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Latest patent filings: A driver with a spoiler, a removable club crown and more

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Once again, it’s time to take a look at patents major OEMs have filed for and been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

In last month’s edition, we saw a microwavable golf ball and several varieties of adjustable clubs. This month, the push toward “adjustable everything” continues.

Let’s get to it.

Callaway: Driver with spoiler

Callaway-Driver-Spoiler

So…Callaway is developing a driver with a spoiler.

Originally spotted on golf-patents.com, Callaway’s design features a rear spoiler that “reduces drag and increases the club’s swing speed.” The Carlsbad, Calif., company’s patent also details methods to keep the weight of the clubhead down and states the “spoiler preferably has an overall mass of no more than 20 grams and more preferably between 10 and 15 grams.”

See the full filing here.

Callaway: Extendable shaft

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 6.57.54 AM

In addition to the spoiler-adorned driver, Callaway is working on an adjustable shaft. The filing details existing methods of adjusting shaft length: cutting, plugging, replacing. The company, however, sees these methods as difficult, costly and time consuming.

The extendable portion of the shaft will be concealed under the grip, as the drawing indicates.

See the full filing here.

Titliest: Toe-biased wood

Titleist-toe-biased-wood

Fairhaven, Massachusetts-based Titleist is working on a toe-biased wood, stating that “the sweet spot, while generally located in the center of the clubface, is not located at the area of the club face that has the highest club head speed.”

Thus, the company believes a sweet spot further toward the toe would be beneficial to most golfers.

Why specifically? As the filing states:

“Because the toe end of the clubface is a greater distance from both the golfer (and, therefore, travels on a wider arc as the golf swings the club) and from the axis of the shaft (also traveling a wider arc as the club head rotates), it has a higher club head speed than the center of the club face.”

The club’s lightweight crown will push weight toward the toe of the club as well.

See the full filing here.

Ping: Iron with progressive face thickness

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 7.25.32 AM

Ping is trying something interesting. Referring to the sketch above, Fig. 1 is a traditional iron. Fig 2. is a long-iron with the patented technology. Fig 3. is a mid. Fig 4 is a short. As you can see, by altering the thickness of the face, Ping can alter each club’s center of gravity.

Here’s the rationale for why they’re moving weight around and altering thickness in this specific way.

The optimal trajectory of a golf shot occurs when the center of the club face strikes the center of a ball. Individuals may mis-hit their long irons by striking the center of the ball with the lower portion of the club face, which results in a lower trajectory and less distance. This is known as hitting the shot “thin.” Performance of a long iron hit thin can be improved by lowering the center of gravity of the club head so it is below the center of the club face.

With more of the mass below the center of the club face, more energy may be transferred near the center of the ball. The shot may feel more solid and/or travel farther. In addition, a lower center of gravity on the club head may result in a higher trajectory to the ball and improve the distance of the shot.

By contrast, higher lofted clubs are commonly mis-hit high on the clubface, producing more elevation and less distance than the optimal performance of the club. The difference in the characteristic mis-hit between the long and short irons may be attributed to differences in shaft length (e.g., shorter shafts on the short irons) and the psychological effect of what an individual is trying to accomplish (e.g., hit for distance or pitch a high, arching shot).

Short irons may be made to provide more forgiveness for high mis-hits by moving the center of gravity of the club head upward. The effect of placing more mass at the actual contact point may lower the trajectory so the ball travels farther in the air. Also, a higher center of gravity may provide more backspin on the ball to give the desired effect of stopping the ball more quickly when it lands.

A further bold claim: The set will still have a “matched feel,” even with the different CGs.

See the full filing here.

TaylorMade: fairway wood

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 7.49.55 AM

Here’s a fairway wood TaylorMade is working on that looks a lot like the 2007 Burner. There wasn’t a lot of revealing information in the filing, but the design is worth including. Predictably, the filing suggests the head will “provide improved forgiveness and playability.”

See the full filing here.

Cobra: club head with removable component

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 8.10.48 AM 

Here’s something new: a golf club you can take the top off of. A removable component “that can withstand the stress of repeated hits.”

What’s going on inside the club when you look under the hood? A couple of things, it seems. Here’s what the filing says:

Since a golf club of the present invention can be opened, it may include a mechanism on the inside for use by a golfer, such as an electronic device or an adjustment mechanism. The golf club may include a weight adjustment system that allows the club to be custom-fitted to a golfer. A weight adjustment system can include a plurality of mount points at which one or more removable weights can be mounted. For example, each mount point can include a threaded receptacle and each weight can include a threaded post. Additionally or alternatively, the club head can include a non-threaded adjustment system that uses Velcro or an adhesive to provide a highly-adjustable mass distribution system. In some embodiments, the adjustment system uses other means such as channels, prongs, spikes, edges, etc., and attachable material such as silicone caulk or other sticky or gummy material that can be pressed in. The adjustment system can include snap-together or snap-in weights or any other suitable mechanism. Where the club head uses threaded weight members, the club head can be provided along with a tool for tightening the weight down on a mount point or removing it.

View the full filing here.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Jonzy

    Jul 21, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I can’t help but think that Cobra thought of the removable crown so you can change the color of your crown. Then, they realized that they had better put something adjustable inside of it to appeal to the golfers that care about performance instead of colors.

  2. jcorbran

    Jul 21, 2014 at 12:42 am

    the taylormade fairway seems to have the weight in the back in the head not low and forward, opposite of their current theory? cause low spin sux without forgiveness, dumbashes.

  3. ThinSoul

    Jul 18, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Soon to be best golf prank ever: Opening up someone’s Cobra driver and filling it up with junk.

  4. pat

    Jul 18, 2014 at 1:10 am

    geez taylormade must have run out of ideas coming up with a burner rehash
    they just celebrated sldr”s 1st birthday
    no new (replacement) model for over a year now
    about time they release a new driver

  5. Ben

    Jul 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Next there will be balls made from unicorn testicles which shower you with golf and rainbows once you hit them

    • Ben

      Jul 16, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Sorry meant gold and rainbows

    • Buck

      Jul 16, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      I bet those are soft

    • Dr. Troy

      Jul 16, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Dude, that was the funniest thing I’ve read in a while! bwahahahahahaha! Awesome reply. This all is getting out of hand. Sheesh.

  6. Alex

    Jul 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I think titleist and ping filings are the cool ones. The rest is pure gimmicky.

    • Teaj

      Jul 18, 2014 at 8:57 am

      I agree except for the Cobra idea, now I do question the feel of a club that you can remove the crown without the stability of being welded but the fact that you can put weight almost anywhere you want. the main reason I like this is so I can take the 2lbs of led tape I have on the toe of my 3 wood to prevent my quack hook.

      Cobra’s removable crown = tinker’ers dream

  7. cn

    Jul 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    good stuff

    • Ballstriker

      Jul 16, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Uhhh jeeez. What’s next, training wheels, or maybe playing cards taped to the shaft for wind deflection and downforce? If only my Grandfather were alive today to tumble out of his seat at this nonsense.

      • TG

        Jul 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm

        Thank God you’re going to quit golf for us! More room on the course for me!

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotted: 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers on USGA Conforming List

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When it comes to drivers, Mizuno isn’t usually the company that comes to the top of mind for many golfers, but starting with the ST-190, and then the ST-200 series in 2020, they have quickly changed the perception of their metal woods thanks to wins on tour and more players choosing to put them in play—most recently Brandt Snedeker as a non-contracted player.

This morning, with the update of the USGA and R&A conforming equipment lists, we are getting a sneak peek at what Mizuno will have in store for 2021 with the release of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers.

What we know

Based on the information provided in the USGA submission by Mizuno, the ST-X will only be available in right-handed (10.5 and 12-degree lofts), while the ST-Z will be available in both right (9.5  and 10.5 degrees) and left-handed (9.5 degrees only).

ST-Z

Based on the images from the USGA list and our experience with the Mizuno product line, it appears that the ST-Z is the next step in the evolution of the standard ST200 with no adjustable CG but with a customizable weight in the back of the head.

We haven’t seen any images of a moveable weight driver in this new ST series, so it could be that the G-woods are getting phased out in favor of more internally biased weighting, but since those types of drivers often take a bit more time to get just right, it could be a matter of time before a “G” type driver hits the list.

As for technology, it has Mizuno’s standard wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and based on the images, more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole. I would also expect to hear a new face material or design story to complete the package and to boost MOI and ball speed.

ST-X

Based on the image from the USGA list and our experience, it appears that the ST-X is the next step in the evolution of the ST200-X driver, which is the lighter weight, more upright, and draw-biased driver from Mizuno. Don’t think draw bias always means it’s for higher handicaps either, because Mizuno staff player Chris Kirk got along very nicely with his out on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours in 2020, including a win.

The tell-tale sign is the more heel biased weight in the back of the driver and what looks to be some sort of textured area to create “visible technology” towards the heel of the clubhead.

Beyond being draw-biased, when it comes to technology, it shares a lot of similarities to the ST-Z with Mizuno’s standing wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole, and in the case of the ST-X, on the sole.

We don’t have any information on the release of these new drivers, but considering Mizuno didn’t adjust product release schedules in 2020, I would imagine it will be doing the same in 2021, and we can expect to hear more about these ST drivers either late 2020 or early into 2021.

To see what other golfers are saying about the newly spotted Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers, check out the GolfWRX forums and join the discussion: GolfWRX – New Mizuno drivers spotted on USGA Conforming List

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Equipment

5 hybrid vs 5 iron – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the logic behind removing their 5 iron from their bag. WRXer ‘rwl’ asks whether any fellow members have experiences doing so, and WRXers have been sharing their thoughts and experiences in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • RobertL.: “I replaced my 5 iron with a 5 hybrid. I find it far easier to hit than my 5 iron. I also took my 6 iron out of the bag, so now my longest iron is a 7. I now carry a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid since they’re so much easier to hit than long irons. Makes a big difference for this senior golfer.”
  • JohnKHawk: “For last 2 seasons I’ve played with a Cobra F9 5 hybrid. It’s 24 degrees & gaps perfectly between Cobra OS 3-4 hybrid at 20.5 degrees & Apex19 6 iron which is 26.5 degrees. The 5 iron was just getting to be to undependable. Misses with the 5 hybrid were more playable than the 5 iron. Use what works best for your game.”
  • Abe21599: “Never a bad idea to have both a 5i and 5h options in the trunk, just gotta watch lofts.”
  • nitram: “I know it sounds so “old man” but if you want to make a change in your 5-iron slot and can’t seem to get along with a hybrid, give the 9-wood a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.”

Entire Thread: “5 hybrid vs 5 iron”

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Whats in the Bag

Jason Kokrak’s winning WITB: 2020 CJ Cup

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @8.5)
Shaft: Accra TZ5 85 M5 Proto 

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees @14.5)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 80

Irons: PXG 0311T Gen2 (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F, 56-14F, 60-08M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Bettinardi Studio Stock 38

  • F.I.T. Face
  • 303 Stainless Steel
  • 358 grams

Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GTR 1.0

(Image c/o Bettinardi)

Grips: Golf Pride MCC Black/White

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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