When we really get immersed in a sport or hobby and want to improve, don’t we often try to emulate the professionals? That especially means paying attention to the gear they use.
So if we’re a basketball player, we want Air Jordans. If we’re an aerobatic pilot, we want to fly a Pitts Special. If we practice kenjutsu, we might want a Hanwei katana.
It’s just as true if we’re a golfer.
Not only can golfers who want to improve their game benefit from learning what golf equipment the pros use, there are also many golfers — similar to practitioners in other fields — who simply have an appreciation for high-quality, advanced technology. These guys are inspired by cutting-edge industrial design and enjoy the visceral feel of the best tools-of-the-trade, whatever they may be. For a golfer, it is the best clubs, balls, shoes, bags…even the best golf GPS units.
When you look at and hold a well-made golf club, whether it’s hand-crafted or manufactured to exacting standards, you are experiencing accumulated centuries of golf equipment design evolution (not to mention metallurgy, engineering, and manufacturing). Such tools and equipment can produce feelings similar to the aesthetic enjoyment of art. Only, in golf, we get to play with it…
The U.S. Open Golf Championship has been called the sternest test in golf. The winners of the U.S. Open have reached the pinnacle of their sport, at least for those four days. For those interested in what golf equipment professional golfers use, there is no better group of pros to consider than the winners of the U.S. Open. So, I list below the equipment that the most recent 8 winners of the U.S. Open are currently using.
These are the winners of the championship between 2006 and 2013. This list of what’s in their golf bags is not necessarily the equipment they used when they won the tournament (except for the most recent winner, Justin Rose) but the equipment they are playing with on the tour right now. As with most sports equipment, golf equipment is continually changing and improving. So this is a list of the equipment that some of the best golfers on the planet have decided is the best way to maximize the results they get from their talent and experience.
There may be equipment listed here that will assist you in getting the most out of your own golf game. Not only will the current golf equipment these top 8 pros are using be listed, but also some of the most reliable sources to acquire it online. So you can, to the extent of your budget and personal preferences, use the same equipment your golf hero is using.
1. U.S. Open Winner: Geoff Ogilvy (2006)
Not only has Australian Geoff Ogilvy won the U.S. Open, he has also won 3 World Golf Championships. His career earnings on tour amount to over $26 million.
This is what is currently in Geoff Ogilvy’s bag:
- Driver: Titleist 913D2 (9.5°) with Aldila RIP Phenom 70X shaft.
- Fairway Woods: Titleist 913F.d (15°) with Aldila RIP Phenom 80X shaft; Cobra S9-1 Pro (18°), with Fujikura Fit-On Sapphire shaft.
- Irons: Titleist MB 712 (three through nine) with Nippon N.S. Pro proto shafts.
- Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (50°, bent to 49°; 55°; 60°), with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3.
- Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron 009 prototype.
- Ball: Titleist Pro V1x.
- Shoes: FootJoy FJ ICON.
- Grips: Grip Master Kangaroo.
You can find a complete selection of Titleist golf clubs at Edwin Watts Golf, along with Cobra woods, FootJoy shoes, and Titleist Pro golf balls.
2. U.S. Open Winner: Angel Cabrera (2007)
Formerly ranked in the top ten of world golf rankings, Angel Cabrera, in addition to his U.S. Open victory, has won the Grand Slam of Golf (Mid Ocean Club, Bermuda, 2007) and The Masters (2009). He has also won many tournaments in his native Argentina.
This is what you can find in the bag of Angel Cabrera:
- Driver: Ping G25 (8.5 degree) with an Aldila Tour Green 75X shaft.
- Fairway Wood: Ping G25 (15 degree) with an Aldila RIP Alpha 80X shaft.
- Irons: Ping i20 (3); Ping S56 (3-PW) with True Temper X100 shafts.
- Wedges: Ping Tour with Gorge Grooves (54, 58, 62) and True Temper X100 shafts.
- Putter: Ping Scottsdale TR Shea H (mallet style).
- Ball: Titleist Pro V1x.
You can find a good selection of Ping golf clubs, including the models listed above, at Edwin Watts Golf — many currently available for a discount.
3. U.S. Open Winner: Tiger Woods (2008)
Tiger Woods, 37, has won 78 PGA Tour events, including 14 Grand Slam tournaments. His U.S. Open title at Torrey Pines in 2008 is his most recent Grand Slam victory. In his spare time, Woods enjoys physical training, playing golf, and acquiring blonde girlfriends. It is said that Woods has the best chance of beating Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 Grand Slam golf victories. However, unless he gets his head right — and right now there is no indication that he will — that will never happen. Still, he continues to amass lesser tournament victories on the Tour.
This is what is in Tiger Woods’ bag right now:
- Driver: Nike VR Tour (Mitsubishi Diamana White Board 63x), 8.5°.
- Fairway Woods: Nike VR Pro LTD 3 Wood (15°); Nike VR_S Covert 5 Wood (19°). (Note: Tiger puts either his 5 Wood or 2 Iron in the bag depending on the course setup and conditions.)
- Irons: Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW).
- Wedges: Nike VR Pro (56° and 60°).
- Putter: Nike Method 001.
- Ball: Nike One Tour D (pretty much discontinued; try the Nike 20XI-X).
- Golf Gloves: Nike Dri-FIT Tour glove.
- Shoes: Nike TW Free Inspired Prototype.
You can find a good selection of Nike golf gear, including the clubs and accessories listed above, at both Edwin Watts Golf and Golfsmith.
4. U.S. Open Winner: Lucas Glover (2009)
Lucas Glover has 3 wins on the PGA Tour, including the 2009 U.S. Open played at Bethpage Black in New York. Since his rookie year on the Tour (2004), he has shown himself to be a consistent top-100 golfer, with career earnings of over $15 million. After using Nike equipment for much of his career, he made the switch this year to TaylorMade .
What’s in Lucas Glover’s bag:
- Driver: TaylorMade R1.
- Fairway Woods: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2 3 Wood; TaylorMade Rocketballz Rescue Club (hybrid).
- Irons: Mizuno MP-64.
- Wedges: Mizuno MP-64 pitching wedge; Mizuno MP-T4 sand wedge; Titleist Vokey modified wedge.
- Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Tour Rat (35 inches, 4° loft). (Note: available only to pros; blends qualities of several Scotty Cameron Newport putters.)
5. U.S. Open Winner: Graeme McDowell (2010)
For 40 years, no European had won the U.S. Open until Irishman Graeme McDowell made par on the 18th hole of the iconic Pebble Beach course to best 6 golfers who were within 4 shots of the lead. In addition to that gutsy major win in 2010, McDowell has won 8 tournaments on the European Tour and has played on the European Ryder Cup team 3 times. He is currently ranked 9th in the world.
This is what is currently in the bag of Graeme McDowell:
- Driver: Cleveland Classic 290 (9°, Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 56x shaft).
- Fairway Woods: Cleveland Launcher FL 3 Wood (14°, Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 72x shaft); Adams Idea a7 hybrid (Matrix Ozik Altus X shaft).
- Irons: Cleveland 588 TT 3-4 Irons (Project X 6.5 shaft); Srixon Z-TX 5-9 Irons (Project X 6.5 shafts)
- Wedges: Cleveland 588 Forged (48° and 52°, Project X 6.5 shaft); Cleveland 588 RTX (58°, Project X 6.5 shaft)
- Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG #7 (modified mallet)
- Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV
- Shoes: ECCO World Class GTX
You can find both Cleveland 588 TT and Srixon Z-TX Irons at Golfsmith.
6. U.S. Open Winner: Rory McIlroy (2011)
Ever since he won his first major tournament at the age of 22 with a record-setting performance in the U.S. Open at Congressional, Rory McIlroy has been regarded as the Next Big Thing in golf. Though his results have been uneven since then, his victory at the 2012 PGA Championship solidified the expectations of the golfing community that he would become the best player of his generation. He is currently ranked number 2 in the world behind Tiger Woods. This year Nike signed him to an endorsement deal worth a reported $100 – $250 million.
With a deal like that, it’s not surprising to find in Rory McIlroy’s (Nike) golf bag…
- Driver: Nike VR_S Covert 9.5° (set 10.5° and neutral) with Mitsubishi Rayon prototype shaft.
- Fairway Woods: Nike VR Limited Edition (15° and 19°) with Fujikura Rombex X shafts.
- Irons: Nike VR Pro Blades with Project X 6.5 shafts (3-PW).
- Wedges: Nike VR Pro (46°, 54°, 60°) with Project X 6.5 shafts.
- Putters: Nike Method 006 prototype and Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport GSS prototype.
- Ball: Nike 20XI-X.
- Apparel: Nike Golf Tour Performance.
- Rangefinders: Bushnell Pro 1M Slope laser rangefinder and Bushnell Tour V3 Slope.
As noted above, Edwin Watts Golf carries a good selection of Nike golf equipment. You can also find the top-rated Bushnell rangefinders Rory uses at Edwin Watts. Optics Planet carries several models of Bushnell rangefinders, including the Pro 1M Slope (buy a factory demo model from Optics Planet and save money).
7. U.S. Open Winner: Webb Simpson (2012)
Webb Simpson won one PGA Tour event in 2012 — it just so happened to be the U.S. Open (made for a good year). Currently ranked 19th in the world, Simpson, who turned pro in 2008, is working to take full advantage of the opportunities his U.S. Open victory has afforded him.
Here’s what’s in the bag of Webb Simpson:
- Driver: Titleist 913D3, 10.5° of loft, with a Proforce AXIVCore Tour Black 69 shaft.
- Fairway Wood: Titleist 913F (15°) with a Proforce VTS shaft; Titleist 913H.d hybrid with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI-105 hybrid shaft.
- Irons: Titleist 712 AP2 irons (3-9) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts.
- Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 pitching wedge, with 48° of loft and a True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shaft; Titleist Vokey Design SM4 sand wedge; and a Vokey Design SM4 lob wedge (58°).
- Putter: Ping G5i Craz-E B belly putter.
8. U.S. Open Winner: Justin Rose (2013)
Justin Rose, now ranked 3rd in the world, has been making mostly steady progress as a golfer ever since, as a 17-year-old amateur, he placed 4th in the 1998 British Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. He is the first Englishman to win the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970. And make no mistake, he won this one, beating pros such as Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, and Ernie Els.
Here is what you’ll find in Justin Rose’s bag:
- Driver: TaylorMade R1 (9.5°) with Matrix Ozik 6m3 shaft.
- Fairway Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Tour HL (16.5°) with Matrix Ozik 7m3 shaft.
- Irons: TaylorMade RocketBladez Tour (3-6) with KBS C-Taper shafts; TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB (7-PW) with KBS C-Taper shafts.
- Wedges: TaylorMade ATV (52°, 56°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts.
- Putter: TaylorMade Spider Blade, 37 inches.
- Ball: TaylorMade Lethal.
Obviously, TaylorMade clubs — from driver to putter — worked very well for Justin Rose in the 2013 U.S. Open. As well as TaylorMade golf balls. You can find a complete selection of TaylorMade golf equipment at both Golfsmith and Edwin Watts Golf.
Whether you’re looking to take the next step up in your golf game or are simply a golf-equipment junkie, I hope the info here about what’s in the bag of some of the best pros has provided some food for thought — and shopping.
Hit it a ton this summer! (Impress your caddie.)