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19th Hole

10 insights from an account of a Tiger Woods equipment testing session

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Oh to be a fly buzzing around Medalist’s driving range for a Tiger Woods equipment testing session! Golf Digest’s longtime equipment scribe, E. Michael Johnson had that honor, and he filed a treasure-laden report for GD.

If only we could have been along for the cart ride! But alas, we’re left not with FOMO, but rather, SAHMO: sadness at having missed out.

Needless to say, you’ll want to read the full piece. However, we’ve pulled 10 insights from the article that will be of particular interest to GolfWRX members.

1. Tiger Woods has played the same iron specs since he was a kid

2. Woods has also tested equipment in much the same manner for his whole career

3. TaylorMade is developing a TW prototype muscle back iron

…and Mike Taylor, who worked on Woods’ irons at Nike, is helping with the effort.

4. At one point, he said this about the prototype 6-iron

“The look is sweet, but the window is different. But it feels great going through the ground; feels fantastic. Everything is right, we just need to bring that flight down.”

5. Tiger’s preferred iron profile is…

Woods likes “an iron with a longer blade length, thin sole and slightly squared off toe,” according to Johnson.

6.  He’s all about “how the ball flies”

In 2003 Woods told Johnson, “I’m all about how the ball flies, how it looks shortly after it leaves the club…If I look up and don’t see the ball right there—I mean, right where I expect it to be—then we have a serious, serious problem.”

7. “Cheating” with Trackman doesn’t give the full picture, according to Tiger

“It’s nice that we can cheat out here and use Trackman, but ultimately I need to see how it fits on the course,” said Woods. “Can it hit a low cut, can it hit a low draw? I want to ride the wind. I want to challenge this corner. I want to take it over that bunker. Things of that nature.” 

“For instance, right before the Hero, I had a 3-wood I was using last year before I stopped playing. On the range I hit it fantastic. On the course, I couldn’t hit it. It had too much toe droop right before impact. When I tried to turn it over, I’d hit this toe-pop-up. The golf course showed that. I had to hit golf shots. It’s not just about making it look good [on the range].”

8. Tiger was hitting drivers incredibly well

Johnson writes, “His launch conditions habitually included ball speeds of 180 miles per hour, spin rates in the 2,200 to 2,400 range with launch angle between 11 and 13 degrees…His carry distance routinely reached 315 yards.”

9. Tiger knows if a driver will work for him before he swings it

Johnson writes, “As with his irons, look with the driver is vitally important to the 14-time major champion. “I know when I’m waggling it,” he said. “If I feel it matches up to me, then it frees up my swing.”

10. The driver that he seemed to like the most was a 9-degree M3 440

Needless to say this only takes us a few steps into the goldmine that is any first-hand account of a Tiger Woods’ equipment testing session. You should absolutely head on over to Golf Digest and read Johnson’s piece to journey deeper.

 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Sean

    Jan 8, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    why even bother posting a word for word copy from golf digest. stfu

  2. RG

    Jan 4, 2018 at 4:57 am

    Eldrick!!! You have equipment that is working RIGHT NOW! Leave it alone!! That is all…

  3. CB

    Jan 3, 2018 at 3:10 am

    Eldrick is an idiot if he is thinking about playing the M3 440 9 degree. He needs to stick to forgiving clubs that finds fairways, not a hammer that he can bash left and right even though that’s how he wants to swing. I thought he went to see some shrinks to shrink his ego? I guess it didn’t work

  4. OB

    Jan 2, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    “… I had a 3-wood I was using last year before I stopped playing. On the range I hit it fantastic. On the course, I couldn’t hit it. It had too much toe droop right before impact. When I tried to turn it over, I’d hit this toe-pop-up.”
    ——————
    If the shaft tip had too much “toe droop” why not stiffen up the shaft tip? That’s the correct solution, not blaming it on the 3-wood driver head.

  5. Joel R

    Jan 2, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Was he testing shafts too?

  6. jack

    Jan 2, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    amazingly he just happens to love the new M3 … MARKETING $$$$$$$ ..that’s all this article was about…

    • OB

      Jan 2, 2018 at 9:40 pm

      …. particularly if your take is 10% for each M3 driver !!!!!

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19th Hole

Is this the worst “my clubs were stolen” story ever?

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Tom Owen. Remember the name, because this unfortunate gentleman may have the worst tale of club theft in recent memory.

Now, the experience of having one’s bag pilfered, never to be seen again, is awful. Your clubs are simply gone, and you have no idea who took them and where they went. Tom Owen had the first part of that experience, however, he knows exactly where his clubs are…and he can’t (legally) do anything about it.

Therese Henkin New Zealand’s Howick & Pakuranga Times originally reported the story.

Mr. Owen’s bag, with its thousands of dollars of equipment and his cell phone, was lifted December 15th from Howick Golf Course at Musick Point, New Zealand.

“They took everything, all my clubs, my bag, trundle, golf balls and my mobile phone which was tucked away inside the bag,” he told the paper.

However, as this is the 21st century, Owen was able to track his phone (which was in his golf bag) to a nearby residential address on Pigeon Mountain Road.

Presumably overjoyed, he called the police to report the theft and the location of his stolen property. One can only imagine his despair when he was told the authorities would be unable to lawfully search the premises and thus could not recover his clubs.

After reporting the incident, Owen was surprised to learn that police were not able to search the premises for the goods.

A police spokesperson explained.

“While we understand people may think police can use the tracking system people use on their phones and then send a patrol car to retrieve the property, under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, police officers do not have the authority to enter a premise based off a locater app on a missing phone. If police resources are available and the technology can pin-point a specific address such as a household, Police are able to knock on the door and make enquiries, but not enter.”

Obviously, Owen isn’t a fan of the law, and he thinks it puts victims in a bad position. He’s right: Knowing the authorities can’t do anything, but knowing where your stolen phone, etc, is, do you risk your life taking the law into your own hands?

“It’s very frustrating to know where your stolen items are and not have anyone do anything about it. If police really can’t act on the information you give them, then something needs to change.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does this make any sense? Do you join Owen in calling for a rewriting of the law?

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson’s pursuit of average driving, Phil being Phil, and plenty more Mickelsonia from the wires today

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Phil Mickelson. We tend to forget the left-hander remains a divisive, swashbuckling figure as he settles into the home stretch of his PGA Tour career. We pretend that his outrageous risk-taking-masquerading-as-cool-calculation approach to the game is somehow something other than an affront to the plodding, conservative way the game was “meant to be played.” Phil Mickelson: Even those who can’t stand him have to be deeply intrigued by Mickelson the Man and Mickelson the Golfer. How can you not be fascinated? How can you not be frustrated?

The 47-year-old begins his season at the CareerBuilder Challenge this week seeking his first victory since the 2013 British Open. Thus, it’s not surprising to see a rash of Mickelson-related pieces populating the golf newswire today.

Here are a few morsels. Per Cameron Morfit of PGATour.com, Mickelson is pursuing “average” driving this year. The left-hander has historically struggled with the big stick and placed outside the top 100 in strokes gained: off-the-tee last season,

Here’s what Mickelson said about his pursuit of mediocrity off the tee.

“What’s funny is when you’re good at something, chipping, putting, wedges, distance control, all that stuff, it’s easy. It takes me a day or two of practice to get back to kind of an elite level. But to become just an average driver when you’re not good at it, it takes a lot of work. And that’s what I’ve been spending the last few years on, really trying to figure it out. Get the swing plane right, get shallower into the ball, get the weighting of the driver right. The whole mental approach to the driver. Just to get everything dialed in just to be average.”

“I just don’t want to give away shots off the tee. I don’t need to gain shots off the tee; I’ll gain them elsewhere. I feel like the short putting has been addressed. I feel like, and believe, that I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough with the driver. And if that happens, I think 2018 could be a remarkable year, a year where I can win multiple times.”

Golfweek’s Brentley Romine has some interesting remarks from Jon Rahm. Rahm, of course, was coached by Phil’s brother Tim at Arizona State–a job Mickelson left to manage Rahm. Tim Mickelson then ditched that gig to loop for his brother after Bones Mackay dropped his bag to pick up a microphone. In other words, Rahm has seen the pair up close plenty of times, and had this to say about the difference between his approach to the game and that of the variable-obsessed Mickelson

“It’s really fun to hear how they (Phil and Tim) talk to each other, because Tim being my coach at ASU, I don’t need much – “Okay, it’s like 120 (yards), this shot, right?’” Rahm said. “And you have Phil, it’s like, ‘Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like 1 mph wind sideways, it’s going to affect it 1 yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They’re thinking (that) and I’m like, ‘I’m lost.

“It’s funny, he gets to the green and then it’s the same thing. He’s very detail-oriented. He gets there and I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s a foot right.’ And he goes, okay, he reads the green, like, ‘Oh, it’s 1.8 degrees of slope here and this and that. And I’m there listening and I’m like, ‘Man, I hope we’re never paired together for anything because I can’t think like this.’ I would not be able to play golf like that. For me to listen to all that is really fun. And then you hear me and Adam talk, ‘180, a little breeze into, okay, hard six.’ … And it’s just opposite extremes completely.”

Different strokes before making strokes.

Then, there is this piece from Shane Ryan exploring the nature of Phil Mickelson, if you will, and suggesting he could impress this year. Of course, this is a wholly inadequate description of a piece for Golfworld you absolutely must read.

 

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19th Hole

What’s your favorite photo from the history of pro golf?

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Golf history, as we know, is rich. Dramatic storylines, pithy anecdotes, iconic equipment, and storybook shots are all woven into the vibrant tapestry of the game at the professional level.

It’s no surprise, then, that from the rough black-and-white of Old Tom Morris, open-stanced, gazing past the camera to his target, to the present DSLR shots, the history of the professional game is peppered with great photographs.

WRX member Christosterone started a thread with the question, “What’s your favorite tour picture and why?”

He offered this shot of “three reverse-c idols and a Texan.”

Of course, it only took one response, for someone to offer up this classic shot of Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan. One assumes that the fact that they didn’t care for one another only enhanced their badass postures.

 

Also, dicko999 (who better to post the following?), offered a cropped version of the legendary Presidents Cup streaker shot. Beyond the absurdity of the scene, the facial expressions make this shot great.

Just a fantastic thread that you’ll want to check out–and hopefully add a photo of your own to.

Check out the thread.

 

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