TULSA, Okla. — The last time Tiger Woods strolled the fairways at Southern Hills was during the 2007 PGA Championship, when he loaded up on long irons to beat back the oppressive heat and depart with the Wanamaker Trophy.
Based on the gear setup Woods rolled into town with on Monday, he might be embracing a similar approach.
In place of the 5-wood he typically carries, Woods had a TaylorMade P770 2-iron to go alongside a P770 3-iron that would replace a P7TW blade. With the wind expected to be a factor this week at Southern Hills, Woods likely views the long irons as the prudent play off the tee on a course that, as he said on Tuesday, “still puts a premium in putting the ball in play.”
It’s important to note that while Woods rarely deviates from the equipment script — he still plays traditional entirely through the bag most weeks — he’s embraced more forgiving options at the top of the set in recent years, including a P790 UDI at the 2019 Open Championship and older model UDI in previous years.
Compared to Woods’ P7TW muscleback blade, the P770 offers a significant uptick in ball speed and forgiveness in a relatively compact head profile. Both clubs were equipped with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Mid X100 shaft — a new addition to True Temper’s lineup introduced earlier this year at Torrey Pines.
From a launch standpoint, the Mid version generates roughly 10-15 feet of additional peak height at the same weight (130 grams) as the original Dynamic Gold Tour Issue in Woods’ irons. But instead of stripping weight from the shaft to move the launch window higher, the midsection was reinforced and the taper rate changed in the tip section to achieve the stated goal.
While the shaft is designed to induce a higher launch, Woods spent extra time on the practice range on Tuesday working through a myriad of different launch windows with both long irons. Woods would hit several towering shots with the 3-iron before switching over to the 2-iron for a piercing stinger.
Then he’d switch up the launch windows on the next go-around.
Based on the extended range session with the long irons, it’s apparent Woods is ready to put the new clubs to work at Southern Hills.
The gear blueprint worked the last time Woods was at Southern Hills. He’s hoping for a repeat 15 years later.
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