When I started playing golf I used to be obsessed with making sure it looked like I was sponsored by one of the main golf club manufacturers.
Not only did all my golf clubs have to be the same brand but I drove my family nuts by always insisting that my golf bag, towels, golf gloves, balls and shoes also matched if they could.
But does it really matter whether you use golf clubs that are all the same brand?
As a general rule golf clubs do not need to be the same brand. Focusing on matching the brand is an expensive strategy and it is more important to keep other club elements such as the shaft, length and lie angle consistent. All final club decisions should be based principally on what gives the best results.
It can often be tempting to watch golf on TV and come to the conclusion that all the pros are all using the same brand of clubs throughout their bag and therefore all amateurs should too.
But closer inspection of the golf club set up of the top 100 players on the PGA Tour clearly shows this not to be the case and that the pros are ruthless when it comes to selecting their golf clubs based purely on which ones are going to help them shoot the lowest scores.
Results Matter More Than Matching Golf Club Brands
I am not going to tell a lie.
Having a bag of golf clubs that are all the same brand is a great feeling. Walking up to the first tee with a matching set of clubs can make you feel like you’re a great player as that is what you think all the pros have and therefore if you’ve got that too then you are clearly a good player.
If only golf was that simple and it will not surprise anyone who has played the game for any length of time that what matters when it comes to selecting the best set-up of your bag of clubs is much more complicated than simply focusing on making all your clubs the same brand.
Golf clubs consist of a series of variable elements or components – club head, shaft, weight, length, loft, lie angle, grip amongst others and of course brand – and all of these can have an effect on the result you get with an individual club.
So to only look at the question of whether your clubs are the same brand or not will make you miss many of the key club elements that actually matter and will make a difference to your game.
As a whole it is not only ok to have a mix of golf brands in your golf set but if done consciously it will ensure you have the best set of clubs for your swing. What combination of all the key golf club elements – shaft, length, loft etc – deliver the best results for each individual club is the most important criteria.
But surely if you’re looking at your fairway way woods for example it is a good idea to try and match the brand to your driver because you hit your driver great on the course.
The fairway woods will therefore have been designed in the same way and most likely by the same group of club designers so it surely makes sense as a result to go with the same 3, 5 and even 7 wood potentially if you use those clubs.
Also if you read a lot about golf you will often find club fitting experts commenting that they frequently find the drivers and fairway woods they test amongst amateur players to have very different shaft lengths, flexes and weights from one brand of clubs to the next.
More evidence surely that is a good idea to have your driver and fairway woods for example all be the same brand.
The answer to that is still no and for the simple reason that your clubs should be chosen on what best matches your game first, second and last.
Also consider why manufacturers offer so many combinations of lofts, designs, shafts etc in their own family of clubs? For the very reason that they know different golfers and different swings require different things.
While one player may indeed have success matching the brand of their clubs you can bet your bottom dollar there will be hundreds more who don’t.
Stick therefore to choosing your clubs and individual components of them based on what works best for you and don’t worry too much if they are the same brand or not.
It will take a bit of time testing all the options but you will reap the benefit compared to just grabbing the same brand in one club simply because it works well in another.
Wedges and Golf Grips are More Often the Same Brand
All this does not mean of course that it’ is not often a good idea to try and keep elements of your golf set up consistent. After all consistency is on the key watchwords of any good golfer.
Having a ‘pick and mix’ approach to your set of golf clubs is all very well but it has to be based on hours of testing of combinations and ensuring that mix delivers the best results for your game.
There are also groups of clubs and elements of those individual clubs which you are more likely to find benefit from keeping consistent.
While brand matching is not so important keeping the shaft and lie angle consistent between your wedges and irons is often a good approach for the average golfer to help ensure proper distance gapping and better shot dispersion.
If you have different shaft flexes and weights in the shafts of your wedges and irons that can also frequently lead to loss of distance and different ball flight than expected.
Club fitters are also close to unanimous that the vast majority of amateur golfers should have wedges that are the same length as their shortest iron which in most cases will be the 9-iron.
Given the importance of wedges also as scoring clubs many golfers often find that the consistent look of wedges that are the same brand leads to better distance gapping as the material, grooves and face match. Many players also simply feel more confident staring down at the same wedge brand each time they play shorter shots.
And when it comes to grips it is very common for players to select the same grip brand for all their clubs to help give them a consistent feel with their hands whatever club they are using.
But although these elements of the golf club set are often ones that can lead to golfers choosing the same brand of clubs they are never reasons for every player to automatically choose to match the brand of all their golf clubs.
Golf club selection must always be based on what give the best results and the brand of golf clubs you end up with should always be a consequence of that rather than the driving factor.
Finally it is important to remember the expense which a strategy of matching your clubs by brand could lead to.
Say for example you one day finally find that driver you have always dreamed about that not only gives you an extra 20-30 yards but has also somehow stopped that slice that was plaguing your game.
Are you really going to go out and then spend more money to make all your other clubs match the brand of that driver if they don’t already?
Do Pro Golfers Have Mixed Clubs?
As with all things in golf it is always fun and interesting to check out what the pros are doing when it comes to their clubs.
Do the best players in the golfing world have mixed sets of clubs or does everyone one of them use the same brand throughout because they get their clubs for free and the cost factor is removed?
On average pros have much more consistent brand setups across their golf sets than amateur golfers. This is often because pros are sponsored to play one brand of clubs and so are contractually obligated to do so. Even the pros however frequently mix club brands especially when it comes to wedges and putters.
Take a quick look at the golf bags of the tops pros on the PGA Tour on the TV, and especially amongst the elite of the game, and you will find a lot of consistency of brand of clubs.
The best players in the world make a lot of money from sponsorships so it makes sense that Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, PING, Srixon and PXG to name but a few of the top brands would in turn demand that the player whom they back play with the clubs they make.
As a result you find many pros use the same brand of clubs throughout their bag because they are paid to do so.
For Jordan Speith, it’s Titleist clubs. For Bryson DeChambeau, it’s Cobra. Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy are TaylorMade men while for Louis Oosthuizen it’s PING.
Taking a close look at the golf clubs of the top 100 players on the PGA Tour however shows that even when it comes to the paid ranks it is not a universal rule that they play all the same brand of clubs even when they are being paid to do so.
A detailed look at Collin Morikawa’s TaylorMade sponsored golf bag and finds a Titleist Vokey SM8 sand wedge tucked in amongst all those other 13 TaylorMade clubs.
In Bryson DeChambeau’s Cobra bag sits a SIK made putter. Amongst Tony Finau’s PING golf clubs you will find a Nike Vapor Pro 3-iron while in Brooks Koepka’s golf bag you will discover 4 different brands of golf club.
While Kopeka carries a TaylorMade driver and 3-wood he switches to the same Nike Vapor Pro 3-iron before switching again to Srizon ZX7 irons and Titleist wedges.
Titleist’s Vokey wedge range is also a good example of where pros most often break with a consistent brand club set up. 44% of the 380n different wedges made by the top 100 PGA Tour golfers are made by Titleist and that is way more than the number of players sponsored to play all Titleist clubs.
Wedges are vital scoring clubs for the top pros and as Titleist wedges are deemed to be the best the pros clearly frequently switch to use them even if they use other branded clubs elsewhere.
And that’s not to mention the golf shafts all these players use which can vary hugely throughout the bag and are almost never from the same manufacturer.
As you go further down the top 100 also you find the players’ ties to one brand of clubs weakening presumably as the monetary incentive they receive to play one brand is less than for the very top players.
So the key lesson is that even when pros are paid large sums to play one brand of clubs if they find an individual club from a different brand which leads to better scoring then you can bet your money they will use it or alternatively get the brand who sponsors them to make something exactly the same!
Other great articles related to this topic:
- Should All Your Wedges be the Same? Focus on Gaps & Variety
- Should You Have the Same Grips on All Your Golf Clubs?
- Should Your Driver Match Your Woods? Don’t Waste Your Money!
- Should Your Wedges Match Your Irons? Consistency is Key
- What Clubs Do Pro Golfers Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide
- What Putters do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide (2021)
- What Wedges Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Analysis (2021)
- What Irons Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide (2021)
- What Driver is Most Used On the PGA Tour? Top 100 Player Analysis
- What Golf Grips Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide (2021)
- What Shafts Do Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Breakdown (2021 update)