Golf News: Tiger Woods is altering his behaviour.
Woods, who has won 15 major championships, will transition from a Bridgestone Tour B XS to a Tour B X when he hits the course Saturday for The Match alongside Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Jordan Spieth.
Woods contributed to the design of the Tour B XS, but he will continue to use the standard Tour B X that can be purchased at any retail golf shop.
Woods told Bridgestone, “The Tour B XS is a wonderful golf ball; it has the feel and spin I’ve preferred. However, right now, I’m experimenting with the Tour B X to get a little more pop. I have varying preferences depending on the circumstance, so it’s fantastic that Bridgestone provides a variety of balls I can play right off the shelf.
Woods has played a softer ball with more spin for about 20 years, but in preparation for The Match, he wants to add distance — at least for the time being. Woods and his son Charlie will compete at the PNC Championship later this month.
According to Elliot Mellow, marketing manager for Bridgestone golf balls, “they are more of an exhibition-type circumstance, and I think that’s weighing into his decision.” He has been focusing on distance and believes that the greenside spin is where it needs to be, so he will play on the Tour B X at least for the upcoming events.
Woods tested the ball last week at Albany Golf Club at the Hero World Challenge (Woods did not compete in the event due to plantar fasciitis) to see how it performed in the wind. He first tested the ball around the greens to ensure that it had a significant shot-game spin.
The ball passed the test for Woods to switch, but it’s likely that the 46-year-old will return to his go-to club when he tees it up competitively again early next year (likely in a few major championships).
“The Tour B XS is still a golf ball that he helped co-design, and he’ll likely return to it when he needs a ball with more playability and workability, according to Mellow. He’s chasing distance more than spin for all the obvious reasons, so we don’t get the idea this is a permanent thing.”