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Equipment Report
  • Instruction

    Stenson says goodbye to a trusty friend – his 3-wood

  • Instruction

    Henrik Stenson instructional on hitting a 3-wood

HOUSTON – Henrik Stenson and his Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood, one of the most recognizable and lethal player-club duos in golf, are no longer together.

Stenson has put his trusty club into retirement and is currently testing new 3-woods to put into play at this week’s Houston Open, his first start in the 2019-20 PGA TOUR season.

The Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood served him well, as Stenson won the 2013 FedExCup title, the 2016 Open Championship, the silver medal at the 2016 Olympics and ranked as high as No. 2 in the world while leaning heavily on his prowess with that model.

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A look at Henrik Stenson's old 3-wood (left) compared to his new Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (right). (Andrew Tursky/PGA TOUR)

“It’s always sad when one of the trusties has to retire,” Stenson told PGATOUR.COM on Tuesday at the Country Club of Houston.

Stenson’s Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood, initially released to the public in 2011, was famously equipped with a Grafalloy Blue shaft that came out in 2003  -- and  Stenson hit rockets with it.

Having dropped to 207th in the world at the end of 2011 after a difficult year, Stenson regained the kind of form he previously showed in winning the 2009 PLAYERS Championship. By the end of 2013, he was world No. 3.

In 2016, he was forced to change into a backup version of the club due to wear and tear. He then had to give up that backup in 2017 for the same reason but stuck with the same model.

Finally, while playing on the European Tour in his most recent start, Stenson had to give up on the club altogether.

On the Wednesday before the 2019 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in Surrey, England, Stenson noticed the face of his newest Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood had caved in, and that it was no longer playable.

Seeing the writing on the wall, Stenson put the Diablo Octane Tour into retirement.

“I knew long before I gave up on it that the new technology was better and more efficient,” Stenson said Tuesday. “When the other one broke in 2017, in February, I was out at a tournament in Dubai and I had to put [a new fairway wood] in; that thing that I put in for that week was much hotter.”

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A view of the address on Henrik Stenson's old 3-wood (left) compared to his new one (right). (Andrew Tursky/PGA TOUR)

For Stenson, despite knowing that newer technology may produce greater distance or forgiveness, the familiarity he had with the older model was more important.

“If you’re standing there on the 72nd hole and you’ve got to hit a shot to position yourself to win the tournament, you don’t want to have something you picked up two days ago,” Stenson said. “You want to have something you hit 5,000 shots with.”

While Stenson said he’s still testing fairway woods to replace his old model, he’s favoring a 13.5-degree Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero, equipped with a Project X HZRDUS Yellow prototype shaft, which is similar to his familiar shaft.

It even has a custom blue paint job.

“I think the efficiency of this new one will probably be better than the one I had been using,” Stenson said. “… The old stuff is out and the new stuff is in.”

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Henrik Stenson's new Project X HZRDUS Yellow prototype shaft. (Andrew Tursky/PGA TOUR)