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What’s Your Golf Style?

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Recently I’ve been involved in a few discussions about golf style. As the game has become more accessible and gained more mainstream popularity, the dress code has definitely been interpreted in new ways. Of course private and municipal courses have different standards and some have no real dress code at all. Today’s golfer is a mix of traditionalists and those with a more casual approach. A few things keep coming up in style conversations:

Bright colors – a la Camilo Villegas or Ian Poulter: Some are quite offended by the Columbian-born golfer’s style. Often wearing brightly colored coordinates with large belt buckles, he’s been called gaudy more than once. Others think he’s got a progressive, modern style.

Cargo shorts – like at your municipal course: These shorts can look more like “shants” (almost a short but closer to a pant) and tend to be a bit sloppy. The more tailored cargo with a smart shirt can look really nice though. On the other hand, who really cares when you’re just playing at the local 9 hole?

Shirts without collars – for men or women: Again, if you’re just at the range or cheap muni it probably doesn’t matter. I’ve seen some get very upset at Michelle Wie for sporting a tank and others who think you should golf in what is comfortable.

Sweat pants or gym clothes in general: Some think this is acceptable at the range but many purists seem to think this is a no-no in any situation.

Sneakers on the course instead of golf shoes: I’m pretty sure you can’t do this at many of the private clubs so it’s a non-issue. At the range or muni it probably doesn’t matter to most.

Old school – as in loud plaids or plus fours: Payne Stewart pulled off the old school style nicely. I’ve seen some great throwback plaids but some find them to be tacky.

Most of the “travesties” of fashion are committed at the more laid-back public courses. I’ve seen very mellow courses where there’s only one guy decked out in the Ashworth gear and he stands out like a sore thumb and gets stared at. I’ve also seen someone wearing a golf shirt and shoes with jeans get the stink eye. Each course I go to seems to have a distinct golf style of its own.

What’s your golf style? Are you a purist or do you throw on whatever is clean?

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11 Comments

  1. Jesse

    Oct 23, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Syle in golf is huge. In my mind the better you look, the more confident you will be, and the better you will play. You don’t have to go extreme with some of the color combos that Camilo wears, but NOT always wearing a cotton striped shirt and khaki shorts or pants is good. Tech fabrics are huge right now with some styles that don’t scream middle age weekend golfer. Bright colors are great. Shorts and pants that are different than black, navy, or khaki can really add to your style like a plaid, yellow, light blue, white, or green paired with an appropriate solid colored or patterned, not stiped, shirt looks great. Model your style similar to most of the younger or clothing sponsored players on tour, they have people telling them what to wear!!!

  2. Adam

    Jun 26, 2008 at 1:18 am

    In fashion as with almost anything “Take Change by the Hand or it will Take You by the Throat.” Keep moving forward I for one am very pleased with the way fashion on the golf course it going. The new fabrics that wick away sweat and keep you cool with breathability are great. I like to dress to impress on and off the course. You can only make a first impression once. I feel great when I walk out the door and head to the country club in my Burberry golf clothing and seem to get a lot of comments that support my decisions. Dressing well can intimidate a competitor as well, I have had players tell me they thought when they saw me that I was a good golfer before I even stepped foot on the first tee. If you can get them thinking before you hit a shot that is a plus.

  3. Ron

    Jun 24, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    It’s not mentioned but much of the new fashion is driven by the use of technical fabrics that keep you cooler, dryer and more comfortable like the Adidas ClimaCool and Nike Dry-fit stuff. It’s much more comfortable. I actually don’t ski or golf in cotton anymore. I wouldn’t wear some of my stuff on a local muni course, but it’s not uncommon at all on my club course.

  4. Ryan

    Jun 23, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    I am very offended with the way people address the styles out on tour. I beleive that Camilo, Sergio, Jesper, Badds, alls these guys are trend setters. Any Jo Blow can go out in a Blue Shirt, Khaki Pants and a black belt. It takes style and balls to go out and make a statement not only with your clothes but with your clothes. How good is the marketing and advertising for these players, people are always talking about Poulter, well how many clubs has Cobra sold since they got him on staff, “LOTS!” I am a very stylish golfer and I am the type of person who cant play good unless I look good. Just my .02 cents!

  5. Mike

    Jun 23, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    You know what they say – when in rome, be like the romans. If you’re playing on the local 9 hole, a t-shirt and cargo pants are probably fine. Playing at the premier muni/country club, best be wearing your polo and khakis. I would probably say cutoff/sleeveless shirts are always unacceptable though. Have a bit of class, at least.

  6. Paul

    Jun 21, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    To each their own as it has been said before, and as far as the LPGA is concerned, Thank the lord they got some “fashion” out there. To me it is better to be the guy with his collard shirt untucked taking your 20.00 bucks than the guy who looks and plays so uptight that he can’t get comfortable.

  7. alex

    Jun 21, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    just wanted to make a comment on what Tim Schoch had written … if anyone is an idiot its your self sir, and i say this with as much respect as i possibly can. as a golf professional my self and a “regular” golfer there are trends in golf and it are visible in fashion to even equipment and in many more aspects in this great game. so my dear tim was gary player ben hogan arnold palmer and walter hagan all idiots when they wore clothing items with color or started their own trends and still managed to look sharp on the course in this great game that we play, even thought their styles were not the “norm”
    oh and tim ever head of to each their own time to grow up and be a true gentleman of the game we cherish. and just hope to see you at my muni maybe you will be the comic relief for my staff if they see you in your faded shirt and knee high kaki shorts not that there is anything wrong with that

  8. Peter

    Jun 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    I’ll keep saying it.. the word golf is not a verb.

    Golf and personal presentation are historical partners. We have a situation now where golf is trying to reach the greater population – motivation being the marketing dollar.
    If we want golf to retain some aspect of the idea that it is good to strive to be better (an idea not unsuitable for a large portion of the population), then it must require some degree of standard of its participants. Whether this be dress, language, behavior – can any of that actually be detrimental for an individual?

  9. Jim

    Jun 20, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Are we that boring of a society that we have to be negative about people wanting to express their style and individuality? It just goes to show that those who cant accept fashion on the golf course have little or no self confidence, and realize that they could never pull off such a look. Villegas and Poulter are two of the best dressed players on tour and are often featured in global fashion magazines for that very reason. When is the last time you saw Davis Love, Vijay Singh, or Phil Mickelson in GQ or Details? If style and fashion from the younger tour players helps promote the game, its pretty narrow-minded to be critical.

  10. Chris

    Jun 19, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    I think golf is ready for the change that is here. Remember not long ago Aspen would not let a snowboard on the mountain, yet the X Games were just held there. Change = Progression. Now I do not believe in the “trash the course with your golf cart” guy that is more interested in a drunken stuper that sinking a long putt. But who wants to wear their grandpa’s shirt just because the course says you need a collar? Have your own style and bring it to the course. Follow the rules but never conform…unless of course you just like to be a follower. In that case you just don’t “get it” anyway. Check out 13thgreen.com Your Source Fore Style On The Course. HAVE SOME STYLE!!

  11. Tim Schoch

    Jun 18, 2008 at 10:28 am

    When I golf, I don’t give a second thought to making a fashion statement. I always dress neatly and appropriately, not a sweat-pants kind of guy. I can’t believe that clothing fashion is on any “regular” golfer’s mind.

    As a TV viewer of pro golf, I think the pros look like idiots if they wear runway freaky outfits, then don’t make the cut. And I’m referring to the LPGA, as well, which has gotten out of hand.

    In my experience, if someone is a true golfer and respects the game, they will dress appropriately. If you add the “look-at-me” factor, then you’ll get the vain golfers who look like NASCAR race cars and titters behind their backs.

    IMO, the fashion show is on TV. If you insist on being the show at your muni, you only end up being comic relief.

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2020 TaylorMade P770 irons: Distance and precision redefined

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New 2020 TaylorMade P770 irons are here, and with them, a reminder that every club in your bag has a purpose.

A driver is designed to go as far as possible, wedges are designed to be versatile precision instruments, and iron sets are built for both. The new 2020 TaylorMade P770 irons from TaylorMade bring together the distance of the extremely popular P790 with the precision of a midsized player cavity to offer distance and control to an iron unlike TaylorMade has ever produced.

2020 TaylorMade P770

2020 TaylorMade P770 6-iron. Cavity view.

TaylorMade P770 irons: The origin story

The story of the P770 starts with two clubs—the P760 and the P790. Now, if my math is correct, the combination of the two clubs would actually create the 775, but in the world of irons, that model number was taken over a decade ago by another OEM, and if we’re being honest, 770 sounds better anyways.

2020 TaylorMade P770, TaylorMade P790 comparison.

2020 TaylorMade P770, TaylorMade P790 comparison.

Let’s start with the P790 and its ability to infiltrate the golf bags of players of all skill levels. According to TaylorMade’s fitting database, the 790 is a club that can be found in the bags of players from +4 handicaps all the way up to golfers looking to break 100.

What makes the P790 so functional and appealing to so many golfers starts with its looks and ends with its performance. The P790 has the clean appearance of a blade iron from the back, and from address, it maintains sharper line associated with a  players club.

But off the clubface, or should I say all over the clubface, you get ball speed and launch conditions normally reserved for a much larger game improvement club. This iron helped redefine what is now known as the “players distance” category, and whether you consider that title an oxymoron or not, it’s impossible to argue with its popularity.

Then we have the P760, TaylorMade’s first combo iron set, which combined the power of SpeedFoam-filled longer irons with the precision of single-piece forged short irons. These irons again found their way into the golf bags of mid-handicaps to players all over the professional tours thanks to their ability to offer extra forgiveness and launch in longer clubs while still maintaining a small player’s look and preferred feel.

Regardless of skill, one of the biggest factors in the playability of any iron relies on a golfer’s ability to create speed, launch, spin, and angle of descent—the below video featuring our own Brian Knudson testing the P790 Ti is the perfect example of how an iron with strong lofts, for example, can launch higher and descend at an angle to make them playable when you combine the right technologies.

The ultimate design goal of the P770 was to combine the best of both these irons into a small, fast, playable package using every technology available to the engineers and designers at TaylorMade. This iron is about precision without sacrificing distance.

If you are a golfer looking for maximum workability and shotmaking control that puts less of a premium on distance, then the P7MB or P7MC is probably more up your ally, but if distance is still a big part of your decision-making process for a set of irons, then buckle up.

The technology

A look inside the construction of the P770

A simplistic way to describe the P770 would be to call it a shrunk-down version of the 790, but doing that would not give justice to the actual engineering that went into this design. The reason is, you can’t just shrink down a golf club and expect it to perform the same as a larger club, because not only are the mass properties different, but trying to maintain additional ball speed would be like expecting a smaller trampoline to bounce you as high as a larger one with bigger springs—the physics don’t add up.

“Designed to deliver P790-like performance in a smaller package, the all-new P770 leverages forged hollow body construction to pack as much distance and forgiveness as possible into a compact player’s shape.” – Matt Bovee, Product Creation

From address, and looking at the sole and toe profile, the P770 has a much stronger resemblance to the previous P760 than the 790, but from the back and from a technology standpoint, its got the guts of the P790.

The key technologies are

  • A SpeedFoam-supported forged 4140 high-speed steel face attached to a soft forged 8620 carbon steel body. Since the hosel is part of the forged body, you get the full lie and loft adjustability of a forged club along with the ball speed of a larger one. The secondary benefit of SpeedFoam is it creates an iron that feels extremely solid while being a multipiece construction
  • The other part of the speed story is the Thru Slot in the sole which helps shots hit lower on the face retain more ball speed and helps create extra launch. This technology runs from the 3-7 irons.
  • Speaking of launch, the new P770 has 46 grams of tungsten in the 3-7 irons positioned as low and as far back as possible towards the toe to boost MOI and launch in the longer clubs while precisely locating the center of gravity.
  • The final piece of the puzzle that helps with both distance and distance control is the Progressive Inverted Cone Technology or IVT. It is positioned closer to the toe in the longer irons to help with common mishits and moves higher and more heel ward into the shorter clubs. This keeps ball speeds variances as consistent as possible through the set.

More photos and discussion in the forums.

Choose your own P700 Series adventure

This is the part where the whole iron series really excels. For a long time, it used to be OEMs would release a number of iron sets that catered to various golfers but didn’t really have any cross over potential as far as building combo sets because of the large differences between designs. To counter this, they would often design exclusive combo sets either catered to better players or to higher handicaps/slower speed players with game improvement irons paired with hybrid long irons.

From the beginning and by design, the entire P700 series has been built to be custom combo’ed for any golfer—an impressive design feat. This allows players of varying ability with different swing and player traits to get exactly what they need out of different parts of their set. They have even gone as far to make sure that no matter how someone is looking to build their set, they can get looks, offset, bounce, and performance to match up from club to club—they even have an easy-to-follow chart!

Pricing, availability, and specs

The TaylorMade P770 irons will be available for pre-order starting August 14th and will be be available in retail shops starting September 4th.

They will be available from 3iron to pitching wedge in right and left-handed with an A wedge option available to right-handed players only. An 8 piece set starts at $1399 (174.88 per club) with KBS Tour steel shafts and Golf Pride Z-Grip grey and black as stock.

P770 Stock Specs

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2020 Mizuno E21 wedges: High performance reimagined

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New design, new construction, and a new way to look at what a high-performance wedge can be—these are Mizuno E21 wedges.

When talking about new clubs and the technology being utilized by engineers, the conversation eventually turns to mass properties and how adjusting them within the clubhead helps to create higher-launching lower-spinning shots. This is great when talking about drivers and fairway woods, but at the other end of your bag, high-launching, low-spinning shots are the enemy of great wedge play and distance control.

The key to hitting lower-launching, higher-spinning wedge shots is making contact below the center of gravity lower on the face. To help players achieve these optimal launch conditions, the Mizuo E21 utilizes multipiece construction to place the center of gravity higher in the head than ever before.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

Mizuno E21 wedge technology

Mass properties play a massive role in the performance of any club. By design, wedges are the heaviest full swing clubs in the bag. This gives designers more mass to move around. To get the most of the Mizuno E21’s performance, the focus was to relocate as much mass higher and deeper in the head without sacrificing both looks and feel. The only way to do this was by using a hollow body construction.

The E21 wedge brings together a 1025 Grain Flow forged boron face and hosel with a 431 Stainless steel back, this helps the wedge maintain the soft and solid feel Mizuno is known for while also increasing groove durability. Don’t think that because a wedge is packed with technology it makes it a club meant for higher handicap golfers either—any golfer can benefit from improved wedge technology, the same way we can all benefit from hitting higher launching, lower spinning drivers.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

The new E21 wedges even offer the exact same, if not thinner appearance from address than the Mizuno T20’s even though the back of each wedge looks extremely different—again, just like with drivers, something that looks different is different for a reason.

Soles designed for versatility

Beyond the new and improved mass shifting the E21 wedges provide, the most important part of the wedge is the sole, and Mizuno R&D pulled out all the stops when configuring the soles of these wedges to fit a wide variety of players.

They come in both a narrow and wide sole option, but unlike with irons where a wide sole is generally reserved for game improvement clubs, the wide sole models of the E21 have been configured for maximum versatility. Mizuno is not the only OEM offering versatile wider sole wedges, Callaway has the “X” grind, and Titleist with the low bounce “K”, to give you a few examples.

The wide sole E21’s have a lot of heel and toe relief along with a lot of front and back camber to keep the leading edge closer to the ground for those tight lies around the greens.

Mizuno Hydroflow Micro Grooves

Just like with last year’s release of the T20 wedges, instead of using traditional laser etching parallel to the milled grooves, Mizuno engineers took the concept of tread from high-performance tires and went perpendicular to the grooves and parallel to the direction the ball moves up the face to channel moisture away.

This directional tread has proven to increase spin on shots especially in conditions with moisture up to 1,200 RPM on a 60-yard shot. It’s not just about spin either: the more the friction created also means more control on launch angle and less of a “floating” ball flight. That’s how those low flying “zippers” really zip!

The other part of this groovy tale has to do with the reconfiguration of the grooves. Just like with the T20, the lowest groove on the E21 wedges has been shortened and centered. This puts it closer to the leading edge without having it disorient the look of the club from address and making it appear that the heel or toe is thinner on one side.

By bringing together the new CG placement with leading groove technology and reconfigured soles, Mizuno is once again changing the way players think about wedge performance.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

Price, availability, and specs

The E21 wedges will be right-hand only and available this October with the exact date upcoming and priced at $200 per club.

The stock shaft is the KBS HI Rev 110 Wedge flex in black ion finish, along with a Lamkin ST Hybrid grip

Mizuno E21 wedge loft and bounce availability

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

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2020 TaylorMade Spider FCG putter: Blade performance, mallet forgiveness

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2020 taylormade spider putter cover

If you love the feel of a blade putter but struggle with alignment and need the extra stability only a mallet can provide, then this could be the putter you have been waiting for—the all-new 2020 TaylorMade Spider FCG (Forward Center of Gravity).

Although the new Spider FCG doesn’t look like any Spider ever imagined by the putter team at TaylorMade, it is a Spider through and through thanks to its multi-material design, and it’s built to offer the extra stability synonymous with the Spider name.

2020 TaylorMade Spider FCG putter: It’s what’s inside that counts

The key to the new Spider FCG putter is the distribution of mass relative to the face along with the extreme heel and toe weighting to boost MOI. This isn’t a small tweak either, to offer you a direct comparison, the center of gravity of the standard Spider X is 3 times further back in the head compared to the new Spider FCG. This is why most mallet putters, including the Spider X from TaylorMade, rely on various hosel configurations to fit a player’s stroke—and even then they can only get so much toe hang out of these designs.

Tech/fitting note: The reason we don’t see many high MOI (low and back center of gravity) putters that also have more than around 30 degrees of toe hang is that the nature of high MOI designs makes them harder to open and close relative to square. For someone with a more gated stroke, this means a high MOI style of putter requires more manipulation to get back to square at impact oftentimes results in the face being left open causing a “push.”

To get the center of gravity as forward as possible, TaylorMade did a number of things to the weighting properties of the head, including using more than 100 grams of tungsten weight in the heel and toe of the putter and positioning the interchangeable head weight directly behind the face. The most clever design trick was removing as much weight as possible from the back of the head, but maintaining the shape from address.

“We tried to think of the top and rear portions of the putter as a canopy. It’s rigid, allows us to create a long alignment tool, but takes up a very small portion of the putter head’s total mass” – Bill Price

The face also plays a big role since TM is using a new CU29 PureRoll insert, which offers all the same roll enhancing properties as other inserts in the line except for the fact it is constructed of pure copper and weighs 25 grams, making it the heaviest insert TaylorMade has ever created.

This putter is all about TaylorMade expanding available options to golfers, because the Spider FCG offers greater toe hang than any other putter in the Spider family ever at 46 degrees (with the slant next), which puts it directly in line with the TP Soto at 47 degrees. It also comes with two other hosel options to give players with a less gated stroke a better fitting putter—while still offering a longer alignment line and more forgiveness.

“In developing Spider FCG, we sought insights from many of the top players on TOUR. We compiled that information to construct a clean and traditional mallet shape that performs in a non-traditional way. The result is an intelligently designed high-MOI mallet that’s built for golfers who have an arced putting stroke. Forward CG placement lets the toe release freely like a blade, while the mallet shape and perimeter weighting help maintain the signature Spider family forgiveness.” – Bill Price; Product Creation Putters and Wedges

Now Speaking to alignment, the Spider FCG has what TaylorMade is calling TruePath T-Sightline. It combines the perpendicular alignment from the face with the long line pointed at the target. Giving this a technological name might seem like a bit of a stretch, but when talking with TaylorMade’s Bill Price about the top’s contrast he noted

“White is the very bright to our eyes and by creating high contrast along the front of the putter it helps players set up more square to their putting line regardless of eye dominance.”

It’s been proven time after time that player alignment is very much attributed to their eye-dominance; some players use the leading edge while others use longer alignment lines on the top of the putter—the FCG with TruePath is offering both.

Price, availability, and specs

The Spider FCG will be available at retail and online starting September 4th with the retail price of $350.

It is offered in three different neck styles to help golfers varying amounts of face rotation in their stroke to find the right model

  • The L-Neck (aka Plumbers Neck) with 25° of toe-hang
  • Short slant next with 46° of toe-hang, which puts it in line with most blade putters on the market
  • Single bend which is close to face-balanced for those with limited face rotation

It will come stock with a KBS Stepless Black CT putter shaft along with a Super Stroke Pistol 1.0 black and white grip, with other grip options available through custom order.  The putter will come in both right and left-handed and will come in the stock lengths of 33”, 34”, and 35”.

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