Koepka, Finau among players with old clubs in the bag
January 28, 2021
By GolfWRX, PGATOUR.COM
- A look at the Nike Vapor Pro 3-iron, which Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka still use. (Courtesy of Golf WRX)
It would be easy to assume PGA TOUR players are always using the latest and greatest gear. It makes sense since equipment manufacturers are theoretically updating, elevating, and pushing the limits of technology year-in and year-out. And, of course, the OEMs want their staffers to use the latest equipment lines.
However, every now and then, there are clubs that just refuse to go away. Call it superstition, bad habit, nostalgia, or anything in between. Below are five clubs out on TOUR that simply refuse to take a knee and retire.
Putters are exempt here (hence the exclusion of Tiger Woods’ “Elder Wand” Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS).
Kevin Na’s Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Driver
Granted, he's not the only player on this list playing an older driver (defined as something four-plus years old), but Kevin Na’s reluctance to switch is still something to notice. It’s not necessarily a crime to keep something that works, but with all the progression Callaway has made since 2017, it’s hard to fathom that the guy couldn’t have picked up an extra 10 yards with a newer driver.
Can’t blame Na for being loyal -- and winning doesn’t help the case for a change either. Na’s win at the recent Sony Open in Hawaii has given him wins in each of the last four seasons.
Driver: Callaway GBB Epic (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6 TX
Tony Finau’s and Brooks Koepka’s Nike Vapor Pro 3-irons
This is the one that still fascinates gearheads. Why do two of the best players in the world continue to stubbornly put this 3-iron back in the bag over and over again? Over the past 4-5 years, it has been benched a couple of times by both Finau and Koepka but like clockwork, both players had it in play last week at The American Express.
WRX asked former Nike Tour Technician Ben Giunta for insight.
“Players have positive vibes with that model,” he said. “It doesn’t have a ton of offset. It’s consistent. It fits their eyes, and it is really hot.”
Hard to argue with that reasoning.
Nike Vapor Fly Pro (3-iron)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro 95 Tour Spec X-Flex
Nike Vapor Fly Pro (3-iron)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 105 X
Fred Couples’ Callaway FT-i Squareway 3-wood
“I haven’t found anything I hit better.” That’s what Fred Couples told GolfWRX’s Johnny Wunder on The Gear Dive Podcast back in 2019.
The story of how Couples stuck this in his bag is perhaps one of the most Freddie Couples stories ever.
The story goes that Freddie was on the range at the 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic at SilverRock. The Harrison rep at the time was testing shafts with Fred and one of the samples was connected to this square-headed Callaway fairway wood. Remember, it’s 2008 and shaft reps usually had test clubs built up to speed the process up. After hitting a few, Fred turned to the guy and said “I love it.” The rep said, “Great so what head do want it in?” Fred replied, “Nope, I love the whole thing, thanks.” Headcover went on. In the bag it went. Here we are today.
Callaway FTI Squareway (15 degrees)
Shaft: Harrison Mugen Prototype 75 X (43-inches, D3)
Grip: Golf Pride CP2 Wrap 58R “Logo Down”
Henrik Stenson’s Callaway Legacy Black irons
It’s typically his old trusty Diablo Octane 3-wood that gets all the attention, but now that the trusty weapon has officially been put to rest, there is another section of Stenson’s bag that stands out for its longevity -- his irons. Keep in mind that his Callaway Legacy Black irons were never even sold in the United States. They were a Japanese-only offering that caught his eye back in 2013. Stenson has never shied away from forgiveness in his irons. He loved that the clubs had a blade profile at address while still giving him plenty of help down below. As one of the best ball strikers in recent memory, it’s comforting to know that even someone like Henrik Stenson will take all the help he can get.
Word on the street is that he has gone through 10-plus sets of the irons and the stock is getting thin.
Callaway Legacy Black (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X