Why Tiger Woods is replacing a trusted club at the Genesis Invitational

tiger woods taylormade qi10 tour fairway wood

Woods wasted little time giving TaylorMade's Qi10 Tour fairway wood the nod this week.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Earlier this week at the Genesis Invitational, I asked several pros in the field to name the toughest club to replace in the bag. Although the answers varied initially, a consensus eventually emerged around one club in particular: the fairway wood.

It could be debated that no club in the bag is required to wear more hats than the fairway wood. Unless it’s meant to be a club that’s used strictly off the turf or tee, most fairway woods need to be able to do both — and hit a myriad of launch windows and shot shapes. Think of it as a Swiss Army knife.

TaylorMade Qi10 Tour Custom Fairway Wood

Introducing the Qi10 Tour fairway. Experience TaylorMade speed with Qi10 forgiveness…off the tee and off the deck. MAXIMUM ADJUSTABILITY A lower profile moveable weight system features a 50g sliding weight and a 2° loft sleeve for a wide range of flight options. Golfers can shift the weight back for higher launch and stability, center it for all-around performance or move it forward for a low-spin ball flight with maximum distance. NEW INFINITY CARBON CROWN An Infinity Crown provides a clean, uninterrupted view at address while also optimizing performance.
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Tiger Woods would’ve been a perfect example of someone who relied heavily on older model fairway woods before his arrival this week at Riviera Country Club. His TaylorMade SIM Ti 3-wood was released four years ago; the M3 5-wood dates back to 2018. Both are considered “old” by today’s Tour standards.

But even 15-time major winners playing older fairway woods find replacements for trusted gear companions.

In Woods’ case, he confirmed during Wednesday’s pre-tournament press conference that his 15-degree TaylorMade SIM Ti will be replaced by a Qi10 Tour — with the same loft — that’s easier to draw and boasts a 50-gram sliding weight in the sole. For someone who likes to shape the ball more than his colleagues, having a reliable draw shot in the bag is incredibly important.

tiger woods taylormade qi10 tour fairway wood
A face-on look at Woods’ TaylorMade Qi10 Tour fairway wood. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

“The [Qi10 Tour] 3-wood is in play,” Woods said. “I feel very comfortable with the 3-wood. I had to find the right shaft for it and decided to switch the shafts and go with what I have on my driver. My 5-wood is different, it’s old, a little beat up, but it still works. But the 3-wood, I wanted to find something I could draw a little bit better and this one is definitely that.”

Regarding the shaft change Woods mentioned, he’s going from Mitsubishi’s Diamana D+ 70TX into a Graphite Design Tour AD VF 7X. The VF was a new addition to Woods’ Qi10 LS driver at the Hero World Challenge, and he appears intent on using the same low-launch profile in the 3-wood as well. A Diamana D+ 80TX was still affixed to the 5-wood on Wednesday, so this isn’t an across-the-board shaft change. (It’s important to note Woods is also switching to the ‘24 Bridgestone Tour B X golf ball.)

tiger woods graphite design vf shaft
Woods’ fairway wood has the same Graphite Design Tour AD VF shaft he’s currently using in the driver Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Woods spent the last few days on the course getting familiar with Qi10 Tour, hitting multiple balls off the tee with the fairway wood to better understand how it might fit in his plan to attack Riviera. The shots he executed looked crisp and consistent, but as Woods will tell you, practice rounds and tournament rounds are two different beasts.

For the moment, it’s earned a spot in the bag as the 1B option to the driver. The only thing left to do is see how it performs in a game situation.

We won’t have to wait long to find out.

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Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at jonathan.wall@golf.com.