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Gear Trials 2018: XXIO X

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Specs

  • Head size: 460cc
  • Adjustable? No
  • Lofts: 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 degrees
  • Price: $650

What you need to know

The XXIO X driver is intended for moderate swing speed golfers. A stock ultra-lightweight shaft with a balance point near the hands is supposed to both enhance swing speed and help a golfer stay balanced. XXIO’s X features the largest sweet spot in company history via True-Focus Impact Technology. XXIO actually lowers the MOI in the X in order to enhance clubhead speed. CG is low and deep thanks to a rear weight.

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Equipment

Michael Kim on why he switched to a Titleist TS2 driver, and the change he’s making for The Open

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Michael Kim set a tournament scoring record at the John Deere Classic last week, so, needless to say, the UC Berkeley alum was firing on all cylinders.

With respect to one of those cylinders, Kim, historically not a great driver of the golf ball, was 34th in Strokes Gained off the tee and tied for second in driving accuracy with a new Titleist TS2 driver in his bag last week. For reference, he’s 192nd in Strokes Gained off the tee and 183rd in driving accuracy for the season. In other words, while Kim’s incredible putting (+13.51 strokes gained: putting) helped, the Titleist TS2 driver he began experimenting with at the FedEx St. Jude Classic also played a role.

We caught up with Kim by phone from Carnoustie and asked him about the decision to put the new TS2 in play.

“When I hit it, I liked it right away. I noticed the biggest difference on mishits. On my old driver, the ball speed would drop a little bit on a toe or heel hit, but with the new one, you barely saw any [drop in ball speed]. And it was definitely going straighter off the mishits. Straighter and longer, honestly.”

“Generally, I don’t make a switch, especially with the driver mid-year, but I put it right in play. And I’m working on some new things with my swing…I kind of turned the corner at the Quicken Loans…obviously hit it great at the Deere.”

“I tried the TS3, but it was a little too low spin for me. So we kept the same shaft [Aldila Rogue Black 60X] and I think it’s the same setting.”

Kim also mentioned he’s putting a steel-shafted driving iron in play for The Open this week–on the recommendation of a guy who knows a thing or two about playing well at the British Open.

“Zach Johnson told me on the plane ride here that I should maybe try a driving iron. So…I got out here and I asked to try a couple of different driving irons…On Tuesday, I tried out a couple of different T-MBs…2-iron, 3-iron. The 2-iron was going way too far, so I tried the 3-iron on the golf course. The way the course is set up, it’s just so firm…It’ll be great if there’s some wind. Exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll put it in play and I’ll probably use it a decent amount throughout the week.”

We’ll see how it works out for him. Kim is competing in his first Open Championship. He tees off at 9:04 a.m. local time with Ryuko Tokimatsu and Chez Reavie.

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Titleist introduces new premium Scotty Cameron Concept X Putters

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Scotty Cameron unveiled two experimental prototype Concept X putters today. Available in limited quantities, the Concept X models (CX-01 and CX-02) are a cross between the Newport 2 and a mallet with MOI-boosting “wings.”

The CX-01 features a popular-on-Tour “Nuckle Neck” with one shaft of offset. The CX-02 is designed with a new low slant “Joint Neck” that promotes additional tow flow.

“Concept X is for the player who wants the feel and performance of a Tour-proven blade style putter, but wants to benefit from the latest technology to achieve more forgiveness. What’s unique about these putters is that they’re fast looking and high-tech. But by making them wider, they’re more forgiving. You get a calm feeling like when you play a mallet. So, you get the best of a blade and the best of a mallet in one. It has a very elegant, high-end, industrial look. At address, after a few putts, the wings almost disappear and it’s like looking down at a blade,” Scotty Cameron said.

“I like to say that Concept X is the top level of performance in a putter. Our new four-way sole balancing is designed into these models. The new Nuckle and Joint Neck technology. The enhanced vibration dampening chambers for better sound and feel. It’s all in there. Concept X truly is a prototype that’s come to life.”

The putters also feature Dual-Zone Vibration Dampening Chambers within the face-sole construction. Each “chamber” is separated by a band of stainless steel, and the mid-milled aluminum face is connected by internal screws to compress the vibration dampening material for a soft, solid sound and feel.

The Concept X’s wing design shifts weight to both the perimeter and rear of the club to boost MOI and forgiveness. Customizable, removable heel and toe weights enhance stability while increasing the face’s sweet spot.

Weight-saving face inlays and 6061 aircraft grade aluminum sole plates allow Cameron to move (heavier) stainless steel around the perimeter to increase MOI. The sole profile of each model has been milled with Scotty’s four-way sole balancing design to help the putter easily sit more squarely at address.

A glare-reducing Stealth Gray finish is paired with a bright dip black anodized face inlay and sole plate components. Raw engravings add to the “prototype” feel of the putters. Each Concept X putter features customizable stainless steel heel-toe weights, a stepless steel shaft and a new gray Pistolero grip with black lettering.

Scotty Cameron Concept X putters will be available at select network of Titleist authorized golf shops in North America on Aug. 31 and worldwide Sept. 28, 2018. MAP $599.

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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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