Jonathan Wall, GOLF.com’s gear editor, had the chance to sit down down and discuss gear with 14-time main winner Tiger Woods through the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play. Listed below are 5 issues Wall discovered from the dialog.
1. He’s Uber-sensitive in the case of gear
Again in 2017, I had the chance to look at Woods undergo his first official becoming with TaylorMade Tour reps in Florida. Evidently, it was an eye-opening expertise that left me floored at how explicit Woods is along with his gear. His sensitivity to even the slightest membership change can take a driver from the check pile to the trash heap in a matter of seconds.
For instance, it solely took Woods one swing with a brand new prototype iron to comprehend one thing was amiss with the middle of gravity location. And he handed on hitting a driver throughout testing as a result of he felt a small bubble within the grip.
Few gamers are capable of discern the refined nuances Woods picks up on, like the pinnacle materials or grooves being a part of the problem — he admitted the ball was going too far — throughout iron testing. Woods’ hypersensitivity in the case of gear is on one other degree.
2. However in different methods, Tiger’s identical to us
Earlier than switching to TaylorMade, Tiger Woods had no concept how adjustable drivers labored. Weekend golfers can relate. Many golfers have a driver with some type of adjustability — be it the flexibility to change face angle, launch, spin or all three on the similar time — however in the case of understanding the advantages of a weight shift or twist of the wrench, a big majority are nonetheless at the hours of darkness.
Woods was one of many final to modify from metal to graphite in his driver and nonetheless had a factor for glued, non-adjustable metalwoods up till Nike’s exit from the hard-goods business.
Whenever you’ve spent your total profession utilizing a non-adjustable head, you attain out for assist. In Woods’ case, he had Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day on velocity dial to completely comprehend the advantages of an adjustable driver. Have to be good.
“I needed to study so much [about adjustable drivers],” Woods stated. “I both talked to the gamers that we have now – like DJ, Rory. They had been instrumental in serving to me perceive that. After which, working with Keith, attempting to know the time that I had a glued hosel to what we have now now. In order that was a little bit of an adjustment, however I used to be capable of make it.”
Even the best golfer of the trendy period can use an help every now and then.
And for somebody who’s attempting to take care of his again and play a full match load, adjustable metalwoods have made issues oh-so-much simpler for Woods through the testing course of. Again when he was nonetheless utilizing glued hosels, Woods stated it was frequent to undergo 50 drivers, hitting each “3 times or so” earlier than paring down the potential suitors.
“Then we re-test them once more,” Woods stated. “That takes two days and I’m so friggin’ drained.”
Since going to an adjustable head, Woods famous the method to discover a new driver takes about 20 minutes.
“Now it’s like click on, again in and hit once more,” Woods stated. “‘Let’s go this fashion, let’s go that method.’ And all of the sudden I’ve a brand new driver.”
Woods’ physique must be ecstatic with the brand new testing course of.
three. Tiger used to blow by wedges
Woods’ quick recreation creativity is a extremely underrated facet of his recreation. A few of the pictures he’s been capable of execute have come on account of a whole lot of hours on the chipping inexperienced. Whenever you’re utilizing uncooked, cast wedges, it’s a heck of so much simpler to wear down the grooves in a matter of months as a result of softer head materials.
It’s not unusual for a tour participant to undergo a set of wedges each three to 6 months, however in Woods’ case, he wouldn’t pull the worn wedges out of the rotation as most mavens are inclined to do. As a substitute, he acquired them “re-blasted” to resume the spin traits, earlier than putting them at the back of the order to make use of yet one more time.
“Then I had the contemporary ones, and I’d put on that one out,” Woods stated. “Then that might get re-blasted, and ultimately they’d come round and I used all eight units twice.
“Then as soon as these had been performed — so 16 go-arounds — now we have now to begin it over again, as a result of they will’t get anymore spin on them.”
four. Tiger has two totally different lob wedges out there
Woods is utilizing two totally different TaylorMade Milled Grind lob wedges this season, which shocked me considerably given how little he alters gear over the course of a season.
“One I used final 12 months, and one I’ve been testing round just a little this 12 months just a little bit due to the tough, and I’m attempting to get just a little extra bounce out of the bunkers,” Woods stated. “I’ve two totally different 60-degree wedges that I can play with.”
Given how meticulous Woods is along with his wedge grinds, I didn’t suppose it was doable for him to have a secondary possibility based mostly on the tough and bunker situations. You study one thing new daily.
5. As soon as he’s on web site, don’t count on Tiger to tinker
Tools testing through the early week is a standard sight at each tour occasion. Simply don’t count on Tiger Woods to be the one doing intensive work on the vary with a bevy of shaft choices. We’ve seen Woods check putters over the past 12 months, however for probably the most half, the setup he brings to the course is what he plans to make use of for the match.
Just like the best way Brooks Koepka operates, Woods does nearly all of his testing at dwelling, out of the general public eye.
“I’m one of many guys that don’t actually change something whereas I’m at a Tour web site,” he stated. “I do all my testing at dwelling. Now, in the event you come to my home you’ll see that I’ve acquired golf equipment all over the place, and [I’m] testing, and I’ve acquired all totally different information. That’s totally different.”
You’ll be able to learn the complete interview right here.