SAN DIEGO, Calif. — On Tuesday before the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, I had the pleasure of taking in-hand photos of Tiger Woods’ golf clubs. While I have taken photos of his equipment before, I made sure to pay extra close attention this time to the smaller details.
Here are 7 things I noticed about Woods’ new equipment:
Sure, the George Low Sportsman Wizard 600 putter that Jack Nicklaus used to win 15 of 18 majors is well known among gear heads, but Woods’ Scotty Cameron Newport 2 is easily the most famous putter of all time. Even golf fans who don’t know anything about equipment recognize the Elder Wand.
It probably needs fresh red paintfill, but that doesn’t matter. This putter would still go for a mind-numbing amount of money at auction. Of course, Woods would never let it go after winning 14 of 15 majors with it, but I can’t help but wonder how many millions it’s worth.
It’s not uncommon to see “dimed out” wear marks on iron faces. Even skilled amateur golfers who practice a lot see wear marks on the center of their irons. But on a putter?!
After more than two decades with this putter, and given how much Woods practices on the greens, he’s probably holed more than 1.5 million putts using this particular putter. Judging by the wear mark, he hit the center of the face on most of those strokes.
Woods has an uncanny ability to notice the smallest of changes in his golf clubs. When he finds something that works, he sticks with it. He grew up using a Ping Anser 2 putter, and although he’s since changed into a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 model putter, he’s kept the same grip style. There’s plenty of grips available on the market should Woods ever feel the need to change, but at this point, why would he?
As Woods told GOLF.com last year, he enjoys TaylorMade’s Milled Grind wedges because they allow him to change wedges out more often and trust that he’s getting precisely the same build each time. He’s now using TaylorMade’s Milled Grind 2 wedges, and they have a custom “TW” grind that’s not currently available at retail. As you can see on his sand wedge, the TW grind has significant leading edge and trailing edge relief for enhanced versatility.
I swear, it was like this before I picked it up! Woods used a TaylorMade M5 to win both the Masters and Zozo Championship in 2019. As he said on Tuesday in a press conference, he has trust in the driver because he’s comfortable working it both ways. If he ends up using the TaylorMade M5 at Torrey Pines, instead of switching to the new SIM technology, it will be interesting to see if he continues to use this particular driver with a scratch on the crown.
Woods has been testing a new 9-degree TaylorMade SIM driver, and he told the press on Tuesday that he’s seeing more speed with it. If the driver is 9 degrees, why does it have a sticker that says 12 on it?
According to a TaylorMade rep, the sticker is likely there to differentiate the head between the many different SIM heads he’s tried. For someone who hits it so high, 12 degrees would be way too much loft for Woods.
TaylorMade has a three SIM fairway models, including the SIM Titanium and the SIM Max. It’s interesting to see that Woods has seemed to choose the SIM Max, which has a slightly larger profile than the SIM Titanium. Also, he’s chosen to go with TaylorMade’s strongest loft option, named “Rocket 3,” which measures just 14 degrees.
Click here to see all of the clubs in Woods’ bag ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
To hear more gear insights from Jonathan Wall and True Spec’s Tim Briand, subscribe and listen each week to GOLF’s Fully Equipped podcast: iTunes | SoundCloud | Spotify | Stitcher