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Tour equipment junkies rejoice! TaylorMade opens “The Vault”

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Last year, we discussed TaylorMade not selling the equipment that its professional staff use on Tour. And if you’re a GolfWRX forum junkie, you’ve likely seen this topic debated for years on our site.

Well, for those of you looking to get your hands on legitimate tour-issued clubs directly from TaylorMade, the wait is over. Or, more precisely, the wait has begun to see what the TaylorMade Vault holds.

The Vault (accessible here) is essentially an online store within the TaylorMade website. At undefined intervals, the company will release a limited amount of tour equipment.

As TMag’s website states:

The Vault holds rare, and collectable TaylorMade equipment you don’t come across every day. We’re talking about prototypes, limited-runs, one-offs and the occasional custom-build for a Tour pro. Most were built in our Tour Department in Carlsbad, California or our rolling, 18-wheel workshop that travels the PGA Tour. Quantities are always limited, so check back often and act fast.

So, that’s what The Vault is in theory. Let’s take a look at what it has looked like (and will continue to look like) in practice.

The Carlsbad-based company has already released an ATV prototype wedge and a very cool Ghost Tour prototype Monte Carlo 72 comparable to the model Jason Day used to win the WGC-Accenture Match Play earlier this year.

Upcoming releases include the following.

SLDR Tour Head: April 8

The head is lighter in weight than the standard SLDR, allowing a player to keep the club’s total weight down when using a heavier shaft. It appears price for this head has not yet been determined.

Screen shot 2014-03-25 at 9.28.02 AM

R1 V2 TP Head: April 1: $300

Again, like the SLDR head, the R1 head is lighter in order to accommodate a tour spec shaft. Screen shot 2014-03-25 at 9.29.14 AM

Itsy Bitsy Tour Prototype Putter: April 1: $350

As TMag’s Vault page indicates, “It’s not often a putter comes to you straight from the TaylorMade Tour department, and this face-balanced beauty is as rare as it is distinct in design.”

Screen shot 2014-03-25 at 9.32.43 AM

Tour Preferred MC Onset Irons (2011): Available Now: $1,200

When TaylorMade released the TP MC in 2011, Tour pros love the feel and workability of the club, however, as the company states, “a number of pros made a request: Give us the same head minus the offset.” Here is the result, available for your purchase.

Screen shot 2014-03-25 at 9.33.47 AM

TaylorMade junkies and lovers of all things tour issue will be champing at the bit to see what comes out of The Vault next, to be sure.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. KK

    Sep 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Honestly, looks like mostly old tour stuff gathering dust that TM wants to unload. But hey, more options is a good thing for golfers.

  2. Larry

    Mar 29, 2014 at 6:27 am

    A few years ago on Vacation in Vegas I was playing with 3 young men that were all hitting the same driver…on the 16 hole they ask me if I would like to hit their driver…. it was a tour van (kids brother worked for Taylormade) made driver, when he handed it to me I could feel the most balanced club I ever felt…swing easy I was told and again wow, yes even a duffer like me could feel and see a huge difference… if you ever get a chance to hit a real “tour” club you will see we are buying some real junk off the rack….

  3. Mad-Mex

    Mar 26, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    So riddle me this Batman,,,,,,,,,,,, this equipment wont do me a bit of good unless,,,,my swing matches what this equipment was built for? And second, unlike other equipment, value will just,,,,,drop and become nothing more than a “look what I got” conversation piece?

    Please enlighten me if I am way off,,,,,,,,

  4. Nick

    Mar 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    If they actually begin to catch up to more current equipment, which it seems they are getting closer with the latest release of the SLDR coming, this will be very intriguing. If they continue to be months and even years behind the actual release it’s a total waste of everyone’s time.

  5. Charlie

    Mar 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    You guys are forgetting tour issue stuff on the black market has zero warranty. Hopefully with these prices full warranty will be in effect!

  6. LorenRobertsFan

    Mar 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    This will be a fail. Anyone who pays $1300 for TM irons is crazy, and this stuff is so much cheaper to buy elsewhere. And most of these are old models? That’s a slap in the face by a company that always tell us that their latest and greatest is so much better than previous models

  7. Double Mocha Man

    Mar 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Just bought a tour-issue, COR tested Taylormade driver off ebay.

    • leftright

      Mar 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Buy an Adams XTD and save money. Better driver, better quality and more technology. Heck, Justin Honea from Adams is the guy behind SLDR anyway. Best business decision in golf was TM buying Adams and the only reason TM has a slot in it’s club. Adams owns that patent for 17 years.

      • John

        Mar 31, 2014 at 9:59 am

        I agree it was a good idea, it puts a quality manufacturer behind a quantity manufacturer…where you’re slightly off though is the patent…I’m not sure how long they hold the patent for the slot, but it is irrelevant…companies can license that technology from them if they like, in some cases without a licensing contract…the reason other companies don’t is because there are better ways to maximize COR in metal woods, so the rest if the industry is allowing tmag/Adams to have that as their “claim to fame” because it doesn’t really provide any real benefits that others can achieve in other ways…taylormade/Adidas is a global marketing company first, golf oem second….they market the crap out of their equipment so that you (hypothetically) buy their stuff before you even hit it…someone gains one yard on a drive, they say to themselves “oh well I’m not that good so I can’t expect a whole 17 yards everytime, so I’ll take it!!!” Then they’re taylormade suckers for life…I used to work in the industry, and my god do I wish I could tell you all the cost to taylormade of manufacturing one club, it would blow your minds…btw I am no taylormade hater, I’ve used an r9 3 and 5 wood since they came out, and a couple drivers since, I just like understanding how things work and made it a point to figure out the hype behind taylormade, as well as the “haters” because I hear the word “fanboy” religiously on this site and it makes me cringe everytime I hear it mostly because it just sounds childish and dumb, but they are “fanboys” because taylormade molded them that way, consciously or subconsciously, they were dooped into brand loyalty for the wrong reasons…”Sweet, now I can by the same club DJ plays?!”…gets out credit card and pays $60o for a stock “tour club”…there is no difference other than they spend more time balancing the club and hotmelting the face, both of which have always been available to the public if you get a real custom fit

  8. Rich

    Mar 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Played TM at one time till I found out from a TM endorsed player that my “tour” irons weren’t even made of the same steel let alone the same design. Was I naive, absolutely. But coming from the tennis world where the equipment is the same construction for the same model, that was completely unacceptable. This isn’t a surprise move. TM has always had a “we know what’s best for you and it happens to be more profitable” stance on equipment. “But we’ll paint them white so they’ll feel like pros.”

    • johnleg

      Mar 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      every company does that, derp.

    • KK

      Sep 6, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Just because someone has an equipment endorsement doesn’t mean he suddenly becomes an equipment engineer and expert. The vast majority of pros choose equipment based on feel and ball flight and know/care very little about the tech because honestly, it doesn’t matter all that much to their games. Pro V1X, DG X100, blades or AP2/AP2 equivalent, Scotty or Odyssey, TM/Titleist/Ping driver. Bam, that’s like 98% of all PGA wins. The different is in the fitting. Most guys are too cheap to go for a normal fitting. I doubt they (or you) would pony up for a tour fitting which is probably worth a few grand at least. And you don’t have a pro’s game. Why do you even want the exact same equipment that pros play?

  9. Gerard

    Mar 26, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Would love to see the comments change tune if a Titleist or a Ping did this…

    • Mike

      Mar 27, 2014 at 4:42 am

      of course they do, we’d be naive to think they didn’t.

  10. Chuck

    Mar 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Bookmarked.

  11. Curt

    Mar 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Come on TM. Dont put left over, old product, in the Vault. It has to be current for this to be of value to the consumer, otherwise, its just a BS way to capitalize on stuff that cant be used by pros or TMAG.
    Only newbie idiots will fall for that BS……………

  12. steve

    Mar 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Seems like this is not current tour issued equipment, except for the sldr

  13. Blake

    Mar 25, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I think this is great. I have been gaming r9 460 and r9 supertri tour issue heads for a year now (i switch back and forth between 8.5 and 10.5 degrees of loft depending on conditions). I can definitively say my tour issue heads spin significantly less than the retail r9 heads I previously owned. My swing weights also feel much better with the tour issue heads given i was fit for a 77 gram vts shaft. Tour issue heads aren’t for everyone but can make a big difference in the right person’s bag.

  14. mike

    Mar 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    seems to me like they’re just pushing clubs that are left over tour issue models

  15. Dumb

    Mar 25, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    WOW. I can pay double for pretty much the exact same product.

  16. J

    Mar 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Overpriced equipment that can be had for cheaper on the street.

    Bravo.

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Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black
  • Waterproof full grain leather
    2-year waterproof guarantee
  • thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

Note: We originally reported Stricker had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag, per Titleist’s equipment report. Stricker did, however, have a Odyssey White Hot putter in play during the final round of the QBE Shootout.

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