Hideki Matsuyama WITB 2022: A Closer Look at the Pro’s Golf Essentials

Your golf experts: Jordan Fuller & John Marshall.
Updated November 30, 2021. This article was thoroughly audited by multiple golf experts and coaches for its accuracy. You can read more about our rigorous testing protocol here.

What’s in Hideki Matsuyama’s Bag?

A five-time winner on the PGA Tour, Hideki Matsuyama ascended to the rank of the world’s number two ranked golfer in 2017. Although Hideki Matsuyama hasn’t won a major, his influence on the game in his home country of Japan is significant.

Just 29 years old, Hideki Matsuyama has regularly switched up the clubs in his bag, with clubs from TaylorMade, Ping, and Srixon finding time in the golfer’s good graces.

In this Hideki Matsuyama WITB review, we are taking a look at what clubs the golfer currently prefers and how his choices can help you become a better golfer.

Hideki Matsuyama WITB: Every Club He Uses in 2022

Srixon ZX5 Driver

Incredibly Long, Innovate Driver for Low Handicappers

Srixon SRX ZX5 Drv 9.5 Riptide 5.5 RH, Black (10307481)
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Global Golf

PROS

  • Rebound Frame directs more energy to golf ball for longer drives
  • Aerodynamic carbon crown reduces drag while boosting CG
  • Flatter head shape generates tighter shot dispersion

CONS

Matsuyama plays the Srixon ZX5 Driver off the tee box. The golfer enjoys the club’s outstanding accuracy boosted by its tour-style shape producing stunning distance and tight shot dispersion.

Along with an adjustable loft sleeve, the club features a stationary weight in the rear sole to increase launch for extended carry. A first-rate driver for advanced players, like Matsuyama, the ZX5 delivers impressive performance.

TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium Fairway Wood

Marvelous Fairway Wood for Mid Handicappers

TaylorMade SiM 2 Titanium Fairway Mens Right Hand Graphite Stiff 3 Wood , Black/Light Grey
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Global Golf

PROS

  • V-Steel Sole with deep, low CG for explosive ball launch
  • Thru-Slot Speed Pocket generates staggering ball speed from fairway or tee box
  • Loft sleeve helps customized ball flight with workability

CONS

TaylorMade’s SIM2 Titanium Fairway Wood provides Matsuyama with a special weapon from the fairway and tee box. Featuring all of the typical bells and whistles found with TaylorMade’s SIM2 series of drivers, the fairway wood also utilizes a loft sleeve to customize ball flight for premium workability.

Along with the company’s patented Thru-Slot Speed Pocket, the fairway wood also has a V-Steel Sole that boasts incredible turf interaction for wonderful feel and response at impact.

TaylorMade SIM UDI Utility Club

Best Utility Club for Low Handicappers

TaylorMade SIM UDI Utility Club Driving Iron 2 18* Diamana Thump 90 Stiff MRH
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Global Golf

PROS

  • Wonderful workability with thin topline that provides great confidence from fairway or tee box
  • Tour-crafted utility club provides outrageously good turf interaction with long distance
  • Low piercing ball flight with exceptional control, ideal for low handicappers

CONS

A popular club on the PGA Tour, the utility iron is utilized by Matsuyama to control and craft shots that stay low with piercing flight. Hideki’s choice, the TaylorMade SIM UDI Utility Club, offers a wide range of excellent features that provide distance, accuracy, and precision.

click to see more

The utility club has a similar look and feel of a forged iron, although there are a few innovative add-ons worth noting. The stationary weight behind the center of the face keeps the ball lower with mid-range flight to help penetrate wind and keep the ball along your target line.

A slim profile with a re-engineered sole to improve turf interaction also adds a level of sophistication and reliability.

A utility club is not ideal for every golfer as they are difficult to master, but for low handicappers and advanced golfers, the TaylorMade SIM UDI Utility Club undoubtedly can help provide better consistency and accuracy from yardages well over 200 yards.

Srixon Z 585 Irons

Fantastic Irons Providing Crisp, Clean Contact for Mid Handicappers

Srixon Z 585 Iron Set 4-P Gr R (Right Hand, Graphite, Regular, 4-PW)
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Global Golf

PROS

  • Internal channel with SUP10 face insert provides face-flex for enhanced forgiveness and increasing swing speed
  • Improved sole offers terrific turf interaction for crisper contact on larger sweet spot
  • Forged construction made from carbon steel reduces vibration and enhanced feel

CONS

For his irons, Matsuyama uses the Srixon Z 585 Irons for their shot-shaping ability and sleek performance. Although these irons may look like game-improvement irons, their advanced design helps golfers of all skill levels produce more accuracy and longer yardage.

One of the best features of the Z 585 Irons is the Speed Groove that rests behind the club face. The Groove works alongside a face insert that allows the face to flex more easily for better forgiveness.

click to see more

The irons offer forged construction with some of the benefits of a cavity-backed iron. While these irons would still be considered a players’ iron, mid handicappers will find that the Z 585 irons hold an accessibility that few irons at this level can provide.

If you are looking for elite irons that aren’t as difficult to hit as traditional bladed irons, then hybrid models, such as the Srixon Z 585 Irons, will boost your game in a variety of positive ways.

Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge

Sharpest Groove Wedges for Advanced Golfers Who Want High Spin

Cleveland Golf Men's RTX 4 Wedge Tour Satin Finish 58 Low Tour Satin Wedge, Right Hand
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on PGA Tour Superstore

PROS

  • ROTEX Face Technology provides sharp Tour-level grooves for enhanced spin
  • Outstanding feel from fairway or rough with smooth performance on full swings from inside 100 yards
  • V-shaped sole improves turf interaction for consistently crisp pitch and chip shots

CONS

Cleveland’s RTX 4 series of wedges provides high-spin from anywhere on the course, offering a great weapon to rescue your score from the deep rough or when you need to place it close to the cup from the fairway for a round-saving birdie.

For Matsuyama, the RTX4 wedges offer the ability to play with wedges that offer the sharpest grooves on tour. Whether he needs to save a hole from the rough or the sand, the RTX 4 delivers clean contact without snagging or closing the face.

click to see more

Features such as the incredible balance throughout the swing should tip off any level of amateur that they would benefit from placing these wedges in their bag. As you hold the RTX 4, you’ll find that over time, the clubs provide confidence for any shot, helping you relax and focus on executing the swing.

If you are in the market for a top of the line wedge that could revolutionize your short game, then the Cleveland RTX 4 Wedge should be at the top of your list.

Scotty Cameron Putter

Best Putter for Low Handicappers

Check Price on PGA Tour Superstore

PROS

  • Offset neck provides line of sight for better alignment and improved targeting
  • Milled face with centered sweet spot for reduced skidding and enhanced forward roll
  • Two sole-based weights provides balance throughout the stroke for better accuracy and consistent center strikes

CONS

For PGA Tour golfers, the Scotty Cameron Putter stands as a symbol for excellence and reliability. Matsuyama carries the Scotty Cameron in his bag, utilizing the craftsmanship to find consistency on the greens. While Hideki may never climb to the tops of the putter stats on the PGA Tour, the Scotty Cameron helps reduce his three-putts by offering more distance control than other putter models.

click to see more

While the Scotty Cameron is certainly the top of the most expensive putters on the market, for low handicappers, the well-made putter can offer a huge jump in the quality of their putting. From the milled face that reduces skidding to the dual-weighting sole system that maintains balance, this putter is first-rate from grip to head.

Another design benefit of the Scotty Cameron comes from the offset neck that provides better alignment for keeping the ball along your target path for more consistency from mid-range distances.

Although it costs a pretty penny, the Scotty Cameron Putter shines as one of the best putters for low handicappers.

Srixon Z-Star XV Golf Balls

Best High-Spin Golf Balls for Mid Handicappers

Srixon Z-Star XV 6 Pure White Golf Balls (One Dozen)
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Global Golf

PROS

  • Four-piece core with high compression for reactive response on high-speed swings
  • 338 speed dimple design reduces drag and provides more launch angle for higher, softer shots
  • Soft outer layer, known as spinskin, offers friction with easy grab for wedges and irons, producing high spin

CONS

For golfers like Hideki Matsuyama, the Srixon Z-Star XV Golf Balls provides first-rate performance with high spin around the greens and long distance off the tee. Hideki loves the length of the Z-Star XV with the ability to control the golf ball around and on the greens.

click to see more

For amateur golfers, multi-piece golf balls like the Z-Star XV offer additional spin over a regular two-piece golf ball. Another bonus is gaining a few more yards to your drive with better control and shot shaping abilities from the fairway.

On the green, the Z-Star XV gives the golfer a soft feel with a sturdy response that reduces the distance to the cup on lag putts. During our testing, we felt the golf ball did an admirable job of staying along the target line with consistency.

If you are in the market for a golf ball that rivals the best that you’ll see on the PGA Tour, the Srixon Z-Star XV Golf Balls won’t disappoint with an affordable price point for a top-tier golf ball.


Who is Hideki Matsuyama?

One of the most successful golfers ever to come from Japan, Hideki Matsuyama, 28 years old, became a household name in golfing households with his win at the 2021 Masters Tournament. With the win, Hideki Matsuyama became the first ever professional golfer from Japan to win a men’s major golf tournament.

Early Career

Hideki Matsuyama turned professional in 2013 and won his second ever pro tournament on the Japan Golf Tour. A few weeks later, Matsuyama won his third tourney on the tour and went on to great success at the U.S. Open that same year finishing in the top 10. At the end of the 2013 season, Matsuyama became the first ever rookie to lead the Japan Golf Tour in money winnings.

Rookie on PGA Tour

The following year, Hideki Matsuyama qualified for the PGA Tour and in only seven tour events captured six top-25 finishes including a top-6 finish at the Open Championship. His first ever PGA Tour victory also came in 2014 at the Memorial Tournament. The win broke a six-season winning drought by professional golfers from Japan on the PGA Tour.

Over the past several seasons on the PGA Tour, Matsuyama won a total of nine tournaments on the PGA Tour and European Tour, plus his eight total career victories on the Japan Golf Tour.

Win at the Masters

Hideki Matsuyama claimed a green jacket with a win at Augusta National shooting ten-under, one shot over the second-place finisher, Will Zalatoris. The major win was the first ever from a Japanese pro golfer and an Asian-born player. 


Hideki Matsuyama’s Career Highlights

Wins at 2016 & 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Widely known as one of the most rowdy sporting events in the United States, the Waste Management Phoenix Open offers large, rambunctious crowds that love golf. Matsuyama won both the 2016 and 2017 editions of the tournament.

The 2016 win came after a four-hole playoff against Rickie Fowler, while the 2017 tourney was captured after a three-hole playoff against Webb Simpson.

After the 2016 win, Matsuyama climbed to 12th in the world.

Win at 2021 Masters

At the age of 29, Hideki Matsuyama conquered the tough layout at Augusta National to win his first ever major golf title. His 15th career victory was the sweetest as Matsuyama pulled away from the field on Saturday, shooting a 65 over this third round to take the tournament lead.
Becoming the first-ever Japanese professional golfer to win at the Masters is a big deal to Matsuyama, as he told the gathered crowd at the 18th green, “Hopefully, I will be a pioneer and many more will follow. It’s thrilling to think there are a lot of youngsters in Japan watching today. Hopefully, in five, 10 years, when they get a little older, some of them will be competing on the world stage.”


What’s the Best Stance To Get More Swing Distance?

The best stance to generate more swing speed comes from a combination of three areas on the body. Instead of flexing your knees, you want to minimize flex with a neutral spine that stays straight, while keeping your glutes under your torso and not sticking out.

Most amateurs believe that you need an athletic stance at address, but they instead limit their ability to make a full turn. Instead, they limit their power and zap their strength.

What Style of Putter Can Help Me the Most?

For golfers struggling to find a rhythm on the green, a change of putter can be a major help. If you are having trouble keeping your stroke consistent, a mallet putter can smooth out the back and forth action of putting. A heavier mallet putter can keep the putter grounded, preventing the putter from going offline.

Golfers that prefer an inside-outside arc on their stroke, a blade putter is lighter and easier to follow along that path. The downside to a blade putter is that the arc stroke means you must return the putter to square at the address point of the stroke.

What Is the Best Way To Improve Putting Accuracy?

If you are looking to improve your putting accuracy, the best way is to teach yourself to trust your putting line and execute the stroke toward the target. Most amateurs tend to make adjustments during their backstroke because they don’t trust their intended target.

The best way to improve your putting accuracy is to find the correct line and make the putt that rolls along that path. Since most putts won’t go directly at the hole, the putt must start off-center. If you adjust the putter mid-stroke to finish at the cup, then you have already missed the putt. 

If you trust your putting line, you’ll find yourself more relaxed and confident when you stand over the putt.

What Is a Great Golf Tip From Hideki Matsuyama?

With one of the smoothest swings on the PGA Tour, Hideki Matsuyama incorporates a slight delay at the top of his backswing. While the move isn’t for everyone, there are benefits to working in a delay to reset the downswing.

Hideki Matsuyama uses the delay as a trigger for making sure his body is coiled and ready for his downswing. With his weight loaded onto his right side, the brief delay also signals to the lower body that it is time to start the second part of the swing.  

The move takes considerable time on the practice range to find rhythm and synchronization. You want the pause in the swing to be unconscious. The last thing most amateurs need to do during their swing is to think about everything they are actively doing.

Once the downswing starts for Hideki Matsuyama, he doesn’t want to accelerate the club too quickly. By letting the club ramp up as the swing progresses, the golfer hits maximum swing speed at the point of impact.

With mid handicappers, for example, the delay might work better than for beginners starting fresh. Either way, learning the move will take time and patience for any level of golfer, but could pay off in considerable ways.