Nippon Modus3 shafts have been making subtle inroads into both amateur and professional players bags. In fact, four players out of the six players using Nippon Shaft products at the 30-player TOUR Championship finished in the top 10 Sunday (September 24, 2017) in the PGA TOUR’s season-finale at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. UPDATE: Every Model of the Modus3 made a Top 5 finish February 4, 2018! 2nd Place (Tour 120X), T3 (Tour 120 TX), and T5 (Tour 130 X) at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and 3 T5 finishers in Malaysia (Tour 105 X, Tour 125 X, and Proto X). And, Andrew Landry played the Modus3 Tour 105X in his Ping iBlade 3-PW to claim victory at the 2018Texas Valero Open. Nippon, a Japanese shaft manufacturer, has been making high quality steel iron shafts for years. Perhaps its most popular iron in the United States is the N.S. Pro 950 GH. This is a roughly 95 gram shaft with a mid-high launch and mid-high spin. This is the dominant shaft on the LPGA tour. We have used this shaft and its lighter (N.S. Pro 850 GH) and heavier (N.S. Pro 1050 GH) companion shafts quite a bit over the... Read More
What's New: From the Lab
Counter Balanced Driver Shafts are Hot! Counter balanced driver shafts are starting to be all the rage both on tour and in our clients hands. Why? Because most manufacturers of drivers are making their club heads much heavier these days and golfers do not want to feel like they are swinging a sledge hammer! Tour pros like Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, and Rory McIlroy have opted for counter balanced shafts like the Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Pro Orange in order to reduce total weight and increase club head speed (not that they need any help, mind you)! With shafts that are counter balanced, swing weights can be reduced 2 to 3 points creating a lighter head feel and potentially generating more clubhead speed. Driver Head Weights Today As recently as 2015, driver head weights were pretty much right around 200 grams. Today, we are seeing headweights of 203 grams consistently but some as high as 209. Every 2 grams adds a swing weight so instead of a D0 at 45 inches, you may see D3 to D4. The average golfer with a smooth tempo will like a lighter swing weight. So, up until counter balanced driver shafts came along, you... Read More
The Best Fairway Woods for 2018 Book Your Fitting Now! Well, the changes in the way the USGA measures the legality of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids have given some clubs a tremendous amount of added distance. I did an article on this a few years ago and the major manufacturers have jumped on the change from COR to CT measurements. I also had it confirmed by the senior product director at one of the major manufacturers. The best new fairway woods will show increases of 1-4 mph in ball speed, reduced spin and higher launch angles. The result is that now you can hit a higher lofted fairway wood, a 4 wood for example instead of a 3 wood and get the same or added distance. A Case Study One of our good customers was looking for a fairway wood that could carry a little farther with a better descent angle. His current 3 wood carry distance was 251 yards at altitude. We tested the new Tour Edge CBX, TaylorMade M4, and Rogue all in 4 woods. The winner by two yards was the Callaway Rogue at 263 yards with a peak height of 98 feet and descent angle... Read More
PXG GEN2 Irons Are Setting the Performance Bar After three years of development and nearly 40 prototypes, the PXG GEN2 0311 irons are scheduled for release on April 19th! Our demo irons should be here by the end of March and are we excited? Yes! In addition to the latest innovations for the 0311 P, 0311 T and 0311 XF, there is a new iron in the mix, the 0311 SGI (Super Game Improvement). Let me give you a rundown of the innovations that have gone into these new irons. Performance Improvements Tighter Shot Dispersion Increased Distance Better Top Line Appearance Improved Feel Better Wearing Material The Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) in the original 0311 has been replaced with COR2, a proprietary high speed polymer core material. This material has shown to create tighter shot dispersion (distance dispersion) and improved feel off the face. In addition, COR2 has increased ball speed 1-2 mph due to its faster recovery time. New forged 8620 steel in GEN2 is a better wearing material while maintaining the soft feel of a forged material. The re-design of the clubheads create 15% larger hitting area, a sleeker top and back line yielding more forgiveness and better look... Read More
PXG GEN2 Irons Are on Their Way April 19th! Book Your Fitting Here! THE BEST IRONS PXG HAS EVER MADE. Three years in the making, NEW PXG 0311 GEN2 Irons are almost here. Presented in four collections –Tour (T), Players (P), Xtreme Forgiveness (XF), and the new Super Game Improvement (SGI) – PXG 0311 GEN2 Irons deliver unmatched performance for golfers at every level of the game. Not only are NEW PXG 0311 GEN2 Irons better, they are better in every way. Each iron features new innovations in materials and technology, with a forged 8620 soft carbon steel body, groundbreaking COR2 technology, larger functional internal face area, the industry’s thinnest club face, and PXG’s signature perimeter weighting technology. Every element combines to deliver more distance, a larger sweet spot, significantly improved accuracy, and a buttery-soft feel.
Hot New Drivers and Shafts for 2018 In our recent poll, over half of our readers are looking for a new driver in 2018. So where should you start? If you look at the advertising dollars being thrown around the industry, you would start with Callaway Rogue or TaylorMade “twist face”. Yes, they are really good but don’t count out some of the others that made the Golf Digest 2018 Equipment Hot List. Our battery of testers has narrowed the broad field down to these: Sign up for a fitting here! Drivers Callaway Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero Higher forgiveness than EPIC and lower spin than almost everyone in the industry. Sound not as muted as some others. Cobra F8 and F8+ This driver with the milled face is the real deal. Better sound than last year’s F7 series. Great low spin and forgiveness. We liked the two-tone Nardo gray! Mizuno ST-180 A pleasant surprise from Mizuno, this driver is in the same league as the others. All depends upon if you like a blue colored head. Ping G400 This driver continues to deliver more consistency across the face than almost all of the other... Read More
Light Weight Steel Iron Shafts for 2018 Light weight steel shafts are offering a lot of clubfitting options. Just like the rush of graphite shaft makers to get 85 to 115 gram graphite shafts to market, steel shaft manufacturers are dropping from the 115 to 125 gram range to the 95 to 110 gram range. Why? Older golfers that have played Dynamic Gold, Project X or KBS Tour shafts (125+ grams) are not enamored with the feel of graphite and are looking for a lighter weight steel shaft to maintain the same feel and potentially give them more distance. On the other side, as junior golfers start getting stronger, it is a tough transition to go from a light weight 70 to 85 gram graphite shaft to a heavy 125+ gram steel shaft. As a clubfitter, we know that weight, flex and profile (launch characteristics) of these new shafts are important to getting optimum performance. True Temper There are several manufacturers that offer steel shafts in the 95 to 110 gram range. True Temper has just replaced its Dynamic Gold Super Light(SL) shaft with the new Dynamic Gold 105. This shaft and its heavier brother Dynamic Gold 120 is a... Read More
TPT Golf Driver Shaft Review TPT Golf, a division of NTPT Technology, is seriously bringing new technology to the golf shaft industry. Introduced on the PGA Tour in 2016, this series of shafts is getting some very good traction among serious amateurs and professionals. Justin Rose has won three times with the shaft and Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open the first time he put the TPT shaft in his driver. So what is so special about these shafts? Thin Ply Technology Means Better Feel Thin plys of composite mean that there is less resin and more fiber in each shaft. The harsh feeling in a typical golf shaft can be caused by the brittle nature of the resin(epoxy) that holds the plys together. TPT Golf driver shafts have as many as 60 plys and are consistently higher torque, i.e. better feel than most other premium shafts. And this does not affect shot dispersion. TPT Winding Means Better Consistency Most shafts are hand rolled on a table using triangular flags of composite material. This can lead to an overlap of the material which causes an area where the shaft is stiffer. Under load, a shaft will try to return... Read More
Is it Time for a New Driver? According to Golf Digest, if your driver is more than four years old, you are losing 6 to 11 yards! (See their article here). Now that may not seem like much, but it can be as much as one club shorter into that favorite par 4! That my friend means lower scores…and more fun! And, even better, accuracy has improved on off center hits, especially low and toe shots. Whether is is “twist face”, “jail break” or “dual roll” technology, every driver manufacturer has made distance AND forgiveness a mantra this year. Our first fittings with these new drivers are very encouraging! Every year, we also put the new drivers to the test with our players. So far the tests on all the new drivers from Callaway, TaylorMade, Cobra, Mizuno and Ping are improving both accuracy AND distance. We will be publishing our own reports in the next few weeks. We have testers from every genre so no holds barred! Stay tuned.
Golf Digest 2018 Equipment Hot List The “official” Golf Digest 2018 Equipment Hot List has been published! This signals the beginning of the golf season, in my opinion. Enjoy perusing the list by clicking on the title links in each category. I have taken some time to review the list and here are my overall impressions: Overall: Cobra Golf snatched 18 Gold medals, the highest count for them in like forever. For Cobra, this could be a banner year. PXG made Gold lists in fairways, hybrids, and irons. I wasn’t sure if Bob Parson would go mainstream but he did. Tour Edge notably missing from hybrids…hmmm? Cleveland Golf irons making it back on the list in a couple of categories. New entrants from EPON, Honma trying to break into the US Market. Drivers: The usual suspects hit the Gold List but I have been impressed with the Cobra drivers Callaway EPIC, EPIC Sub Zero and EPIC Star Callaway Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero Cobra F8 and F8+ Ping G400, SF and LST TaylorMade M3 and M4 Titleist 917 D2/D3 Fairways: The focus as usual is on distance and in our testing every one of the Gold list and several... Read More