Tiger Spotted Using New Red-Faced TaylorMade Driver At PNC Championship

The 15-time Major champion appears to be testing some new equipment at this year's PNC Championship

Tiger Spotted Using New Red-Faced TaylorMade Driver
(Image credit: GETTY)

Tiger Woods returns to competitive action this weekend at the PNC Championship and it looks like he has a new driver in the bag. 

After sending shockwaves through the sport with that three-second swing video on Twitter, reports began to emerge that the game’s biggest star was “seriously considering” teeing it up in the fun-filled pairs event for the second consecutive year alongside his son, Charlie. Remarkably, those reports were accurate, with the man himself confirming their entry in a social media statement.

And with that proverbial cat out the bag, attention has now turned to the clubs Woods Snr has in his hands. Specifically, he has been spotted wielding a new driver in preparation for the weekend’s action getting underway in Orlando. In videos that surfaced of him practising during the Hero World Challenge, Woods was undeniably using the original TaylorMade SIM driver, but he’s now sporting something a little more… red. 

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No, we’re not talking about the unusual Nike Covert driver of yesteryear. The crown appears to be all-back, while it is in fact the face that is red. Such a unique colour scheme is sure to split opinion among the worldwide golfing community but one thing is for certain, it’ll be easy to spot when the world’s best put it in play - whether contracted to or not. 

Golfweek's Adam Schupak managed to capture a good shot of the driver as Tiger went through his warm-up:

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In terms of shape, it looks like evolution rather than revolution, as it mirrors that of its two SIM predecessors, while another like-for-like feature is TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket. However, slotting in behind that there has been a change. Unlike the SIM2s, the movable weight track that runs from the heel to the toe is back, no doubt enabling its user to shift the shot shape bias of the club.

Here's a closer look at the driver courtesy of @allgolfequipment on Instagram:

As you can see, it's called Stealth, meaning that TaylorMade has moved away from SIM after two iterations. And as well as the driver, Woods will also trialling a Stealth  3-wood for the PNC Championship pro-am and likely through the weekend, too.

David Dusek posted this to Twitter:

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If TaylorMade follows the usual product cycle with the new Stealth drivers and fairway woods, we’d expect to see an official launch early in the new year, so keep your eyes peeled. 

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Another new addition to Tiger’s equipment line-up this weekend comes in the form of a Bridgestone prototype ball. As revealed on Twitter, Woods will be gaming a new version of the Tour B XS, a model he helped develop.

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“The process of perfecting this ball has been really fun," Woods said. "I have tested the new Tour B prototypes at home, and I’m looking forward to putting them into play at the PNC Championship. This event is the perfect spot for me to take the prototype testing to the next level.”

We all know Woods favours a ball that delivers higher levels of spin so he can utilise his unrivalled shot-shaping ability and short game prowess. In fact, it was because he felt he could “hit all the shots” that he made the switch to Bridgestone back in 2016 ahead of one of his innumerable comebacks.

This latest offering is said to provide even more benefits around the green than the previous generation, and while it’s still unknown, it’s safe to assume that consumers can expect to see this ball hit the marketplace sometime in 2022.

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With a hoard of new releases on the horizon, the ultimate test, as always, will be in the uptake from the world’s best, especially given the strict rules that govern equipment manufacturing.

Another player who is using the off-season as a chance to do some testing is Dustin Johnson. The two-time Major champion has also been spotted with a TaylorMade Stealth driver in a series of videos and screenshots that have been tagged on Claude Harmon III’s Instagram account.

Time will tell whether they make the cut, so make sure to check out the Golf Monthly website for all the latest gear-related news as it happens.