Move over Scotty Cameron and your $379 retail offerings… French luxury putter manufacturer, ValGrine, is introducing the $1,100 Caesar mallet.
What’s so special about this flatstick? In passing along key product details, ValGrine emphasized the putter’s alignment lines, which allow a golfer to position the ball centrally with his or her eyes positioned directly over the two lines, claiming such a setup “generates stability” and “manages the kinetics of the swing.”
The company also emphasized the Caesar’s insert, which is backed by a hollow cavity for a precisely honed sound at impact and feel. ValGrine indicates the insert cavity creates a “subwoofer” effect, amplifying the sound at impact so a player knows exactly how a putt was struck.
Yet none of this would seem to justify a price point in excess of $1,000.
Moving onto the Caesar’s specs
- 71-degree lie
- Grip: Neoprene, silver cotton stitching
- Putter head: Aluminum 2024
- Micro-pearled finish
- Polished finish on bottom, sides
- 270 grams
- 3.5 degrees of loft
- Aluminum 2017 insert, cross-engraved
And what of this $1,000-putter producing ValGrine golf? As best we can determine from the company website, the ValGrine line, which includes at least five other similarly priced putters, seems to be the brainchild of a Gregory Morea, a “mechanical engineer” with “a passion for golf” and “beautiful objects.”
Apparently dissatisfied with market offerings, Moreau sought to “mix the utilitarian with the pleasant, and marry elegance with performance.” And the resultant putters are the “answer for golfers looking for refinement, comfort and novelty.”
With inspiration and technology from the aeronautics and marine industries, Formula 1 racing and watchmaking, the company’s putters are presented as “hand-made in France … chiseled like real aerodynamic sculptures.”
“It takes 1,000 operations and 18 to 22 trades to make a single putter, which takes two to three months of work. Each manipulation is thoughtful, precise and controlled, to provide putters of indisputable quality,” the ValGrine website states.
If you’re wondering why the ultra-premium price point, then, it seems the answer has mostly to do with labor costs (“two to three months of work”).
So, what do you think? Compelled to drop more than a grand on the Caesar?
Coming in HOT: Tour Edge HL4 driver
When it comes to combining performance and value, Tour Edge is one of the leaders of the pack.
The company offers two distinct lines that push the boundaries of forgiveness and speed: Exotics, which is the premium line targeting total performance at a higher price, and then there is Hot Launch: a line designed specifically for the value-conscious recreational player. As golfers know, you can’t continue to lead without new innovation, and on that note, today marks the launch if the HL4 Driver.
Club designer David Glod has again gone out of his way to improve on the previous version while offering a bevy of options in a mid-tier driver. From David
“This is an early release to a product line that we developed for 2020. We have spent the last 18 months looking at how to improve the best performance value drivers in the game and the end result is an all new shape that has an MOI that rivals that of a $500 driver. It’s an extremely forgiving design that all levels of players can benefit from.”
Speaking to the shape David goes on to say
“The HL4 driver features an all new sloped crown design that is deeper from face to back. N0 skirt where the sole plate meets the crown equates to a 12% increase in MOI over the previous Hot Launch drivers.”
Now, speaking to forgiveness, one of the other options the HL4 offers is an offset version — something you don’t find very often anymore because of the adjustable hosels found in most modern drivers. Those parts and additional SKUs add up. With the HL4 being a fixed hosel club, the cost savings can be passed to the consumer. This also opens the door for adding more actual versions of the driver. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know an offset driver is kinda ugly BUT you have to remember, it’s designed with a very specific player in mind — and speaking for a lover of offset drivers (my dad), this feature is a game changer for some players.
Since so much talk of 2019 is about face technology, it has to be pointed out that Tour Edge is not being left behind in this category either. The HL4 features a deeper cup face design and a rounder face shape than previous models for exceptional power and vastly improved acoustics, according to the company.
Combine the newly shaped Cup Face technology with Variable Face Thickness technology and you have a club that provides greater distance from more contact points on the face. All of this plus a Power Channel on the sole delivers amplified ball speed and less spin, as well as added forgiveness on shots struck lower on the face.
Price and options
The straight-neck HL4 driver comes in 9.5, 10.5, and 12-degree lofts, while the HL4 Offset driver will be available in 10.5, 12, and 13.5-degree lofts. The 10.5-degree HL4 Offset will be available in a left-handed model.
The HL4 series also features an upgraded UST Mamiya graphite shaft that offers enhanced tip stability. The drivers are available in ladies, A-flex, regular, and stiff shafts ranging from 48 to 60 grams.
The line has also been upgraded to a Lamkin Z5 multi-compound grip that features distinct hand-placement zones.
Both drivers will be available August 1 at authorized Tour Edge retailers and will retail for $199.99.
Confirmation (sort of): PXG 0311 ST irons coming soon
I guess it was just a matter of time, but we have some confirmation from the man himself (thanks to an Instagram post) that the irons we spotted a little while back in the bag of Ryan Moore will be coming to retail.
Details are slim to none, but we do have some information that we can share based just off of the Instagram post:
“Please meet our new 0311 ST irons. The ST stands for Super Tour. We couldn’t help ourselves. We just had to make a pure tour blade. But instead of forging it, us being PXG, we took it up another big level. Our pure tour blades, like our wedges are 100% milled, The result is precision exemplified. To this add our proprietary weighting system and the result is something only PXG would make. For those of you who have the game, we will be accepting advanced orders in the next few weeks for fulfillment in 60 days. PXG. Nobody makes golf clubs the way we do. Period.”
So there we have it. The 0311 ST (Super Tour) will be 10o percent machined from single blocks of steel just like the wedges! This is big news because the only time we ever saw fully milled iron sets was back in the day of “peak tour issue” and TaylorMade RAC Milled Protos — a set or irons almost as rare as rocking horse poop.
WAIT, WAIT, WAIT…Pump the breaks for a moment.
OK. So I’ll correct myself quickly: Yes, there are a couple of JDM brands that do apparently mill iron sets from single blocks of steel, but I have never seen them in person and I have no idea of their availability or how limited they are. BUT the PXG’s are speculated to be a full-blown North American and World Wide release which is a 100 percent FIRST in the industry.
When reached for comment PXG has yet to officially confirm the potential release schedule for these new 0311 STs, but since we have already seen these in the bag of a PGA Tour Pro and in the light of day, it means a LOT of time has been spent on CAD, and we should know more soon.
All-new Srixon Q-Star: Spin where you want it!
If there is anything I have learned in the past year about golf balls, it’s that they are packed with more technology and chemical compounds than most people can comprehend. A lot of premium boundary-pushing technology is found in, as the name states, the premium ball category, BUT Srixon is bringing the same tech found is the Z-Star line to the masses with the fifth-generation Q-Star, priced at $26.99 a dozen.
So, what am I talking about when I say chemistry? How about Spin Skin with Slide-Ring Material (SeRM for Short). SeRM is a urethane coating with flexible molecular bonds (how many times do you think about molecular bonds when talking golf ball?). This flexible coating digs deep into grooves for more control and more stopping power.
When we say “control” we mean friction. Friction is extremely important in golf is because the more you can create with your scoring clubs, the more control you are going to have around the greens. Where does all this chemistry come from, you might ask? In case you didn’t already, know Srixon is owned by Sumitomo Rubber Industries — a world leader in rubber technology including tires. Hmm…I think if a company can find ways to increase friction on a tire on a car going 100+ MPH, there must be some type of parallel there…
When you consider that most average golfers miss a LOT of greens, and often times in the wrong places, having a ball that offers a bit more control than the standard two-piece ball means you can (hopefully) stop it closer to the hole. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times: The closer you golf ball end up to the intended target, the lower your scores are going to be.
Another way of getting the ball closer to the hole is distance, and the Q-Star isn’t lacking in that department either. By utilizing Fast Layer Core Technology, meaning the core is softer in the middle than around the outer layer [think of it like a symmetrical round muffin top (drool…mmm…muffins)], they can create a ball that is lower compression, feels great, and spins less off the driver without sacrificing the oh-so-important distance. Don’t forget that less spin off the driver ALSO means less axis tilt (often wrongly communicated as “side spin”) creating shots missed left and right.
All off this technology wrapped up in 338 dimples, available in both white and yellow.
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