AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The ceremonial first-tee pairing of Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player continues to be an important part of the fabric of the Masters. The kickoff to the tournament, watching these two legends tee it up and by letting one fly remains a thrill for the patrons.
It’s also a thrill for equipment aficionados as well. One of the annual pastimes of equipment junkies is finding out what drivers the legends of the game used, and as much about them as possible. If you’re an equipment writer on the grounds of Augusta National, you jockey for position near the tee seeking clues, scour wire photo services for images to zoom in on and then make appropriate calls or emails to company reps to get confirmation.
So here’s what we found out.
Six-time Masters champion Nicklaus used a 9-degree Callaway Epic Flash with a Mitsubishi Diamana M+ Green 50-gram shaft. The grip was Golf Pride’s Tour Wrap 2G and the movable weight was set ever so slightly toward the toe.
Player, who won the Masters three times, signed a deal with PXG earlier this week to use the company’s clubs during the Par-3 Contest as well as the driver for his ceremonial swat. Player's driver was the company’s 0811 X GEN2 at 9 degrees with a Graphite Design Tour AD VR 4 R1 shaft and Lamkin’s Z5 black standard grip with a PXG Logo.
While Nicklaus has more majors (18 to Player’s nine), the Black Knight has bragging rights for the next year as he outdrove Nicklaus with a well-struck draw to Jack’s tee shot, which was slightly on the thin side. While that might matter to Player, it didn’t matter at all to those fortunate enough to have watched this grand tradition yet again.