Sometimes what was meant to be a temporary situation or something just for fun ends up being a successful, long-term solution. Thus is the case with the Cink’s. Stewart and son Reagan have formed a dynamic duo that was intended to be a one or two-off. Reagan looped the bag for dad at the first event of the 2020-2021 wrap around season back in September, the Safeway Open. Stewart won that by 2 strokes shooting 65-65 on the weekend. That was Cink’s first win since the 2009 Open Championship, where he broke everyone’s hearts by beating a surging 60 year old in Tom Watson.
Reagan stayed on the bag, and coming off a nice tie for 12th at Augusta, the pair arrived at a familiar and comfortable place for dad…Harbourtown Golf Links. With already 2 career wins there, Cink opened with a pair of 63’s and won his 3rd RBC Heritage and 8th career win overall; second this season. I think Reagan’s job security is more than safe as he clearly knows what he’s doing. They talk a lot over the course of a round and he keeps Stewart relaxed, loose, and in a good place. He knows his dad’s game more than anyone, even if Cink’s game is a little different than it used to be.
Stewart was never known as the longest hitter on tour, but he wasn’t short neither. The 47 year old is hitting it longer than ever. Last season he averaged 295 off the tee, ranking him 113th on tour. This year he’s at 307 yards, placing him in the top-30. As most players grow older their swings get a little shorter and their bodies get less flexible. Cink is not most players. “I don’t care if you’re on the PGA tour or a 25 handicapper. Everyone is trying to hit it 5 farther,” said Cink. “The farther you hit it the easier it is, plain and simple. If you can add 5 yards, your stroked gained stats are going to improve so why wouldn’t you?” He attributes his recent distance gain and being able to hang with the new breed to 3 keys.
Fitness Don’t think you’re going to find 5 to 10 mph in speed by doing nothing to your body, especially as you get older. Balance, flexibility, and core strength are the physical factors that Cink has worked on and improved to increase his distance. You have to have a nice stable support and base to make an athletic swing.
Know your swing Understand your golf swing, no matter how unique or text book you may think it is. Accept what you do well and understand what your swing does and doesn’t do. Add some tweaks here and there without a major overhaul. Learning to control the club face at a fast speed is key.
Dial in your equipment This is just as important as the physical. Cink dialed in his Ping equipment with master club fitters and was able to decrease his spin with the driver. This helped improve his carry distance tremendously. Hit miss-hits fly better and he’s a better wind player than he was when he was younger. He now knows what to expect when he stands over the ball and there is no fear of the unknown or a wild miss off the planet.
Stewart Cink WITB Ping continues to set fire to the hard goods market with record success on golf’s major tours as well as in your local shops, including Golf HQ. The issue now is getting product. With soaring popularity and record sales destroying forecasted quotas, paired with overseas shipping nightmares, some product from Ping is on an 8-10 week backorder delay. A good problem to have I guess as golf continues to rock n roll, but a problem nonetheless. Let’s take a look at the full bag of Ping that Stewart Cink used to capture his 3rd career win at Harbourtown and 2nd victory this season.
Driver – Ping G425 Max, 10.5°, 45.25”, Graphite Design XC-6 X
Fairway Woods – Ping G25 3 wood, 14.5°, 43”, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70, 6.5. Ping G410 7 wood, 20.5°, 41.5”, Accra FX 2.0360 M5
Irons – Ping I210, 4-UW, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Putter – Ping Vault 2.0 Ketch, 35.75”, 2.5° loft, 22° lie angle
Fantasy Picks This week is a fun and unique one on tour as we head to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic. This event features 2-man teams at TPC Louisiana. Winners Harold Varner III & Branden Grace Both are playing great as of late and will mesh well. Will contend Tony Finau & Cameron Champ Contend is what these 2 bombers do. Sleepers Jason Kokrak & Pat Perez Very good friends and better players. Hard to find a more fun pairing in the field.
Enjoy the game and each other,
Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional