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New Equipment Overload at the BMW Championship!

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We spotted an overwhelming amount of new equipment this week at the BMW Championship, so much that we thought it was necessary to organize them in a single story for your viewing pleasure.

Check out the latest gear launched this week at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill., where 70 PGA Tour players are battling for one of 30 spots in the season-ending Tour Championship.

Exotics CB Pro and XCG7 Fairway Woods

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According to Tour Edge, the CB Pro fairway woods are the high-end, high-performing clubs that the company had in mind when it created the Exotics brand.

The limited-edition fairway woods are based on Exotics’ popular CB2 line of fairway woods. They feature combo-brazed beta titanium faces and a new “Slip Stream” sole that Tour Edge says improves turf interaction regardless of a golfer’s angle of attack. They come with Fujikura’s new Motore Speeder 757 shaft (the new Speeder 661 is also available), and will retail for the hefty price of $499.

Click here to read more about the CB Pro, as well as Exotics’ new XCG7 and XCG7 Beta fairway woods.

Graphite Design Tour AD-MT shafts

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Just a few months ago, Graphite Design released its popular Tour AD-DI shaft in a new color scheme, black and white. For Graphite Design’s newest shaft, the Tour AD-MT, the company went the opposite direction, complementing it with a neon-yellow-and-white color scheme.

According to Bill McPherson, vice president of Pros’ Choice Shafts (the exclusive North American distributor for Graphite Design), the AD-MT is based on the stiffer-profile AD-DI and AD-BB shafts played by several PGA Tour players including Adam Scott, Ryo Ishikawa and Kevin Chappell. McPherson said that it was too early to say any more about the specifics of the shaft, other than it is slated to hit shelves abound Nov. 15.

Click here to see what GolfWRX members are saying about the Tour AD-MT shafts in the forums.

Matrix HX3 “White Tie” Hybrid Shafts

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Matrix’s new Ozik Altus hybrid shafts are based on the company’s popular line of new Ozik woods shafts released this year: the X3 “White Tie,” Q3 “Red Tie” and M3 “Black Tie.”

Like the wood series, the hX3 White Tie is the company’s highest-launching shaft and the hM3 Black Tie is the lowest-launching shaft. The hQ3 Red Tie fits the golfers in the middle, encouraging a medium trajectory.

Click here to read what GolfWRX members are saying about the new shafts from Matrix in the forums.

Nike Method “Mod” Putters

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We’re not sure what to say about the four Nike Method “Mod” putters we spotted this week on the practice green at Conway Farms.

  • The “Mod 90” is face-balanced mallet putter
  • The Mod-30 (pictured above) is an Anser-style blade
  • The Mod-60 is a heel-shafted half-mallet putter
  • The Mod-00 is a bullseye-style putter.

Each features a red-colored material in the heel- and toe-sections, which we’re assuming helps increase the MOI of the putters. They also have high-end milled finish, with milling marks that run perpendicular to the target line at address.

Click here to see more photos of the Nike Method Mod putters in the forums, as well as the reaction from GolfWRX members.

Odyssey Metal-X Prototype

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Chris Kirk was caught gaming this Odyssey prototype putter, a 100-percent-milled design with a face modeled after the company’s Metal-X insert putters. The putter’s sole is stamped with Odyssey’s prototype question mark stamps, which have often indicated a model Odyssey is seriously considering bringing to retail.

Instead of the usual “Odyssey” stamping on the back of the putter, Kirk’s putter features the Odyssey logo, as well as the removable weights Odyssey offered in its high-end Protype iX putters.

Click here to see what GolfWRX members are saying about the Milled Metal-X prototype putter.

 New Ping TR Putters

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In late May, Ping added to its already robust line of Scottsdale TR putters with the Nome TR (Click here to read our full story on the Nome TR putter). On Nov. 1, three new models of the Scottsdale TR series will become available: the Craz-E, Anser T and a counterbalanced model, the Senita B.

  • The Craz-E looks identical to the original model that was released in 2004, but it has a black PVD finish and Ping’s new True Roll insert, which features deep grooves on the middle of the face and more shallow grooves on the heel and toe areas to help marry the ball speed of impacts across the face.
  • The Anser T (pictured above) is a variation of Ping’s Anser 2 putter, with an alignment bar in the middle of the back flange.
  • The Senita B has a 400-gram head, 30 grams heavier than the standard model. Like other counterbalanced models, it measures 38 inches, but it is meant to be held a few inches short of the butt-end of the grip. It’s outfitted with an extra long 17-inch grip and a 50-gram counterweight to help add stability to a golfer’s stroke.

TaylorMade SpeedBlade irons

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TaylorMade’s SpeedBlade irons are the company’s latest line of distance irons. They have a longer, wider slot in the sole and a new construction that provide more face flexibility than the RocketBladez irons.

Watch the video above for more information, and click here to read our story about TaylorMade’s SpeedBlade event on Sept. 9.

Wilson FG 100 Blade Irons

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Wilson Staff’s new FG Tour 100 blade irons were inspired by the company’s legendary 1971 “Button Back” model. While they incorporate features of that iron, such as “Fluid Feel” technology, a TPU insert that runs from the end of the shaft to the bottom of the irons’ soles, they’re a modern blade made to the specifications of the most discerning golfers.

The irons are forged from 8620 steel, and like the 1971 Button Backs, they have a high-luster nickel-chrome finish complemented with black-and-gold logoing.

The irons won’t be available until early in 2014, but they already have a win under their belt. They were used by the University of Illinois Head Golf Coach Mike Small to win his 10th Illinois PGA Championship.

Click here to see what GolfWRX members are saying about the FG Tour 100 irons in the forums.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. TJ

    Sep 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I looked up Sexiest Blade in the dictionary and a picture of the Mizuno MP-4 was beside it.

  2. Dan

    Sep 12, 2013 at 7:15 am

    TM is falling behind. They haven’t announced a new line of equipment is 72 hours

    • nate

      Sep 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      this is so true…..

      • Jack

        Sep 12, 2013 at 10:59 pm

        That’s just cuz the black paint on the speedbladez isn’t drying quick enough. It’ll be the speedbladez black pro tp edition, and pro’s can hit 7 irons 211 yards instead of 200 yards, but they won’t bag them because then what would they do within 150 yards.

    • Metal-X-

      Sep 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      I agree. TM is releasing stuff so fast that it’s hard to keep up with. I have ceased buying TM stuff.

    • SN

      Sep 17, 2013 at 1:55 am

      Come on man, give them a break.
      Their sticker printers are dead.

      Or else we should have seen Speedblade “Tour” this weekend.

  3. Rich

    Sep 11, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Love those Wilson Staff Blades…..

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Equipment

Titleist AVX golf balls passed the test, are now available across the United States

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Titleist’s AVX golf balls first came to retail as an experiment in three markets — Arizona, California and Florida — from October 2017 to January 2018. AVX (which stands for “Alternative to the V and X”) are three-piece golf balls made with urethane covers, and they’re made with a softer feel for more distance than the Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

After proving their worth to consumers, Titleist’s AVX golf balls are now available across the U.S. as of April 23, and they will sell for 47.99 per dozen (the same as Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls) in both white and optic yellow.

According to Michael Mahoney, the Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing for Titleist, the AVX is a member of the Pro V1 family. Here’s a basic understanding of the lineup:

  • AVX: Softest, lowest trajectory, lowest spinning, less greenside spin and longest
  • Pro V1x: Firmer than the Pro V1, highest spinning and highest trajectory
  • Pro V1: Sits between the V1x and the AVX in terms of feel, spin and trajectory, and will appeal to most golfers

Different from the Pro V1 or Pro V1x, the AVX golf balls have a new GRN41 thermoset cast urethane cover to help the golf balls achieve the softer feel. Also, they have high speed, low compression cores, a new high-flex casing layer, and a new dimple design/pattern.

For in-depth tech info on the new AVX golf balls, how they performed in the test markets, and who should play the AVX golf balls, listen to our podcast below with Michael Mahoney, or click here to listen on iTunes.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the AVX golf balls

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Andrew Landry’s Winning WITB: 2018 Valero Texas Open

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Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees at 8.8 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue ATX65 TX
Length: 45.25 inches, tipped at 1 inch
Swing Weight: D3

3 Wood: Ping G (14.5 degrees at 15.15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75
Length: 43 inches, tipped 1 inch
Swing Weight: D2

5 Wood: Ping G (17.5 degrees at 17.75 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85
Length: 42 inches
Swing Weight: D2

Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105X
Swing Weight: D2

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F and 60-10S)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S
Grip: Ping Pistol
Length, loft, lie: 33 inches, 3 degrees, 3 degrees flat

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord

WITB Notes: Landry tweaked his iron lofts before the Valero; 1 degree weak in his 4 and 5 iron, and 0.5 degrees weak in his 6-PW.

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Landry’s clubs.

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