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Spotted: Two new Toulon prototypes, PDX and Memphis

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On Monday at the 2017 Wyndham Championship, we spotted a new Toulon “PDX Proto” putter on the putting green at Sedgefield CC. Then, on Tuesday, the company unveiled a Memphis prototype that displayed a flow neck, which differs from the hosel design featured in the stock model.

Will these putters make it to the market, or are they Tour-only prototypes? Here’s what Toulon has to say:

“Toulon Design has been a popular choice on Tour this year, and we’re constantly testing prototype models with Tour Pros to get their feedback,” said the company in a statement. “These are prototype putters, and working with them will help give us insight from a player’s perspective.”

PDX Proto

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the PDX Proto

Memphis Proto

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Memphis Proto

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1 Comment

  1. peter collins

    Aug 20, 2017 at 4:38 am

    I am trying to find a Odyssey Black Series i #7 Putter (2008) anyone have one to sell please.

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Equipment

From a Fitter: Everything you need to know about wedge shafts

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This is such a dark corner of the golf industry that I truly believe needs a lot of work. Hopefully, this article can shed some light on wedge shafts for you.

I will mention some standards, explain some of my experience, and hopefully, help you make some good choices.

Linking back to the first article on aspects of a wedge that I target when fitting, I place a lot of weight on the style, bounce, grind, and loft/lie/length to get my wedge fitting started. As we move into shaft options, I look at crossing T’s and dotting I’s to ensure a player enjoys their new wedge setup.

We carry a bunch of shaft options built into different heads. As yet we do not have a consistent way to swap shafts in wedges during a session that still allows them to play at a reasonable swing weight and perform as we would like. Moving forward, I will be looking to explore this area to see if we can deliver better service and experience.

Generic standards for wedge shaft setup

  • Dynamic Gold “wedge flex”
  • Matching exactly the same shaft in your irons to your wedges
  • A slightly heavier shaft in your wedges
  • Putting an 8-iron shaft in your wedges
  • Using a wedge-specific shaft

During an iron fitting, we see a lot of variables in flight and feel, this is mainly because we use 6-irons as our demo clubs. When clients are hitting 6-iron shots, they are often looking for max carry, flight, and shot-shaping ability. This leads to hitting a lot of full swings and placing the shaft under a decent amount of load, therefore, we see some notable changes when we swap shafts. This will not show up as drastically in wedges as we are not always trying to hit the full shot. 

As we get into wedge fitting, I discuss with my clients in-depth what they use each wedge for, how far they hit them, what is the most common shot they play, what are the most common bad shots, how does the ball react on the green and what shots do they feel they need in the bag. Basically, trying to get a good overview of their game in a short period. In very few cases do players mention the ‘full shot’ lets them down? Often players say they are more comfortable hitting “softer shots” or 3/4 swings, this gives them the flight/shot that they require on a regular basis and the niche shots and consistency lets them down.

Logic here says to me, you probably do not want exactly the same shaft in the irons all the way down to the lob wedge when you are hitting soft shots 95 percent of the time. When I look at shaft specs, I am trying to build a shaft that can easily put up with the stress of a full shot and handle a softer shot without feeling blunt (for all clubs in the bag).

When I merge this process into wedges, the only wedge a “matching iron” shaft seems to be applicable (for the majority) is the gap wedge or the wedge that is predominantly a full-swing club. This is the club you hit full and maybe knock-down shots with, but you’re rarely trying to hit “flicky” spinning shots. (Those shots are why you also have a sand and/or lob wedge in the bag).

It would then make sense that if you are rarely hitting any full shots with your sand wedge or lob wedge, you probably want a softer golf shaft in those (as they are not trying to put up with your “flat out” swing), still ensuring the shaft does not feel ‘blunt’ or hard work to play around the greens with.

This is not a one size fits all theory, but I think a lot of players would have success even thinking about their wedge shaft layout in this way.

As an example: Personally, I am playing True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue 120g X100 flex iron shafts. I hit a lot of full shots with my 50 and 54, so I have chosen to play the DG 120TI X100 shaft exactly the same way in those two clubs. My 60-degree however, I rarely hit the full shot, so I feel need it a little softer in stiffness, but I need the weight to get my tempo correct and to give me more control to hit lower shots. For this club, I play the Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue. I chose this shaft as the profile is very close to my iron shaft but it is 13g heavier and has a slightly softer tip section, which I feel gives me a little better response.

Please see the S3 shaft profile comparison below

(I am very lucky to have the S3 shaft data, it gives me an apples-to-apples comparison of shaft profiles and weights and make wedge shaft selection a lot easier).

I also wanted to capture some data to highlight the difference wedge shafts have as simply as possible. Below is a graph showing a PGA pro’s shot grouping with a few shaft options. His 6-iron speed is about 94mph, and he has a sharp back-swing to down-swing ratio. This would put him at the quick end of people I fit. This generally means the player enjoys stiffer shafts, stiff style profiles, high swingweight, high total/shaft weight (and again not in all cases).

He tested three shafts all in the same wedge head, with the same length, loft, and lie.

Please see the grouping below

The three shafts tested were: Nippon Modus 105 Wedge specific, Dynamic Gold Wedge flex and Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400.

In no way am I trying to demonstrate the DG S400 is the best shaft for wedges, but in this group of data all that shows up is, the stiffest profile, heaviest shaft (of the test group) gave the player the tightest grouping for his 55-degree wedge shot. His explanation was that he felt the club’s position in the swing better and the strike through the turf was much more consistent, producing more consistent land zones with the DG S400. This small test shows that the wedge shaft alone has an impact even for a skilled golfer.

There are however always exceptions to theories (especially in golf!)

When I have a player using, for example, C-Taper 130 X or Dynamic Gold X100 in their irons it is tough to find a profile that matches closely that is heavier and not any stiffer. In these cases, I tend to have them play the same shaft all the way down to their LW, but I try to increase swing weight and decrease FM in the niche shot wedges (SW and LW). This can just mean adding head weight to soften the shaft a little, or sometimes soft-stepping the product to get some ‘feel’ back. 

The key take-away points

  • Think about the shots you play with your wedges most and how hard you hit them
  • Think about linking your shafts to your irons, but they do not always have to match
  • Test options and measure: grouping, turf interaction and flight consistency
  • Try and break down if the ‘”feel” of stiffness or weight help or hinder you making a consistent swing/strike
  • Don’t just settle with the shaft the wedges come with… unless they match in with your setup!

Getting all the information in one article is always tough, and I hate generalizing, so feel free to shoot me some questions—I like to try to help and also hear your experience and ideas when I can!

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Equipment

2020 Scotty Cameron Special Select putters

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Scotty Cameron has been refining and defining putters for more than 25 years at Titleist, and to celebrate 2020, he’s releasing the new Scotty Cameron Special Select putter line to showcase timeless, tour-proven designs, crafted with impeccable attention detail.

2020-scotty-cameron-select-2

Putters are unique clubs because the great styles and classic shapes never go out of style, kind of like cars. Yes, we have seen a growth in larger geometry and technology packed designs, but the classics are classics for a reason, and they will continue to live on.

2020-scotty-cameron-select-5

The inspiration for the new Special Select putters came directly from combining Scotty Cameron’s most classic shapes with tweaks driven by tour player requests. When it comes to Cameron-designed putters, it’s never going to be about reinventing the wheel, it’s about taking a proven philosophy and refining the end product to perfection. That also means using the best materials, controlling the process start to finish, and milling from a solid block of 303 stainless steel in the USA.

2020-scotty-cameron-select-7

Each model in the Special Select putter line has been completely reworked, including Cameron’s classic Newport, Newport 2 and Newport 2.5 style blades. A newly refined Del Mar joins the new Fastback 1.5, Squareback 2, Flowback 5 and Flowback 5.5 mid-mallet models.

“With Special Select, I wanted to get back to the pure-milled shapes and faces that I’ve been crafting for tour players for over two decades now. We’ve brought those designs into the modern era with new setups, necks, faces, grips and weights. Every aspect of every putter has been redone. When it all came together, it was pretty special.” – Scotty Cameron

2020-scotty-cameron-select-16

The Performance Behind Special Select

Everything Scotty Cameron and Titleist is driven by the endless pursuit of creating the most high-performance products for the best players in the world and then bringing that technology and performance to dedicated golfers. The changes made to the new Special Select line to differentiate it from previous Cameron putters of the past are all tour inspired and include

  • Soft Tri-sole Design: Special Select blade models are milled with a tour-inspired soft tri-sole design. This self-soling feature promotes the putter sitting square to the target line at address. The key to this design feature is a slightly negative bounce sole that puts the putter in the correct position time after time.
  • New Balanced Weighting: Heel and toe positioned weights in the sole of Scotty Cameron putters are not new, in fact they have been around for more than a decade now in other select models, but like the rest of the Special Select series it’s about refinement not reinvention. These customizable weights assure that each putter is properly balanced based on putter length, and the golfer’s stroke. There are stock configurations but putters can be made lighter or heavier by request through custom order.
  • More photos of the Scotty Cameron Special Select putters in the forums.
  • See what WRXers are saying about the 2020 Cameron lineup. 

2020-scotty-cameron-select-16
The blade models all come fit with new tungsten sole weights that are heavier than previous steel ones. This allows for sleeker shapes with larger sweet spots. The mid-mallet putters use a stainless steel sole weights for optimal balance and weight distribution.

  • Refined Hosel Configurations: This is the true nitty gritty, to be sure every attribute of each model is perfect before being put in the hands of the golfer. The Newport and Newport 2 putters, for example, feature a slightly shorter plumbers neck for medium toe flow, with a newly-defined socket radius (where the hosel neck meets the top line) repositioned with onset to provide better visibility of the leading edge at address, allowing for easier alignment.

Scotty Cameron Special Select Models

As mentioned, there are eight models to choose from in the new Special Select line; three blade models and five mid-mallet options with a look and toe flow for any stroke.

  • Newport, Newport 2, Newport 2.5, Del Mar, Fastback 1.5, Squareback 2, Flowback 5, and Flowback 5.5.

Final Touches

Each Scotty Cameron Special Select putter comes stock with a new grey Pistolini Plus grip with distinctive white lettering. The new Pistolini Plus maintains the shape of the original Pistolini but with a slight build-up lower hand.

The Special Select line’s un-plated stainless steel heads are bead blasted for an easy-to-maintain glare-resistant look that won’t show wear like putters with traditional plating or applied finish. The signature red cavity dots have also been given a styling upgrade with each dot milled with a recessed channel, which is then polished and hand-painted with cherry red translucent paint.

Pricing and Availability

Special Select putters will be priced at $399 and will be available Jan. 24 in North America and March 27 worldwide through Titleist authorized golf shops.

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Tour Edge launch new ultra-high MOI Wingman putter series

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Tour Edge has introduced its new Wingman Putters featuring extreme-MOI, mini-mallet designs, lock-on alignment, and interchangeable weights.

The three new additions in the Wingman family contain weighted wings designed to promote the face square to the swing path for a true roll, while the Lock-On alignment technology aims to allow the lie angle to be set perfectly square at address, further aiding overall alignment.

tour-edge-exoitcs-wingman-putter-3

The interchangeable weights on the Wingman putters come in 3, 8 and 15 grams, with the 3-gram weight being the standard option. The putters come with a separate interchangeable weight kit including two 8-gram weights and two 15-gram weights giving golfers the option of adding or subtracting more overall weight to the heel and toe of the clubhead to obtain their preferred feel.

The standard head weight of the Wingman putters is 355 grams, while nine different possible weight combinations and six different head weights can be achieved through the brand’s weighting system. A maximum head weight of 379 grams is possible on the new Tour Edge putters, with more weight on the heel aimed to aid players who often leave the toe open on their stroke, and more weight on the toe aimed at those with a tendency to pull their putts.

tour-edge-exoitcs-wingman-putter-1

According to the company, the putters feature one of the highest Moment of Inertia (MOI) ratings of any putter available on the market, which helps to protect against twisting.

Speaking on the new Wingman putter series, Tour Edge President and Master Club Designer David Glod stated

“This is our first ultra-premium Exotics putter in some time and it features some really cool tech. We took two years in R&D with extensive testing to come up with the perfect design that will allow Tour Edge to offer extreme tour-quality performance on the green, while offering more features and benefits than that of extreme MOI putters that cost twice as much.”

The putters contain a face insert made from a Surlyn that has been fine-tuned in order to find the optimal durometer hardness rating that determines the sound and feel of the face, while the face features MicroGroove technology.

Microgroove technology is designed to promote a soft and pure feel upon contact, with the horizontal grooves engineered to improve forward roll earlier in the putt while reducing skid off the face to create a better roll.

A Carbon Fiber sole plate on the bottom of the Wingman putters allows weight to be redistributed to the sides and back of the clubhead in a bid to help increase the MOI and it also acts as an internal structure designed to further improve sound and feel.

Wingman-01

2020 Tour Edge Wingman putters

The Wingman-01 features a Mid-Toe-Hang (30°) that is aimed at those with a putting stroke with a slight arc.

Per Tour Edge, the Wingman-01 provides the ability to use the same stroke as a blade, and it also offers the off-center-hit forgiveness of an oversized mallet due to its extreme MOI properties.

Wingman-02

2020 Tour Edge Wingman putters

The Face-Balanced Wingman-02 model is designed for a pendulum straight back, straight through putting stroke with the face of the putter rotating less during the putting stroke.

Per Tour Edge, the true square back to square through stroke creates a consistent blocking motion in the stroke, making it harder to putt off-line, even on mishits away from the center of the face.

Wingman-03

2020 Tour Edge Wingman putters

The Wingman-03 Center-Shafted putter comes with a single white alignment line and aims to provide an alignment oriented Face-Balanced putter that promotes a more stable stroke that is easier to keep from drifting right or left when hitting straight through the ball.

Per Tour Edge, due to equal amounts of weight in the heel and toe, this type of club suits a player who keeps his eyes directly above the ball and takes the club straight back and swings straight through the ball.

The stock shaft of the Wingman series is the KBS CT Tour putter shaft, the first shaft KBS has manufactured for a putter and features a black PVD paint job. The stepless steel-putter contains a stiffer structure throughout the shaft and specifically in the tip – designed to provide added stability. The firmer profile aims to allow the putter to feel easier to control and deliver better head awareness.

The putters come equipped with a jumbo Wingman branded Sink Fit Straight grip, and the flat-sticks arrive with three hosel options – the Wingman-01/Toe-Hang hosel, Wingman-02/ Face-Balanced and Wingman-03/Center-Shafted model. All models are available in 33”, 34” and 35” in RH only.

The Exotics Wingman putters are available to purchase from April 1, 2020, and cost $199.99 each.

 

 

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