Lowry of Ireland plays a shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By E. Michael Johnson
When Shane Lowry spoke to Golf Digest about his equipment in 2016, we asked him about his comfort level in major championships. “I enjoy that kind of golf,” he said. “There is something about me that likes the big stage. I like the major championships and big tournaments. It’s where I feel my most comfortable, which is weird.”
There was nothing weird about Lowry’s play at the Open Championship. The Irishman jumped out to a large lead over Tommy Fleetwood and managed the rest of his round to win his first major championship.
Lowry’s short game rightfully receives its proper amount of attention (see the crucial up-and-down par save from the sand at the par-3 13th), but a closer examination of his week shows reveals that it really was his tee-to-green game that propelled him to the blowout win at Royal Portrush Golf Club.
Lowry not only led the field in greens in regulation at 79.16 percent, but produced an impressive 19-plus strokes gained/tee-to-green on his way to becoming the Champion Golfer of the Year.
Lowry employs a split set of irons comprised of three models from Srixon and, interestingly, eschews the four-wedge setup the majority of tour players utilize in favour of three (pitching wedge plus a 51- and 58-degree). Lowry carries two Srixon Z U85 utility irons, an 18-degree and a 20-degree that is bent to 21 degrees to provide the proper distance gap. For the 4- and 5-irons, the Irishman uses the company’s Z 585—a players distance iron where a speedy face plate is surrounded by a groove indented on the perimeter of its interior, creating, in essence, a slot around the entire face. In the 6-iron through pitching wedge, Lowry has Srixon’s Z 785 irons, a one-piece forged iron with compact short irons with a narrower sole. Key to these clubs is a center of gravity location that is more in line with the center of the face. All of Lowry’s irons have KBS Tour 130X shafts except for his 2-iron, which has a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White TX hybrid graphite shaft. His grips are Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet 58 round with the grips put on upside down so the logo is underneath.
For wedges Lowry uses a pair of Cleveland RTX 4 wedges. The 50-degree is bent to 51 degrees and the 58-degree is a recent addition to the bag, replacing the RTX 3 he had been using. Lowry’s putter also is notable, as he uses an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball Stroke Lab, but with a twist: the 2-Ball alignment feature on the putter is normally white, but the two cylinders on Lowry’s putter are black. The putter has a milled aluminium cage to remove weight from the center of the head and redistribute it to the perimeter with stainless steel for added stability. Lowry also uses a White Hot insert instead of the microhinge insert that would come with the production model. The putter also has a grip adorned with a shamrock, a touch included just for this week. Lowry’s putter, which he switched to at the RBC Heritage earlier this year, is 34 inches long with a customized all-black finish to complete the look.
Which is sort of like Lowry at major championships. A little weird, but very comfortable.
What Shane Lowry had in the bag at The Open
Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV
Driver: Srixon Z 585 (Mitsubishi Diamana White 70X), 9.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M4, 15 degrees
Irons (2-3): Srixon Z U85; (4-5): Srixon Z 585; (6-PW): Srixon Z 785
Wedges: Cleveland RTX 4 (51, 58 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey EXO 2-Ball Stroke Lab