Golf enthusiasts are often curious about the “behind the story” of golfers’ success. They try to find out what the experts use, how they lead their life, how they practice, and many more. We are one of those who are looking forward to finding out what golf clubs they use.
Many brands and thousands of different models of golf clubs are available in the market, and it is hard to choose from them. When we search for the best golf clubs, experts have different opinions on them. They have their perception of them. But it gets complicated at times to choose based on multiple opinions. So then, we had a question like, “What clubs do the professionals use?”
When we searched for the answers, we found people are asking such questions too. And there were hardly any proper answers. So, we designed this article to provide you with such answers. We have researched the top 100 golfers for a three years cycle and found the answers for you.
By the end of this article, you will get information about golfers and their golf equipment, such as golf clubs, golf balls, and so on. We have spent hours collecting, analyzing the data, and coming up with information that you can easily understand.
Table of Content
- Chapter 1: The Golf Drivers
- Chapter 2: The Golf Irons
- Chapter 3: The Golf Wedges
- Chapter 4: The Golf Putter
- Chapter 5: The Fairway Woods
- Chapter 6: The Golf Balls
- Chapter 7: Findings Summary
- Recommendations from the Study
- Concluding Remarks
We have collected data from several reliable sources over the internet and accumulated them in a sheet to sort them properly. And then, we analyzed the data and found answers to the queries mentioned earlier. Furthermore, we have verified the data and crossmatched it to be very sure about our findings.
Sample of the study
Every year there are several tournaments organized all over the world. And different players win them. But we took the top 100 ranked golfers of 2021, 2020, and 2019, according to the PGA Tour Ranking, and collected data regarding what’s in their bag; you have a better overview of the findings and interpret them to the best.
Demographics of the sample
Reports from National Golf Foundation suggest that 77% of the golfers are male, so we primarily conducted our research on male golfers. Unfortunately, we don’t have any lady golfers in our sample of this research. But we are planning to include them in our future projects.
What is the average age of top-ranked professional golfers?
In 2021, the average age of the top 100 pro golfers is 32. However, if we segment them into a five-year age group, we found that golfers aged 26 to 30 have the maximum number of golfers in the top 100.
However, age is just a number for playing golf. No matter how old you are, you can still compete in the top level of golf if you have the skill and determination. As you can see, Golfers like Phil Mikelson are in the top-ranked golfers at the age of 50 and more. On the other end, 20 years old Rasmus Hojgaard has made a mark in the top chart in recent years.
It’s never too late to start your career in golf. But, to start your journey, you need golf balls and golf clubs first. So here, our study begins to find out what clubs and balls the pro golfers prefer most.
Let’s find out the details in the following chapters.
Chapter 1: The Golf Drivers
Drivers play the most crucial role in a round of golf, especially in a par five-hole or more. It helps you get a good start by covering a healthy distance. Top golfers were found carrying at least one driver in their golf bag. And they are very concerned about choosing their driver. They prefer to use the latest technologically advanced golf club. Here are some significant findings of their golf driver.
What is the most popular brand of golf drivers?
Our study on top 100 ranked golfers shows that Titleist has been gaining popularity in the year 2021, where TaylorMade was the most favorite brand in 2019 and 2020.
Our research suggests that in 2021, Titleist is the most popular brand among professional golfers with a 27 % user. And the other top 3 brands are PING (23%), Callaway (21%), and TaylorMade (18%), which are not so far from Titleist. But if we look deep into it for the last three years, then the result is quite interesting.
TaylorMade has been topping the list for 2019 and 2020 with drivers like SIM Max, M5, and M6. The SIM (Shape in Motion) driver focuses on controlling spin and dialing shot bias, while the SIM MAX focuses on forgiveness. And then there is the M5 driver that offers maximum adjustability for players who look for precise tuning in their driving.
On the other end, Callaway is struggling to gain golfers’ confidence after their epic series drivers in 2017/18. They have a declining graph over the years. Their inclusion of AI technology and Flash Face was loved by most golfers back in 2017 and 2018. But since then they failed to attract professional golfers. The Mavrik and Epic Speed series drivers have better distance than most other golf drivers. But when it comes to forgiveness and spin they lack some key metrics there.
Moreover, Titleist is opposite to TaylorMade and Callaway. With the inclusion of TSi series golf drivers, they have been rising on top this year. The new Titleist TSi series drivers (specially TSi4 and TSi3) provide golfers an ultra-low spin performance but the ball speed and distance it covers are remarkable. As a result, players with moderate golf swing loves to play with these models and most of them switched to it immediately after its launch. There was a rise in 2020 that has already toppled in 2021.
Have a look at the following graph that illustrates the highs and lows of brand popularity over the last 3 years.
What is the most popular golf driver?
15% of the top-ranked golfers choose only the Titleist TSi3 as their first choice of golf drivers. Last two years, TaylorMade M5 and M6 were the most popular golf drivers among them. But not this year. So what Titleist made changes in 2021? It’s their technology.
Due to the Improved Aerodynamics introduced in the TSi3, most golfers have switched to this model this year. This series of drivers was launched in the late 2020s’. And pro golfers are using it in 2021. Not just the TSi3, the series offers a variety like TSi2, TSi4, and TSi as well. All of them gained much popularity due to technological advancement.
But it is also noticeable that the inclusion of the TSi series driver has impacted most of the TaylorMade users rather than Callaway or Ping. Callaway users still trust their clubs though only a few percent of golfers changed it to other clubs. The reason could be the early adjustments made by the Callaway in their Epic Speed series. Which was missing by TaylorMade. They hardly made any changes to their clubs nor launched any new model of drivers. Hopefully, our article would help them figure out some important facts that they need to observe.
How often do professional golfers change golf drivers?
Now we know the top brands and models of golf drivers in recent years. But we need to figure out how often they change their clubs and how that impacts their play.
In our study, we found that most golfers change their driver almost every year or two. To be specific, 58% of golfers changed their golf drivers in 2021 from 2020. And, more than 40% of golfers changed it in 2020 from 2019. So, they tend to change their golf drivers almost every year and switch to the latest clubs.
Golf club manufacturers are introducing beneficial features that professional golfers find helpful. Not just the club heads, they change the shafts too. And in most cases, it helped them improve their performance. Though, change of clubs and shafts are not the only criteria to identify individual performance graphs.
Most Popular Shaft brand
There is hardly any competition for Mitsubishi for driver shafts. For the last three years, our data of top 100 golfers show that more than 36% of top golfers use Mitsubishi shafts for their drivers.
One of the primary reasons for their success is their numerous models. And these models are also available in several flexes. We found 11 different models of Mitsubishi shafts used among our sample. And here is the most favorite model.
Most Popular Shaft model
Mitsubishi Tensei AV series shafts
Most golfers found using the Tensei AV series shafts with their drivers. The Graphite Design Tour AD series has the most extensive number of users among the top 100 ranked golfers after the Mitsubishi Tensei AV. We found about 50 different models of shafts used by our sample. And that illustrates the difference in the number of users is not very significant.
Impact of the clubs and shaft on a golfers performance
Well, we have talked enough about the clubs, shafts, and their models, but how much does this data matter to individuals? To find the answer, we did a correlation study on different models and player performance.
Though the club and shaft model is not the only reason behind a golfer’s performance metrics, it plays important role in golfers’ performance.
For example, Webb Simpson, who uses the most popular club and the shaft combination of Titleist TSi3 and Mitshubishi Tensei AV, has covered an average distance of 292.5 yards in 2021 with a 67% accuracy. But his longest drive was 396 yards.
Reports suggest that Xandar Schauffele hit 307 yards on average with a Callaway Epic Speed driver that has a Graphite Design AD series shaft (the second most popular shaft). And again, Rickie Fowler has an average driving distance of 297 yards in 2021 with a Cobra F9 golf driver. He prefers a Mitshubishi Tensei shaft with it.
On the other hand, another top golfer Rory Mcllroy has an average distance of 319 yards with 58% accuracy in 2021. He recently started using the popular model combination of Titleist driver and Mitsubishi shaft. But in 2020, Rory had an average driving distance of 314 with a similar percent of accuracy. He used TaylorMade SIM driver then. So, the change has worked for him to gain better distance on average with slightly improved accuracy.
With proper swing and individual skill, you can drive as long as 300 yards or more on a consistent basis with the TSi golf drivers. And the Mitshubishi AV series shaft can help you get enriched performance. Maybe that’s why they are now the first choice for top golfers. And that reflects in our study too.
Chapter 2: The Golf Irons
Unlike drivers, golfers carry more than one iron in their bag. To be specific, they carry a minimum of 5 pieces of irons. Because not all types of irons deliver the same result, golfers carry their irons in such a way so that they have the best iron for any situation. And that makes our study more enjoyable. Why? Have a look at what we found in our study.
What is the most popular brand of golf irons?
Callaway has the most number of top golfers using their golf irons in 2021. The competition between brands for irons especially between Callaway and Taylormade is very intense in recent years.
We saw in chapter 1 that Titleist has the most popular brand of golf driver by Callaway has better share for golf irons. So here is another finding that golfers don’t use the same brand of clubs for each type.
But brands like Ping, Titleist, TaylorMade had a very narrow margin in the popularity index. Also, when you consider consistency for the last three years, they have very marginal differences among them. Here is a bar chart that replicates our findings.
We have seen Titleist taking over TaylorMade and Callaway with their latest driver inclusion in our chapter 1. But here, they are struggling to compete with Callaway. The Callaway Apex series of Irons has had more than 20% share for the last three years.
However, TaylorMade had a good time in 2020 with their P760 series irons. About 24% of top golfers used that club. But Callaway regained their position with another Apex series irons.
What are the most popular golf irons?
Callaway Apex TCB
Callaway launched their Apex series, Irons, back in 2013. After that, they often include new models in this series for several years. The TCB is their latest addition. It is designed for forged performance, shot-making, accuracy, and control. As a result, golfers tend to switch to this club in recent times.
As you can see in the following bar chart, in 2019 it was Callaway with their Apex series irons leading the chart. But Taylormade turned things into their favor in 2020 with their P series irons.
When you see at the looks and specifications of both these models they are very much similar. The only mentionable difference is the loft of the shorter irons. TaylorMade introduced a better loft angle in their P series golf irons. It helps pro golfers get a better spin as well.
But Callaway was quick to respond with their Apex TCB golf irons. They regained the top position with it in 2021. We should say that Callaway designed this model especially for tour players (experts). They have been successful in that. Players like Jon Rahm, Marc Leishman, and Christiaan Bezuidenhout chose this model over anything else. This model is an ideal choice for someone who loves to have a better feel alongside performance.
Besides this, the Callaway Apex 19. And TaylorMade P760 made their mark on Golfers’ minds in the respective years.
How often do professional golfers change golf irons?
Though the number suggests that there were ups and downs for the golf irons model over the years but in our study, we found a good number of golfers love to stick to their irons for several years. As a result, very few golfers changed their brands in recent years.
For example, brands like Ping and Titleist had a very similar number of users in these years. But the change of models and switching to the latest model of iron is common here. Our study shows that most golfers who used Callaway Apex 19 in 2019 switched to Callaway Apex TCB in 2021.
Why do they change the models too often? You must know the answer already as we discussed earlier.
Most Popular Shaft brand
True Temper iron shafts are most popular among top golfers. In our research, nearly 30% of people like to have a True Temper shaft with their golf irons. Project X and the KBS are the other two brands among the top 3 golf iron shaft brands. True Temper shafts offer better customization options for golf irons. This could be a driving factor for pro golfers choosing this brand over others.
Most Popular Shaft model
True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts
15% of the overall sample chose the Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts for them. This shaft offers a variety of flex options for golfers of different skills and abilities. Other than this model, the True Temper Project X series shafts are popular too for their satisfying performance of flex and stiffness. As we mentioned earlier True temper is the most popular shaft brand for golf irons. 52% of them choose this model. The impact is pretty convincing.
In this chapter, we are unable to share the exact impact of the golf irons on individual performance based on the golf club brands and models, as it is hard to figure out which shot was taken by irons. It is a limitation of our study. We hope to overcome this in our coming researches.
Chapter 3: The Golf Wedges
Wedges are a subset of golf irons but feature higher lofts, heavier clubheads, and shorter shafts. Sometimes they are very effective at playing challenging shots, especially when you are in a trouble situation like bunkers or roughs. There are four types of wedges available in the market.
However, do you know, Out of 14 clubs, how many wedges do pro golfers carry in their golf bags? Think about it. We will share our findings by the end of this chapter.
How often do professional golfers change golf wedges?
Wedges are one of a kind that pro golfers hardly change often. Our study shows that top golfers change their wedge models or brands once in 3-5 years. Our research also illustrates that less than 5% of golfers change their wedges regularly.
So, it can be very beneficial for golf club manufacturers to make their mark on golfers’ minds with their top-quality golf wedges. Let’s find out which brand models are favorite to the top 100 golfers.
What is the most popular brand of golf wedges?
For wedges, most pro golfers prefer Titleist golf clubs over any other brands. And the number of people loving this brand is enormous. In 2021, 35% of top golfers choose Titleist, where the second-best brand Callaway has only 17% users only among top-ranked golfers. That’s less than half of what Titleist achieved. There is no better alternatives to the Titleist Wedges.
Titleist is a clear winner here. Not just for 2021 but also for the last two years. Other brands are yet to find out the secret of success behind Titleist. Here is an analysis of the models of the wedges.
The looks of the Titleist golf wedges are unique and certainly a feature that golfers consider before buying a golf wedge. But the best thing that the Titleist golf wedges provide is the bounce, spin, and consistency of over-controlled swings. These features are very effective for a wedge, especially sand wedge and lob wedge. Let’s find out the most popular model of golf wedge first, before going deep about the reason for Titleist success.
What are the most popular golf wedges?
Titleist Vokey Design
Pro golfers’ top 3 picks for golf wedges are Titleist Vokey Design, TaylorMade Milled Grind, and Callaway Mack Daddy. In our study, this model of golf wedge is leading the chart. It looks great and offers amazing performance.
Most golfers love its accuracy, loft, and distance. It is also versatile with six different grinds customization options. These grinds give golfers plenty of options for aligning selection with purpose, swing type, and typical turf conditions. This is one of the most influential reasons behind this model being chosen by most tour golfers.
But there are 4 different types of golf clubs, and most golfers are found carrying at least three of them in their bags. And among those three, Sand wedge, and Lob wedge is very common in almost all golfers’ choice.
Most Popular Shaft brand
47% of the top golfers use True Temper wedge shaft. In our study, we found 6 different brands of wedge shaft selected by the top 100 golfers. Almost half of them prefer True Temper wedge shafts with their golf wedges. However, regardless of which wedges golfers choose, they love to use it with the shaft from True Temper. Let’s find out the most popular model of Wedge Shaft then.
Most Popular Shaft model
True Temper Dynamic Gold S400
Considering all types of wedges used by pro-golfers; we found the True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shaft is the most favorite wedge shaft by most golfers since 2019. Apart from this model, Project X Hzrdus has been consistent in the last few years.
Score differences among different golf clubs
We collected the performance metrics of golfers to figure out whether these models of golf wedges and shafts really make any impact or not. The sand save percent is the percent of the time a player was able to get ‘up and down’ once in a greenside sand bunker.
Having a higher sand saving percentage is better. But it is not the only criteria to interpret individual performance but undoubtedly an effective one.
Daniel Berger has a good 53% sand save with Callaway Mack Daddy and S400 wedge shaft on the other end Rickie Fowler, who uses the Titleist Vokey wedge with True Temper Dynamic S400, had a 43.12% sand save percentage. Interesting?
We found another exciting statistic when we sorted the performance data with Titleist Vokey wedge but different shafts. Mr. Gary Woodland is one of them. He had a 49.48% sand save with Vokey wedge and KBS shaft.
Then we hit by the same question that you are having right now. Why then the Vokey and S400 are the most popular when their performance combined is not up to the standards? Well, we found the reason.
The reason is most people chose this combination for lob wedge and gap wedge. When it comes to sand wedges, golfers prefer KBS with Titleist Vokey.
Chapter 4: The Golf Putter
The putter is the most talked-about golf club. You just can’t afford to have a poor golf putter in professional golf. And our study reflects on the statement too. All the pro golfer use only the best quality golf putter. Odyssey and Scotty are the best golf putters brands. There is hardly any competition except for these two brands.
Odyssey is a sub-brand of Callaway and Scotty is a sub-brand of Titleist. Both these two brands have been producing top quality golf putter for many years now. We found tour golfers carrying only one putter in their golf bag. So the contest would be very exciting. Let’s have a look at what we found in our study.
What is the most popular brand of golf putter?
In our study, we found Odyssey is the most popular brand of golf putter among the top 100 golfers. Not just in 2021, this brand has been leading the chart for the last three consecutive years. And Scotty is their closest competitor. Have a look at the pie chart that illustrates the percentage of golfers preferring the most popular brands.
What is the most popular golf putter?
Scotty New Port
When it comes to the specific model of golf putter, the result is very interesting. Though Odyssey and Scotty are leading the market by far, there is no such model of a golf putter. Instead, both these brands have several models scattered among the top hundred golfers. Among which most golfers select the Scotty New Port.
And the reason behind such success could be the top golfer’s performance in last years.
Score differences with different putters
Here is data on the top 3 ranked golfers with their one-putt percentage in 2021.
Dustin Jhonson, currently number 1 ranked in the PGA Tour, had a 41.9% One-putt in the 2021 PGA Tour. He uses a TaylorMade TP Bandon 1 Putter.
In comparison, John Rahm with Odyssey White Hot had a 39.47% One-putt in the same competition.
And Justin Thomas, with the most popular Scotty Putter, had a 48.61% One-putt.
Scotty has reason to top the most popular putter survey, right? We think so.
Chapter 5: The Fairway Woods
Fairway woods are one of the most versatile golf clubs with their unique features and technologies. It helps golfers hit long and high from the tee and chip the ball from the rough or short grass. Unfortunately, such versatility makes the fairway woods complicated and tricky to find the best one that serves your purpose.
What is the most popular brand of golf fairway woods?
TaylorMade, Titleist, and Callaway are the most popular brands for woods among top golfers. Here is their share percentage in 2021:
In 2021, TaylorMade is the most popular brand of fairway woods. But the other brands are not too far away. For example, both Callaway and Titleist are selected by 22% of the top golfers, whereas 31% of golfers choose TaylorMade.
Not just in 2021, TaylorMade has the maximum user in 2020 and 2019 too. But if we look into the models of fairway woods used by top golfers, we found the Callaway epic series woods being selected most times over the years.
There was not much data about the hybrid golf clubs.
Most Popular Shaft brand
There is no other than Mitsubishi shafts for fairway woods used by most professional golfers. For the last three years, our data show that more than 33% of top golfers use Mitsubishi shafts for their drivers among the top 100 golfers.
One of the primary reasons for their success is their numerous models of shafts. We found several models of shafts used among our sample. And here is the most favorite model.
Most Popular Shaft model
Mitsubishi Diamana series shafts
Most golfers found using the Diamana series shafts with their drivers. The Graphite design tour AD series has the most significant number of users among the top 100 ranked golfers. We found about 50 different models of shafts used by our sample. And that illustrates the difference in the number of users is not very significant.
Chapter 6: The Golf Balls
In a game of golf, golfers are allowed to carry their golf balls. According to the USGA rules, a golfer can carry nine balls in a round of golf. This means, having the best golf balls is equally important as golf clubs. So, we gathered similar data on golf balls too. And analyzed them to figure out the best results.
And there is a clear winner in this segment.
What is the favorite ball of the pro golfers?
Titleist Pro V1
This is the most popular golf ball among the top 100 golfers. Our research found that more than 39% of the top golfers prefer Titleist golf balls over any other brand. There is hardly any other brand that 20% or more golfers chose them.
And the pro v1 and pro v1x are the top picks among them. Among those Titleist users, 54% use the Titleist Pro V1 golf ball, and the rest choose Pro V1x.
It is a remarkable achievement for Titleist especially when you consider the price of it. The Titleist golf balls are much expensive than most other golf balls. Yet most golfers prefer using their golf balls. Not just the pro golfers, but also beginners love using this ball too. It’s a versatile golf ball.
Chapter 7: Findings Summary
Apart from the golf clubs brands, models, and golf balls brands, we found other information to help you. Have a look at those here.
What is the most favorite golf club brand among pro golfers?
We have discussed the favorite brands of golf clubs based on each type of golf club. In most cases, Callaway, TaylorMade, and Titleist made their name among the top 3. And Ping is the other Brand that performed well enough to mention. But if we search for one brand overall, then it would be Titleist. This is because they have the maximum user among the top 100 golfers in 2021.
Do they use the same brand for all types of clubs?
Top golfers tend to use different brands of golf clubs. However, they prefer to pick the best for each shot no matter which brand it represents. Moreover, some golfers use different golf clubs for the same clubs, such as Irons, wedges, and woods.
Which type of golf club is carried most by professional golfers?
On our survey, we found most golfers use at least five irons in their bags. The 9- iron and 7- iron is often found in their golf bags. Most golfers replace their 3- iron with a hybrid or 3-wood. We also found that most golfers use three kinds of wedges in their golf bags. They like to carry one of each type of golf wedge. Interestingly, pro golfers carry hybrid golf clubs as a replacement for iron or wood.
Recommendations from the Study
After a rigorous study on the top golfers’ data, we found some amazing facts that we have already about earlier. Based on that, here are some feedbacks that can help the brands and stakeholders to improve in the coming days.
- Top Golfers hardly hesitate to change their clubs when they struggle to score well, and if better features are available, that can benefit their performance. So brands should try to deliver advanced features to gain more top users.
- Very few top golfers use the exact golf club offered by brands. Instead, they like to customize it. Therefore, brands that offer more customization options tend to have a better market share among them.
- It is found that the most popular models of clubs have better performance metrics. Therefore, you can select your golf club on that basis as well.
- Having the best golf balls is as important as having a golf club. And Titleist Pro V1 is such a versatile golf ball that most people find this ball perfect for them. You should try this golf ball too.
- Most tour golfers arrange their 14 golf club set in the following order:
5 irons, 3 wedges, and driver, putter, fairway wood and hybrid each. The rest 2 golf clubs varies based on individual preferences.
- The combination of a golf club and club shaft is important for better performance. Club manufacturers need to attention to produce better golf clubs.
- Not only the clubs, shafts or golf balls are crucial, you need to be skillful and swing properly for the best performance. These equipment play a crucial role in improving the your performance.
We did the hard work for you to find out the brands and models of golf clubs and golf balls that top professional golfers prefer. We collected data from the top 100 golfers and analyzed them to find answers to specific queries, as you have read already.
These findings will surely help you as a golf lover. Besides, several brands can take the lead from here and hopefully work on it to improve their performance. This report is entirely based on actual data, and it’s an unbiased analysis that we figured out to help you get the correct information.
I hope this helps you. Let us know if you think we should include more information and come up with more research reports. Then, share it with your friends.