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Everything former Nike rep Ben Giunta said about working with Tiger Woods



Ben Giunta, a former Nike Tour Rep and now owner of the, joined host Johnny Wunder and TXG’s Ian Fraser for the most recent installment of the Gear Dive podcast.

While you’ll want to hear everything Giunta has to say, his remarks about working with Tiger Woods are particularly notable, and we wanted to present them here for those of you who may be more textually inclined.

On Tiger Woods’ preferences for club testing

“He always does his testing at home. 99 percent of the time. Whenever Tiger showed up to an event he was ready to go. There was no tinkering with equipment at Tour events. All of the work we did with him, we would do a week prior.”

“Rick Nichols, who was my boss when I was at Nike…he was Tiger’s right-hand guy. He worked with him on pretty much everything. We would prep everything. Rick would go and work with him at home…at that time it was in Orlando. They would tweak and do everything they needed there. Then when he showed up to the tournaments, I could probably count on one hand the number of times he came into the trailer to get work done.”

“He was built different. He came to do his homework on the golf course and prepare for the tournament. He was not tinkering around with equipment when it came to tournament time.”

“Any time he would test anything during the week…it was for a backup. He was constantly searching for backup drivers and…woods. So if something happened…he already had done all of his work.”

On Tiger’s driver preferences

“We were always tinkering with different CGs. Obviously, there was a lot of special stuff made for him. He didn’t use an adjustable driver…until Nike got out of the equipment business. We were always making sure the center of gravity was perfect. He was very specific on face angles and how much loft he wanted to look at. And he always wanted the face angle to be pretty much the same.”

“We had to have different iterations with different lofts based on where his golf swing was…obviously, his golf swing changes a lot based on all of his injuries and swing changes…There were certainly times where he was swinging a driver that spec’d out at a true eight-degree head, then he’d be all the way up to 11 or 12 degrees sometimes.”

On Tiger’s consistency in iron preferences

“The only thing that ever really changed with Tiger’s irons…was the lie angle. But lofts…they have been the same since he played golf…It’s been the same specs for his entire professional and amateur career. Those specs haven’t changed but the lie angles have. As far as I know, he has never experimented with different iron shafts [True Temper Dynamic Gold X100]. They’ve always been the same…with wooden dowels down in the tips of the shafts.”

“He always had the mindset that he was going to manipulate the club to get the ball to do what he wanted it to do.

On the consistency of Woods’ wedge setup

“He’s evolved with different grinds depending on his delivery or what he’s trying to do technique-wise, he’s modified his soles a little bit over time…but he’s always kind of reverted back to your traditional dual sole.”

In addition to talking Tiger, Giunta discusses how he got a job on Tour, working with Rory McIlroy, tinkerers vs non-tinkerers, and what he’s doing now (and more) in the rest of the podcast.

You can listen below.

RELATED: Tiger Woods WITB 2018

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  1. Brandon

    Jun 6, 2018 at 10:25 am

    As a Mizuno fanboy I’d love to hear Chris Voshall on the pod. I think it would be very insightful.

    Please & thanks in advance 😉

  2. Ranger Dave

    May 25, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Love the show and where its headed… solid guests with front line info!!!

    One suggestion, turn off the email notifications during the recording! The “mail chime” goes off all the time and drives me nuts!

    I am excited for more episodes and really love the show.

  3. patrick dempsey

    May 24, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Love gear dive. Need better sound quality though

  4. CP

    May 24, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    What’s the purpose of wooden dowels in iron shaft tips?

    • Hogan Fan

      May 24, 2018 at 7:11 pm

      Its supposed to make it feel more solid. I think Titleist even did it in some of the PT woods years ago.

      • Mower

        May 26, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        Still have that one. Silver head with a wooden bore-through.

    • bebop a lula

      May 24, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      Gives them a pine scented freshness, very relaxing

    • B Mac

      May 25, 2018 at 7:17 am

      The dowels are to absorb shock/soften the harshness. They are also labeled sensicore if you were to buy golf pride shafts with pre installed dowels.

      • David

        Jun 2, 2018 at 8:59 am

        WTF? lol @B Mac. Golf Pride makes golf grips…not shafts. Sensicore is a polymer insert by True Temper.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Caddie suit against Tour dropped | Hand surgery for Wie | Former DJ advisor guilty



1. Caddie suit dropped
T.J. Auclair, writing for the Caddie Network (an outlet heretofore unknown to me)…”A lawsuit filed by PGA Tour caddies in 2015 against the PGA Tour has come to an end. Very soon, the Tour will be implementing a healthcare program for all caddies on the PGA Tour that will significantly help caddies and their families off-set healthcare costs.”
  • “The Association of Professional Tour Caddies (APTC) had been seeking a way to minimize the rising costs of healthcare insurance. Those measures included trying to find sponsors for a small part of their caddie bibs, shirt sleeves and hats to heavily subsidize the health costs, which for some caddies, was in excess of $25,000 to cover themselves and their families.”
  • “The caddies lost their class-action suit in District Court in February 2016 and then lost an appeal in August 2018.”
2. Michelle Wie has hand surgery
Our Gianni Magliocco…”Michelle Wie was far from her best at last week’s LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, finishing on a total of eight-over par, which was only good enough for a T66 finish. It was Wie’s first appearance since her withdrawal from the British Open back in August, and today Wie detailed how she has been suffering from an avulsion fracture, bone spurring and nerve entrapment in her right hand since competing at Royal Lytham & St Annes.”
  • “The American stated in a social media post how after countless MRI’s, X-Rays and doctor consultations, she has undergone successful hand surgery, and is on a hopeful path back to being pain free.”
  • Wie…”I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free!”
  • “Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise.”
3. Former DJ advisor found guilty
Per Golf Channel…”A federal jury has found Nathan Hardwick, a former advisor to Dustin Johnson, guilty of embezzling $26 million in funds from his now-bankrupt real estate closing firm, Morris Hardwick Schneider.”
“Per, citing, a 12-person jury convicted Hardwick of “one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 21 counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to federally insured banks.”
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach, citing, explains where the money went.
  • “The alleged spending included $18.47 million on gambling, private jet travel and women from 2011 through August 2014. The prosecution submitted two binders of documentation as evidence that Hardwick spent $4.39 million on “female social companions,” including one testifying witness who claimed to have met him through”
  • “Other alleged expenditures described in testimony include more than $7 million at casinos, more than $3 million with a bookie, $680,000 for a luxury condo at The St. Regis Atlanta, $273,000 on a diamond ring, $186,000 on a deposit for a party on a private island, and $635,000 on a trip to the 2014 British Open for golfing buddies that included a customized jet and round at St. Andrews.”
4. The PGA Tour (Latinoamerica) returns to Doral
Golf Channel’s Nick Menta…”PGA Tour Latinoamérica announced Wednesday that it will play its season finale, the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship, at Trump National Doral from Nov. 29-Dec. 2.”
  • “The limited-field event will feature the top 60 players on the circuit’s money list competing on Doral’s Golden Palm Course.”
  • “We are very happy that we will continue playing the Latinoamérica Tour Championship-Shell Championship in South Florida, and Doral is a tremendous community that we know will open its arms to our players and this tournament,” PGA Tour Latinoamérica president Jack Warfield said in a statement.”
  • “The PGA Tour ended its more than 50-year relationship with Doral and the resort’s Blue Monster course back in 2016, when Cadillac’s title sponsorship of the World Golf Championship lapsed.’
5. Brooks Koepka’s No. 1 scenario
Golf Channel…”Brooks Koepka got the inside track against Justin Thomas in their head-to-head battle this week for world No. 1.”
  • “Koepka shot 1-under 71 on Thursday at the CJ Cup, while Thomas shot 1-over 73…Chez Reavie leads after 18 holes at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea, following a 4-under 68.”
  • “Koepka, currently world No. 3, needs to win this week or finish solo second [without Thomas winning] in order to reach the top spot in the rankings for the first time in his career. Thomas, currently No. 4, must win to reclaim the position he surrendered in June.”
6. Does playing the Fall Series matter?
Shane Ryan wonders not just whether we care about fall PGA Tour action, but whether the narrative that getting of to a hot start in autumn can propel a player to a strong season.
  • “Putting aside the appeal of the fall swing, and the tour’s clever ways of ensuring participation, there’s a bigger narrative to contend with: The idea that success in the fall can jumpstart a player’s season, and potentially even establish a spot in the top 30 on the FedEx Cup points list that carries through to the Tour Championship a summer later.”
  • “If that’s true, then sure, it’s a great argument for why the fall matters. It would be like telling an NFL team that if they play really well for the month of September, they can secure a spot in the playoffs. It adds a ton of significance-if you care about the Tour Championship, the narrative goes, then it’s wise to also care about the fall.”
  • “Does the narrative hold up? On the surface, the simple answer is yes: Most fall events are worth 500 points to the winner, just like a normal summer event. (The exceptions are the WGC-HBSC Champions, worth 550 points, and the Sanderson Farms Championship, played that same week and worth 300.) So if a player won in Malaysia, Korea, Las Vegas and Georgia, that player would have 2,050 points. In 2018, only two players had 2,050 FedEx Cup points when the playoffs began, and in 2017 the number was four. Which means if you sweep the fall, you could take the entire year off and still be confident of a top-five position by the time The Northern Trust came around in mid-August….”
Further number crunching confirms the hypothesis. Read Ryan’s full piece here.
7. Bruntsfield joins modernity
BBC Report…”Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society – the fourth oldest golf club in the world – has become the latest to permit women members after a vote.”
  • ‘The Edinburgh club, founded in 1761, has revealed that 83.7% of members casting their vote on Thursday were in favour of the change.”
  • Captain Mike Smith said: “This is an historic occasion for the society…This change, together with a £1.2m investment in our course, will ensure we are well positioned for the future.”
8. Marshal breaks leg
Bernie McGuire writes…”A female volunteer is the latest casualty at a major golf event after breaking her leg in two places while looking for a lost ball on day one of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Spain.”
  • “The 64-year old marshal slipped badly on wet grass breaking her fibula and tibia in right leg in searching for an errant dive off the 11th tee by Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal.”
  • “Play on the hole was delayed for close to 30-minutes and with four groups banking-up on the tee  as medical crews treated the woman’s injuries before an ambulance arrived at the clubhouse to convey her to a local hospital.”
Get well!
9. For your listening pleasure…
Johnny Wunder talked to reigning Western Amateur champion, all-around amateur standout, and incoming Texas freshman, about equipment and a host of other subjects.

Listen here.

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Michelle Wie undergoes successful hand surgery, to miss rest of 2018



Michelle Wie was far from her best at last week’s LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, finishing on a total of eight-over par, which was only good enough for a T66 finish. It was Wie’s first appearance since her withdrawal from the British Open back in August, and today Wie detailed how she has been suffering from an avulsion fracture, bone spurring and nerve entrapment in her right hand since competing at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

The American stated in a social media post how after countless MRI’s, X-Rays and doctor consultations, she has undergone successful hand surgery, and is on a hopeful path back to being pain free.

Here’s to a quick recovery.

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Dame Davies! | Curious Kaymer quote | Does “fore!” work?



1. Dame Davies triumphs
For the first time, two senior women’s major titles were available. All Laura Davies did was win them both. Bow down to the dame!
  • Golf Digest’s Keely Levins…”…Laura Davies claimed the first major victory in dominant fashion, winning by 10 strokes. In the following major, the Senior LPGA Championship, Davies again proved that her game in major condition: She won at French Lick Resort in Indiana by four shots over Helen Alfredsson of Sweden on Wednesday.”
  • “Davies, 55, won wire-to-wire in her fifth time playing in the event. After opening with a 4-under 68 in the first round of the 54-hole event, Davies rounded out the event with back-to-back 70s.”
  • “The wind made a difference, and it was still cold,” she said of the final round. “It was still tough, but I think two-under today was a pretty good round. There’s some shots out there, on 16, I nearly hit a horrible 7-iron into the water, but I got lucky today when I really needed to on 11 and 16 when I didn’t hit great shots. It’s the sort of course where you’ve got to be careful, but you’ve got to be brave as well. Because you’ll make bogeys if you’re trying to play it safe.”
If you’re scoring at home, Davies beat the field by 14 across the two major championships.
2. Meanwhile, on Jeju Island…
AP Report…”Chez Reavie overcame cool, windy conditions for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges on Thursday.”
  • “In the breezy conditions, the back nine of the course posed the most difficulty, but the 36-year-old American made two birdies and negotiated it in 35 after starting on the 10th tee, and then picked up three shots on his final nine.”
  • “Danny Willett and Si Woo Kim shot 69 while the large group at 70 and tied for fourth included Ian Poulter, Nick Watney and Michael Kim.”
  • “Brooks Koepka, playing in his first tournament since being voted PGA Tour player of the year, shot 71 and was in a group three strokes behind and tied for 11th which included Paul Casey and Hideki Matsuyama.”
3. Double-edged sword
Randall Mell with a lengthy look at the pressures South Korean women golfers face
  • A morsel…”While American players admire the massive popularity Koreans enjoy in their homeland, they see what comes with it.”
  • “Koreans really do elevate their women players, but at the same time, they put a ton of pressure on them,” American Cristie Kerr said. “There’s pressure on them to not only be good, but to be attractive, and to do the right things culturally.”
  • “So Yeon Ryu felt the pressure to perform build as high as she has ever felt with Koreans trying to qualify for the Olympics two years ago. The competition to make the four-woman team was intense, with so many strong Koreans in the running.”
  • “This just makes me crazy,” Ryu said back then. “The biggest thing is the Korean media. If someone is going to make the Olympics, they’re a great player. But if somebody cannot make it, they’re a really bad player.”
4. Sounds strange, indeed
Imagine being deemed the best in the world at your job. Now imagine being deemed, like, the 100th best and thinking you’re better than you were when you were No. 1. Such is the case with one Martin Kaymer, interestingly.
  • Brentley Romine at Golfweek…”As a result, he has slipped to No. 157 in the world and missed out on his first Ryder Cup team since 2008.”
  • “Yet Kaymer remains positive. In a recent interview with Golf Australia, the 33-year-old German said he has no doubt that he can return to the player he once was.”
  • “As strange as it sounds, I am a better player right now than I was back in 2011 when I was No. 1 in the world,” Kaymer said. “My problem at the moment is that golf is a sport that is based on results and I have struggled a little bit to put every part of my game together for four consecutive rounds.”
5. Crazy for Js?
Enthusiasm for golf shoe releases is, well, generally substantially less than for sneaker launches in general. I mean, are there any golf shoe sneakerheads? And certainly plenty of skepticism has met efforts to make golf shoes look less like, um, golf shoes.
  • Thus, this news is interesting: Nike’s Air Jordan 3 golf shoe is flying off the shelves.
  • Via GolfMagic…”Nike’s sixth Jordan spike golf shoe is a throwback to the third line of Michael Jordan’s basketball sneaks that were first launched 30 years ago – shoes that featured MJ’s signature ‘elephant print’ as well as his soon-to-be iconic Jumpman logo on the heel.”
  • “Nike launched this new model back in February in its classic white and grey version, pictured, and then unveiled a brown leather version shortly afterwards. Both shoes retail at $220, 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.”
(…more is?)
6. Under-the-radar golf brands to know highlights Forya, Dormie, Leus, Birds of Condor, Devereaux, Greyson, and more in a quick sketch of makers of interest. (I would have liked to have seen Sugarloaf Social Club, Holderness & Bourne, Hedge, and Fore Ewe on the list).
7. RIP, Jim Wiechers
Never a Tour winner, Jim Wiechers came close, but that’s not why he’s worth remembering, suggests PGA’s Jim McCabe.
“If the national amateur golf stage never fazed Jim Wiechers, the reason was simple. Just to fare well locally in the San Francisco area in the 1960s, Wiechers had to compete against the likes of a rising teenage star named Johnny Miller, future PGA TOUR winners such as Ron Cerrudo, Bob Lunn and Dick Lotz, and a legendary veteran named E. Harvie Ward. That accomplished, Wiechers knew he could more than hold his own in the deep end of the pool.”
“Which he did with distinction….Wiechers won the 1962 U.S. Junior Amateur, the 1964 Western Junior, the 1966 Western Amateur, and finished second, one shot behind Marty Fleckman, at the 1965 NCAA Div. 1 Championship.”
“That Wiechers, who died Monday night at the age of 74, failed to carry that winning touch over to a 12-year PGA TOUR career that featured 32 top 10s, none of them victories, surprised Cerrudo, but never seemed to unsettle his friend.”
8. Does yelling “fore!” work?
A timely question in the wake of the events at Le Golf National… Golf Digest’s Guy Yocom both reflects (on getting plunked in the posterior, among other things) and examines the question.
“Gary had screamed “Fore!” when his drive sailed off line into our fairway. I not only heard him, but had time to spin, crouch, duck and cover my head. But of the four times I’ve been hit-once in the head, twice in the back and once on the butt-this was the only time a shout of “Fore!” reached me in time to react. In two of the instances I didn’t hear anything, even though the hitters all swore they’d screamed it. The most doubtful “Fore!” claim happened on a rock-hard muny when I caught a one-bouncer on the back of the head. My buddy said it made a sound like a coconut falling on Gilligan’s head. He heard the coconut sound but did not hear anyone yell “Fore!””

“Shouts of “Fore!” just aren’t as unassailably effective as most golfers believe. The incident at the Ryder Cup in which Brooks Koepka struck a woman in the eye with a full-blooded driver on the fifth hole of the Friday morning four-ball matches, was, unfortunately, more typical. Although Koepka and others on the tee screamed “Fore!”, video of the incident shows that not one person in the gallery ducked. The injured woman, Corrine Remande, claims no one yelled a warning, and she reportedly filing a lawsuit against the organizers. Remande’s doctors have said she is never going to recover full vision in her right eye.”

9. Hmm…
With all due respect to the PGA Tour Superstore, while the other components of this Titleist AP1 build may be correct, there may have been a slight oversight with respect to one key variable…  (via jakedasnake11 on Reddit)
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19th Hole