A decade ago, Phil Mickelson called Tiger Woods‘ new Nike clubs “inferior,” and suggested that equipment was playing a factor in other golfers catching up to Woods. Given the success that Woods has had since — and the number of other golfers who have followed suit and signed on with Nike — no one’s criticizing Woods’ choice clubs anymore.
But that doesn’t mean people aren’t still curious what’s in Woods’ bag.
Woods was seen testing out a new Nike driver during his British Open practice round Tuesday, according to Golfweek. Woods has been using a Nike VR Tour model since 2010, but Tuesday he was seen wielding a Nike VR_S Covert Tour.
Nike confirmed to Golfweek that Woods was using a new driver, and also gave away some of the specifics that differentiate Woods’ model from an on-the-shelf club. The VR_S Covert Tour usually features an adjustable hosel to change its loft angle, but Woods’ is glued in and fixed at 9.5 degrees. Woods’ model is also more pear-shaped than consumers purchase, but it does have the same Mitsubishi shaft he used with his previous driver.
Despite all the attention on Woods’ driver, it’s questionable whether he’ll even use one this week at Muirfield.
Many analysts have already pointed out the similarities between Muirfield and Hoylake, where Woods won the Open in 2006. That year, Woods used his driver just once in four rounds en route to capturing the Claret Jug. Likewise, Woods has admitted he hasn’t used his driver much this week during practice rounds.
“I used a lot of irons [at Hoylake],” Woods said during his Tuesday news conference. “I hit one driver that week. This course is playing similar to that, it is quick. I’ve played three days now and I have only hit a couple of drivers here.”
Woods is scheduled to tee off at 2:45 p.m. local time (9:45 a.m. ET) Thursday.