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Mickelson brings 8-year-old Callaway prototype hybrid to Memphis

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Update (June 9): Mickelson did not use the prototype hybrid in Round 1 of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. 

We spotted Phil Mickelson with a prototype Callaway hybrid in the bag at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. How do we know it’s a prototype? Well, that’s what it says on the sole.

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The hybrid is one of the most nondescript clubs we’ve seen on the PGA Tour from Callaway this year, at least in terms of graphics and features. The logos are old-school and so are the colors: black and silver. There’s also no adjustable hosel, moveable weights, and no carbon fiber as there is in Callaway’s new Epic hybrids.

According to a Callaway representative, there’s a reason for that. The hybrid is a prototype that “played a part in helping (Callaway) develop the shape of (its) current Steelhead XR Hybrid.”

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Maybe the most interesting feature of the club is its extremely rounded sole, which is also reminiscent of Callaway’s X Hot Pro hybrid that was released in 2012 garnered a cult-like following. Its added offset and curvaceous sole made it an incredible performer from the rough for many golfers.

Callaway told GolfWRX in 2012 was that the shape of the X Hot Pro was inspired by a hybrid Mickelson helped design for the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black to combat the deep rough. Based on the graphics on this hybrid, it appears this is that hybrid.

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The loft (22 degrees) is also significantly higher than the loft Mickelson generally uses in a hybrid (he’s often in the 17-19 degree range).

Related: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mickelson’s new hybrid. 

In other Mickelson news, the golfer announced earlier this week that he plans to skip the U.S. Open to attend his daughter’s high school graduation, where his daughter, the class president, is scheduled to speak. Golf fans have reacted with a petition to have the high school move its graduation day so Mickelson can play in the only major championship he’s yet to win.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. tadlehmann

    Jun 7, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    is it just a weird angle, or is this club as hooded as it appears? The address pic makes me feel like you’d have to lay that wide open just to hit it straight

  2. Blake

    Jun 7, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Better looking club than most they have put out in the last 4-5 yrs

  3. Xav

    Jun 7, 2017 at 11:32 am

    If it works bag it! We should all aspire to put family ahead of golf. Way to go Phil!

  4. Ty Webb

    Jun 7, 2017 at 8:47 am

    That club is old he put it in play at the 2009 us open at bethpage.

    It’s a us open only club funny he is using it in Memphis if he is not playing in the us open??

    My guess he is and is waiting for an early tee time so he can fly back for the graduation.

    • xjohnx

      Jun 7, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Everything about it definitely fits in that era. Callaway has not used their logo without “golf” for many years.

      • xjohnx

        Jun 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

        I guess I should have said without “golf” or without the chevron below it.

  5. ooffa

    Jun 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Phil at a golf tournament. Interesting. He didn’t have to be at movie night with the Family?

    • Charlie

      Jun 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

      This is one of the dumbest comments I have ever seen on GolfWRX

    • Ckplus1

      Jun 7, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Yes , cause being a family man, supporting, proud father is so uncool?!? Ooffa, a little jealous??

      • V

        Jun 7, 2017 at 11:44 am

        No, ooffa just dumb

        • ooffa

          Jun 7, 2017 at 2:46 pm

          I thought you guys would be smart enough to recognize sarcasm. I was wrong, you’re not!

          • Mike

            Jun 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm

            There needs to be a sarcasm font that is universally accepted on this website

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from 14max who asks WRXers what’s the oldest club in the bag that they regularly use. Our members list the clubs that have been playing the longest and their reasons why – with trust often playing a significant role behind their decision.

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.

  • el_rousso: “I’m still regularly playing an old (about 25+ years old) American Open 56* wedge, the grooves on it are likely too worn to be of any use but it’s still pretty much the club I trust the most around the greens, the rest of my bag is around 2005ish (irons) or 2011ish (woods and other wedges), but I recently pulled the trigger on a driver upgrade…”
  • SecondandGoal: “Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT. Made in 2007, got it for $25 on Craigslist about 4 years ago. I’ve changed every other club in the bag at least twice since then. Going to be hard-pressed to get this out of the bag.”
  • lefty1978: “I don’t always bag this club anymore. But I have a 17° Controller driving iron from around 1999. I like it because it hits low running bullets.”
  • James the Hogan Fan: “Putter- 65ish years old, Irons from 2003, Woods from 2008, Driver from 2014, Wedges from 2016, but, one from 2002. Quite the mix I’d say.”
  • ChipNRun: “A few years ago, it was a Ping Pal putter from circa 1973. I sent Ping a photo of the clubhead for verification: they said it was legit, they just couldn’t tell what batch it came from due to primitive data markings. Until about a year ago, I played Callaway X20 Tours (2008 origin); CPreO sold me a display set in 2011. Right now, the Tour Edge XRail 7W (2012) – and sometimes its brother 4W – hold the record.”

Entire Thread: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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2020 Odyssey Golf launches new Bird of Prey and Stroke Lab Ten putters

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Odyssey Golf is taking Stroke Lab technology and innovation further with the release of the all-new Stroke Lab 10 putters along with the introduction of the Bird of Prey putter for 2019 and 2020.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten Bird of prey putters golf 2020

2020 Odyssey Bird of Prey, Stroke Lab Ten putters: The details

To say Odyssey Stroke Lab putters, along with the revolutionary mass-shifting Stroke Lab shaft, have been a success both on tour and with regular golfers would be a huge understatement. On the professional side—since their introduction at the beginning of 2019 as a prototype product, Stroke Lab putters have become the number one putter on all tours and won more professional tournaments (65 to be exact) than any other brand on all tours combined.

Now, Odyssey’s General Manager Sean Toulon and his design team are looking to advance designs again with what many would call familiar shapes but with unconventional advantages.

Odyssey Stroke lab ten putter golf 2020

First off, we have the Stroke Lab Ten. And, yes, even Sean Toulon himself is willing to admit it shares similarities to a particular arachnid-style putter that he helped originally design at another OEM many years ago. But, as a modern equipment historian, I believe it’s important to point out that as much as the “arachnid” style has been popular for quite some time.

There was another putter that predates it (released in 2005), which offered an extremely high MOI design but without the catchy name: the Ping UG-LE. The UG-LE pushed mass way back and to the corners of the head to create (at the time) the highest MOI putter on the market.

But here’s the thing: Putters and material design have come a long way since the introduction of the UG-LE and the original arachnid designs, and Odyssey is here to prove golfers just how much better with the Stroke Lab Ten.

The Stroke Lab Ten’s frame is made from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene…don’t worry, I had to look it up too). Here’s a further explanation

“It is an amorphous polymer comprised of three monomers, acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. ABS is most commonly polymerize through the emulsification process or the expert art of combining multiple products that don’t typically combine into a single product. When the three monomers are combined, the acrylonitrile develops a polar attraction with the other two components, resulting in a tough and highly durable finished product. The different amounts of each monomer can be added to the process to further vary the finished product. The versatility of ABS plastic properties contributes largely to its popularity across several industry sectors.” (Thanks, Adreco plastics)

According to Sean Toulon, what the ABS material allows is maximum distribution of metal (heavy) mass parts to the back and extreme perimeter of the putter to blow past other putters’ MOI (Moment of Inertia: a measurement of forgiveness) but also in sound and feel.

“The sound and feel of this putter is special (thanks to the material advantage of ABS)”  Sean Toulon, Odyssey Putters General Manager

Beyond just the shape of the putter, the sole has been meticulously crafted to help the head aligned square when grounded towards the target in the playing position. Sean continues

“We got these putters to the point where ( with the alignment on top ) they have become point and shoot” 

There truly is a lot going on to make sure these putters do everything they can to help both regular golfers and touring professionals align properly and get the best possible result when putts are not hit absolutely perfect.

The Stroke Lab Advantage

Considering the MOI of these designs, you would think that the highest of high handicappers would be the target market, but in that assumption, you couldn’t be more incorrect. The designs of both the Stroke Lab Ten and the Bird of Prey were entirely driven by the tour and player desire to get every last bit of performance out of their putting games.

These putters will all come stock with the Stroke Lab shaft, which pulls mass from the shaft and redistributes it under the grip and into the head for even greater stabilization. Odyssey has proven that the shaft alone can help stroke consistency across the board, and the most notable stat is the 13 percent increase in face angle delivery at impact. This increases the make putt percentage, which when you think of a round of golf, equates to strokes saved.

If there is one more thing Odyssey knows about putters, it’s roll and inserts. With the new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey designs, the company is using an all-new Microhinge Star insert to increase the sound for better player feedback. Generally, inserts are used to decrease the sound, but in the case of the New Microhinge Star, engineers at Odyssey wanted to recreate more of the original sound and feel of the White Hot putter but with the added benefit of the Microhinge to increase forward roll.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Putter Insert roll Ten Bird of prey

This new Microhinge Star insert improves the correlation between the sound and expected distance a player will hit the ball—firmer means further. This is just another step in the design process put in place to help players of all abilities putt with greater consistency since without audible feedback, all players will have a more difficult time controlling distance.

The new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey putters will be available starting November 1. For more information check out OdysseyGolf.com

 

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Equipment

2020 Cobra Golf T-Rail iron hybrid set

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Cobra Golf T-RAIL

New for 2020, the Cobra Golf T-Rail (Transitional Rail) super game improvement iron—the company’s first all hollow iron hybrid set.

Cobra T Rail irons fuse a hollow, hybrid shape with an iron face and topline, with the iron-hybrid design aiming to provide golfers with the perfect blend of distance, forgiveness, and accuracy.

According to the company, the hollow body construction creates a lower, deeper CG than traditional cavity-back iron designs. The lower, deeper CG aims to aid golfers in getting the ball in the air and on line easier than conventional cavity-back irons.

Speaking on the new T-Rail irons, Tom Olsavsky, VP of R&D, Cobra Golf, stated

“T-Rail irons make it easy for beginners and golfers who have lost some distance and control to gain the confidence needed to play better and have more fun. Players who need max forgiveness and are looking for more distance will be amazed at how far and straight they hit these, even being able to get them airborne from tough lies.”

The irons feature the brand’s Baffler Rails technology which seeks to provide players with more speed and stability out of every lie through its turf interaction.

The irons also contain a high-strength, forged steel face designed with E9 technology, which includes a thin pocket from heel to toe which is intended to offer maximum ball speed and forgiveness on off-center hits.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

The new additions from Cobra arrive in a hollow, iron-hybrid construction in the 5-PW with a 4-hybrid to make a 7-piece set. The irons, which come in a black/blue colorway for men and black/lilac colorway for women, come equipped with Cobra Ultralite 50g graphite shafts (Stiff, Regular and Lite) and Cobra Lamkin REL midsize grips.

Both the Men’s and Women’s T-Rail sets will be available beginning November 1, 2019, and cost $899.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

 

 

 

 

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