On the top of his powers, in 2000 and 2001, Woods not solely was among the many longest hitters on Tour, he hit greater than 70 % of the fairways. Accidents, swing modifications and time away from aggressive golf have eroded his accuracy off the tee, however Woods has proven in current weeks that even after a number of again surgical procedures, he’s able to producing numbers that rank alongside elite drivers on Tour.
Woods, 42, just lately made delicate modifications to his driver which have helped him obtain distance and velocity positive factors.
Woods had used a driver shaft that weighed between 70 and 75 grams for years, and when he returned to motion on the Hero World Problem in 2016 – a couple of months after Nike introduced it now not would make golf equipment, balls or golf baggage – Woods opted to make use of a 9.5-degree TaylorMade M2 driver fitted with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Professional White 70TX shaft. When he returned to motion at the 2017 Hero World Problem in December, he once more used a TaylorMade M2 with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Professional White 70 TX shaft.
Earlier than the Genesis Open in February at Riviera, having pushed the ball poorly two weeks earlier than at Torrey Pines in the course of the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, Woods switched the shaft on his new TaylorMade M3 driver to a Matrix TP6HDe shaft that weighs 65 grams. A change of 5 to 10 grams might not seem to be rather a lot, however to a professional, it’s vital and will end in a participant with the ability to swing the membership a little bit quicker.
Woods additionally famous he had added about zero.75 levels of loft, along with his M3 now set at 10.25 levels, and that the spin charge was higher.
Throughout Newpaper24’s broadcast of the Valspar Championship on Sunday, commentator Notah Begay – a longtime pal and former faculty teammate of Woods – talked about that Woods additionally tinkered with the size of his driver just lately. “He was in a 44 three/Four-inch driver for some time, went to 45 inches and now’s again to 44 1/Four to about 44 1/2 inches,” Begay stated earlier than Woods teed off to begin the ultimate spherical.
That size vary is pretty normal for PGA Tour gamers, however it’s value noting that Woods performed a 43 1/2-inch driver for a few years.
If two golf equipment have the identical weight however completely different lengths, the longer membership can have the next swing weight and can really feel heavier throughout a swing. So whereas including size might increase Woods’ clubhead velocity a contact, the extra vital results of going to a barely longer shaft could possibly be a change in really feel. The longer, lighter driver may really feel much like the outdated driver that was barely shorter however heavier.
Woods additionally has executed a major quantity of tinkering with the moveable weights in his TaylorMade M3 this season. Within the picture beneath, taken in the course of the Wednesday pro-am earlier than the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, the 2 weights are each within the middle channel, which ought to scale back spin and launch angle whereas boosting ball velocity and sustaining a impartial side-to-side weight bias.
Within the picture beneath, taken throughout Sunday’s closing spherical on the identical occasion, it’s clear that each weights have been moved.
This break up positioning would enhance spin and launch angle, and since the weights are pushed towards the perimeter of the top, this set-up would increase the second of inertia and enhance forgiveness. It seems the burden within the toe is barely farther alongside the channel than the burden within the heel, so this setup would have a slight fade bias.
Two weeks later, after making the shaft change and going with extra loft, Woods reconfigured the weights on this driver once more earlier than the Genesis Open. As will be seen within the picture beneath, one weight was positioned ahead and one was simply into the fade channel.
Per week later, earlier than the Honda Traditional at PGA Nationwide Resort & Spa, the picture beneath exhibits Woods once more tweaked the burden settings in his driver. The load within the fade channel seems to be in the identical spot, however the weight within the middle channel is farther again than at Riviera.
Testing gear on the vary or in apply rounds at dwelling is wise, however trusting it within the warmth of battle on the PGA Tour is one thing else fully. Woods has performed solely 13 measured rounds this season, so it’s comprehensible he’s nonetheless honing the mixture of the brand new TaylorMade M3 head, his shaft and his Bridgestone Tour B XS ball.
As Woods likes to say, it’s a course of, and this one might proceed all season as he appears to be like to sharpen his driving.