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Why this golf ball gave Tiger Woods a ‘one or two shots per round’ advantage over the field

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On Monday, Graeme McDowell took some backlash from Tiger fans when he tweeted about Woods’ supposed advantage from playing the Nike Tour Accuracy golf ball.

You can now add Woods’ former caddie Stevie Williams to the list of those who are of the opinion that Woods gained a massive advantage with the Nike Tour Accuracy.

During the latest episode of the Chasing Majors podcast, Williams spoke in detail about what the golf ball was able to do for Tiger’s game amidst the greatest season in golf history:

“This golf ball didn’t come by accident,” Williams said. “When Tiger signed with Nike, [the ball] was one of the projects. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a couple years of engineering that went into developing the ball and getting it exactly right. And it wasn’t going to be put into play until such time that it was exactly how he wanted it.”

Williams took over as Woods’ caddie in 1999 and despite the early success, he noticed a big difference once the Nike ball was put into play:

“Tiger had a couple hundred balls in his practice bag — obviously all the balls he wasn’t using at the moment — and he’d go through the same array of shots, but there was an ease for him to do exactly what he wanted to do [with the Tour Accuracy],” Williams said on the podcast. “When he was trying to hit that stinger shot, he’d really have to concentrate on hitting it low and all the mechanics that went with it. But this ball, because it was designed so well, for specifically what he wanted to do, he’d hit the shots he needed with more ease and more confidence. Heading into the 2000 season, this ball was going to be a big factor, I felt.”

Williams went as far as to say that the change in golf balls was quantifiable in how many shots he gained on the field: “Every time you have a golf ball reacting to the way you want to hit it, I think that just frees you up and gives you confidence,” he said. “You’d have to say it was worth one or two shots per round, for sure.”

Considering that Woods’ 2000 season was the most dominant in the history of golf, there may be something to Williams’ comments.

At the end of the 2000 season, Titleist released the ProV1 golf ball. The ProV1 was built with a similar core to the Nike Tour Accuracy, and 47 professionals immediately put the ball in play. The shift of golf balls was one of the biggest transitions of equipment in PGA Tour history.

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6 Comments

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  1. Pingback: ‘Tiger was paying attention…even if the world wasn’t’ – Chamblee hits back at former major champ’s Woods ball claim – GolfWRX

  2. geohogan

    Feb 28, 2022 at 8:29 am

    Correction: Jack Nicklaus is the G.O.A.T.

  3. Henry R Fitzgerald

    Feb 26, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    I used one today I found in a used ball bin and made a hole in one. It has to be the ball I tell you.

    Hahahaha!

  4. Raddish

    Feb 25, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    Bridgestone then – Bridgestone now.

  5. grame

    Feb 24, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    Its not like the other pros were not allowed to play that ball.

    • Signor Ugarte

      Feb 25, 2022 at 5:16 pm

      Agreed. This is a big nothing trying to stir up garbage for no reason other than to generate controversy leading to clicks and page views.

      The ball was on the approved and certified USGA equipment list. CASE CLOSED.

      Ron Sirak does a good job in his tweet of deflating McDowell’s sour grapes comment. McDowell is a good guy and he should have known how such comments would be received by golf fans and media regardless of how he meant them.

      With most fans of the game, aside from passionate Tiger haters, going after Woods is about as big of a no-no as there is.

      Not sure if Tiger or Jack is the GOAT, but I do know that no other golfer has come close to doing for the game or the players what Tiger has

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19th Hole

Report: Steve Williams ends retirement and will caddie this month

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According to Evin Priest of Golf Digest, Steve Williams will be returning to caddie duties this month.

Per the report, Williams will be on the bag for Adam Scott at the upcoming Australian PGA Championship, being played at Royal Queensland in Brisbane, and the Australian Open at Kingston Heath and Victoria G.C. on the Melbourne Sandbelt.

The New Zealander was on Adam Scott’s bag for his historic 2013 Masters Championship victory, and the duo will also look to make one more run at a major next season as Williams will likely loop for the Aussie at the majors, per the report.

Williams is best known for his work as Tiger Woods’ caddie from 1999-2011 but it was widely reported that he was was let go by Woods after he caddied for Scott while Tiger was recovering from an injury.

While speaking to Golf Digest, Scott outlined his excitement that Williams would be returning to his bag, with his usual caddie Greg Hearmon continuing to work with him as well.

“For me it’s exciting to work again with Steve and see if we can rediscover the magic. As a player, you experience different points in your career. Right now, on the PGA Tour is a time of change, and I’m adjusting to it. Having Steve and Greg doing a job share is going to help me get everything I need and that’s to be fresh at the biggest events.”

Scott and Williams stopped working together in 2017, and since then Scott has been a bit less competitive in majors as he was prior to the split.

“My goal is to win majors; I had a good run with Steve in the majors and we did win the Masters, but it’s about getting an overall balance for what I need to perform in the biggest events,” Scott said. “Steve is at a point in his life where he’d like to have a dabble again, so to speak. It’s a good balance for him because it won’t be a full year’s grind.”

Williams is looking forward to getting to work as well, saying he’s going to bring “a lot of enthusiasm”.

“The time I spent caddying for Adam was very memorable; helping him becoming the first Australian to win at Augusta,” Williams said. “I feel Adam is in a good shape with his game, and I’m fresh having not caddied for a few years, so I’ll bring a lot of enthusiasm.”

“I’ve always said to Adam and to others, to be remembered as one of the great players, you have to win multiple majors. The opportunity to try and get Adam major No. 2 and elevate himself to a special group of players in history, would be a privilege.”

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19th Hole

Nick Faldo makes bold Tiger call and aims cheeky dig at Rickie Fowler during ESPN appearance

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Back in 2021, golf legend Nick Faldo took a shot at Rickie Fowler. After missing the cut of the 2021 Masters, Faldo said that Fowler now would have the time to “film another six commercials”.

The 65-year-old, who recently retired from the broadcasting booth, apologized for the comments soon after. However, he’s once again made another public remark at Fowler’s expense.

While making an appearance at ESPN’s College Game Day, Faldo was (for lack of a better term) projecting the Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State game when he made some quips about Rickie’s signature orange outfits.

“Oklahoma State’s all about Rickie Fowler. It’s too much orange, Rickie. You’ve gotta ditch the orange. You’ve gotta come out with some new outfits for next year, orange is so last summer, isn’t it? I’m going with Oklahoma.”

Faldo actually made another predication, and one that he is a bit more qualified to make. Sir Nick said that he expects Tiger Woods and his son Charlie to win next month’s PNC Championship.

Last year, the Woods’ finished in second place behind John Daly and his son John Daly II. Tiger and Charlie have yet to commit to the field, but it’s widely expected that they will do so in the coming weeks.

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19th Hole

Cam Smith falls just short in bid to break Guinness World Record

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Cameron Smith has become a global superstar in the game of golf.

Despite receiving criticism for taking a deal worth a reported $140 million to join LIV Golf, his victory at the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews won’t be soon forgotten.

In addition to the Open Championship victory where he chased down European hero, Rory McIlroy, Smith won the 2022 PLAYERS Championship as well the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Smith’s impressive list of achievements combined with his signature mullet has made him a popular player all over the world, but his star will always shine brightest in his native country of Australia. It was back in his home of Queensland where Smith and his coach, Grant Field recently attempted to break the Guinness World Record title for the Largest Golf Lesson.

They needed more than 1,073 people at the lesson to break the record that was set in Mexico in 2011 but unfortunately the attempt fell just short.

The 29-year-old is set to tee it up for the Australian PGA Championship on Thursday and is looking to become the youngest player to win the championship three times.

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