The Local Knowlege

Gear & Equipment

Winner's Bag: Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson put on his usual power display at the Farmers Insurance Open, averaging 316.6 yards per drive using his 7.5-degree Ping G15 driver. What most people don't know, however, is that Watson uses one of the shortest driver shafts on the PGA Tour, a 44.5-inch Grafalloy BiMatrx prototype.

bubba_300.jpgFor a player with the prodigious length of Watson, that may seem like an odd choice, but Watson has long felt that shorter shaft, not a longer one, is the key to distance. Watson once had Ping build him a 48-inch, 5.5-degree driver "That didn't work at all," Watson told Golf Digest. "It threw my timing off, and I didn't hit the ball much farther even when I nailed it. ... Most players should, if anything, try a shaft half an inch shorter than what's in their driver. Tiger Woods at his longest used a relatively short 43 1/2-inch driver, with a steel shaft to boot. You'll find it easier to hit the sweet spot with a shorter shaft, and you can go after tee shots without losing much control."

Watson's comments underscore the need to get properly fit (so here's one more shameless plug for Golf Digest's 100 Best Fitters list). Watson also used several pieces of equipment from Golf Digest's Hot List, each highlighted and underlined below.

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Ping G15 (True Temper Grafalloy BiMatrx prototype), 7.5 degrees
5-wood: Ping G15, 17 degrees
Irons (3-PW): Ping S59
Wedges: Ping Tour W (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Ping Redwood Anser

-- E. Michael Johnson