor Jonathan Wall takes you through the latest trends, rumors and breaking news.
Back in the bag
Contrary to popular belief, not every pro relies on the newest gear. Up until 2019, Henrik Stenson’s most lethal club in the bag was an “ancient” (by today’s standards) Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood that enjoyed an eight-year run in the bag until the face caved in at the Houston Open.
When the backup failed to produce similar numbers during testing, Stenson opted to shake things up and go with Callaway’s Epic Flash Sub Zero.
“The replacement was probably 95 percent good but not quite as good as the original one,” the Swede said at the time. “Now this one gave up and the backup I had was probably 75 percent, so it was time to get something new. Technology’s moved on.”
Stenson went on to win the Hero World Challenge with the fairway wood months later, but as we’ve learned over the years with trusty clubs like Tiger Woods’ Scotty Cameron Newport 2 and Brandt Snedeker’s Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie, it’s difficult to completely quit a club that’s produced in the biggest moments.
In his pre-Masters tune-up at the Valero Texas Open, Stenson welcomed Diablo Octane Tour back into the fold. With Augusta playing firm and fast this week, it’s very likely the club will see plenty of action as Stenson chases his first green jacket.
Third time’s the charm
Gary Woodland recorded his first top-10 finish since last July at the Valero Texas Open. The successful week just happened to coincide with a driver change for the U.S. Open champion. After trying out multiple Cobra RadSpeed drivers in recent weeks, Woodland switched into a 9-degree TaylorMade SIM2 Max with a single strip of lead tape affixed in the middle of the sole.
Ranked 176th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee entering the event, Woodland found his groove with the driver on a demanding TPC San Antonio Oaks course, finishing the week 18th in the statistical category (plus-2.785) with an average driving distance of 325.7 yards (third in the field).
A first for Bettinardi
It didn’t take Patty Tavatanakit long to make good on the putter deal she signed with Bettinardi Golf in February. Wielding a Studio Stock 3 mallet, Tavatanakit helped Bettinardi win its first LPGA title at the ANA Inspiration. The 360-gram head is made from double-aged stainless steel (DASS) and features a black PVD finish with a micro-honeycomb face milling. Tavatanakit made only four bogeys during the tournament while wielding the putter.
Quick-hitters: Phil Mickelson has been testing a new prototype version of Callaway’s PM Grind wedge. … Brandt Snedeker switched to a Titleist TSi3 driver and finished T-6. … Rickie Fowler’s Cobra RadSpeed XB driver received a makeover in San Antonio. The lead tape on the sole was replaced by hot melt inside the head that serves a similar purpose, positioning weight forward to dial-in Fowler’s flight and spin preferences.
Want to overhaul your own bag for 2021? Visit the expert fitters at our sister company, True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.