It’s a club that has almost become as famous as the golfer himself. And it’s fitting that Henrik Stenson’s 3 wood played such a key role as he was crowned Champion Golfer of the Year at Royal Troon.
So what’s the story behind Henrik Stenson’s 3 wood?
It’s the Callaway Diablo Octane Tour which was released in 2011. Quite rare for tour pros to have five-year old product in the bag but if it ain’t broke…
Lee Westwood is another player who takes a long time to switch into new product but he told me that was often more to do with the shaft than the head.
Stenson has an extra-stiff Graffaloy Blue shaft in his 3 wood. It might not be straight- forward to get that exact shaft, which is glued to the head, in a newer model.
With 13 ̊ of loft it’s very much what you would call a ‘strong’ 3 wood.
Why is Henrik Stenson’s 3 wood used so frequently?
Well, he carries it 280 to 290 yards and hits it very straight or with a soft draw. Yes please. He can trust it implicitly so feels relaxed over the ball.
Think back to Sunday at the Open where he had a two-shot lead on the 18th tee.
He had a bunker at about 320 so could confidently come up short – although he went a bit too close for his liking!
Stenson’s technique is well suited to hitting a 3 wood. He likes to crush down on the ball rather than hitting it on the up like Rory McIlroy does with his driver, for example.
Trackman numbers show Stenson’s angle of attack with the 3 wood is -3.3 ̊, McIlroy is about +2 with the driver, Bubba Watson and JB Holmes, two of the biggest hitters, average at about +6.
To hit it as far as those, with a driver, you’d argue Stenson would have to change from his 3 wood technique, which seems unnecessary.
Stenson does carry a Callaway XR 16 driver but only uses it a handful of times during any given tournament.
When asked if he ever considers taking it out of the bag, Stenson, always the joker, said: “No, it’s a nice club to lean on when you’re standing there calculating your yardages.”
OUT AND ABOUT
BIGGEST TROON SHOCK?
The news that Charl Schwartzel was switching his equipment from Nike to PXG on the eve of the Open raised a few eyebrows. He literally got fitted on range on the Monday then played four rounds with new clubs, shoes, clothes and ball. He finished T18. Should eliminate a few excuses from our own games when using new gear.
The move made a lot more sense after Nike announced they were to stop making golf clubs and balls.
PROS CROSSING OVER
What wasn’t a shock was the number of Ping Crossover clubs I spotted in players’ bags at the Open.
We can’t name names for contractual reasons but the lower, penetrating ball-flight was definitely a better option than a hybrid for playing on the windy Ayrshire coast. It was a busy week on the Ping tour truck.
READY FOR LAUNCH?
We’re fast-approaching launch season. If you love golf gear, strap yourselves in over the next couple of months for new kit from Titleist, Ping Cobra, Callaway, Mizuno, Cleveland and more.
There’s strict embargoes currently in place but we’ve had a sneak peak and can’t wait to share details. Stay up to date here at nationalclubgolfer.com