I have seen a ridiculous amount of cool things on the truck thus far……
Proto irons, 💎💎💎 heads, custom wedges, and on and on and on and on and on.
It’s almost stimulus overload for a gearhead like myself. However, the thing that piques my curiosity more than anything is trends. What equipment is flying out of the drawers and why? Every year it’s something different.
Without a shadow of a doubt, this year’s trend has been 4 and 7 woods making their way into bags. What’s interesting is the WHY.
PGA Tour Players look at their bags like an assortment of tools, some tools have one job, some have multiple. Fairway woods have a HUGE responsibility to not only perform as a distance club but more importantly an emergency fairway finder, a shot shaper, and a gapping anchor. It’s rare for a Tour player to start gapping off of a driver, it typically begins at the 3-wood.
“It really tied the room together” -Jeff Lebowski
That’s the fairway metal.
In some cases like Matt Wallace (who plays an Epic Speed 4 wood bent to 3 wood loft), it’s a face angle preference. Wallace who prefers the face to sit a touch open feels like it has helped him swing aggressively without any fear of the ball going left. If you watched the Valero Texas Open a few weeks back, the guy was hitting some majestic shots into the Par 5’s.
For Kevin Kisner it’s simply height, he put a Mavrik SZ 7 wood in play last year to fill the perfect gap between his 3-wood and Apex UT 3 Iron. Kisner would be considered a mid launch player found that the 7 wood gave him the ability to have a club near the top of his bag that he could hit straight up in the air with some spin. Basically, the exact 230+ yard shot a ton of players had into #15 at Augusta.
Xander Schauffele recently swapped out his trusted ROGUE 3 and 5 woods, for more lofted Mavrik SZ 4 and 7 woods. The reason? He’s swinging it so well these days that the ROGUE’s were just going way too far throwing the bag out of balance. Cant have it. Going into the higher lofted woods, Xander was hitting his exact numbers and finding the exact spin numbers he wanted off the tee and the ground.
Marc Leishman who has an Epic Speed 4-wood in play lookls at it from a different angle. Leishman hits a hard cut with every club, however he needed one stick that he could turn over on command and that would fit in that 265 yd gap with around 3000RPM’s of spin. The 4-wood checked off every box.
If the average golfer can take anything away from this it would be to start looking at your bag as a tool belt, not a bag of rocket launchers. Each tool has a job and that club has to EARN a spot in the bag for a very specific reason. If your 3 wood ends up being a 4 or a 5 wood, who cares. 7 Wood instead of a 3 or 4 iron? Who cares.
I remember working with a great fitter one time and he told me that the only club you want to go as far and straight as possible is the driver, the rest of them have to do multiple things. Keep in mind that the fairway woods may be your last line of defense during a round, if the driver goes south, it’s essential that you have one or two clubs at the top of your bag that can get you to the clubhouse. Next time you are in the market for Fairway woods, don’t look at it as simply a distance club, it’s a jack of all trades tool that MUST offer you a ton of variety and even more trust.