Woods debuts prototype Nike shoes
Tiger Woods at the Bridgestone Invitational
Check out photos of Tiger Woods' return to the golf course at the Bridgestone Invitational
Tiger Woods wore a new “natural motion” shoe at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and, for the first time in a PGA Tour event, played in plastic spikes.
Woods, who normally wears traditional golf shoes with steel spikes, wore a shoe called Nike Free. Inspired by the technology of a Nike running shoe by the same name, it is designed to mimic and conform to the natural motion of the foot. The shoe is said to allow greater movement for the front of the foot, increasing stability with mobility.
Part of the heel is created from recycled Nike Air Max units melted into thread and then woven together to create a strong, breathable textile material. This model has a half heel counter in both shoes to provide more stability on the lateral side, particularly in the follow through.
Woods wore the shoe in white and black colors. Woods’ use of plastic spikes is part of a strategy to ease the stress on his left knee and leg.
According to Nike, the shoe is not ready for production and probably won’t be until 2012.
All Titleist gear for Scott
Adam Scott used a complete bag of Titleist gear in his victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Scott’s bag: 910D3 driver (9.5 degree), 910F.d 3-wood (15 degree), 910H hybrid (21 degree), MB irons (3-9), Vokey Design wedges (48, 54, 60 degree), Scotty Cameron Kombi long putter and Pro V1 ball.
Shafts used by Scott: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 (driver), Fujikura Rombax P95 (3-wood), UST Proforce V2 104 (hybrid), KBS Tour X (irons and wedges).
Woods still switching putters
Tiger Woods started at Firestone with a Titleist Scotty Cameron Prototype putter, although he later switched to a Nike Method putter. He finished with 117 putts (T-43).
The rest of Woods’ bag (all Nike): VR Tour driver (8.5 degree), VR Pro Prototype 3-wood (15 degree) and 5-wood (19 degree), VR Pro Blade irons (3-PW), VR Pro wedges (56, 60 degree) and One Tour D ball.
Goosen full-court press on alignment
Retief Goosen received a new belly-style Ghost Spider putter from TaylorMade. Goosen liked the “basketball court” alignment system. His missed putts tend to go right, and he felt the new putter was helping him avoid this through better alignment.
Goosen also wanted a grip with a white cap on the end. Why? Because his shirts were getting dark smudge marks from a black grip and with a black end cap.
Pettersen wins with Nike gear
Suzann Pettersen used a new high-MOI Nike Method Prototype putter in winning the Ladies European Tour’s Ladies Irish Open by six strokes. The mallet putter will become available in golf shops on Nov. 1.
The rest of Pettersen’s bag (all Nike): VR STR8-FIT driver (9.5 degree), SQ Dymo 3-wood (13 degree), VR hybrid (18 degree), VR Pro Combo irons (4-PW), VR Blade wedges (48, 53, 59 degree) and Nike 20XI-X ball.
Furyk still searching for driver
Jim Furyk, struggling at 84th on the PGA Tour money list, continues to switch clubs. Furyk has been back and forth all year between TaylorMade’s R11 driver and Burner SuperFast 2.0 driver.
At Firestone, he tested a collection of 2.0 drivers with shafts from all the major manufacturers. He ended up using a 10.5-degree 2.0 with a new Mitsubishi Fubuki K series shaft. For the last two years, Furyk has used mostly Oban shafts in his drivers. Furyk also switched to an Odyssey White Ice D.A.R.T. putter at Firestone.
Short shots: Ernie Els used new Callaway Razr X Muscle Back irons at Firestone. He played them for the first time in a Wednesday practice round and kept them in the bag. His previous Callaway X Prototype irons had been there for 18 months. . . . J.J. Killeen won for the second consecutive week on the Nationwide Tour. Again he used the Odyssey White Hot XG No. 7 putter, leading the field in putts per GIR (1.569) and tying for fifth in putts per round (27.5). . . . K.J. Choi asked TaylorMade for a set of the new R11 irons. Choi did not use them in competition at Firestone . . . At Firestone, Jason Day added a 21-degree TaylorMade Rescue 11, while Martin Kaymer and Edoardo Molinari each went with the 19-degree Rescue. Dustin Johnson and Martin Laird opted for another alternative: 19-degree TaylorMade R9 5-woods.
– James Achenbach