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(Update 9/17): PXG Founder Sues TaylorMade for Patent Infringement

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Update 9/17 at 5 p.m.

On Friday, Judge John J. Tuchi denied PXG’s request for a TRO (temporary restraining order) against TaylorMade P-790 irons. A TaylorMade representative released the following statement on behalf of the company:

“While TaylorMade respects the intellectual property rights of others, we will always defend ourselves vigorously when someone falsely accuses us of infringement. Our victory in court today re-affirms our confidence in our products and technologies, and reinforces the excitement and momentum we are experiencing with our P790 irons to date.

“P790 is a TaylorMade owned, game-changing product that delivers superior performance benefits to golfers through its key innovations.  When you have an iron like P790 that also has Tour player adoption and golfers of all skill levels testing, experiencing distance gains and placing orders, others have no choice but to attempt to slow down our momentum. We fully anticipate a strong reception at retail this weekend and are already increasing our forecast to accommodate greater than anticipated demand.”

A hearing on PXG’s appeal for a preliminary injunction against TaylorMade is set for November 14.

——

PXG Founder Bob Parsons said in a Tweet that he’s sued TaylorMade for patent infringement related to its new P-790 irons.

TaylorMade’s P-790 irons are due in stores on September 15 in the U.S. They use a hollow construction that’s filled with a material TaylorMade calls “SpeedFoam.” It supports the thin, forged clubs faces used in the irons the help improve distance and accuracy. The material also helps quiet vibrations to improve the sound and feel of the irons.

TaylorMade_P790_Feat-1021x580

Tech Story: Learn more about TaylorMade’s P-790 irons 

PXG’s 0311 iron series also uses a hollow-body construction. The forged club heads are filled with a TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) material that serves the same purpose as TaylorMade’s SpeedFoam.

To get a handle on the lawsuit, we spoke to Rob Van Arnam and Mike Sajovec, two patent attorneys from the law firm Williams Mullen. They explained that, in sum, PXG is claiming that its design for a better-performing iron is accomplished by the clubs having an expanded sweet spot, an ultra-thin club face, and an elastic material injected into the hollow-bodied club head. The claims of PXG’s patents are generally alleged to cover any golf club that includes a hollow portion filled with an elastomeric polymer, a first weight portion at a “top-and-toe transition region”, and a second weight portion located below a horizontal midplane of the golf club head with the first weight portion having a mass less than the second portion.

Thus, in layman’s terms, the patents attempt to cover the PXG club head with a polymer/rubber insert with the four weights near the toe and the seven weights on the back face of the club head closer to the sole of the club head. The eight patents asserted by PXG are related and are part of PXG’s portfolio of patents.

PXG-Irons

Related: What makes PXG irons and wedges so different?

We also asked them why they thought this case was filed.

“It is not surprising that PXG filed suit to protect its technology and PXG irons, as they appear to be the lifeblood of Bob Parson’s company,” Van Arnam said. “PXG will likely portray itself as an innovator and that TaylorMade is merely trading off PXG’s technology and success.”

We asked about the defenses TaylorMade will raise.  

“TaylorMade will likely counter that golf club heads for years have had hollow cavities with polymers or foams and have come with weights,” Sajovec said. “Thus, nothing that PXG is doing is new; it only looks better. TaylorMade will also focus on the different design of its weights, while PXG will allege that because TaylorMade utilizes two sets of weight, those weights are equivalent to the weights in the PXG patents claims. TaylorMade will counter that although PXG patents may be valid, the claims do not cover the TaylorMade design, particularly the placement of the weights.”

So what will happen first, how will the case proceed, and how long will it last?  

“PXG has already asked for a TRO (temporary restraining order) and a preliminary injunction to stop TaylorMade from making and selling its P-790 clubs while the case is pending,” Van Arnam said. “So there will be an intense few months to decide that motion. Because of the extraordinary relief injunctions offer, that may be an uphill battle. At the same time, we would expect TaylorMade will seek to stay the case and to challenge it with an Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceeding in the patent office, seeking a reexamination and invalidation of the patents.”

Sajovec added that IPRs are a common litigation challenge in patent cases and that “a quick look at the prosecution history of several of the PXG patents gives the impression that the patent examiner may not have fully appreciated the prior art cited during prosecution.”

“As a result of those actions and barring any early resolution, the case could last for 2-3 years or more,” Van Arnam said. 

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81 Comments

81 Comments

  1. SK

    Nov 5, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    These things are not golf clubs; they are just expensive toys for wannabes and gearheads who have more money than brains or ability.
    It’s such a scam but as Harvey Penick said on page 74 of his Little Red Book “Golfers are gullible.”.
    This fraudulent ‘over-engineering’ of golf club heads is comical and pathetic for the intended use. It’s a marketing scam and gullible golfers are taken for a futile ride.

  2. Jerry

    Nov 5, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    The reality is that TM did copy PXG.

    Question is whether it’s a legal copying.

  3. Todd

    Sep 21, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    PXGs Tag Line: NOBODY MAKES GOLF CLUBS THE WAY WE DO. PERIOD. Well apparently someone does for a lot less money, and they did it along time before PXG was around. Kinda takes the air outta their exaggerated clubs.

  4. TMAG...how many irons on their site at this moment?

    Sep 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    No offense to TMAG, but why not come out with something better? I don’t know how close they are or specifics of patent PXG holds on their iron head design, but it does seem like a complete “we will make a set just like theirs; just half the price” and will be on sale rack half that price 3 months later.

  5. Engineer Bob

    Sep 17, 2017 at 2:30 am

    TM P-790 and PXG 0311 fake forged scam exposed on GolfWRX!
    Only the thin face plate is nominally ‘forged’ while the rest of the club body is cast SS.
    The two pieces are welded together to form the hollow cavity filled with foam or gel.
    They’re like 90% cast steel body and 10% forged plate. Wotta scam and the gearheads just lap it up without complaining.

    • Craig

      Sep 17, 2017 at 2:41 am

      It is well known this is how PXG clubs are mean, not sure I understand your point. No one thought they were blades.

      • AllanB

        Sep 17, 2017 at 12:01 pm

        Both clubs have the word “forged” stamped on them which would lead you to believe they are 100% forged. Cast SS is cheap and the thin so-called ‘forged’ face plate is cheap too.
        So why the high prices for these cheap to manufacture clubs? It’s a scam.

        • SoloGolfer

          Sep 20, 2017 at 6:04 pm

          Fake fake fake fake (forged)
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R48KMbOOR-A

          • MN

            Sep 24, 2017 at 1:20 am

            Lol, it does say forged. But it didn’t say 100% forged, so that doesn’t mean its not. Get over it.

            • SG

              Sep 25, 2017 at 2:11 am

              So you just believe whatever the OEMs tell you about their cooked up products…. because you love the status of owning OEM clubs.
              People like you are the proverbial “a sucker born every minute”.

        • Thomas A

          Sep 29, 2017 at 9:13 am

          You would believe that if you believed everything you read. Seems like in the specs they call out the manufacturing process and materials, so they’re not hiding anything. It’d probably blow your mind if I told you that the pumpkin in pumpkin pie is actually squash. Semantics.

  6. Gbx

    Sep 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    The day I wanted to buy pxg clubs was the day I realized I must be having a midlife crisis.

    • Nick

      Sep 18, 2017 at 2:15 am

      …. or you wanted skrews in your head …..!

    • Looks like a point for PXG

      Sep 21, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      Whether other OEM’s have tried in the past, it’s working for PXG now. Ironically “the biggest name in golf” made an attempt to make a very similar club to satisfy those with PXG price issues. TMAG hould have tried to build something better, but I guess all Ping engineers are happy at PXG. They will be on the sale rack just like the rest of TMAG’s equipment.

  7. John Agel

    Sep 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    This is ridiculous absolutely ridiculous. This is not new technology in any way shape or form and actually I believe it was Tailor-Made in the 90s with their Burner series that first came out with cavity clubs that were foam filled this is… just childishness.

  8. Jimmy O

    Sep 16, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Patent trolls might have a field day with this. Nickent had the ARC blades about a decade ago and were filled with elastomer. If they had a patent, the material used might not have been limited to just elastomer. Yonex had their a blade irons filled as well… Should be an interesting few years of suits and counter suits.

  9. Freddie

    Sep 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    If TM has prior art work, or has produced a club similar prior to the PXG patent, they are good to go. Public disclosure trumps a patent. In other words if you patent something that has already been done, your patent is useless.

  10. Jacked_Loft

    Sep 16, 2017 at 4:14 am

    TM probably knew that this was going to happen when they first started working on the 790s on the drawing board. I’m sure that their legal beagles did the due diligence before the release and know that PXG hasn’t a chance in hell to sue them.

  11. allanaj

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    ”The GolfWRX forums exist so golfers have access to the latest equipment releases, hottest discussions, real equipment reviews, best instruction, new technologies, and everything golf you can imagine. So if you love golf, the GolfWRX forums are your sanctuary.”
    ———————
    Okay, now tell us if the TM P-790 and PXG 0311 irons are FULLY forged, or are they only face-plate forged and the rest of the body is a SS casting with the parts welded together.

  12. dcorun

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    I like my 2017 M2 driver but, not a total TM club fan. Should be fun watching this for awhile before something else comes along to distract us. 🙂

  13. peter collins

    Sep 15, 2017 at 11:59 am

    PXG will win the day pay up TM

  14. BigBoy

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:59 am

    They’re both sh*t clubs.

  15. Kevin

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:46 am

    In baseball terms, they would both be considered cheaters for “juicing the bats”

  16. Tblack

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I have had some dealings with PXG they are very arrogant, hope TM Clobbers them

  17. Golfr42 PA

    Sep 15, 2017 at 9:05 am

    End of the day, how it will play out is that TM has the attorneys on payroll and can tie it up in litigation so long that BOTH companies will have moved on to the new “bigger and better” (or should I say “longer and more forgey feeling”) thing three times before PXG decides they can’t afford to pursue it further. Another possible outcome is that TM pays PXG enough to get them to STFU and drop the suit.
    Either way you look at it, and if you are a fan of either, both or none of those companies, this should generate enough butt hurt on the forums to keep those of us who really don’t give a damn some entertainment watching folks self-destruct over it. Still better entertainment than the left vs right political vomit that’s been polluting the forums and social media recently.

  18. Jimmy Ray

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Am I the only one horrified that someone cut a $300 iron in half just for a money shot? I could have sold that baby on eBay!

    • Golfr42 PA

      Sep 15, 2017 at 9:07 am

      More than likely it was a QC reject that was butchered on its way to the scrap heap

  19. Judge mental

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:15 am

    PXG reinvent the wheel ,so watch out everyone !!!!!!

  20. Jack Nash

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Taylormade getting sued? Again? That’s why they bought out Adams. Hmmm slot technology. Then again, if we’re going for Style points I would imagine Mizuno and Titleist would have a beef against both these companies.

  21. Spitfisher

    Sep 15, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Looking at the picture at the top of article, looks like the iron on the right has better quality control…..don’t tell Bob he’ll sue his own manufacturing

  22. jack

    Sep 15, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Sticking to the subject, PXG has numerous patents including the injection of a polymer into the cavity of the club.

    http://patents.justia.com/assignee/parsons-xtreme-golf-llc

  23. Mike

    Sep 14, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Bob needs the money to continue to sponsor Paige Spirinac.

  24. AllanA

    Sep 14, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    I suspect TM and PXG have colluded with these publicity law suits to suck in the geerhead market to look at their clubs and create a desire to choose sides and form TM and PXG teams …. at exorbitant prices to join the teams and own cheap cast steel clubs with a thin ‘forged’ face-plate. Ya think?!!

  25. Bert

    Sep 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Better sue Yonex as well – what a joke.

  26. BO

    Sep 14, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I sue you
    You sue me
    Let’s all just sue
    That fella behind the tree !!!

  27. Blake

    Sep 14, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Thats rich coming from the guy who stole PING employees then created PING clubs with screws on the back.

  28. Chris B

    Sep 14, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I can’t see how they have a case, hollow irons have been around before and most will have had some hot melt put in at some stage. Foam is very different to a thermoplastic material.

    They all copy each other anyway.

  29. Jose Pro Se

    Sep 14, 2017 at 7:45 am

    TM will be fine. Parsons is about to get a very expensive lesson – just b/c you get a patent doesn’t mean you have an enforceable patent.

    Who wins? TM and PXG ATTORNEYS

  30. Mike Honcho

    Sep 14, 2017 at 7:38 am

    PXG. Pompous Xtreme Golf. Get over yourself Bob!

  31. Anthony Rowe

    Sep 14, 2017 at 1:17 am

    At the end of the where does it all end , most big brands , drivers have the same adjustable weights and shafts, and the other is people’s preferences and budget, PXG over $3000 for just a set of irons, so which clown at PXG can possibly be thinking about the market of golfer they are making for, at least taylormade, who is now probably the biggest supporter of golf, with products that a real golfer can afford, PXG want to tread lightly after alot of there staff are ex PING employees, PING might be next to sue PXG for copyrights?

  32. LLC

    Sep 14, 2017 at 1:04 am

    For TM:
    “…“SpeedFoam.” It supports the thin, forged clubs faces used in the (P-790) irons…”
    And for PXG:
    “…The forged (0311) club heads are filled with a TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) material…”
    ————–
    Thank you GolfWRX Staff for admitting that the PXG is fully forged and the TM is only face-forged ….. or is it?

    • Bert

      Sep 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      How would you forge a hollow club head? I thought forging was a stamping process from a solid piece of metal and cast was poured melted metal. Not sure how you could stamp a heated metal ingot into a hollow body. My bet is neither are really a forged club.

      • AllanA

        Sep 14, 2017 at 8:23 pm

        I suspect only the face-plates are forged and the rest of the club is cast SS with the forged face welded to the cast body.
        So where does the ‘forged feel’ come from; only from the face-plate or the entire body and in particular the hosel which transmits the impact feel to the shaft?
        I recall a blind test done with forged and cast steel clubs and most of the regular golfers couldn’t tell the difference on center hits. Perhaps forged heads help muffle the off-center hit shock.
        And perhaps the ‘feel’ difference only emerges in high speed pro swings where the forged hosel changes the feel sensation.
        Perhaps the myth of ‘forged’ is being exploited by TM and PXG…. and the gullible geerheads just imagine the feel differences. Of course OEMs can charge outlandish prices for clubs with fake forged lettering on the body.
        Perhaps it’s all a scam……….

      • Chris

        Sep 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm

        2-piece forged. Then welded together I guess, it forged a second time with the polymer sandwiched in.

        • allanaj

          Sep 15, 2017 at 8:47 pm

          You don’t know what you’re talking about. Stop guessing and ask GolfWRX to investigate and inform us.

  33. DaveT

    Sep 13, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    A couple of comments on the patent and legal issue, not the technology itself:

    (1) Since I started out as an engineer in 1962, the patent process has changed enormously. In order to handle the huge crush of applications in more recent years, as well as speed the issuance of a patent, the examiner does a lot less critical examination of the application. They (rightly IMHO) issue patents too easily, and let litigation decide which are important enough to investigate in detail. So the IPR request from TaylorMade is entirely appropriate, and it may invalidate the hollow, foam-filled part of PXG’s claim. And TM was doing screw weights and placement before almost anybody, IIRC. So only the specific configuration of PXG’s screws is likely to be patentable. I imagine that is not infringed by TM.

    (2) The really critical thing is not whether the patent is deemed valid or not; it is the injunction. The suit itself will take years to get to a decision. By then both companies will have different products and the decision will be moot. So the big thing commercially is whether or not the court will let TM sell their product while we wait for an answer. Yes? TM won, period. No? PXG won, period. The outcome of the trial itself doesn’t really matter.

  34. Mark Walgren

    Sep 13, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    PXG lol… what a joke.

  35. Dat

    Sep 13, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    PXG is a JOKE!

  36. Brian

    Sep 13, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Lol. PXG just sucks.

  37. tlmck

    Sep 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    TM just needs to tie this up in court for 6 months or so. By that time they will be releasing their new iron offerings that won’t sell either.

    • Anthony

      Sep 14, 2017 at 1:06 am

      6 months? have they changed their release times? More like 3-4 months lol…

  38. LITM

    Sep 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    You idiots don’t know much about patents

  39. Allen Rawlins

    Sep 13, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Back in the mid 90’s taylormade made an iron that had in the hollowed out cavity….. FOAM!!!!! Makes you wonder who is infringing on who??!!

    • Historian

      Sep 13, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      EXACTLY.

    • allanaj

      Sep 15, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      And the original TM Pittsburgh Persimmon hollow steel drivers were filled with foam… but only to support the sole, crown and face for the welding of the parts.

  40. Rich

    Sep 13, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    This takes it back to the Macgregor hollow back V foil irons and the old Wilson Staff Relex irons of many years ago. Heck tell us some Mfgs that have copied from a previous design !!!

    • Historian

      Sep 13, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      The Wilson Reflex iron is a great example of the slot in the sole technology. I’m not sure how Wilson can’t claim the technology – they had it in the late 1970’s. Has the patent expired?

      • JThunder

        Sep 14, 2017 at 4:18 am

        Design patents last 14 years in the US.

        Any patent PXG holds would have to be very specific to their design, since nothing they’re doing in general is new; forged. hollow, gunk-filled, weights…

        Bob Parsons clearly just has too much money and needs to find ways to spend it. A team of lawyers would drive 99% of the population into bankruptcy, but won’t even dent Bob’s ludicrous cash pile.

  41. UnclePhil

    Sep 13, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    @Bishop!! Well played, love that comment!

  42. OX

    Sep 13, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Will TM counter-sue and ask for costs? Then PXG drops their suit and TM will withdraw claim for costs. Then there will an ad campaign between PXG 0311 and TM P-790 ….. and the winner will be …… BOTH … ( and the club owning golfers will lose because they fell for the scam).

  43. Bob Jacobs

    Sep 13, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    This is like saying as a club maker that I will be suing every other club maker because they have irons made of metal, same as I do. Silly and p.s., I bought a set of PXGs and ZERO feel off the face.

  44. alan p

    Sep 13, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    now i know why these performed so well in the member testing.

  45. Scott

    Sep 13, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Taylor made had foam filled irons in the 1990s first well before pxg was even a pipe dream. Parsons will lose

  46. Boss

    Sep 13, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I’m going to sue PXG for making golf clubs that look like other golf clubs but are far too expensive and don’t perform as advertised!

    • john

      Sep 13, 2017 at 11:57 pm

      I have a set of 0311t’s and they perform as advertised. High quality irons that came with exactly the right lofts and lie angles as expected from a proper manufacturer (without every second club having tip weights, hey titleist). Taylormades I had before the 4 iron and 5 iron had the same loft. The only part advertised that you don’t agree with is the price. Should get a better job.

      • Willgolf

        Sep 14, 2017 at 7:30 am

        What do you mean by second clubs having tip weights?

        • Charlie

          Sep 14, 2017 at 5:41 pm

          Tip weights put into the hollow part of the shaft at the bottom where the head is connected…they add head weight so that you can get the desirable swing weight. With shafts that taper in length (4 iron 38.5″, half inch increments down to 35.25″ in wedges), you have to have corrasponding head weights to match the shaft length to get the clubs at the same swing weight. So, an example (though not completely accurate) would be because 4 iron is 38.5″ in length, the head weight needs to be a few grams lighter than the 5 iron headweight, which will be put into a 38″ shaft. If they head weights aren’t right you need to compensate by tip weighting the shafts (or adding lead tape) to get the appropriate swing weight. It doesn’t really make any difference but some people say it’s a testament to the quality and attention to detail.

      • craig

        Sep 15, 2017 at 9:11 am

        Every major OEM uses the tip weight system.
        I have pulled apart irons, hybrids, fairways, wedges, putters and drivers from all OEM,s and they all have some sort of tip weighting system.
        Because all clubheads, grips, shafts have tollerances up to 5-10 grams each then this practice is going to be the norm. If you have never pulled apart a golf club then you will never know.

        • Chris

          Sep 15, 2017 at 2:16 pm

          Not so for Miura, Epon, Vega, PXG. In general, the more high end JDM stuff never feature tip weights.

        • Bob Pegram

          Sep 15, 2017 at 4:30 pm

          Custom clubmakers will weight their heads and use the ones that get the right swingweight without added weights. They will also check lofts and lies, and adjust where necessary to get correct specs. That is the big adbantage of buying clubs from a custom clubmaker. They take the time to do it right.

  47. Bishop

    Sep 13, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    So, you’re saying that if I buy the 790’s now, I’m getting the 0311 irons for half price???

    • rymail00

      Sep 13, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      I ACCIDENTLY HIT REPORT COMMENT INSTEAD OF REPLY, THAT WAS AN ACCIDENT!!!!!

      HAHAHAHA, well said Bishop. I saw and hit the demo 7 iron at DSG. The pics on here make them look quite a bit bigger and more driver iron-ish. Definitely a great shape and size, nowhere near as big as I as expecting. Felt pretty good too, I preffered my AP2 for feel but could get used to them easily.

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Equipment

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mizuno’s new ST-180 driver

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Mizuno has recently released a new ST-180 driver that we spotted on Tour at the 2017 RSM Classic. The company’s “wave sole” technology makes an appearance for the first time in a Mizuno driver; the design is used to push weight low and forward to reduce spin rates, and the construction contracts and expands during impact to increase energy into the golf ball. The result is a lower-spinning driver, especially for those who hit down on the golf ball, and increased ball speeds across the face.

The ST-180 drivers have a new Forged SP700 Titanium face insert that allows the faces to be made thinner — saving weight from the face while increasing ball speeds — and they feature what the company calls a “Internal Waffle Crown” that saves weight to help shift CG (center of gravity) low and forward in the head.

There’s a slew of custom shafts available for no upcharge. The stock grip is Golf Pride’s M31 360, and the drivers are selling for $399.99, available in stores now.

Below is a collection of early feedback from GolfWRX members, and make sure to join the full discussion. See more photos of the ST-180 driver here.

Note: The posts below have been minimally edited for grammar and brevity.

GolfWRX Members comment on the new Mizuno ST-180 driver

TeeGolf: I’ve seen the ST180 driver [in person] and it looks like it sits perfectly square to me. And this is coming from someone who has been playing a Titleist driver set 1-degree open for the past 3 years. It doesn’t look closed at all. 

trhode: I’ve been playing the M2 all year. In comparison at address, the ST is very closed. I had 3 customers look at it yesterday too and they all had the same reaction: closed. That being said, I did play 18 on the simulator and hit some monster drives. The head, with the Raijin shaft, seems to be just a little lower spin than my TaylorMade M2. The blue finish doesn’t bother me either. 

akjell: Hit this yesterday at the Mizuno demo day yesterday at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, CA. Far from a hook machine but definitely a bomber. The Mizuno’s reps put me in a Mitsubishi Tensei White 70X and I could hit this this driver on a string possibly a bit better than my M1. Of the Mizuno drivers of late, this has to be the best one.

odshot68: Ordering it today. Was fit and played a round with it. Optimal launch and spin. Tensei Blue 70x at 9.5 degrees. This is definitely not left bias; first Mizzy driver ever.

nmorton: Hit this today and it’s going in the bag. Just a classic head shape that suits my eye. Been messing around with a number of drivers over the past year and haven’t singled one out. Last long term driver I had was the 850. The ST checks all of the boxes for me…looks great down by the ball, sounds solid and performs as good as any other. What really sold me was how well slight mis-hits performed. I had the 12.5 dialed down so it definitely sat open a bit. Didn’t hit the fairway but it looks sharp as well. 

evoviiiyou: Had a chance to test the driver with a couple shafts last night. The head is definitely deeper than the JPX900 and the footprint seems bigger from he set up position, very confidence inspiring like the JPX900 but a little improved. Finish and graphics are very similar to the 900 which is very nice if you like the satin Mizuno blue and I do love it just like the satin black I recently had done to my JPX driver and 3 metal. 

regiwstruk: My current gamer is a Titleist 917D3, and this is definitely replacing that. I used a JPX 900 from November 2016 through June 2017 — biggest differences are the sound and that the distance is up there with at least one of the leaders in the market. Anxious to see how it does on the course! 

Paul065: It is high launch, low spin yes but I wouldn’t say it was targeted at the average golfer. It’s basically their version of Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Rory used the Sub Zero. 

Tommyj: I went down to Carls yesterday specifically to look at the ST180. I’ve read some comments that the face looks closed. When I picked it up it was in the 10.5D position and did look slightly closed but then looked perfectly square at 9.5D and also square at 10.5D which seemed sort of odd. The shape is not for me, I had a Cobra F6 and while the ST180 footprint isn’t that big its still substantial. I like blue on drivers and the ST180 has a real quality look to it with the matte finish, having said that I’m not sure I’d want to be looking at that shade of blue all the time. The sound was an absolute killer for me, it was completely unexpected because I always associate Mizuno with being traditional and understated… ST180 launch was lower than G400 in the neutral setting, about the same when I lofted the Ping down.  ST180 was noticeably lower than D2. Longest driver of the three was G400, followed by ST180 then D2. For me the ST180 had the widest dispersion with G400 being the most accurate (by a wide margin).

Discussion: Read more comments about the ST-180 driver here

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Spotted: Justin Rose is testing a new TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” wedge

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On Twitter today, Justin Rose posted a photo of a never-before-seen TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” 60-degree wedge. As the name suggests, it appears the toe portion is raised; we’ve seen this high-toe design from other manufacturers, and the benefits of those designs included increasing face area on open-faced shots, and shifting CG (center of gravity) to where it’s more beneficial for wedge play (likely higher for more spin and a lower flight).

The wedge is also stamped with “MG” to suggest it’s a “milled grind” wedge, much like TaylorMade’s popular wedge line that’s in stores now. There also appears to be slots behind the face, likely to also shift CG to where it’s deemed more beneficial.

Talks of a TaylorMade wedge with a high-toe design were actually started by Dustin Johnson a few weeks ago in a press conference. His full comments on that wedge are above, and you can join the discussion about the wedge in our forums.

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GolfWRX Exclusive: Patton Kizzire speaks on first PGA Tour win, WITB, new 718 irons

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Patton Kizzire nabbed his maiden PGA Tour win at last week’s OHL Classic, outlasting a late charge from Rickie Fowler. He raised his first Trophy with a bag full of Titleist equipment and a Titleist ProV1x.

Following the event, our Andrew Tursky had a revealing chat with Patton about the win and the clubs he used to do it.

GolfWRX: When you’re leading down the stretch, are you leaderboard watching? Does a big name like Rickie Fowler chasing you have any effect on your mentality/gameplan?

Patton Kizzire: For most of the tournament, I try not to look at the leaderboard. I took a long look on 15…and I just wanted to make sure nobody was ahead of Rickie and closer to me, and I just went from there.

GolfWRX: Do you get defensive or less aggressive down the stretch? Are you aiming away from pins, or are you ‘head down, keep it going’?

PK: It’s all situational. On difficult holes, maybe [I] play a bit more conservatively. I certainly wasn’t willing to take any chances with a three-stroke lead. I was playing the percentages. I maybe didn’t hit the best shots of the tournament there toward the end. The beginning of the back nine — 12, 13, 14 — were not my best tee shots. But I certainly wasn’t trying to play defensive. I was trying to play aggressively to conservative targets.

GolfWRX: Were there a lot of nerves coming home down the stretch?

PK: It was a little nerve wracking, but it wasn’t my first time in contention. I was able to draw on some of my near-misses, especially the Safeway Open last year. I was in a very similar spot on the weekend on Sunday, and I didn’t get it done, but I was able to look back at that and learn a little bit.

GolfWRX: It looks like you don’t do a whole lot of switching. You’ve still got a 913 Hybrid in the bag and a putter that’s been in the bag for years, too. What does your testing process look like when Titleist comes out with new equipment?

PK: Titleist has been really consistent for me since I was 15…I’ve played Titleist equipment almost exclusively since I was 15 or so. Every year it seems they come out with something new, and I have so much trust in it. It’s a pretty seamless transition. I don’t switch much. I try to put the new irons in play, the new driver, the new woods.

But something like a hybrid, you kind of have a club you fall in love with over the years, and I’ve been a little bit hesitant to switch that. The new balls, the new woods, the new irons are pretty easy for me to get into. And the Vokey team…have done such a great job with wedges”

And I have to mention the putter. The Scotty Cameron GoLo putter has been in my bag for about five years. And I owe a lot of my success to putting.

GolfWRX: Do you ever look to switch out your putter, or do you just kind of love that one and it works for you?

PK: I’ve toyed around with other putters here and there, but I always go right back to the GoLo. For whatever reason, maybe because I’ve used it so long, it just seems like what a putter should be. I feel really comfortable with it. I always gravitate back to the GoLo.

GolfWRX: What makes the wedges a good fit for you?

PK: The way they go through the turf. I like to have a strong leading edge to go through the turf. And the lob wedge needs to perform well around the greens and in the bunker. I’ve really been hitting my bunker shots well with my new 60 degree. I have different versions of the same wedges. Aaron [Dill] does great work in the truck. He kind of tweaks it here and there for me, and they perform like expect them to.

GolfWRX: How often do you switch out wedges?

PK: I get a new 60 degree the most…every four or five tournaments. New 56 and 52 every six to eight tournaments. I try to keep that 60 degree sharp. If we get to a course with firm greens and my wedge doesn’t have the bite that I want it to have, I’ll definitely give the Titleist guys a call.

GolfWRX: What kind of grind do you have on that 60?

PK: We call it the “Dufner grind.” I saw Jason Dufner had one like that about a year ago, and I told Aaron, “I want one like that.” I don’t know what the grind is, but it’s really good for me. [Note: The grind is a modified K grind.]

GolfWRX: One last question… How do the 718 irons look and feel different than the 716 irons?

PK: They don’t look a whole lot different. They’ve been holding their flight better in the wind. I’m able to get the long irons up in the air a little bit. That’s something I look for, being able to control the trajectory. I kind of imagine the shots that I want to hit, and the 718s are coming out on the flight that I want them to.

The good folks in New Bedford, Massachusetts, were kind enough to furnish us with some details about Kizzire’s setup.

Titleist tells us Kizzire switched to from the 915D4 driver to the 917D3 the first week it was available at the Quicken Loans National last year. He switched to the 718 irons to start the 2017-18 season at the Safeway. After missing the cut at in Napa, he has finished T10 (Sanderson Farms), 4th (Shriners Hospitals Open for Children) and then won the OHL Classic.

Titleist Tour Rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck had this to say about working with Kizzire.

“Patton likes traditional look throughout his bag but needs vertical help with his angle of attack.  A 10.5 degree 917D3 helps him with launch but still controls his swing.  The shaft is based on a platform he had success with us early in his career and he really loves the feel.”

“The 917 F2 was a perfect fit for Patton early on.  He loved the ball speed and having a 16.5 allows him get great launch out of a club he has had trouble with in the past.  Titleist Tour Rep Jim Curran worked extensively on finding him a shaft that felt good, was the proper weight, and yet still launched the way Patton wanted. Tour Blue 95 fit the bill – and Patton has been in it for a year.”

“Patton loves the look of traditional irons and the 718 MB fit the bill for his look and his desire to control flight.  Now, as he moves up through his bag, he has multiple options in 718 which really helps his game. He moves to 718 CB at his 5 and 6 irons, and then carries the 718 T-MB at 4-iron which helps gapping and ball flight at the top of his set.”

Vokey Design Wedge rep Aaron Dill regarding Patton’s wedges:

“Patton has a old school approach to wedge selection.  When he finds a wedge he likes he will rarely make a switch. He doesn’t blame the wedge for poor or mishit shots. His technique is smooth and accurate with mid to high ball flight. His 52 and 56-degree wedges have been in the bag for a while now, and his 60 has changed a little keeping the width but changing the bounce angle for conditions. He likes an old school look which is why we add offset to his 60.”

Kelley Moser on Kizzire’s Cameron GoLo:

“Patton has been using a Scotty Cameron GoLo model since his mini tour days. The one he is currently using was a backup that was made for him when he first earned his PGA TOUR card. He had a stock shaft and silver head version that he used for a long time, but he wanted to shake it up a little so we made him one with a black shaft and a dark finish. He loved it and after his victory said he’s pretty sure this one is in the bag permanently.”

Many thanks to Patton for the talk and the folks at Titleist for sharing some insights on the newly minted PGA Tour winner’s WITB.

You can see Kizzire’s full WITB here

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