Golfers tend to think a lot about What clubs they use. The most recent models of different brands and all specifications around new technology. But they don’t always stop to think about who clubs they should use.
Most golfers need the basics (driver, putter, wedge, irons, etc.), but that’s often when the creativity runs out. Which is a shame, because often the best way to get the most out of a specific club is to supplement it with some smart picks around it. The pros know it well: they are constantly adjusting which clubs go into the bag each week, depending on different weather conditions and the course.
But what is the most common fixed makeup among the pros? With some of golf’s biggest names competing in the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship last week, the official European Tour equipment survey SMS broke everything and shared the results on Instagram.
Here is what they found.
What Club Tour Players Use
26 percent of players on the tour use a driver, two fairway woods, a set of irons from a 4 iron and four wedges, making this the most common setup on tour.
23 percent of players, according to SMS, have almost the same makeup, but only have one fairway wood instead of two, and in its place, a utility iron or hybrid.
The next group of players, about 16 percent, have three wedges in their bag, usually a pitch wedge, 54 degrees and 58 degrees, rather than a pitch wedge, spread wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge.
The 25 percent left of players have a handful of other combinations, usually around the top of their set of irons: some go for a 3 iron, others for more hybrid irons in place of their long irons.
Which clubs should you use?
As to what you should use, the somewhat unsatisfactory answer is that it depends. It’s all about filling in the gaps with what you need. But there are a few universal things every golfer should consider:
1. Find your gaps
If you’ve never heard of “gapping” before, you should find out as soon as possible. The gap is, in simple terms, the distance gap between each of your clubs. It should be relatively even across the bag. If there are big gaps between some of your clubs, it’s a good sign that you need to revamp your makeup.
2. Specific roles for fairway woods
To answer the question of how many fairway woods you should pack, you first need to ask yourself where you plan to use them the most. Pros, in general, look for their longest non-driver clubs to play specific roles: one off the tee for holes where the driver is too tight, and another to be used from the fairway for approaches in long pars. -5. Whether this comes in the form of two fairway woods or a fairway wood and a driving iron depends on the conditions you typically play in and how well you perform with each.
3. Versatility with cleats
Whether it’s carrying three of the four wedges, your tallest clubs should give you versatility at all levels. This means you should be just as comfortable using them for full shots, pitch shots, or finesse shots near the green. Dustin Johnson has a particularly interesting three-wedge setup in this regard: a 52-degree pitching wedge, which he uses for wedge shots, and then a 60-degree wedge, which he uses almost exclusively around the greens.