What’s in the bag?

DP World Tour caddy Chris Simmons gives an insight into the equipment used by the best players in the world

The clubs we carry week-in and week-out on the tour are the most important part of our players’ setup. Each is customised to their needs – from overall weight, swing weight and shaft flex to the grinds on the soles of the wedges and irons.

While some players use the latest exotic shafts, others have a special supply of older shafts no longer in production and carried by the tour vans for their clubs only. In my experience with Matt Jordan, I know his clubs are the same as what you or I could purchase, there’s nothing special about them other than the high tolerance tests they’re subjected to.

When it comes to equipment, there is one standout difference between tour players and amateurs – tour players don’t change their swings to suit clubs. These guys know their swings and know what the club should be doing, so it’s always down to the fitter to get it working correctly.

The tour players have access to as much equipment as they want and changing out clubs for new ones is down to personal preference. Generally, wedges will last three to four months and irons will be changed least often. Driver changes are swayed by the manufacturers. In my experience, 75% of the guys are testing new products as soon as they’re available, roughly 15% will take some more time, and 10% won’t even look at it during the core season. They will all always use the newest headcover though.

When it comes to choosing 14 clubs for a tournament, some players like to tinker and others don’t. These decisions are based on the course, specific shots required and conditions. Matt travels with 16 clubs in his bag, always having a spare driver and the option of a two-iron or Callaway’s Utility Wood, which fits the gap between his irons and three-wood well in the right conditions. Some guys travel with a lot more and it’s really important we put the bag away on Wednesday night with 14 clubs in it and those extra ones don’t go near it again.

The most important thing on equipment for every player, and something every amateur should be doing too, is to test every club in your bag and know their specs. That starts with knowing your lofts and lies, and checking them regularly – we check ours every couple of months on tour.

Club golfers can also access the same launch monitors we do to test equipment and it’s really important when you’re shelling out £500 on a new driver. Take the time to talk to your pro or club fitter, try out the kit and feel confident you’ve got the right setup, backed up by data, before making a change.

Having confidence that your clubs are fit correctly can make a huge difference to your scores and it’s something we can all do the same as the best players in the world.