The club Scottie Scheffler cherished from childhood is gone for good


KAPALUA, Hawaii—Scottie Scheffler is playing in this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions for the first time. But he arrived on Maui with a heavy heart.

Or at least without a close companion by his side.

“Yeah, my trusty 3-wood cracked on Saturday on the range at Royal Oaks [in Dallas],” Scheffler said, adding that it was like losing a dog.

The club in question—a Nike VR Pro—was one that the 24-year-old has used since high school. It came out in 2011, and Nike doesn’t even make golf clubs anymore.

Three-woods are utilitarian in nature, but some pros have been known to treat them like Linus does his blanket, most notably Henrik Stenson. The Swede used a Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood for more than eight years before replacing it in 2019.

Scheffler’s Nike eclipsed that by a few years and goes back to his formative days as a teen, so any melancholy would be understandable. As for what was so special about it?

“It was really clean, not a lot of loft so I was able to flight it down pretty easily, and it was softer than the new 3-woods, and for me that’s important,” Scheffler said. “When I wanted to hit it far, I just teed it up a little higher, hit it higher on the face. I got to know the club really well, and for me I knew exactly what I needed to do with it each time.”

How does one get over the loss of such a dependable friend?

“I had my wife pick up about 10 3-woods from the house that were all backups,” Scheffler said. “She brought them to the range, and we found something that could work for the week.

“Right now, I got a Callaway one in there. We’ll see how it goes.”

Scheffler, the reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, shot a seven-under 66 on Friday at the Plantation Course, highlighted by a chip-in for eagle on the par-5 15th, following a run of three straight birdies. He’s at 10 under and four shots back of leader Harris English heading into the weekend.

It also puts Scheffler in position to make a bit of history in the event—he is only in the field because it was expanded to include those who reached the Tour Championship after a COVID-19 shortened 2019-20 season, meaning he could be the first player to make the winners-only event his first career victory on tour.

“This is a great place to start the year,” he said. “I hope to be here every year going forward.”

His old 3-wood would agree. RIP.

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