Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

For a player with such painstaking approach to the game as Matt Fitzpatrick, his oversight with the biggest club in his bag will be seen as nothing short of astonishing. 

Fitzpatrick has made a fast start to The PLAYERS Championship, shooting a six-under-par 66 to sit one shot off the lead after the opening round at TPC Sawgrass.

The catalyst for the impressive round? Fitzpatrick’s driver was finally behaving.

But remarkably, it had emerged that the former US Open champion’s troubles with the club that have stretched over a year were entirely avoidable.

• The PLAYERS: Round 2 tee times in full

• Rory McIlroy explains contentious PLAYERS drop

That’s because Fitzpatrick revealed in his post-round interview that he had forgotten to remove a four-gram weight in the grip of his driver that he had experimenting with early in 2023.

The Englishman wanted to match his driver weight with the rest of his set, but after removing the weights from his irons, never got round to removing one from the grip of his driver.

“For whatever reason, I just forgot that it was ever in there,” he admitted.

“I took it to Titleist, they regripped it for me and they’re like, ‘oh, you know there’s a weight in there’, and I almost had a heart attack. As soon as it came out and I hit it the next day, it felt night and day.

“I could hit it as hard as I want, and it wouldn’t go left. Previously, I felt like I hit it hard, and it would just go straight left.”

• ‘Their attitude has been s***!’ – Tour pro blasts LIV rivals

• TPC Sawgrass: The hole-by-hole guide

Fitzpatrick’s driver woes have hardly torn apart his game. He won the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town last April and claimed victory at the weather-delayed Alfred Dunhill Links Championship back in October.

But the effect, Fitzpatrick noted, was that more faced rotation caused a big miss left when he struck his drives at full throttle.

“My driving kind of got worse from pretty much after Harbour Town, and we were going back and forth,” he said.”We were just very confused swing-wise, did all sorts. Turns out, take the weight out of the top of the driver, and I think since Phoenix is when I’ve taken it out, I’ve driven it a lot better.

So how does Fitzpatrick reflect on his performances with the weighted driver? “I wouldn’t say OK. Maybe I’d have won four times if I had it out.”

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses

Latest podcast

The 2024 Masters Commute – Final Round Recap LIVE from Augusta