TheSandTrap.com  ›  Blog  ›  The Numbers Game  ›  What’s in the Bag, Volume Three 

What’s in the Bag, Volume Three

Sep. 14, 2006     By     Comments (9)

I thought it was time I took another peak at what's in the winner's bags on the PGA Tour. Thanks to the number one player in the world, a certain company based in Oregon has taken the lead.

The Numbers GameIt's time again for another installment of "What's in the Bag?" at The Numbers Game. Earlier in the year, Nike had an early lead in drivers, irons, and wedges. It was also hanging close in the ball category as well. Has Nike kept their lead? Or has Titlest or TaylorMade closed the gap?

Read on to find out.

Drivers

Nike             13
TaylorMade       11
Titleist          4
Bridgestone       2
Callaway          2
Cleveland         2
Cobra             2
Srixon            2
Ping              1

Nike still has the lead. Tiger's winning streak has helped them claim and keep hold of the top spot. TaylorMade is very close behind with 11 victories thanks to their r7 line. I thought there was a chance they would catch Nike, but not after Mr. Woods decided to separate himself even more from the rest of the world.

The rest of the group is a spattering of manufacturers. Titleist has four victories and Callaway only two. Those were Lefty's back-to-back wins earlier in the year. Same with Srixon - both came from Jim Furyk.

One of the most interesting things was the fact that Cobra only had two victories. I thought there would be three with Geoff Ogilvy and J.B. Holmes winning a few tournaments, but Ogilvy used a TaylorMade r7 in the Accenture Match Play Championship earlier in the year before winning the U.S. Open with a Cobra driver.

Hybrids

TaylorMade        5
Mizuno            3
Adams             2
Cobra             2
Nickent           2
Sonartec          2
Cleveland         1
Nike              1

This club isn't in a lot of the players' bags but I still wanted to see if there were any favorite manufacturers out there. TaylorMade is the winner so far this year. Their rescue line has been successful not only on tour but in the stores as well. I even have one of the TP's in my bag and love the thing.

I was a bit surprised to see Mizuno second on the list. There is only one friend I know of that has Mizuno's hybrid in their bag. It seems to be a popular club.

Sonartec, one of the top hybrid producers, is also on the list. It's also worth noting that Sonartec had a handful of guys using their fairway woods as well. They've found themselves a bit of a niche in the fairway/hybrid club market.

Irons

Nike            13
Cleveland        5
Ping             3
Srixon           3
Bridgestone      3
Titleist         3
Callaway         2
Cobra            2
Mizuno           2
TaylorMade       2
MacGregor        1

Nike once more tops the list. This time it isn't even close. The next most frequent winner on tour is Cleveland. They are bunched close together with Ping, Titleist, Callaway and a slew of others with three or two victories. TaylorMade was leading at one point last year but has dropped way off with only two victories so far this year.

I guess there really isn't a surprise other than the 8-victory gap between Nike and the rest of the pack. The other thing is that I don't see a lot of "regular" guys with Nike irons. None of my normal golfing buddies play Nikes. They're mostly a Mizuno, Titleist, or TaylorMade crowd. If Nike is #1 in victories on tour, it doesn't seem to be forging avenues into the bags of golfers around the world.

Wedges

Nike             13
Titleist         11
Cleveland         8
Srixon            3
Callaway          2
Mizuno            2
Ping              2
Bridgestone       2

There's a reason these numbers look a bit bigger than the others. If a player has two different wedges in their bag, then I give each of those manufacturers a "win."

The same guys who won with Nike irons won with Nike wedges. Over a year ago, Vokey was behind Cleveland but has secured second place for now with 11 wins. Cleveland holds the third spot and is followed by the usual suspects.

Putters

Titleist/Scotty Cameron     21
Odyssey                      7
Never Compromise             3
Ping                         2
TaylorMade                   2
Zen Oracle Tour              2
Guerine Rife GR6             1
MacGregor                    1

Scotty Cameron has triple the wins on Tour than their next nearest manufacturer. Sounds like a good tag line, huh? Truth is, Titleist doesn't really even need to market Scotty Cameron's putters. Cameron's name is synonymous with putting… and quality putting at that.

Twenty-one victories! And the year isn't even over yet. I'm not surprised to see Odyssey as the next in line with Furyk and Mickelson as owners. The amazing thing is that Odyssey didn't have a win until the 14th tournament. All seven wins have come in the last 26 tournaments.

I wouldn't expect to see much change through the end of the year. I don't know how many players have Camerons in their bag, but it seems like most of the better players do.

Balls

Titleist            18
Nike                12
Bridgestone          3
Callaway             3
Srixon               3
Grand Total         39

Titleist still has the lead with the ProV1/V1x. Shocker huh? Nike is close behind, thanks again to Tiger. I was thinking we might see a victory from the new TaylorMade TP ball, but so far they have put up a big goose egg in the win column. Titleist likely won't relinquish its hold on ball market share for quite awhile. Just look at the fact that of the eleven guys winning with TaylorMade drivers, eight used a ProV1 or V1x!

Maybe this time next year it will be a different story… But I doubt it.

Interesting Fact
One interesting note on Nike is that their staff players (at least the winners) don't seem to have mixed-up sets. If they play Nike clubs, it is through the entire set. Other than hybrids and putters, there was only one player (Chad Campbell) that won a tournament with a Nike club and another manufacturer's club - he used a Callaway fairway metal. Twelve other players winning with Nike clubs won with a Nike driver, fairway woods, irons, and wedges.

Only seven of the non-Nike wins came with entire sets from one manufacturer. Two from Cleveland (David Toms & Rod Pampling), two from Callaway (Phil Mickelson), two from Titleist (Arron Oberholser & Ben Curtis) and one from Ping (Jeff Maggert).

I just thought I'd share that tidbit with you. Either there's something in the kool-aid at Nike or they have some nice incentives to play the entire set… or their clubs are better than I think.

Discussion

  1. tartanjack says:

    Nice synopsis. It would seem Nike has put their money into the right players. Of course, counting wins it doesn't hurt to have Tiger in your stable.

    I'm not sure this a possible correction to your hybrid count or not. But Furyk switched from a Sonartec hybrid to a Titleist 906 pt to win the Canadien Open.

  2. Dave says:

    I didn't put the fairway woods in the hybrid category. I broke them out separate, but didn't include them in the column. For those that are interested, here's the breakdown of fairway metals:

    Nike 12
    Titleist 6
    Callaway 6
    Sonartec 4
    TaylorMade 3
    Cleveland 3
    Bridgestone 2
    Cobra 1
    Ping 1

  3. Rick Hart says:

    I can't help but wonder if this really means anything. These guys are paid to play these clubs, so their choices are clouded by money.

    The pros choose clubs based at least partly on who gives them the most money. Sure the clubs are all good clubs but there is nothing special about them.

    Even Tiger admits he has used basically the same clubs since he was a kid. Nike gave him a bunch of money and then they just built clubs like he has always had. No new technology. No new materials or design. What's the bit deal.

    When you think of it, it's what makes the brand clubs so expensive. Damn, if you want to impress me, take them away from them and make my clubs less expensive.

  4. rafcin says:

    have to agree with Rick. These stats showing that Nike has enough money (thanks to non-golf divisions of their business) to throw it at top players. It doesn't say directly 'their equipment is better'. It sure says though 'their equipment is good enough' ;-)

  5. Lonnie Teague says:

    When it comes to golf clubs, all the name brands are good. I go with the ones which company treats me like I'm someone special. That company is Callaway.

  6. Dave says:

    Rafi -

    My thoughts excactly. Like Rick said, Tiger is basically still playing the same clubs he was years ago.

    Lonnie -

    Do you write commercials for a living? :)

  7. ElGavilan says:

    Just curious...why call them fairway metals vice woods. Irons aren't made of iron, so why not be consistent and call them fairway woods?

  8. Gregg says:

    It's 2010 and I just came across this article from 2006. I just did a little research on clubs and found out that like others have said, Tiger is still using the same clubs he used as a kid, Mizuno irons. He just has Nike make them for him, just as he had Titleist make them for him before Nike. You can't buy anything like them from Nike. Perhaps an old set of Mizuno's off of Ebay would get you close. Some research would tell you what Mizuno clubs he was using when he first went with Titleist and they cloned them for him. I think they were MP-14s and MP-29s if memory serves me.

  1. [... It's time again for another installment of "What's in the Bag?" at The Numbers Game. Earlier in the year, Nike had an early lead in drivers, irons, and wedges. It ...]

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.