INZAI, JAPAN – OCTOBER 26: Tiger Woods of the United States hits his tee shot on the 5th hole during the second round of the Zozo Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on October 26, 2019 in Inzai, Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
By E. Michael Johnson
It took a while, but Tiger Woods tied Sam Snead’s PGA Tour all-time mark for victories with 82 with a victory in the rain-delayed Zozo Championship. Woods fired a final-round 67 to hold off Hideki Matsuyama by three shots.
As is often the recipe for a Woods win, the 15-time major champion combined superb iron play with timely putting. Woods ranked T-4 in greens in regulation, hitting 76.4 percent of his greens for the week. He also cashed in on a good number of those opportunities, ranking first for the week in putts per green in regulation at 1.638, including a key birdie conversion on the par-5 14th hole to boost his cushion to three strokes over Matsuyama.
Woods’ P7TW irons boast a traditional, muscleback-blade look that Woods has favored throughout his career. When it comes to irons, feel, not distance, is paramount for Woods. To achieve that feel, TaylorMade employed tungsten to produce a deeper feel.
Woods has used the same iron specs since he was a kid, telling Golf Digest in 2017 he only changed the lie angle at times when a swing change called for it. He also pays close attention to sole design. Repeating that sole shape is made easier by TaylorMade using milling instead of a standard forging. Forging requires a fair amount of handwork, but the soles of the P7TW are CNC milled—a process similar to the company’s Milled grind wedges—to remove any inconsistencies from a hand-grinding process.
Among the distinct aspects of the sole grind on the P7TW irons is a slightly flatter sole radius and slightly more bounce (depending on the loft) compared to typical designs. In addition, the groove on Woods’ P7TW irons is narrower than typical designs, and there are more grooves on the face. The shafts are True Temper’s Dynamic Gold X-100 and the grips Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet cord.
Of course, then there is Woods’ Scotty Cameron by Titleist Tiger putter. Woods’ Cameron is made from German stainless steel. At one point, Woods had 1/4-degree of loft added to the putter to bring it back to its standard 4 degrees. In this era of somewhat heavier flat sticks, the club’s 326 grams is a touch on the lighter side, although its swingweight of D7 is pretty much standard for a blade putter. The club’s markings include a single sight dot and a red “cherry dot” on both the face and in the back cavity. The putter also has a blank sole, with “Tiger” engraved on the left bumper and “Woods” on the right bumper. The club features a Ping grip with the “Ping” name blacked out and was re-shafted twice over its first 10 years. The Newport-shaped putter has been in the bag for the better part of two-plus decades for Woods and he has won 14 of his 15 majors with it.
And now as many PGA Tour wins as anyone in history.
Tiger’s Bag in Japan
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
Driver: TaylorMade M5 Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 60TX), 9 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M5, 15 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade M3, 19 degrees
Irons (3-PW): TaylorMade P7TW
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Tiger