I hate to get dramatic when it comes to golf, but if there’s one tournament that touches me like no other, it’s The Open Championship. The links of golf, the creativity it requires, and the story is everything I love about this game.
Now, just in case you recently woke up from a coma or were lost on a desert island, let me catch you up. We are in 2022 and we are celebrating the 150th edition of the Open Championship. Wait, it gets better… it’s happening at the Old Couse, in St. Andrews, Scotland! We should also note that 46-year-old Tiger Woods is potentially making his last effort to win the Claret Jug at ‘the home of golf’ – if that doesn’t excite you, nothing will.
As Tiger prepares for what could be a truly historic run for a third Open win at St. Andrews, there’s no better time for a deep dive 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 put a 460cc rider in competition. Until 2005 he had only used the Ignite 410 (for 410cc) and was tinkering with a number of heavy duty graphite driver shaft prototypes. We have to remember that Tiger was one of the last players on the PGA Tour to use a steel-shafted driver and 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 one hell of a fairway wood and came into Tiger’s bag at the start of the 2005 season. Hard to believe now, but up until now he’s been using his trusty old Titleist PT.
From a technology standpoint, the Nike T60 Ignite was a traditionally shaped fairway wood with a total of 60 grams of tungsten in the sole and a 455 carpenter steel face to maximize ball speed. Considering the reference to the club in the following video and how he outperformed his previous Titleist, it’s no wonder he was his player.
Nike Forged Blades (2-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100
It seems normal now to think that Nike made irons – and damn good irons, but in 2005 Nike was still a relative newcomer to the space. It was only a few years before, in 2001, when David Duval won the Open Championship with a prototype set of Nike forged blades.
Tech-wise and spec-wise, 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 low-loft pitching wedge, he’s only ever used a two-wedge setup. Like his irons, the specs are pretty standard with S400 shafts in a 56° sand wedge and 60° lob wedge. It’s just going to show you that when you have a short game as good as Tiger’s, you can afford to keep it simple.
Scotty Cameron Newport 2
Hundreds of pages of digital script have gone into talking about Tiger’s famed putter Scotty Cameron, and I’d be happy to write a few more – but for this one I’ll leave it to Jonathan Wall, Editor-in-Chief of GOLF .com Managing Equipment for the story: The Tiger Woods Scotty Cameron Putter Story. Although they had a brief hiatus, that’s exactly the putter he continues to use to this day.
Nike One Platinum TW
It was the post-Nike Tour Accuracy era and the Nike ONE ball came in two different versions; black and platinum – with platinum being a higher-spinning 4-coin option. The Platinum was one of the few 4-piece balls on the market and it has since been confirmed that at the time Nike golf balls were produced by Bridgestone.
It would make for an interesting head-to-head test now, because at the time of its introduction the One Platinum was known as one of the thorniest golf balls on the market, and Nick Faldo found himself in some hot water when he said on a show that Tiger’s ball was 20 yards shorter than everyone else on the circuit. This was in reference to published results of a test conducted by TaylorMade at the time of their TP Red and Black models release – and it should be noted that Faldo was on staff at TaylorMade at the time.