7 equipment secrets inside Viktor Hovland’s golf bag | BagSpy

Hovland’s equipment setup is chock-full of fun finds. Take a closer look at some of the items that don’t immediately stand out.

The post 7 equipment secrets inside Viktor Hovland’s golf bag | BagSpy appeared first on Golf.

Hovland’s equipment setup is chock-full of fun finds. Take a closer look at some of the items that don’t immediately stand out.

The post 7 equipment secrets inside Viktor Hovland’s golf bag | BagSpy appeared first on Golf.

The gear crew at GOLF.com spends a lot of time at Tour events snapping photographs of the tools used by the best players in the world. Posting club images without context works in some cases, but it doesn’t help the weekend golfer understand the why behind a pro’s setup.

In this GOLF.com series, equipment editors Jonathan Wall and Ryan Barath answer those questions by highlighting interesting clubs in players’ bags, unique weighting, loft sleeve settings and more. Welcome to “Bay Spy.”

The Viking

viktor hovland witb
Hovland’s Ping putter cover is covered with icons that are symbolic of his life and interests. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Very little in Hovland’s bag has changed in recent years — outside of a few items. The most obvious is a custom putter cover — some might call it a stretch to attach a gear change to a cover, but that’s OK — that made its debut last year when Ping officially rolled out the “Hovi” Signature PLD Limited putter.

For years, Hovland protected his Ping PLD DS72 putter with a simple white covering bearing the Norwegian flag. The newest protector of the wand is anything but simple with a menacing Viking staring straight into your soul. It’s a look we’ve seen from Hovland on a few occasions.

Look closer and you’ll see a few more Easter eggs dotting the sides that are symbolic of his life and interests. The orange and black stitching is no doubt a nod to his time spent at Oklahoma State University. And by the way, he still resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

It’s a fun cover that brings together his Norwegian roots, love for death metal music and life in “Stilly.”

Quiet transition

hovland witb
True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shaft is found in all of Hovland’s wedges. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

It started with the lob wedge in 2023 and has quietly spread to the other scoring tools in the bag. I’m talking about Hovland’s decision to move away from the all-KBS shaft setup he used in the irons and wedges for years and embrace True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue.

True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Iron Shaft

The True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue is ideal for the player looking for a low launch, low spin shaft designed for optimum control and accuracy. You can buy the True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue built to your required specifications.
The True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue is the Gold Standard by which all other irons shafts are measured. It is the most successful shaft in the history of golf and still continues to dominate on professional tours each and every year. The Tour Issue shafts hold the industries tightest weight tolerances for exacting performance demanded by the best players. You can purchase the True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue in the following flexes: S400, and X100.

View Product

Arguably the most popular wedge shaft on Tour, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue marked the first time Hovland deviated from using an extra-stiff flex in his wedges since turning pro. The S400 offers a slightly softer feel than KBS’s Tour V but with a similar weight profile (132 grams vs. 130 grams). Opting for a heavier weight in the wedges can add a bit more control and feel around the green.

In Hovland’s case, going to a softer flex and adding weight can deliver more feel around the green for those tricky touch shots.

Follow my lead

hovland witb
Hovland has been using i210 since he turned pro in 2019. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Hovland’s Ping i210 irons are a great reminder that one of the best players on the planet wields a set with a profile that deftly toes the line between better player and game improvement. With a thicker topline and wider sole than Ping’s better-player offerings (Blueprint S and Blueprint T), i210 is geared for a wide range of players — from scratch to mid-handicappers.

If anything, Hovland’s setup, one he’s been using since turning pro in 2019, highlights the importance of trying other offerings before defaulting to the compact profiles littering professional circuits.

In Hovland’s case, he found the i210 to be a good fit in the mid to short irons because of the lower, more controlled flight they produced. In the 4- through 6-iron, the wide sole keeps the head from needlessly digging into the turf. It’s a setup more golfers should embrace.

Hiding in plain sight

hovland witb
Hovland’s Glide 2.0 lob wedge has s159 DNA. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Back in 2023, Ping released a video of Hovland hitting flop shots with Tour rep Kenton Oates by his side. It’s a fun video meant to highlight the massive short-game improvement Hovland made with coach Joe Mayo that culminated in a torrid finish to the season. Not to mention a PGA Tour record for one-year earnings with $34.5 million. It was a very good year for Hovland.

Hovland has transitioned into two Ping’s s159 wedges (50 and 56 degrees) since the dream season, but the Glide 2.0 lob wedge remains. As for why Hovland still plays 2.0, Oates told GOLF.com last season that it came down to personal preferences.

“The sole of [the 2.0] was always perfect for him,” said Oates. “The heel and back were perfect. Now if he wanted to go into the 4.0 lob wedge with the same characteristics, we’d probably have to do slightly different things to match it up.”

As the wedge game continued to improve last season, Hovland came to Oates at the 2023 Players Championship and asked for a true 60-degree Glide 2.0 TS. Before the switch, he was using a low-bounce 58TS (Thin Sole) wedge bent two degrees weak to a stated loft of 60 degrees to reap the benefits of even more versatility around the green.

Hovland hasn’t looked back since that week.

PING s159 Custom Wedge

With the addition of two grinds and new lofts, the tour-style s159 wedges are available in 25 loft/grind combinations to match a wedge to your playing conditions and technique while ensuring a properly gapped set. Extensive testing with top PING tour players helped create wedges that will appeal to golfers of all abilities. The new WebFit Wedge app provides a quick and easy way to determine the s159 grinds that best fit your game.
Tour-Proven Design
The tour-inspired 8620 carbon steel head features a soft feel and clean shape with a straighter lead edge for improved results on full shots. Two performance-enhancing finishes (Hybropearl 2.0 Chrome and Midnight) are available in all loft/grind combinations. More Grooves. More Spin.
Wheel-cut grooves are precision-milled to varying dimensions, depending on loft. The 46-to-52-degree wedges are milled to maximize groove volume for greater control on full shots. The 54-to-62-degree options feature more tightly spaced MicroMax grooves to impart more spin, especially around the greens.

View Product

“Now he’s playing a true 60-degree wedge that’s going to be more versatile,” said Oates. “It’s going to sit lower to the ground due to having less bounce, but it’s also going to require more skill. Ever since he changed, his stats have slowly gotten better and he’s never asked to go back [to the 58-degree]. That shows the work he’s put in learning how to expose that bounce and hit those shots a little bit cleaner.”

And if you want a bit of inside baseball, Hovland’s lob wedge is actually one of the earliest s159 prototypes. It says Glide 2.0 on the head, but the sole geometry and turf interaction is designed to mimic Ping’s latest scoring tools. Talk about hiding in plain sight.

Steady as she goes

hovland witb
Hovland’s G425 driver hasn’t changed since he made adjustments in 2022. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Hovland isn’t afraid to modify his favorite club in the bag — provided the tweak produces results. And when the results bear fruit, the tinkering stops.

If you need proof, look no further than Hovland’s G425 LST driver. In 2022, Ping reps worked with Hovland to increase launch and combat a lower-than-comfortable spin rate by removing the shaft tipping from his Fujikura Speeder 661 TR TX shaft to soften the overall build.

The head loft also increased slightly from 8.4 to 8.6 degrees and hot melt (three grams) was positioned in the toe to keep Hovland from overdrawing the ball since his path started moving more right. In the end, the changes resulted in a consistent launch around 11-12 degrees with roughly 2,300 RPMs of spin.

The small tweaks provide an all-important benefit: Hovland didn’t have to worry about spin dropping to dangerous levels on the occasional mishit anymore.

The adjustments were so good Hovland has kept the driver build frozen in time. That’s when you know you’re doing something right as a Tour rep.

Keeping it consistent

hovland witb
Hovland’s New Decade MultiCompound grips. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

The club grip is another item in the bag that hasn’t changed going back to Hovland’s time at Oklahoma State. Golf Pride’s New Decade MultiCompound (58R) is a popular option used by a myriad of pros, including Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy. (It was McIlroy who helped put “MCC” on the map around 2011.)

Golf Pride New Decade MultiCompound Midsize

The Golf Pride New Decade MultiCompound grip fuses the performance of rubber and cord for a new look and feel. It features Golf Pride’s exclusive black Velvet Cord in the upper hand area for firm, all-weather control, and a soft, rubber material in the lower hand for ultimate control and responsiveness.

View Product

Designed with a brushed cotton cord in the upper hand for stability, and rubber in the lower hand for control, MCC was one of the first grips to blend two feels and textures. For Hovland, the grip provides a constant feel and reliability that comes in handy (no pun intended) when he’s testing different heads.

Leave it as-is

Hovland’s 15-inch Winn grip shows serious signs of wear. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Concluding this edition of “BagSpy” with back-to-back grip notes feels anticlimactic, but it’s hard not to save space for Hovland’s 15-inch Winn grip. When Hovland and Ping started working on a new prototype mallet in 2020, the 26-year-old staffer made it clear he didn’t want to mess with a different grip. The visible wear on the red handle (the above photo was taken at the Memorial Tournament) is further confirmation that Hovland has no interest in trying anything else.

The 36-inch putter isn’t nearly as long as the 38-inch counterbalanced build Rickie Fowler popularized last season, but the addition of a longer grip allows Hovland to choke down a bit more for added stability during the stroke.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.

The post 7 equipment secrets inside Viktor Hovland’s golf bag | BagSpy appeared first on Golf.