NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
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Henrik Stenson and the club he made famous are no longer together.
Stenson recently retired his trusty Callaway Diablo Octane 3-wood, a weapon he had used extensively since 2011. The Swede wielded the club, which featured a Grafalloy Blue shaft that came out in 2003, while winning the 2013 FedEx Cup, the 2016 Open Championship and reaching No. 2 in the world.
“It’s always sad when one of the trusties has to retire,” Stenson told PGATour.com.
After dropping to No. 207 in the world at the end of 2011, Stenson leaned on the 3-wood heavily to reach No. 3 in the world two years later. He has changed to backup versions of the club in the past few seasons, but Stenson noticed at last month’s BMW PGA Championship that the clubface on his latest version had caved in and was no longer playable.
That means it is time to move in a different direction.
“I knew long before I gave up on it that the new technology was better and more efficient,” Stenson said before last week’s Houston Open. “When the other one broke in 2017, in February, I was out at a tournament in Dubai and I had to put (a new fairway wood) in; that thing that I put in for that week was much hotter.”
It’s the end of an era for Stenson, who often would use his 3-wood off the tee instead of his driver. He arrived in Houston ranked 37th in the world – his worst year-end ranking in the past six years is No. 26.
Stenson said he still is testing fairway woods, but he is interested in the 13.5-degree Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero with a similar shaft to the one he used in the old club.
“I think the efficiency of this new one will probably be better than the one I had been using,” Stenson said. “The old stuff is out and the new stuff is in.”
That doesn’t mean Stenson won’t continue to use some older equipment. He still plays Callaway Legacy Black irons, which were first released to the public in 2013.
There were a couple of other examples at the Houston Open of players continuing to favor old technology. Jonathan Byrd has two Callaway X2 Hot fairway woods in his bag, a club that dates back to 2014. And David Hearn just put in a Titleist Vokey SM4 lob wedge despite that model dating back to 2011.
FootJoy topped the charts in the shoe (65 percent) and glove (39 percent) categories at the Houston Open.