Few golfers have made a bigger stride up the World Rankings in 2012 than native of Orange California, Hunter Mahan.
The 30 year old American is currently ranked 10th in the world at present after some imperious early season form, wielding his trusty Ping golf equipment, saw him record two victories in the space of five weeks.
Mahan won his second World Golf Championship event of his career, the WGC Accenture World Match Play over Rory McIlroy in February and then follow that up with victory at the Shell Houston Open on April 1st.
Life is good for Mahan, his wins earlier this season catapulted him into the top ten for only the second time and he has all but assured himself of a place on the US Ryder Cup team and in the Fedex Cup.
In 2011 he married Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Kandi Harris and he will be hoping that he can do himself justice over this weekend and perhaps improved on his best ever finish in the British Open, which came when he tied for sixth place in 2007.
What follows is the equipment that Hunter has used throughout the 2012 to help propel him up the rankings:
Driver: Ping G20 (9.5 degree, Fujikura Speeder 6.2 Tour Spec Shaft)
Hunter uses the same driver as compatriot and fellow Golf Boys band member Bubba Watson, though Hunter’s choice of club livery is more traditional compared to Bubba’s blazing pink.
Accuracy from the tee is Hunter’s trademark as he doesn’t drive the ball a long way (tied 76th on tour this year) but in terms of driving accuracy, he ranks 9th on tour.
Fairway Wood: Ping G20 3-wood (13 degree, UST Mamiya VTS 8X shaft)
Hybrid: Ping i5 (17 degree, UST Mamiya VTS 85X shaft)
Hunter is one of the increasing number of players who have opted out of carrying a 5-wood in their bag, or even a 2-iron and have instead decided to use a hybrid, or as it is also known a ‘rescue’ club.
Given his accuracy with the longer clubs in his hand, the hybrid is a great choice for Mahan who needs to make up for a lack of distance over other players by maintaining a high degree of accuracy with his fairway wood and hybrid shots.
Irons: 3 to Pitching Wedge – Ping S56 (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Shafts)
If there is an area of Hunter’s game that could do with some fine tuning then it is probably his iron play. Hunter ranks 118th on tour for hit green percentage, which is consistent with someone who doesn’t drive the ball huge distances and who often finds themselves with much longer approach shots.
Interestingly, Hunter hasn’t opted for the newer Ping Irons such as the Ping G15 or i15 irons, instead opting to play with the S56.
Wedges: 56 and 60 degree Ping Forged Anser Wedges (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Shafts)
Ping Anser wedges are amongst the most highly regarded wedges on tour today, combining great feel around the greens with dynamic ball control when in the hands of top professionals.
Other Ping professionals, notably Lee Westwood, have improved their chipping with these wedges and Hunter has shown he has the talent to wield these attractive looking clubs with the best in the world.
Putter: Ping Nome
Mahan’s trusty Ping Nome putter has served him well on the greens this season when he first put the putter in his bag, but his form has since tailed off on the greens and Mahan will want to improve on his 163rd ranking for putts per round. The wedge shaped Ping Nome looks unwieldy, but has given Mahan some excellent results at times this year.
You can find out a lot more about Hunter Mahan’s golf bag as he explain his equipment in this video: