Woods’ Golf Equipment at Hero World Challenge
Tiger Woods return to competition in the Hero World Challenge dominated the golf news this past week and Rickie Fowler won the exhibition over a select field of 18 in the Bahamas comprised of eight of the top 10 and 16 of the top 30 in the world rankings. Woods was impressive after his nine-month layoff that included back surgery and an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs, finishing in a tie for ninth. Fans were encouraged to see he appeared to be ready for a return to the Tour full time in 2018.
Woods equipment, except for the wedges, were from his sponsors TaylorMade Golf and Bridgestone Golf, the two companies he signed with after his longtime sponsor Nike Golf decided to exit the equipment business to concentrate on apparel. Upon signing the Bridgestone ball deal, he played their B330-S model but recently switched to the new TOUR B XS saying, “I am more confident in the performance of the TOUR B XS than any other ball I have ever played. It is incredibly long off the tee, while offering excellent feel and spin around the green.”
“The consistency it provides gives me complete confidence that I can hit any shot the situation calls for.”
Bridgestone is a big factor in the ball market with a marketing campaign built around ball fitting and golfers using a ball suitable for their swing speed. The new models for 2018 have caused some discussion around the industry and and here are five things you should know about the ball Woods played last week, the Bridgestone Tour B XS:
The core is gradational which helps energy transfer for better ball speed giving more distance and lower side spin for greater accuracy.
The cover is injection molded and seamless for more stability in flight.
Dual dimples improve flight characteristics by adding both length and control.
Bridgestone’s SlipRes cover increases friction between the ball and clubface so the ball has less tendency to slide up the face of irons which helps improve consistency and accuracy.
The Tour B XS is part of the series which includes the X, RX and RXS, all priced at $44.99 per dozen.
Tiger Woods Clubs:
- Driver: TaylorMade M2 2016 (9.5 degrees), Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70TX shaft
- Fairway woods: 3-Wood TaylorMade M2 2017 (13.5 degrees), Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90TX shaft; 5-Wood TaylorMade M1 2017 (19 degrees), Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90TX shaft
- Irons: Driving Iron TaylorMade Tour Preferred UDI; 4-iron through pitching wedge TaylorMade “TGR” prototypes, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts
- Wedges: Nike VR Pro Forged (56 and 60 degrees), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts
- Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS
- Golf Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
In Case Anyone Should Ask:
An additional piece of information about the TaylorMade prototype irons Woods used. Reportedly they were forged using a set of blanks from Nike Golf, the company he previously endorsed and whose clubs he played before signing with TaylorMade. The irons are without a TaylorMade name and have a “TGR” logotype stamping. Pictures show the shaped of the head to be very much like the Nike VR Pro Blade model Woods used for several years.
Fowler’s F8+: Fan-favorite and Cobra professional staffer, Rickie Fowler put the new Cobra King F8+ driver into play at the Hero World Challenge. This better-player model and the regular F8 for recreational players are the first to have a CNC milled face, the process often seen to manufacture putter faces and some wedge faces. Both have two sole weights for adjusting ball flight; the F8+’s are in the back and front while the F8 ports are at the back and towards the heel. Fowler used his F8+ to win with a final round of 61.
Fowler’s mostly Cobra Bag:
- Driver: King F*+ (8 degrees), 43.5” Aldila NV 2K Blue 70X shaft cut to 43.5”, 12-gram weight in front position and 8-gram weight in rear to lower spin, Nardo color
- Fairway woods: King F8+ 3-wood (13 degrees), 42” Aldila Synergy 70X shaft; Cobra King F8+ Baffler 5-wood (17.5 degrees), 40.5” Aldila Synergy 70X shaft
- Irons: King Pro MB 4-iron through pitching wedge, KBS Tour C-Taper 125 S+ shafts
- Wedges: King Versatile grind, 52-, 56- and 60-degrees loft, True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts
- Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS prototype
- Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Epic Red: If you have a thing about the color red and think a Great Big Bertha Epic driver with a red carbon fiber crown and a Project X HZRDUS Red shaft plus a really good looking red leather headcover would be perfect, now is your chance. You will have to hurry though since Callaway is only producing 400 and they are expected to go quickly. The Epic Red has all the features of the regular black-crowned model and it carries a price starting at $600.
Scott’s Long Putter: The news from Down Under and the playing of the Australian PGA is Adam Scott is back using a long putter after a stint with a mid-length one placed against his left forearm. Scott, whose world ranking has fallen to number 31, had great success with the broomstick length was at least partially responsible for the USGA and R&A banning anchored strokes. The stroke he used this last week was a non-anchored, left hand held away from the chest similar to that used by Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron. Scott missed the cut with the broomstick putter and no word if the 2013 Masters champion will keep it in the bag.