WITB special: The equipment used by EVERY World No 1


Hannah Holden looks through the archives to bring you a What’s in the Bag rundown with a twist

Jon Rahm’s win at the 2020 Memorial made him the 24th player to reach the summit of the Official World Golf Ranking since it was introduced in 1986. Rahm knocked fellow TaylorMade staffer Rory McIlroy off top spot and it keeps quite a run going for the brand who have now featured in the bags of five of the last six World No 1s.

It got me thinking, what gear was each of the 24 players using when they first made it to No 1? I’ve painstakingly gone through it all, but there are a couple of gaps I’m trying to fill out so if you have any information get in touch!

Bernhard Langer

First reached World No 1: April 6, 1986

Langer was the first player crowned World No 1 and at the time the German was a Wilson staffer and carried a full set of their blades from 1-iron (ask your dad) all the way down to pitching wedge.

world number one

WITB
Irons: Wilson Staff Tour Blades
Wedges: MacGregor

Seve Ballesteros

First reached World No 1: April 27, 1986

It didn’t take long for Seve to knock Langer off the top spot. He did so with nearly a full bag of Slazenger gear including the Supremo Sounder irons.

world number one

WITB
Driver: Dunlop persimmon
Irons: Slazenger Supremo sounder

Greg Norman

First reached World No 1: September 14, 1986

Norman was very finicky about his equipment. When his clubs arrived at his house he used to completely take them apart and re-build them to check all the parts and make sure the weighting, shaft kick, and spine location was correct.

world number one

WITB
Driver: MacGregor M85
Fairway wood: Toney Penna
Irons: Spalding Tour Edition

Nick Faldo

First reached World No 1: September 2, 1990

Faldo was technically a Wilson staffer when he hit the top spot but had made a deal with the company to start testing new equipment. In fact there wasn’t actually any Wilson equipment in his iconic red Wilson tour bag…

world number one

WITB
Driver: MacGregor M85W Eye-O-Matic Persimmon
Fairway wood: MacGregor M85W Eye-O-Matic Persimmon
Irons: Mizuno TN-87
Wedges: Mizuno Tour Proven (55°, 60°)
Putter: TaylorMade TPA XVIII
Ball: Titleist Tour Balata 90

Ian Woosnam

First reached World No 1: April 7, 1991

Woosnam was contracted with Maruman when he won the Masters, with the only exception being his putter.

world number one

WITB
Driver: Maruman Conductor
Fairway wood: Maruman Conductor
Irons: Maruman MB
Putter: MaxFli Tad Moore

Fred Couples

First reached World No 1: March 22, 1992

As a Lynx ambassador Couples carried the brands driver and irons along with equipment from four other brands. Perhaps most iconic was his Ping Anser putter.

world number one

WITB
Driver: Lynx Boom Boom9
Fairway wood: Ram Laser
Irons: Lynx Parallax
Wedges: Cleveland 588
Putter: Ping Anser
Ball: Maxfli

Nick Price

First reached World No 1: August 14, 1994

Who can forget the Fat Lady Swings putter? Other than that Price reached World No 1 with a mixed bag.

world number one

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade Tour Brassie
Irons: Golden Ram
Putter: Fat Lady Swings

Tom Lehman

First reached World No 1: April 20, 1997

A long-time TaylorMade staffer, Lehman had the iconic Burner driver, complete with the new Bubble shaft, in play when he hit the summit.

world number one

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade Burner Bubble
Fairway wood: TaylorMade Burner
Irons: TaylorMade Burner Bubble Tour
Putter: Taylormade TPA V

Tiger Woods

First reached World No 1: June 15, 1997

Tiger’s first world ranking-topping sticks are a far cry from his modern equipment setup. Woods was a free agent at the time and was using a mixed bag. Who remembers these?

world number one

WITB
Driver: King Cobra Deep Face
Fairway wood: Titleist PT 15
Driving iron: Mizuno MP-29
Irons: Mizuno MP-14
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTG
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport TeI3
Ball: Titleist Professional 90

Ernie Els

First reached World No 1: June 22, 1997

Another win for the TaylorMade bubble shaft. In fact all Els’ long game clubs were TaylorMade. He rounded out his set with Cleveland wedges and a Ping Anser putter.

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade Titanium with Bubble Shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade Titanium
Irons: TaylorMade Burner Tour
Wedges: Cleveland 588
Putter: Ping Anser
Ball: Titleist Professional

David Duval

First reached World No 1: March 28, 1999

Duval had five different brands in play when he became World No 1. I love how old school these Titleist irons look…

world number one

WITB
Driver: Titleist 975D 6.5
Fairway wood: Callaway S2H2
Irons: Titleist DCI Black
Wedges: Cobra Trusty Rusty and Cleveland 588
Putter: Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport

Vijay Singh

First reached World No 1: September 5, 2004

Probably the most eclectic bag on this list. My favourite is the 9-wood – yes, really – that Singh had bent for a stronger loft, so it was more like a 7-wood.

world number one

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade R7 quad
Fairway woods: Cleveland Launcher 13 (3) and Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead (9)
Irons: Cleveland TA1
Wedges: Cleveland 900
Putter: Ben Hogan by Bettinardi BHB5-CC
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Lee Westwood

First reached World No 1: October 31, 2010

Westwood’s ranking-topping driver is a major throwback for me since it was my first ever proper driver. As a Ping staffer he had a full bag of Ping goodies in play.

world number one

WITB
Driver: Ping G10
Fairway woods: Ping i15 and Ping Rapture V2
Irons: Ping i10
Wedges: Ping Tour-W
Putter: Ping Redwood Anser

Martin Kaymer

First reached World No 1: February 27, 2011

Kaymer was a TaylorMade staffer when he became World No 1. The only non-contracted club in his bag was his putter.

world number one

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade R9 SuperTri
Fairway woods: TaylorMade R9 and TaylorMade Burner
Irons: TaylorMade RAC MB
Wedges: TaylorMade RAC and TaylorMade xFT
Putter: Ping Anser 2
Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP

Luke Donald

First reached World No 1: May 29, 2011

Although the first official Mizuno staffer to top the world rankings, Donald still had a pretty mixed set in play.

world number one

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade R11
Fairway wood: TaylorMade R9
Hybrid: Mizuno CLK Fli-hi
Irons: Mizuno MP-62
Wedges: Mizuno MP T10
Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Rory McIlroy

First reached World No 1: March 4, 2012

McIlroy became World No 1 shortly before his 10-year, $250 million deal with Nike. He had a very traditional Titleist setup which had stayed constant throughout his early professional career.

world number one

WITB
Driver: Titleist 913D3
Fairway woods: Titleist 906F2 and Titleist 910F
Irons: Titleist MB
Wedge: Vokey Design SM4
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport GSS prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Adam Scott

First reached World No 1: May 18, 2014

We know Scott likes an unusual putter and things were not different when he was officially the best in the world…

world number 1

WITB
Driver: Titleist 915 D3 
Fairway wood: Titleist 910 F.d
Driving iron: Titleist 712U 
Irons: Titleist 680 Forged
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 and Titleist Vokey TVD-K 
Putters: Scotty Cameron Futura X Long
Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Jordan Spieth

First reached World No 1: August 16, 2015

A Titleist staffer since his early days on tour, Spieth has stayed loyal to the brand ever since and tinkers with his setup as little as possible.

world number one

WITB
Driver: Titleist 915D2 
Fairway wood: Titleist 915F 
Driving iron: Titleist 712U 
Irons: Titleist 714 AP2 
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009 Prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1X

Jason Day

First reached World No 1: September 20, 2015

Day’s rise up the world ranking was largely down to a fine display of putting in this period and one of the reasons the TaylorMade Spider became so popular.

world number one

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade M1
Fairway woods: TaylorMade AeroBurner HL
Driving iron: TaylorMade RSi
Irons: TaylorMade RSi TP Irons
Wedges: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF (47˚, 52˚ & 58˚)
Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Spider IB Black Prototype
Ball: TaylorMade Tour Preferred X

Dustin Johnson

First reached World No 1: February 19, 2017

Another No 1 using a full bag of TaylorMade equipment. The makeup of the set doesn’t vary much to the clubs he has in play today.

world number 1

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade M1 460
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M1
Driving iron: TaylorMade Golf RSi TP UDI
Irons: TaylorMade MB 2014
Wedges: TaylorMade Golf Milled Grind
Putter: TaylorMade Golf Spider Tour Black
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

Justin Thomas

First reached World No 1: May 13, 2018

It’s more than two years since Thomas first rose to the top of the world ranking and other than some fresh wedges his setup has barely changed.

world number 1

WITB
Driver: Titleist TS3
Fairway woods: Titleist TS3 and Titleist 915Fd
Driving iron: Titleist 718 AP2
Irons: Titleist 718 MB
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 and Vokey SM5 
Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura T X5 Prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Justin Rose

First reached World No 1: September 10, 2018

Rose had a full set of TaylorMade equipment in play as World No 1 including a full set of P730 Rose Prototype irons.

World number 1

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade M3 440
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M4 and TaylorMade M3
Driving iron: TaylorMade P790
Irons: TaylorMade P730 Rose Proto
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind and TaylorMade Hi-Toe
Putter: TaylorMade TP Ardmore 2
Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Brooks Koepka

First reached World No 1: October 21, 2018

As a free agent Brooks had equipment from four different manufacturers in play when he reached the top of the world. Most iconic is probably the Nike Vapor Fly Pro 3-iron which he has clung onto ever since Nike left the golf hardware game.

world number 1

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade M3 
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour HL 
Driving iron: Nike Vapor Fly Pro
Irons: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour 
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 Raw and SM7 Raw TVD
Putter: Scotty Cameron T10 Select Newport 2 prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Jon Rahm

First reached World No 1: July 19, 2020

The second Spaniard and 10th European to reach World No 1, Rahm carries a full bag of TaylorMade equipment. He is one to add in new technology when it comes about and has a full set of the new SIM woods as well as the new Chalk Spider X putter.

world number one

WITB
Driver: TaylorMade SIM 
Fairway woods: TaylorMade SIM 
Irons: TaylorMade P750
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Chalk
Ball: TaylorMade TP5

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