Every equipment change Tiger Woods has made over the course of his career has been thrown under a microscope and hyper-analyzed. That’s part of the gig when you happen to be the most recognizable golfer on the planet.
With all eyes on Woods every week, it’s not often an equipment change goes unnoticed. But every so often, one tweak slips through the cracks, as was the case with Woods’ recent driver and 3-wood shaft change.
Woods went back to Mitsubishi Chemical’s Diamana D+ White Board shaft in his driver, 3-wood and 5-wood at the 2018 Northern Trust Open following a six-month run with the company’s Tensei CK Pro Orange.
For Woods, past history with Diamana played a part in the decision to switch. During the 2014 season, Woods used the White Board profile before moving on to Diamana Blue Board, Matrix TP7HDe, Tensei CK Pro White and Tensei CK Pro Orange.
“It’s a feeling that I know and I used to use it for a number of years,” Woods said of the shaft. “I know the graphics have changed a little bit but it’s basically the same shaft. Went back to something that I knew and had success with, and it’s turned out pretty good.”
At the time Woods made the switch, his driver shaft was at 73 grams, with his 3- and 5-wood coming in at 83 grams.
The shaft weights remained the same until this year’s Players Championship, where Woods opted for a lighter 64-gram Diamana in his driver and 73-gram profile in his 3-wood (the same weight he previously used in his driver).
So what’s behind Woods’ decision to go lighter with driver (73 to 64 grams) and 3-wood (83 to 73 grams) shafts? The stats tell an interesting story. Woods’ measured club head speed on the PGA Tour has gone from 120.24 mph (2018) to 118.40 mph (2019) — a decrease of almost two miles per hour over the last year.
The sample size for this season is small (only four tournaments), but Woods is likely going lighter in an effort to pick up some speed at the top of his bag. A lighter shaft also doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to maintain back health.
Before the Players Championship, Woods last used in a sub-70 gram driver shaft in 2015 with Matrix’s (now known at LA Golf) TP6HDe that weighed 65 grams.