Professional Golfer | Top 100 Most Popular Golf Instructor | Swing Speed Trainer | GolfWRX Senior Writer | Original Founder Swing Man Golf | Co-Creator Sterling Irons Single Length Irons

What’s in the Bag?

Many people ask me about what equipment I use.

I’ve got an interesting equipment background.

I started off with old persimmon wood hand-me-downs from my Dad’s old college set, bought more or less a box set at Wal-Mart, was fitted for more conventional sets from both major and mom-and-pop manufacturers, played single length irons from four different companies, and had an Adams Golf tour department set as well.

I’ve also been an adult-aged 14-handicap golfer, a tour player, a professional long driver, and professional speedgolf competitor.

So I’ve experienced and can speak from the entire spectrum.

Speedgolf

When I competed in the Speedgolf World Championships, I basically carried 6 clubs that included a driver, long iron, mid-iron, short-iron, wedge, and a putter. This gave a nice even spread of clubs that enabled me to hit almost about any shot I needed while still keeping my golf bag fairly light.

I used rain gloves to keep my hands from slipping on the club (you sweat a lot when running), running shoes and/or minimal trail running shoes from New Balance, and a Sun Mountain speedgolf bag that had a small pocket for my hotel room key and 3-5 extra golf balls. I kept a handful of tees in one of my shorts pockets.

Here is a short video clip of me tying the World Championship for golf score at Bandon Dunes with a 72 in 55 minutes and 42 seconds in 2013:



Long Drive

I haven’t competed since 2007 but I still keep up with the sport and know many of the competitors.

Back then we didn’t have the same technology and knowledge that we do today, but if I were to compete again I have a much better understanding now of what I would use.

I would certainly test with the competition balls, but I would probably need approximately a 3.6-degree head to get the spin I need for maximum total distance (for example for a firm grid) and 6.0 degrees to get my spin right for maximum carry distance (for a wet grid, for downwind conditions, etc).

Most major manufacturers don’t make heads with this low of lofts, whereas a company like Krank Golf does. So I actually have a 4 (actual 3.6) and 6-degree (actual 8.0) head from them per chance I ever decide to compete again.

Krank Golf Formula 6

Some guys will use up to 48-inch USGA-measured (50-inches the way the LDA measures) shaft lengths, but I like a 46-inch USGA-measured shaft for a good blend of maximum club length and the ability to hit the sweet spot consistently. When my speed is in “long drive shape”, I use as light of shaft as I can find in XX or XXX flex range, for example something like a Fujikura Flywire Graphite Shaft.

Regular Golf

For regular golf, this is what I presently have in my golf bag.

Driver

For my primary playing driver, I have a 44.75" Ping G LS TEC driver.

As a backup driver, I have a 43.5” Wishon Golf 919F/D 11-degree (actual 10) with X-Flex Wishon Golf S2S Black 85 graphite shaft tipped 1 inch at D4 swing weight.

Wishon Golf 919FD Fairway Driver


The grip is the 50 gram Wishon Golf V-Series Black/Red ribbed grip with 6 wraps of buildup tape. I like having bigger grips to get more of my hands on the club, minimize the amount of shock my hands are absorbing, and to mitigate the possibility of getting blisters.

I play it at a shorter length to help ensure good contact for both distance and accuracy. Since it’s only 200cc, I feel comfortable using it from the tee as well as from the fairway per chance I need more running distance than I could get out of my regular fairway wood.

It has very little vertical roll on the club face to help with consistent launch angles. Interestingly, due to vertical gear effect this also helps hit the ball higher with more spin when hit lower on the face from the fairway…and with less spin when hit higher on the face. This makes it a great tee shot and fairway club for me.

It also has a High COR variable thickness face for maximum distance and forgiveness.

Fairway Wood

For a fairway wood, I use a 43” Wishon Golf 949MC 18.0-degree fairway wood model from 2014 that is actually 14.5 degrees with X-Flex Wishon Golf S2S Black 85 graphite shaft tipped 1 inch at D4 swing weight.

The grip is the 50 gram Wishon Golf V-Series Black/Red ribbed grip with 6 wraps of buildup tape.

Wishon Golf 949MC Fairway Wood

This fairway wood also has the high COR face for maximum height and distance and Tom’s graduated roll technology for more consistent launch angles.

Hybrid

My hybrid is a 39.75” Wishon Golf 785 HF 17-degree (actual is 16.0 degrees) 2-Hybrid with Wishon Golf S2S Black S-Flex graphite shaft tipped 1 inch and D2.5-3.

The grip is again the 50 gram Wishon Golf V-Series Black/Red ribbed grip with 6 wraps of buildup tape.

Wishon Golf 785HF


Similar to the fairway wood, the hybrid also has a high COR face for distance and graduated roll technology.

Irons & Wedges

Many of those who have been following me over the years know I’m a fan of single length irons.

I had the pleasure of collaborating with Tom Wishon on our own set of single length irons called Sterling Irons®.

In my personal set, I have a 4-iron through sand wedge. Each club uses a 115 gram (raw weight) Wishon Golf S2S Stepless Steel S-flex shaft . They are all 36 5/8" long, D4 swing weight, and 3-degrees upright. The SW is bent from 55 to 57 degrees and the GW is bent from 50 to 51 degrees.

The grips are also the 50 gram Wishon Golf V-Series Black/Red ribbed grip with 6 wraps of buildup tape.

Here’s a photo of the very first set of the final prototypes (5-GW) we made that I use.

Jaacob Bowden's Sterling Irons set


Putter


I’ve been using the same putter since I got fit for it in the Adams Golf tour department in November of 2011.

It’s a Yes! Putter Victoria-II C-Groove Mallet Putter – 34.5-inches, 2-degrees upright, and 1-degree loft with a Yes! oversize grip.

Yes C-Groove Victoria-II Mallet Putter

The mallet head and shaft bend work well for me because I like to see the putter moving more or less straight through impact immediately on either side of the ball. The mallet head and counter weight give the putter overall more weight. It’s bent and cut to fit my stroke with the 1-degree of loft helping me get the ball rolling right away versus a normal 3-degrees. I have large hands and the oversize grip helps me get more of my hands on the grip.

Ball

The ball I use is the Snell Golf MY TOUR BALL.

Snell Golf - My Tour Ball

Dean Snell co-designed/designed the Titleist ProV1 and was recruited by Taylormade to start their entire golf ball line. When it comes to balls, to say he knows what he’s talking is to say the least.

In 2015, he took his skills and started his own company. This ball plays similar to the Titleist ProV1x and I’m very happy to play this ball and support his small business.

If you would like to try them use code Jaacob during checkout and you'll get 10% off your order.




For those of you interested in how far I hit my clubs, that’s a little difficult to say because my maximum driver club head speed during my career has ranged from 105 mph to around 140 mph depending on how much or how little I’m working on my speed.

However, I can tell you that it more or less correlates with what is in this chart I created for you:

A chart of club head speed versus distance

As you can see, club head speed plays a huge factor in how far you hit the ball, which is one reason why swing speed training is so important if you want more distance.