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We take a look at the changes players will be making to the clubs in their bag in preparation for the Open Championship this week at St. Andrews
The Open Championship often provides a very unique proposition for the players. The customary high winds and firm, fast conditions often mean that changes to the 14 clubs in the bag are essential in order to score well and contend.
Conditions at St Andrews this week, however, have been significantly damp in the days leading up to the start of the tournament, which has meant that adopting the set make up to suit to traditional links conditions has been less prevalent. Golf Monthly has had a quick peak in player’s bags on the range and discovered some interesting additions.
American Jimmy Walker appears to be testing some prototype muscleback Titleist irons and is also playing a Titleist utility 2-iron and a new Aldila counter balanced 65g driver shaft he used at the Scottish Open last week. Mizuno have made up plenty of 16 degree MP-H5 one irons for its players while the company have also revealed pictures of a new MP-25 and an MP-5 model on social media, a blade-style club with a similar finish to the MP-4 iron currently in its range but with a slightly different shape.
Lee Westwood looks set to continue using the new Ping I irons this week, which he first used at the Alstom Open de France. Many TaylorMade staff players have put the brand’s UDI (Ultimate Driving Iron) in play, including Retief Goosen. Justin Rose was seen testing a TaylorMade Daddy Long Legs model on the putting green on Monday, a much larger design than his usual White Smoke DA-62 putter.
Typically for the Open, players will opt to use wedges with less bounce to account for the firmer, tighter lies they will encounter around the green. Most players will replace their hybrid with a utility iron to help flight the ball lower under the wind.
A lower lofted driver will also help keep the ball flight down while also giving the players the ability to shape the ball more easily, a skill many employ to fight the wind from the tee.
Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
During these enjoyable years he has had some money-can't-buy experiences, like interviewing Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy one-on-one and covering the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 4.7.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSi3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-PW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54° and 58°
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x