The golf ball Tiger Woods has been famously using for the last half-decade is the Bridgestone Golf Tour B XS Tiger Woods Edition.
While it was a fresh design, it is largely based on the golf balls Woods used when he was signed with Nike, which means in some form or another, this is the ball that helped make him the golfing champion he is today!
Having won 15 majors during his celebrated career, Tiger Woods is without a doubt one of the world’s greatest golfers of all time. In fact, his golfing skills are so revered that even those who don’t like golf know exactly who he is.
So, if there’s anyone in the golfing world you should be studying to improve your own game, Tiger Woods is the one. You can learn a lot by observing a master of his caliber, and not just by analyzing his playing style, but the equipment he uses too.
While you may not be able to afford the clubs he uses, you’ll probably be able to treat yourself to a set of the balls he uses. So, what golf balls does Tiger use?
The Nike Conspiracy
In 1996, Tiger was a prodigious up and comer gaining the attention of lots of major brands, but Nike swooped in with an incredibly generous 40 million dollar offer, winning his loyalty for years to come.
As old contracts expired and new ones were drawn up, the offers only got bigger and bigger. In 2001, for instance, their contract promised Tiger a whopping 100 million dollars spread out over the term.
So, as a fully-fledged Nike man, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he used Nike golf balls, right? Well, it’s actually a much more complicated topic than it first seems.
Did the golf balls he used feature Nike’s infamous, signature “Swoosh”? Yes, they did. Visually, they appeared in every way to be a Nike product. No one would have any reason to doubt it.
However, the truth of the matter is that they weren’t being manufactured by Nike at all (this is your cue to gasp).
In reality, even though these balls had that iconic tick tatted across their dimples, they were being made by industry stalwart, Bridgestone (one more gasp, please).
Not only were Bridgestone making Tiger’s golf balls then simply rebranding them with Nike’s swoosh to give them credit, but they were also straight-up designing the ball, consulting with Tiger directly.
While it wasn’t uncommon for large sporting companies to outsource the production of golf balls, it still shocked the nation when Tiger revealed the ball he used to win the U.S. Open by a monster 15 strokes, his ball of 18 years, wasn’t actually a Nike creation.
Moreover, it was revealed that other Nike-sponsored golfers were also using balls brandishing the Swoosh logo that were manufactured by another industry giant, Titleist.
Life After Nike
It might have come as a shock to Tiger when, in 2016, Nike announced it was retiring all of its golf operations. Everything from golf balls to club production was to be shut down.
Having been under Nike’s wing for the better part of two decades, Tiger was faced with a big overhaul in terms of equipment.
As he was perfectly aware that he’d been using Bridgestone golf balls for most of his career and successes, he decided to go directly to them to help him create a signature ball.
After rigorous testing, the final product was the Bridgestone Golf Tour B XS Tiger Woods Edition.
Tiger prefers a soft cover, a rapid stop, and a versatile spin, but the problem with these features is that they normally hamper speed and distance.
The Tour B XS solved this seemingly unsolvable riddle forwarded by Woods, catering for all his wants without making any crucial sacrifices.
This collaboration wasn’t just a money-grabbing publicity stunt to sell golf balls. These are the balls Tiger has actually used during every major competition from then on out.
Buyers could rest assured that they were treating themselves to the exact balls used by the undisputed king of the game.
The Tour B XS Tiger Woods Edition
The Tour B XS: TWE utilizes Bridgestone’s proprietary REACTIV cover technology that was designed to maximize distance and provide a quality spin, two things that are normally at odds with one another.
In the past, you’d have to sacrifice distance for spin and vice versa, so the Tour B XS has had a huge impact on the modern game.
REACTIV technology produces a comparatively soft cover, offering a fantastic feel on the green, so it can certainly help you improve your short game.
The dual dimple technology reduces drag significantly and enhances ball trajectory, making it one of the most aerodynamic options on the market.
I’d say where this masterpiece of a golf ball really shines is on approach shots. It provides so much control and so much spin that you can get them to stop dead on the green, setting you up for a nice, easy putt.
It’s catered more towards golfers with faster swings, so those who swing under, say, 105 miles per hour, may not gel with it at first.
That said, as you can tell by the thousands of positive customer reviews, it’s helping all sorts of golfers invigorate their game and take their skills to the next level.
So, the truth is out: Tiger Woods uses Bridgestone golf balls, the Tour B XS Tiger Woods Edition, to be precise.
However, due to some sneaky outsourcing on Nike’s behalf, Woods was using Bridgestone golf balls even before he was officially using Bridgestone golf balls…if that makes any sense.
The Tour B XS is a great golf ball, and I highly recommend investing in a box to try them out, but it’s important to bear in mind that this is a signature ball.
It has been designed from the ground up to suit an individual’s style of play, so don’t be surprised if it takes some getting used to.