Jim Mitchell

Why’s it in the Bag: Brian Harman The Open 2023

He probably wasn’t many people’s favourite going into it, but Brian Harman is leaving Hoylake with a Claret Jug. So, were we sleeping on the now Champion Golfer? Here are the tools he used to win the Open and they may explain why the competition played so well into his strengths:

Driver: Titleist TSi2 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 S

3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution II S

Irons: Titleist U-500 (3-5), Titleist 620 CB (6-PW)
Shafts: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 90 (3, 4), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300 (6-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50-08F, 54-08M, 60-04L)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider OS CB

Key Points

No Extra Stiff?

We usually have this idea of all tour players being incredibly fast swingers and therefore to a man carrying X stiff shafts. But being one of the shorter players on tour (standing at 5’7”), Harman doesn’t have massive speed to use to his advantage and therefore has stiff shafts in all of his clubs. However, where this hurts his distance, making him the 144th longest hitter on the PGA Tour this year, he is incredibly accurate, sitting in the top 10 for driving accuracy. On a course where Tiger won pretty much without using the driver, you can see why Harman suited the layout, particularly when the lies could be punishing for any balls that finish off the fairway.

Utility Irons

In the longer irons Harman has utilised U500 utility irons to increase his power once he gets past 6 iron. The design includes a lot of hybrid-esque technology in order to create extra height and power. As a player without massive speed these allow Harman to get height and therefore stopping power on his longer approach shots where his contemporaries may be hitting mid irons in order to level the playing field.

The hottest Putter in Golf?

Harman holed a quite absurd 58 of 59 putts withing 10 feet over the 4 days at Royal Liverpool. And this isn’t a flash in the pan, this year he’s number 1 of the PGA Tour for putts of 6 feet and less. He’s used the large mallet head for a long time now and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to change it. Could it be the hottest putter in golf right now?