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

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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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5 Comments

5 Comments

  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

Stephen Curry sponsors the creation of golf program at Howard University

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NBA star and avid golfer Stephen Curry has donated a seven-figure sum to Howard University in a move that will see men’s and women’s golf teams at the school for at least the next six years.

As the Washington Post reported on Monday, this will be the first time the school will compete at the Division I level in the sport, and the university plans to have the teams ready to compete for the 2020/21 academic year.

Curry’s donation was partly inspired by Howard senior and golfer Otis Ferguson IV, and speaking on bringing golf back to Howard, the 31-year-old stated

“Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful. It’s a discipline that challenges your mental wherewithal from patience to focus, and is impossible to truly master, so when you hear about these passionate student athletes who have the talent but don’t have a fair shot at the game, it’s tough. I feel really honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University.”

Howard University’s previous collegiate golf team competed in Division II before disbanding three decades ago, and Curry’s donation is set to be paid out over six years in order for the golf team to become self-sustainable.

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19th Hole

Here is where each player will start the Tour Championship

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Justin Thomas’ win at last week’s BMW Championship now gives him the lead in the FedEx Cup playoff race heading to the revamped Tour finale. The 26-year-old will start the Tour Championship at 10-under par, with his closest challenger Patrick Cantlay beginning the event two strokes further back at eight-under par.

Here are the starting positions for the 30 players at this week’s Tour Championship.

  • -10: Thomas
  • -8: Patrick Cantlay
  • -7: Brooks Koepka
  • -6: Patrick Reed
  • -5: Rory McIlroy
  • -4: Jon Rahm, Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Abraham Ancer
  • -3: Gary Woodland, Tony Finau, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama
  • -2: Paul Casey, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner
  • -1: Marc Leishman, Tommy Fleetwood, Corey Conners, Sungjae Im, Chez Reavie
  • Even Par: Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen, Charles Howell III, Lucas Glover, Jason Kokrak

The Tour Championship takes begins on August 22 from East Lake GC in Atlanta, GA, with the winner receiving $15 million.

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19th Hole

How much each player won at the 2019 BMW Championship

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Justin Thomas produced a masterclass at Medinah Country Club to take home the BMW Championship title and with it claim the winner’s check worth just over $1.6 million. In what was a crucial week in the FedEx Cup race, Patrick Cantlay who finished runner-up to Thomas collects a check for just under $1 million and will head to Atlanta for the Tour Championship one place back of the 26-year-old.

With players battling for a place at East Lake and no cut in place, here’s a look at what the 69 players in action earned at last week’s BMW Championship.

1: Justin Thomas $1,665,000.00

2 Patrick Cantlay 999,000.00

3 Hideki Matsuyama 629,000.00

4 Tony Finau 444,000.00

T5 Jon Rahm 351,500.00

T5 Brandt Snedeker 351,500.00

T7 Corey Conners 298,312.50

T7 Lucas Glover 298,312.50

T9 Kevin Kisner 259,000.00

T9 Adam Scott 259,000.00

T11 Tommy Fleetwood 196,100.00

T11 Rickie Fowler 196,100.00

T11 Sungjae Im 196,100.00

T11 Louis Oosthuizen 196,100.00

T11 Kevin Tway 196,100.00

T16 J.T. Poston 148,000.00

T16 Rory Sabbatini 148,000.00

T16 Vaughn Taylor 148,000.00

T19 Jason Kokrak 112,110.00

T19 Marc Leishman 112,110.00

T19 Rory McIlroy 112,110.00

T19 Patrick Reed 112,110.00

T19 Xander Schauffele 112,110.00

T24 Paul Casey 78,856.25

T24 Joel Dahmen 78,856.25

T24 Brooks Koepka 78,856.25

T24 Webb Simpson 78,856.25

T28 Byeong Hun An 65,675.00

T28 Abraham Ancer 65,675.00

T28 Si Woo Kim 65,675.00

T31 Wyndham Clark 53,650.00

T31 Emiliano Grillo 53,650.00

T31 Joaquin Niemann 53,650.00

T31 C.T. Pan 53,650.00

T31 Ian Poulter 53,650.00

T31 Gary Woodland 53,650.00

T37 Billy Horschel 40,700.00

T37 Charles Howell III 40,700.00

T37 Ryan Moore 40,700.00

T37 Scott Piercy 40,700.00

T37 Jordan Spieth 40,700.00

T37 Tiger Woods 40,700.00

T43 Keegan Bradley 30,525.00

T43 Adam Hadwin 30,525.00

T43 Troy Merritt 30,525.00

T43 Ryan Palmer 30,525.00

T43 Andrew Putnam 30,525.00

T48 Bryson DeChambeau 23,865.00

T48 Shane Lowry 23,865.00

T48 Phil Mickelson 23,865.00

T48 Collin Morikawa 23,865.00

T52 Jason Day 21,571.00

T52 Dylan Frittelli 21,571.00

T52 Matt Kuchar 21,571.00

T52 Keith Mitchell 21,571.00

T52 Justin Rose 21,571.00

T57 Jim Furyk 20,627.50

T57 Dustin Johnson 20,627.50

T57 Graeme McDowell 20,627.50

T57 Chez Reavie 20,627.50

T61 Max Homa 20,072.50

T61 Francesco Molinari 20,072.50

T63 Rafa Cabrera Bello 19,702.50

T63 Sung Kang 19,702.50

T65 Cameron Champ 19,240.00

T65 J.B. Holmes 19,240.00

T65 Adam Long 19,240.00

68 Harold Varner III 18,870.00

69 Nate Lashley 18,685.00

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