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Show Stoppers: Demo Day at the 2017 PGA Show

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show, golf’s annual showcase of the latest equipment, technology, apparel and accessories.

The PGA Show kicks off each year with Demo Day at the Orange County National Golf Center, a 36-hole facility with an enormous 360-degree driving range. Our team spent all day walking “the circle” in search of the coolest new stuff, and you can view all our photos from Demo Day in our forum in the threads below.

Now that you’ve looked through all the photos, tell us, what were your favorites? We’ve listed our 9 favorites, which we call Show Stoppers, below.

Epon AF-705 Irons

Epon irons are forged by Endo, its parent company.

Epon isn’t as well known as Miura and PXG, its main competitors in the ultra-premium golf equipment space, but many custom fitters will tell you that it makes some of the best-performing irons in the industry.

Epon_AF_705_Comparison

The company’s current best-selling irons are its AF-703, a game-improvement model that not only produces incredible ball speed and distance, but has razor-thin top lines for an iron its size. For 2017, the company is releasing a new model called the AF-705 that it says looks and performs better.

Epon_AF_705_Adddress

The AF-705 irons ($325 per club, available 5-SW) have less offset than their predecessors, along with a lower center of gravity (CG) to produce a higher-launching, lower-spinning ball flight. And of course, the thin top lines.

E Wheels

Alphard_Push_Cart_Motor_Feat

Imagine being able to turn your current push cart into a motorized push cart in just 5 minutes. That’s the idea behind a new product called E Wheels, which was on display at Clic Gear’s Demo Day booth.

Alphard_Push_Cart_Motor

E Wheels has a top speed of 8 mph and six other speed settings. There’s also a cruise control feature, which will stop the push cart if it gets more than 100 yards away from a golfer. Maybe the best part is that E Wheels will be sold in different sizes to fit different brands and styles of push carts. Pricing and a release date are yet to be announced.

Oban CT-155

Oban_CT_115_Feat

Chances are good you know a golfer who raves about the performance of his Japanese steel irons… but what about Japanese steel shafts? It’s a small market, but it’s growing.

Premium graphite shaft manufacturer Oban has partnered with Shimada, an established Japanese steel shaft manufacturer, to create its new line of premium CT-115 steel iron shafts that it says feel better and offer a tighter dispersion than other steel shafts.

Oban_CT_115_Steps

The new shafts, which promise a mid-high launch and a low-mid spin, have a design that both custom club fitters and gear heads will love. Changing weight and flex is as simple as trimming the shafts differently. The CT-115 shafts range in weights from 103-112 grams (installed) and are offered in seven different flexes (R, R+, S-, S, S+, X- and X). They sell for $75 each.

Professor DeChambeau Stops the Show

DeChambeau

By all accounts, Bryson DeChambeau was a Show Stopper in that he had hundreds of PGA Show Demo Day attendees watching, listening and learning. The 23-year-old has made a name in golf by not only winning, but also by doing so with “single-length” irons that all have the same length and lie angle.

When fellow PGA Tour pros and announcers refer to DeChambeau, they often call him “brilliant” or “a scientist.” His intelligence and shot consistency were both on  display at Demo Day.

BrysonBackswing

He explained his swing and equipment philosophy using phrases such as “neurological input” that had audience members collectively shaking their heads in confusion. But after thorough explanation and demonstration, his point was made; irons that have the same specs throughout the set and tennis racquet-like grips have a scientific purpose that DeChambeau recommends to all golfers — especially junior golfers who are just learning the swing.

“It’s amazing how quickly their (junior golfers) swings adapt (to the one-length sets),” DeChambeau said. “Why wouldn’t you want to use it?”

Seven Dreamers

SevenDreamers

You want a product that really stops you and your wallet in their respective tracks? Look no further than Seven Dreamers carbon fiber iron and wood shafts, which sell for $1,800 apiece (yes, that’s both iron and wood shafts at that price). The company, which primarily uses its machines for aerospace engineering, sells fully customized i-series iron shafts and T-series driver shafts that are said to be more consistent than other golf shafts.

Seven Dreamers shaft (above) and the process a normal shaft undergoes

Seven Dreamers shaft (above) and a normal golf shaft.

Unlike most golf shafts that are manufactured using pre-preg and grinding, Seven Dreamers simplifies the process by making shafts purely out of carbon fiber. Due to the design, carbon fiber materials and machining capabilities, the shafts can be made to exacting standards for each and every golf swing.

In Japan, the company takes readings of golfers’ swings using a 3D-design system to tailor the shafts for a player’s swing. Seven Dreamers also has pre-designed shafts that have three different kick points for each weight and flex, which should be easier to get ahold of for Americans (with deep pockets).

SuperSpeed Golf

SpeedGolf

Billy Horschel, Charles Howell III and Webb Simpson and many other PGA Tour pros are currently using a training aid that helps them swing a golf club faster. It’s called SuperSpeed Golf, and it helps retrain a golfer’s brain and muscles to gain swing speed after just 8-10 minutes, approximately three days a week.

SuperSpeed uses a technique that started with major league baseball pitchers throwing baseballs of different weights. Adapted for the golf swing, golfers swing golf club-like training aids, all of varying weights. The clubs, which have rubber grips, graphite shafts and stainless steel head weights come in sets of three (one that’s 20 percent lighter than a driver, 10 percent lighter and 5 percent heavier).

SuperSpeed

A typical training session starts with full driver swings (hitting an actual golf ball), and then has a golfer work through the training set from lightest to heaviest. It ends with more full driver swings. It takes 4-8 weeks to see lasting results, according to the company, which claims that golfers will gain 5 mph of clubhead speed with their drivers using the system.

Sets of three SuperSpeed training clubs sell for $199 at retail. To avoid injuries or detrimental effects on your golf game, make sure to consult your golf instructor and/or fitness trainer before you use the product.

SuperStroke grips

SuperStrokeTech

SuperStroke is expanding its line of S-tech club grips by releasing three new colorways to the public. It also launched new “Cross Comfort X” grips that are made from materials that are similar to the ones used on its ever-popular putter grips.

The S-Tech club grips Jordan Spieth uses (black and white) are coming to retail, along with the gray-and-black colorway used by Jason Dufner. The blue-and-yellow colorway used by Sergio Garcia is staying in the line, and will be joined with a new red-white-and-black colorway.

The entire S-Tech line has also been re-engineered with a slightly different blend of materials to make them more tacky, but still offer their familiar firm feel.

SuperStrokeGrips

The Cross Comfort grips, designed for performance and comfort, are made with a polyurethane outer (similar to that of a typical SuperStroke putter grip), and a rubber inner that offers torsional control. They will be available in the first week of March for $5.99 (standard), $6.49 (midsize) and $6.99 (oversize) in three different colorways.

TaylorMade’s New Wedge Finish (and irons) 

TaylorMadeFinishFeat

TaylorMade recently launched its Milled Grind wedges, which are made from 8620 carbon steel and have soles and leading edges that are CNC-milled for more consistency. At the time of their launch, the only available finish was Chrome… as of Demo Day that as changed.

At the 2017 PGA Show, the company revealed an “Antique Bronze finish” that has subtle hues of other colors and low glare. The finish is available in only the company’s standard grind at the moment in lofts ranging from 50 to 60 degrees.

TaylorMadeP770

Also available for testing at the PGA Demo Day were TaylorMade’s newly launched P-770 and P-750 irons, which are a Show Stopper in their own right. The precisely forged irons have been swung by very few golfers who aren’t on the PGA Tour, let alone tested on Trackman. Like many TaylorMade staffers, PGA Show testers were impressed.

TPT Shafts

TPT_Shafts_Feat

A new shaft company called TPT (Thin Ply Technology) says it knows a better way to make a golf shaft, and the company’s background has golf insiders taking notice.

TPT’s parent company, NTPT, is based in Switzerland and has produced sails for the Americas Cup yachts, bodywork for F1 race cars, skis, snowboards, satellites and watches for Richard Mille. Now it has its sights set on the golf shaft industry, and has developed a patented shaft-manufacturing process (a “Thin Ply Winding Method”) that it says removes inconsistencies from shaft designs. The automated process is so precise, the company says, it can create shafts that are “perfectly concentric and near homogeneous.”

TPT_Shafts_Feat_2

TPT currently offers 10 shafts (50-69 grams, CPM: 215-260) that are available for five different swing speed ranges (60-120 mph) and in two kick points (low and medium). The shafts sell for $700 each. The company also offers a custom shaft-fitting process known as “Unique to Me,” which allows TPT to create fully customized shafts for golfers.

TPT shafts are "raw" or unfinished.

TPT shafts are “raw” or unfinished.

Golf instructor David Leadbetter and biomechanical specialist J.J. Rivet were both involved in the design of the shafts.

Make sure to check back for more Show Stoppers on Wednesday and Thursday when the 2017 PGA Show moves inside the Orange County Convention Center. 

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Mad-Mex

    Jan 26, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    The PGA Show is quickly approaching the ramp set at 16 degrees for a successful shark jump, most of this stuff looks cheap,,,,

  2. birdy

    Jan 26, 2017 at 11:43 am

    because if it looked like a liberal march tents would be on fire and those in attendance would be making a mess of the place

    • Mad-Mex

      Jan 26, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      In actuality all their scorecards are pre-filled at -18 in order to avoid hurt feelings

      • birdy

        Jan 27, 2017 at 10:35 am

        and if you can’t afford the new Callaway Epic with exotic shaft upgrade Callaway will just make the next 10 buyers cover your costs because everyone is entitled to the best because equality!

  3. Feel the Bern

    Jan 25, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Are any of these Showstoppers Certified?

  4. MuskieCy

    Jan 25, 2017 at 12:48 am

    OK, now I get it.

    I will work for $5/hour, not enough hours for any normal be benefits, so I can spend $700 and up per shaft.

    Make Murica, not Muira, great again. I will spend 3 months income to perfect a 28 handicap with Murica First Golf by the Prez.

  5. BM

    Jan 24, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Will I be able to perfect the “A-Swing” with these TPT shafts?

  6. TexasSnowman

    Jan 24, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    I don’t understand why many of these are considered ‘showstoppers’… e.g. new superstroke grips….

  7. S Hitter

    Jan 24, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Love it

  8. tlmck

    Jan 24, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    As soon as he brings my job back from China, I am going to buy one of everything above.

    • Mike Honcho

      Jan 25, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      GOOD! The less liberals at the golf course, the less 5 hour rounds we’ll have to endure.

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Swag Golf proto putter

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Product: Swag Golf proto putter

Pitch: From Swag “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do. ”

Our Take on the Swag Golf Proto putter

Though relatively new, Swag Golf has been making a big splash in the industry for their high-end and striking headcovers and accessories. Perhaps less talked about when it comes to the company is their putters – something which I feel is likely to change after testing out their prototype rainbow finish flat-stick.

The putter is beautiful from whatever angle you look at – but especially at address. Extremely smooth lines, and with full-shaft offset, the blade’s shoulders and bumpers are flawlessly balanced to frame the ball and let the putter sit perfectly square. The single line alignment aid enhances the look and is positioned right in the center of the blade’s sweet spot, while the CNC milled flat-stick delivers perfectly smooth edges – noticeably on the neck for a sublime and soft profile.

With a head weight of 354g, the putter from Swag feels exceptional in your hands over the ball. Every detail matters when investing in a premium putter, and the sensation of the stable and firm feel of the flat-stick as well as there being no wavering of the head, makes the putter feel like an extension of your body when standing over a putt.

The sound and feel of the putter is an area where Swag has knocked it out of the park. With a fly milled face from 303 Stainless Steel, the flat-stick delivers an incredibly soft feel at impact.

No vibration is felt on impact, even on long-distance putts. It never feels like your hitting the ball but more caressing it, which is a pleasant sensation when putting from downtown. What you get in terms of sound at impact is a low, deep pitched note from a putter which rolls beautifully on its axis and produces no vibration on slight mis-hits.

To nitpick, the company’s “black mid pistol tackified kangaroo leather grip” took some getting used to. Initially, it took a little away from how impressive the flat-stick feels in your hands, but it gradually becomes more comfortable.

Overall performance-wise though, the putter from Swag provides everything you could hope for from a high-end putter. Exceptional feel at address, painfully attractive profile and precision at impact.

As of now, the company boasts self-confessed “putting nerd” Kevin Streelman as their PGA Tour ambassador. Streelman is currently gaming the brand’s Handsome Too proto, and after experiencing the Swag rainbow proto for myself, the highest compliment I can give is that I would be surprised if he (and PGA Tour newcomer Rhein Gibson) are still the only Tour pros to game one of the brand’s flat-sticks in 12 to 24 months time.

In terms of an Anser-style putter, Swag packs a hefty punch with their numerous offerings. While I personally love the eye-catching rainbow finish (which has been blasted to remove some of the boldness), I realize it’s not for everyone. However, the company has plenty more traditional finishes on their array of flat-sticks, which you can find on their website here.

Whatever finish you prefer your putters to come in though, it’s unlikely that any department of Swag’s flat-sticks will leave you disappointed.

 

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Equipment

New Mitsubishi Chemical ZF shaft in play at the Tour Championship

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Even after winning just a week ago, Justin Thomas has put a new MCA Diamana ZF-Series shaft into play for the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup Final this week at East Lake Golf Club. JT is using the 60g TX version in his 9.5-degree Titleist TS2 driver (see Thomas’ BMW Championship-winning WITB here).

MCA has confirmed the new shaft and given us some great information on why it is are adding this fourth profile to the Diamana line—something the company has never done before.

The new Diamana ZF has taken the easy loading bend profile from the BF-Series and tweaked it in certain spots along the length to further maximize the design and find greater performance for players across swing speed ranges.

“The result is a profile that makes ZF a little more explosive and easier to accelerate.” -Mark Gunther, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for MCA GOLF.

Like the other shafts in the Diamana Fourth Gen. Series, the Diamana ZF shafts owe their stiffness and stability to two unique technologies. First: the MCA-developed MR70 carbon fiber material, and the second: Boron fiber. MR70 is found in both the butt and tip sections of the shaft and is 20 percent stronger than conventional materials, with a 10 percent greater modulus (a measure of stiffness). These designs have additional strength thanks to Boron fiber in the tip section to create the exact EI curve desired.

When you compare the new ZF to Diamana BF-Series, the ZF-Series shafts are a slightly stronger profile and built to have increased stability in both the butt and tip sections. They feature a softer, more active middle for better energy transfer and clubhead acceleration.

A cool feature for those looking to get a bit more distance but are on the lower end of the swing speed spectrum: There will also be a 40-gram version of the ZF, which is the lightest shaft of the fourth generation Diamana family.

“We’re extremely happy to have a 40g option within Diamana™ ZF,” says Gunther. “This opens the performance benefits of these unique Mitsubishi Chemical materials to a whole new range of players who prefer to play an ultra-lightweight shaft.”

Mitsubishi Diamana ZF-Series Availability and Specs

Diamana ZF-Series will be available September, 13 2019 at MCA GOLF authorized retailers and dealers nationwide, with a suggested retail price of $400.

Weights and flexes

  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 40 (R2, R, S Flex)
  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 50 (R, S, TX Flex)
  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 60 (S, TX Flex)
  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 70 (S, TX Flex)
  • DIAMANA ZF-Series 80 (S, TX Flex)
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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Are 919 forged irons really that good?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from 9ironiscash who asked fellow members what they thought about Mizuno’s 919 forged ironsOur members dish out their experiences gaming the irons, with the majority of WRXers answering with a resounding yes to 9ironiscash’s original question.

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

  • Gmack1973: “I think the 919 forged are great irons. I play to a handicap of 4 and think I’m not a bad ball striker. I had the tours 6-pw, and they were great but a bit unforgiving if you don’t get them out the middle. I now have 919 forged 4 – PW and couldnt be happier. They have the Nippon Modus 120 stiff shafts.”
  • Gofguy224: “They are great irons! Had them for about a month and I’ve already shot 3 of my lowest scores ever! Very forgiving and they feel buttery soft
  • chjyner: “The whole 919 range is probably the best on the market “
  • PowerCobra98: “I like them. Moved from Apex 19’s into 919 Forged. I’ll likely be looking at a set of MP20 HMB’s though.”

Entire Thread: “Are 919 forged irons really that good?”

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