The 2018 Masters Tournament - Battle of the Golfer or Battle of the Brand?

by Maura Hutchinson

Now that spring has finally arrived and April is just around the corner we couldn’t be more excited for the Masters Tournament in two weeks’ time.  There are so many good storylines leading up to Augusta this year; the incredible “comeback” of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy’s win at Bay Hill, Phil Mickelson’s first win since 2013 and more!  But beyond the individual narratives we think there is an even bigger factor in who will get the Green Jacket. Here we take a look at the top golf brands and their most successful ambassadors to see if the real winner of this year’s first major will actually be the equipment companies.

Team Callaway – Going Rogue

Back in January Callaway Golf unveiled their latest range of metal woods.  Building on the success of the brand’s EPIC collection, which featured the incredible Jailbreak technology, Callaway turned up the technology by introducing a new innovative variable-thickness face design known as X Face.  The new Rogue line of drivers and fairway woods promise maximum distance, forgiveness and easier launch than ever before.

The results on Tour have been positive and swift, with most of the big names opting to put one version of Rogue or another straight in the bag.  For Phil Mickelson, the new equipment helped to bring about his first win in almost four years at the WGC – Mexico Championship last month. Callaway staffer and returning Masters champion Sergio Garcia has also gone Rogue in the build up to Augusta.  Last April the Spaniard found his first major win here, so will Rogue and the recent birth of his first child help to give Garcia the added boost needed to defend the Green Jacket?

Take a look at What’s in the Bag of Callaway’s biggest names:

Sergio Garcia
Driver: Rogue Sub Zero
Fairway Woods: Rogue Sub Zero; Rogue
Irons: Apex Pro 16; Apex MB
Wedges: Mack Daddy 4 Chrome

Phil Mickelson
Driver: Rogue Sub Zero
Fairway Woods: Rogue Sub Zero
Irons: Epic Pro; X Forged
Wedges: Mack Daddy PM-Grind Chrome
Putter: Odyssey Versa #9 White
Ball: Chrome Soft X

Henrik Stenson
Driver: Rogue
Fairway Woods: Rogue Sub Zero; Diablo Octane Tour
Irons: Legacy Black
Wedges: Mack Daddy Forged Chrome
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro #7

Team TaylorMade – Ready to Twist the Competition

In early 2018 TaylorMade revealed the incredible M3 and M4 range of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons.  Featuring the brand’s breakthrough Twist Face technology, the faces of the M3/M4s have literally been twisted to change the outdated driver face.  Curved open in the high toe area for more loft and curved slightly closed in the low heel to reduce loft, this unique design promises to garner you more fairways than you have ever hit before.

The M3/M4 Irons are also packed with innovation by the way of RIBCOR technology.  This new internal ribbing structure has been developed to stiffen the body of the iron whilst directing maximum energy to the ball during impact.  At the same time a multi-material dampening badge works together with RIBCOR to effectively dampen vibrations at impact to produce the ultimate in sound and feel.

Dustin Johnson used the M4 to win his first title of 2018 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions while Rory McIlroy proved how well the new M3 line is working for him last week at Bay Hill.  Could this finally be the year McIlroy competes his grand slam? Or is the M3 good enough to bring Tiger Woods his fifth win at Augusta and long-awaited 15th major title?

We can’t wait to find out!  

Take a look at What’s in the Bag of the TaylorMade Team:

Rory McIlroy
Driver: M3
Fairway Woods: M3
Irons: P750; Rors Proto
Wedges: Milled Grind Hi-Toe; Milled Grind
Putter: TP Black Copper Collection Soto
Ball: TP5x

Tiger Woods
Driver: M3
Fairway Woods: M3

Jason Day
Driver: M3
Fairway Woods: M1
Irons: P750
Wedges: Milled Grind
Putter: Spider tour Red
Ball: TP5x

Dustin Johnson
Driver: M4
Fairway Woods: M4
Irons: P730
Wedges: Milled Grind
Putter: Spider Tour Black
Ball: TP5x

Justin Rose
Driver: M3
Fairway Woods: M4
Irons: Rose Proto
Wedges: Milled Grind
Putter: TP Collection Red Ardmore 2
Ball: TP5

Team Titleist – More than just the #1 Ball in Golf

While the Titleist ProV1 and ProV1x are known as the number one balls in golf that doesn’t mean you should pass over the brand’s incredible equipment lineup.  As we head into spring 2018 Titleist is encouraging all golfers to “know your letter” and “hit your number.” Building on the highly successful Vokey design SM6 range, the brand just dropped the SM7s.  Featuring improved progressive CG, optimised spin milled grooves as well as six Tour-validated sole grinds, the new SM7s offer any player maximum spin, control and consistency for more confidence on every shot.  Big names on Tour including Bill Haas, Patton Kizzire, Jimmy Walker and the 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth have already put the SM7 in the bag. We can’t wait to see how these wedges fare at Augusta!

Beyond Titleist’s wedge game the brand is also at the forefront of iron technology.  Their impressive 718 range offers golfers a complete six (yes, we said six) sets to choose from.  Giving any golfer with a 20 handicap or better something to work with. The AP1 boasts the ultimate game improvement iron with explosive ball speed and an ultra-forgiving face.  While the AP2 are specifically engineered for those that demand ultimate playability with consistent distance and forgiveness. The brand new AP3 gives golfers the best of both worlds to produce the perfect player’s distance iron.  The T-MB delivers distance at every loft and the MB is designed for the purist who’s looking for a classic muscle back for the modern game. Last but not least, the CB takes the classic iron look and packs it with the best of modern technology.  Offering golfers Tour-proven performance in a sleek, cavity back profile.

Titleist staffers include Spieth, former world number 1 and Masters winner Adam Scott as well as current world number two Justin Thomas.  While the two former already have their Green Jackets, Thomas is looking to add to his first major win at last year’s PGA Championship. So will team Titleist be at the top of the leaderboard in two weeks’ time?  

Take a look at What’s in the Bag of Titleist’s top ambassadors:

Jordan Spieth

Driver: 915D2
Fairway Woods: 915F
Hybrid: 816H2
Irons: 718 T-MB; 718 AP2
Wedges: Vokey SM7
Ball: Pro V1x

Justin Thomas
Driver: 917D2
Fairway Woods: 917F2
Irons: 718 AP2; 718 MB
Wedges: Vokey SM6; Vokey SM5
Putter: Scotty Cameron X5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Bag: Tour Staff Bag

Products that may interest you

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