By Alex Myers
On Sept. 17, Golf Digest’s senior equipment editor E. Michael Johnson wrote a story titled, “7 tour players in desperate need of an equipment makeover” that featured Henrik Stenson. The following day, the major champ made a major change to his bag. Coincidence?
Yeah, OK, so it’s probably just a coincidence. After all, this change had been a long time coming. But when it involves your favourite club—and arguably the most famous 3-wood in the world—it’s not a decision to be made lightly.
“It’s always sad when one of the trusties has to retire,” Stenson told PGATour.com’s Andrew Tursky on Tuesday at the Houston Open. Breaking up his hard to do—especially with something that helped win a claret jug and a FedEx Cup.
Stenson officially made the move ahead of last month’s BMW PGA Championship, swapping out that old reliable Callaway Diablo Octane Tour for a new Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero. Stenson had used his previous 3-wood to great success since 2011. Well, some version of that 3-wood. According to PGATour.com, Stenson, known for often using the club instead of driver off the tee because of how far he hit it, used the club so much he needed to switch to a backup in 2016 and then another in 2017.
Rest easy, 3-wood. ? https://t.co/ZgldhZKMuj
— Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) October 9, 2019
“If you’re standing there on the 72nd hole and you’ve got to hit a shot to position yourself to win the tournament, you don’t want to have something you picked up two days ago,” Stenson told PGATour.com. “You want to have something you hit 5,000 shots with.”
And that’s exactly what Stenson did at the 2016 Open Championship, blasting a 3-wood up the right side of the fairway at Royal Troon. The clutch tee shot led to a closing birdie to shoot 63 and capture his first major title in that thrilling duel with Phil Mickelson.
RIP Stenson’s three wood…
The Iceman has finally retired “that three wood” after nine years in his bag. This calls for a compilation reel. pic.twitter.com/ZsRTrZp869
— GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) October 9, 2019
But before the BMW, where Stenson wound up finishing T-17, he noticed the face was caved in and figured it was finally time to move on to some new technology. Although the 43-year-old Swede says he’s still in the process of testing 3-woods, he likes that the Epic Flash Sub Zero he’s been trying has a blue shaft like the old one. Hey, whatever floats your boat, Henrik.
Stenson is currently No. 37 in the Official World Golf Ranking and the betting favourite (10-to-1 odds) in Houston this week. But did Vegas properly factor in this critical—and emotional—equipment switch? We’ll have to wait and see.