Deep Dive: Danny Willett's equipment at the 2017 Masters

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Deep Dive: Danny Willett's equipment at the 2017 Masters

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Deep Dive: Danny Willett's equipment at the 2017 Masters

Danny Willett, the defending Masters champion, has made a few changes to his golf bag since he won last April at Augusta. Golfweek recently spoke with Ian Garbutt, Callaway’s lead European Tour rep and one of the key people who works with Willett to make sure his equipment matches his needs.

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero driver

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero driver

DRIVER: Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (9 degrees), with Mitsubishi Diamana W-Series 60X shaft
According to Garbutt, the look for Willett’s driver in the address position is critical, and he prefers to have his driver set to an open face angle.

“Anything that is even slightly closed, he won’t use,” Garbutt said. “On the range, he’s neither hitting up or down on the ball with his driver. It’s a pretty level swing, but in a tournament, it can go 2 or 3 degrees down (in attack angle), so this is where it gets a little bit tricky.”

For that reason, Willett tends to use a driver that creates a little more spin to help maximize carry distance. He had been using a 10.5-degree GBB Epic driver, with the loft set to -1 degree, the face angle opened slightly and the adjustable weight set into the middle of the head (a neutral position). However, at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship two weeks ago, Willett opted for the lower-spinning GBB Epic Sub Zero driver.

Callaway GBB Epic fairway woods

Callaway GBB Epic fairway woods

FAIRWAY WOODS: Callaway GBB Epic (15 degrees), with Mitsubishi Diamana W-Series 70X shaft, (19 degrees), Mitsubishi Diamana W-Series 80X shaft
Willett played a Callaway XR 16 3-wood and 5-wood last season, but Garbutt said that the Epic fairway woods quickly replaced them at the end of 2016.

“Ordinarily, it can be tricky getting players into new fairway woods, but he reckons that these are the best fairway woods he’s ever had,” Garbutt said. “He loved the face angle, and the clubs sat really nicely for him at address. He just seemed to like them straight away, which is a big thing for Danny. If you can get the looks right, then (a new club) has a chance.”

Danny Willett's Callaway Apex UT iron

Danny Willett’s Callaway Apex UT iron. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

IRONS: Callaway Apex UT (18, 21, 24 degrees), Apex MB prototype (5-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold SuperLite X100 shafts
The Callaway Apex UT 18-degree utility iron is a club that Willett uses only on specific courses, where wind is a factor, like the British Open or the French Open. When he decides to use it, he takes his 5-wood out, but his 21- and 24-degree Apex UT irons stay in his bag at all times.

Willett likes the hollow-headed Apex UT long irons because they provide him with a slightly higher ball flight than traditional irons, and therefore more carry distance and a steeper angle of descent. When he hits down on the ball aggressively, they give him more the green-stopping spin as well.
Willett had been playing Callaway’s Apex Pro irons, but Garbutt recently made him a set of Callaway Apex MB prototype irons, and they went into his bag after the WGC-Mexico Championship. They are more of a classic muscleback design.

Willett had been playing Callaway’s Apex Pro irons, but Garbutt recently made him a set of Callaway Apex MB prototype irons, and they went into his bag after the WGC-Mexico Championship. They are more of a classic muscleback design.

Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedge

Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedge. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

WEDGES: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (54, 58 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold SuperLite X100 shafts
There had been a 47-degree Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind wedge in Willett’s bag until he switched to the new Apex MB prototype irons and added the pitching wedge that came with that set.

Three or four times a year, Willett needs to replace his sand wedge because he not only wants to use a club with fresh grooves, he practices a lot in bunkers and wears down the bounce. Willett put a new 54-degree wedge in play at the Dell Match Play so it would be broken in perfectly for this year’s Masters.

“He likes to play the bounce in because they are not always identical,” Garbutt said. “Secondly, he practices a hell of a lot out of the bunkers.”

According to Garbutt, Willett practices his short game and bunker shots so much that he wears out the bounce in his wedges very quickly. Like most players, he wants to know that in tournament conditions, the bounce, which has some hand-grinding work done to it, will work through the sand and turf the way he likes.

“He likes to get into the bunkers, work away, and make sure that the bounce is correct,” Garbutt said.

Danny Willett Odyssey putter

Danny Willett’s Odyssey Versa #1 Wide. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

PUTTER: Odyssey Versa #1 Wide
This is the same putter that Willett used to win the Masters, and not surprisingly, it has not been out of the bag since. He started using it at the end of 2015.

It combines a series of white lines and black areas that make it easier for Willett to align the face perpendicular to his intended target line. The #1 style head is a classic heel-toe weighted blade style, but the Wide versions extend back farther from the face and have a larger footprint.

BALL: Callaway Plus Chrome Plus
This is a tour-only golf ball, and it spins slightly more than the retail version of the Callaway Chrome Plus ball.

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