Every year brings something new, something old and something bold to the PGA Merchandise Show. While we focus mostly on clubs, shafts, and grips, there are a couple of new things that I will mention that are pretty cool. So here goes:
Mizuno – For the first time that I can remember in 23 years, Mizuno had a presence at the Demo Day AND is on the Show floor. Big news from them is the new ST 190 driver, fairway and hybrid line followed by the new JPX 919 Hotmetal Pro iron. And, whoa, Mizuno introduces a new golf ball in the US Market!
Tour Edge – Leveraging on the success of their Hot Launch HL3 line of clubs,club the company introduced the EXS line of drivers, fairway metals and hybrids. And the new CBX 119 fairway woods and hybrids with a heel weight port will allow us clubfitters/clubbuilders more fitting options.
Srixon – The combination of their three brands, Srixon, Cleveland and XXIO is making Srixon a big player in the golf world. In addition, their Z-Star line of golf balls is gaining a lot of traction.
With the emphasis on putter fitting this year, KBS and ACCRA are focusing on putter shafts. The new Callaway Stroke Lab putters are a big hit featuring a combination steel and graphite shaft. Of course, the STABILITY shaft is still one of our favorites.
In irons, we are seeing a lot of new light weight steel and graphite shafts from Mitsubishi Chemical, KBS and True Temper. More on all of those as they become available for us to test. Look for a $ Taper Lite and Max Graphite from KBS, Catalyst 100 graphite from Projext X, and Kuro Kage irons from Mitsubishi Chemical.
In woods, new Diamana RF series, and TENSEI AV Blue are new profiles with improved materials from Mitsubishi Chemical. Fujikura introduced the VENTUS at the show…a stiffer tip profile for stronger players. OBAN added new AIRBURST Model to their premium line as well. A lot more to come as we get these shafts in for profiling.
Gotta go with Cobra F9, Mizuno ST-190, Callaway EPIC Flash, and Srixon Z785 as the hottest at the show. TaylorMade did not have a presence this year but our preliminary testing is excellent for their M5/M6 models. Not every model is available except for pre-order. All should hit the market mid-February.
EPIC Flash, Tour Edge CBx 119 and Cobra F9 are the front runners. The rail sole on the Cobra F9 brings back Baffler memories…great design and performance.
Callaway Big Bertha, Cobra F9, and Tour Edge EXS and CBx 119 have the edge so far. Lot of good stuff from Mizuno and Ping with the the G410.
Mizuno JPX 919 HotMetal Pro was a surprise. Will make a great combo set with the original HotMetal. Ping G410 Crossover is another great new driving iron. And you cannot miss with the Callaway APEX 19 and APEX 19 Pro.
Titleist SM 7 Blue Slate finish is pretty cool. And the Cleveland RTX4 and CBX models are really performing well for us.
Flat Cat Solution putter grips offer a new counter balance weighting system that puts the weight more towards the fulcrum of the putter. Felt great and performed well. Golf Pride is introducing a Plus4 model of their popular Tour Velvet.