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Tiger Got His Incredible Edge From This Game Changer

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Tiger Got His Incredible Edge

Tiger Woods’ 2000 season will go down as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. Three consecutive major wins. Nine worldwide victories. An astounding 17 top 10 finishes in 20 starts. A scoring average that was nearly three shots better than the Tour average. And the list goes on and on.

Woods was in a class by himself that year.

What’s even more impressive is that Woods completely rewrote the record books with a three-piece, solid construction ball with a molded rubber core injected and urethane cover that was markedly different from what his peers were playing at the time. Up until that point in his career, a liquid-filled core and wound construction was the preference for a majority of pros, Woods included.

Tiger didn’t need an equipment edge to dominate the competition, but his decision to put Nike’s Tour Accuracy in play that spring at the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open in Hamburg proved to be a turning point for not only the 15-time major winner, but the equipment industry as a whole. By the time Woods closed out the Tiger Slam at the 2001 Masters, all but four players in the field used a solid-construction ball.

Steve Williams, Woods’ former caddie, had a front row seat for the equipment change. During the latest episode of the Chasing Majors podcast — a show he co-hosts with golf journalist Evin Priest — Williams detailed the evolution of Woods’ golf ball change and the impact it had on the sport.

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“This golf ball didn’t come by accident,” Williams said on Chasing Majors. “When Tiger signed with Nike, [the ball] was one of the projects. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a couple years of engineering that went into developing the ball and getting it exactly right. And it wasn’t going to be put into play until such time that it was exactly how he wanted it.”

Up until that point in his career, Woods appeared to be in total control of his game as Williams assumed the caddie job in 1999, but even the Aussie noticed some massive improvements as his boss started to put the Nike ball through its paces during early testing.

“Tiger had a couple hundred balls in his practice bag — obviously all the balls he wasn’t using at the moment — and he’d go through the same array of shots, but there was an ease for him to do exactly what he wanted to do [with the Tour Accuracy],” Williams said on the podcast. “When he was trying to hit that stinger shot, he’d really have to concentrate on hitting it low and all the mechanics that went with it. But this ball, because it was designed so well, for specifically what he wanted to do, he’d hit the shots he needed with more ease and more confidence. Heading into the 2000 season, this ball was going to be a big factor, I felt.”

Pressed by Priest to offer a shots-per-round advantage the solid-construction ball gave Woods in competition, Williams didn’t hesitate.

“Every time you have a golf ball reacting to the way you want to hit it, I think that just frees you up and gives you confidence,” he said. “You’d have to say it was worth one or two shots per round, for sure.”

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One or two shots per round. Considering Woods was already head and shoulders above his peers, an extra one or two shots would’ve made keeping up with the then-24-year-old almost impossible. His results on the course back up the fact that Woods was, indeed, practically unbeatable on the course with the new ball in play.

Williams was quick to note Woods’ near-immediate success with the Nike ball was the polar opposite of what happened to Greg Norman — Williams caddied for Norman from 1982 to 1989 — during the 1980s when he switched to a high-spin Spalding ball.

“When Tiger went to that Nike ball, it absolutely suited him,” Williams said. “But way back in the 1980s, Greg Norman played Spalding and went to the Tour Distance ball — he was obviously paid a lot of money to play Spalding and this new golf ball — and that ball was so detrimental to his career. It was the worst thing he ever did. That ball would’ve cost him two shots a round.

“If he would’ve ended up playing a different ball at Augusta, he would’ve won the tournament. I have absolutely no qualms in saying that. The Tour Distance spun more than any other ball — and Greg liked that. But it spun too much. Back in those days, he didn’t have the advantage of having all of this technology like TrackMan to be able to tell you how far the ball was going. You just thought this ball spins good. That’s the exact opposite of what Tiger did here.”

Following Woods’ dominant 2000 season, Titleist released the Pro V1 during the second week of October and watched as forty-seven Tour players immediately put it in play, making it the largest pluralistic shift of equipment at one event in golf history. Thanks to Tiger, we all get to reap the benefits of a ball construction that’s superior to its predecessor.

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This article originally appeared on Golf.com.

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The Joy of Golfing with Friends

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Building Bonds on the Fairway

Ahoy, golfing companions! This week, we’re celebrating the unparalleled joy of teeing off with friends – because as any golfer knows, there’s nothing quite like sharing the fairway with your favorite playing partners. So gather your crew, dust off your clubs, and let’s explore the magic of golfing with friends:

1. Shared Laughter, Shared Memories: Golfing with friends isn’t just about hitting the ball – it’s about sharing laughs, swapping stories, and creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether you’re reminiscing about past rounds, joking about missed putts, or simply enjoying each other’s company, the camaraderie of the game is what makes it truly special.

2. Support and Encouragement: One of the greatest benefits of golfing with friends is the support and encouragement they provide. From cheering you on after a great shot to offering words of wisdom when you’re struggling, your playing partners are there to lift you up and help you stay positive, no matter what challenges the course throws your way.

3. Friendly Competition: While golf is ultimately a game against the course, there’s no denying the thrill of a little friendly competition among friends. Whether you’re competing for bragging rights, playing for a friendly wager, or simply trying to outdo each other on the scorecard, the spirit of competition adds an extra layer of excitement to every round.

4. Strengthening Bonds: Golfing with friends isn’t just about the game – it’s about strengthening bonds and deepening friendships. The shared experiences, inside jokes, and moments of triumph and defeat on the course all serve to bring you closer together, forging bonds that are as strong as steel.

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5. Lifelong Companionship: Finally, golfing with friends is about more than just the present moment – it’s about building lifelong companionship that extends far beyond the fairway. Whether you’re celebrating victories, commiserating over defeats, or simply enjoying each other’s company, the friendships forged on the golf course are ones that will endure for years to come.

So there you have it, fellow golfing comrades – the joy of golfing with friends in all its glorious splendor. Whether you’re sharing laughs, supporting each other through the ups and downs, or strengthening bonds that last a lifetime, there’s nothing quite like hitting the links with your favorite playing partners by your side. Until next time, may your rounds be filled with friendship, laughter, and unforgettable memories. Friends on, my fellow golfers!

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The Zen of Golf

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Finding Inner Peace on the Fairway

Greetings, seekers of serenity! This week, we’re delving into the tranquil world of Zen golf – a place where inner peace and harmony reign supreme. So put aside your scorecards, quiet your mind, and let’s explore the art of finding inner peace on the fairway:

1. Embrace the Present Moment: In the fast-paced world of golf, it’s easy to get caught up in thoughts of past mistakes or future challenges. But true Zen golfers know that the only moment that truly matters is the present one. Focus on the here and now – the feel of the club in your hands, the sound of the birds chirping, the gentle sway of the trees – and let everything else fade away.

2. Cultivate Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the cornerstone of Zen golf. By cultivating awareness and presence in each moment, you can elevate your game to new heights. Pay attention to your breath, your body, and the sensations of the game as they arise. Let go of distractions and immerse yourself fully in the experience of golfing.

3. Let Go of Attachments: Zen teaches us the importance of letting go of attachments – to outcomes, to expectations, and to ego. Release the need to control every shot or dictate the outcome of your round. Instead, surrender to the flow of the game and trust in your abilities to guide you towards success.

4. Find Balance in All Things: Balance is key in both golf and life. Just as you strive for balance in your swing, seek balance in your approach to the game. Avoid extremes of emotion – whether it be frustration after a bad shot or elation after a good one – and strive for equanimity in all things.

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5. Practice Gratitude: Finally, cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the game of golf and all the blessings it brings into your life. Whether it’s the camaraderie of playing with friends, the beauty of nature on the course, or the opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery, take a moment to give thanks for the gifts of golf.

So there you have it, fellow seekers – the Zen of golf in all its peaceful glory. With mindfulness, balance, and gratitude as your guides, you can transform your time on the fairway into a meditative journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. Until next time, may your swings be smooth, your putts be true, and your inner peace be unshakeable. Zen on, my friends!

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The Future of Golf

Trends and Technologies Shaping the Sport

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Trends and Technologies Shaping the Sport

Greetings once more, golf lovers,

As we conclude our series “Tales from the Greens: Chronicles of Golf Through the Ages,” we look ahead to what the future may hold for this venerable sport. From technological innovations to changing social dynamics, the world of golf is evolving rapidly. Today, we explore the emerging trends and technologies that are shaping the next generation of golf.


Technological Innovations in Equipment

The ongoing evolution of golf equipment is astounding. With advances in materials science and engineering, golf clubs and balls are becoming ever more sophisticated. Manufacturers now use artificial intelligence to design clubs that optimize both distance and accuracy, catering to golfers’ individual styles. Similarly, golf balls are engineered for increased aerodynamics and fine-tuned performance. These innovations promise to make golf more accessible and enjoyable for players at all levels.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

The digital realm is making its mark on golf through virtual and augmented reality technologies. Virtual reality (VR) golf simulators allow players to experience famous courses from the comfort of their homes, offering a practical solution for training and playing during off-seasons or unfavorable weather conditions. Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, provides real-time data overlays during play, offering insights into course topography, wind conditions, and more, enhancing both strategy and learning.

Eco-Friendly Practices

As awareness of environmental issues grows, golf is also taking strides towards sustainability. Courses worldwide are adopting eco-friendly practices such as reducing water consumption, using organic products for maintenance, and preserving natural habitats. These efforts not only help protect the environment but also challenge the stereotype of golf as an elitist sport, making it more inclusive and aligned with contemporary values.

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The Rise of Youth and Diversity

Golf is experiencing a surge in diversity and youth participation. Initiatives to make golf more inclusive are seeing success, attracting players from various backgrounds and demographics. This shift is vital for the sport’s growth, as it introduces fresh perspectives and talent. Furthermore, programs aimed at young players are vital for nurturing the next generation of golfers, ensuring the sport’s continued relevance and vitality.

Global Expansion

Golf’s global footprint is expanding, with new markets in Asia, Africa, and South America emerging rapidly. These regions are not only participating more in the sport but are also hosting international tournaments, contributing to golf’s growth worldwide. This global expansion is accompanied by an increasing recognition of golf not just as a sport but as a vehicle for economic and social development.


As we look to the future, it is clear that golf will continue to evolve and adapt. By embracing technology, sustainability, and inclusivity, golf can maintain its cherished traditions while becoming a more dynamic and accessible sport for future generations.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through the history and future of golf.

Warm regards, Robert Greenfield

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