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SPOTTED: Wilson C300 prototype driver and forged irons

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On the range at the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, we spotted new Wilson C300 driver and iron prototypes in staffer Ricky Barnes’ bag. Based on the photos we shot of the clubs, it’s clear the company is sticking with some familiar technologies, including speed slots, and “FLX Face,” which was a technology used in its C200 and D300 irons to boost forgiveness and distance. Based on stampings on the new C300 iron prototypes, the irons are also forged.

Here’s what Wilson had to say about Barnes’ prototypes:

 “A central part of our innovation process is play-testing and refining clubs with our Wilson Advisory Staff before we introduce them to the market,” said Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf. “We are excited to introduce our new C300 clubs to golfers by year’s end. Ricky’s feedback has led to something we are very excited about and his use of the C300 Driver reinforces that.”

And here’s what GolfWRX members are saying about the new equipment. Check out more photos of the clubs below.

Wilson C300 driver proto

Wilson C300 Forged iron protos

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the C300 prototypes in our forums.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Per-Eric Gustavsson

    Nov 7, 2017 at 3:17 am

    The C300 irons look fantastic. I play Wilson V4 and they are really smooth. Hopefully the new ones are as smooth as the V4: s and forgiving as the C200. I also hope that Wilson will build C300 in left version as well and do not abandon us that are left handed.

    It would be nice if someone from Wilson gives us lefties a confirmation that they will give us C300 irons.

    Pelle G, Sweden

  2. Randy Kitts

    Nov 1, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I recently bought a set of Wilson C200 irons new,at a great price and got back the distance I lost with my 3 year old Ping I 25 irons and they aren’t forged either. They sure are sweet to hit!!!! C300’s look great !

  3. Randy Kitts

    Nov 1, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Wilson is very under-rated! Even if the face is forged and the rest cast,what difference does it make? You’re going to feel the forged face,not the cast body!!!!! As for the price on the made for TV driver,it’s no different than the other guys(TM,Callaway) After 6 months to a year the price drops rapidly.So what? You don’t have to buy it. Has nothing to do with the quality,it’s just todays marketing!

    • SK

      Nov 8, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      Ummm, no. To feel the forged face impact the feel ‘shock’ must go through the cast body and hosel to get to the shaft and into your hands, where you feel the ‘feel’.
      You can’t just mount a roll forged plate on what is essentially a cast steel club and then claim a soft buttery ‘forged’ feel. Sorry.

  4. Scott

    Nov 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    So, these are the RickyB Protos

  5. Rich

    Nov 1, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    These look super. I very interested in the irons .I have the V2 Tour irons and if these are better than those then I’m all in on getting a set..The Driver looks interesting and if it’s better than the Triton it has to be KingKong of golf!!!!!!!

  6. PCR

    Nov 1, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Topline of the iron looks nicer than I remember Wilson’s previous flex face irons. The driver looks nice and compact.

  7. Simms

    Nov 1, 2017 at 1:36 am

    How come you see most Wilson players using Taylormade Drivers? How about that great made for TV driver they sold, I see it for $149 everywhere and even $129 at one place…Wilson hasn’t ever recovered form when they tossed out John Daly after he won the British Open….

    • Thomas A

      Nov 1, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Same could be said for Mizuno, Bridgestone, PXG, and Srixon staffers. Wilson has recovered. Go test them out. I’m playing the FG Tour F5 irons and PMP wedges. They’re awesome.

  8. Ben Jones

    Oct 31, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Wilson had the original flex face iron with the Reflex.

    • Ron Wolsted

      Oct 31, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      Yah, but this new model has a face-forged faceplate and the rest of the clubhead is cheap cast steel and for top dollar.

  9. RegW

    Oct 31, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    As for the driver, if it’s good enough for Ricky Barnes it should be even better for the average golfer who can’t break 90 in their score or club speed.

  10. RegW

    Oct 31, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    The emblem plaque in the cavity looks chintzy. The slots in the sole will fill with mud and ruin performance. Wonder if it’s 100% forged, or just another club with cast steel body welded to a forged faceplate. Next.

    • ...........

      Oct 31, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      I’m 99% positive the slots are filled with some type of polymer like TM irons.

      • Thomas A

        Nov 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm

        Judging from the photos I’m 100% sure the slots are filled with a polymer.

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Equipment

SPOTTED: PXG 0311T “Gen2” prototype irons

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After spotting Charles Howell III testing a PXG XXF prototype driver on Monday at the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge, we spotted CHIII and Zach Johnson testing PXG 0311T “Gen2” irons on Tuesday. We are told they are prototypes.

The original 0311T irons, which were released in 2015, were the Tour versions of the initial 0311 irons from PXG. The 0311T irons, while injected with the same thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) material that made PXG’s 0311 irons special, had smaller profiles, thinner toplines and soles, and less offset. They catered more to the Tour player than the original 0311 iron release, but still had the familiar PXG look with screws around the perimeter.

The PXG 0311T “Gen2” irons we spotted on Tuesday at the CareerBuilder have a slightly different look than the original 0311T irons. See if you can spot the differences below.

PXG 0311T “Gen2” 4-iron vs an original 0311T 4-iron

There’s a more accordion-like look on the back cavity of the 0311T Gen2 iron (left), and it seems the overall center of gravity (CG) may be lower in the club head on the Gen2 irons, as well. At least, it appears the club has a lower overall profile. It also appears the 7-screws near the sole wrap less around the toe portion in the Gen2 iron on the left, and there’s one less screw on the high toe portion of the Gen2 irons; possibly another notch in the lower-CG column.

What do you think of the PXG0311T “Gen2” irons that we spotted on Tuesday? See what GolfWRX members are saying about them in our forums.

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SPOTTED: A PXG “XXF prototype” driver in Charles Howell III’s bag

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In December, we spotted a PXG XXF driver, along with two other PXG drivers, on the USGA conforming clubs list. Flash forward to Monday at the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge, we spotted an XXF prototype driver in person in the bag of PXG staffer and club-tinkerer Charles Howell III.

We are told the XXF driver in CHII’s bag is only a prototype, and that it may never actually be released to the public.

As we originally postulated, it seems from the layout of the weights, or screws, that the XXF prototype is a fade-biased driver; that’s because there are three screws out on the toe portion of the sole, but none on the heel portion. We also guessed that the PXG ZZ has a neutral bias and the PXG XX is a draw-biased driver.

The last official driver release from PXG was a line of 0811X drivers that introduced thermoplastic elastomer inserts into the soles of the drivers to help lower center of gravity — making the drivers more forgiving and spin less — and to dampen vibrations, enhancing sound and feel. Since we haven’t cut open the XXF prototype driver we spotted in CHIII’s bag, we don’t know whether it also has a TPE insert in the sole. But, if the material lowered CG in the 0811X drivers, it’s likely the material would make it’s way into the XXF prototype driver in some capacity to achieve similar results.

From the photos, CHIII is testing the XXF prototype driver with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue shaft. We’ll keep an eye out to see whether he puts the driver into play this week, and we’ll update you with more information on the XXF driver if it becomes available.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the PXG XXF driver in our forums

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Callaway launches new Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero and Rogue Draw drivers, and fairway woods

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With its Jailbreak technology, Callaway’s GBB Epic drivers were the No. 1-selling drivers in the United States in 2017; actually, according to Callaway, they were the No. 1-selling drivers every month in the U.S. in 2017.

How do you back that up? How do you replace a driver that’s been so successful?

Well, apparently you don’t.

Callaway’s new Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero and Rogue Draw drivers, as Callaway says, do not replace its GBB Epic and GBB Epic Sub Zero drivers of last year. Instead, Rogue is an all-new line that improves on the Epic technologies, but the company will continue to sell its Epic drivers.

Actually, if you follow Callaway’s trends over recent years, you may realize that the company should be coming out with an XR 18 line of drivers and fairway woods. That’s not the case, however. In this sense, Callaway is “going rogue.” Company representatives say that with the new Rogue drivers and fairway woods, the company is “doing what the industry is not expecting us to do.” This means that instead of coming out with an XR 18 driver at a price point of say $379, it is launching the Rogue drivers at $499.99 and packing them with improved-upon technologies than were in the Epic drivers, for more forgiveness and better aerodynamics. Callaway also says “the XR line is done for us.”

The original Jailbreak technology in the Epic drivers consisted of two titanium bars that sat behind the face; the idea is that the bars gave the structure more strength, or stiffened the crown and sole, to allow the faces to be made thinner, and therefore faster, without sacrificing durability. But with the Rogue drivers, Callaway wanted to save weight from these bars in order to displace the weight elsewhere (re: lower and more rearward in the head for more forgiveness). So Callaway’s engineers designed new hourglass-shaped Jailbreak bars, which are thinner in the middle portions of the titanium bars, and thicker near the crown and sole. This allowed the company to save 25 percent of the weight from the Jailbreak design without sacrificing the benefits of higher ball speeds across the face. You’ll notice from address (in the photo below) that the body looks a bit more stretched out than the Epic drivers; that’s to drive CG (center of gravity) more rearward to raise MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness). The new hourglass design allowed that to be possible, as well getting rid of the weight-shifting track in the rear of the sole, as seen on the Epic drivers.

Callaway’s Rogue drivers, unlike the GBB Epic drivers, use the Boeing aero package — equipped with speed trips on the crown and an overall more aerodynamic shape — that the company introduced in the XR 16 drivers. The Rogue drivers also use a new X Face VFT technology that uses variable face thicknesses across the face to boost ball speeds on off-center strikes. The triaxial carbon crowns of the Rogue, which Callaway calls it’s largest carbon crowns ever, also save weight from the top of the club that is displaced lower in the heads to drive CG lower and more rearward.

The overall result is 0.6 mph more club head speed from the Rogue drivers compared to the GBB Epic, according to Callaway, and a 16 percent tighter dispersion.

There are three different models in the Rogue driver series: Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero and Rogue Draw. The relationship between the Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero is the same as it was between the GBB Epic and the GBB Epic Sub Zero, with the standard version having a larger profile and more shallow face, while the Sub Zero is a bit lower-spinning with a more compact look and a deeper face. The Rogue Sub Zero has two interchangeable weights (2 grams and 14 grams) that produces about 200 rpm of change between the two settings, according to Callaway.

The new Rogue Draw, with a 5-gram screw in the sole toward the heel, and with additional internal heel wighting, is for those golfers who want to fix their slice. The GBB Epic driver, with the 17-gram weight all the way in heel, hit the golf ball 11 yards left of center, according to Callaway’s testing. The Rogue Draw hits it 18 yards left of center. That means the Rogue Draw will draw the ball 7 yards farther than a GBB Epic set to draw.

The Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero and Rogue Draw drivers will be available at retail on February 9 for $499.99 each. Callaway Customs will also be available on each of the drivers in March. See below for more information on stock shafts, and keep reading for info on the fairway woods.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Rogue drivers and fairways in our forums

Callaway Rogue driver

Stock shafts for the standard Rogue range from 40-70 gram options, including Aldila’s Synergy and Quaranta shafts, and Project X’s EvenFlow and HZRDUS Yellow shafts.

Callaway Rogue Sub Zero driver

Stock shafts for the Rogue Sub Zero range from 50-70 gram options, including Aldila’s Synergy, Project X’s EvenFlow, and Project X’s HZRDUS Yellow.

Callaway Rogue Draw driver

The Rogue Draw is available in 9, 10.5 and 13 degree lofts. Stock shafts include the same offerings as the standard Rogue model, which include Aldila’s Synergy and Quaranta shafts, and Project X’s EvenFlow and HZRDUS Yellow shafts.

Callaway Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero fairway woods

Callaway’s Epic fairway woods did not have Jailbreak technology, but the Rogue fairways do. Also, unlike the hourglass-Jailbreak that’s in the Rogue drivers, the Rogue fairway woods do not have the hourglass shape, and they’re made from steel instead of titanium. According to Callaway, while it wanted to make the Jailbreak technology lighter in the drivers, it actually wanted to make it heavier in the fairways, thus they’re made from steel and do not have the weight-saving hourglass shape.

Jailbreak in the Rogue fairway woods combines with Callaway’s familiar Face Cup technology. The Rogue fairway woods faces are made from “ultra-thin” Carpenter 455 steel, and the Face Cup is designed to boost ball speeds on off-center hits. Additionally, the Rogue fairways use Callaway’s Internal Standing Wave to position CG low-and-forward for high launch and low spin, they use triaxial carbon crowns to save weight from the top portions of the club to also shift CG lower, and they use the Boeing aero package for more club head speed.

The Rogue Sub Zero fairway woods, which have more compact shapes and deeper faces, also have a 5-gram weight in the forward portion of their soles in order to driver CG even more forward. This design will help high-spin golfers lower spin for more distance.

The Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero fairway woods will sell for $299.99 each starting on February 9. See below for shaft details.

Callaway Rogue fairway wood

Callaway says the Rogue fairways (13.5, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23 and 25 degrees) are available in multiple premium shafts and weights ranging from 40-80 grams.

Callaway Rogue Sub Zero fairway wood

Callaway says the Rogue Sub Zero fairways (13.5, 15 and 18 degrees) are available in multiple premium shaft brands ranging from 60-80 grams.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Rogue drivers and fairways in our forums

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