Tiger Woods on TaylorMade transition, P7TW irons, evolution of membership testing

AUSTIN, Texas — Tiger Woods hardly ever ventures onto tour vans to simply hang around. However that could possibly be altering. On Monday, TaylorMade unveiled a double-decker tour truck replete with couches and a big flatscreen tv on the second stage.

“This could possibly be an important place to play Name of Obligation,” Woods stated with a smile.

Again when Woods was on the mend from again surgical procedure in 2016, he performed an insane quantity of the online game to move the time. Today, his free moments are extra restricted with a packed event schedule.

Woods is teeing it up this week on the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play in his last tuneup earlier than the Masters. It’s possible his tools setup will look comparable (if not similar) to what he’ll have within the bag at Augusta.

Since Woods returned to the course final yr, his setup has undergone important modifications, from adjustable TaylorMade metalwoods for the primary time in his profession and shaft modifications to 2 totally different iron fashions and new wedge grinds.

Greater than a yr faraway from the beginning of the gear modifications, Woods sat right down to assess his present setup in a wide-ranging interview.

On his first response coming into the brand new TaylorMade tour truck: 

TIGER WOODS: I didn’t understand it was a double-decker. It’s fairly unimaginable. Truthfully, I’m blown away. Can’t wait to see all people getting golf equipment inside right here and it fills in.

On the period of time he sometimes spends in a tour van:

WOODS: Virtually by no means. I’m a type of guys that does loads of my tinkering at residence. After I come to a event, I don’t tinker anymore. [If] I’ve been training lots, my grips should be redone, or one thing like that. I’ll verify lofts and lies [because] after I’ve been training lots at residence, my irons are inclined to get flat. So I’ll have [TaylorMade Tour rep] Keith [Sbaboro] are available in, however usually I simply throw him my golf equipment and let him go do it.

On the place he conducts most of his tools testing:

WOODS: I’m one of many guys that don’t actually change something whereas I’m at a Tour web site. I do all my testing at residence. Now, for those who come to my home you’ll see that I’ve obtained golf equipment all over the place, and [I’m] testing, and I’ve obtained all totally different information. That’s totally different.

On getting acclimated to TaylorMade tools: 

WOODS: Nicely, the irons had been fairly easy as a result of they made them identical to my previous ones. We had a problem previous to that as a result of they wished me in a unique steel, and I discovered that I used to be hitting the ball too far. You already know, with all this expertise I stored hitting the ball too far. I don’t wish to do this. I wish to hit the ball at my numbers. So, we labored them, put my previous grooves again into these irons, after which I began hitting my home windows, my numbers, and all the pieces was good to go so, I put them within the bag.

However greater than something it’s been the woods — how a lot distance I’ve picked up since I’ve been with TaylorMade. You must perceive, that is the primary time that I’ve ever performed a non-glued hosel. I’ve by no means performed something with Nike all these years. After which after I got here again from all my accidents, it was tinkering round with the lofts, the load distribution, and it simply modified all my numbers and I used to be like, “Wow.”

Often, I come to a testing and there’s like 50 drivers, up on a tee, I hit every single one about thrice or so, after which we kind them out that manner. Then we re-test them once more. That takes two days and I’m so friggin’ drained. Now it’s like click on, again in and hit once more. “Let’s go this fashion, let’s go that manner.” And all of the sudden I’ve a brand new driver in 20 minutes. In order that was a little bit of an adjustment for me, attempting to grasp that. That complete aspect of how the hosel works, and the way all of the weights can play an enormous distinction in my spin fee and my launch situations.

So I needed to be taught loads of that. I both talked to the gamers that we’ve – like DJ, Rory. They had been instrumental in serving to me perceive that. After which, working with Keith, attempting to grasp the time that I had a glued hosel to what we’ve now. In order that was a little bit of an adjustment, however I used to be in a position to make it.

On transitioning into adjustable metalwoods: 

WOODS: [I was] asking [Dustin Johnson] and asking Rory [McIlroy]. [Jason Day], I referred to as him up lots of occasions attempting to determine it out, as a result of I didn’t know. It was an enormous adjustment for me. After which with the load there, how they work, and attempting to grasp that. After which, for me, my feels, and attempting to grasp my physique on the identical time. These had been all issues that had been enjoying collectively on the identical time. But it surely all got here collectively within the playoffs [last year] after I switched to my previous shaft. I went again to my previous [Mitsubishi] Diamana shaft that I’ve had a lot success with. I went again to that shaft, obtained me just a little bit extra spin on my driver and ended up hitting fairways. Ended up successful the Tour Championship.

On switching from TaylorMade’s TW-Phase1 irons to P7TW Prototypes:

WOODS: The Phase1 was extra of the problem, as a result of it was attempting to go from Nike to TaylorMade. As soon as they obtained the steel, the grooves, my CGs good, between the Phase1 and the P7TWs, it wasn’t something, besides they had been non-milled. Now they will make them time and again and once more, and so they’re all the identical. However the transition from Nike to TaylorMade was a much bigger change. As soon as we obtained it proper, I used to be fairly constant going into the greens this previous yr. I had loads of confidence hitting the ball inside 15 toes, and that helped. It’s one of many the explanation why I had the success that I had the complete yr.

On usually altering out his wedges: 

WOODS: Nicely, they’re making them… clearly, they’re milled, in order that they’re similar. I’ve two totally different wedges: one I used final yr, and one I’ve been testing round just a little this yr just a little bit due to the tough, and I’m attempting to get just a little extra bounce out of the bunkers. I’ve two totally different 60-degree wedges that I can play with.

After I was with Nike, we might take eight units, or eight totally different wedges, and actually hand-grind all of them. I’d hit them, I’d take a look at them, I like this, I like that. Buff them off, attempt to get them good, after which each felt precisely the identical. However after use, at residence training, bunker work, the grooves began getting worn down so I might ship one in, have that re-blasted. That [wedge] would transfer into the again of the order. Then I had the recent ones, and I’d put on that one out. Then that may get re-blasted, and finally they’d come round and I used all eight units twice.

Then as soon as these had been achieved — so 16 go-arounds — now we’ve to begin it once more, as a result of they will’t get anymore spin on them. It’s lots simpler now, going by way of what we needed to undergo; these lengthy testing classes, loads of work with Mike Taylor [Woods’s former clubmaker at Nike who now helps build Woods’ clubs for TaylorMade], loads of work within the grind room. However after I had them proper, I didn’t have to consider it, all I needed to do was go hit. However as soon as I wore them out 16 occasions, we needed to restart the method.

On the work Mike Taylor continues to do on his irons and wedges:

WOODS: Yeah, he labored on all these irons. He labored on all my wedges. I discuss to him most likely each few weeks, giving updates on how I really feel, issues that I feel could possibly be higher. He’ll bounce just a few concepts off me, what I feel, what course we have to go down the street, how can we make them any higher than what they’re. And this is identical course of I went by way of all these years after I was working with him at Nike. However now working with him at TaylorMade, it’s much more seamless.

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