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Show Stoppers: Day 3 from the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show

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The GolfWRX team is live from this year’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. The “Show Stoppers” segment will highlight our favorite clubs, gear, and training aids at the show.

At the PGA Merchandise Show, golf companies show off their latest equipment on Tuesday at the PGA Demo Day at Orange County National, and at the PGA Show inside the Orange County Convention Center on Wednesday through Friday. Follow along as we bring you inside the ropes of this year’s events.

Axis 1 Joey C Putter

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Axis 1 introduced its new Joey-C putter at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show. It features a traditional blade look, similar to the Axis1 Joey, and adds a copper insert for softer feel.

Axis 1 putters have a center of gravity that is balanced in the center of the club head. That translates into hitting putts on-line more consistently. The design also promotes a stroke that stays more square to the target, limiting face rotation during the stroke.

Axis 1 putter cost between $199 and $299, depending on the model. The Joey-C sells for $229.

Club Crown by Vive

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Club Crown by Vive is a company that makes a high-tech film that allows golfers to customize the crowns of their drivers. The film weighs just 2 grams, increasing the heft of your driver head by a mere one percent.

They cost around $50 each, and are available in a variety of stock styles and custom options. Installation is quick and easy, proved by the lovely Tovah (above) in this photo slideshow.

Edel Golf’s Custom Irons, Wedges and Putters

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Edel Golf’s wedges are some of the most drool-worthy wedges in golf. They’re offered in eight different stock grinds, and a near-limitless amount of custom options that have caused many a golfer to spend more than they intended on new short-game sticks.

Click here to see more custom Edel Golf irons, wedges and putters from the PGA Merchandise Show.

New Balance Golf Shoes

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New Balance, a company that is best known for its walking and running shoes, launched its first line of golf shoes at the 2014 PGA Merchandise show. Six styles for men and women offer both cleated and spikeless options, which are available in both waterproof and breathable fabrics.

The Minimus Sport Golf and the Minimus LX Golf shoes utilize the One-Lok cleat system that puts golfers’ feet close to the ground while providing added stability. Men’s shoes are offered in D, 2E and 4E widths, and women’s are offered in B and D widths. Prices range from $119.99 to $159.99.

Click here to see more New Balance golf shoes from the PGA Merchandise Show

Odyssey Putters

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Odyssey released several new putter models at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, including its high-end Metal-X Versa putters.

The Metal-X Versa putters combine two of Odyssey’s latest technologies: its acid-etched Metal-X face pattern that improves face friction for a better roll and its Versa technology, which uses white-and-black lines that are layered perpendicular to the target line to help golfers increase their awareness of face angle throughout the stroke.

Odyssey also unveiled its “Tank Cruiser” putters, which have removable weights in the sole and grip to allow golfers to fine tune swing weight and total weight. The putters are available in the four models: #1, #7, 330M and 2-Ball in 35- and 38-inch lengths. They’ll sell for $249 each when they hit stores on April 1.

The Metal-X Milled putters will hit stores on Jan. 17 in six model. The #1, #6, #9HT and 330 Mallet will cost $299, while the #7 and Rossie, which have aluminum sole plates, will cost $349.

Click here to see more Odyssey putters from the PGA Merchandise Show.

Rife Switchback Putter

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The Rife “Switchback” is an adjustable putter with four interchangeable bumper weights that change the head weight from 350-to-380 grams.They have a clean, high-tech look, and will be a hot commodity for tinkerers at the reasonable price point of $199.

Also new from Rife is the company’s Maven putter, a design that was inspired by new Rife Brand Ambassador Mike Shannon, one of Golf Digest’s Top-50 best teachers in America. The Zebra-shaped putter (see the photos in our forum) will come with five different hosel configuration to help golfers dial in their alignment and toe-hang needs. The first model, which has a plumber’s neck, will be available in May and sell for $235.

Click here to see more photos of Rife putters from the PGA Merchandise Show.

True Temper Project X LZ

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True Temper’s prototype Project X LV graphite shafts are hand rolled to exact specifications at the company’s headquarters in San Diego. They have the stiff butt and tip sections that characterize the original Project X graphite shafts, but the mid-sections are much softer.

According to Don Brown, product development manager for True Temper, the softer mid sections act as “loading zones,”  helping golfers release more energy into the golf ball at impact. Click here to read more about True Temper’s prototype Project X LV shafts.

True Temper’s Project X PXv 39 shaft also caught golfers’ attention at the PGA Merchandise Show. It’s the first of the company’s shafts to weigh less than 40 grams at a length of 46 inches. Originally, it was intended for recreational players, but it has been tested and put in play by professionals in Europe and the U.S.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. 78Staff

    Jan 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    $50 for a driver head wrap? PT Barnum would be proud…sheesh.

  2. Neal Gregory

    Feb 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I purchased a 34inch 350g Axis1 Umbra putter. The zero balance helped with not pulling putts. I played with it for a couple rounds that had very challenging greens. My only complaint was that it felt too light, so I returned it. The owner was great about the return. Once Ohio thaws out, I will def. be purchasing the Umbra 400g and putting a slightly larger grip on it.

    Looks of a putter builds confidence? No, my friend, sinking putts you wouldn’t normally make builds confidence. Anyone who putts for dough knows that!

    Neal

  3. Pingback: Are You a Golf Technology Geek? Day 2 PGA Show 2014 – Video | GolfShadowAre You a Golf Technology Geek? Day 2 PGA Show 2014 - Video - GolfShadow

  4. Really!?!?!

    Jan 24, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Okay, I have to call BS on this one. These are supposed to be “showstoppers” and the axis 1 putters are a joke. I would be willing to bet that if they weren’t a golfwrx sponsor they never would have made this post. You cannot tell me for one second that there wasn’t something better to cover than those hideous things. Sorry to vent a little but that is a lame sponsor plug…nothing more, nothing less.

    • Phil Long

      Jan 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      A joke? Lol!

      I usually don’t respond to posts like this but I will.

      Tell you what….please shoot me an email and next time I am in your area, I will personally meet you and let you roll the putters. You can even bring yours too and we can do some testing. I’m confident enough in our product to do so. Doubt I will hear from you but hope I do.

      Thanks,
      Phil Long
      Vice President
      Axis1 Golf
      PhilLong@axis1golf.com

      • Really!?!?!

        Jan 26, 2014 at 11:23 am

        The gauntlet has been thrown and I gladly accept the challenge Mr. Long. I shot you an email, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Joel

      • Michael K

        Jan 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        Mr. Long….I live in Maryland and would love to try one of your putters if you are ever in the area…I also play at Andrews Air Force Base and you are welcome to be my guest. r/Mike

        • Phil Long

          Jan 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm

          Michael,

          Thanks for the offer. Would love to. I know its 5 months away but I am coming up for the AT&T National. We could get together then if not before. Shoot me an email!!

          Thanks,
          Phil

    • Mike

      Jan 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Who cares if they roll the ball better. Those things are hideous and after a month of playing it, you’ll go back to trusty. Bottom line is that confidence starts by looking down at something that is pleasing to the eye. Not that thing. Just saying.

      • Charlie

        Jan 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        Seriously? what one person deems hideous another thinks is the perfect look.

        There are a million different putter designs. You go find one that you think is pretty, meanwhile I’ll find one that best rolls the ball in the cup.

    • Charlie

      Jan 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      What a lame post from someone who has never seen an Axis in person let alone actually tried one out. The Odyssey Sabertooth was pretty hideous until people realized how good of a putter it is.

      I’ll bet you’re the type who discounts a putter until a pga player wins with it, then you rush out to buy.

  5. JCorona

    Jan 24, 2014 at 9:47 am

    My name is Joey C…. would I be a narcissist if I got that putter??? That being said, how can I NOT buy a putting that is actually named after me…. then again, I don’t drink Corona beer….

  6. Homer Simpson

    Jan 24, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Booth girl showdown! Booth girl showdown! Booth girl showdown!

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Honma T World 747 Rose Proto MB irons are coming to retail

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When Justin Rose signed with Honma in at the beginning of January, speculation ensued as to which irons the Englishman would play. Quickly, we learned Rose would game T World 747 Rose Proto MB irons — and he took to the clubs quickly, winning the Famers Insurance Open later that month.

So, clearly, the S20C mild steel irons work for Rose, as they’ve been in his bag since that point, but will they work for the general consumer? Up until this point, we’ve been unable to answer that question, as the irons were tour only. With today’s news, however, we now know Rose Proto irons are coming to retail.

According to the company, the irons, which are forged at Honma HQ in Sakata, Japan, are the result of several months of testing and modification in conjunction with Rose.

The world No. 2 had this say: “The idea of having a hand in the collaborative design process for my set of clubs was extremely exciting. Working with the Honma master craftsmen to create an iron that felt and looked great for me was one of the biggest thrills of my career.”

The irons feature varying CG throughout the set to achieve Rose’s preferred trajectories and a combination satin front and mirror back finish, as well as blended muscleback design.

Full specs below.

Rose Proto MB irons will sell for $175 USD per club and will come in a 4-10 iron set configuration. The company will also offer a 3-iron separately.

 

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Spotted: Dustin Johnson with new Fujikura Ventus prototype at the Masters, RBC Heritage

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Beyond the obvious big news of some guy named Mr. Woods winning his fifth green jacket this past weekend, there were some pretty interesting developments with another player that runs on a first name basis or at least initials: DJ switched drivers MID tournament and had a new Fujikura Ventus prototype shaft to go along with his new TaylorMade M6 as he took on Augusta National Saturday and Sunday.

We don’t have all the details yet, but from what we have heard so far this new Prototype Black Ventus is an even lower launching version of the blue Ventus currently available. If history is correct, and we are looking at a line extension, then the colors tell a lot of the story. The Atmos line features both a blue and black version with a final higher-launching red version to round out the series in what Fuji calls their color-coded launch system to make fitting and product recognition just that much easier.

Photos of the “black” prototype via Fujikura.

It’s not unusual for shaft companies like Fujikura to bring out prototype profiles utilizing technologies from their newest lines to try and get them into the bags of more players. Fuji’s newest technology is VeloCore, and we have already seen it adopted at a high rate. Here is some more info from Fujikura to explain the technology

“VeloCore is a multi-material core comprised of ultra-high modulus Pitch 70 Ton Carbon Fiber (about 150% stronger and more stable than T1100g) and 40 Ton bias layers that are the full length of the shaft for incredible stability. VeloCore Technology promotes consistent center-face impact and provides ultimate stability, tightening dispersion and increasing control. The result is a shaft that maximizes the MOI (moment of inertia) and ball speed of your clubhead through the reduction of twist during the swing and at impact, especially on off-center hits.”

This makes sense, considering any contact made beyond an absolutely perfect (almost impossible from a physics standpoint) strike in line with the COG of a driver head traveling at 120 mph will result in twisting at impact — MOI is maximized in driver heads to increase stability along with spin with Ventus and VelocCore, Fujikura thanks to their Enzo system, is better understanding how that relationship works with the shaft to produce new and better products.

Anyway, since we know DJ deviated from his traditional Fujikura Speeder Evolution II Tour Spec driver shaft for his weekend rounds this past weekend, we can expect to see it again this week at the RBC Heritage this week at Hilton Head, and we’ll have our eyes peeled to see where else this shaft pops up on tour.

Johnson teeing off during Wednesday’s RBC Heritage Pro-Am.

 

 

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WRX Spotlight: Bridgestone e12 Speed and e12 Soft golf balls

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Product: Bridgestone e12 Speed and e12 Soft golf balls

The Pitch

Per Bridgestone: “Speed: 3-piece surlyn golf ball that delivers sidespin reducing performance, with explosive distance off the tee with a solid feel. 105 MPH and up swing speeds. Soft: 3-piece surlyn golf ball that delivers sidespin reducing performance, with added distance off the tee with a softer feel. 105MPH and lower swing speeds.”

Who is it for?

The pitch seems simple enough…. Bridgestone, who has emerged as a competitor year in and year out in the golf ball market, gives us the “e class” product that will suit the golfers from 10-handicap and up.

What’s in it?

The key words here are Active Acceleration Mantle…both the Soft and the Speed have it, but AAM will deliver in different ways on each. In the Speed ball, the AAM allows Bridgestone to firm up the core giving your higher speed player optimal launch conditions, tight dispersions, and enough feel around the greens to satisfy.

For the Soft ball, the AAM allows Bridgestone to soften the core up a bit giving your lower speed players a helping hand off the driver and ultimate touch around the greens where that player profile needs it the most.

Director of Content Johnny Wunder on the Bridgestone e12 Speed and Soft

As a player who has been in the same ball for almost 20 years (Pro V1X), my open-mindedness to trying something outside of that category has been nil. But after having a great convo with Elliot Mellow (Bridgestone Golf Ball Sales Manger), I became curious about their take on a ball for players like my buddy Dave (high speed/high handicap) or even my father (low spin/low speed/mid handicap).

Bridgestone e12 Soft

My big take away is…this is a FUN golfball. Fun in the fact that both models do and feel as they are advertised. The Soft is spinny off the driver and forgiving around the greens. How that translates to your higher handicapper is around the greens when you don’t clip it just right off of a wedge, the ball doesn’t take off on you. The first hop is straight up not straight forward. You can see where I’m going there. Off the big stick, it translates into being able to carry a hazard, bunker, etc without sacrificing control due to lack of spin. Your distance gains come from elevation and height, not necessarily raw yardage distance.

The Speed is well…fast. It’s hot, holds its line in the wind and rolls out when it hits the ground. Around the greens, it’s serviceable for a higher handicap. It’s not a players ball around the greens, in my opinion. The feel off the face doesn’t match up. However, I’m guessing if you took blind feel out of it and put all these on a Trackman, the Speed ball would still hold water around the greens.

Bridgestone e12 Speed

At $29.99/dozen, if you like experimenting with a new nugget here and there, try this one. It’s fun and the company fulfills the promises made on the box. Can you really ask for much more?

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