Kuro Kage XT and XM are the new standards for excellence in the Kuro Kage line. Featuring low resin prepreg material and Titanium Nickel (TiNi) wire, the new combination gives the Kuro Kage a boost in both accuracy and distance due to its lower spin characteristics. We put the new Kuro Kage XT through its paces against the Kuro Kage Black TiNi and the Kuro Kage Silver TiNi. All tests were done with a Tour Edge E9 driver set to 10 degrees of loft and a Callaway Chrome Soft ball. All of the shafts tested were within the fitting specs for the testers in terms of flex and weight. Launch: The Kuro Kage XT launched slightly lower than the Kuro Kage Silver TiNi but a full 1.5 degrees lower than the Kuro Kage Black TiNi. This is primarily due to the softer tip section in the Black TiNi which caused the toe to droop more than the XT causing higher ball contact on the club face. Spin: The smash factor (1.49) was the best for the Kuro Kage XT as was the spin rate (sub 3,000 for all testers). Spin went up slightly for the Silver TiNi but the most... Read More
What's New: From the Lab
Single length iron sets have gotten much more press since Bryson DeChambeau has been using them to win the NCAA Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship -2015, and Low Amateur at the 2016 Masters. Last week we published a blog about how we went about our build of single length irons with our master club builder. This blog post is about the initial TrackMan test results of the single length irons versus his traditional set. The key things we were looking for from a statistics standpoint are distances, distance gaps between irons and shot dispersion. The images above are the actual single length irons that were built by Derek, the TrackMan shot tests done with those single length irons and then the TrackMan tests done with Derek’s traditional set. Since this is the very first test, we knew there would be some tweaking of lofts, lies and even how we weighted the heads. As a fitter, I would expect a couple of things. First, distances may be shorter with the lower lofted clubs and longer with the higher lofted clubs primarily due to club length. Second, shot dispersion MAY be better with the single length irons because the swing plane is consistent... Read More
The new Recoil 760/780 ES shafts offer added stability over the previous 600 and 800 series shafts. Make no mistake, the Recoil shaft has been a solid performer, especially for golfers with a smooth tempo and transition. UST Mamiya, manufacturer of the Recoil shafts has made some great strides in the past year on providing a graphite shaft that is also able to fit players with faster transitions. We tested the 780 ES and loved its ability to provide a very tight shot dispersion while still having a little higher ball flight than the Recoil Prototype series. The 780 ES has a stiffer butt and mid section which is what creates the stability. Couple that with the soft tip section and you get a nice tight shot pattern with mid-high ball flight and great feel. Again, this shaft is designed for players with a faster tempo and transition. As club builders, we have be very specific about which shaft we choose, i.e. the F3 (Regular flex), F4 (Stiff flex) or F5 (X Stiff flex) to be able to build a precise set. If you like the feel of a lighter weight graphite shaft but want more control, the Recoil 760/780... Read More
The True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 has been on the PGA Tour for several years but it is now finally available again through True Temper Performance Fitting Centers like D’Lance Golf Performance Center. The characteristics of the X7 are similar in weight to a Dynamic Gold S400 but the stiffness profile is designed for a stronger player with a fast transition. The winner of the 2016 Arnold Palmer Bay Hill had this shaft in his irons. The spin rate and trajectory is slightly lower than a Dynamic Gold X100 shaft but the feel of the ball of the clubface is very similar. In order to handle the faster transition, the designers of the X7 made the butt section slightly larger (.610″ versus .600″) than the Dynamic Gold S400 so take that into account when selecting your grip size (you will need to use less wraps of tape, a smaller grip, or stretch the grip). Here are a few more facts, 7 to be exact, about the X7. We have had several players move to this shaft from both the Dynamic Gold X100 and several KBS models and love the performance. For more information, check out this video from True Temper.
So what are the hot new drivers for 2016? Well, we have pretty much tested them all and we have a short list based upon both performance and feel. Since 35% of our viewers are looking for a new driver this year, this should be helpful. In our testing, unlike ones we will mention later, we test each driver with a shaft that is fit to the golfer. This shaft is then used in each driver head. We use Callaway Chrome Soft ball for testing. Here is what we have found: Performance (Distance and Accuracy): TaylorMade M1, Callaway XR 16, Cobra King LTD, Ping G LS TEC, Tour Edge E9, Mizuno JPX-850, Titleist 915 D3 Sound and Feel: TaylorMade M2, Cobra King LTD, PXG 0811, Mizuno JPX-850 Lowest Spin: Ping G LS TEC, PXG 0811 Best Smash Factor (Efficiency): PXG 0811, Ping G LS TEC, Cobra King LTD Most Forgiving/Accurate: TaylorMade M2, Callaway XR 16, PXG 0811 These heads were tested by golfers with 88 to 105 mph swing speeds and the results from TrackMan we calibrated at 5,280 feet. Some observations from our driver testing are that the aerodynamic designs of the Ping G and Callaway XR heads added... Read More
The Project X HZRDUS Yellow shaft will be introduced to the public in the next few weeks. We were excited to test the 63 and 76 gr versions in our shop over the past couple of days. Bottom line…the Project X HZRDUS Yellow shaft plays a little smoother because of the midsection design than the Black. By design, the torque and balance points are identical between the two shafts. The slightly higher torque gives a better feel at impact to both shafts. The Project X HZRDUS Yellow launches not quite a degree lower on average than the Project X HZRDUS Black due to a slightly stiffer tip section. Spin rates are identical between the two shafts, measuring in the low-mid spin range. As a side note on fitting, it is a great testimony to the manufacturer to get these performance characteristics almost identical with the only thing changing is the feel feedback of the shaft. This is not always the case when trying to create a different feel in a shaft. Great job Project X. In general, since the Black was designed for a more aggressive swing, the Yellow will feel better to a golfer with a smoother tempo and... Read More
Parsons Extreme Golf, or PXG, is making waves in the golf industry. If you have not heard about them, it is time you did! Since Bob Parsons founded the company in the fall of 2014, PXG has quickly become a hit with golf nuts and aficionados of fine golf equipment. Bob Parsons set out to create the best golf clubs in the industry. He told his engineers to spare no expense and they did not. The result is a totally unique blend of technology and art that will surprise you. They are not inexpensive, as you would expect for this type of commitment to quality and innovation. Parsons Extreme Golf has over 50 patents for its innovative designs with hollow cavity irons filled with elastomer to imiprove sound and feel. The unique placement of tungsten weights around the perimeter of the clubs allows us clubfitters and clubbuilders to modify the clubs for your unique swing characteristics and desired ball flight. If you truly want to experience the next level in golf equipment, come in and try these clubs for yourself! And, see what Golf Digest has to say about them… Dan Sueltz
I cannot tell you how many golfers we have switched from 3, 4 and even 5 irons to hybrids because they just cannot hit those long irons consistently. But, there are other options available. If you are a good iron player and still like the feel of a crisp 4 iron off the deck, there are some new options. Shaft Weights: Certain steel and graphite iron shafts are constant weight so the only variable in the feel of the club will be the added weight of the club head as you go down in loft. Each club head is designed to weigh seven grams heavier from the previous one as you go from long irons to shorter irons. As the club gets shorter, this helps maintain swing weight throughout the set. Enter True Temper with the AMT (Ascending Mass Technology) shaft that has a 3 gram progression in weights between each shaft. This was introduced last year in the Titleist AP2 irons and that shaft is now available to True Temper Performance Centers like D’Lance Golf. This progressive weight design does not change swing weights but makes the club feel lighter. If your miss with your irons is a fade... Read More
In the past year we have seen several introductions of steel shafts in the 105 to 115 gram range. I think the reason for this is that the foray into the super light weight 85 to 90 gram steel shafts has not been all that successful, but let’s save that for another discussion. We reviewed the True Temper 105 and 115 shafts against the KBS Tour 105. While we did not do a comparison to the KBS C-Taper Lite and Nippon 950 GH, I will share my thoughts on where those two shafts fit with the XP 105, XP 115 and Tour 105. First, all tests were done with a Mizuno MP-15 6 iron and a Callaway Chrome Soft ball. The shaft lengths and flexes were within the tolerances of our testers. Launch Angle: Launch angles for the KBS Tour 105 R, S, and X were .5-.7* lower than the XP 115 R and S. Both the XP and KBS 105 are mid-launch shafts. Spin Rate: Both the KBS Tour 105 and XP 105 and 115 exhibited mid-spin and were within 50 rpm of each other at roughly 5200 rpm. Feel: While this is a subjective measure, our testers ranked... Read More
If you thought the Tour AD DI series of shafts was a little too loosey-goosey for you, the Tour AD GP will give you a LOT of love. Graphite Design shafts have never been known, at least in our testing, for a firm mid section but the Tour AD GP is the stiffest we have tested in the Tour AD series. The combination of the lower torque and the use of the 50T materials gives this shaft the most solid feel over the DI and MT that we tested. Spin rates were low like the DI and launch was very similar but the consistency (1.49 smash) of ball speeds, shot dispersion and stable feel make this a solid addition to the Tour AD lineup. We tested the GP against the DI, MT, the OBAN Kiyoshi Purple and the Diamana W.