Equipment changes, especially at the highest level, always carry with them a healthy level of skepticism — can these clubs perform as well (or better) than their predecessors? — but for Tommy Fleetwood, it was only a matter of time.
Fleetwood had been playing Nike’s VR Pro Blade irons for the past few years, and with the company leaving the hard goods industry in 2016, it was inevitable that he would have to upgrade to something different sooner or later.
This week in Abu Dhabi appears to be the week, and Fleetwood has made an interesting change. During practice rounds, Fleetwood was seen playing TaylorMade irons that look very much like the company’s P-730 retail offering, but with a “P-7TW” stamped on them.
Tommy Fleetwood might be moving on from his beloved Nike VR Pro Blade irons.
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) January 15, 2019
The clubs, which have widely been assumed were made for a certain golfer with the initials T.W. on the TaylorMade roster, would be a natural progression for Fleetwood, the No. 14-ranked player in the world as the Nike blades he had been playing were also initially made for T.W. a.k.a. Tiger Woods.
He confirmed the TaylorMade irons would be in his bag this week, marking the first time this iteration of the P-7TW would be played in any tournament by a professional.
“I’ve been trying things for a long time now, trying all different manufacturers,” Fleetwood said on Tuesday. “You don’t really get the chance throughout the year. I had a week of practice last week and tried everything we could.
“I’ve got a new driver and I’ve got new irons this week. Eventually, you have to try them in a tournament, otherwise, it means nothing. Going on the course is the next step. At some point, I need a more long-term solution. If you think about it, throughout my career I’ve had the same set of clubs for six, seven years.
“So I need to get it fixed. You just have to try them and we’ll see how it goes, really. I like the ones that I have now. If it doesn’t go well, it won’t be because of the irons, it will be because of me. I know I have full confidence in them. But there might be some tweaks or there might be something else I prefer. But these ones are the answer this week.”
It’s likely that these clubs, which have also been spotted in Woods’ bag at a recent TaylorMade photoshoot, will be put into play by T.W. himself at next week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
— Tiger Woods Legion (@TWlegion) January 4, 2019