November 30, 2016
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- For the first time since 2011, Tiger Woods will be playing with a mixed set of clubs at the Hero World Challenge. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
A lot has changed for Tiger Woods since he last played competitively at the 2015 Wyndham Championship, including the equipment brands currently taking up real estate in his new Monster Energy staff bag.
For the first time since 2011 when he started playing a full bag of Nike clubs on a regular basis, Woods will have a mixed setup at the Hero World Challenge. He confirmed during his pre-tournament press conference that he planned to use Nike irons and wedges, a Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 GSS putter and Bridgestone B330S golf ball.
Reports also suggest Woods will have a TaylorMade M2 driver and M1 3-wood and 5-wood in play. The 14-time major winner was spotted using them on the course over the last few days.
Assuming the TaylorMade woods get the green light for Thursday, Woods would join fellow high-profile Nike staffers Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka who are using the M2 model at the moment.
Of course, Woods' decision to move away from an all-Nike bag wasn't by design. Under contract with the Swoosh until 2018, Woods and the rest of the company's staffers were forced to reassess their equipment future when Nike announced in August that it would no longer produce clubs and balls ("hard good") going forward, choosing instead to focus on golf shoes and apparel.
The new setup this week is sure to raise some eyebrows, but even Woods admitted his gear situation is fluid at the moment. He insisted this is just the start of figuring out what he'll use next year when he starts adding additional events to the schedule.
"As far as equipment and golf clubs, I'm still evolving," Woods said. "I'm still testing that. I've put some old clubs back in the bag. You saw it, I got my old Cameron back in the bag. I'm going to go out here and test some more woods here. I've got my old Nike irons back in the bag, and Bridgestone ball for right now."
Out of everything in Woods' bag, the Bridgestone B330S golf ball is the biggest surprise. Woods played an integral role in the creation of Nike's ball but decided now was the time to find a new driver/ball combination.
The least surprising would have to be the 326-gram Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 putter Woods used for over a decade to record 13 of his 14 major victories. The flat stick is made from German Stainless Steel and is 35-1/4 inches long with a standard lie angle.
After a 15-month absence, we don't have to wait much longer to see how Woods performs with his new setup.