The for­mer Open champ on his con­tin­ued search for tech that makes the game eas­ier.

Golf World (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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