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Show Stoppers: Demo Day at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show

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Team GolfWRX is in Orlando to be your eyes and ears at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show.

Each day, we’ll publish a list of “Show Stoppers” — the newest, coolest products we find at Demo Day and inside the Orange County Convention Center.

Enjoy this list of Show Stoppers we found at Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Course.

Adams Pro Red Hybrid

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Adams’ new Pro Red hybrids look similar to the company’s current Pro hybrid, but they give golfers much more control over their ball flight.

Do you tend to slice or hook your hybrids? Remove the sole plate and you can give the 95-cubic-centimeter more draw or fade bias by repositioning its three internal weights. Two of the weights are 2 grams, while another weighs 25 grams. Golfers can move the 25-gram weight to the toe for more fade bias and to the heel for more draw bias.

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The new hybrids also have Adams’ Ghost Slot technology on the top of their crowns for top-notch ball speed, another slot on the sole and the company’s famed upside-down head shape to lower CG and improve versatility.

The Pro Red hybrid ($229) will be available in lofts of 16, 18, 20, 23 and 26 degrees and will be in stores April 17.

Click here to see more photos of the Adams Pro Red Hybrid. 

Ben Hogan Ft. Worth 15 irons and TK Wedges

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Ben Hogan’s new irons and wedges looked better in person than we anticipated from the company’s stock photos. The soles are thin, the top lines are clean and the feel is tremendous.

It’s a little weird pulling out a 35-degree club instead of a 7 or 8 iron, but we could get used to it — and probably will even come to like it.

Ben Hogan President/CEO Terry Koehler suggests 4-degree gaps for the company’s long irons instead of the traditional 3-degree gaps offered by most companies.

Click here to learn more about Ben Hogan’s new irons and wedges. 

Bridgestone J815 Driver

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It’s rumored that Brandt Snedeker will play Bridgestone’s limited-edition J815 in 2015. While his endorsement is likely to help the cool factor of the club, the driver is pretty cool on its own.

It has all the technology included in the company’s new J715 drivers, as well as a few new ones. The sole was stiffened with a new design to leave room for the specially designed crown to flex.

And what a crown it is.

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The red, graphic-covered crown, is an eye catcher, and the J815 has slightly more draw bias than the J715.

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Like Bridgestone’s J715 drivers, the J815 has a milled driver face to reduce spin.

Bridgestone E-Series Golf balls

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Bridgestone’s new version of the E-Series golf balls have a new, “webbed” dimple design that increases surface coverage by 10 percent for better aerodynamics.

The E5 is a two-piece, urethane-covered ball that’s good at creating a higher ball flight and more spin around the greens.

Both the E6 and the E7 are three-piece golf balls with surlyn covers. The E6 is a low-compression golf ball that reduces curvature, while the E7 is a higher compression ball that flies a little farther for golfers with faster swing speeds, according to Bridgestone.

The new balls will be available in February and will sell for $28.99 per dozen.

Bushnell TourX Jolt Laser Rangefinder

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Bushnell’s new TourX Jolt has the ability to measure slope, a traditionally non-conforming feature of a laser rangefinder. It skirts the rule with the company’s new Exchange faceplate design, which disables the laser’s slope capabilities for tournament play.

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The laser offers Bushnell’s quickest readings and 6X magnification, along with the company’s Dual Display Technology that allows golfers to switch between a red display for low-light conditions and a black display for brighter days.

Bushnell’s TourX Jolt will be available in April for $499.

Click here to see more photos of Bushnell’s new TourX rangefinder. 

FootJoy HyperFlex and Icon Black

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Last year, Footjoy launched its premium D.N.A golf shoe, which found a middle ground between FootJoy’s traditional and sporty models.

At this year’s PGA Merchandise Show, FootJoy had a product for each category — a traditional model called the Icon Black and the extremely sporty HyperFlex.

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The Icon Black ($350) is a new and improved version of the company’s legendary “Classic” spikes, with FootJoy’s finest, most premium materials.

The HyperFlex ($190) uses FootJoy’s new FlexGrid 2.0 exoskeleton upper that offers lightweight, waterproof performance and the comfort and stability demanded by tour players.

Nike Engage Wedges

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Nike’s Engage wedges come in three different soles –Square Sole, Dual Sole and Toe Sweep — and we learned that they also come in three distinctly colored packages.

The raw, 8620 steel wedges are sealed in wax packaging to prevent them from rusting before they make their way to consumers.

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GolfWRXers asked for the raw wedges played by Nike’s Staff Players … and Nike listened.

Click here to see more photos of Nike’s Engage wedges. 

Nike Converge Putters

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Ever wanted to fine tune the position of the weight in your counterbalanced putter? The counterbalanced versions of Nike’s new Converge putters allow golfers to do just that.

If you’d rather have the weight positioned under your right hand or your left hand, you can do it with Nike’s Converge B1 01 and S1 01 putters, which have a 70-gram, adjustable sliding weight that is secured down the putters’ shafts inside the grip.

Click here to see more photos of Nike’s Converge and Method Matter putters.

Nippon’s new iron and wedge shafts

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Nippon has gained traction on the PGA Tour in recent years with its N.S. Pro Modus3 120 and 130 iron shafts. For 2015, the company will expand the line with a N.S. Pro Modus3 125 shaft.

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The 125 has a weight and trajectory between the lower-launching 120 and the higher-launching 130. It is complemented by the company’s new Modus wedge shafts, which are offered in 105, 115 and 125-gram models and heat treated in specific sections of the shaft to improve feel.

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Nippon representatives also showed us the new Modus prototype iron shafts (above), which weigh about 115 grams each and are currently being used by Hunter Mahan, as well as several other PGA Tour players.

Click here to see more shaft photos from Demo Day. 

TaylorMade AeroBurner MiniDriver

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The AeroBurner MiniDriver and TP model (right).

TaylorMade’s AeroBurner fairway woods are proving to be some of the longest, if not the longest fairway woods we’ve ever tested at GolfWRX. That’s why we were happy to see TaylorMade introduce new AeroBurner MiniDrivers at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show.

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The AeroBurner MiniDriver and TP model (right).

You might not need a MiniDriver, which is essentially an oversized fairway wood, but golfers who do swear by them. The combination of the MiniDriver’s smaller head and lower center of gravity can lead to MiniDriver shots that go as far as… well, your driver.

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The AeroBurner MiniDriver and AeroBurner driver (right).

It’s available in both standard and TP models, which have a flatter lie angle and a more opened face angle to suit the needs of better players.

Click here to see more photos of the MiniDriver. 

*We are still waiting for pricing and additional information including release dates on many of these products. We will update this story with that information as soon as possible. 

Full 2015 PGAM Coverage

Show Stoppers: Demo Day
Show Stoppers: Day 2
Show Stoppers: Day 3

Visit our 2015 PGAM forum to see all the photos and discussion.

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46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. Keith

    Feb 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    The Bushnell is still illegal whether you can remove the faceplate to disable slope or not. I found out the hard way with my Leopold.

  2. Pingback: Scratch The Golfin' Caveman's Blog » Blog Archive » The Best And Wackiest Gear From The 2015 PGA Show!

  3. Chris C

    Jan 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Bridgestone’s J815 certainly breaks from their conservative tradition. My eye generally gravitates towards staid appearing equipment ( eg. Bridgestone’ s J40 ) but, for some unfathomable reason, I love the looks of this driver. This is particularly weird since I have always hated the looks of most Nike drivers. In any event, I am curious about the comment regarding the 815 having more of a draw bias than the 715. In so far as the 815 seems to be directed at tour use ( ie. Snedeker, et al ) and the 715 appears to be directed at the rest of us, should not the 815 actually have less of a draw bias than the 715?

  4. Josh

    Jan 22, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Really glad I switched to Leupold from Bushnell after my V2 got stolen, especially now that Bushnell is just blatantly copying their designs (removable faceplates that turn slope on and off).

  5. Preston

    Jan 21, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Well, I do like the FJ black shoes….

  6. Preston

    Jan 21, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    wow, golf equipment is getting really ugly. No wonder people are dropping from the game… LOL

    • Brandon

      Jan 26, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      If the looks of a golf club or piece of equipment was the reason why someone might quit golf, then I’m glad they did.

  7. Golfraven

    Jan 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Sadly the FJ Icon Black models are not the most pretty shoes I have seen from them – too futuristic. Like the combination of old classics and newer Icon technology. Probably will sell cheap in sales because not many people will want them.

  8. Golfraven

    Jan 21, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Welcome back Ben Hogan. Bring them on. Maybe will go back to BH wedges and irons again if they are still on the market in 2 years.

  9. golfing

    Jan 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Golf doesn’t need to be boring.
    I Like the clubs technology, especially the Adams hybrid for people that lose the ball
    left. The Bridgestone driver looks amazing to me, and the Nike putter to.

    The mini driver looks also a good club, and I want the blue toe sweep with the Modus wedge shaft.

    • Chris Loskie

      Jan 22, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      Thats a plastic cover on the club..raw finish

  10. JAugusta

    Jan 21, 2015 at 9:25 am

    If my tail light ever cracks and needs replaced, I will just replace it with the new Bridgestone driver head.

  11. Callaway X Hot

    Jan 21, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Does anyone even use a mini driver?

  12. Michael C

    Jan 21, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Does anyone else see Optimus Prime when they look at the Bridgestone Driver?

  13. CC

    Jan 21, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Nike golf= ugly clubs
    Please stick shoes and shirts and get out of the equipment biz

    • Golfraven

      Jan 21, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      +1. Rory will not help selling those neither so save the cash and if you need ti sell clubs, sell those cheaper for newbies and those who fancy red clubs.

      • E184

        Jan 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm

        Clearly you did not read anything on the Nike wedges, as the “red” is a wax coating so the wedges don’t rust prior to purchase.

        • Golfraven

          Jan 22, 2015 at 2:12 pm

          Ok, wasn’t really refering to the nike wedge but more to the Covert drivers. I see Nike droped the “trend” with red paint and moved to more classic design. Don’t want to offend Nike loyalists here, it’s just my personal view. Nike obviously have huge budget and can come out with all sorts of stuff and back it up with marketing BS. Just think of the one brand in particular all those tour players gamed before moving to Nike. Nike just does not have great legacy as Club designer – period. they cope up with innovative technologies indeed but those technologies only last 1-2 seasons. Would you still game the Sumo square driver? Hmmm, classic design, not.

        • talljohn777

          Jan 22, 2015 at 4:05 pm

          Actually, you misread the copy. The wax coating was referring to the raw wedges pictured below that comment. The picture above shows the wedges that “come in three distinctly colored packages.”

        • talljohn777

          Jan 22, 2015 at 4:17 pm

          Actually, I think you may be correct as I look else where on the internet and cannot find them in color, just raw. I retract my comment.

        • Golfraven

          Jan 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm

          Rusting? Really? Where will those clubs be stored, on a fish market or golf warehouse? More marketing BS.

          • Chris Loskie

            Jan 22, 2015 at 10:47 pm

            Actually they do rust from normal usage.. I had mizuno mp 10s raw finish and they get a nice little rust layer

            • Golfraven

              Jan 23, 2015 at 3:55 am

              yes agree but they dont rust in short time unused or on the way to the show. thats bit unreal.

              • Bobby T

                Jan 27, 2015 at 9:07 pm

                The waxy coating is to prevent the wedges from rusting on the shelves prior to sale. Its a nice way to stand out in shops as well as they obviously have gotten everyones attention, even those who only like to look at pretty pictures and not read words associated with the photos

    • Billy

      Jan 21, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      IDIOT!

    • Mat

      Jan 21, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Dear Troll, like to see u put out some sort of equipment!

  14. Kevin

    Jan 21, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Top Ten show stoppers? Kind of limiting the coverage on demo day. I would rather have read about demo day and all the companies who put their product out to be hit. I would also have liked to know what clubs everyone hit and their initial impressions. Which manufacturers booths were busy? Busy equals interest. Some of us don’t tweet, instagram or facebook. What’s next, pictures of booth babes?

  15. RAT

    Jan 21, 2015 at 8:19 am

    those colored nike wedges look dollar storeish

    • Don

      Jan 21, 2015 at 10:22 am

      It’s just the wrapping so the wedges didn’t rust before they got to the show. Gotsta read the text.

      • Adam

        Jan 21, 2015 at 2:22 pm

        “and we learned that they also come in three distinctly colored packages”.
        No Don, you gotta read the text… and learn to spell.

        • chris

          Jan 21, 2015 at 3:09 pm

          No Adam you need to learn basic reading comprehension … 3 colored packages….once the packaging is removed…no more color. Not that difficult really.

        • Chris Loskie

          Jan 22, 2015 at 10:50 pm

          Lol nice reading comp

    • RAT

      Jan 21, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      oops, stand corrected on the color thing but the wedges still look dollar storeish(cheap)

  16. Mike

    Jan 21, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Are we sure the interchangeable face plate on the new Bushnell makes it leagal for tournament play? Leopold has the same Technology on one of their rangefinders and I read that the USGA decided it was still not conforming.

    • Golfraven

      Jan 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      I have the Leupold GX-4i and this is confirmed legal by USGA and R&A for tournament use worldwide according to rule 14-3/05 if you have the chrome cover on and not the Smart Key. Guess Bushnell did similar base on this model.

  17. L

    Jan 21, 2015 at 2:09 am

    So there is a TP head to the AeroBurner? It’s considered TP just because it’s more open? We’re back to that again?

    • Guanto

      Jan 21, 2015 at 3:04 am

      Clueless about equipment are we?

      • Fake

        Jan 21, 2015 at 12:28 pm

        Not as clueless as you, monkey, who doesn’t read the comment to the end!

  18. Matt

    Jan 21, 2015 at 12:29 am

    That Bridgestone driver is the ugliest golf club I’ve ever seen.

    • Connor

      Jan 21, 2015 at 1:53 am

      Word.

      • Don

        Jan 21, 2015 at 10:24 am

        Yup. Going after the Callaway market I guess.

    • Golfraven

      Jan 21, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      What is this obsession with red heads. I could buy the marketing spiel when white heads came out first but this is taking it to the next level. Sorry, not for me.

  19. Zak

    Jan 21, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Those RAW Nike Engage wedges are AMAZING!

    54-12 square and a 60-09 dual sole please.

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Whats in the Bag

Chris Baker WITB 2020

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  • Equipment accurate as of January 2020

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero Triple Diamond (9 degrees, D1 setting)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Regio Formula M+ X 65

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (15 degrees, NS setting)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Regio Formula M+ X 75

5-wood: Cobra King F9 Speedback Tour (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Regio Formula M+ X 75

Irons: Cobra King F9 Speedback (4), Miura MC-501 (4-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-08F, 56-10S, 60-06M)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 (50), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (56, 60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron TSB Prototype
Grip: SuperStroke SS2R

Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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All-new Callaway Jaws MD5 Raw and tour-inspired T-Grind wedges

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Callaway Raw MD5 Wedge

Callaway is adding to its successful Callaway Jaws MD5 lineup with a new grind and a new look: MD5 Raw and T-Grind wedges.

The Callaway Jaws MD5 story

As we covered in the original 2020 Callaway MD5 launch piece, these wedges are more than just a stepping stone for the engineering team at Callaway, and instead are a complete evolution of how they design and manufacture their wedges. Here’s why: By reinventing the overall groove shape compared to previous models, they have succeeded in increasing both spin and total control on full and less-than-full shots.

The proprietary groove design of the Jaws wedge gets the contact radius right to the limit set forth by the governing bodies. How closes are we talking?” So close that the initial response from Callaway’s manufacturing partner was “Sorry, we just can’t do this” because the failure rate was close to 50 percent of heads becoming nonconforming.

The solution for Callaway? Changing the cutting tool used on the grooves every 15 wedges. Sure, you could attempt to get more life out of each tool, but when you have everyone from recreational players to the world’s best putting them in play, you can’t make sacrifices.

Callaway 2020 MD5 JAWS Wedge Grooves

2020 Callaway Jaws MD5 wedge: groove detail

The end result is the MD5 Jaws spins over 10 percent more on shots hit around the green compared to the Callaway MD4 and launches lower by one degree. Lower launch is important, because if you talk to any short game coach with a launch monitor, or Roger Cleveland, in Callaway’s case, you will quickly realize that being able to control launch with a wedge is just as important as it is with a driver. A lower-launching wedge means the coefficient of friction is higher since the ball isn’t riding/sliding up the face—and boom, you have a greater ability to hit the “low checker.”

callaway-jaws-md5-raw-lineup

The raw finish

After many years of limited retail availability, raw wedges have come back in style in a big way thanks to more golfers understanding the benefits of an unplated wedge—it also helps that the most popular finish option in professional golf is raw and unplated too.

The Callaway Jaws MD5 Raw is made from 8620 mild carbon steel to offer a soft feel. Over time, the unplated finish will patina to reduce glare—nothing worse than trying to hit a wedge shot on a sunny day and having the full reflection of the sun nearly blind you in the process.

callaway-jaws-md5-raw-face

The Raw MD5 maintains all the other design features of the already available MD5 wedges, including the four ports and medallions on the back of the head to raise CG for greater trajectory control—but also gives golfers the added option to customize through Callaway Customs.

The T-Grind story

Just like how raw finishes have grown in popularity, so have wedge grinds that offer greater versatility on full and partial shots around the green. The new T-Grind (available in 58 and 60-degree lofts) is a popular choice because it has a higher measured bounce in a standard neutral playing position, but thanks to the crescent sole with heel, toe, and trailing edge relief, the leading edge can get closer to the ground on shots played with an open face.

This puts bounce where you need it and takes it away from places you don’t. Compared to the similar-looking X-Grind (available in 54 and 56-degree lofts) the T has less bounce which can also help players that are more shallow or play in softer more lush conditions.

The new T Grind will also look different from address compared to the standard higher lofted MD5 wedges because they have a slightly thicker topline to raise CG for controlled ball flight.

Availability, Specs & Pricing

The new MD5 wedges will be available for purchase at retail and online starting June 4, and the retail price is $159.99

Lofts – (Italicized are the new grind options)

Right Handed:

  • 50° S Grind,
  • 52° S Grind
  • 54° S and X Grind
  • 56° S and X Grind
  • 58° S,  X, and T Grind
  • 60° S, T, and X Grind
  • 62° C Grind

Left Handed:

  • 52° S Grind
  • 56° S Grind
  • 60° S Grind

The wedges come with 3 premium stock shaft options, Steel: Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S200. Graphite: ProjectX Catalyst 80, and UST Recoil wedge F1 ( Ladies flex only )

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What GolfWRXers are saying about Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges

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@clevelandgolfeu

In our forums, our members have been discussing Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges. WRXer ‘hammergolf’ wants to hear from single-digit players who are currently playing the wedges, and our members have been sharing their thoughts on the clubs with plenty of praise for the wedges in our forums.

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.

  • cfmgolf: “I am definitely a believer. Tried it on a whim at a PGA SuperStore in FL last fall and was stunned by the consistency of it. Changed from a RTX3 to the CBX2 in my 52* gap within a couple of weeks. Now that we are back in OH for the summer, I changed out 3 wedges (Ping Glide 3.0, and 2 of the RTX 4’s) for an entire bag of the CBX2’s. I am trying the full face in my 56* and found it to be very good also. Biggest benefit for me has been the consistency of the CBX line. Shots out of the rough that can be high on the club don’t really lose much – i.e. more forgiving. I go between a 6-8HCP, and short game is my strong point. Very happy with them so far.”
  • JCRay33: “6 handicap here and bought a couple CBX’s (54 and 58) from 2nd swing a couple months ago and absolutely love them! Way more forgiving than typical blade wedges (had vokeys before) and great feel as well. It’s easy for ego to get in the way and not want to get these, but once you realize, all that matters is performance the choice is a no-brainer and results speak for themselves really.”
  • mortimer: “CBX2 50. Excellent gap wedge for full, 3/4 shots and chipping. Forgiving, consistent and more than acceptable spin numbers. Also offset is fine to my eye. Having said all that I would not game a 58/60 degrees one if you like to manipulate the face for different shots around the green as I do. Intrigued though with the new full-face but have not seen one in person yet.”
  • Simp: “I have a set of 58, 54 & 50 raw CBX2’s allegedly tour issue, and I love them. The 58 has a grind that is lovely. I’m a 0 FYI.”
  • nicelife: “I have Srixon irons and Mizuno T20 wedges. I found the CBX2 50 was the perfect transition club between sets. LOVE the Srixon/Cleveland V-Sole. Visually the face has more grooves than I would normally like to look at, but its performance more than makes up for it. I really like the satin finish. So much so I’m thinking about refinishing my irons. Go for it you won’t be sorry.”

Entire Thread: “Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges”

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