Tiger Woods began using a Nike VR Tour driver before the 2010 Masters and has won eight PGA Tour events with it. But this week in Scotland, Woods has been playing practice rounds with a Nike VR_S Covert Tour driver.
There are two different Nike VR_S Covert drivers for consumers: the 460cc Performance model and the 430cc Tour model. Both clubs have a large hole designed into the middle-rear portion of the sole that naturally positions more weight to the perimeter of the head, which Nike says makes the clubs more forgiving. Both also feature an adjustable hosel that allows golfers to change the club’s loft from as little as 8.5 degrees to as much as 12.5 degrees.
The driver used by Woods has a black sole and face, identifying it as a VR_S Tour.
However, Nike Golf has confirmed that Woods’ driver is different from the Tour model sold to consumers. It is a fixed-loft driver (9.5 degree) without an adjustable hosel. The shaft is glued into the head in traditional fashion.
Furthermore, the head is "slightly more pear shaped" than the regular VR_S driver head, according to Beth Gast, a Nike Golf spokeswoman.
Gast did not know whether Woods would put the new driver into play in the British Open.
Before the start of the Players Championship in May, Woods changed the shaft in his Nike VR Tour from a Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7 X back to a shaft he had previously used, the Mitsubishi Diamana D-Series, commonly referred to as a White Board. In photos, it’s clear that the new driver is fitted with the Mitsubishi shaft.
During his press conference Tuesday, Woods was asked if he plans at Muirfield to use an iron-off-the-tee strategy similar to the one he successfully employed en route to winning at Royal Liverpool in 2006.
"I only hit one driver that week," Woods said. "This golf course is playing similar to that. It’s quick. And so far I’ve played a couple of days now, three days, and I’ve only hit a couple of drivers here."
Golfweek’s James Achenbach contributed to this report.