For decades, Woods wore hard metal spikes on his golf shoes. He's recently made a switch to soft spikes to lessen the load on his ankles.
Tiger Woods raised some eyebrows on Thursday at the Hero World Challenge when he revealed that he's been struggling with sore ankles for a few months.
He's sdecided to do something about it.
For years, Woods wore hard metal spikes on his golf shoes for better grip. (If you've watched him cross a cart path in person, you'll remember the crunch-crunch-crunch sound.) But those spikes dig deeper into the ground, so when he swings hard at a ball, his ankles bear a good deal of torque. That apparently has, over time, led to the soreness in his ankles and Achilles tendon.
According to the Golf Channel, Woods recently switched from hard to soft spikes. The idea is that his ankles will be able rotate a little during the swing, as the soft spikes aren't as deeply rooted into the ground. He apparently switched shortly before the Tour Championship, which he won for his 80th PGA Tour title. He didn't rule out a return to the metal spikes in some instances—perhaps on a wet golf course, when grip is paramount.
Hard spikes used to be the norm on Tour, but recent advancements in soft spikes has seen them overtake metal spikes in prevalence.
Woods shot a one-over 73 in the first round of the Hero, a tournament he hosts in the Bahamas.