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19th Hole

Check out how the clubs in pros’ bags have changed through the years

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As technology continues to improve in golf equipment, it is no surprise to see that PGA Tour professionals have adapted and made changes to the contents of their golf bags throughout the years.

Check out this post from @sms_on_tour , who tracked the average clubs used by players over the last 15 Opens, to see what types of clubs have become more popular over the last 15 years.

There are a few major takeaways. Firstly, pro golfers seem to be carrying more wedges these days. Phil Mickelson raised eyebrows when he first experimented with carrying four wedges, yet over the last 15 years, we have seen a steady and progressive trend towards many Tour pros deploying a similar approach.

Secondly, there’s been a clear increase in hybrids/utility irons at the expense of regular 2-irons and 3-irons. In theory, this is not surprising given the technological increases and general playability of today’s top hybrids and driving irons. With that being said, Ben Hogan must be turning over in his grave!

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Smith

    Jul 23, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Pros’ bags*

  2. Jon

    Jul 22, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Instead of looking at the number stamped on the sole of the club, how about reporting the actual loft being used? A lot of today’s 4 irons are in the 21-23 degree range so in order to bag a 2 iron it would effectively have to be in the range 15-18 degrees. How about 46 degree gap wedges. Does that really qualify as a wedge? I don’t know…it’s all semantics and however you want to spin it.

  3. Shootah

    Jul 21, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    I thought this article was going to be about the contents of the pockets.

    The contents of my bag have changed from gatorade (kid), to miller lite (20s), to white claw (30s).

    • Smith

      Jul 23, 2021 at 10:41 am

      As a fellow golfer in his 30s, I’d definitely recommend giving radlers a try if you can – the perfect golf beverage.

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19th Hole

Ian Poulter on how the Europeans have embraced Ryder Cup underdog mentality

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Ahead of next week’s 43rd Ryder Cup matches, Ian Poulter hopped on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio with Michael Breed to discuss the European team’s chances.

When Breed asked the 12-time European Tour winner about the team’s underdog mentality, Poulter chuckled,

“You know that’s our advantage, I guess, in a way, right? That we have delivered when perhaps we shouldn’t have delivered. And that is the magical question that gets asked all the time. That’s what has the American press scratching their head. That’s what has the American team scratching their heads at times, right? On paper, on paper, on paper, on paper, the U.S. team should have delivered. It’s for us to enjoy and for the American team to figure out, right?”

It’s hard to knock Poulter’s confidence. The European side has won four out of the last five, seven of the last nine, and nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups. Poulter is a six-time Ryder Cup veteran, and the European team is 4-2 when he plays. He holds a lifetime 14-6-2 record, and he has yet to record a loss in Sunday singles.

Nothing about Ian Poulter’s statistical profile jumps out “on paper.” In fact, out of the 24 players competing at Whistling Straits next week, Poulter ranks 21st in data golf’s true strokes gained metric over the last year. With that being said, the U.S. team always has the advantage “on paper,” and that appears to be just the way the Europeans like it.

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19th Hole

Kevin Na: Should have paired me with Bryson at Ryder Cup

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Kevin Na is in action at the PGA Tour’s 2021-22 season opener in Napa this week, fresh off the disappointment of not receiving a Ryder Cup Captain’s pick he felt he might get.

Following an opening round of 3 under par, the American told Golfweek’s Adam Schupak about receiving the bad news from Steve Stricker and explained how he’d have been an ideal partner for Bryson DeChambeau.

“If I had Bryson DeChambeau as my partner hitting driver, I’d be stuffing wedge in there or short irons. I’m a good putter, a good chipper.

“I mean, so all these years you’re telling me that the U.S. team has been struggling because they had lack of length? No, if anything it has been putting, guys able to make putts under the gun. But it’s over.”

Na has been one of the best wedge players and putters consistently over the past few years, and his argument that he could have capitalized on Bryson’s monstrous drives in foursomes action – a format the American side have always struggled with – certainly has plenty of merit.

The 38-year-old looked to have made himself hard not to pick after East Lake, where he had tied the lowest score after four rounds but revealed to Schupak that he felt Stricker had his mind made up before the event.

“It didn’t matter what happened at the Tour Championship. (Stricker) already had his mind set. That’s my personal opinion. I think it would have been great if I played for the team. I think I could have really brought some good energy and I could’ve really contributed and disappointing that I won’t get the chance to do that.”

Safe to say, Na isn’t too pleased with the decision, but he’s ready to work even harder to make the next U.S. team

“It’s a captain’s call. I respect his decision. Do I disagree? Yeah, I disagree. I just have to play better.”

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson shares theory for Europe’s Ryder Cup success

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For the first time in over 25 years, Phil Mickelson will not be competing for the United States Ryder Cup team. He will, however, be in the team room as an assistant captain to Steve Stricker.

No one is more experienced in the Ryder Cup than the six-time major champion, who holds the record for most appearances with 12. With that being said, the United States only holds a 3-9 record in those last 12 matches.

On the debut episode of 5 Clubs with Gary Williams, Mickelson shared his theory for why the European team has been so dominant. When asked if he had a theory why Team Europe was so much more successful, Mickelson responded with a laugh, “Yes I do.”

The reigning PGA Championship winner elaborated, “I see the way they support each other, and I see the way that they have this foundation of support amongst each other to lift each other up. I see them walking side-by-side in the fairways and with a vision of solidarity, if you will. I see them helping each other get the best out of each other.”

That description falls in stark contrast to the countless instances of drama and chemistry issues surrounding the U.S. side. With that being said, Mickelson does believe the U.S. side is improving in that respect.

Referring to the European’s strategy and team effort, the 45-time PGA Tour winner stated, “I see the U.S. starting to do that. We’ve been doing that, and I think we’re going to start to play some of our best golf in the coming years, I really do.”

The 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup kicks off on Friday, September 24th at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin.

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