Tiger Woods is using a different shaft in his driver this week at THE PLAYERS Championship. (Getty Images)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods turned back the clock on Tuesday at the THE PLAYERS Championship when he showed up for his practice session with a Mitsubishi Diamana White Board shaft in his Nike VR Tour driver.
Woods used the shaft with much success several years back before switching to a Graphite Design AD DI-6X prior to his return to competitive golf at the 2010 Masters.
Woods had the White Board shaft in the driver that was initially in his bag, but he only hit a couple balls with it on the range before a Nike Tour rep handed him a similar Nike VR Tour with Woods' current AD DI-6X shaft.
Woods went on to spend a majority of his Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds using the AD DI-6X in his driver.
Despite the lack of visible reps — he could've done additional testing outside the public eye — Woods swapped shafts and went with the White Board on Thursday afternoon.
Woods was also spotted on the range sporting a new pair of white Nike golf shoes. Nike officials confirmed Woods was wearing a new shoe — likely the TW '14 — and said details surrounding the model would be coming out in the near future.
Harrington spotted with adjustable Wilson Staff hybrid: Padraig Harrington is one of the biggest tinkerers on the PGA TOUR. Based on the adjustable hybrid Harrington was spotted working with on Wednesday, he may have the ability to adjust his Wilson woods in the future.
Harrington, along with the rest of Wilson's players at TPC Sawgrass, had the opportunity to test the adjustable prototypes early in the week. There's no official word on when the woods will be released.
Oosthuizen likes Diamana shaft: Louis Oosthuizen received a big boost in his driving numbers by switching shafts in his PING Anser driver.
The 2010 British Open winner had been using a Fujikura Tour Spec Speeder 6.2 but went to a Diamana 'ahina 60-X shaft that flew with less spin and launched higher. The new shaft gave Oosthuizen an additional 8-10 yards off the tee.
Spider Blade testing for Kaymer: Martin Kaymer could be the latest to switch to TaylorMade's Spider Blade putter following an extensive testing session on Tuesday with a 37-inch version (No. 1 hosel).
Kaymer has been playing a PING Anser 2 for years, so the switch to a counterbalanced putter would be considered a big change.
Bradley testing for U.S. Open: With the 2013 U.S. Open a little more than a month away, Keegan Bradley started testing additional Cleveland 588 MT irons in preparation for Merion's tight layout.
Bradley, who's already using a 588 MT 4-iron
, tested a 2- and 3-iron. The long-irons have become a hybrid replacement for a number of players this year, and Bradley believes the club's length and accuracy could give him multiple options off the tee.
Cabrera going with course-specific PING hybrid: Having a club you can hit a certain distances off the tee or from the fairway is extremely important at TPC Sawgrass.
The course setup this week was a big reason why Angel Cabrera had PING Tour reps build him a 20-degree PING Anser hybrid that he could easily hit out of the rough. Cabrera already has the club in the bag and plans to use it during the tournament.
Walker adjusted Titleist irons: Jimmy Walker's work with instructor Butch Harmon forced him to make a necessary adjustment to his Titleist 712 MB Forged irons after Harmon flattened out his swing.
Titleist Tour reps moved the irons from 1 degree flat to 2 degrees flat. Walker felt the lie adjustment fit the new swing.
Divots: Trying to get his Callaway X Hot Phrankenwood to a particular swingweight, Phil Mickelson made a slight tweak to the shaft, cutting it down 1/2-inch. ... Sergio Garcia won't switch to TaylorMade's RocketBallz Stage 2 driver this week, but he did have TaylorMade reps build him a 9.5-degree version — the driver is counterbalanced in the butt end of the shaft like the rest of the clubs in his bag — to work with at home in the coming weeks. ... Harris English tested PING's Nome TR putter and walked away impressed with its performance. It could go in the bag on Thursday. ... Looking for a club he could launch higher and hit off the tee with confidence, Tommy Gainey replaced his Callaway X Hot 3-wood (13.8 degree of loft) with a 43-inch Callaway X Hot 4-wood (16 degrees). Gainey wanted a 260-yard club and the new fairway wood fit his criteria.