Ernie Els WITB 2024 | Golf Clubs of The Big Easy

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It is rare to write an article about one of my compatriots, let alone a former boss. I have worked for the Big Easy twice in my lifetime, and none of them involved golf. In this post, I pay tribute to my former employer and conduct an Ernie Els WITB 2024 edition.

The three-time major champion switched to the PGA Tour Champions in 2020 and has since registered three victories on the Senior Tour. This article will look at what keeps the South African Professional Golfer swinging easily and hitting long.

Ernie Els WITB Quick Summary

Driver: XXIO 13 Driver – 8.5°

3-Wood: XXIO X Fairway Wood –  14° | EvenFlow Blue 6.5 85 X Graphite Shaft

Irons (2-5): Srixon Z U85 Utility Irons

Irons (6-9): Srixon ZX7 MK II Irons – KBS S-taper 130X Steel Shaft

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore Wedge – (52°, 56°, 60°) | KBS S-Taper 130X Steel Shaft

Putter: Bloodline R1-J Blade Putter

Golf Balls: Srixon Z Star XV Golf Balls (Yellow)

Ernie Els Quick Facts Table

Ernie Els 2024 at the Chubb Classic teeing off on first hole at the Tiburon Golf Club.
Ernie Els 2024 at the Chubb Classic
Full NameTheodore Ernest Els
BirthdayOctober 17, 1969
BirthplaceJohannesburg, South Africa
Age54
Year Turned Pro1989
Tournament Wins66
PGA Tour Major Wins3 Majors US Open Championship
(1994)The Open Championship
(2002, 2012) on the PGA Tour
Senior World Ranking4
Equipment SponsorXXIO, Srixon, Cleveland Golf, Bloodline.Golf

Ernie Els Driver

XXIO 13 Driver

2024 New Driver

Ernie Els WITB taken by Senior Golf Source

New for the 2024 season, Mr. Els operates with a premium XXIO Eleven big stick, set at 8.7°, which suits fast to moderate swing speeds. I cannot confirm Ernie’s driver shaft for 2024. However, I can tell you the Eleven driver produces explosive ball speed, forgiveness, and accuracy off the tee.

In addition, I find this driver provides superior stability at contact to restrict face twisting, maintain ball velocity, and lower spin. 

PROS

  • Generates explosive ball speed
  • Super lightweight
  • Prompts straighter shots
  • Easy to hit
  • Ideal for moderate swing speed golfers

CONS

  • One of the priciest new drivers on the market

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Ernie Els Fairway Wood

XXIO X 3 Wood 

3 Wood – 14•

XXIO X 3 Wood

The Big Easy sticks with XXIO for his fairway wood needs and swings a 14° 3 wood on the PGA Tour. As you may notice, he only carries on wood in his bag and no hybrids.

In my experience, this golf club helps moderate swingers accelerate clubhead and ball speed for a high launch and optimal distance on approach.

I typically enjoy minimal turf interaction with the XXIO X Fairway Wood, which promotes a clean, solid strike from the fairway and the rough.

PROS

  • Lightweight construction
  • Boosts clubhead speed
  • Prompts rapid ball speed
  • Launches high
  • Exceptional forgiveness
  • Can be purchased at a better price since it’s now an older model

CONS

  • Not the latest model

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Ernie Els Irons (2-5 Irons)

Srixon Z U85 Utility Iron

Irons 2 -5

Srixon Z U85 Utility Iron

Last year Ernie Els played the Srixon ZX MK Utility Irons. We noticed at the 2024 Chubb Classic he swapped out to the Srixon Z U85 Utility Irons. He keeps it traditional and leaves out hybrids, instead seeking the workability of the irons.

The U85 utility iron is made out of 1020 carbon steel with a high strength SUP10 steel face for a premium feel, and known for adding as much ball speed as possible. Ernie Els was using a KBS S-taper 130X golf shaft with Srixon ZX MK Utility Irons. We were unable to confirm if he stuck with the same iron shaft for 2024.

Here’s one of our quick videos on Ernie Els warming up with his golf irons at the Furyk & Friends Tournament.

PROS

  • Produces adequate golf ball speed
  • Encourages a high launch
  • Soft feel
  • Enables better workability than hybrids
  • Optimal carry distance
  • Pricing is better than it was since it’s a prior release

CONS

  • Slightly unforgiving golf clubs

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Ernie Els Irons (6 – 9 Irons)

Srixon ZX7 MK II Irons

Irons 6 – 9

Photo taken by Senior Golf Source of Ernie Els bag and Srixon ZX7 MK II Irons.

Srixon remains Ernie’s irons of choice as he selects the ZX7 range to carry his mid to short iron play. They clearly work for the big fella as he hit 83.33% of greens in regulation last season on the Tour.

The Srixon ZX7 MK II Irons offer the look and feel of blades but generate the consistency and forgiveness of a player’s distance irons.

Srixon engineers employed perimeter weighting around the clubface to increase the sweet spot for consistent velocity and spin on all strikes. I particularly appreciate the progressive groove structure, which elevates your spin on mid and short iron shots for drop and stop control.

PROS

  • Higher moment of inertia (MOI) than other blades
  • Buttery soft feel
  • Crisp turf interaction
  • Exceptional playability on approach
  • Superior stability at impact

CONS

  • Less forgiving than game improvement irons
  • The club head is not as compact as most irons

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Ernie Els Wedges

Cleveland RTX 6 ZipCore Wedge

52°, 56°, 60°

Photo taken by Senior Golf Source of Ernie Els Cleveland Wedges in his golf bag.

The South African switches to Cleveland RTX ZipCore Wedge for his short-game needs, a brand also owned by the Japanese conglomerate. In my experience, these wedges deliver ample forgiveness, consistency, and a controlled flight on short full shots.

I also find their heat-treated narrow, deep, and sharp grooves produce sufficient spin around the green. Although they are not the highest spinning wedges I know, they make up for it with consistent contact across the clubface. 

Learn more about the RTX ZipCore wedge in our review of the best golf wedges.

PROS

  • Forgiving wedge
  • Promotes straighter shots
  • Preserves velocity and spin on mishits
  • Generates adequate spin
  • Promotes controlled flight

CONS

  • Club head glare may prove an issue for some golfers.
  • Only one grind option for the pitching and gap wedges.

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Ernie Els Putter

Bloodline R1-J Blade Stand Up Putter

Putter

Bloodline R1-J Blade Stand Up Putter

Bloodline is not a brand that springs to mind when your foursome starts discussing their favorite flat sticks. The man from Gauteng province has worked hard to change that since he became an ambassador for the brand in 2018.

Ernie has utilized the Bloodline R1-J Blade Putter since 2017 on the PGA Tour and announced he will continue with the golf club in 2023. The premium-priced putter features a trendy red finish and a CNC-milled face, which provides a pure feel and a smooth roll across the face.

An additional feature to mention, is its Stand Up construction that keeps the putter upright without you holding it. That helps golfers step back from the line and ensure the putter face points at their target line.

⛳️ Fun Fact: Ernie likes to use a left hand low putting grip.

PROS

  • Superb feedback
  • Generates clean roll
  • Stands upright on its own
  • Impressive alignment aid
  • Stylish red finish on this stand up putter

CONS

  • It costs a small fortune
  • Not ideal for straight strokes

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Ernie Els Golf Ball

Srixon Z Star XV Golf Balls

Golf Balls

Srixon Z Star XV Golf Balls

If you watch the PGA Tour Champions, you will see Ernies yellow golf ball flying through the air. Usually, I leave this section out because we often see players using the same ball. In contrast, the twice Open Championship winner operates with the Srixon Z Star XV Golf Balls.

This 4-piece golf ball prompts low driver spin, accelerated ball speed, and increased greenside spin for all-around performance. Plus, it features an aerodynamic Speed Dimple Pattern which fights drag and boosts lift for optimal launch and ball flight.

PROS

  • Lowers spin on long game shots
  • Prompts faster ball speed
  • Generates higher spin on mid and short-game shots
  • The yellow color is easy to follow
  • Aerodynamic dimple pattern

CONS

  • Expensive for the average golfer
  • Better suited to high-swing speed golfers

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Final Thoughts

For 2024, Ernie continues to like to use a mix of XXIO, Srixon, and Cleveland equipment, all part of the Dunlop sports brand, which Sumitomo Rubber Industries owns.

With his easy swing and hard work ethic, more silverware is just around the corner for the big man. Let me know if Ernie Els WITB features any of your chosen golf clubs.

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AUTHOR

Matt Callcott-Stevens has lived and breathed golf since he was four. As a junior, he played competitively, until he discovered his talents were better suited to writing about the game. Matt holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing through the Johan Cruyff Institute in Barcelona and has provided golf game improvement tips to seniors and the average golfer for seven years.

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