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Found 15 results

  1. From the InBox today.... Bridgestone is launching a new Tiger-centric ad campaign called "The Herd." I like the idea and the concept - it's an sound marketing message, but Tiger's health issues are taking a serious bite out its effectiveness, for the near term, anyway... Bridgestone Golf Debuts ‘The Herd' Marketing Campaign Featuring Tiger Woods (COVINGTON, GA) – Bridgestone Golf – innovator of premium golf balls, clubs and accessories – is amplifying its aggressive messaging with a new national marketing campaign featuring Tiger Woods that highlights the performance benefits of its products over other brands. Titled “The Herd,” a unique series of commercials on NBC/Golf Channel and across the web depicts the “herd-mentality,” common among consumers with notions that the best golf ball is the one played by the most Tour players. In contrast to this groupthink, the Bridgestone Tour B330 Series is touted as being 44% straighter and 6.9 yards longer than the Titleist ProV1 Series**. The spots are on Bridgestone Golf social channels and can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/2mpfRbo. More than 75 extras participated in the filming in South Africa, representing a mass of humanity scavenging a golf course for the most popular ball on Tour. What they find is Woods – who switched exclusively to the Bridgestone B330-S in December – hitting a tee shot while the narrator proclaims “you can't beat the pack by playing the same ball as the pack.” It concludes with the new slogan: “Dare to be better, Dare to Bridgestone.” “The imagery and language are bold, powerful and communicate how golfers need a break-away-from-the-pack mentality to gain a true competitive edge,” says Corey Consuegra, Senior Director of Marketing of Bridgestone Golf. “This is our first broadcast spot featuring Tiger Woods, the perfect iconic figure to carry the message.” Woods signed a multi-year agreement to play and promote Bridgestone's high-performance balls, selecting the Tour B330-S after thoroughly testing it against competing models from all major brands. Through his personal research, he determined the Bridgestone ball provided superior distance and accuracy off the tee for him, as well as optimal spin on shots into and around the green. Additional “break-a-way-from-the-pack” leaders include FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker, Olympic bronze medalist Matt Kuchar, Masters winner Fred Couples, three-time major champion Nick Price and young phenoms Bryson DeChambeau and Hudson Swafford. The catalyst for distance and accuracy gains is the patented TOURcore (B330 & B330-S) and AMATOURcore (B330-RX & B330-RXS). Now six percent larger than the prior model, it produces even faster speed and less spin off the driver via Bridgestone's gradational core formulation. For increased greenside control, the B330 Series wears the breakthrough SlipRes cover, which increases stopping power without the usual negative effects of added driver spin. *Straighter claim and distance claim based on Bridgestone Golf ball fitting data of 13,434 fittings from February 2015 – September 2016. Actual results may vary. **Titleist ProV1 is a registered trademark of Acushnet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqHPiDR1yw8&feature=youtu.be
  2. We know how much golf and the business of golf thinks they need TW. Those people might step back and realize "they" had him once and cruised to uncharted places. They were the Titanic to his iceberg; and now that ship ain't a floatin' up to the surface and... that iceberg has long since melted. Smaller boats, fewer passengers and iceberg free seas might just be the only course to navigate, as golf goes forward. To that end, a petition*, from those of us who wish him the best, and yet want him to do no further damage to himself or his reputation. Would you sign if there was such a thing? I'm interested in The Spy Community thoughts. PETITION The undersigned hereby absolve Eldrick "Tiger" Woods from any further embarrassment and ridicule, as a result of his continued attempts at returning to former glory as a sports and global public icon. From this point forward we collectively agree to no longer care what tournament, clinic, partner, golf club, golf ball, shirt, shoe, vitamin, domicile, boat, island, swing plane, golf course, facial hair and percentage of body fat Mr. Woods does or does not witness. Without a large constituency calling for your participation in the above activities, you are now free to stop your participation in them. The undersigned recognize Mr. Woods' former achievements AND failings as the past. Our wishes for his future success shall be finite and limited to a recognition of Mr. Woods as a breathing male human who holds the responsibilities as Father and record holding athlete. From this day forward, we the undersigned encourage Mr. Woods to cease all forced efforts to present himself as something he's not. We shall, in kind, no longer pursue the fantasy that Tiger Woods is a persona that requires our commentary and speculation to become something he cannot. Thank you for your existence, and good luck. ________________________________________________ Date _________________________________ ________________________________________________ Date _________________________________ ________________________________________________ Date _________________________________ ________________________________________________ Date _________________________________ ________________________________________________ Date _________________________________ ________________________________________________ Date _________________________________ ________________________________________________ Date _________________________________ * All credit goes to the beloved Armitage Shanks
  3. This is kinda funny...press conference coming up shortly
  4. Props to Mr_Theoo for finding this one. Looks like Tiger might be signing on with Miura...
  5. Tiger Woods registered for 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont By Joel Beall While his camp claims he still has no timetable for return, Tiger Woods has taken the necessary steps to enter the 2016 U.S. Open field. Though agent Mark Steinberg denied reports that the 14-time major winner is definitely playing in the Wells Fargo Championship in early May, Woods has registered to compete in this year's U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, Golfweek reports. Woods filed on April 4 for the tournament, which runs June 16-19. In recent weeks, speculation has ramped up regarding Woods return. Tim Rosaforte mentioned the possibility of Tiger playing at Quail Hollow on May 5-8; another tournament that makes sense is the Memorial, which Woods has won five times. Woods hasn't played on tour since the Wyndham Championship in August. The last time the U.S. Open was held at Oakmont in 2007, Woods finished one stroke behind Angel Cabrera for the title.
  6. Did anyone catch the cover story on SI? Alan Shipnuck dives deep into that vexing question. Did he get tired of being Tiger Woods? Was he on the "juice" and got caught? Click here for the story, and post your thoughts back in this thread...
  7. Putting aside the obvious "Vice" jokes.... Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker Named Ryder Cup Vice Captains Tiger Woods Named Vice Captain of U.S. Ryder Cup Team Team USA Captain Davis Love III has named Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker vice captains for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazelton. by Gary Van SickleTwitter Posted: Wed Nov. 18, 2015 ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- It's time to take those stories about Tiger Woods not being fully invested in the Ryder Cup and put them in cold storage. In a surprise announcement, American Ryder Cup captain Davis Love named Woods one of three new vice captains here Wednesday, along with Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk. The origins of the move can be traced to the recent Presidents Cup in South Korea, where Love said he got a phone call from Fred Couples at 5:30 in the morning. The message: Tiger wants you to call him. “As soon as Tiger and I got off the phone, then Tiger called Stricker or Furyk, I think,” Love said. “He couldn't play anywhere, he couldn't even chip but he was excited. Tiger wanted to know, ‘Why in the world would you put this guy with that guy?' I didn't think I'd hear from him at all during the week but he was really excited. “People say he's not engaged. Well, the guy was calling us, wants to know who's playing the next match and he wants us to win. He was giving us advice, too. I think the message he sent to us was, I want to be in the mix.” Woods became a viable addition to the team after Love and European captain Darren Clarke agreed to expand the number of vice captains from four to five. That was done to clarify the sometimes-muddy situations at Ryder Cups where so many other people besides official assistant captains turn up with walkie-talkies or carts. “We just said if you want five guys, let's just agree to have five guys and move on,” Love said. So, Woods is in and Love is holding his fifth vice captain's pick in reserve for now. In February, Love used his first selection on Minnesota native Tom Lehman, an obvious choice since his home state will host the 2016 matches. Love's final spot could eventually go to Phil Mickelson if Lefty doesn't make the team, or to his good friend and former Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples. Or, he could choose someone else. Love said he has talked to Woods several times in the past few weeks about how his surgically repaired back is progressing. “Tiger wants to make the team, that's his No. 1 goal,” Love said. “He wants to play, I think, and be a vice captain. He wants to be a leader but he doesn't want to be a general sitting in the room, he wants to be in the battle.” Love was also asked to explain the dynamics among his current four assistants. “Tiger will be the general,” Love said. “Steve is a lot like me, he'll be taking care of behind-the-scenes stuff. Steve will say, ‘We can go park the carts and plug them in,' he likes doing that stuff. Jim is more of a rallying guy. He likes getting information from the players and giving speeches. I like turning the speeches over to him because he's really good at it. Bubba Watson and I aren't going to be very good at giving speeches, we're both going to start crying. Tom is just so full of passion and energy. He'll be our red-white-and-blue, Minnesota, let's-go-get 'em guy to inspire the fans and our positive energy guy.” The Americans have won only two of the last 10 Ryder Cups and after the mash-up at Gleneagles, when Phil Mickelson threw captain Tom Watson under the bus during a post-loss press conference, it was time for a new way of doing things. The Americans put together an 11-man task force of players as varied as Rickie Fowler and Raymond Floyd. They were the ones who decided to give Love a second captaincy after he led the U.S. to a stinging come-from-ahead loss at Medinah in 2012. The Americans didn't set out to copy the European system, but step one was the PGA of America recognizing that, hey, the Europeans have a system in place. Step two was figuring out how to implement some of their methods. Love said Paul McGinley, the winning European captain at Gleneagles last year, has been very open with much of his planning. Love recalled a conversation he had with losing American captain Corey Pavin early in 2011. “We had a great talk about the next two years and everything he said came true,” Love said. “But now we're looking farther out than just two years. Learning from Team Europe has been beneficial for us, just like North Carolina looking at what Clemson is doing in football right now would be beneficial for them.” The biggest thing the Americans have going for them is a renewed determination. Love is sweating the details. He asked Mickelson and Woods and other players how many times they needed to play a course to get comfortable with it. “Everybody had a slightly different answer,” Love said. “Tiger goes at it one way, Jordan Spieth goes at it another. We'll do whatever it takes to get our guys to Hazeltine. We will make it available. If one guy says, I want the whole course to myself, nobody talks to me, that's what we're going to do.” Love also recalled U.S. captain Dave Stockton sending him to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island to play practice rounds in 1991. “I didn't get picked,” Love said, “but that fired me up and made me feel like I was part of the team. I'll probably do that to someone next year, too. There's 20 or 30 or 40 guys right now who think they're going to make the team, right? Well, we will do whatever it takes.” If Whatever It Takes isn't already the U.S. team slogan for 2016, it probably should be. Love might want to have it engraved on a sweater somewhere. Where is Mickelson in all this? Tiger is a vice captain, and he isn't? That's Phil's choice right now, Love said. “That's what Phil wanted,” Love said. “In Korea, Jay's line was, ‘Whatever Jordan Spieth wants, Jordan Spieth gets this week.' Whatever Phil wants, Phil gets. If he wants his role to be a player next year, he'll play. He told me, I'm on a roll, I'm going to play so good next year. You can almost hear him. He literally walked off the 18th green in Korea telling me, ‘I'm ready to go for Hazeltine.' Phil said, ‘Look, I'm focused on making your team and playing on it. I can't do both.'” The 2016 Ryder Cup is 10 months away, and counting…
  8. Love him or hate him, this was a classy move on Tiger's part... Tiger Woods writes letter to high school boy with stuttering problem WILTON, Conn. -- A boy who was bullied for stuttering received strong encouragement from someone else who once struggled with his speech -- Tiger Woods. Golf Digest published the letter from Woods on its website Tuesday. "I know what it's like to be different and to sometimes not fit in," Woods wrote in the letter. "I also stuttered as a child and I would talk to my dog and he would sit there and listen until he fell asleep. I also took a class for two years to help me, and I finally learned to stop." The plight of the high school boy, identified only as Dillon, was publicized when his mother reached out to eight-time Solheim Cup player Sophie Gustafson of Sweden, who played her entire career on the LPGA and in Europe with a severe stuttering problem. Gustafson shared the mother's letter with Golf Digest, which published a story on its website April 30. The mother said her son tried out for the football team only to quit because of the constant teasing about his stutter. She wrote that he was on the verge of leaping from his bedroom window on April 16 until his parents stopped him. The mother's letter to Gustafson also mentioned that her son watched golf and was a fan of Woods. Not long after Golf Digest posted the story on its website, the boy received a letter from the 14-time major champion. Gustafson tweeted on Sunday her thanks to Woods "for sending my friend Dillon a letter. He got so happy! It's being framed and hanged." She added a hashtag that said "class." Woods said in the letter that he was younger than most kids he played and often was the only minority in the field. "But I didn't let that stop me, and I think it even inspired me to work harder," he wrote. "I know you can do that too. You have a great family, and big fans like me on your side. Be well and keep fighting. I'm certain you'll be great at anything you do."
  9. Tiger put his short game on display at Augusta...especially love the line about where Tiger gets his mail at Augusta! What yips? Tiger Woods arrives at Augusta, puts short game to immediate test By Geoff Shackelford AUGUSTA, Ga. -- For a guy with the yips, Tiger Woods just announced to the world that he's not afraid to show off his short game. Showing up at Augusta National's tournament practice area around 3:40 ET, Woods briefly stopped to talk to Mike Weir about the Canadian's elbow issues, them marched boldly to the short game practice area. Knowing all eyes at the range were on his wedge practice and probably aware there was an audience on Golf Channel's “Live From” hoping to see if he's cured the short game yips, Woods took a green bag of balls from caddie Joe LaCava, put on headphones, appeared to dance to the music at one point and went straight to work hitting the same lofted wedges that have given him such fits. Talk about a bold statement. While it's hardly unusual for a professional golfer to warm-up hitting wedges, any yipper can tell you that playing the shot that gives you fits, and doing it in front of a crowd, ranks up there in the Fun Department with root canals and prostate exams. More curious was his decision to listen to music while warming up. Was it the soothing voice of a guru? Or simply a nod to new endorsee Sol Republic, who Woods signed with in January. After hitting no flubs and looking crisp with his shots, Woods moved to the main tee, where swing consultant Chris Como awkwardly waited while former instructor Sean Foley and Woods joked around. Eventually, Woods began moving through the bag and headed for the first tee for a late nine at Augusta National. If the range swagger was a statement, the body language on course all but spilled over the top. Woods blew his first tee shot into his usual spot on the 9th fairway, where Woods also gets his mail when he's in Augusta. Anyway, Woods then hit his approach to six feet and he quickly knocked in a birdie as if it was a mere afterthought. He then took two wedges and two balls, and the crowd grew eerily quiet. But Woods moved around the diabolical first green hitting all manner of shots, showing no signs of distress. A few in the gallery of 500 or so patrons gasped at his sleek physique, but otherwise welcomed him back with various shout-outs. Playing partner O'Meara eventually ran out of putts to try on a green he's seen plenty, turning to watch the downright jovial Woods chip before moving to the putter. After a few long putts, Woods scooped up his ball with the back cavity of his putter and twirled it over his head, keeping the ball in the putter the entire time. He stopped short of Moonwalking off the first green. Almost like old times.
  10. So Tiger has officially announced that he is going to play the masters. Any thoughts? I know Kenny is interested in his under garment selection. Anyone else?
  11. The 2015 golf season for Tiger Woods is off to a rough start. Thankfully, his line of apparel from Nike Golf is a predictable constant, season after season. In fact, the entire Nike line, season after season is predictable. The research and development as well as a commitment to advancing the brand doesn't end with hard lines. Nike produces some incredible, technologically advanced pieces in the soft lines. The Tiger Woods line is always positioned as there flagship selections. This past January, I had the opportunity to attend the PGA Merchandise show, courtesy of MyGolfSpy. Across the highway from the Orange County Convention Center, there is a Golf Galaxy. Prior to visiting the show, I wanted to familiarize myself with the apparel choices presented at big box retailers or golf specialty stores. As I was walking in, another CEO from a major golf brand was walking out. Seems like perhaps he had the same idea that I had. The aisles of the PGA Merchandise show present an abundance of apparel manufacturers. However, inside big box retailers, you'll only find a handful of apparel brands, and they're names that are usually partnered with the major equipment manufacturers. The Niche brands are usually only found inside the country clubs. Nike continues to dominate the big box segment of the apparel market in terms of quality, technology, fit, finish and styling. Nike always seems to produce premium quality pieces, and receives the SPY ZINGER award for Best in the [big] Box. Following the show, I had the opportunity to take a close look at a couple pieces of the Tiger Woods line for 2015. TW Cypress Shield ½ Zip The TW Cypress Shield is a unique ½ zip pull over. The first feature of note is the over all warmth to weight ratio. This piece is very lightweight yet retains body heat very well with the texturized, “3-D" waffle patterned interior. The elastic cuffs and waist appear as exposed, yet finished, elastic that is very comfortable and functional. The Cypress Shield has some stretch built into the fabric and is unrestrictive during the motion of the golf swing. With most quarter or half zip pieces, the length of the collar determines if I'll wear it up, or folded down like a shirt collar. The Cypress Shield features a “mock neck” collar, and just lays nicely as designed with minimal rub against facial hair. Nike is calling the Cypress Shield a standard fit. I would characterize this as a tailored fit, but you should purchase your normal size as this will have some give in the needed areas. Less bulk, lightweight, and warm. Very cool piece from TW. MSRP: $140 FROM NIKE: The TW Cypress Shield 1/2-Zip Men's Golf Shirt is made from sweat-wicking fabric and a 3-D interior to help keep you dry and warm on cooler courses. Benefits Dri-FIT fabric to wick sweat away and help keep you dry and comfortable Mock neck with zip placket for coverage and adjustable ventilation 3-D fabric at the interior to trap pockets of body heat near the skin Elastic cuffs and hem for enhanced fit Standard fit is not too slim, not too loose Product Details Contrast stripes, cuffs and hem Fabric: Dri-FIT 100% polyester Machine wash Imported TW Engineered Golf Sweater The TW Engineered sweater is another piece from the flagship line, that when you hold it in your hand, you can just feel it's a premium product. Made from about half merino wool, this offering from Nike is a classy piece worn over the golf shirt when the temps are cool. Unrestrictive and warm. The TW Engineered sweater fits true to size and has an MSRP of $140 FROM NIKE: The TW Engineered Men's Golf Sweater is made with a soft wool and acrylic blend for a cozy, warm feel. Articulated elbows and underarm mesh panels deliver great range of motion and zoned breathability. Benefits Rib crew neck, cuffs and hem for durability and comfort Articulated elbows for natural range of motion Underarm mesh panels for strategic breathability Embroidered logo at upper back for signature style Product Details Fabric: 55% merino wool/45% acrylic Machine wash Imported TW Ultra 3.0 Polo If you haven't purchased any TW apparel in the last couple years, you're in for a bit of a surprise when you pick up the polo again for the first time. Nike has designed the TW 3.0 polo with a series of small holes located in the neck area of the collar, the collar itself, and about halfway down the spine of the back. These holes, laser cut by Nike, are designed to assist the tech fabric in ventilation. These, along with the mesh armpit panels, you'll be hard pressed to find a cooler shirt in golf. Although personally, I am not a fan of the snaps in place of the buttons on the shirt plaquet, true to TW designs, they are nicely done. Fits true to size, with some room. Hangs a bit longer than normal so it stays inside your pants. MSRP $95 FROM NIKE: The lightweight TW Ultra 3.0 Men's Golf Polo has strategically placed perforations at the collar and back for modern style with breathability. Underarm mesh panels deliver essential ventilation, and the standard fit offers natural range of motion. Benefits Dri-FIT fabric to wick sweat away and help keep you dry and comfortable Laser cut perforations at center back and collar for excellent ventilation Fold-over collar and bonded placket for classic polo style and durability Mesh underarm panels for breathability Product Details Fabric: Dri-FIT 100% polyester Machine wash Imported
  12. #MediaKitMonday comes a day late compliments of Nike Golf. This kit (as you can pretty easily figure out without me telling you) is designed to formally introduce the new 2015 TW Golf Shoe to the media. The included card tells the story (see below), so you don't need me to rehash it for you. There's nothing over the top here. The focus is on the shoes and the Nike Golf mantra #TheresAlwaysBetter. Optimistically, it will be a few weeks (few=6 to 8) before I can step foot onto McGregor Links for my first NY round of 2015, but you can be sure I'll give these a try when (if) the snow melts. Noteworthy about the shoe itself is that it's much more sneaker-style than previous models. While the inspiration for the shoe will always be what it was, Nike is clearly moving away from the idea of a golf boot...save the Lunar Bandon. Nike sent me a wide size (which is what I prefer), so other fat-footers like myself have options.
  13. Stumbled upon this fascinating interview with Tiger this morning. This is the kind of insight Dan Jenkins will never get.... Stumbled upon this fascinating interview with Tiger this morning -- great insight on how he works with Mike Taylor at Nike to develop clubs, why he's slow to change clubs and what happened when he hit a Gutta Percha ball at St. Andrews. Doubtful Dan Jenkins would be able to dig up kind of insight... EQUIPMENT COURSES & 2-FORE!-1 TIPS & TUITION NEWS & EVENTS MAGAZINES 19TH HOLE WIN Tiger: My Game, My Gear The 14-time Major champion tells us how the clubs in his bag have changed, how he designs gear and his best advice for amateurs Yesterday 10:00 By Today's Golfer Only a privileged few have had the chance to sit down with Tiger Woods, to talk one-on-one and gaze into the eyes that have instilled so much fear and intimidation down the years. Thankfully, the situation in which we are looking at them is not on a golf course during the back nine of a Major championship. It's on the terrace of the clubhouse at Liberty National Golf Club, New York, during the launch of Nike's new Vapor iron range. Despite his endless timetable of media commitments, Woods is in a jovial mood. Why? Because the Vapor Pro model, the blade within the new trio, is a product he has helped shape through over four years of testing – and he's excited to see it revealed to the world. “Helping the average golfer – it's how Nike started as a company,” he tells me. “Athletes give their input to create a product that will allow them to win, dominate, be the best and distribute it to the masses – that's what Nike does. Golf is no different. Working with the club team to bring the concept of the Vapor Pro to life was a great experience.” Woods signed with Nike when he turned pro in 1996. As a company, it boasts sport's finest athletes on its roster, so gaining Woods' signature made perfect sense. At the time Nike were still some six years from bringing out their first golf clubs, but they've caught up fast and have become a force in the equipment business. A big part of this is down to Mike Taylor, Nike Golf's master craftsman, who possesses the enviable title of being the only club engineer that has shaped clubs for Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Rory McIlroy and Woods. His knowledge and experience has been a huge factor in Woods' achievements and the 14-time Major champion is quick to recognise this. “Mike knows what I like to see in the playing position. I describe what I like to feel through the turf, the sensations and ball flight, how the club feels through the swing, and he listens and goes off and does his thing. I can tell when something's off, even if it's a gram of weight. We can feel that as players. Whether the toe is too long or too high, or it's getting out of the dirt too fast, these are feelings we can now measure and incorporate into new technology.” The story behind Nike's new Vapor Pro iron is one that reflects the lengthy, in-depth discourse between Taylor and Woods, to create a product that has achieved the ultimate seal of approval. “We've had an existing iron model we tested with Tiger for the last four years,” Taylor tells TG. “In that time we learnt a lot about the speed and power of his hands, how the balance is important, and how to bring the club into a square position. Tiger told us the clubface was closing too quickly. We built some extra models that were toe-weighted with tungsten and the test sessions were the most awesome I've witnessed in my career. Every gram of mass in these new irons is where it belongs, because of the technology and the feedback we get from Tiger.” Woods is equally enthused about the new irons, which have already been used on Tour by his stablemates and look set to go in his bag when he returns to action in December. “With the new irons, the hit feels heavier. When you go to the range and listen to guys hit balls, there's a sound difference from someone who's really flushing it that day. “When I hit these, they had that same flushness to it. The thing that shocked me about it was yes I had the sound, yes I had the feel, but the ball was holding its line better in a crosswind. That was really surprising – the ball was getting through the wind better, and travelling the same distance. “For me, irons are not all about distance. I've played the same lofts since I was 14. The length, grip size has stayed the same. The only thing that's changed is my lie angle over the years with the different swings. I've played blades my whole life. “We all grew up in the same era when the lofts were weaker, and I haven't changed from that. Mike knows what that looks like because that's what he grew up playing. In this day, when guys are hitting a wedge 150, 155 because it's 45 degrees, that's a totally different look. I picked up Rory's wedge last night and was like, ‘Holy cow! That's about my 9-iron,' and it is. “We experimented with different types of musclebacks, getting the centre of gravity behind the centre of the face with a rounded shape, but that wasn't quite right because if I hit it in the heel or toe, I wasn't getting the distance I would from a straight muscleback. “My wear marks over the years have always been slightly towards the heel, which is where the meat of the club has been. If you look at Ben Hogan's 1-iron he hit at Merion (in the 1950 US Open) the wear mark is nearly on the hosel. We were trying to get it in the middle of the face and now we've got it with the tungsten weight out there in the toe.” Why he doesn't change clubs Famously, Woods – by his own admission – isn't much of a tinkerer with his equipment (he still plays the ONE Tour D ball launched in 2009), which is why the process of testing new clubs and making any switch is longer and more in-depth than with most players. “For me it starts from Mike and the engineers almost with a clay model. I enjoy the testing process because I have had to learn to understand the little, minuscule differences of things... like how five micros can make a difference in ball flight because of the dimple pattern. All these different things that we monkey around with just change the whole dynamics. They know I like certain shapes, pear-shaped drivers for example. A lot of my success has been with a pear-shaped driver. The years I've gone away from that are the years I've struggled. I've never been one that enjoys a 460cc driver. I can feel the drag. I like it smaller.” Woods' love for smaller-headed drivers stems from his childhood, when he learned to play the game using persimmon clubs with his father overseeing his progress. “I grew up on persimmon,” he tells us. “So the ball always moved, and you always had to curve it one way or the other. The gear effect was amazing. If you hit the ball off the heel, it starts way left and then it cuts back. Hit the ball off the toe and it starts way right and then it comes back. “Playing with persimmon hones your senses, it hones your feel. You have to be so precise because if you miss by a tiny amount, it does a lot, especially with the older balls. But then, when you get to the golf balls that we've got now and you hit it with persimmon, if you start it off to the left, it doesn't cut back. “In 2000, I played at St Andrews and was playing the 9th hole. It was driveable at the time. I had the Tour Accuracy in my bag at the time and Peter Dawson came out, the head of the R&A. So I hit driver – it was downwind – and I drove it on the green. “He said: ‘Hey, why don't you hit this one?' It was an old gutta-percha ball. So I hit it, and there's two bunkers off the tee that I had never seen before and I just barely carried them. I said, “Oh s***!” “I drove it on the green with my ball, and then I hit a driver and a 4-iron with a gutta-percha ball to the same hole. I think technology has come a long way. “I've talked with Jack Nicklaus about what he did. He'll tell you that he shaped his driver and put a little more roll on the heel because when it got tight going down the stretch on the back nine, he'd ‘neck' it on purpose and hit a heel-cut. It would start down the left rough and cut back into the fairway every time. That doesn't happen now. If you try to play the same shot, it goes straight into the trees and doesn't come back.” Not all new club designs have got Woods' approval. Fads in shapes have come and gone many times in his career and it's no surprise the one that was furthest removed from traditional sticks in Woods' mind. “When they came out with the square driver, I kept missing that thing dead straight. When the wind was coming off the right and I wanted to cut it and hold it against the wind, it just went straight and I couldn't handle that.” When you consider the genuine rise in performance Woods needs to see before making a change, it's not surprising success often comes almost immediately after. One of the most significant changes was back in 2000. Woods had been using a wound ball and switched to a solid construction in the Tour Accuracy TW early that season. “I tested it and felt great about how it performed around the greens and especially in the wind. I put it in play for the first time at the Deutsche Bank event in Hamburg. Then I came back to the US and played Memorial and won, and then I had a good showing at the US Open at Pebble (he won by 15 shots) and then won the British Open (by eight shots) and the US PGA (in a play-off over Bob May). It was a nice little run... I basically won four straight Majors with that new ball. All of a sudden the wound ball was history. “I've been excited to be part of this evolutionary process with Nike, grown together, they've helped me win and I've inspired them to keep pushing.” Related articles on Today's Golfer
  14. Looks like EA Sport has decided to cut ties with Tiger Woods. http://www.ea.com/news/first-next-gen-golf-details-revealed Here's a look at the next generation of game graphics as well.
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