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WRX Insider: #TigerTuesday – Building the ultimate Tiger bag

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The title says it all. I’ve done this with my buddies more than once; sit around and piece together the ultimate 14-club Tiger Woods set based on personal affinities, iconic shots he has hit, and tournaments he has won.

I think you will find some obvious choices in here but some may shock you.

(And yes, we are going club for club)

Driver: Nike Ignite 8.5 w/ Original Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 73 X5Ct X flex 

I know, I know…”What about the Titleist 975D?” Truth is, what Tiger did with the 975D will never be touched. In 2000, he was second in driving distance at 298 and hit 71.2 percent of the fairways. So concern and outrage dually noted. HOWEVER, 2005 and his integration of the 45-inch, graphite-shafted, 460CC “modern head” propelled his distance game to a new level, and once again he out hit the “Tiger Proofed” golf courses like Augusta. It’s also the driver that ultimately encouraged him to retire “old trusty” (bel0w) in order to shorten the gap between his driver and 3-wood. 

3-wood: Titleist 970 15 degrees w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 

Obvious for so many reasons but ill give you the top 3 reasons that are indisputable:

1) It was the coolest 3-wood ever made 2) His drive on #13 in 2001, out hitting Phil’s driver by 20. 3) His majestic missile at #14 at St. Andrews in 2000 on Day 3. That’s enough.

5-wood: Nike T40 Tour 19 degrees w/ Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board 103X 2006

Tiger finally swapped out his 970 for the Nike T60 (15 degrees) in early 2005. This was still a time when his 2-iron continued to be a consistent weapon. However, due to the overall distance the new driver and 3-wood were going, he now needed a club that he could fly a bit further than a 2-iron but also one he could hit way up, way down, and everything else. That’s where the T40 came into the conversation and it has been a weapon ever since.

2-iron: Mizuno MP-29 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

The original sting machine. Go back and watch his 1995 U.S Amateur victory at Newport CC. He relies on the choked down version of that shot the whole week. Obviously, it evolved from there, but his 2-iron prowess went from power to precision with this club. 

3-iron: Nike Forged (Red Logo Model) w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

With this club, he picked apart Southern Hills CC at the 2007 PGA Championship. It was so good in fact that Tiger limited himself to only a few drivers the entire week.

4-iron: Nike Forged w/  True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

2006 Open Championship at Hoylake, second day #14…you’re welcome

5-iron: TaylorMade P7TW w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

(4:15:00)

In my opinion, it was the key shot of his 2019 triumph. Some may argue it was the tee shot on 12, the lag on 9, the tee shot on 16. His five-iron from 227 not only applied the first foot on the neck of his chasers, but it also illustrated that on that course, in that situation, he’s unbeatable.

6-iron: Mizuno MP-14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

“Hello, world.” Who does that? Makes the most notable pro debut in history and goes off and holes one out in the final round. Granted, he finished miles back from the winner but that particular shot showed the field just how scary it could get. That tee shot was getting 4 and 5-irons into it all day, this kid comes in with a flighted 6-iron that not only went in but would have stopped on a dime right next to the hole if it didn’t. VERY few in the field were capable of having a shot in their bag that even sniffed that.

7-iron: Titleist 681T w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

3 Dec 2000: Tiger Woods looks on during the Williams World Challenge at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.Mandatory Credit: Donald Miralle /Allsport

2000 U.S. Open, Pebble Beach, 6th hole Day 2, 205 out of the right rough.

“It’s just not a fair fight” -Roger Maltbie NBC

It never was.

8-iron: TaylorMade P7TW w/  True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Tiger hit nine 8-iron approach shots on Sunday at Augusta, two of which represented the beginning of his chase (8-iron into the seventh for a birdie) and the door-slammer (8-iron into the 16th). 

9-iron: Mizuno MP-14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

(4:12) 16th Hole at TPC Scottsdale, 1997 Phoenix Open…WHO DOES THAT? It was the total “what if” scenario. That guy, on that day (party Saturday) on that hole. Oh. My. Word. 

PW: Titleist 681T w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100


(4:43)

2000 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AM, Tiger chases a nervous Matt Gogel and to add terror to fear, he hits this little 2 finger PW from 97 yards that finds itself in the cup for an eagle and an eventual TW victory.

56 degree: Titleist Vokey 258.08 bent to 56 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100/S400

This one took some consideration, but ultimately I chose this one because it gave me the first visible clue as to how dialed TW got with his clubs, bending a 58 strong to reduce the bounce and arrive on a leading edge that was just right. I remember studying that wedge in detail.

60 degree: Nike FastBack 60 degrees w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

“In your LIFE!” #16 at Augusta, 16th hole…you know the rest. The most Tiger shot of all time.

Putter: (1999-now) Scotty Cameron GSS Newport 2 (AKA The Elder Wand)

Arguably the most talked-about putter in the history of the game. It’s a history stick and should be at the top of every “best” list ever.

 

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Jbone

    Jul 22, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Cool article. Not sure what the naysayers expect from this site

  2. joro

    Jul 22, 2020 at 11:37 am

    When Tiger was in his prime he could win with a set of Knights from Walmart. Today he is searching. Face it, he IS done and will soon give it up. The worst thing is when you start searching for clubs that hit themselves and that never happens, although we wish it could. At some point one has to realize it is not there. He is just a idol at this point, and he draws people to see him.

    • Frank

      Jul 22, 2020 at 2:03 pm

      So where were you when he won the Masters last year?

  3. Ben

    Jul 21, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I like the effort here. I liked his Sasquatch driver which was nothing like the retail head. He played 8.5 low spinners while other guys were chasing high launch, low spin. He won the US open in 2008 with that Sasquatch and maybe also the PGA in 2007. I still remember he hit like a 380 yard drive on15 or 16 coming down the stretch in 2007 that was unbelievably straight as well.

  4. Terry

    Jul 21, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    This is just, weird.

  5. bill

    Jul 21, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Who sits around with their buddies and discusses Tigers clubs?

    • DJ

      Jul 21, 2020 at 4:57 pm

      Exactly! Ok, where do you want to start with Phil’s bag – two drivers at Augusta?

    • John Wunder

      Jul 21, 2020 at 5:29 pm

      I do.

      • DJ

        Jul 23, 2020 at 4:28 pm

        Driver: 2 FT-3’s at Augusta in ’06
        3W: Phrankenwood at ’13 Masters – not a great finish, but what a name for a club
        6i: ’10 Masters, 13th hole from the pine straw. Phil being Phil.
        Wedge: Not sure what wedge he used, but ’14 at Ridgewood – Northern Trust – rounds 2 and 3 from the hospitality area.

        You can fill in the rest

  6. delbert

    Jul 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for the great article. Its a good break.

  7. Gunter Eisenberg

    Jul 21, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Stupid. Tiger’s clubs that he used during his Tiger Slam is the ultimate Tiger bag, not a mish mash of clubs from different years.

    • John Wunder

      Jul 21, 2020 at 5:29 pm

      That wasn’t the point of the article.

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Top 5 strokes gained: around-the-greens 2020 and the wedges they used

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#5 Hideki Matusyama (.458% AVG, 27.951 SG) 


Wedges: Cleveland RTX Forged Prototype (52-10, 56-8 @57.5, 60-08 @62)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

#4 Brandt Snedeker (.514% AVG, 25.685 SG) 

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (52-10S, 56-10S) Vokey SM8 (60K)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

#3 Aaron Baddeley (.520% AVG, 19.257 SG) 

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52-12SS), Ping Glide (56-10), Titleist Vokey 260 (60-12, @59)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

#2 Rob Oppenheim (.536% AVG, 24.106 SG)

Wedges: Ping I210 UW (52) Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth (56-12SS, 60-10SS)
Shafts: Ping ZZ-65

#1 Jason Day (.632% AVG, 25.287 SG AVG) 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 Satin (50-09SB, 54-11SB, 60-10SB)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

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GolfWRX Spotted: Titleist TSi4 on USGA Conforming List

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After all the excitement caused by the Titleist TSi2 and TSi3 driver and fairway woods, it didn’t take long for another Titleist TSi series driver to pop up on the USGA and R&A conforming club lists, and this time it’s the TSi4.

left-handed driver head from USGA list

Based on the entirety of the information provided in the submission, including the fact that it has been submitted both right and left-handed, leaves us to believe that along with the TSi2, and TSi3, which are currently going through the seeding process on the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours, the TSi4 will also be coming to retail in the near future.

If you remember last year in the spring of 2019, Titleist added the line extension of the TS1 and TS4 drivers to cater to further reaches of the fitting bell curve, for players that needed more launch and spin, and for those that needed further reduction respectively.

The line for the TS4 was simple—the smallest and lowest spinning member of the TS family of drivers. It reduced spin by an average of 300-400 RPM compared to the TS2 and TS3 drivers. All of this while also in a player preferred 430cc package. 

To achieve those kinds of dynamics, MOI of the driver’s head has to be sacrificed in favor of creating a low and forward center of gravity to create lower spin. The curious thing with the TSi4 is if Titleist engineers have been able to boost the head size to a full 460 and keep a similar profile or if they have reverted to a sub 460cc design to replicate the TS4’s mass properties and CG location in a new package with new technology to increase ball speed around the head and increase spin robustness.

Time will tell if and when this becomes available at retail, but based on this information, it’s most likely sooner rather than later.

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Wunder: Titleist TSi driver first impressions

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Three things I want to address before I kick this off.

  1. “Better, best” will not be addressed. It’s never about that these days only what works for me or you.
  2. I’m not adding TrackMan data to this for one simple reason: It doesn’t matter to me for a first impression. I can get lost in the data and ultimately it confuses my ability to just enjoy the sound feel and look of the driver. Obviously, the fitting was on TrackMan, but in the past, successful drivers for me started with the emotional part. Simply, do I like the thing? Can I look at it? Can I trust it? Can I hit shots with it? That’s it.
  3. When I say “spin this” and “spin that,” it’s always addressing a positive aspect.

On Tuesday of this week, I had the good fortune of visiting the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI in Oceanside, California) to do my TSi metal woods fitting. Won’t get too far into that, but essentially it’s golf heaven in every sense of the word. Like TaylorMade’s Kingdom or Callaway’s ECPC, TPI it’s a gearhead paradise.

Titleist Master Fitter Joey Saewitz (@thejoeysaewitz on IG) was my fitter and after hitting a few balls to warm up, we dug into my gamer driver that I adore.

Current Gamer Spec

TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @ 8.5). Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (no tipping) 45 inches, D4, GolfPride BCT 58R

I have been constantly messing with my driver between new shafts, lofts, lie, etc. Since I’ve been playing a bit more this month, I’ve had the chance to work on my swing and the driver has been the last thing to come around. I’m working on decreasing dynamic loft through the bag and have not adjusted my driver to match. The point is, I’m hitting the driver solid but have lost a ton of height and spin to keep it in the air.

I’m saying this now because for key metrics I was at a deficiency because of the craftsman not his tools. The SIM I was fit into was/is excellent. So, as you read on, keep in mind that I knew that numbers-wise apples to apples my setup was vulnerable to getting beat out due to my tinkering.

Thoughts

My average numbers these days are are 105-108 mph swing speed, 155-160 mph ball speed, 14-degree launch, and 1,800-2,000 spin. At 43-years-old, when I’m hitting it solid I get a lot out of my driver. IF I’m swinging well, at my low spin, off days can be nauseating with the driver.

LOOKS

TSi3: If two of my favorite drivers 975D and R7 Superquad TP had a baby, the TSi3 would be it. Its flawless appearance-wise. The heel section gives it an onset look that the faders will love and the top line toe section is a bit rounded off to give it an open look without having to crank it open. Not the first time we have heard that but nonetheless, Titleist nailed it.

The face has a cool matte finish that I can’t get into yet, but it frames a white ball excellently.

TSi2: Like the TS2, it has that high-MOI shape, although I will say the top line and transitions are a bit softer on the eye. It’s a driver that looks like it just wants to go high and far. If I wanted to hit something as hard as I could that’s the shape I would look for.

Side note—the black shafts in the TSi3 are almost too cool to even look at—the closest thing to a Darth Vader golf club I have ever seen.

FEEL/SOUND

This is where they really figured it out. Titleist drivers in the past to my ear sounded good but not great. There was always an essence of ting that I couldn’t fall in love with. The TSi series fixed that in totality, like all the great drivers on the market in 2020 it has that hammerhead thud that I adore. When you crunch it, you literally hear crunch. At impact, however, it has a more compressiony (is that a word?) feel than its competitors. The comparison would be a one-piece forged feel vs a hollow body players iron. Both feel excellent but there is a difference. You can feel the ball squeeze into the face which I think most will notice and respond well to.

PERFORMANCE—Not going to compare it to my gamer as it’s not fair, I gear headed my gamer to the point of lunacy. I will only comment on what the TSi series did while testing.

TSi3: The biggest standout here was usable spin. I am not a high-spin player by any stretch, so if I can find a driver that gets me 2,100-2,200 consistently when I flush it, it’s a contender. For a player at my speed to sneak it out there with the big hitters, I have to launch it at 14 at 1,700 spin, and hope I’m aimed correctly. What I found with the TSi was I was getting that performance at 2,100-2,200, and if anything only giving up 2-3 yards all while doing it 5/10 times as opposed to 2/10.

What does all that jibberish add up to? Consistency and something I can play with. Is it longer than my gamer? I have no idea, but we will find out. What I know is I hit a bunch of really good shots with TSi3, and after I got going with it, it was point and shoot. Stable? Yes. Long? Yes. Forgiving? Yes. Playable? Yes.

TSi2: To be honest I only hit a few with the Tsi2 as its not my genre of music. What I can say is it feels apples to apples with the Tsi3, launches higher with a bit more spin, and goes really straight. No shocker there. The high MOI category has a bunch of contenders, and in my opinion, it’s a head weight game. Heavy is always better for stability.

The setup I landed on

I was fit into the (D4 SureFit setting 9 degrees @ 9.75, flat) however after testing a bit at home on course and range, I landed on the D1 setting, which I like. For whatever reason, I can play Tsi3 at 8.25 and still maintain height spin and it flew about five yards further.

Final setup

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees @8.25, D1 SureFit, 44.5 inches, D4 swing weight)

Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1)

Overall, the TSi Series drivers will be VERY popular but not for the reasons you would think. It’s playable, you can hit shots with it, that’s the mark of a GREAT golf club. It’s not all ball speeds and carry anymore in my opinion. This is a driver I can go out and play well with, that’s huge for a hack like me. In my experience, I can’t say that about a lot of drivers I’ve tried to make work in the last four to five years. That’s just me. Lots of great drivers every year but I’m a hard case and finding one that’s just right is a challenge.

Ultimately, for me, the best driver on the market is SIM hands down because it performs in the hitting bay and even better on the course—my hunch is Titleist has something that will do the same.

It’s a beautiful driver that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know.

 

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