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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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19th Hole

GolfWRX Spotlight: Evalu18 – ‘Evaluating golf architecturally’

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When it comes to course directories with an emphasis on past and present architects, Evalu18 is likely to be one of the most in-depth—for UK and Ireland golf courses—you’re ever likely to see—highlighted by the site’s wealth of information and user-friendly navigation.

Jasper Miners, a Canadian now living in London, is the brains behind Evalu18. He explained to me how the concept began as a map with courses that he wanted to play based on his extensive research, which was then added to based on the recommendations of others. Frustrated by the lack of an easy way to access the information in a modern format – he created Evalu18.

“After some time I shared a map with a good friend, an American from New York whom I worked with who was a very keen golfer. The map and my notes allowed him to find great golf wherever he was and to plan a trip easily. 

Everyone has heard of the Open rota courses and perhaps some of the courses which are intimately linked to the history and origins of the game. However, for every well-known course, there are 10-20 that may be just as good that we and even locals may never have even heard of. Evalu18 exists for those – sound golf is the criteria for being listed.” – Jasper Miners, founder of Evalu18

Beginning with the site’s interactive map the depth of research and information available is striking. The filter option, which has been crafted down to the minutest detail, puts the directory in a league of its own and allows golfers to plan for the perfect day out or golfing trip.

Whether you are looking for a particular golf course from a specific architect or consultant, to whether the track is dog-friendly. or is suited to trolleys or buggies, Evalu18 has you covered. The directory allows you to filter courses based on the level of difficulty their walkability is, what is available practice facility wise or if you’re looking for a course which has ever hosted a specific event as well as much more.

Another cool feature of Evalu18 is its “Collections” element. With taste and preference regarding golf courses being so vast amongst golfers, the site doesn’t separate courses by ranking but lets you home in on that ideal course in a simple fashion.

The Collection section showcases courses that are grouped according to identifiable characteristics. Featured in this area of the site are nine-hole courses, truly unique courses, bunker-less courses, hidden gems, bang-for-your-buck courses as well as so many more cool categories.

Each course on the site contains information that a typical guest would want to know, with plenty also featuring full reviews written to enhance the experience.

Additionally, a “discover” section of the site allows golf-enthusiasts to explore golf course architecture books, magazines and pertinent works with the company confidently claiming to have “the most thorough collection of GCA book reviews anywhere online.”

 

As for what’s next for Evalu18, international growth along with a unique travel guide, says Jasper

“We are working on improvements to the site and a unique travel section that will have substantial guides. Every course can also have included recommended accommodation, food and drink venues and tourist sites. We engage with the clubs and have them help us tell their story – what makes them unique and worth your time, attention and $.”

Whether you are already in the UK and Ireland or planning that dream golfing trip abroad, Evalu18 is a site that is a must for any golfer to check out. Once you do, it will likely place you on your ideal course—which before you may not have even known existed.

Check out Evalu18 here.

 

 

 

 

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Today from the Forums: “New LA Golf Shafts at the 2020 Honda Classic”

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Today from the Forums shines the spotlight on new LA Golf Shafts featured at this week’s Honda Classic. The new shafts have gone down well with our members, who are excited about what the company has in store for 2020.

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.

  • QuigleyDU: “Nice! The mentioned during the discussion they did here that new stuff was coming. I have heard the TRONO is straight up rebar stout.”
  • AdamStoutjesdyk: “I am so intrigued by the Trono since I saw it on one of TXG’s Videos.”
  • bfizzy: “I like how they are taking their time to bring out new products to retail and consumer-oriented channels. Will be cool to see what they come out with!”

Entire Thread: “New LA Golf Shafts at the 2020 Honda Classic”

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Top 5 modern glued-hosel drivers

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Modern adjustable drivers are a marvel of engineering and something we now take for granted—considering every OEM utilizes some type of adjustable system to assist with fitting and dialing in launch conditions.

However, as every WRXer knows, before we had these tools to our disposal, we had to rely on the good old-fashion glued-in shaft drivers.

These five models are among the best from the recent past.

TaylorMade Burner SuperFast TP

Released in the fall of 2010, the Burner SuperFast TP was the undisputed king of ball speed for a very long time. Many will default to thinking the R510 TP was one of TaylorMade’s best, but for both the average golfer and for tour pros, this 460cc driver offered a lot more forgiveness than the R510 thanks to its size and aerodynamics. For those who had one, it stayed in the bag for a long time if you got the shaft right.

Adams Insight Tech a4 Prototype 9015D

Adams. Really?

It was a question a lot of people asked when these started showing up in golfer’s bags.

The 9015D was the brother to the original Adams 9016D, which was specifically built for the long drive circuit when Adams Golf was the official sponsor. It had a high toe profile and sat open at address—something that was often hard to come by in the glued hosel era of driver design.

One fun thing to consider when looking back at this driver is the protruding mass towards the back of the head to lower the center of gravity—vaguely similar to the TaylorMade SIM’s Inertia Generator and Cobra’s SpeedBack—minus the multi-material construction. Those Adams engineers were onto something!

Titleist 905R

Titleist’s very first 460cc driver was introduced not long after the 400cc 905S and the 905T (made famous by the notorious old-club using Steve Stricker) hit the scene.

The 905R stayed in some player’s bag for an extended period of time, including the bag of Adam Scott, who didn’t switch until the 910 came along. Many golfers referred to the 905R as a big version of the famous 975J, and from address it’s hard to argue.

Callaway FT Tour

One of Callaway’s first “tour” style drivers. The original version of the FT Tour was called the FT-9 Tour Authentic and was Callaway’s attempt to compete with the popular Tour Preferred line from TaylorMade. The price tag was high but so was the performance.

The FT Tour was a workable low spin driver and the grandchild of the FT-5 TH—a tour only driver that offered Callaway’s very first traditional-style hosel and got them away from the S2H2 designs that built the brand in the 90s. At 460cc’s, it still looks small by today’s standards, but if you can find one give it a hit.

Bridgestone J33R 460

The J33R 460 will go down as one of the all-time best drivers of its era. Its popularity even made trying to find one more difficult than it should have been at the time because Bridgestone struggled to find brick and mortar stores to carry their hard goods (beyond golf balls) at a time when big-box was the king of golf retail. The J33R was the third generation of the J33 driver line that included the J33P (375cc) and the original J33R (420cc).

Stuart Appleby famously hit a 426-yard tee shot at the 2006 Mercedes Championships (Tournament of Champions in Hawaii) that nearly went over the green of the par-4 12th hole with the J33P—now imagine the punch of the 460 version!

What do you think of these selections, WRXers? Any drivers you’d add?

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