When Tiger Woods tees off on Thursday from the Farmers Insurance Open, he will do so using TaylorMade clubs.
On Wednesday, one day after teasing a “big announcement,” Woods announced on Twitter that he had settled upon TaylorMade as his new equipment provider. According to Golf Digest, the multiyear contract mandates that he use their driver, woods, irons, and wedges. He will likely continue using his old Scotty Cameron putter.
According to Golf Digest, Woods will work with TaylorMade engineers to design and develop a “new, personalised iron model.”
After Nike announced in August that it would no longer make clubs or balls, Woods experimented with several different brands. At the Hero World Challenge in late November, Woods used TaylorMade clubs and Bridgestone balls. He has since announced formally that he will stick with Bridgestone.
At the Hero World Challenge, Woods spoke at length about how the process of selecting new clubs revealed much to him about how quickly golf equipment technology had developed since he first started playing.
Woods grew up playing with steel irons and glued hosels (driver heads). Meanwhile, graphite shafts are more common (though not wildly popular), and driver and wood heads come equipped with dials that make them adjustable to account for variables like loft, carry, spin, fade, and draw.
Given these and other advancements, Woods has been forced to re-learn a huge part of the game of golf.
“I’m still learning this whole new adjustability of clubs,” Woods told the Golf Channel. “I mean, I’ve played glued hosels all my life. I played and beat Davis [Love III] in a playoff in ’96 when he had a persimmon driver [i.e. woods made of actual wood]. I went through all that era in the glued, now nothing is glued. Everything is adjustable. That’s a very different concept to me.”
Woods noted that even when Nike did roll out some of the new, adjustable technology, he held firm to the old-school, glued driver heads. Now he’s trying to adapt to the new advancements.
“Even when Nike came out with their adjustable hosels I still used glue hosels,” Woods said. “And so the whole fitting system of glued versus adjustable, and the weight distribution in the hosels is just different. It’s a different feel.”
By landing Woods, perhaps the greatest golfer in history, TaylorMade bolsters its already impressive roster of PGA golfers. Jason Day, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, and Dustin Johnson all use TaylorMade. Now they have a 14-time major champion.
After several months of testing and all brands to choose from, the choice is clearly @TaylorMadeGolf. Proud to join the family! -TW pic.twitter.com/Ist3bA5tqN
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) January 25, 2017
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