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Chief Engineer Chris Voshall on Mizuno’s approach to the Tour and some of the most insightful pros

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Mizuno’s Chief Engineer Chris Voshall chatted with Johnny Wunder on the latest episode of the Gear Dive.

Voshall offers innumerable interesting anecdotes–particularly interesting is the development of the JPX 900 iron for Brooks Koepka and Voshall’s discussion of his work with other Tour talents.

In the excerpt below, however, Voshall discusses Mizuno’s approach to Tour players and further, whose feedback has proven particularly valuable.

“We’re not making them something special. If they’re coming to us, it’s because the product is that good…They come to us instead of us having to go to them…that’s one of the really exciting things.”

Voshall indicated that players on Tour play essentially the same Mizuno products that are available at retail.

“If the Tour van is out of inventory, they can reach out to us…and we’ll get them more heads. There’s nothing unique about what they’re playing, which I think speaks to the customer…you can almost not trust marketing around the whole world these days, but for us to say ‘there’s nothing different’…that’s something we really hang our hat on.”

With respect to excellent testers on Tour, Voshall sang Luke Donald’s praises, as well as Jhonny Vegas and Brian Gay.

“I love working with Luke. Luke, especially when you’re talking irons…turf interaction, that’s the thing he’s looking for. So with Luke, you’ve really got to speak to him about how it feels, how it enter, how it exits [the turf] and how that’s causing the ball to launch. You could give him the exact same head with a slightly different sole grind, and he will love or hate one versus the other. He’s really cool to work with on that front.”

“Jhonny Vegas…he’s raw power. He goes at it. He wants to slam the club into the ground as hard as he can and see where it goes. He very much on the opposite end of the spectrum as Luke, who’s very much an artist out there, trying to work it, trying to do different things.”

“One of my favorite guys to work with, even though he’s not on staff anymore, is Brian Gay. He knows his game. He knows equipment. Speaking to the fact that he’s been out on Tour as long as he has and has the wins he has with the length he hits the ball, it shows that he does not miss a shot. And he knows everything…when he makes a comment on a club, that’s the one that I take most serious.”

For the rest of Voshall’s insights and perspective, give the full podcast a listen below.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Robert Nadjiwan

    Jun 20, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Pod Casts when the sound is clear and balanced is great. But it need not be so long either. Mizuno has always made great irons, Drivers are Ok, Fairway woods and Utility clubs are good. Don’t know much about if they make putters today.

  2. rex235

    Jun 19, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Nice interview with some great golf club history, but-

    No more LH blade iron models from Mizuno?

  3. ~j~

    Jun 19, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Proud owner of the 900-forged tours, Love them. Never thought much on their transition through the turf but they’re small, compact, and launch the ball similar to a mortar round regardless of AoA.

  4. Nick

    Jun 19, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Please fix your audio. Love the content when I can hear it.

  5. Tim

    Jun 19, 2018 at 7:25 am

    The content is great, but the audio on this podcast is such garbage. The volume disparity between the interviewer and guest is far too great and someone’s phone keeps going off, very distracting.

  6. Martien Schwencke

    Jun 19, 2018 at 4:19 am

    Should be nice if Mizuno will make JPX900 single length irons >I will try them

  7. Andy G

    Jun 18, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    This one of the few zpod cast I have ever listened to from beginning to end. I love to hear someone with so much passion on there specific expertise. This was great pod cast and an amazing listen, very rarely do you get hear someone speak with such candor and passion, and not be afraid to answer even the tough questions the way he did. Amazing pod cast thank you!

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro

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Product: Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro

Pitch: From Dead Zero: “The new Dead Zero Pro model putting disk offers golfers the ability to accurately determine green slope and a true fall line when practicing their “money” putts thanks to a bubble level embedded into the top of the disk. The bubble level accurately measures up to six-degrees of slope and gives a true reading of the fall line on any area of the putting surface. Like the Original model, the Dead Zero Pro helps all golfers build confidence to make more putts inside eight to ten feet.”

Our take on the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro

The Dead Zero Pro Putting Disk Pro improves upon the original design by incorporating player and instructor feedback to include a level in the top of the disk. It’s a wise addition to a device that already offers players aid in an important practice approach: putting to a target smaller than the 4.25-inch cup. (The disk is roughly half the size)

We tried the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the manner creator Eric Schmitt suggests in the video below.

We found it easier to focus on putting to a smaller target when using the device–the fact that the disk looks like a target certainly doesn’t hurt this! It’s also easier to practice breaking putts with the Dead Zero Putting Disk.

The level function helps quickly get an accurate feel for the putt, and you can set the disk down where the hole effectively “is,” from an aiming standpoint, on, say, an eight-footer that breaks six inches right to left.

It’s also a nice tool to have in your bag any time you need a target in practice, really, and are struggling to visualize a line or landing area. For example, when pitching from around the green.

Ultimately, this is a good practice and practice round tool that nicely functions as a smaller-than-a-golf-hole target for putting, a level, and an easy-to-see target.

A final word: There is something to the fact that golfers, particularly those who struggle with their putting, get hung up on aiming at a portion of the hole, “three balls out,” etc. If the cup has started to look more like foe than friend, shaking things up with a device like the Dead Zero Putting disk is recommended.

  • More photos of/discussion about the Dead Zero Putting Disk Pro in the forums. 
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WRX Spotted: Lamkin Sink Fit Straight

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When it comes to grips we golfers can be a finicky bunch – especially when it comes to our putters. With so many different taper, weight, and material options on the market today, it’s easy to find something that’s just right. The same can be said for tour players too – when the flat stick isn’t working, try a new grip.

At the Zurich Classic in New Orleans this week, we came across a new putter grip from Lamkin: the Sink Fit Straight Polyurethane.

The Sink Fit line from Lamkin is not new but the Straight Polyurethane version is. Featuring a soft, tacky outer layer the shape is designed to help promote a better pendulum stroke with a slight pistol for the top hand. Unlike many other popular grip models that feature less taper the pistol shape might be the better option for those used to a pistol shape but want the benefits of a reduced taper grip.

The cool thing about the Sink Fit popping up at the Zurich, is that if you want to try it, the grip along with others from the Sink Fit line are already available online from Lamkin.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Anyone jumping on the Hogan bandwagon?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from tsecor, who pays homage to Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company, and asks what fellow members think of the club manufacturer. The consensus is very positive, with the value for the quality of irons provided cited as one of the best features of the company.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • bfp9: “I’ve been on the Hogan train since 2006 when I bought Apex Blades (with the dreaded Callaway Forging). Still use them today. Although they are getting long in the tooth. Best Irons for my swing, and my game. And they were $299 new at Golfsmith. Haven’t hit the new stuff, but I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to buy another set of Hogans.”
  • MattM97: “Lefty options are limited, only thing I might consider are the wedges but after shipping, import fee/duty, re-gripping to what I like they are as much or more than most wedges. But I do like what they are offering and are a much cheaper and appealing product for many golfers. So I’ll be a fan, but won’t be a user of Hogan products.”
  • dkelly1269: “I have a set of the FW15s and just picked up a set of the PTx irons. Both are very high quality and very playable at a great price. I’m all in.”
  • tsecor: “I played Hogan Apex PC’s back in the late ’80s when I was a child, and I loved them. My parents bought them for me as a gift for graduation. They were $399 I think……not sure why I ever sold them, but it seems as if the Hogan company is getting back to their roots and the tech they are including in their irons is impressive…to me anyway.”

Entire Thread: “Anyone jumping on the Hogan bandwagon?”

 

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