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Tiger says he played a Bridgestone golf ball for “a number of years”

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File Tiger Woods confirming a long-time industry rumor under things you didn’t expect to happen at the beginning of 2017.

In what could mostly be described as a State of the Union, Tiger Woods posted a 1,500-word blog post to his website on Thursday where he discussed a wide range of topics, including battling the flu over Thanksgiving, playing golf with Donald Trump, his performance at the Hero World Challenge, golf course design philosophy, and even his take on injuries in the NFL.

Read the post in its entirety here.

But for GolfWRXers, the most interesting insights came from his discussions about equipment.

Along with saying he’s still tinkering with “ball-wood” combinations — he played a TaylorMade M2 driver and TaylorMade M1 fairway woods at the Hero — Woods also implied that he used to play a Nike golf ball that was made by Bridgestone.

“What people don’t realize is that Bridgestone made the Nike golf ball for a number of years,” Woods said. “It’s a great ball and making the switch wasn’t that hard.”

As the face of Nike golf for years, this confirms the hunches that those in the know in the golf industry (here’s a forum thread from 2008 discussing the topic) had about Nike golf balls; at least during the company’s early days in the golf ball market. This certainly could explain Woods’ new golf ball deal with Bridgestone, and his decision to put the B330S golf ball into play for his return to competitive golf.

Of course, Nike isn’t the first golf equipment company to outsource the production of golf balls. But it’s interesting that Woods chose to publicize that information.

Woods has also confirmed that he’ll be playing in the Farmers Insurance Open, the Honda Classic, the Genesis Open and the Dubai Desert Classic, and we’ll be closely following his equipment changes throughout the season.

Related: Tiger Woods WITB 2017

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. JR

    Jan 25, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    So Tiger “played a Bridgestone ball for a number of years”? No wonder he’s off his game. I usually only play the same ball for a couple of rounds.

  2. Rich Douglas

    Jan 8, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Here’s a crazy idea: play the equipment that is best for you regardless of celebrity endorsement. If a player influences you away from what’s best for you then you’re more interested in identity over playing your best golf.

  3. Chuck

    Jan 7, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t think it is true for Tiger to say that he’s been playing Bridgestone balls “for years,” any more than it was true for Tiger to say that all of his Nike equipment was chosen by him because it was the best, and he could play anything he wanted if it performed for him.

    In a matter of weeks after being relieved of a contractual duty to promote Nike equipment, he’s gone back to his old Cameron putter and 2016 TM M-series woods. Tiger had an all-Nike bag, because that is what he was paid for.

    If a golf ball is designed and formulated by Rock Iishi, working for Nike, and gets manufactured under a contract with Bridgestone, and is otherwise unlike any other marketed Bridgestone ball, it’s cute (and clever, in a Tiger Woods-deceptive sort of way) but it’s not a Bridgestone ball.

    • St

      Jan 7, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      But that’s not what he’s saying. So why don’t u have a nice cup of STFU

      • Chuck

        Jan 8, 2017 at 1:06 am

        To be precise, THIS is what Tiger’s blog post stated:

        “I’m still testing clubs and trying to find the best ball-wood combo. What people don’t realize is that Bridgestone made the Nike golf ball for a number of years. It’s a great ball and making the switch wasn’t that hard. I’m really excited to join the Bridgestone team. For now, I’ll probably stick with some of my old Nike equipment, and use my Scotty Cameron putter. I’m also proud to be working with Monster and look forward to the things we’ll do together.”

        Okay. So “for a number of years,” Bridgestone manufactured the Nike golf ball. Of course they did. Rock Ishii came to Nike directly from Bridgestone. Nike was starting from zero in golf ball manufacture. I don’t doubt — never doubted — the truth of that.

        But then there is all of the talk about very, very special balls formulated specifically for Tiger by Nike/Ishii for basically all of the time since the Nike One came into being.

        http://www.si.com/vault/2005/03/28/8256146/#

        So…
        a) Was Tiger bs-ing for the sake of his big sponsor, when he was claiming that he could play any equipment he wanted, but Nike’s was all the best? And that for the last 15 years or so, his Nike golf balls have been carefully designed and tuned by Rock Ishii and the Nike staff? Or;

        b) Is Tiger bs-ing for the sake of his new big sponsor, when he claims that his Nike golf balls were really Bridgestones? Or;

        c) Is Tiger perpetually clever with his words, always helping out his sponsor of the moment and saying whatever he can get away with, with plausible deniability, to say something that sounds remarkably clever and informative in favor of the sponsor of the moment? Or;

        d) All of the above.

  4. 1badbadger

    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    He’s not a fraud and didn’t lie about what golf ball he was playing…Nike outsources all their products. They don’t make anything…not even athletic shoes. They are a marketing company. They don’t own any production facilities. They did have a team that DESIGNED their golf balls, and Bridgestone simply MANUFACTURED them to their specs. Nike balls, just made in Bridgestone’s plant.

  5. Chunkiebuck

    Jan 6, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I’ll alert the media.

  6. TIm

    Jan 6, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Gee Maxfli, Dunlop Slazanger and some Wilson balls were all made in the same plant back in the 80’s 90’s….right here in the good old USA. John Daly played a Dunlop ball made in South Carolina for awhile and won with it in San Diego. Locco Pro urethane cover ball..then Addis (Taylormade) took over the plant and Dunlop and Slazanger sold off their names (DICK’S SPORTING GOODS) for use in USA. They kept Maxfli a short time then sold that off to Dick’s.

  7. Swizzle

    Jan 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Everyone wants to sound like the know more than the last guy. Like many of you I was aware of all this in early 2000’s. Seems it was a slow day at work for a lot of you!

  8. mikee

    Jan 6, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Just like Nike ice hockey skates…..Sergei Federov (at that time with the Detroit Redwings) was the “face” of Nike skates. He was using “rebranded” Bauer skates.

  9. Dave R

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Folks it’s a golf ball that’s all. Relax move on .

  10. MrPoopoo

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Speaking of golf balls… is anybody on Tour rocking the Kirkland Signature balls? That would be hilarious.

    • Bandrz

      Jan 6, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Yes, but they are known as Taylormade balls on Tour. Same factory.

      • TIm

        Jan 6, 2017 at 8:28 pm

        disagree, to the point it would not be the Taylormade tour balls they are made in South Carolina. Maybe the lower end Taylormade balls…

  11. birdie

    Jan 6, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    how or why? just because a ball is made by bridgestone doesn’t mean they performed exactly the same. there were intended differences.

    many companies design, engineer, and create product and use a competitor to actually manufacturer it. this isn’t new.

  12. Tazz2293

    Jan 6, 2017 at 9:58 am

    All the woods worshipers who played Nike were lied to by woods and got hornswoggled by Nike.

    • Dj

      Jan 6, 2017 at 11:26 am

      All of those “woods worshippers” people were also playing Bridgestone balls. Everyone here knows that Bridgestone made Nike’s initial balls until they started with RZN

  13. Bert

    Jan 6, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I think what is being said is players deceive golf fans with their endorsements. Endorsing a product knowingly it is really something else is deception in the name of making money. When a golfer takes such action they are not creditable. So take the head-cover off and let the golf fan, who’s really supporting you, know the equipment you actually play.

    • Orangeology

      Jan 6, 2017 at 10:35 am

      only if that deception—you called—was for a specific player’s equipment ‘only’. if the entire brand had a manufacturing deal with another company—where’s the case in between Nike & Bridgestone in the earlier days—then it’s different story, we guess?

    • Dj

      Jan 6, 2017 at 11:29 am

      The golf fans who bought Nike balls prior to their RZN tech were also buying Bridgestone manufactured balls. It wasn’t just tiger. Bridgestone manufactured all of Nike’s balls at retail, not just tigers

  14. Wayne J Bosley

    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    They were not the only company making balls for Nike and had stopped doing so a few years ago ,,,, I feel sorry for the other two companies that were doing a good job supplying in recent years that have had their Nike business evaporate without much notice.

    • Shallowface

      Jan 6, 2017 at 9:05 am

      Who were those “other two companies?”

    • 1badbadger

      Jan 7, 2017 at 12:01 am

      Initially, Bridgestone made all of Nike’s golf ball models. After a few years, they did start using other companies as well, but Bridgestone continued to manufacture some of their models.

  15. cgasucks

    Jan 5, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Earl was no saint either. He cheated on Tilda and there are rumors of Earl bringing in hookers to Tiger’s childhood home in California.

    • eric

      Jan 6, 2017 at 9:40 am

      i love the internet. a comment thread about a golf ball turns into claims about tiger’s dad and hookers.

      • Boobsy McKiss

        Jan 6, 2017 at 12:16 pm

        Seriously. Some fools wait for any chance they can get to rip on tiger, probably trying in vein to subconsciously fill that empty void they have in their life. Like he’s the only professional golfer, athlete, or famous figure who ever cheated on their spouse. ROFL.

        • TIm

          Jan 6, 2017 at 8:32 pm

          Pretty simple this is a Golf site and Tiger Woods is the Best to ever play the game, not even close…so why not take shots at someone who plays the game you love better then you ever dreamed possible…

  16. Scott

    Jan 5, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Makes sense. I have never liked either ball.

  17. LOL

    Jan 5, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Why are you so angry, did he bang your aunt, mom, sister?

  18. Phil

    Jan 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    When will Tiger admit that his “Nike” irons were made by Miura?

    • Barry

      Jan 5, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Probably around the same time he puts a new set in the bag

    • R0B

      Jan 5, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      +1
      (you beat me to it)

    • Dj

      Jan 6, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Tigers Nike irons were never touched by Miura, genius

    • 1badbadger

      Jan 7, 2017 at 12:27 am

      In all fairness, none of the major OEMs own their own forging plant. Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, Bridgestone, Srixon, etc all use factories overseas to produce their forgings.

  19. Dj

    Jan 5, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    This has been confirmed numerous times by Nike golf themselves so not sure how it’s considered a rumor

    • Eddie

      Jan 5, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      I think it was pretty widely known back when Nike first got in the golf ball business back when Bridgestone’s golf stuff was called Precept.

    • cgasucks

      Jan 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      I knew that when I started playing golf in 2000. It is well known that Bridgestone made Nike balls for a long time.

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Equipment

Wilson Staff Cortex wins “Driver vs. Driver 2” (in-hand photos)

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Designed by show contestant Evan Hoffman of San Diego, California, the Wilson Staff Cortex is the winning driver design of the second season of Driver vs. Driver.

The titanium-bodied Cortex features carbon panels and a sliding adjustable weight system.

Additional Cortex features

Fast Cage Technology — The company describes this as, a “weight-tuned titanium internal structure with an impressive 44% of its surface area covered in Carbon Fiber Panels. This Ti –Carbon construction allows for extremely precise distribution of weight and frees up additional weight for maximum adjustability.”

Wilson’s longest ever Slide Track — An eight gram sliding adjustable weight is positioned in the center of the head. Additionally interchangeable two and eight-gram weights can be adjusted on the sole and heel of the club.

Fast Fit Technology hosel system — Players have six adjustable options to dial in the loft of the driver in half-degree increments.

A Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec shaft — red, blue, or black — is standard.

“Season Two of the show yielded two amazing finalists; the Cortex and the Rozwell,”
said Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf. “Ulimately, the Cortex came out on top with
its clean, classic shape, overall consistent performance results from a wide range of
player testers, and steady sound across the entire face of the club. We are excited to get
this driver into the hands of players at all levels of the game.”

Hoffman presented his original concept to Wilson LABS, and the engineers chose if from hundreds of submissions. After a nearly two-year process of refining, Hoffman is the winner of a $250,000 grand prize and the inclusion of his creation in the Wilson Staff Line.

The Wilson Staff Cortex will retail for $499.99 and will be available in 9-, 10.5-, and 12-degree models.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Softest, most forgiving players cavity irons?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from moorebaseball, who asks fellow GolfWRX members for their recommendations on soft and forgiving players cavity irons. A whole host of different irons get a mention in the thread, with Mizuno’s cavity irons proving to be one of the most popular choices amongst our members.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • jimb: “I haven’t hit anything better feeling than the 2013 Callaway X-Forged.”
  • deep18: “As others have said, JPX919 Tour. Players look but according to Mizuno’s data, slightly more forgiving than the AP3 and almost as forgiving as the MMC.”
  • elwhippy: “Mizuno will be the softest. Srixon a close second. I imagine the TM will be most forgiving. AP2s are very blade like in their performance. P760 goes very high and straight with DG 105 and 120 shafts.”
  • 300_Straight: “Wilson V6 Tour is also a great feeling iron from what I’ve heard. Never personally tested it, though. Any Srixon 7 or 9 series irons are very soft, as are most Mizunos, Callaway X Forged, etc.”

Entire Thread: “Softest, most forgiving players cavity irons?”

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Callaway launches new Big Bertha Irons and Hybrids

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Callaway has today announced the introduction of its new Big Bertha Irons and hybrids, which feature a thinner club face and optimized center of gravity, designed to provide easier launch and greater distance.

Big Bertha Irons

Following on from the 2016 Big Bertha OS Irons line, which showcased Callaway’s EXO-Cage technology, these new Big Bertha irons will feature the company’s brand new Suspended Energy Core. The Suspended Energy Core features a Metal Injection Molded (MIM’d) Tungsten Floating Weight suspended within a urethane microsphere material to create a deeper center of gravity. According to Callaway, this yields easy launch, longer, and more consistent golf shots.

The Big Bertha Irons will also feature Callaway’s 360 Face Cup, which employs a flexible rim around the face that flexes and releases at impact — this aims to increase ball speed. Owing to the new Suspended Energy Core, this will be Callaway’s thinnest face cup yet, which the company says results in increased ball speeds.

Callaway’s new Big Bertha Irons will be available with Recoil ESX, Recoil ZT9, and KBS Max 90 shafts. The irons hit the shelves on Jan. 18 and will cost $1,200 in steel and $1,300 in graphite.

Big Bertha Hybrids

The new Big Bertha Hybrids will feature Jailbreak Technology, which Callaway first introduced in 2017 with the Epic line. The technology, which was created with the aim of promoting faster ball speed and greater distance, incorporates two internal bars that stiffen the body, placing more impact load on the face. It proved to be a very popular addition from Callaway, and in their new Big Bertha Hybrids, the company have combined this technology with a new shorter and lighter OptiFit Hosel System designed to optimize the center of gravity for an easier launch and a higher, long-carrying flight.

The new hybrids from Callaway also feature an ultra-thin, Carpenter 455 steel face and Hyper Speed Face Cup, with the combination designed to create optimum ballspeed across the face.

The Big Bertha Hybrids will be available in both premium Recoil ESX and ZT9 Shafts, and they will be in stores on Jan. 18 for $269.99 each.

A special thanks to our Brian Knudson for braving the chill and doing his best to find a few blades of green grass for the outdoor, in-hand photos readers prefer.

 

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