Russell Henley talks about his Nike gear after winning Honda Classic
If you looked into 2014 Honda Classic winner Russell Henley's bag, the first thing you'd probably notice is his irons -- that is, they don't all look the same. Henley plays a mixed set. He uses the Nike VR Pro Cavity irons for his long irons and the VR Pro Combo blades for his short irons. "I've been using a mixed set since my senior year in college," Henley said. "I want to have more feel and accuracy with my 7-, 8- and 9-irons and for my 3-,4-,5- and 6-irons I mainly want to hit it solid and have the right distance."
Of course, college wasn't that long ago for the 24-year-old Henley, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011 and won in his PGA Tour debut at the 2013 Sony Open. With his win at the Honda on Sunday -- in a four-man playoff that included Rory McIlroy -- Henley has established himself as one of the PGA Tour's most promising young players along with Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed and Jason Day, and he said he's been inspired by the play of his peers.
"When you see any player doing well, it motivates you," Henley said. "We feed off each other."
The other thing this younger generation of players on Tour has in common is that they all grew up watching Tiger Woods, Henley said.
"We learned to try to win as much as you can," he said of watching Woods. "It’s way harder to win out here because of him. His competitiveness affects everyone."
A new addition to Henley's game this year is the Nike RZN Black ball, which he raved about for how versatile it is, giving him distance on his drives but still allowing him to play tough shots around the green. "I can just nip it to create spin on short shots," he said.
Henley played those short shots on Sunday with a new Nike 59° VR Forged wedge with fresh grooves, and those grooves helped on his chip-in for birdie on No. 14, he said, and with some flop shots out of the rough. He added that he usually changes out his wedges every two or three months
Here's a full list of Henley's clubs from the Honda Classic:
DRIVER: Nike VRS STR8-FIT (9.5°) with Graphite Design HD-7X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 3-wood (15°), 5-wood (19°)
IRONS: Nike VR Pro Cavity (3-6), VR Pro Combo (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
WEDGES: Nike VR Pro (48°,53°), Nike VR Forged (59°)
PUTTER: Nike Method 006
BALL: Nike RZN Black
SHOE: Nike Lunar Control
Photo: Russell Henley on Sunday at the Honda Classic (Getty Images).
Golf Magazine's Michael Chwasky contributed to this report.