Jump to content

To what extent does equipment brand matter at PGA level?


AceCatKY
 Share

Recommended Posts

With Rose's recent win coming a few weeks after his switch to Honma, it leads to the question how much does equipment brand matter to PGA tour pros' performance? There have been a lot of other players recently switching entire bag or portions of their bag and maintaining the same sort of finishes as well. Guys like Koepka seem to have benefited from a mixed bag approach following Nike's equipment exodus.

 

Obviously using some set of Walmart special irons would likely affect play but among the major brands I feel like their is little difference in terms of quality and most differences are more aesthetics and buzz words like "twist face", "jail break", or "rocket ballz" etc.

 

I find it hard to believe that if say DJ suddenly had a full Callaway bag that it would impact his scoring average in a meaningful way, what do you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 45
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Let's say you're an extreme climber and you use a certain brand of rope sold at a climbing store, and it's saved your life.

 

Now, go to Walmart and get some rope from them - what are your feelings for your next climb - from a confidence standpoint?

 

Bad analogy.

 

These guys work so closely with their manufacturers to tweak their equipment to hit "their numbers" that manufacturer is basically irrelevant. Yes, there can be some comfort issues (I'll use Tiger using those Nike Putters over his Scotty he won 13 majors with as the best example), but performance wise, no difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other than looks most of the clubs are going to be fairly close in performance. The shaft is the biggest factor and I don’t know of any players that signed shaft contracts. Should be able to get most clubs to perform pretty close to the same.

Walmart clubs... not going to perform. There’s a reason they have them for $100 sitting next to a pile of recycled Top Flites.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Corey Pavin and Lee Janzen both fell off the map after changing clubs, although it was the irons that did them in. Janzen contracted with Hogan to promote a draw biased GI iron, opposite to what he had been playing and to his preferred shot shape. So, it happens, but since the money has gotten so big, an established player doesn't have to make those decisions solely based on money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's say you're an extreme climber and you use a certain brand of rope sold at a climbing store, and it's saved your life.

 

Now, go to Walmart and get some rope from them - what are your feelings for your next climb - from a confidence standpoint?

 

Bad analogy.

 

These guys work so closely with their manufacturers to tweak their equipment to hit "their numbers" that manufacturer is basically irrelevant. Yes, there can be some comfort issues (I'll use Tiger using those Nike Putters over his Scotty he won 13 majors with as the best example), but performance wise, no difference.

 

 

Poor comprehension. Read the post - I was referencing "from the standpoint of confidence."

 

You're just making a guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say the brand matters nothing to a PGA Tour pros performance. As long as the clubs are in a style they like and fit to their preferred specs the name on them is meaningless. This gets illustrated every time a pro changes brands with little to no drop in their performance, ranking, etc.

Ping G410 Plus 12°/Xcaliber SL55, Maltby KE4 TC 5w/Xcaliber SL FW r flex, Maltby KE4 HyWay 21°/Xcaliber SL r flex, Maltby KE4 Tour TC 4h/Xcaliber Rapid Taper r flex, Maltby KE4 Tour TC 5h/Xcaliber Rapid Taper r flex, Maltby KE4 Tour+ 6-G/Xcaliber Rapid Taper r flex, Maltby TSW 54° and 58°/Xcaliber Rapid Taper r flex, Mizuno Bettinardi C06

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Outside of Bubba playing with mini putt balls, it’s probably not fair to attribute any loss of form at the pro level to equipment. These guys can win with anything. And it’s mostly the ball.

Titleist TS3 w/ Even Flow White
M1 w/ Diamana Thump
M4 Tour w/ Kuro Kage TiNi
GAPR w/ KBS Tour Proto
Srixon Z-765 w/ PX LZ
Vokey 46° 
Hi-Toe 52° & 58°
Bobby Grace Tour Diamond 3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes and no. There are numerous examples of pros changing equipment and then going into a slump, especially if the change is to a type of equipment that is fundamentally different than what they are used to playing. On the hand, the companies all have groups of people whose only job is the get the pros something that they feel comfortable playing. Ultimately a blade is a blade regardless of what company's name is stamped on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Outside of Bubba playing with mini putt balls, it's probably not fair to attribute any loss of form at the pro level to equipment. These guys can win with anything. And it's mostly the ball.

 

Steve Stricker attributed one of the main reasons his career went south for a long time was switching equipment after his multi-win season in '96. I believe he switched from Titleist to Peerless when it was under Arnie's flag, and then he switched to TaylorMade for a while as well I believe before coming back to Titleist.

 

Despite having won twice in 1996, I signed with a new sponsor and switched equipment for the following season. Looking back, that was the genesis of my struggles. In subtle ways I began to change the very game that had carried me to the highest level of golf. That was a huge mistake.

 

Different strokes for different folks, but there are many more examples of players struggling after equipment changes than those who succeeded (or played at the same level) after equipment changes. But there is just so much money being thrown around out there right now that these players seemingly dont have a choice when the moment arrives to sign for the dollars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think specifications of the clubs are more important than what manufacturers name is stamped on them. I do agree with Ferguson that switching manufacturers can affect confidence. Even at the sub conscious level the lack of experience and confidence can impact performance, especially for guys that have been with one club manufacturer for a very long period of time.

Driver - Home Callaway MAVRIK / G400 MAX
Woods - XXIO 10 3W
Hybrids - XXIO 10 3H, 4H, 5H
Irons - Home - PXG Gen 2 0311P 5-SW   Away - Callaway Epic Forged 5-SW
Wedge - Callaway MD5 JAWS X Grind 60* 
Putter - Odyssey Triple Track 7
Ball - TM TP5X, TM Tour Response

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not brand but the clubs themselves do matter.

 

Didn't Tiger get his current irons and wedges made by Mike Taylor and the same guys from the Nike Oven that have made his clubs for years? It's obviously very important to him that his irons and wedges be shaped a certain way and have certain edges. Also, for example, specific grinds and bounces on wedges matter a lot. If you gave Tiger and other pros game improvement irons with thick toplines it would bother them.

 

 

I know that personally I got really used to using a 60 degree Vokey wedge and when I tried to switch to a TaylorMade wedge it seemed like the leading edge was bulkier and it totally threw me off visually and mentally. Especially on those tight lies where confidence is key around the greens, you really get used to using a certain wedge bounce and shape.

 

So it's not really a brand thing. It's a matter of getting the correct specs and visual appearance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not brand but the clubs themselves do matter.

 

Didn't Tiger get his current irons and wedges made by Mike Taylor and the same guys from the Nike Oven that have made his clubs for years? It's obviously very important to him that his irons and wedges be shaped a certain way and have certain edges. Also, for example, specific grinds and bounces on wedges matter a lot. If you gave Tiger and other pros game improvement irons with thick toplines it would bother them.

 

 

I know that personally I got really used to using a 60 degree Vokey wedge and when I tried to switch to a TaylorMade wedge it seemed like the leading edge was bulkier and it totally threw me off visually and mentally. Especially on those tight lies where confidence is key around the greens, you really get used to using a certain wedge bounce and shape.

 

So it's not really a brand thing. It's a matter of getting the correct specs and visual appearance.

Srixon Z745 Japanese Tour 430cc Tour AD-DJ7 XX
Srixon zU45 (2,3) KBS Tour 130X White Pearl 2* up
Srixon JDM Z945 (4-PW) KBS Tour 130X White Pearl 2* up
Cleveland 588 DSG(52,56,60) KBS Tour 130X White 2* up
dumbest putter ever...backstryke with tons of lead tape

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not brand but the clubs themselves do matter.

 

Didn't Tiger get his current irons and wedges made by Mike Taylor and the same guys from the Nike Oven that have made his clubs for years? It's obviously very important to him that his irons and wedges be shaped a certain way and have certain edges. Also, for example, specific grinds and bounces on wedges matter a lot. If you gave Tiger and other pros game improvement irons with thick toplines it would bother them.

 

 

I know that personally I got really used to using a 60 degree Vokey wedge and when I tried to switch to a TaylorMade wedge it seemed like the leading edge was bulkier and it totally threw me off visually and mentally. Especially on those tight lies where confidence is key around the greens, you really get used to using a certain wedge bounce and shape.

 

So it's not really a brand thing. It's a matter of getting the correct specs and visual appearance.

 

Tiger's current clubs were not made by Mike Taylor and the artisan guys. Tiger would have gotten the exact same irons and wedges no matter where he went. Callaway would've made the same clubs to match his specs if he signed with them. Justin Rose most likely switched to Honma because the exec at Taylormade that he's worked with for so long is now at Honma. He's also not using off theie shelf irons or wedges. He found a company that is willing to make a set of stick taylored to him. If I had that opportunity I would do it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At this level, they can play with sticks and still hit it better than most people.

 

 

 

That's not the argument.

 

And, what I find funny is that you list your club brand in your posts. If you're aligned with a brand at a 4.1, imagine how tour player must feel when he actually does this job for a living.

 

 

We are talking about to what extent does brand make for tour player.

 

 

Two Schools -

1. Brand makes no difference and a tour player can play with any brand, at any time and shoot exactly the same score.

2. Brand makes a huge difference to a tour player in terms of feel, look and confidence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any recent examples of struggles? Maybe the pxg guys? It seems like the big companies have so many offerings, things are so adjustable, and they can just build to suit (Tigers irons) that actual performance isn't impacted. Look and feel yes.

 

There are quite a few, but the one that stands out for me is G-Mac. Won at Pebble with Callaway then went chasing the $$$ with his side kick manager, long downhill spiral from there.

 

  • Ping G400 9* Fujikura Speeder 661 X (+16g head weight)
  • Tour Edge Exotics CB3 Tour 18*, True Temper Bi Matrix RXi X 
  • Adams Idea A7 19* & 22* UST V2 Hybrid X +0.5'
  • Mizuno MP20 HMB 4i KBS C-Taper 130X +0.5' 2 deg up
  • Mizuno MP20 MMC 5-7 Nippon Modus 3 130X +0.5' 2 deg up
  • Mizuno MP20 MB 8-PW Nippon Modus 3 130X +0.5' 2 deg up
  • Cleveland RTX3 V-MG 50* TT S400 +0.5'
  • Nike Engage Raw 54* TT S400 +0.5'
  • Cleveland RTX 588 Rotex 2.0 60* TT S400 +0.5'
  • EVNROLL 2.2 35' Super Stroke GTR 1.0

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's all about the specs, look and feel for them, then stamp any name on it. They have enough at stake to practice with new brands before risking their livelihoods. I'm betting it they aren't comfy, it doesn't go in the bag. Those guys are good enough to play well with any clubs that are right for their needs.

  • PING G400SFT 12*
  • PING G400 4h, 5h
  • Callaway XROS 7h
  • PING G400 8,9,W,UW
  • Callaway SureOut 56* SW
  • Odyssey VLine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a lot of the responses beg a follow-up question.. If most are in agreement that club brand really doesn't affect play as long as looks / specs are fitting, how do the huge club contracts make sense?

I personally know no one that goes out and buys a new TM driver because they saw DJ using it, or only plays Chrome Softs because of some Callaway staffer and many agree that club brand doesn't affect play at PGA level; so how does an OEM paying $10M or whatever to a player for a club deal make sense? I can see it make sense for Honma or PXG who are/were trying to stablish their brands, but if say Jason Day suddenly had a full bag Ping contract, would that really move the needle on their sales?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's say you're an extreme climber and you use a certain brand of rope sold at a climbing store, and it's saved your life.

 

Now, go to Walmart and get some rope from them - what are your feelings for your next climb - from a confidence standpoint?

I would agree with this analogy as long as the ropes are identical, as in both are basically the same exact rope manufactured in the same exact faculty and one goes left at the end of the line, to the climbing/outdoor stores under a private label name and one goes right to Walmart, under another name, with those names and point of sale being the only difference between the two ropes. It’s almost the placebo effect test, and as I have stated incessantly(and Richard has a time or two, haha), it is MENTAL, and the one rope leaves the climber with the utmost confidence so he doesn’t even think about the rope, only his ascent up the mountain, versus the Walmart rope may leave a smidgeon of doubt in his mind and it only takes one untimely thought about that rope versus his next step/move and success, and the outcome is totally different and potentially catastrophic.

 

While the result on a golf course are nowhere as extreme as on a mountain, the Players that perform the best are not even thinking about the clubs in their bags or the club in their hands, and only on the successful swing to come and the shot and outcome to follow. The fact is that these guys/gals are good enough to grab a set off the rack at Dick’s/GG, and after some line time to adjust, they can Play anything. The difference is that only a very very select few truly believe this. It’s MENTAL!! If he/she thinks it’s the best possible club for them, then it is! Nice post Fergy :) M

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not brand but the clubs themselves do matter.

 

Didn't Tiger get his current irons and wedges made by Mike Taylor and the same guys from the Nike Oven that have made his clubs for years? It's obviously very important to him that his irons and wedges be shaped a certain way and have certain edges. Also, for example, specific grinds and bounces on wedges matter a lot. If you gave Tiger and other pros game improvement irons with thick toplines it would bother them.

 

 

I know that personally I got really used to using a 60 degree Vokey wedge and when I tried to switch to a TaylorMade wedge it seemed like the leading edge was bulkier and it totally threw me off visually and mentally. Especially on those tight lies where confidence is key around the greens, you really get used to using a certain wedge bounce and shape.

 

So it's not really a brand thing. It's a matter of getting the correct specs and visual appearance.

 

Tiger's current clubs were not made by Mike Taylor and the artisan guys. Tiger would have gotten the exact same irons and wedges no matter where he went. Callaway would've made the same clubs to match his specs if he signed with them. Justin Rose most likely switched to Honma because the exec at Taylormade that he's worked with for so long is now at Honma. He's also not using off theie shelf irons or wedges. He found a company that is willing to make a set of stick taylored to him. If I had that opportunity I would do it!

 

Mike Taylor absolutely designed Tiger’s current irons and they are exactly the same as the ones he played at Nike.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've all heard the incredible stories about how a tour pro had his clubs lost or damaged and went to the local golf store, bought a set off the rack and went on to win a tournament. It makes for a great story but when you look at all the rest of the guys that made equipment changes it usually doesn't go as well that first year or two.

 

It seems guys are able to adapt to different woods quicker than irons, so maybe the evaluation has to go down to a club level but overall, look, feel, swing weight and confidence all factor into the equation.

Driver - Home Callaway MAVRIK / G400 MAX
Woods - XXIO 10 3W
Hybrids - XXIO 10 3H, 4H, 5H
Irons - Home - PXG Gen 2 0311P 5-SW   Away - Callaway Epic Forged 5-SW
Wedge - Callaway MD5 JAWS X Grind 60* 
Putter - Odyssey Triple Track 7
Ball - TM TP5X, TM Tour Response

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a lot of the responses beg a follow-up question.. If most are in agreement that club brand really doesn't affect play as long as looks / specs are fitting, how do the huge club contracts make sense?

I personally know no one that goes out and buys a new TM driver because they saw DJ using it, or only plays Chrome Softs because of some Callaway staffer and many agree that club brand doesn't affect play at PGA level; so how does an OEM paying $10M or whatever to a player for a club deal make sense? I can see it make sense for Honma or PXG who are/were trying to stablish their brands, but if say Jason Day suddenly had a full bag Ping contract, would that really move the needle on their sales?

 

Because we are in the top percentile of golfers that understand this, the average golfer is typically very brand loyal based on what his favorite player plays or what is best buddy that he considers a good golfer plays. OEM's aren't targeting us, they know we'll dump any of them to get an extra few yards or greater dispersion from their competitor and most of us play mixed bags anyway.

Driver - Home Callaway MAVRIK / G400 MAX
Woods - XXIO 10 3W
Hybrids - XXIO 10 3H, 4H, 5H
Irons - Home - PXG Gen 2 0311P 5-SW   Away - Callaway Epic Forged 5-SW
Wedge - Callaway MD5 JAWS X Grind 60* 
Putter - Odyssey Triple Track 7
Ball - TM TP5X, TM Tour Response

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is something I'd love to ask a tour player in person if I'd ever met one socialy where they would not be obliged to peddle any kind of product/narrative. They'll never give you a straight answer in the media anyway. My personal believe would be that if you play Titleist blades as a staffer and move to TM they'd have no trouble replicating them because there's no technology anyway. But there's a ton of players who have never been the same again after switching brand so there must be something more going on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not brand but the clubs themselves do matter.

 

Didn't Tiger get his current irons and wedges made by Mike Taylor and the same guys from the Nike Oven that have made his clubs for years? It's obviously very important to him that his irons and wedges be shaped a certain way and have certain edges. Also, for example, specific grinds and bounces on wedges matter a lot. If you gave Tiger and other pros game improvement irons with thick toplines it would bother them.

 

 

I know that personally I got really used to using a 60 degree Vokey wedge and when I tried to switch to a TaylorMade wedge it seemed like the leading edge was bulkier and it totally threw me off visually and mentally. Especially on those tight lies where confidence is key around the greens, you really get used to using a certain wedge bounce and shape.

 

So it's not really a brand thing. It's a matter of getting the correct specs and visual appearance.

 

Tiger's current clubs were not made by Mike Taylor and the artisan guys. Tiger would have gotten the exact same irons and wedges no matter where he went. Callaway would've made the same clubs to match his specs if he signed with them. Justin Rose most likely switched to Honma because the exec at Taylormade that he's worked with for so long is now at Honma. He's also not using off theie shelf irons or wedges. He found a company that is willing to make a set of stick taylored to him. If I had that opportunity I would do it!

 

Mike Taylor absolutely designed Tiger's current irons and they are exactly the same as the ones he played at Nike.

 

You're right, I swore I heard that Mike Taylor did not do his Taylormade clubs, must have misheard. I think this is still an example that if the player has a high enough profile and important enough to the company they'll get custom made heads. Mike Taylor probably would've made the clubs no matter the OEM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is something I'd love to ask a tour player in person if I'd ever met one socialy where they would not be obliged to peddle any kind of product/narrative.

Though you may not meet him in person, you can ask a tour player right here on the board, as I’d bet that he was on both sides of the table through his almost decade long PGA Tour career, and I’m speaking of Patrick Burke(Rangersgoalie). None shoot straighter :) M
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Our picks

    • 2022 Farmers Insurance Open Photos - 26 WITBs & New Gear- Discussion and Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
      General Albums - 
       
      2022 Farmers Insurance Open - Monday #1
      2022 Farmers Insurance Open - Monday #2
      2022 Farmers Insurance Open - Monday #3
      2022 Farmers Insurance Open - Monday #4
       
       
      WITB Albums - 
       
      Hideki Matsuyama - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Sung Kang - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Adam Long - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Brandon Wu - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Jimmy Walker - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Sam Burns - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Xander Schauffele - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Trey Mullinax - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Daniel Berger - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      James Hahn - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Phil Mickelson - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Aaron Wise - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Justin Thomas - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Lee Hodges - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Jordan Spieth - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Cameron Champ - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Kyle Stanley - WITB - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
       
       
      Pullout Albums - 
       
      New Super Stroke grip - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Tour Aim alignment aids - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Swag Golf: Hideki's caddie bowing at Augusta, signed headcovers – 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Dylan Frittelli's Callaway Apex TCB Sand Wedge (1-of-1 proto) – 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      Bryson DeChambeau's Cobra King LTDx 5-degree driver – 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      NeuroPeak Pro NTel Belt - 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
      JumboMax JMX Zen Lite grips – 2022 Farmers Insurance Open
       
      Cameron Champ WITB has the new Ping i525

       
      Bryson's WITB has the new Cobra LTDx Driver 

       
      Phils new Rogue Driver

       
      Bryson's LAGolf Shaft in the driver

       
      Xander has the triple diamond "S" driver

       
      New SuperStroke grips for 2022

       
      • 7 replies
    • 2022 The American Express WITB Photos (Spotted: New gear for 2022) - Discussion & Links
      Please put and comments or questions here
       
       
      Scotty Cameron putters - 2022 American Express
      New Taylor-Made putters - 2022 American Express
      New Odyssey putters - 2022 American Express
      New Axis 1 model putter - - 2022 American Express
      Patrick Cantlay - WITB - 2022 American Express
      Mitsubishi MMT putter shaft - 2022 American Express
      Ping putter - 2022 American Express
      Abraham Ancer - WITB - 2022 American Express
      Jason Dufner - WITB - 2022 American Express
      Will Zalatoris - WITB - 2022 American Express
      The Surgeon 6109 wedge - 2022 American Express
      LA Golf "DJ Series" shafts (2022 American Express)
       
       
       
      2022 American Express - Monday #1
       
       
       
       
      • 40 replies
    • Sony Open Pics from January 11, 2022 Part 1
      I was able to get out to the Sony Open today to take a few pics.  I guess due to Covid precautions they kept the spectators pretty far from the players.  Also due to camera restrictions they've put in place, I wasn't able to bring the big lens like I normally do. Hopefully they'll ease up on the ropes and I'll be able to get more pics tomorrow!
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 22 replies
    • 2022 Callaway Rogue ST drivers (in-hand photos)
      2022 Callaway Rogue ST Max driver
       

       
      2022 Callaway Rogue ST Max D driver
       
      2021 Callaway Rogue ST Max 
       
      2022 Callaway Rogue ST Max LS driver

       
      2022 Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS

       
      Rogue ST exploded views
        • Like
      • 213 replies
    • Titleist Vokey SM9 Link on Wedge Works Coming Soon- UPDATED Pics Added Pg 4
      Looks like there is a link on Titleist Wedge Works for the new Vokey SM9, but doesn't show any photos yet.
       
      https://www.vokey.com/product/WM137.html#start=4
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 237 replies

×
×
  • Create New...