When it comes to equipment, tour players can be seriously picky.
Some like to see their driver with an open face, others need a specific head size and grind. Some even measure the loft of their clubs to a quarter of a degree!
Others, like Hunter Mahan, aren’t that fussed. The American told NCG last year that his Ping clubs are set up the same as what you can buy off the shelf.
Bubba Watson is Mahan’s antithesis.
The big-hitting left-hander is notoriously difficult to get into new clubs. He’s been using Ping’s S59 iron for five years – even though he shot 63 using the latest S56 irons.
But a resistance to change isn’t what sets his equipment apart. It’s his grips.
For a start, they are incredibly thick. The Ryder Cup star has 10 layers of tape under the top hand and 12 under the bottom to offer a uniform thickness.
To put this in perspective, the average club has just one layer of tape.
NCG’s editor Dan Murphy recently visited Ping’s HQ in Arizona and held Bubba’s driver. He said it felt closer to a cricket bat than a golf club.
What is even more bizarre, though, is the fact that he has his grips installed at the wrong angle. Ping have developed a system that ensures the centre-line of the grip is positioned on seriously open faces. They have a special protractor and laser system that ensures each grip points the same amount right.
Bubba told Sports Illustrated “I’m a feel player.”
“I’m trying to trick my body and my mind into thinking my clubs are square when they’re actually open.”
This is undoubtedly due to Watson’s unique playing style.
He never hits a straight shot. Instead, the 35-year-old, who grew up shaping shots around his house on the Florida panhandle, hits low, raking, 40-yard hooks and sky-scraping fades.
We don’t recommend taking a leaf out of his book!