Watching the best players in the world play golf is entertaining, but for gear heads, it’s equally intriguing to see the equipment that PGA Tour players decide to use each week.
Tour players are in a unique position because they can play basically any clubs they want. Whether it’s a high-end custom club or a complete one-off prototype, they have access to essentially anything they want and need to use — aside from any contractual obligations, of course.
Some players decide to use retail equipment, which is the same gear you can buy off the rack. Others use clubs that are made just for them.
It was an entertaining year for equipment in 2021, and we’ve compiled the best 7 pieces of gear we spotted on the PGA Tour this year. Enjoy the photos below!
1) Jonas Blixt’s super old-school irons
Despite the misconceptions, not all tour pros use equipment that’s completely new. Jonas Blixt, for example, still uses Cobra S3 Pro irons that were first released in 2011.
He recently explained to GOLF.com why: “I’ve tried a bunch of irons through the years, but these go through the turf the way I want them to, so I know how far they go and how they go through the air. The other irons I’ve tried, they haven’t performed the way I want them to…I don’t get any better when I try new ones, I just get worse.”
2) Viktor Hovland switches to a 7-wood
It may have taken some convincing, but Viktor Hovland finally joined team 7-wood in 2021. According to Ping tour rep Kenton Oates, Hovland was stubborn in making the switch to Ping G425 Max 20.5-degree fairway wood, but once he did, he ended up seeing higher ball flights with more stopping power than his driving irons and long irons. He also used the club to capture two wins late in 2021, so the switch ended up working out just fine.
PING G425 Max Fairway Wood
3) Adam Scott’s prototype Titleist 681.AS irons
Adam Scott has used Titleist 680 Forged irons off-and-on since 2003 because he likes the amount of offset they offer at address. This year, however, Titleist made him complete one-of-one prototype irons – called “681.AS” – that match his preferred head shape, but with upgraded materials. He first put the new irons into play at the 2021 CJ Cup.
4) Matt Kuchar’s right-hand armlock putter
Matt Kuchar used to employ an armlock putting method where he ran the elongated putter grip up his left arm. His former Bettinardi putters had 7-8 degrees of loft on them. Recently, though, Kuchar switched into an armlock method where he runs the putter grip up his right arm. Now, he’s using a Bettinardi prototype putter that has 0 degrees of loft.
What does that mean exactly? Listen to a behind-the-scenes explanation here.
5) Rory McIlroy’s absurd wear marks
Rory McIlroy wasn’t always a hybrid user early in his career; he preferred long irons or high-lofted fairway woods instead. In 2020, though, he switched into a TaylorMade SIM Max rescue hybrid, and he’s had it in the bag ever since. Apparently, he’s also never missed the center of the face while using it.
TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue
6) Billy Horschel’s Titleist irons, caked in lead tape
Billy Horschel was spotted using Titleist 620 MB Forged irons at the 2021 U.S. Open that were smothered in lead tape. Not only that, but his irons are bent so much that the irons themselves actually had to change numbers. Each iron was bent 4 degrees strong, so his 8-iron actually became his 7-iron, his 7-iron became his 6-iron, and so on. That’s quite a big change to irons that you can actually buy yourself.
Titleist 620 MB Irons
7) Bryson DeChambeau’s custom, smooth-faced driver
Bryson DeChambeau has a uniquely fast golf swing, and he’s been trying out different face constructions to help deal with the accuracy pitfalls of more distance. Prior to the 2021 Northern Trust, we spotted DeChambeau testing out a completely smooth-faced Cobra RadSpeed driver. It isn’t hard to find the direct center of the face, either, since there’s a black Sharpie mark on the exact center.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2021? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below!