2018 PGA Merchandise Show Recap This is my 22nd show in a row…phew! It is always great to see old friends and look for the next hot products for our fitting studios. After four solid days of “meet and greet” I am ready to catch my flight home. I am always looking for new products (club heads, shafts and grips), and fitting tools (video, launch monitors, measuring devices) that will help us become better fitters and deliver superior game improvement to our customers. Here are the highlights of the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show: Overall: The show was as big as I have seen it in terms of number and size of exhibitors. Biggest exhibitors were the usual suspects: Callaway, Ping. TaylorMade and Titleist. Increased numbers from previous years were fitness products, launch monitors/simulators and golfer transport (scooters). Actual visitor traffic I think was down a little from previous years but that may just be my perception. Golf Channel had huge presence and did a great job of promoting their network of partners (Revolution Golf) and the Long Drive Tour that they are sponsoring with Volvik. Clubs: Drivers: The Callaway Rogue and TaylorMade M3/M4 definitely were the most popular with visitors. ... Read More
What's New: Tour News
It was a day full of unexpected results for Troy Mullins at the Mile High Showdown Long Drive event hosted by The Golf Channel. First, she was in a tizzy about which driver shaft and head combination she should use so Troy came to visit us and we put her on TrackMan to help make a decision. She had four heads and three shafts that she wanted to evaluate. She had confidence in her Callaway Great Big Bertha with the stiffer of two UST Mamiya Elements 6F4 Platinum shafts but liked the feel of the Ping G LS TEC with the stock X flex shaft. She was curious as to whether the new G400 would be any better. We put her through a battery of tests and showed her that, under pressure, the stiffer tip and butt flex of the Elements Platinum shaft with the Callaway head would keep her in the grid and had equally as good of low spin shots as the Ping G LS TEC with the stock shaft. Nuff said. Troy promptly went out and set a new women’s long drive record of 402 yards! This was certainly good enough to get her to the final... Read More
The 2017 PGA Merchandise Show was busy, as usual, but you can tell that the era of the big trade show is starting to die down. Because we are well established with our vendors, we have seen and tested almost all of the new equipment before the show. But, the equipment vendors still release their equipment to the public right after the show…the Callaway EPIC was in our hands for testing but could not be released to the public until January, 27th. Same with Ping’s new i200 irons…scheduled release today, February 2nd. We still go to the show to see new testing equipment, meet brand new vendors and explore more partnerships. So what did we see that got us excited? New Shafts: ACCRA Tour ZRPG wood shafts designed with clubfitters in mind to fit literally every style of swing. New high modulus materials and Japanese manufacturing create some of the best shafts in the world. True Temper is re-introducing the Rifle steel shaft in its original taper tip version and upgrading the tolerances of its Rifle parallel steel shafts. As a True Temper Performance Fitting Center and Authorized ACCRA dealer, we have access to these great shafts immediately upon release. ... Read More
Pat Perez used a combination of PXG 0311XF (Xtreme Forgiveness) and PXG 0311 irons to win the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. Pat’s bag was a mix of quite a few manufacturers, something we are starting to see a lot of these days. His driver and fairway wood were TaylorMade and his hybrid and wedges were Callaway. The shafts were a mix of Mitsubishi Rayon in the woods, Aldila in the hybrid, and KBS Tour in his irons and wedges. Again, this shows that players go with what works the best for them, even if they have some endorsement deals. What is interesting is that he was playing the 0311XF in the 3 and 4 irons, which is PXG’s most forgiving iron. And, he is playing the 0311, not the 0311T (slightly smaller head). Certainly this is more of a personal preference based upon performance. It is also interesting to note that Pat Perez is not on the PXG team but has determined that these irons are great performers for him. Good choice! In our opinion, the suite of PXG irons, 0311XF, 0311 and 0311T, are the most forgiving irons across the entire face on the market. The technology of a... Read More
We have received the Titleist 917D3 Driver for custom club fittings and the 917D2 will arrive this week. We have been testing the 917D3 on the Trackman Ball Flight Monitor and really like our preliminary findings. Distance with workability in a traditional, Tour inspired 440cc “pear” shape. Offers more consistency, a slightly lower launch and less spin versus 917D2. The Titleist 917D2 offers more forgiveness, a slightly higher launch and more spin versus 917D3. Titleist has SureFit CG Allows the CG to be moved from a back, heel position to a forward, toe position through interchangeable weights, optimizing spin and launch conditions for every player. Both drivers come with a standard 12 gram weight, a weight kit does not come with the driver, but can be purchased separately, with weights ranging from 8 grams to 16 grams in 2 gram increments. When we fit you, we will identify the optimum weight to deliver proper launch, spin and swing weight. Radial Speed Face 2.0 Enhanced with a thinner perimeter face width to promote a greater off-center ball speed for more overall distance across the face. The 917 D2 comes in lofts of 8.5 to 12 while the D3 only comes in 8.5... Read More
What shafts are being played on Tour? Well, it is a very eclectic set of shafts but I can say that players are winning with what works for them. The brands vary significantly from the PGA Tour to the LPGA, Champions and Web.com. GolfWRX has an entire section of their website dedicated to WITB(What’s In The Bag?). Each week we get a peek into the bag of the winner of the most recent tournament. For example, the winner of the Safeway Open had a wide variety of shafts from Aldila, Aerotech and True Temper. On the PGA Tour, representatives from every major shaft manufacturer working closely with the equipment companies like Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist, etc. to offer their latest shaft offerings. After having conversations with several of my shaft manufacturer contacts, and reviewing the WITB and media posts, here are my observations: No shaft manufacturer sponsors a tour player. Simply, it is too costly as the majority of the tour players get paid more to play a particular brand of equipment than the shaft. Players play close attention to ball flight monitor results when making their equipment and shaft decisions. With the wide spread use of TrackMan and FlightScope on... Read More
USA Ryder Cup team, let’s win one for Arnie! Ok, I said it. Having played a couple Ryder Cup amateur team events among my friends, it is challenging, I think, for the professional golfers to get into the “team” mode when all of their lives have been spent competing as individuals. But the combination of the team captaincy of Davis Love III and the emotion of Arnold Palmer’s passing may give the US team a little extra motivation this year. If you watched the Golf Channel meltdown between Brandel Chamblee and David Duval, you should know that winning and losing is not just shouldered by the top ranked players in the tournament, regardless of what Brandel thinks. There are always players in every sport that step up to the challenge and bring home the trophy. This tournament will be no different. Forget the rankings, just go out and play your best. And throw in a little luck like a 135 yard eagle or a 50 foot putt! I am ready for some fun and a USA victory. Let’s win this for Arnie!
The Mizuno JPX 900 line up of irons, wedges, hybrids and woods has arrived! The JPX 900 iron is built on the foundation of the JPX 850 Forged, which was Mizuno’s first integration of Boron, the JPX 900 Forged makes ‘across the board’ enhancements that improve the look, feel and distance, with new levels of ball speeds from a forged iron. Delivering on ball speed and forgiveness, with a more compact playable design, the 900 forged provides the ultimate balanced attack. The other JPX 900 irons in the line-up are the JPX-900 Hot Metal, which is based on the Chromoloy metal. This creates more ball speed and distance. The JPX 900 Tour is the latest in the evolution for better players that like a true forged look and feel. All are now available in our extensive fitting system. The JPX 900 hybrid combines distance generating technologies: 1770 Maraging Face and Shockwave Sole, with a thoughtful head design to better bridge the gap between your highest lofted fairway wood and lowest lofted iron. With the JPX 900 fairway wood, Mizuno Realized that spin is critical to optimizing the performance of a fairway wood, they have integrated their NEW infinite Fast Track Technology to allow players the... Read More
New PXG 0311XF irons offer extreme forgiveness in a great addition to the popular 0311 line!. Of course, the XF stands for Xtreme Forgiveness. While our testing shows that the PXG 0311 irons are absolutely forgiving, some potential customers have said they would like an iron that looks a little larger and has a little more forgiveness. Ask PXG and you shall receive! The TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) insert that is provides the feel and performance in the 0311 line is actually even more prevalent in the XF clubs. This material provides not only the consistent feel on all types of contact, but the design provides much better distance and accuracy than other club designs. The XF is actually a slightly larger club that inspires confidence at address. The consistent design and look of the 0311XF will allow us to build a combo set of irons the way we do with the 0311 and 0311T. For example, we may build a set of 0311XF 5,6 and 7 irons and fill out the 8, 9 and PW with the 0311. Finally, the sole width of the 0311XF is slightly larger allowing for better contact for golfers with a steeper attack angle. Couple... Read More
Steel has been used in making irons for decades and Callaway uses a unique steel-working process that has allowed them to create a history of sophisticated designs pairing performance-enhancing technologies with clean, strong shapes. The NEW Steelhead XR Irons combine the shaping and playability that made the Steelhead X-14 one of the most popular irons of all-time. Callaway uses next-generation 360 Face Cup™ technology that helps with speed and distance in their irons. A bar of steel-infused soft urethane positioned behind the lower portion of the face serves two functions: 1. Absorbs unwanted vibration for great feel. 2. Adds weight, which lowers the head’s Center of Gravity for faster ball speed on low hits and higher launch characteristics. Callaway is also moving back to the bore-through head design which saves weight and allows for easier launch and more forgiveness. We will have the Callaway Steelhead Iron demo’s in by the last week of August and the new Steelhead Irons will be available from Callaway for shipments, September 2, 2016.