The European Tour hosts the best players in its own back garden this week. The BMW PGA Championship is the Tour's flagship event and features an especially strong field for 2014.
We were on site Monday and Tuesday, walking the grounds, talking with manufacturers and players and taking a look at the clubs some of the top players have in their bags currently. Here's a sneak peek at some of the top names in this year's field:
We got a chance to sit down with Ernie and discuss his clubs, as he opened Adams Golf new second shot centre at Wentworth. Ernie moved to Adams earlier this season and seems to be enjoying his new bag and equipment. He is currently gaming a TaylorMade SLDR driver, two Adams Tight Lies fairway woods and a set of Adam XTD Forged irons.
For the shorter side of his game, Ernie currently plays with two prototype Adams wedges, including the 60° lob wedge seen below with 1° of bounce, and a standard-length Yes! Callie 12 putter.
Following an incredible finish to 2013, Stenson signed with Callaway this season and has a few notable clubs in play currently. He has been using the Callaway X2 Hot driver in recent weeks, but has a new Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha driver in his bag at Wentworth to try out. He has used Callaway's Legacy Forged irons for some time and seems to really like them.
Interestingly, the World #3 has two different 52° Cleveland wedges in play: a 588 RTX as well as a rusted CG 14 wedge. Callaway staff have been busy tinkering with Stenson's putter for this week, and tweeted this photo of his current White Hot Pro #7 putter earlier this week.
Another Callaway player, Thomas Bjorn, will be hoping to emulate his good friend Miguel Angel Jimenez and get another win for the European Tour old boys at Wentworth. He too is tinkering with drivers, with both a Big Bertha Alpha driver and an X2 Hot driver in his bag.
Bjorn also has a range of 48°, 56° and 60° Callaway X Forged wedges, each custom-stamped and personalised for the Great Dane.
Jose Maria Olazabal
Talking of European Tour old boys, Jose Maria Olazabal was hard at work on the putting green when we stopped by his bag. Interestingly, the two-time Masters champion has a Callaway Optiforce driver in play this week.
The rest of Olazabal's bag is made up with a Callaway X2 Hot fairway wood, Titleist 714 MB irons, Titleist Vokey SM4 wedges and a custom Scotty Cameron putter.
He famously doesn't wear a hat, but Robert Rock does have a bag full of some of the latest equipment. Rock appears to be "lofting up" with a TaylorMade SLDR driver. He is also carrying a SLDR 3-wood and high-launching, 21-degree SLDR 5-wood.
Rock has TaylorMade's new Tour Preferred MC irons in play and a couple of TaylorMade's Tour Preferred wedges, both in a classic grind.
Englishman Matthew Nixon parked his bag, full of the latest Ping equipment, next to us on the putting green. Four headcovers protect Nixon's Ping G25 driver and G25 fairway woods, whilst his Ping Scottsdale TR putter headcover rests on his umbrella.
As for his orange-detailed Ping S55 irons, don't worry this is not a new colour scheme by Ping, rather a custom paint fill Nixon requested when he put the new irons in play last year. Same goes for Nixon's three Ping Tour wedges.
Jeev Milkha Singh
Well, Jeev Milkha Singh would be in for a hefty penalty if he teed off Thursday with this many clubs in his bag! Clearly the Indian player is tinkering with his woods, with a Callaway X2 Hot and Big Bertha Alpha driver in his bag along with Big Bertha and X2 Hot fairway woods.
Like Stenson, Singh trusts Callaway Legacy Black Forged irons and also carries a Medicus swing aid and Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges in his bag.
No prizes for guessing whose bag on the putting green has a big goose headcover sticking out of it. Yup, Retief Goosen's bag was looking sharp as he practised on Tuesday. The Goose has embraced TaylorMade's recent Loft Up campaign, adding a SLDR driver and SLDR 3 and 5 fairway wood to his bag this season.
Goosen has also updated his irons and wedges in recent weeks, adding both the Tour Preferred MC irons as well as three, 52°, 26° and 60° Tour Preferred ATV-grind wedges. Not pictured is the South African's Odyssey Metal X #7 putter.
No one really knows why Kiradech Aphibarnrat is known on Tour as "Arm", but I can tell you it is a lot easier to pronounce than his name. Regardless, the golfer from Thailand arrives at Wentworth this week for the second time with a bag full of the latest Callaway equipment.
"Arm" has been using Callaway's X2 Hot driver in recent months, but appears to have a Big Bertha driver in the bag to try out this week as well. When it comes to fairway woods, it is the other way round with Aphibarnrat, he has been using a Callaway Big Bertha fairway wood recently, but looks to be trying the X2 Hot model at Wentworth.
The big hitting Thai player uses the same Callaway Legacy Black Forged irons as Stenson and Singh and is tinkering between a centre-shafted Odyssey Versa #7 putter and a Odyssey White Hot Pro #7 model
Having picked up his first European Tour title last month, Crespi arrives at Wentworth full of confidence and a bag full of mixed brands, including: TaylorMade SLDR driver, TaylorMade SLDR fairway woods, TaylorMade SLDR hybrid, Adams Idea SUPER DHy hybrids, Mizuno JPX 825 Pro irons, Vokey SM4 wedges and an Odyssey Tank #7 putter.
Two-time European Tour winner, Bernd Wiesberger, showed off his Titleist bag Tuesday. In the bag for the BMW PGA is a Titleist 913 D3 driver, Titleist 913fd fairway wood, two Titleist 712U hybrid irons, a set of Titleist 714 CB irons, three Titleist SM4 Vokey wedges and a Scotty Cameron Studio putter.
Tour-Only Scotty Cameron's
Talking of Scotty Cameron putters, the company displayed their latest Tour-only putters on the practice green at Wentworth on Tuesday. We got a hands-on look at some of the prototype models with a range of colours, options, stampings and headcovers.
We spoke with the Scotty Cameron rep who said they are constantly producing looks and specs suited to specific players and preferences. An example is this Tour-Only Scotty Cameron Select Squareback +. This model is 37-inches including a Dual Balance grip and offset hosel design.