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Report: Tiger to use Bridgestone B330S golf ball, Monster Energy golf bag

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All eyes will be on Tiger Woods this week in the Bahamas, where the 14-time major champion will make his return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge. Speculation is rampant about how Woods will play, and also what he will play given Nike’s decision to shutter its golf equipment business in August, making the most famous golfer in the world an equipment free agent.

Woods has had months to test the latest gear, but it’s still not clear if even he is certain what he will use come Thursday. Based on reports, the smart money is on Woods using TaylorMade woods (driver, 3 wood and 5 wood), Nike irons (3-PW), Nike wedges (56 and 60) and the Scotty Cameron putter he trusted for 13 of his 14 major championship wins. We’ll wait to confirm those changes until we arrive at Albany later in the week.

There are two switches, however, that are appear to be locks this week.

The first is Tiger’s decision to use Bridgestone’s B330S golf ball, reported by Steve DiMeglio of USA Today. Woods was previously using Nike’s RZN Black golf ball.

Bridgestone's B330S golf balls sell for $44.99 per dozen.

Bridgestone’s B330S golf balls sell for $44.99 per dozen.

The B330S, also used by Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau, is one of two Bridgestone golf ball models played on the PGA Tour. It’s a four-piece design that has a slightly higher-spinning construction than Bridgestone’s B330, which is played by Brandt Snedeker.

The other change is Woods’ golf bag itself, which according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell will be branded with a Monster Energy Drink logo.

While it’s hard to imagine Woods chugging Monsters on the course, energy drink endorsements are nothing new to professional golf. Rickie Fowler, arguably the most well-known golfer outside the sport after Woods, has an endorsement with Red Bull. Jim Furyk has also been an endorser of 5-Hour Energy since 2012.

Related: See the clubs Woods in 2015

Woods has had six previous bag sponsors: Titleist, Buick, AT&T, Nike, Fuse Science and MusclePharm. MusclePharm was the latest, and disclosed in SEC filings that it paid Woods $7 million to carry the bag for two years, and paid the golfer an additional $2.5 million to terminate the deal in May.

According to Woods’ website, the golfer’s current sponsors include Nike, Hero, Kowa, Upper Deck, Rolex and a partnership with the PGA Tour.

Join the discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Woods’ equipment changes in our forum.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Sean

    Nov 29, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    No surprise. Bridgestone manufactured the Nike golf balls.

    • David Labbe

      Nov 30, 2016 at 8:18 am

      They were made in the same plant and Bridgestone had nothing to do with the design of the ball itself. Both companies have their own R&D department. This is very typical for not just golf balls but many products in many industries.

      • Ryan Butryn

        Nov 30, 2016 at 12:23 pm

        I understand what you are saying, but I think he was trying to say that Tiger has been perticularly picky about the ball he uses. So picky that most of the time, his ball never makes on to store shelves because a ball that spins that mich isn’t very marketable. So, since Bridgestone manufactured balls for Nike, Bridgestone knows the exact specifications of the ball Tiger uses. So now, Toger is using the same ball he has used for a while but now with a Bridgestone logo slapped on the side. It’s a win win for both sides, Tiger gets the ball he wants and Bridgestone gets great marketing.

  2. Matt

    Nov 29, 2016 at 9:16 am

    LOL! Perfect! Go Tiger!!!!

  3. Taylor

    Nov 28, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Laddie.

  4. TM SOLD

    Nov 28, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    TIGER, JASON DAY, & 3 BACKERS ARE BUYING TM.

    • Tony Lynam

      Nov 29, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Bad time to be buying a golf equipment company. The amount of your own money that goes into it can destroy your wealth.

  5. HoselRockets INC

    Nov 28, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Hardly surprising. Fred Couples would have nudged him to this ball.. And its a putters ball for sure too..

  6. jlukes

    Nov 28, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Golf Channel keeps showing a graphic that has Tiger playing the Bridgestone RX – that can’t be right, can it?

  7. setter02

    Nov 28, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Hopefully the older version in the One Tour D era. Last time Nike made a good ball and was the best 330s’.

  8. HennyBogan67

    Nov 28, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    If he quits on the front 9 on Friday, Bridgestone will be blamed.

  9. Jack Nash

    Nov 28, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I heard years ago that Tiger was using a Bridgestone ball with a Nike swoosh on it. He was on the range with Couples at the time and hit some and liked the feel. Nike didn’t have anything like it at the time, so this was an interim fix.

    • Moretti

      Nov 28, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Bridgestone made Nike golf balls for a number of years. Nike hired Bridgestone’s head golf ball engineer when they started making the balls themselves.

  10. Real Logo

    Nov 28, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    He’s just going back to the ball that won him all those majors. At least now he doesn’t have to hide the logo with a Nike one lol

  11. Hook Whisperer

    Nov 28, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Great ball around the green and off the tee.

  12. Uhit

    Nov 28, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    The picture shows the old 2014 version of the B330S…
    …I thought all the mentioned players use the 2016 version – no?

    • Uhit

      Nov 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you – now, the picture is showing the 2016 version…

  13. Dave R

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    OUCH. The trunk

  14. Andy C

    Nov 28, 2016 at 11:59 am

    He should try to use Costco’s Kirkland’s balls. 🙂

    At least he can return the balls, if he is not completely satisfied with the performance (i.e. not winning the tourney)

  15. ooffa

    Nov 28, 2016 at 11:42 am

    They will look great in his trunk after the withdraw.

    • drkviolet

      Nov 28, 2016 at 11:48 am

      oooooh good one

    • Branson Reynolds

      Nov 28, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      And we’ll get a good view of it since 100 reporters will follow him to his car

    • Jamie

      Nov 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      you love this joke.

    • Tony Lynam

      Nov 29, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Yeah, but he gets them for free and free is good. But you and I will always be paying for our golf balls.

  16. Branson Reynolds

    Nov 28, 2016 at 11:05 am

    WITB is such a better topic when players have unique input. So boring when a WITB has the player gaming the latest equip from the sponsoring mfgr, Kevin Na style

  17. drkviolet

    Nov 28, 2016 at 10:19 am

    first

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo

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In 100 Words

The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.

It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.

The Full Review

The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.

The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.

As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.

Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

Using the Mevo

When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.

Testing the Mevo

I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.

The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017.  The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”

As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.

Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.

Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.

Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).

As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.

The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.

When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.

Conclusion

The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.

This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.

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Sergio Garcia WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/20/2018).

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage Dual Core 70TX

3 Wood: Callaway Rogue 3+ (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 80TX

5 Wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 80TX

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro 16 (3, 4), Callaway Apex MB 18 (5-9 iron)
Shafts: Nippon Modus Tour 130x

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (48-10S, 54-10S, 58-08C)
Shafts: Nippon Modus Tour 130x

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Azalea
Grip: Super Stroke 1.0 SGP

Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Garcia’s clubs.

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Gary Woodland WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/19/2018).

Driver: TaylorMade M3 440 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Acra Tour-Z RPG

Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M2 2017 (15 degrees)
Shafts: Accra Tour-Zx 4100

Driving Iron: Titleist 716 T-MB (2)
Shaft: KBS Tour C-Taper 130 X

Irons: Titleist 716 MB (4-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper Limited Edition Black PVD 130 X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (48-10F, 52-08F, 56-10S), Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind (60-10)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper Limited X (48), KBS Hi-Rev Black PVD S-Flex (52, 56, 60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T 009
Grip: Scotty Cameron Pistol

Golf Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Woodland’s clubs. 

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