I hate getting dramatic when it comes to golf, but if there is one tournament that pulls at my heartstrings like no other, it’s the Open Championship. The links golf, the creativity it demands, and the history are everything I love about the game.
Now, just in case you recently woke up from a coma or have been lost on a desert island, let me catch you up to speed. It’s 2022 and we are celebrating the 150th playing of The Open Championship. Wait, it gets better… it’s being hosted at the Old Couse, in St. Andrews, Scotland! We should also note Tiger Woods at 46 years old is potentially making his last push to win the Claret Jug at “the home of golf” — if that doesn’t get you excited nothing will.
As Tiger primes for what could be a truly historic run for a third Open win at St. Andrews, there is no better time for a deep dive into the clubs he used to win his second Claret Jug in 2005 on the same course.
Nike Ignite 460cc (8.5°), with Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana Blue 83 TX
The Nike Ignite 460 marked the first time Tiger put a 460cc driver into competitive play. Up until 2005 he had only used the Ignite 410 (for 410cc) and was tinkering with a number of heavy prototype graphite driver shafts. We have to remember Tiger was one of the last PGA Tour players to use a steel-shafted driver and making the switch took a lot of time. For comparison, his 83g driver shaft in 2005 is more than 10 grams heavier than his current 3-wood shaft.
Nike Ignite T60 (15°), with Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana Blue 103 TX
Speaking of 3-woods, the Ignite T60, was one heck of a fairway wood and went into Tiger’s bag at the beginning of the 2005 season. Hard to believe now but up until this point he was still on and off using his trusty old Titleist PT.
From a technology standpoint, the Nike T60 Ignite was a traditionally-shaped fairway wood with a total of 60 grams of tungsten in the soleplate and a carpenter steel 455 face to maximize ball speed. Considering the reference to the club in the following video, and how it outperformed his previous Titleist, it’s no wonder this was his gamer.
Nike Forged Blades (2-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100
It seems normal now to think Nike made irons — and darn good ones at that, but in 2005 Nike was still very much a newcomer in the space. It was only a few years before in 2001 when David Duval won the Open Championship with a prototype set of the Nike forged blades.
From a technology and spec perspective, Tiger’s irons are pretty boring. A set of forged blades 2-iron to pitching wedge with lofts based off a 49° pitching wedge.
Nike Pro Combo Raw (56°), Nike TW (60°), with, True Temper Dynamic Gold S400
Thanks to Tiger’s preference for a weak-lofted pitching wedge, he has only ever used a two wedge setup. Much like his irons, the specs are pretty classic with S400 shafts in a 56° sand wedge and a 60° lob wedge. Just goes to show you when you have a short game as good as Tiger’s you can afford to keep it simple.
Scotty Cameron Newport 2
Hundreds of pages of digital script have been used to talk about Tiger’s famous Scotty Cameron putter, and I’d be happy to write a couple more — but for this one, I’ll leave it up to GOLF.com Managing Equipment editor Jonathan Wall to fill you in on the history: The history of Tiger Woods Scotty Cameron Putter. Although they had a short breakup, this is the exact putter he continues to use to this day.
Nike One Platinum TW
This was the post-Nike Tour Accuracy era and the Nike ONE ball came in two different versions; the Black and the Platinum — with the Platinum being a higher spinning 4-piece option. The platinum was one of the few 4-piece balls on the market and it has since been confirmed that at the time Nike’s golf balls were being produced by Bridgestone.
It would make for an interesting head-to-head test now because at the time of its introduction the One Platinum was known as one of the spiniest golf balls on the market, and Nick Faldo got into some hot water when he said on a broadcast that Tiger’s ball was 20 yards shorter than everyone else’s on Tour. This was in reference to the published results of a test conducted by TaylorMade at the time of them releasing their TP Red and Black models — and it should be noted Faldo was on TaylorMade staff at the time.
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