Anthony Kim will play in this week’s LIV event in Saudi Arabia, marking the 38-year-old’s return to competitive golf after more than 11 years away.
7 things I noticed while inspecting NBA champion Steph Curry’s Callaway gear
You can learn a thing or two about equipment trends and intriguing club builds that are potentially worth testing by looking at the gear played on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour. But what about an NBA champion? In addition to being arguably the greatest shooter in NBA history, Steph Curry boasts an impressive golf resume with multiple starts on the Korn Ferry Tour. Curry’s game travels from the court to the course.
During the American Century Championship, GOLF.com received an up-close look at Curry’s Callaway equipment. As you’d expect, weekend golfers can still learn a thing or two about gear by looking at the setup used by an accomplished athlete who doesn’t boast a Tour card.
Curry signed a multi-year partnership with Callaway in 2019, so access to new gear is always just a phone call away. That being said, I have to give the sharpshooter credit for sticking it out with Callaway’s Mavrik driver and 3-wood. With heavy brush marks and paint chips visible around the skirt, it’s clear Curry loves the Mavrik’s look and performance.
Something else that’s worth pointing out is the OptiFit loft sleeve setting. The “D +1” means Curry is adding a degree of loft — 10 degrees actual loft — with a draw bias to his driver setup. Generally, the draw setting is used to help straighten out a slice, but I’d venture a guess he’s trying to squeeze out more distance from the head. Curry doesn’t have any trouble squaring up the face at impact, so adding a bit more bend is going to induce topspin with a lower trajectory. The 10 degrees of loft ensures he can still maximize carry and spin.
The variety of shaft brands and flexes in Curry’s setup gives off a Tour vibe. There’s Fujikura’s Ventus Blue in the driver (7X) and 3-wood (8X), KBS Tour 130X in the utility iron, Project X 6.5 in the irons and 6.0 in the wedges. Looking strictly at the shafts, it’s easy to see he spent plenty of time at the Ely Callaway Performance Center getting dialed for every club in the bag.
Better players understand the importance of matching head and shaft to club delivery. Treat this note as a reminder that all golfers should undergo a custom fitting to get the best bang for their buck — not just NBA superstars and Tour pros.
Fairway woods, hybrids and utility irons all serve valuable purposes but when it comes to the hole between Steph Curry’s strong-lofted Mavrik 3-wood and Apex Pro 4-iron, he’s Team Utility Iron. The X Forged UT is a popular option on Tour with a profile that blends nicely with his long iron. And with 18 degrees of loft, Curry doesn’t have to sweat a potential carry gap between the 13.5-degree 3-wood and 4-iron. He has more than enough speed to send a utility iron.
Tools not jewels
The scratches and dings on Curry’s Apex Pro irons give you an idea of the rounds he logs during the offseason. With a membership at the famed California Golf Club of San Francisco, Curry has a good reason to play as much as possible.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m playing too much golf, and sometimes it feel like it’s not enough,” Curry said.
Based on the wear marks, Curry’s sticks rarely if ever collect a layer of dust.
Masters wedge craftsman Roger Cleveland is one of the best in the industry, so where he shares some sage advice, you listen. “Bounce is your friend,” he told me. If you’ve never heard the term “bounce,” or bounce angle, it’s the angle that’s formed by the leading edge, ground and sole when the shaft is perfectly vertical. Depending on your delivery and the course conditions you typically play, having more or less bounce can be a good thing.
In Steph Curry’s case, he’s about as stock as they come. All three of his Callaway Jaws scoring tools have the company’s standard S-Grind, including the lob wedge. The medium-width sole is a good option for plenty of different playing conditions, which comes in handy when you’re jet-setting around the globe playing a wide variety of courses. Consider it the cheeseburger in Callaway’s grind lineup — it generally satisfies most golfers.
Curry’s winged Odyssey Toulon Las Vegas putter is one of the most recognizable head shapes around. But let’s forget about the putter model and focus on the double bend hosel. Going off the assumption that Curry was fit for his current wand, it’s very likely he has a straight back and through stroke with minimal face rotation based on the neck. The double bend shaft is designed to fit golfers with a limited arc in their stroke.
With three alignment lines on the crown, as well as the section between the wings that helps frame the ball, Curry relies on visual aids to help him locate the line.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.