Over the years, the mega-golf icon that is Tiger Woods has had a few different brands of irons go through his golf bag. From his explosion on the international golf scene to his incredible career, Tiger’s irons have seen a few changes through the years.
Currently, Tiger is using the TaylorMade P7TW irons and has been for some time, but before this and the very public cheating scandal and recovery and subsequent sponsor withdrawals, he used Nike irons in various configurations for many years and with some interesting customizations.
The interest in Tiger’s golf clubs as a whole has always been a big talking point in the professional game and especially from his fans, so let’s leave the driver and wedges out of the bag and focus on Tiger’s irons over the last two decades.
The Early Years For Tiger’s Irons: 1996-2010
In 1996, Tiger Woods started with a set of Mizuno MP14 irons, and this was a blended set as he wanted to minimize the offset as much as possible. In 2000, when he switched to a new solid-constructed golf ball, the Nike Tour Accuracy Ball made by Bridgestone, the tide began to turn to Nike.
He had great success with the Nike 681 T irons, and by the end of 2002, Tiger had switched most of his clubs, including his irons, to Nike and was using a set of muscle back forged blade irons. As the decade progressed, Tiger used various versions of the Nike VR Pro, Vapor Pro, and Victory Red Forged golf irons.
Related: Do you want to know if golf irons are actually made of iron? Check out this article, Are Golf Irons Made of Iron?
While these were variations, their fundamental shape and weight didn’t change much, and Tiger confessed in 2014 to not liking the rounded shape of the Nike muscle backs and reverted to the straight-back version, which saw him get back to winning ways.
Tiger’s Irons: 2010- 2017
If we look at Tiger Woods’ golf equipment since 2010, you may remember that the 2010 PGA championship saw Tiger using a set of Nike Vapor VR Forged TW blade irons, with the VR standing for ‘Victory Red’ with ‘Frank’ the driver headcover – lest we forget!
Adding the VR_S 2 iron to his bag at the 2012 Dorel championship was the only change Tiger made to his golf irons for the next few years until 2014 when the Nike Vapor Pro irons debuted, and he loaded those into his golf bag for 2015.
The Vapor Pro irons continued a little-known trend that Nike used with Tiger’s irons for a few seasons before that. Nike and Tiger looked for ways to improve the contact and hitting points on the irons as he found that the rounded muscle backs had a too great a disparity in the distance with off-center hits.
They figured out that adding tungsten to the toe of his irons would migrate the hitting area more to the center of the clubface.
In 2016 Tiger had multiple back injuries and surgery and missed all of the four major events in 2017 due to recovery. While he did play a few events in the early part of 2017, he used an old set of VR Forged Blades for those tournaments.
Arriving at the Hero World Challenge in late 2017, Tiger’s irons were unbranded, and while they did feature Tiger’s new corporate logo, there was no manufacturer’s name on them.
Before 2017, Nike had announced that they were no longer going to make balls, bags, or clubs, the stage was set for a new sponsor to fill the Nike void, and in 2017, a month after signing an endorsement contract with Bridgestone balls, TaylorMade announced that they had signed Tiger to use their irons.
Tiger’s Irons: 2017- Present
While Tiger had played with TaylorMade’s M2 driver and their fairway woods, he added a set of prototype irons to his bag in 2018, and like the Nike irons before, the design, shape, and feel remained consistent.
These clubs were designated the TW Phase 1 and continued the earlier Nike configurations that had brought him so much success. At certain events and depending on playing conditions, Tiger also added a TaylorMade RSi Forged 2-iron as he had done in previous years.
In 2019, Tiger had added a new set of irons to his bag when he arrived at Torrey Pines, designated the TaylorMade P7TW.
With this set of irons, Tiger himself had been deeply involved in the design and shaping of the clubs with the sole that had been computer-milled to the exact shape he desired.
TaylorMade made them available to the public on the eve of the Master’s and shot to popularity after his (yet another) famous victory at one of the world’s most prestigious golf events.
The TaylorMade P7TW Irons
Featuring the same tungsten toe-inserts he had used with Nike and made from forged 1020 carbon steel, Tiger went on to win the 2019 Masters with this new set of his design.
In designing this new set of irons, Tiger demanded (and got) all the specifications he wanted, including the grip type, shaft length and material, and the distance each club should hit the ball!
As the TaylorMade designers and builders experimented with the various options, they made six prototypes before finding the right combination that Tiger approved. They then made a 3-iron and 9-iron with the same spec before making the rest of the range.
The blades on the P7TW’s are slightly longer than TaylorMades P730 muscle backs used by Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, but the lengths on the shorter irons are slightly longer, which helps to move the COG toward the toe in the more lofted clubs.
Another feature of the P7TWs vs. the P730s is that the topline is thinner, and with a slightly flatter sole, the P7TWs have more bounce. To achieve the precise bounce required, TaylorMade uses computer technology to finely shave the shape of the sole until the exact shape is achieved.
The P7TWs also have more grooves in the face, and by making them narrower, they can add more spin to the ball, and the tungsten pieces placed behind the center of the striking area add a greater feel off the clubface.
Let’s Wrap This Up!
As one of the world’s best, if not the best ever! Tiger Woods has earned the right to design his clubs, and it is interesting to see how the manufacturers have sought to accommodate his ideas into their designs.
For us mortal golfers, we just want to get it straight and far as often as possible. Still, with the levels of skill and understanding that Tiger brought to the game and his incredible shot-making ability, you can be sure that the history of Tiger’s irons is still very much in the making.