LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods has made two significant changes to his driver as he prepares for this week’s Genesis Open.
Woods, who tees off at 10:22 a.m. Eastern on Thursday with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, returned to a Matrix Ozik TP7HDe X-flex shaft that he last used in the 2015 Wyndham Championship.
“We could all see how bad I was driving it,” Woods said Tuesday in a news conference from Riviera Country Club, where he is playing for the first time since 2006.
The more “stout” shaft is also complemented by a driver head change adding nearly a degree of loft to his TaylorMade M3.
“It’s a shaft that I knew from years past, so when I picked it up again … I know how it feels and now how it performs,” Woods said. “I drove it great at Wyndham that year, and so that’s about it.”
Woods returned to golf last December using a TaylorMade M2 driver featuring Mitsubishi’s Tensei CK Pro White 70TX, before shifting to a 44-inch M3 at Torrey Pines featuring the same Tensei shaft.
Tiger went into greater detail for those wanting a deeper explanation, including a little lingo for “bend.”
“Because it’s more stout, it doesn’t have much play,” Woods said. “I needed a little more loft, so I added a degree of loft on it. With the new head and one more degree, I found that I could then take off a quarter of a degree. Quite frankly, it’s three-quarters degrees more loft than what I used at Torrey, but it’s spinning the correct amount now.”