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19th Hole

The Tiger Woods/Ping putter grip romance finally has the write-up it deserves



Tiger Woods, as we know, is a creature of habit. He’s a stubborn, dig-the-heels-of-his-Nike-Air-Zoom-T71-golf-shoes-into-the-ground kind of guy. 14 times a major champion, he knows what works and is consequently extremely particular when it comes to his golf equipment.

TW equipment testing anecdotes are legion–remember the one about the series of Nike drivers, one different in weight to the tune of a nickel’s heft, and Woods felt the difference immediately. We have a few new tales from Golf Digest and PGA Tour observations as Woods tested new TaylorMade woods and tried to work out the kinks with the new prototype blades the company is tailoring to his specs.

Anyway, back to Tiger the Particular. Let’s get right to it: You’ve gotta read Michael Bamberger’s missive on Tiger Woods’ loyalty to a single model of putter grip throughout his career: the Ping PP58 “Blackout” grip.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods of the United States lines up a putt on the second green during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Here are a couple of the most interesting passages.

“But the grip on his game-day putter has always been (as best as can be observed) a PP58, designed by Karsten Solheim, with artwork (Mr. Ping) by his son John and manufactured by Golf Pride, the first company to make rubber grips. The PP58 is a blend of natural and synthetic rubber and natural rubber, when exposed to the sun, can quickly get slick, and it is likely that Woods switches out his grip with some regularity. In other words, a PP58 comes off and a new one comes on.”

Bamberger also points out an interesting phenomenon: Though plenty of golfers copy Woods’ putting and putter, few use the same grip.

“There are scores of players, on tours all over the world, who use putters modeled on the old Anser 2. There are hundred of players trying to copy Tiger’s circa 1997 stroke. (Stan Utley teaches it.) But Tiger pretty much has the PP58 grip all himself. When his supply runs low, somebody from his team — not Woods himself — contacts somebody at the Ping Tour trailer, or the Ping Tour office in Phoenix, and asks for a new batch.”

Again, you’ll definitely want to read the whole piece, but it’s always interesting to examine top players’ equipment, and even more so when they’ve clung to a particular item for most of their careers.

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  1. Tom

    Jan 29, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Ping PP58 was previously known as the Golf Pride Traction Action.

  2. Brando

    Jan 26, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Ping was the most popular putter in the 1990s and the pingman grip is what came on the majority of thoes putters is the reason many players from the 1990s still use the grip. Tiger copied from Greg Norman when he was #1 Greg used a anser 2 putter with the pingman grip as did Tiger. Both used the original Cobra 9 degree deep face driver as well Greg probably first with a tour velvet cord grip. Watch Norman in his prime in the 1990s TWs swing looks very similar in the late 90s. Pingman It’s a great grip no reason not to use one perfact thickness and taper to it in my opinion.

  3. Joe

    Jan 26, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Just need to sand the grip a little and it will get rubbery again. No need to replace it, or at least not regularly.

  4. Progolfer

    Jan 26, 2018 at 10:36 am

    So, pretty cool story:

    I’m a playing professional and am sponsored by Ping. One day while I was testing some new clubs at the headquarters in Phoenix, I saw a bunch of those Ping PP58 grips sitting on a desk, and joked, “Those must be for Tiger…” The guy I was working with said, “Actually, they are!” Apparently, Tiger orders a couple dozen at a time and goes through 50+ of those grips a year. He’s so loyal to those grips, that he switches them out just about every week because they get slick quickly (just as the article says). Just another case of how meticulous Tiger is!

    • manny

      Jan 26, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      Tigger is a ‘feel’ golfer with the feel all in the hands. Ask his many squeezes ..:-o

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19th Hole

Which Air Jordan model should Nike release as a golf shoe next?



According to GolfMagic, Nike’s Air Jordan III golf shoe took off from the foul line and soared right out of stock.

Per the site: “Nike launched this new model back in February… but you’ll do very well to get your hands on either them right now as they have sold out on Nike’s website. However, a Nike spokesperson has since commented saying “more is on the way.”

Grammar aside, this is interesting.

Now, it wasn’t long ago that all golf shoes looked like this.

And with all due respect to the Etonic Dri-Lite of yore, and giving wide berth to the traditionalists in the golf footwear space, the transition to sneaker-style golf shoes is cool, isn’t it? I mean, even if you’re monumentally swagger impaired like myself and could never pull the “Js on the fairways” look off, it’s intriguing, no?

With that in mind, and recognizing the demand for the 3s, I thought it’d be interesting to consider what the next Jordan golf shoe ought to be.

Here are my finalists for the next wide release (yes, I know Nike made Ray Allen custom 11s and MJ has had a few customs). Many of these are new colorways of classic (OG) models. I’ve tried for a range of styles and picks from across the Jordan timeline. Images via the excellent catalogue on the Jordan website.

Air Jordan XXXII

Air Jordan VI

Air Jordan VIII

Air Jordan II (low)

Air Jordan XXX

Let me know what you think, GolfWRX Members!

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19th Hole

Looks like Tiger is exploring some innovative solutions to his putting woes…



Tiger Woods was 39th in strokes gained: putting in 2018. Historically an excellent putter, Woods was hot-and-cold with the flatstick, even benching his soulmate Scotty Cameron Newport 2.

It looks like Woods may have an ace in the hole for the upcoming season, however, with respect to his green reading and putt sinking. Check out this video posted to his Instagram from the Tiger Woods Invitational on the Monterey Peninsula earlier this week.

Good thing the USGA is restricting the use of green-reading devices and technologies, because this kid looks close to cracking the eternal mystery of the perfect marriage of line and speed for every putt.

Cool stuff, though, isn’t it? It’s also cool to see Tiger so genuinely excited about his “mentee.”

We all know the story of how, after September 11, Woods re-evaluated his charitable endeavors and began to conceive of the Tiger Woods Learning Center. He’s spoken passionately about the students who have made their way through the various programs in the past, and there’s no doubt he cares deeply about the TGR Foundation’s efforts, but seeing a thin slice of that reality is awesome.

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19th Hole

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (10.11.18)



If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Michael Martinez with a phenomenal custom Nike concept sketch in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

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Hispanic Heritage Month #golf #nikeshoes #leetrevino

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Worse than the blue screen of death…

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Sadness. #RadryGolf

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In the pantheon of golf tattoos, this one has to be featured prominently, no?

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Tattoo level: Tin Cup ???????? ???? via @pgamemes

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BB&F continues to reign as the ferrule king.

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Ferrule B

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Kraken’s latest ballmarker is hotter than a fire track.

With all due respect to aquatic creatures, these are the best kind of scallops.

A clean sole grind and stamping from Don White. Nothing like it.

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Made with a purpose.

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If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

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19th Hole