Robert Garrigus In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade SLDR 10.5˚
4-wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2, 18˚
7-wood: Adams Tight Lies, 22˚
3-Iron: TaylorMade R9
4-iron: TaylorMade Forged MB
5-PW: TaylorMade RocketBladez
Wedges: Titleist Vokey 56˚ & 60˚
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro
Even if the Trackman numbers are better with a new club, it is very hard to switch out one that you’ve played really well with in the past. I have a 3-iron in my bag that I’ve had for six years and I have a 3-wood in my bag that I’ve had for four or five years. So me especially, I don’t like to get rid of my trusty clubs because golf is my livelihood. I’m trying to feed my family out here and it makes a big difference if you are confident in the club you are using. If you can look down at address and know you aren’t going to hit a bad shot, especially if you’re nervous – that makes a big difference. But when I do put new clubs in the bag it’s a combination of using Trackman and feeling comfortable with the flight. We start by building a version of the new club that is similar to the one I’m currently carrying. That becomes the starting point. We would then try different shafts and maybe different lofts just to see how it flies on Trackman. For me, the numbers are very important but I have to like the way it flies. Out here we talk about the window, when referring to how we like to see a ball fly and for me my 7-wood is quite high and my driver is a little bit lower. If I can see that window with a new club and feel confident with that, then I can take it out to the course and light it up. But you have to hit a lot of shots with the new club first, preferably on Trackman.
Irons into woods
I find the toughest part of the bag to get right is the irons into the woods. This is where you need to be dialled in because the shots you hit with these clubs are so important. You have to be able to trust that you can hit different shots with different flights because that’s how you play yourself into position. It’s tough because you need to get the right lofts to match with the right shafts to offer the right flight and distance. I find that getting this part right is tougher than finding the right wedge line-up.
If I go to the British Open I might take out my 7-wood and put in one of those clubs that I like to call the ‘Big Toe’ – an Adams driving iron. It’s just to help me hit it lower and keep the ball out of the wind. The 7-wood that I usually carry doesn’t do you any good when you are playing off super hard turf as the sole of the club just bounces. You want something that’s going to dig and get through the turf and something you can hit punch shots with. I’d go for the driving iron over the classic, bladed 2-iron because it is usually more forgiving and the ball comes out a little bit hotter. At the Open you can hit shots with these clubs that fly 180 yards and run up to around 300! Out here if you hit a shot that flies 180, the total distance is 200. So at the British Open I’ll switch some clubs around but in the States you can usually fly the ball high and the ground is soft so out here, I don’t have to change that much.
Your club fitting
You need to get your clubhead speed tested. That will help you find the right shaft flex and help the fitter get factors like the kick point of the shaft right for you. A lot of amateurs don’t realise that if they want a club to hit the ball lower because the ball is spinning too much, it’s probably the shaft. Lie angle is also huge as well. If the club is too upright, the toe will dig in and you’ll hit it right. If it’s too flat the heel will grab and you’ll hook it. So club fitting is one of those things where you need to be aware of how to start. But probably most importantly, you have to be open-minded. For us it is a little different because we know that certain shafts for instance will not be right. But for any amateur you have to have an extremely open mind about what might be right for your game.
We get excited about putting new clubs in the bag as much as you do. I remember when I put my Adams Tight Lies 7-wood in the bag, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to hit it because I knew I had finally found something in that area of the bag I could trust. It’s my 250 to 260-yard club and it’s great to hit out of the rough. I can hit it higher, I can trust my draw with it and it doesn’t go left. When I first put it in the bag, it was for a couple of shots in one tournament and when I faced those shots I almost made them.