Everything former Nike rep Ben Giunta said about working with Tiger Woods
Ben Giunta, a former Nike Tour Rep and now owner of the , joined host Johnny Wunder and TXG’s Ian Fraser for the most recent installment of the Gear Dive podcast.
While you’ll want to hear everything Giunta has to say, his remarks about working with Tiger Woods are particularly notable, and we wanted to present them here for those of you who may be more textually inclined.
On Tiger Woods’ preferences for club testing
“He always does his testing at home. 99 percent of the time. Whenever Tiger showed up to an event he was ready to go. There was no tinkering with equipment at Tour events. All of the work we did with him, we would do a week prior.”
“Rick Nichols, who was my boss when I was at Nike…he was Tiger’s right-hand guy. He worked with him on pretty much everything. We would prep everything. Rick would go and work with him at home…at that time it was in Orlando. They would tweak and do everything they needed there. Then when he showed up to the tournaments, I could probably count on one hand the number of times he came into the trailer to get work done.”
“He was built different. He came to do his homework on the golf course and prepare for the tournament. He was not tinkering around with equipment when it came to tournament time.”
“Any time he would test anything during the week…it was for a backup. He was constantly searching for backup drivers and…woods. So if something happened…he already had done all of his work.”
On Tiger’s driver preferences
“We were always tinkering with different CGs. Obviously, there was a lot of special stuff made for him. He didn’t use an adjustable driver…until Nike got out of the equipment business. We were always making sure the center of gravity was perfect. He was very specific on face angles and how much loft he wanted to look at. And he always wanted the face angle to be pretty much the same.”
“We had to have different iterations with different lofts based on where his golf swing was…obviously, his golf swing changes a lot based on all of his injuries and swing changes…There were certainly times where he was swinging a driver that spec’d out at a true eight-degree head, then he’d be all the way up to 11 or 12 degrees sometimes.”
On Tiger’s consistency in iron preferences
“The only thing that ever really changed with Tiger’s irons…was the lie angle. But lofts…they have been the same since he played golf…It’s been the same specs for his entire professional and amateur career. Those specs haven’t changed but the lie angles have. As far as I know, he has never experimented with different iron shafts [True Temper Dynamic Gold X100]. They’ve always been the same…with wooden dowels down in the tips of the shafts.”
“He always had the mindset that he was going to manipulate the club to get the ball to do what he wanted it to do.
On the consistency of Woods’ wedge setup
“He’s evolved with different grinds depending on his delivery or what he’s trying to do technique-wise, he’s modified his soles a little bit over time…but he’s always kind of reverted back to your traditional dual sole.”
In addition to talking Tiger, Giunta discusses how he got a job on Tour, working with Rory McIlroy, tinkerers vs non-tinkerers, and what he’s doing now (and more) in the rest of the podcast.
You can listen below.