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Adidas’ new Tour360 golf shoes have Dustin Johnson’s fingerprints all over them

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Dustin Johnson, currently the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer, wasn’t in Adidas Golf’s R&D room sketching Tour360 silhouettes or mixing up thermoplastic urethanes with scientists in the lab, but he did have a major influence on the company’s new Tour360 golf shoes.

The new Tour360s are being somewhat touted as Johnson’s “signature shoe” by Adidas representatives, and according to Masun Denison, Director of Footwear at Adidas Golf, Johnson’s simple instructions played a significant role in their development. When asked what he wanted to be different about the new Tour360s versus the Tour360 Boost shoes that they replace, Johnson put the reigns on Denison.

“Don’t change them,” Johnson told Denison, according to both parties.

That’s certainly not the type of freedom the director of footwear, who’s tasked with bringing a new and better golf shoe to the market, wants to hear.

For Johnson, however, that sentiment is understandable. The man they call DJ rose to the top spot in the OWGR and captured the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont — his monkey-off-the-back major championship victory — while wearing Adidas’ Tour360 Boost shoes. So, of course, he feels comfortable with those shoes, and maybe there’s a bit of sentimental value to them, although he didn’t admit to it when I asked.

Actions speak louder than words, though. While I was sitting in a conference room with Denison discussing a pair of white Tour360 Boost shoes, Johnson walked by and his face lit up as he said, “I love those shoes.” Often a man of few words, his expression said more than he ever could. Surely Johnson has worn that shoe hundreds upon hundreds of times — countless hours on the course and practice range — and he still looks at the Tour360 Boost shoe with a glimmer in his eye.

D. Johnson hitting drivers off a green whilewearing the new Tour360 shoes during a commercial shoot

D. Johnson hits drivers off a green while wearing the new Tour360 shoes during an adidas commercial shoot.

“I don’t care if it’s the best shoe in the world, if it doesn’t look good, I ain’t wearing it.”

Johnson’s fondness for the Tour360 Boost left Denison, who’s in charge of bringing a new Tour360 shoe to the market, in a difficult position. When the world No. 1 golfer loves a golf shoe, it’s wise not to change too much for the new model, or else you risk him not wearing them in competition; that’s bad for business. Denison also can’t just leave the shoe alone and market it as a new shoe; that’s a bad look, and it does little to move the company and its athletes forward.

Push the envelope, but don’t change anything were essentially Denison’s instructions. Rock, meet hard place.

So, what’d Denison do? Well, he actually changed quite a lot (as we highlighted in our tech piece on the new Tour360 shoes). But in the end, he won Johnson’s favor with the new Tour360 golf shoes. The first time Johnson laced them up in competition was at the 2017 Northern Trust where he unleashed “the drive heard round the world” in a playoff against Jordan Spieth, ultimately making birdie to win the event. Not a bad way to kick things off with the new shoe, huh?

“I really like the [new] shoes, I think they’re great,” Johnson said. “Performance wise, looks. The sole is still the same, [Denison] made ’em a little lighter and a little softer. They just improved on the shoe from last year. I didn’t want them to change anything. They just improved pretty much on the shoe from last year.”

What kind of input did Johnson have other than “don’t change them,” though? Since they’re being touted as his signature shoes, surely he had more to say. And after a bit of prying, it turns out he did.

“We always have a couple meetings a year, an adi shoot,” Johnson explained. “Carve out some time where we sit down and talk about the product. Generally during shoots, I’ll wear the shoes. If I have feedback, I’ll give it to him.”

DustinJohnsonTour360

That story checks out. As Johnson walked off camera during an Adidas commercial shoot in Florida that I attended over the summer — after which he was firing 220-yard 6-irons that zoomed past a cameraman and at no target in particular — he walks up to Denison and says the laces on the new Tour360 shoes are too long. He said he likes to double knot the shoes, but he’d have to triple knot these to get the lace-length correct. Denison took a mental note of what the World No. 1 said, and they began discussing other parts of the shoe, all of which Johnson approved.

I later asked Denison how much he values the feedback of a Tour player, such as Dustin Johnson, and how often he really makes the changes they want.

“You know, they’re not shoe designers,” Denison says. “But they often have really good feedback that I’d never even think of. And ultimately, you want the player to be happy with the shoe and to wear the shoe. So I’d say, ‘sometimes.'”

According to Denison, Justin Rose’s sensitivity to shoe height is uncanny. Denison says if the shoe is a millimeter too high or too low, Rose calls it out. If you’ve seen Rose play golf, this doesn’t surprise you. He’s a tactician and a student of the game; certainly leading the wave of Trackman-obsessed golfers who dial in spin rates and launch angles.

Johnson, on the other hand, who says he hits a 4-iron 220 yards left-handed, seems to just… well, play golf. With that being the case, what’s his approach to providing feedback on a shoe? What’s he looking for?

“For me, if I don’t feel like I look good and I don’t feel like my shoes look good, then I might as well not even go to the golf course,” Johnson says. “I’m not gonna be comfortable, so I’m not gonna enjoy myself for the day.

“Looks are the first thing I look at. I don’t care if it’s the best shoe in the world. If it doesn’t look good, I ain’t wearing it. It’s simple for me. It could be the best performing shoe, make you hit it five yards farther or something. I’m still not gonna wear it if I don’t like the way it looks. It’s simple.”

When you’re the World No. 1, who’s also No. 2 in overall driving distance (hitting the ball 314 yards on average), I guess five yards doesn’t matter much anyway.

Since Johnson himself focuses mostly on looks with a shoe, and these are “his” shoes, let’s discuss the looks.

The new Tour360 shoes don’t look much like Tour360s of yesteryear. They look cleaner, classier, more premium with additional leather, and simply less sporty in general. Dare I say, they look more like adidas’ line of AdiPure golf shoes. Well, that’s by design.

“The new shoes combine a classic look with modern technology that have a more wide-ranging appeal,” says Denison. “[The new Tour360 shoes] close the gap between Tour360 and AdiPure; they’re less techy and more classy than ever.”

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You may also notice two of the signature designs of Tour360 shoes are gone from its new release: the “bowling shoe” dual seams on the toe, and the S-Curve in the heel. After working with Tour360 shoes for about 10 years, Dension himself struggled to think of a Tour360 shoe with a clean toe box (re: minus the “bowling shoe” look). This is the first Tour360 with no seams on the toe in Denison’s recent memory, and it’s a change that he feels will bring the shoes a more wide-ranging appeal.

“Let’s put it this way,” Denison says. “No one isn’t going to buy the shoe because it has a clean toe, but plenty of people wouldn’t buy the shoe if the toe wasn’t clean.”

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The same goes for the exclusion of the S-curve, according to Denison. He feels that going to a more standard heel shape will not put off any golfers, and the new heel design will do more to appeal to every golfer.

Despite aesthetic changes to the heel and toe, the new Tour360 shoe is largely unchanged from a performance standpoint. The new Tour360 wrap, made of TPU (thermoplastic urethane), has been raised slightly for more stability, but the shoes still leverage adidas’ popular Boost technology. The bridge, or “Torsion Tunnel,” that bridged the heel and toe portions of the Tour360 Boost soles for more stability are also present in the new Tour360 designs.

For Dustin Johnson, whose shoe philosophy starts with looks, the changes in the new Tour360 shoes make perfect sense; they perform about the same as the Tour360 Boost shoes, which he loved, and they look cleaner with all new colorways.

“The shoe’s good, I cant really feel any difference,” Johnson said. “Only thing that’s different is the toe is cleaner.”

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For Masun Denison, who was tasked with designing a whole new shoe without actually changing anything, the changes also make perfect sense. He widened the mass appeal, cleaned up the looks, and most importantly, he made a shoe DJ could start winning golf tournaments with immediately. And that’s exactly what happened.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new Tour360 shoes

Note: Adidas Golf’s new Tour360 shoes are available now in three introductory colorways (White/Black, Black/White and White/Blue) and they sell for $200. According to Adidas, additional colorways will be released in 2018.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Weesul

    Oct 3, 2017 at 1:48 am

    I love them. They make me feel and look like a golffing athlete. Kaboom!!!!

  2. lsf_21

    Oct 2, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    I just purchased a pair of last years tour 360 boost that have a leather heel. Hoping that it dosent blow out like my previous boost golf shoes. They tour 360 boost are the best golf shoes I have ever worn.

  3. rymail00

    Oct 2, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    I miss the older classy looking original Adipure, or the newer (but still few years old) Adidas Pure 360 LTD shoes. I’ve boughten a pair each of the last 2 seasons, and still “I think” the best looking and it’s extremely comfortable shoe they’ve made since.

  4. Gregory M Platupe

    Oct 2, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    I’m so happy to see this new design. My favorite pair is the original adipure shoe from about 5 years ago.i haven’t like the newer shoes cause of the double seams . I’ll be buying these

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 1:50 am

      We’re so happy that you’re so happy. After you buy and try them give us a review of this new design.

  5. Duh

    Oct 2, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    So why doesn’t he wear the Pure version from before?

  6. Steve

    Oct 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I still prefer the traditional dress-style leather shoe with a flat sole and the spikes screwed in a tad rather than flush with the sole.
    I can even wear these shoes with a regular suit at a formal occasion …. after screwing out the spikes of course.

  7. Grizz

    Oct 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    These shoes are horrible. Wore them for 1 round and tore my feet up. Yes, they are the right size. For a shoe that claims right of the box comfort… they’ve got another thing coming.

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 1:52 am

      Sue them for abusing your feet with a rotten design. Get a good lawyer and you will win $$$$$$$$

  8. JEC

    Oct 2, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I hope the inside of the heels don’t wear out on these like the last gen…..

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 1:57 am

      Perhaps your ‘heel’ is misshapen….. or maybe yer digging in too hard with your heels. You gotta float like a butterfly and swing like in a barrel.

  9. chinchbugs

    Oct 2, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I don’t buy new shoes with someone else’s fingerprints on them…

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 1:59 am

      Wonder if toes have distinct ‘toeprints’…. like fingers do ….

  10. TBone

    Oct 2, 2017 at 10:50 am

    This has always been one of my favorite course shoes.

    I like to practice in spike-less and wear spikes on the course.

    • Weesul

      Oct 3, 2017 at 2:00 am

      Sam Snead played a practice round barefooted…. so the story goes …..

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Equipment

Everything you need to know about TaylorMade’s new GAPR Lo, Mid and Hi clubs

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The Golden Years of wood-style hybrids and hybrid innovation in the marketplace are over, Tomo Bystedt, the Senior Director of Product Creation for TaylorMade, told GolfWRX.

Based on data collected from the company’s myRoundPro app and TrackMan data from its fitting facility, called “The Kingdom,” Bystedt says TaylorMade has found that most golfers are “not very good” with irons higher than a 5-iron, and while some hit the 3 wood very well, they struggle with 5/7/9 woods and hybrid-style clubs. Bystedt also acknowledges that Tour players have moved away from hybrid-style golf clubs as we know them, and into driving-iron-style clubs instead; they provide better control and offer greater distance in certain conditions, he says.

So, golfers of all skill levels need to fill the gap between a 5-iron and a 3-wood, and thus, TaylorMade has designed a new family of golf clubs called GAPR, pronounced “gapper.”

The family consists of a GAPR Lo, a GAPR Mid and a GAPR Hi. The clubs are made with C300 faces and 450 stainless steel bodies, with the company’s familiar SpeedFoam between the faces and bodies for durability of the face and to improve overall sound and feel due to the vibration dampening qualities of the foam. They also have “blind slots,” according to Bystedt, or in other words, speed slots on their soles that are not bore-thru slots. Each of the GAPR irons have adjustable loft sleeves, as well.

TaylorMade’s new GAPR clubs will be available on August 24 and sell for $250 apiece with stock KBS graphite shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips. More specs and info on each of the offerings below.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about GAPR irons in our forums.

GAPR Lo

We’ve spotted Tiger Woods testing a GAPR Lo at Carnoustie, and Bystedt says other big name pros including Dustin Johnson are testing it, as well. There are a few GAPR Lo irons that have a fixed hosel that are floating around in Tour bags, but the retail versions have an adjustable hosel.

The GAPR Lo irons have a weight port (filled with either steel or tungsten weights) placed in the back for head weight purposes and are not interchangeable weights by the user. The head shape of the GAPR Lo is slightly bigger than the P-790 UDI clubs, according to Bystedt, and more similar to the Tour Preferred UDI. That’s because player feedback suggested the P-790 UDI was a bit too small, and players wanted a slightly bigger size.

Retail offerings of the GAPR Lo will include 17, 19 and 22 degree options, ranging from 40.25 inches to 39.25 inches, respectively.

GAPR Mid

The GAPR Mid iron has a bigger profile than the GAPR Lo, and has CG (center of gravity) lower in the club head for higher launch and more forgiveness. The weight port is on the sole of the club, as opposed to the back cavity as seen on the GAPR Lo iron. The soles are also wider, making these more playable for players from the turf.

The GAPR Mid irons are offered in 18, 21 and 24 degree lofts, ranging from 40.25 to 39.25 inches, respectively.

GAPR Hi

TaylorMade’s GAPR Hi irons have an even bigger profile and wider soles than the GAPR Mid irons, and the CG is lower and deeper for an even higher launch and greater forgiveness. The shaping of the club is like the child of a driving iron and a wood-style hybrid; according to a TaylorMade press release, it “features modern Rescue shaping with a high-toe, peanut shaped clubhead.” It also has bulge and roll on the face to help with off-center hits. Additionally, the SpeedFoam in the GAPR Hi is slightly less dense than the rest of the offerings, according to Bystedt, because the density of the original foam was raising CG and deadening sound too much; he calls it “SpeedFoam lite” in the GAPR Hi.

The GAPR Hi is offered in 19, 22, 25 and 28 degree lofts, ranging from 40.75 inches to 39.25 inches, respectively.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about GAPR irons in our forums.

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Hand-painted Callaway Create headcovers are now up for auction

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As part of its Callaway Create platform, Callaway teamed up with artists from around the globe to produce 32 hand-painted headcovers. The headcovers are each hand-stitched and weather-proofed by Seamus Golf in Portland, Oregon.

Below are a few examples, but check out the website here to see all of the designs.

Each of the 32 headcovers are individually named by the authors, given names such as “Banana Slice,” “Cartpool Karaoke” and “Freaky Fourball,” among other creative, golf-related names.

The headcovers are now available at auction, and the proceeds will serve to benefit Bunkers in Baghdad. Here is more information about the organization, as per the Callaway website:

All auction proceeds go to Bunkers in Baghdad, an organization dedicated to sending new and used golf balls, clubs, and equipment to our troops around the world, with a focus on the brave men and women currently serving in combat zones. Bunkers also supplies golf equipment to our vets and warriors around the country to aid in their recreation and rehabilitation.  It has collected and shipped 9 million golf balls and 700,000 golf clubs to our troops, vets and warriors in more than 65 countries around the world and all 50 states.

Click here to enter the auction, and click here to read more about Bunkers in Baghdad.

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Full details on Ping’s new i500 and i210 irons, and Glide Forged wedges

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In recent weeks, we’ve spotted a number of different Ping irons and wedges. We saw Tony Finau testing an i500 driving iron, we saw Bubba Watson using Glide Forged wedges, and we also spotted photos of a new i210 iron. The problem was, Ping wasn’t giving up any information on the new clubs, so we didn’t know when or if they’d would be released to the public, or what was different about the new products.

Now, we have all of the info on the Ping i500 and i210 irons, and the Ping Glide Forged wedges. We were lucky enough to have Marty Jertson, Director of Product Development at Ping and a recent 2018 PGA Championship qualifier, on our Two Guys Talking Golf (TG2) podcast to explain the designs and technology for the three different product releases. Snippets from the full podcast are embedded below. Additionally, we provide all of the necessary spec and pricing information.

All of the products are now available for custom fitting or pre-order at authorized Ping shops around the United States.

Click here for comparison photos against PXG, Artisan and P-790 clubs.

Ping i500 irons

The Ping i500 is actually quite similar to the G700 iron, which also has a hollow-body construction, but yet the i500 has a sleeker-shaped profile. The i500 irons are built with C300 maraging steel faces and 17-4 stainless steel bodies; Ping says this design increases ball speed, lowers spin and creates higher-flying shots.

Available in 3-PW and UW, the Ping i500 irons will sell for $175 per club with a steel shaft and $190 per club with a graphite shaft. Stock steel shafts will be the True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 (R300, S300), stock graphite shafts will be the UST Mamiya Recoil ES SMAC (760A, 780R, 780S), and a number of aftermarket shafts are also available at no upcharge. The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet (Blue -1/16 inches, Red -1/32 inches, Aqua -1/64 inches, White Std., Gold +1/32 inches, Orange +1/16 inches).

In-hand photos of the new Ping i500 irons

Ping i210 irons

Replacing the i200 irons, the new i210 irons are made from 431 stainless steel, and they have a larger and softer elastomer insert. The bigger insert is said to not only increase perimeter weighting for greater forgiveness, but also to help fine-tune swing weight and create an overall softer feel. The shaping of the irons have also been refined, according to Ping.

Available in 3-PW and UW, the Ping i210 irons will sell for $137.50 per iron with a steel shaft, and $152.50 per iron with a graphite shaft. The stock steel offering is a True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 (S300, X100), the graphite offering is an Alta CB (Soft R, Regular, Stiff), and there are a number of aftermarket options with no upcharge.

In-hand photos of the new Ping i210 irons

Ping Glide Forged wedges

Forged from 8620 carbon steel, the new Ping Glide Forged wedges have a “sleek, high-spinning blade-style design with a soft, pleasing feel,” according to a Ping press release. They’re the product of Louis Oosthuizen, Stan Utley and Todd Anderson working with Ping Engineers to develop a wedge with greater feel and versatility, says Ping. Like the Glide 2.0 wedges, the new Glide Forged wedges have wheel-cut grooves, which have a sharp edge radius to increase friction for more spin and trajectory control.

The new Glide Forged wedges are also customizable with different graphics, stamping and paint fills, which are highlighted below.

  • Graphic Options: Mr. PING logo, American flag, Arizona desert scene, Boomerang
  • Stamping Options: 1) Up to three characters (A-Z, 0-9) in one of three locations (toe, center or heel); 2) Two characters applied in scattered fashion; 3) Mr. PING logo scattered.
  • Paint-fill options: Black, Gold, Brown, Orange, Purple, Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, White, Silver, Maroon

Check out ping.com/glideforgedcustom to design your wedges.

Ping’s new Glide Forged wedges are available in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degree lofts, and they will sell for $217.50 per wedge with a steel shaft and $232.50 per wedge with a graphite shaft. The stock steel shaft will be a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300, the graphite shaft will be an Alta CB (Soft R, Regular, Stiff), and there are more aftermarket shafts available at no upcharge.

Listen to the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

In-hand photos of the new Ping Glide Forged wedges.

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