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New Titleist TS hybrids, U-Series utilities landing on Tour (updated with in-hand photos)

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We just got word from Titleist: at this week’s Memorial Tournament, the company will begin the “seeding” process of the new TS Series hybrids and the U-Series utility driving irons.

Hybrids

For Titleist, the beginning of the tour seeding process is one of the final steps in getting new products ready to go to market, and based off what we have for images and based on typical products cycles from the company, these could be closer to retail release than we think.

It appears for Titleist that the 800 series branding for the hybrids is going the way of the dodo and being replaced with the TS moniker like the already-available woods to remain consistent in the line. If the numbers and supplied pictures are any indication, the TS2 will be higher launching and slightly larger vs. the TS3 hybrid, which looks quite a bit more compact front to back and also seems to have Titleist’s SureFit CG to fine-tune ball flight. Both feature the TourFit hosel for further adjustability.

Since the current images of the new hybrids already have the head covers and are taken with shafts (HZRDUS Smoke hybrid), I am quite comfortable making the assumption that the stock shafts for retail will be the Smoke followed by the full array of custom options Titleist is known for. We all know that OEMs and their staff players have the ability to do a LOT of in-house testing away from the prying eyes (and lenses of GolfWRX), so for these to be at this point with covers and the whole bit, I am also confident that after seeing these in players bags this week at Muirfeild a full release by mid-summer is only a formality.

Utilities

Already being teased on Titleist.com, the new U-Series utility irons will be the replacement for the current 718s which as always are some of the most popular on tour.

Notice any similarities to anything else?

Bueller, Bueller…..

I’m seeing a LOT of similar design characteristics from the Concept series CP-01 in these new utilities.

This is exciting since the Concept series was introduced by Titleist to test and prove “proof of concept”…see how they did that…with new technologies and materials. If you weren’t aware of what that means for the Concept line this is from Titleist:

“Visually articulated with equal imagination, to produce the world’s most satisfying ball-striking experience. With an ultra-thin face – measured and remeasured to ensure perfect uniformity – made possible through the use of a rare, super strong alloy never before used in club manufacturing.”

Whatever super strong alloy is being used in the Concepts seem to be making its way into these new utilities on tour this week. What does this mean for the consumer from a design standpoint? Most likely more discretionary weight saved from the face to move around the head, that equals higher MOI. Also with new materials, it would allow engineers to stretch the area of “maximum performance” from a ball speed perspective to a larger area of the face.

Will I be right about new materials being used in the Utility? I guess we will find out soon enough, but either way we’ll bring you more pictures when we have them.

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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.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Ray

    May 27, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    can’t wait to see new iron series. Hope the new AP2 looks better this time around

  2. Jordan

    May 27, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Very nice looking. Hopefully minimal hosel offset on the u500s

    • Travisty

      Jul 5, 2019 at 9:21 am

      The U500’s are probably a carbon copy of the T-MB’s with updated looks and maybe some internal CG movement to increase MOI (the old T-MB’s were less forgiving than even the AP2).

  3. Master P

    May 27, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Pretty cool though if they follow the concept series the utility irons will probably ONLY set you back $500/piece and your first born son. Its like Craftsman vs Snap-on tools. Both have lifetime warranty and both do the same job but unless you make your living with them you wont notice any difference enough to justify paying the price.

    • JThunder

      May 27, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      How does a person “justify the price” on a hobby?

      If you’re playing for a living, you probably don’t pay for clubs at all.

      If you’re playing recreationally, then there is no justification, nor is one necessary.

      • Clay

        May 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm

        It’s always great when someone goes out of their way to be pointlessly argumentative.

        • JP

          May 27, 2019 at 9:52 pm

          Some people may consider being argumentative a hobby. But when it’s online keyboard warriors battling, how do they justify the time involved? Hahahaha

          • Boner

            May 29, 2019 at 1:08 pm

            Hey guys I took a big s hi t this morning!

  4. Tyler Kushmaul

    May 27, 2019 at 11:57 am

    The U510 look at lot like TM P790 UDI to me

    • Dennis

      May 28, 2019 at 7:45 am

      Yep. My thoughts exactly. Same shaft and all.

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Whats in the Bag

Rory McIlroy’s winning WITB: 2019 Tour Championship

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Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees set at 7.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70 TX

rory-mcilroy-witb-tour-championship-driver

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX

rory-mcilroy-witb-2019-3-wood

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M5 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

rory-mcilroy-witb-tour-championship-5--wood

Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4), TaylorMade P730 (5-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 7.0

rory-mcilroy-witb-tour-championship-8-iron

rory-mcilroy-witb-2019

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper

rory-mcilroy-witb-tour-championship-putter

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Rory McIlroy WITB Tour Championship

Rory McIlroy WITB Tour Championship

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Equipment

From the GolfWRX Vault: The story of the sand wedge

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In addition to continuing to look forward to new content that will serve and engage our readership, we also want to showcase standout pieces that remain relevant from years past. In particular, articles with a club building or instruction focus continue to deliver value and convey useful information well after their publish dates.

We want to make sure that once an article falls off the front page as new content is covered it isn’t relegated to the back pages of our website. We hope that you’ll appreciate and find value in this effort.

Cracking open the vault: In this 2015 piece, Mark Donaghy, author of “Caddy Attitudes,” looks at the game-changing history of the sand wedge, reminding us that “compared to the early days of golf, however, bunker play is relatively easy.”

A taste of Donaghy’s excellent piece…

Prior to the 1930s, the best club for short approach shots was the niblick, roughly equivalent to today’s 9-iron or pitching wedge. The design of this club, however, featured a flat, angled face and virtually no sole, making it difficult to use in sand and other soft lies as it was prone to digging into the ground. Players had to pick the ball cleanly off the sand, which required a good lie. The other alternative for bunkers was the jigger; it was similar to a chipper with a short shaft, but little loft. Less loft prevented the club from digging in too much on soft lies, but the compromise was the low launch angle and it was useless at moving through the sand to dig out a buried ball. The club was also not ideal for approach shots from a greenside bunker, as a chip shot made with this club tended to roll for most of its distance. The club designers in those days were often blacksmiths who offered up all sorts of strange solutions to the bunker dilemma.

The rake iron…was invented by a Scottish optometrist who became fed up of having to remove sand from the eyes of golfers playing at the local links, and created a club designed to cast up less sand when swung.

The governing bodies soon began to clamp down on design and banned many offerings. Spoon clubs offered varying degrees of loft and allowed players to scoop their ball out of sand traps and deep rough. Some had bowl faces, others featured deeply grooved faces, but not all of these designs conformed. Walter Hagen was using a lethal-looking sand wedge in the late 1920s, with a hickory shaft and a smooth concave face with a lot of loft and about a half pound of weight in the flange. This was deemed illegal and soon became outlawed.

It is widely acknowledged that the biggest breakthrough in sand play appeared in the 1930s, and many connect Gene Sarazen with the design of today’s modern sand wedge. The story goes that he dreamed this club up after flying with Howard Hughes, the aviation tycoon, movie producer and scratch golfer. When Hughes’s plane took off, the flaps on the wings came down. We don’t know if alcohol or narcotics were consumed at the time, but Sarazen made a connection between the flaps and the flange you could add to a club that would allow it to slide through the sand and help the ball pop up

Check out the full piece here. 

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Swag Golf proto putter

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Product: Swag Golf proto putter

Pitch: From Swag “Swag is the brand that isn’t scared to push the limits in a conservative sport that isn’t evolving to meet changing styles. We like to listen to music on the course, we want to be bold, we love having fun, we love golf, and we’re going to express that both on and off the course. We aren’t going to try to sell you on how great our proprietary materials are and we don’t need to rely on clever marketing to sell more. We’re a no BS company. What matters is that our putters feel good and in turn make you feel good when putting. We have some crazy ideas, we love to tinker, and we experiment on how to perfect everything we do. ”

Our Take on the Swag Golf Proto putter

Though relatively new, Swag Golf has been making a big splash in the industry for their high-end and striking headcovers and accessories. Perhaps less talked about when it comes to the company is their putters – something which I feel is likely to change after testing out their prototype rainbow finish flat-stick.

The putter is beautiful from whatever angle you look at – but especially at address. Extremely smooth lines, and with full-shaft offset, the blade’s shoulders and bumpers are flawlessly balanced to frame the ball and let the putter sit perfectly square. The single line alignment aid enhances the look and is positioned right in the center of the blade’s sweet spot, while the CNC milled flat-stick delivers perfectly smooth edges – noticeably on the neck for a sublime and soft profile.

With a head weight of 354g, the putter from Swag feels exceptional in your hands over the ball. Every detail matters when investing in a premium putter, and the sensation of the stable and firm feel of the flat-stick as well as there being no wavering of the head, makes the putter feel like an extension of your body when standing over a putt.

The sound and feel of the putter is an area where Swag has knocked it out of the park. With a fly milled face from 303 Stainless Steel, the flat-stick delivers an incredibly soft feel at impact.

No vibration is felt on impact, even on long-distance putts. It never feels like your hitting the ball but more caressing it, which is a pleasant sensation when putting from downtown. What you get in terms of sound at impact is a low, deep pitched note from a putter which rolls beautifully on its axis and produces no vibration on slight mis-hits.

To nitpick, the company’s “black mid pistol tackified kangaroo leather grip” took some getting used to. Initially, it took a little away from how impressive the flat-stick feels in your hands, but it gradually becomes more comfortable.

Overall performance-wise though, the putter from Swag provides everything you could hope for from a high-end putter. Exceptional feel at address, painfully attractive profile and precision at impact.

As of now, the company boasts self-confessed “putting nerd” Kevin Streelman as their PGA Tour ambassador. Streelman is currently gaming the brand’s Handsome Too proto, and after experiencing the Swag rainbow proto for myself, the highest compliment I can give is that I would be surprised if he (and PGA Tour newcomer Rhein Gibson) are still the only Tour pros to game one of the brand’s flat-sticks in 12 to 24 months time.

In terms of an Anser-style putter, Swag packs a hefty punch with their numerous offerings. While I personally love the eye-catching rainbow finish (which has been blasted to remove some of the boldness), I realize it’s not for everyone. However, the company has plenty more traditional finishes on their array of flat-sticks, which you can find on their website here.

Whatever finish you prefer your putters to come in though, it’s unlikely that any department of Swag’s flat-sticks will leave you disappointed.

 

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