Written by
Joy Chakravarty
Jun 06 2024

HUMBLE (Texas) – Separating their golf bags from professional golfers is almost like sucking the soul out of their bodies.

It’s not just the clubs. That, obviously, is the critical content, given the extreme customisation each of them has to go through to fit a player’s specific needs. A professional golfer can easily play Spot the Difference and point out 10 things that are different in a club of the same make compared to his personal club.

There are so many other things that get packed into the bag – like shoes (mostly customised), apparel for the week (part of sponsorship agreements), alignment sticks, towels, his favourite power bars (which could have been hand-picked by dieticians and not available in the new place) and the different training aids.

It’s a guaranteed way to annoy and worry an elite golfer…just take his bag away. And THAT’S exactly WHAT HAPPENED with two of Majesticks GC players – Co-Captains Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson – as they travelled from London to Houston for this week’s LIV Golf Houston.

Poulter was understandably peeved when he came to know his bag was left behind at Heathrow, and he did not mince his words on Instagram.

However, the talismanic Englishman was in a much better mood on Tuesday after being reunited with his equipment, but it did mean that his and Stenson’s preparations were impacted ahead of the tournament at Golf Club of Houston.

“It’s not the best way to start a tournament by losing the golf bag. That was not ideal… for many players on that flight from London,” said Poulter, who has great memories of the golf club having won the Shell Houston Open here in 2018.

“But again, in my 25 years of traveling around the world, unfortunately, this does happen from time to time. And obviously, it’s a bit frustrating because it puts you out of a routine that you have planned coming into an event and having to work around it.

“It’s not the first time it has happened to me. We just have to work around this and make do as we can.”Poulter, currently 37th in the Individual Standings, was sensational in his Shell Houston Open triumph. He opened the tournament with a disappointing 73, and then shot spectacular rounds of 64, 65 and 67 to match Beau Hossler’s 19-under par total, and won his third title on the PGA Tour on the first playoff hole.

“I do have great memories of this golf course. It was a week before the Masters and the only way I could make it to The Masters that year was by winning the golf tournament. I did that. To be able to deliver that was very pleasing,” said ‘golf's very own 'Postman’.

“I haven’t been to the course since, because they changed the event dates. A lot of it has changed. I mean the layout, the bunkering and the greens are the same, but they now have Bermuda grass. Also, the time of the year we played was different, in early April. It will affect how the course is playing.

“There are a couple of key tee shots – fifth, sixth and 18th are ones that come to mind. But the key to doing well is putting the ball in play. Like any other week, your proximity to the holes need to be good, and you have got to hole the putts.

”Poulter prepared for the tournament mostly in the UK, where he went with his family during the break in LIV Golf schedule.

“My time in the four weeks off was very enjoyable. We were in the UK and it was nice to meet all our friends and families and to be able to go back to Woburn and practice the way I have always practiced – hitting balls down the back of the range and going and picking the balls. I loved doing that as a kid, and I still enjoy doing that,” said Poulter.

“The mood in the Majesticks dressing room is great after the four weeks of break. We are 12th out of 13 teams, so we are buzzing (laughs). No, we need to play well in the second half of the season and move up this leaderboard. We need to hold our heads high and do ourselves proud.”