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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Skinny on Tiger's New Irons

Ever since he tweeted the photo of his new "TW Phase1" irons -- and yes, that's what TaylorMade is calling them for now, to differentiate them from future tweaks -- everybody wants to know what's up with Tiger's new sticks. Let's see if we can shed some light on things.

The photo above came from a article in early January. It shows Tiger and TaylorMade VP of Tour Operations Keith Sbarbaro hard at work during one of their early test sessions. I'd advise you to read the whole article, because it will give you a clear view of how Tiger -- and, I suppose, any tour pro -- goes about getting fitted for clubs when they sign a new mega-million dollar equipment deal.

I was interested to learn that Tiger is able to tell slight differences in clubs because he has played the same specs for so long:
Woods is well-equipped to notice anything amiss with his irons. He has used the same iron specs since he was a kid, saying he only changed the lie angle at times when a swing change called for it. He’s also aware that alterations are easier to make today, recalling that during his early years as a pro he would need to go through eight or nine sets of irons and cherrypick clubs from each set to get the CGs to match.
That's interesting, don't you think? We tend to believe Tiger makes wholesale changes in his game every so often, but it's clear that he never makes changes that affect his impact position too much. If it did, he'd have to make major equipment changes. That could explain how Tiger managed to make so many swing changes successfully when most players have trouble making a single change.

Golf Digest also notes that while Tiger's primary concern is trajectory -- big surprise, right, given how much he talks about it -- he was able to identify slight differences in feel as well, and was able to easily discuss the science behind those discrepancies. I suspect that's part of the reason Tiger and Bryson DeChambeau have been playing practice rounds together so much. Swing geeks love to talk equipment!

Also noted: Tiger wants his clubs to look a certain way. He likes a muscleback iron with a longer blade length, thinner sole and a squared-off toe. And he likes a smaller head on his driver.

Here are a couple of other articles that you might want to take a look at.
I suspect we'll be hearing more about the irons before the week is over. But at least you'll have some idea what all the fuss is about.

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