The former Open champ on his continued search for tech that makes the game easier.
The 1999 Open champion takes us through his ever-changing bag – and explains why sentimentality has no place.
How often does the make-up of your set tend to change?
Quite a lot. And more when I’m on the tour and have access to the Wilson truck. I’m not a huge tinkerer when it comes to the shafts and specs of my clubs – they are pretty much set in stone. But whenever they come out with new irons or drivers I’ll always give them a go. I like the thrill of trying new stuff to see if it’s better than what I already have. The only ‘old’ club in my bag is my 3-wood. It’s maybe eight or nine years old. But I’m not too sentimental when it comes to my clubs.
Do you switch between hybrids and long irons depending on conditions?
No. I know others do, but I can knock the ball down with my rescue club. I don’t need a 2-iron to do that. Besides, I’ve never been great with long irons.
So which clubs do you change most often?
My lob wedge for sure, because I do so much chipping with it. I use it from sand too and that tends to wear the grooves a bit quicker. I have a new one every couple of months. The other irons are nearly always in my bag for a whole year.
What things tend to make you change clubs?
Mostly technology. Things are moving so fast in that respect. Believe me, I’ve never been averse to using something that is going to make me better in any area of the game. I want to make the game easier. Why wouldn’t I?
What do you look for in a driver?
My ball flight is quite low because of where I was brought up in the north-east of Scotland, so I use a shaft that helps me get the ball up in the air. I have 10.5° of loft on my driver for the same reason. I was fitted for my driver a long time ago and that’s what I need to launch the ball high, which is what you have to do on the European Tour. You can’t hit it low out here. If you are, you’re losing shots.
What do you most like about the clubs in your bag now?
It’s lovely being back with Wilson. The forged cavity V6 irons are beautiful. I like that they have weight in the right places.
Do you carry anything unusual?
Not unusual as such, but the one thing I always bring to tournaments is my putting rail. My wallet is in there too. But there’s not much money there; it’s all in Mrs Lawrie’s purse.