La Jolla, Calif. — Lots of top players made significant equipment changes during the off-season. Graeme McDowell went from Callaway to Srixon, Camilo Villegas jumped from Cobra to TaylorMade and Tim Clark said good-bye to Srixon and hello to Titleist.
Bubba Watson, who won the Travelers Championship in Hartford, Conn., and made the United States Ryder Cup team, planned to switch his equipment over the winter, too. He never intended to leave the company, but after watching players like Hunter Mahan, Louis Oosthuizen and Arjun Atwal and with the Ping's new S56 irons, he figured he trade in his trusty S59 irons for the hit new model.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the fitter—Watson decided that coming off the season of his life, he just couldn't make the change.
When I talked to Watson on the putting green at Torrey Pines, he said, "The only reason to switch equipment is because you think it's better, it does something for you that, in your mind, you believe it's better. I tried them during the year, but I didn't want to mess with things during the year. I said that after the year's over, then I want to try them out."
But after returning from the Ryder Cup, instead of practicing with the new S56 irons, Watson kept the S59s in the bag.
"You know, the S56s are great clubs, probably better than my 59s, but I'm so confident with my S59s right now that I just don't see a reason right now to switch. If I played bad last year I might, but … "
Watson says that he's easy to fit and has never shied away from putting the newest Ping driver in his bag. "But with something like my irons," he said, "That's something that you've got to be focused on and truly love. So for me, it's just hard to switch out of irons and putters. A driver is just different because it's not one of your scoring clubs."
Here's a complete list of the clubs Bubba has in his bag at Torrey Pines:
DRIVER: Ping G15 (7.5°) with a Grafalloy Bi-Matrix shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping G15 (17°) with a Project X 8A1 shaft
IRONS: Ping S59 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
WEDGES: Ping Tour-W (52°, 56°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts
PUTTER: Ping Redwood Anser
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x
(Photo by David Dusek)