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Spotted: Dustin Johnson with new Fujikura Ventus prototype at the Masters, RBC Heritage

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Beyond the obvious big news of some guy named Mr. Woods winning his fifth green jacket this past weekend, there were some pretty interesting developments with another player that runs on a first name basis or at least initials: DJ switched drivers MID tournament and had a new Fujikura Ventus prototype shaft to go along with his new TaylorMade M6 as he took on Augusta National Saturday and Sunday.

We don’t have all the details yet, but from what we have heard so far this new Prototype Black Ventus is an even lower launching version of the blue Ventus currently available. If history is correct, and we are looking at a line extension, then the colors tell a lot of the story. The Atmos line features both a blue and black version with a final higher-launching red version to round out the series in what Fuji calls their color-coded launch system to make fitting and product recognition just that much easier.

Photos of the “black” prototype via Fujikura.

It’s not unusual for shaft companies like Fujikura to bring out prototype profiles utilizing technologies from their newest lines to try and get them into the bags of more players. Fuji’s newest technology is VeloCore, and we have already seen it adopted at a high rate. Here is some more info from Fujikura to explain the technology

“VeloCore is a multi-material core comprised of ultra-high modulus Pitch 70 Ton Carbon Fiber (about 150% stronger and more stable than T1100g) and 40 Ton bias layers that are the full length of the shaft for incredible stability. VeloCore Technology promotes consistent center-face impact and provides ultimate stability, tightening dispersion and increasing control. The result is a shaft that maximizes the MOI (moment of inertia) and ball speed of your clubhead through the reduction of twist during the swing and at impact, especially on off-center hits.”

This makes sense, considering any contact made beyond an absolutely perfect (almost impossible from a physics standpoint) strike in line with the COG of a driver head traveling at 120 mph will result in twisting at impact — MOI is maximized in driver heads to increase stability along with spin with Ventus and VelocCore, Fujikura thanks to their Enzo system, is better understanding how that relationship works with the shaft to produce new and better products.

Anyway, since we know DJ deviated from his traditional Fujikura Speeder Evolution II Tour Spec driver shaft for his weekend rounds this past weekend, we can expect to see it again this week at the RBC Heritage this week at Hilton Head, and we’ll have our eyes peeled to see where else this shaft pops up on tour.

Johnson teeing off during Wednesday’s RBC Heritage Pro-Am.

 

 

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. fred

    Apr 18, 2019 at 10:03 am

    The ventus shaft is awesome, and fuji is planning on expanding the line at some point.

  2. Curt

    Apr 17, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Very interested in the Black Ventus – hoping it goes retail.

  3. the dude

    Apr 17, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    gotta love the color code….. BTW..where is DJ gonna hit driver at Harbor town?

    • M. Coz

      Apr 17, 2019 at 4:53 pm

      Good point, DJ doesn’t need to show up with a driver. But if he feels he can “hit down a hallway in the dark”, then he may try some unique challenges.
      Personally the new Ventus line is fantastic. I have been playing the Blue for three months with incredible accuracy. Plus it has such a smooth feel throughout the swing. I have mostly been playing the Evolution lineup from Fuji for the past several years.

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Equipment

2020 Odyssey Golf launches new Bird of Prey and Stroke Lab Ten putters

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Odyssey Golf is taking Stroke Lab technology and innovation further with the release of the all-new Stroke Lab 10 putters along with the introduction of the Bird of Prey putter for 2019 and 2020.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten Bird of prey putters golf 2020

2020 Odyssey Bird of Prey, Stroke Lab Ten putters: The details

To say Odyssey Stroke Lab putters, along with the revolutionary mass-shifting Stroke Lab shaft, have been a success both on tour and with regular golfers would be a huge understatement. On the professional side—since their introduction at the beginning of 2019 as a prototype product, Stroke Lab putters have become the number one putter on all tours and won more professional tournaments (65 to be exact) than any other brand on all tours combined.

Now, Odyssey’s General Manager Sean Toulon and his design team are looking to advance designs again with what many would call familiar shapes but with unconventional advantages.

Odyssey Stroke lab ten putter golf 2020

First off, we have the Stroke Lab Ten. And, yes, even Sean Toulon himself is willing to admit it shares similarities to a particular arachnid-style putter that he helped originally design at another OEM many years ago. But, as a modern equipment historian, I believe it’s important to point out that as much as the “arachnid” style has been popular for quite some time.

There was another putter that predates it (released in 2005), which offered an extremely high MOI design but without the catchy name: the Ping UG-LE. The UG-LE pushed mass way back and to the corners of the head to create (at the time) the highest MOI putter on the market.

But here’s the thing: Putters and material design have come a long way since the introduction of the UG-LE and the original arachnid designs, and Odyssey is here to prove golfers just how much better with the Stroke Lab Ten.

The Stroke Lab Ten’s frame is made from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene…don’t worry, I had to look it up too). Here’s a further explanation

“It is an amorphous polymer comprised of three monomers, acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. ABS is most commonly polymerize through the emulsification process or the expert art of combining multiple products that don’t typically combine into a single product. When the three monomers are combined, the acrylonitrile develops a polar attraction with the other two components, resulting in a tough and highly durable finished product. The different amounts of each monomer can be added to the process to further vary the finished product. The versatility of ABS plastic properties contributes largely to its popularity across several industry sectors.” (Thanks, Adreco plastics)

According to Sean Toulon, what the ABS material allows is maximum distribution of metal (heavy) mass parts to the back and extreme perimeter of the putter to blow past other putters’ MOI (Moment of Inertia: a measurement of forgiveness) but also in sound and feel.

“The sound and feel of this putter is special (thanks to the material advantage of ABS)”  Sean Toulon, Odyssey Putters General Manager

Beyond just the shape of the putter, the sole has been meticulously crafted to help the head aligned square when grounded towards the target in the playing position. Sean continues

“We got these putters to the point where ( with the alignment on top ) they have become point and shoot” 

There truly is a lot going on to make sure these putters do everything they can to help both regular golfers and touring professionals align properly and get the best possible result when putts are not hit absolutely perfect.

The Stroke Lab Advantage

Considering the MOI of these designs, you would think that the highest of high handicappers would be the target market, but in that assumption, you couldn’t be more incorrect. The designs of both the Stroke Lab Ten and the Bird of Prey were entirely driven by the tour and player desire to get every last bit of performance out of their putting games.

These putters will all come stock with the Stroke Lab shaft, which pulls mass from the shaft and redistributes it under the grip and into the head for even greater stabilization. Odyssey has proven that the shaft alone can help stroke consistency across the board, and the most notable stat is the 13 percent increase in face angle delivery at impact. This increases the make putt percentage, which when you think of a round of golf, equates to strokes saved.

If there is one more thing Odyssey knows about putters, it’s roll and inserts. With the new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey designs, the company is using an all-new Microhinge Star insert to increase the sound for better player feedback. Generally, inserts are used to decrease the sound, but in the case of the New Microhinge Star, engineers at Odyssey wanted to recreate more of the original sound and feel of the White Hot putter but with the added benefit of the Microhinge to increase forward roll.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Putter Insert roll Ten Bird of prey

This new Microhinge Star insert improves the correlation between the sound and expected distance a player will hit the ball—firmer means further. This is just another step in the design process put in place to help players of all abilities putt with greater consistency since without audible feedback, all players will have a more difficult time controlling distance.

The new Stroke Lab Ten and Bird of Prey putters will be available starting November 1. For more information check out OdysseyGolf.com

 

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Best players iron on the market now?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from drvrwdge and delves into the subject of 2019 players irons. Drvrwdge asks fellow members which players iron they rate as the best of this year, with Srixon’s Z785 proving to be very popular amongst WRXers.

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.

  • swoooshlt: “I’m nowhere near the player I once was, but the Z785 is giving back some of that confidence……, and the feel is BRILLIANT!”
  • KC13: “MP-20 MMC all day.”
  • hypergolf: “I tried all the new iron releases as I am in the market to replace my Mizuno MP60s (TT DG S300). After hours of search, different shaft and head combinations I am going to go with Titleist T100 with Project X 6.0. Historically I never liked Titleist irons and was always a Mizuno iron player, but this year the feel and performance in T100 won me over…”
  • dalillama47: “Z785’s are my vote. Yes, I do play them. I can play anything I want. Between feel, forgiveness and the way they go through the turf, all a tough combo to beat. I’m not saying they are the best, but hard to believe there is anything much better.”

Entire Thread: “Best players iron of 2019?”

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Whats in the Bag

Lanto Griffin’s winning WITB: 2019 Houston Open

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Driver: Titleist 917 D2 (10.5 degrees @ 9.75)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage TiNi 70 TX

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (16 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 80 X

Irons: Titleist U510 (2), Titleist T100 (4-9)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 105 X (2), Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 X (4-9)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (46 10F, 50 12F bent to 51, 54 10S bent to 55, 60 08M)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X

Putter: Sik Flo
Grip: SuperStroke Slim 3.0

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride tour Velvet

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