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Show Stoppers: Day 3 at the PGA Merchandise Show

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

Enjoy our last edition of “Show Stoppers” — the newest, coolest products we found at Demo Day and inside the Orange County Convention Center.

Cleveland Wedge Analyzer Powered by Swingbyte

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In the realm of golf club fitting, wedges are far and away the most complicated. There’s so many variables to consider: loft, bounce, a golfer’s swing, the course conditions, etc.

Cleveland’s new Wedge Fitting App works in tandem with SwingByte to make the fitting process painfully simple.

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To get fit for a wedge, all golfers have to do is select their course conditions and make a swinging motion of their choice (chipping, pitching, a flop shot, etc.) with a club equipped with SwingByte.

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The free app uses an algorithm based on angle of attack and several other variables to recommend one of Cleveland’s three different wedge grinds, and can also recommend wedge lofts based on what set of irons a golfer plays.

Cool Clubs S3 Shaft Analyzer

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Scottsdale-based custom club fitter Cool Clubs hopes to make shaft fitting simpler with its new S3 Shaft Analyzer, which measures every important shaft parameter — straightness, consistency, deflection, stiffness profiles, frequency, torque and more — on a single machine in just 2.5 minutes.

The S3 was designed and built by Cool Clubs, and the company has published data of more than 1000 driver shafts on its mobile app.

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The app is free, but gearheads will want to pay $20 for a 1-year subscription that unlocks all of Cool Clubs’s shaft data.

The company plans to perform similar tests to each shaft category going forward.

Puma shoes, a block of ice and Blair O’Neal

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Puma’s new TitanTour shoes are designed to keep your feet cool, but we’re not sure the shoe – or even the ice sculpture shoe display – can cool down Cobra-Puma brand ambassador Blair O’Neal.

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The shoes are designed to regulate temperature by using Outlast Certified Space Technology — designed for NASA to manage temperature in spacesuits  — which explains the astronaut mannequin trying to photobomb our photo of Blair.

To learn more about the TitanTour shoes, click here.

Epson M-Tracer MT500GII

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Epson’s M-Tracer MT500GII is the latest in the fast-growing category of lightweight, affordable golf swing analyzers.

The M-Tracer weighs a featherlite 15 grams and a built-in inertial measurement unit, derived from Epson’s industrial sensors, providing golfers with detailed information about their club head speed, swing tempo, face angle, club path and more.

The device is part of Epson’s new Active product category, a line of sports and fitness devices that the Japanese electronics company has developed to give athletes accurate, easy-to-understand data on their performance.

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The M-Tracer measures the swing at 1,000 samples per second and uses bluetooth to wirelessly transmit swing data to iOS and Android devices. It works with Epson’s M-Tracer app to create a 3D “trace” of the club head, further in-depth analysis and allows golfers to store up to 3,000 swings of a golfer’s swings in the cloud, according to Epson representatives.

The device will be available March 15 at endorser David Leadbetter’s Academies and through Epson’s website for $299.

Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage XT

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The prototype shaft Mitsubishi Rayon shaft used by Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy is coming to retail.

It’s called the Kuro Kage XT and is manufactured in the company’s Toyohashi facility in Japan with a higher grade carbon fiber material that gives the shaft less torque and a stiffer tip than Mitsubishi’s Kuro Kage Silver TiNi shaft.

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The KuroKage XT (bottom) has an ion-plated finish.

It will be available in April and will sell for $400.

Sam PuttLab 

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There’s a few scratch golfers on the GolfWRX team, but the putting analysis and training system made the SAM PuttLab exhibitor say “Yikes” to our strokes.

The new Sam PuttLab 5, which uses ultrasound technology and algorithms to track the movement of your putter head, now allows the golfer or fitter to watch a 3D replay (below) of the stroke. It’s like watching your stroke on TV – even though some of GolfWRX’s putting strokes were made for radio.

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SAM’s new PuttLab App also allows users use their smartphone as a remote control for the PC software and share their data results on social media.

Always wanted a PuttLab? The company has a PGA Show discount running through Feb. 15, which gives consumers a $500 discount and free shipping. Sam PuttLabs start at $6,495.

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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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Lee H.

    Jan 28, 2015 at 12:59 am

    That Cleveland wedge analyzer was right on point when I tried it at the show. It validated what I knew all along about my swing, which is that I sweep the ball. Therefore, it recommended their 1-dot wedges (something with less bounce), which also helps with the playing conditions I play in.

    Also, I would like to mention that the new version of the Srixon Z-Star that was given to me at the show has noticeably more spin on it than the 2013-2014 version. Those with swing speeds under 105, I’m 92, will appreciate the better feel of the ball and increased spin.

  2. Glen Coombe

    Jan 26, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    We’re happy to have made the news! SAM PuttLab & BalanceLab are constantly being improved. Our new 3D replay is very exciting. I combined both technologies with my Putting Perfection Platform to great reviews… By those who experienced it.

    Check the Putters forum for more info.

  3. Lane

    Jan 26, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    The name for this article came from someone that stumbled on the new show at the Wynn casino in Las Vegas. At least that’s the first thing that came to mind. Show Stoppers. It’s being advertised all over in Vegas

  4. Lane

    Jan 26, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    The name for this article came from someone that stumbled on the new show at Wynn

  5. Dolpglundgrenade

    Jan 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Seriously? So nothing. There was nothing new or interesting to the average wrx reader? I guess you should skip putting this up and focus on other fun and interesting facts about the show because this is s###. C’ mon man.

  6. JEFF

    Jan 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    This is what’s boring golfers into doing something different. I’m a golfer and ready to take up bowling after reading about this crap!

  7. Jacko

    Jan 24, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Boring… Any chane of something useful, the “hype” of this golf show is such a disappointment, when will people realise the only way to improve at this sport is to actually have some ability, work hard on your game and understand what you are capable of mentally on the golf course! Shaft and wedge analysers ?? … ZZZZ

    • Rich

      Jan 26, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Please see my comment below. You need to look more closely at the pictures my friend.

  8. Philip Kim

    Jan 23, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Kuro Kage XT? Sweeet

  9. Jay

    Jan 23, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Wow. Four swing analyzers and a pair of shoes. That’s all you got? Snooze…..

  10. austin

    Jan 23, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Big fan of what blair is doing

  11. bob

    Jan 23, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    well, that was boring.

    • Rich

      Jan 23, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Are you kidding. Did you see Blair O’neil?

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Equipment

Wunder: I’ve hit THESE new drivers this year…and this is what I think

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During this lockdown, I have done quite a few “Friday Q & A’s” on my IG, and one of the questions I get asked constantly is “have you hit this?” That, and “whaddya think?”

So, in the spirit of organizing my brain, it seemed like the right time to share what new drivers I have actually hit this year…and this is what I think.

Now, it needs to be said that there is a lot of new gear out there, but, to be honest, I’ve only actually hit a select few enough to actually build an opinion. “Enough” in this case is at least 20 balls. Some of these sticks I tested during our pre-launch preview with the OEMs, at the PGA show, a friend has one, or I actually have it in the bag.

Here we go.

TaylorMade SIM

Setup tested: SIM 9 @8.25 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 70TX

LOOKS: The best way to describe how SIM looks behind the ball is “comfortable.” TaylorMade has always made drivers that just look correct. The lines are clean, the shape inspires playability, and I dig the paint job. They hit a home run with this one for sure.

FEEL: Best sound out there in my opinion. Heavy, dense, and if you get one dead-nuts center, it lets you know. The feel at contact is just as TaylorMade drivers have always done, center strikes feel like Thor’s hammer and mishits don’t kill your good vibes.

VS THE M5: I get asked this a lot. I loved the M5. Still do. To be honest the two drivers data wise were legit apples to apples. The only difference is my stock shot with M5 was a low spin straight ball and with SIM its a slight draw with a touch more spin and slightly lower launch. I prefer that.

OVERALL: In my opinion, the TaylorMade SIM is the cool kid in high school for 2020. Last year it was F9 followed closely by M5. TM knocked it outta the park on this one.

TaylorMade SIM Max

Setup tested: Sim Max 9 @8.25 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 70TX

LOOKS: It has a bit more of a longer face at address, which makes the head appear shallow which inspires a bit more confidence to turn it over. That’s the main thing I noticed with MAX. Other than that its a tried and true TM shape.

FEEL: Like its sibling, it has a nice solid hit audibly at the impact. So, overall its apples to apples with SIM. However, due to the front weight missing on the MAX, the actual strike doesn’t feel AS meaty as SIM. Not a negative necessarily just something I noticed.

VS M6: Both of these sticks I launched a bit too high versus the weighted versions. That’s why they never got any serious consideration to actually put in play.

OVERALL: As a high launch, more forgiving option, it’s an ace.

Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

Setup tested: Sub Zero 9 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei Blue AV 65TX

LOOKS: To my eyes, the newer versions of the Callaway drivers have looked a bit more compact than its competition. To me, this always looked “low spin” for whatever reason. The Mavrik has the same shape which is good.

FEEL: They really fixed the sound. The Epic Flash sounded like a pop can to me, and the Mavrik Sub Zero sounds like a sledgehammer. The good thing here is the sound now matches up with what the hit feels like. I think the Mavrik is the best feeling driver Callaway has made since Epic.

VS EPIC FLASH SZ: To me, a complete improvement on all fronts. Sound, feel, and performance for me were all substantially better. Now I must say that the Epic Flash Sub Zero was a great driver, I always got great numbers out of it, but the sound took me out of it. I’m sure there isn’t that much difference audibly between the two, but in this game, even something minor can represent so much. Sound to me is huge.

OVERALL: In all honestly, I haven’t given a Callaway driver a real hard look to actually put in the bag since Epic. The sound got louder wit Rogue and Epic Flash. The Mavrik SZ  however is a fantastic driver and will def get some more testing out of me.

Cobra SpeedZone

Setup tested: Cobra Speed Zone 9 @8.5 w/ Fujikura Ventus Black 7X

LOOKS: The F9 was a winner on all fronts. The only critique I had was optically it looked like the driver was a little too fade biased. The SZ with its milled in top line gives it softer look at address and for me, softer lines mean more workability, just what my eyes tell me.

FEEL: As with F9 and the earlier mentioned SIM, the Speed Zone sounds EXACTLY how a driver should sound. It has a very heavy hit audibly and that’s across the face. I love the sound of this driver.

VS F9: Apples to apples, it’s the same. Beyond the optics, it feels, sounds, and performs like the F9. Not a bad thing though, the F9 was the driver of 2019 in my opinion.

OVERALL: Nothing wrong with repeating an already awesome driver. SpeedZone will stand up to anything out there. If I’m being fair, I think F9 elevated things in 2019, and this year the competition caught up to it. Changes nothing about how good this driver is.

Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme

Setup tested: Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme 9 @8.5 w/ Fujikura Ventus Black 7X

LOOKS: Like the other drivers in this higher MOI category, it looks a little longer heel to toe.

FEEL: No different than the SpeedZone, sounds great, the impact is solid across the face, and even thin shots feel solid.

OVERALL: The Xtreme is the sleeper hit of 2020 and I’ve heard the fitters love this thing. It’s by far the easiest to hit and overall good time of any driver on this list. Is it longer? No. But is it Xtremely (no pun) playable and competitive? Hard yes. It’s a blast.

PXG Proto

Setup tested: PXG Proto 9 w/ Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 6 TX

LOOKS: Slick. Like all PXG gear, the look is there. The matte crown and elegant lines make it very pleasing optically. I also appreciate that although it’s designed to look high tech. The lines inspire playability, and who doesn’t love a driver that looks like a stealth bomber?

FEEL: I only hit about 20 balls with the PXG Proto in the short time I had with it, but, wow, did this thing surprise me. The sound oddly enough is a bit higher-pitched than the others on the list but for whatever reason, it’s not a distraction. It actually adds to the experience of the hit. I typically detest that, but this sound matched up with the solid hit I was getting. I’m not sure if this is the final version since its a limited tour proto but what is happening is definitely interesting.

VS GEN2: It’s just better. Feels better, sounds great, more playable across the face. The Gen2 did one thing better than everyone else, it destroyed spin. The problem I had was control. The PXG Proto is still low spin but with the new 4 weight system (no intel on the tech yet) seems to add quality launch to the low spin profile and puts the player in a situation where very few to any sacrifices are made.

OVERALL: I was a fan of Gen2. No doubt. But it never flat out beat M5, F9, or SIM. The Proto has elevated PXG’s driver game. I don’t think its a matter of whether or not the driver stands up with the irons, I believe PXG is on the right track to having a driver that eliminates any “yeah, but…” to the conversation. That’s a huge leap since Gen1. These guys are trending hard.

I hope this was helpful.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the final version of Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the final version of Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts. The look of the ultra-stiff shafts, which originated from Bryson wanting a “graphite shaft that was stiffer than the Dynamic Gold X7″, has impressed our members who have been praising the final version and sharing their thoughts on the concept.

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: “Awesome.”
  • My2dogs: “Really coming out with some great new stuff.”
  • HateTheHighDraw: “MMT 125TX are absolute fire, but these must be much stiffer.”
  • Robkingasu: “Sweet!”

Entire Thread: “Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts”

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Should I move to heavier iron shafts? – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the strategy of moving to heavier shafts in irons. WRXer ‘Z1ggy16’ has been making swing changes lately, and the transition has been most challenging for his iron play. ‘Ziggy16’ says:

“Been making some swing changes lately, most notably working to really shallow my club into the downswing. I’m finding that I’m doing this well with my heavy wedge shafts and driver, but I’m struggling a bit in my irons. My strike pattern with my wedges is pretty good, but the irons are a bit all over. Driver is 80g raw, wedges are 132g raw, irons 120g raw. I don’t think I want to go any stiffer, but is there a chance I’ve “outgrown” this weight and need to move to something a bit heavier to help keep these feels going through my set? No idea what swing speed is at this point, but my 7i is normally a smooth/comfortable 175-180 for me.

I really like the feel of my Accra Tour Z Xtreme 475 and my S400’s in the GW-LW. I’m kind of leaning maybe soft stepping modus 120TX or X100’s.. Heck maybe even S200 straight in? Normally I’d just get a fitting, but with Rona still going around, I’m not than keen on it. 2020 is the year of the self fit for me. FWIW, I used modus 120TX 2xSS in my GW & SW last year and that was pretty good feeling. Perhaps a touch too soft… they seemed to really whip/bend hard when hitting from the rough on full swings.”

Our members discuss whether they feel a switch to heavier shafts in the irons will have the desired impact.

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.

  • Pepperturbo: “You’re not alone. Regardless of age, some of us swing better with heavier shafts. I went from 70g driver and 85g 3wd graphite shafts to 58g Ventus shaft in driver and 70g Ventus shaft in 4wd. In irons went from 130g X to 120g 6.0 PX steel shafts which lasted about fifteen years. Then last year made another downward weight change to Steelfiber (steel & graphite) 110g Stiff shafts, lightest I have ever played. Keep in mind as you transition, changing shaft weight is not the only answer. Increasing swing weight can make up for shaft weight. Though I really like them in 6-3i, not thrilled in SW-7i, so just ordered heavier Steelfiber i125g shafts for my PW-7i blades.”
  • Jeff58: “As someone who has gone through and continues to work on what sounds like a similar situation, your ideal iron shafts will likely change. Where they change to isn’t possible to predict with any degree of accuracy. Don’t change your current irons without knowing. It’s frustrating, expensive, and you won’t have any clubs while they’re being changed out. Instead, get a single club from dealsandsteals or similar and experiment with that. Also, the only relevant experience is outdoors under your actual turf conditions. Indoor and mat use can be grossly different.”
  • Red4282: “Just depends on your tempo and load and preferences tbh. My numbers are about identical to yours; I play 77g in the driver and 125 in the irons. I don’t think I could go lighter than 125.”
  • gvogel: “I have a set of hickory clubs. Of course, hickory shafts are darn heavy, maybe 150 grams or so. I probably hit straighter shots with the irons, and particularly hit better shots with the niblick (wedge). Driver and fairway woods, not so much. That might be a stupid insertion into an intelligent thread, but heavier goes straighter, lighter goes longer. You can go heavier, and it helps in transition, but don’t go too stiff.”

Entire Thread: “Should I switch to heavier iron shafts?”

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