TaylorMade’s Paul Demkowski is handed several binders, each measuring about 3-4 inches thick. Inside is 15 years of priceless data. Notes, measurements and variations for virtually every wedge Tiger Woods played over that time span. This was 2017, and it was the start of the newly released MG2 Tiger Woods Grind.
The project began as a massive download of knowledge. Sifting through page after page on a mission to learn everything possible about Tiger’s wedges. To understand his unique and complex sole geometry, along with the journey that brought him to this point.
“The best way I can describe it is a constant evolution. Through playing different tournaments and encountering different shots, Tiger would assess the performance of his wedge and make alterations as needed. It was an iterative process that required extensive testing and hand grinding to develop a precise finished product.”
Understanding the process by which Tiger developed and implemented his wedge grinds allowed TaylorMade to play a key role. Previously, when Tiger switched wedges the soles would be ground by hand and his team would send out 10 of the same wedges for testing. Often, only 2-3 of those would meet his discerning eye. However, through the use of Milled Grind technology – a machine milling process that maximizes consistency, maintaining tolerance levels difficult for a human to repeat – TaylorMade is able to deliver the perfect grind 100% of the time.
The new process saves Tiger hours of testing and allows him to add a new wedge with fresh grooves to his bag every week if he chooses – knowing it will be exactly the same sole geometry as the one he replaces.
“With the efficiency of the Milled Grind process, I know my wedge soles are perfect every time. It takes away the guesswork and testing, allowing me more time to work on my game instead of trying to find the right equipment. When I get wedges from TaylorMade, I know they can go right into my bag thanks to the Milled Grind process.”
At the start of developing wedges for Tiger, with the original Milled Grind model, he was in the midst of his return to competitive golf following his most recent back procedure. At the time, he had a single 56° sole design and two different 60° designs that he swap out based on course conditions. The first 60° featured a slightly modified C grind, while the other had a tri-sole design that was very similar to what we see today in the MG2 Tiger Woods Grind.
NOTE: A tri-sole design references a grind with three distinct surface areas on the sole of the wedge, a concept designed for precision and versatility.
As Tiger rounded into form, he gravitated towards the tri-sole design, which demanded precision play while delivering the ultimate versatility and the ability to hit a variety of shots from a variety of surfaces.
The newly released MG2 Tiger Woods Grind features an updated tri-sole design that was first implemented two years ago. At that time, Tiger requested a 60° with more bounce on the heel to increase playability on longer bunker shots around the green. While the wedge still features substantial heel relief that lets him open the clubface for flops and high-trajectory/high-spin short game shots, the additional bounce adds a touch of forgiveness in certain scenarios.
“The evolution of Tiger Woods through 15 years of major championships, winning tournaments and playing golf around the world have all led to the MG2 Tiger Woods Grind. Thousands, if not millions, of wedge swings have gone into the making of this grind, and now it’s available to golfers everywhere.”
The unique and complex grind on each sole was designed by the artful hands of Tiger Woods. The 56° wedge is a dual sole with heavy heel relief, while the 60° is a tri-sole with extremely high bounce on the leading edge and a shaved heel. This makes it possible to open the face for flop shots, while still providing relief on the leading edge for better performance on tight lies.
The versatility built into the sole begins with the pre-warn leading edge, which allows the wedge to sit lower and tighter to the ground with a square face. However, the leading edge still features a high amount of bounce so that it’s not going to stick or dig. The heel relief allows the wedge to sit low when the face is open for flops or higher trajectory pitch shots
These two wedges are designed to be the ultimate in versatility, helping Tiger to take on any shot, on any course, anywhere in the world.
“Wedges have always been very personal to me. Back in the day, I would test dozens of wedges and hit hundreds of shots before finding the one that would make it into my bag. I’d hand grind the sole myself after each session to make sure it was absolutely perfect. MG2 Tiger Woods Grind wedges are the result of all those years of testing and competing across the globe. The grinds are truly unique and complex, designed by me to perfectly fit my playing style.”