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'old is good sometimes'

Ian Poulter set to start 2024 LIV Golf League season by using a fairway wood from 2006


Sam Greenwood

Golfers are always seeking the latest in technology. Well, almost always. There are some clubs where comfort is king—as in the comfort of knowing you’ve hit a ton of good shots with that club and that confidence is worth giving up a little in the latest tech. Fairway woods tend to fall into that category, but Ian Poulter might be taking things to a new level.

On the eve of the first event of the 2024 LIV Golf League season, Poulter tweeted his intention to go back to an old favorite fairway wood that is a true blast from the past—as in from 2006.

“Sometimes you have to go back and find the clubs you simply loved,” Poulter tweeted. I’ve been looking for a 240 – 245 carry. My old 906F2 @Titleist was that once. Pulled it out and OMG it’s incredible. Coming back to play. Can’t wait to bring her back. Old is good sometimes. It has some battle wounds, but she holds great memories. I won several events with it.”

The head definitely has some mileage on it as you can see from Poulter’s tweet.

Although the 48-year-old Poulter might be stretching things with a club nearly two decades old, the fact is the fairway wood is often the hardest club to get out of a tour pro’s bag. It's the reason why you see some in players’ bags long after the club has stopped appearing on store shelves.

In 2021, Henrik Stenson returned to his Callaway Diablo Octane 3-wood at the PGA Tour's Valero Texas Open. The club was an absolute artifact compared to the more technologically advanced clubs available today as reflected by its $13.50 trade-in value on the PGA Value Guide. At the time, Stenson’s club dated back more than a decade (it debuted in 2008), while the Grafalloy Blue shaft in it went back another five years to 2003. Still, the Diablo Octane carried some good memories for Stenson as he used it during his win at the Open Championship in 2016.

Then there’s Mike Reid, who had makers of new equipment cringing everywhere when he won the 2009 Jeld-Wen Tradition—then a major on the Champions Tour, with a bag worthy of a weekend hacker.

Reid won at Crosswater G.C. in Sunriver, Ore., using Ben Hogan Apex irons, a Titleist 983K driver, a 365cc model from 2005 and a 15-degree TaylorMade Burner Tour Raylor, a club Reid said he had been playing “since the early 1990s.” At the time Reid said the 3-wood was so important to him that he had seven backups, including one given to him by Craig Stadler that was used at one time by Jim Furyk. “I’ve tried other clubs and found some that were similar, but none that are better,” he said as a way of explanation for using the old club.

Seeing how the technology for Reid, Stenson and now Poulter is beyond outdated, it might be the only explanation.