I hate to get dramatic when it comes to golf, but if there’s one tournament that tugs at my heartstrings like no other, it’s the Open Championship. The golf links, the creativity it demands, and the story are all that I love about the game.
Now, in case you recently woke up from a coma or got lost on a desert island, let me bring you up to speed. It’s 2022 and we’re celebrating the 150th game of The Open Championship. Wait, it gets better… he’s being housed at the Old Couse, in St. Andrews, Scotland! We should also point out that Tiger Woods, at 46, is potentially making his last ditch effort to win the Claret Jug at “the house of golf”; If that doesn’t excite you, nothing will.
As Tiger prepares for what could be a truly historic run to a third St. Andrews Open win, there’s no better time to delve into the clubs he used to win his second Claret Jug in 2005 on the same course.
Nike Ignite 460cc (8.5°), with Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana Blue 83 TX
The Nike Ignite 460 marked the first time Tiger had put a 460cc driver into competitive play. Up until 2005 he had only used the Ignite 410 (for 410cc) and was messing around with several heavy prototype graphite driveshafts. We have to remember that Tiger was one of the last players on the PGA Tour to use a steel shaft driver and making the switch took a long time. For comparison, his 2005 83g driver shaft is over 10 grams heavier than his current 3-wood shaft.
Nike Ignite T60 (15°), with Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana Blue 103 TX
Speaking of 3 woods, the Ignite T60 was a great fairway wood and entered Tiger’s bag early in the 2005 season. Hard to believe now, but up to that point he still used his trusty old Titleist PT from time to time.
From a technological standpoint, the Nike T60 Ignite was a traditionally shaped fairway wood with a full 60 grams of tungsten in the sole plate and a 455 carpenter steel face to maximize ball speed. Considering the reference to the club in the video below, and how he outclassed his previous Titleist, it’s no wonder this was his player.
Nike Forged Blades (2-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100
Now it seems normal to think that Nike made irons, and very good ones, but in 2005 Nike was still a relative newcomer in the space. It was only a few years earlier, in 2001, when David Duval won the Open Championship on a prototype of Nike’s forged blades.
From a tech and spec perspective, Tiger’s irons are pretty boring. A set of forged 2-iron pitching wedge blades with lofts based on a 49° pitching wedge.
Nike Pro Combo Raw (56°), Nike TW (60°), with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400
Thanks to Tiger’s preference for a weak-loft pitching wedge, he has only used a two-wedge setup. Like their irons, the specs are fairly classic with S400 shafts in a 56° sand wedge and 60° lob wedge. It just goes to show you that when you have a short game as good as Tiger’s, you can afford to keep it simple.
scott cameron newport 2
Hundreds of pages of digital script have gone into talking about Tiger’s famous Scotty Cameron putter, and I’d love to write a couple more, but for this one, I’ll leave it to Jonathan Wall, managing editor at GOLF.com. to tell you about the story: The Tiger Woods Scotty Cameron Putter Story. Although they briefly broke up, this is exactly the putter he continues to use to this day.
Nike One Platinum TW
This was the post-Nike Tour Accuracy era and the Nike ONE ball came in two different versions; the black and platinum, with platinum being a higher spin 4-piece option. The platinum was one of the few 4-piece golf balls on the market and it has since been confirmed that Bridgestone produced Nike golf balls at the time.
It would be an interesting head-to-head test now because at the time of its introduction, the One Platinum was known as one of the spiciest golf balls on the market, and Nick Faldo got himself in trouble when he said on a broadcast that Tiger’s ball it was 20 yards shorter than everyone else’s on Tour. This was in reference to the published results of a test conducted by TaylorMade at the time they released their TP Red and Black models, and it should be noted that Faldo was on staff at TaylorMade at the time.