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Equipment Report
  • EQUIPMENT

    The equipment Tiger Woods used to win his four Masters titles

  • Tiger Woods tees off on the 18th hole during the Masters Tournament in 2005. He'd win in a playoff. (Photos courtesy of Getty Images) Tiger Woods tees off on the 18th hole during the Masters Tournament in 2005. He'd win in a playoff. (Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

When it comes to golf equipment, Tiger Woods is a creature of habit. More than two decades have gone by since Woods' historic 1997 Masters triumph, but not much has changed with regards to his gear.

Sure, Woods is now using adjustable metalwoods with graphite shafts and swapped his butter knife 2-iron for a driving iron; however, that's pretty much the extent of the changes that have occurred. The rest of Woods' set makeup, from the lengths to lofts, have remained frozen in time.

Woods' reluctance to tinker with his equipment was apparent during a nine-year run from 1997 to 2005 when he won four green jackets — three of which came with steel-shafted woods.

Woods didn't employ a graphite-shafted driver until the 2004 season and was one of the last to trade in a 260cc Titleist 975D driver for something that was more in line with the times. Woods didn't even adapt to the 460cc head until the run-up to the 2005 Masters and used a 410cc Nike model prior to that.

The fairway woods were very traditional as well, as Woods used bore-through Titleist PT 15 and 970 models for most of his early years on TOUR. When he finally decided to swap his PT 15 for 970, he asked Titleist reps to create a modified bore-through model where the shaft extended through the clubhead and ended in the sole.

Woods would eventually move to a version without a bore-through hosel in 2001 and never went back when he began using Nike clubs.

While most equipment changes in Woods' bag move at a glacial pace, he was ahead of the curve when it came to two things: Iron set makeup and implementing solid-core ball technology.

During the 1997 Masters, Woods employed two different Mizuno iron models: MP-14 and MP-29. Blended sets were uncommon back in 1997; however, Woods noticed subtle offset changes from the long to short irons between the sets.

The MP-29 provided less offset in the long irons than the MP-14 and vice versa in the mid and short irons. To get the perfect amount of offset, Woods split the set in half, using MP-29 in the 2- through 4-iron and MP-14 in the 5-iron through pitching wedge.

Woods would later switch to a set of Titleist 681 Forged "T" irons that were modeled after the Mizuno set and featured a beefy D4 swingweight. One interesting thing about Woods' irons is that the lofts haven't been altered going back to before he turned professional.

"I'm stock spec from say the 60s," Woods told PGATOUR.COM during an exclusive interview back in December. "The only thing that would be weird is I have a 60‑degree sand wedge. I didn't have a 60 until probably late high school, just 56 and open and whatever you want to do. I had a 1‑iron and a 2‑iron. But yeah, my pitching wedge is 50 degrees, my 9‑iron is 45 and a half. I see some of these guys with pitching wedges that are 45 or 44."

He was also one of the first notable names to switch from a wound-core ball to solid-core construction after the 2000 Masters. Woods would go on to win the next four majors with the ball.

The following year when Woods won his second green jacket at the 2001 Masters — completing the "Tiger Slam" — all but four players in the field reportedly used a solid-core ball.

The three-wedge setup has remained a staple for Woods for practically his entire career. Many of today's stars employ a four-wedge setup, but Woods never saw the point of going to something that took away his creativity.

"This whole four‑wedge system I don't understand; just why don't you take something off?" Woods said. "I just don't understand that part. In the Bahamas I had 89 yards out and 95 yards out and pulled out pitching wedge. To me that's what I've been able to do. Let's also don't forget I play a softer, spinnier ball, so those little shots are easier for me to hit.”

If there's one thing about Woods' wedges that's worth pointing out, it's that the Vokey Design 200 Series wedges he used to win the 2001 and 2002 Masters had a two-degree gapping. At least it appeared that way if you saw the lofts stamped on the 58- and 60-degree heads.

In actuality, Woods had the 58-degree weakened to 56 degrees, which not only reduced the loft but decreased the bounce to 6 degrees — a number not seen on a sand wedge used by today's Tour pros.

As for the putter, Woods only used two Scotty Cameron models during his four triumphs at Augusta National Golf Club. The TeI3 (Terrylium) is the second-most famous putter Woods has handled — although you could debate it was used for the most impactful win — next to the Newport 2 GSS (German Stainless Steel) that played a part in 13 of his 14 major wins.

The red dot in the cavity and on the face near the toe of the Newport 2 are the calling card for one of the most famous putters in the history of the game.

In actuality, they served an important technical purpose, as Cameron had to get the head down two swing-weight points to match Woods' preferred weight before shipping it off to him before the 1999 Byron Nelson.

To get the head weight dialed-in, Cameron drilled the holes and then added red paint to make the "dots" pop.

"I have a lot of history with that one," Woods said of the Newport 2. "I've tried other putters but when I pick this one up there isn't any guesswork. I know how it's going to perform on the course."

Here's a look back at each setup Woods used to win his four Masters titles.

5101543P BAY HILLS INVIT''L

1997

Driver: King Cobra Deep Face (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft), 9 degrees
3-wood: Titleist PT 15 (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft), 15 degrees
Irons: Mizuno MP-29 (2-4; True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts), MP-14 (5-PW; True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts).
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTG (56 and 60 degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport TeI3
Ball: Titleist Professional 90

3010090DM011_WGC_Matchplay

2001

Driver: Titleist 975D (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft), 7.5 degrees
3-wood: 
Titleist 970 (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft), 15 degrees
Irons: 
Titleist 681 Forged (2-PW; True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)
Wedges: 
Titleist Vokey Design (258-08 and 260-06 degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts)
Putter: 
Scotty Cameron Newport 2
Ball: 
Nike Tour Accuracy TW

6502203P THE MASTERS X

2002

Driver: Nike Forged Titanium (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft), 8.5 degrees
3-wood: Titleist 970 (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft), 15 degrees
Irons: Titleist 681 Forged Prototype (2-PW; True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)
Wedges: 
Titleist Vokey Design (258-08 and 260-06 degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2
Ball: Nike Tour Accuracy TW

1805138SH010_Amex_Champs

2005

Driver: Nike Ignite 460cc (Mitsubishi Diamana 83 shaft), 8.5 degrees
3-wood: Nike T60 Ignite (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 103 shaft), 15 degrees
Irons: Nike Forged Blades (2-PW; True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)
Wedges: Nike Pro Combo (56 degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shaft), Nike Blade TW (60 degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shaft)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2
Ball: Nike One Platinum TW