Pros advice

Tiger Woods returns to competition with new Nike Golf Vapor equipment

The return of Tiger Woods to competitive golf this week is a story in and of itself, but when you also add a new set of golf clubs to the mix then things start getting really interesting.

Tiger will hit the greens at the Hero World Challenge, a tournament which he himself is the organiser, and he’ll be bringing with him an assortment of new Nike golf clubs, among which will be a Vapor Speed Prototype driver, Vapor Speed fairway woods (3 & 5) and Vapor Pro Blade irons. He is also expected to use Nike RZN Black golf balls for the first time in any competition.

“We were close to having a set right for me earlier this year,” Woods said at a media event in New York this past August. “About this time last year, we started tinkering around with this stuff. Then, earlier this year, I was getting close to it and then my back went out and I wound up having surgery. When I came back, I was on a limited ball count, so I could not do the testing I would normally do. So I said I would just go out with my old stuff and play it that way.” Now it looks like we’ll finally see him trying out the new equipment.

The World Challenge runs from Thursday through to Sunday at Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Windermere, Florida, and Woods is looking sharp heading into the event.

It is widely expected that Woods will address the subject of his new clubs on Tuesday, although some information has already been made public.

Woods has tested the RZN balls, of which the company sells four models (Black, Red, White, Platinum) for at least two years now, and interestingly his choice of ball mirrors that of World No.1 and fellow Nike Golf player Rory McIlroy, who has found great success with the RZN Black; winning this year’s British Open and PGA Championship.

Nike has stated that Woods has picked up significant ball speed with the RZN Black, though launch monitor readings and other specifics are yet to be made available, while his switch to Vapor Pro irons is certainly an intriguing development having previously played with a 3-through-pitching wedge setup.

"Tiger’s irons are based on his shape, profile, and insights over the years. We moved weight toward the toe to move the CG (center of gravity) towards the center of the face. He drove the design of these irons,” explains Nike Golf in a statement.

Other stray observations worth keeping an eye on include a slight shift in CG toward the toe in the 2015 Vapor Pro irons; is Woods considering playing the stock iron head?

Hopefully some of these questions will be answered later in the week, but for now all we can do it wait and see how Tiger performs when he brings his new bag to the party.

The Nike Golf Vapor range will be available to buy at american golf soon – keep checking back for updates and news about its hotly-anticipated release.