This week’s Q&A is an excerpt from Dear Frank…Answers to 100 of your Golf Equipment Questions
I am really hoping that you can settle a dispute between my brother and me. You see, he believes that all PGA Tour pros have their clubs (irons and woods) hand built, one of a kind, to custom specifications.
When he says this he means that the clubs are completely different from their consumer store counter parts; the only shared aspect is the company’s logo. Different metals, shapes, and weights. I think that the clubs are the same, but the pros have modifications done that are no different than what I could have done myself at the local Pro Shop, i.e. length, lie, loft, grinding or weighting.
So I guess the real question is, are the name brand clubs found in retail stores the same as the clubs that the endorsing pros are using?
In most cases the basic clubs being used (not necessarily endorsed) by the pros are very similar to those being produced for the general public, but these have been customized for the pros with a few extra grinds or bends, etc.
In some cases the weighting may also have been changed a little. There are also prototype models of clubs the pros get to use that are not yet (and may never be) available to the general public.
To resolve the dispute, I can assure you that very rarely will clubs be specifically hand built from scratch for the pros. This does not mean that they haven’t been very carefully customized for the pro; it would be the very rare exception if a pro received a standard set off the shelf without some little tweak. But, for the most part, the tweaking is the kind of work that you or your pro can do in a workshop. Hope this helps.
Not in all cases. Golf magazine reported that Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim used 380cc versions of the old STR8-fit Nike. They’ve also reported Stewart Cink, around the time of his Open Championship win, was gaming a Nike ball that had the guts of a One Tour D, but the cover of a One Tour. Tom Wishon has reported that Payne Stewart’s final set, that he built himself, had grinds not just on the head, but the hosel as well (to mask offset).
There was also a story reported of Jerry Kelly buying a putter in a pro shop and winning with it. So I guess in a sense both brothers are right.