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WRX Spotted: Fujikura Ventus Red

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Update (7/8, 7 p.m.) The official word from Fujikura: “Due to the success of Ventus on Tour and in the aftermarket since launching in February, Fujikura has now expanded the Ventus line with an additional launch option powered by Fujikura’s proprietary VeloCore Technology. The new Ventus Red provides golfers with a mid-high launch option with mid spin for more carry distance (the original blue Ventus is classified as a mid-launch, low spin). This profile originally appeared as a prototype on the PGA Tour denoted by a “proto MH” label and was used for testing and player feedback before becoming the official Ventus Red.

“The Ventus Red is designed to achieve slightly more launch and spin than the current profile of Ventus Blue, which originally launched on tour in September 2018 and in the aftermarket in February 2019. Ventus Red has a softer tip section than the current Ventus to achieve more launch. It is designated by a gloss red paint finish to be consistent with our color-coded launch system akin to ATMOS Tour Spec, red being the highest launching of the profiles. VeloCore technology in the Ventus line is a multi-material bias core design that maximizes the MOI and ball speed of your clubhead through the reduction of twist during the swing and at impact, especially on off-center hits. It will be available at over 600 local Fujikura clubfitters nationwide this fall.” end update

In an interesting surprise from this Monday’s preparations at the John Deere Classic, we spotted a new Fujikura Ventus (Red) shaft on the range at TPC Deere Run.

Although we don’t have an official statement yet from Fujikura there are some significant conclusions we can draw from what we already know about the Ventus line and the fact that this new Ventus is, in fact, RED.

How we’re going to react…

Fujikura Ventus Red: What are we dealing with?

First off, the original Ventus is blue—thank you Captain Obvious, and blue in the Fujikura lineup means it’s a mid-launch/spin profile. These profiles are almost always the first to come to market since they fit the largest number of players, and it allows engineers and designers to tweak both up and down for players on either end of the spectrum requiring different profiles.

Speaking to different profiles it wasn’t too long ago that we saw a black version of the Ventus in the bag of Dustin Johnson (WRX Spotted: Ventus Black) the prototype name was LT (Lower Trajectory). Traditionally, a black shaft in the Fujikura line means a stiffer profile meant for more aggressive golfer looking for greater control.

This brings us to the newly spotted red version. Red in the Fujikura lineup means mid-to-high launch and that makes the Ventus Red a great candidate for a fairway wood shaft and those less aggressive swingers of the club, looking for smooth feel and increased carry distance. What we’ve seen are X-flex so maybe not for the “regular” golfers yet, but you might see these in some fairway woods pretty soon.

A refresher on the Ventus line (from our January Ventus launch piece)

Thanks to all-new VeloCore Technology, the company claims its mid-launch, low-spin Ventus shaft tightens shot dispersion and performs particularly well on off-center shots.

“As swing speeds increase on Tour over the last few years, the Tour player is seeking tighter dispersion to hit more fairways,” said John Hovis, Tour Operations & Technical Services Manager.

“We challenged our engineers to develop a stable, low spinning, stiff tip shaft to improve control and ball speeds and the result was Ventus.”

The multi-material VeloCore derives its stability from ultra-high modulus Pitch 70 Ton Carbon Fiber (about 150% stronger and more stable than T1100g) and 40 Ton bias layers that run the full length of the shaft.

According to Fujikura, the VeloCore maximizes 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.

The Ventus also features an ultra-stiff tip section and an accelerated taper butt section maximizes energy transfer through the swing.

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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.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from 14max who asks WRXers what’s the oldest club in the bag that they regularly use. Our members list the clubs that have been playing the longest and their reasons why – with trust often playing a significant role behind their decision.

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.

  • el_rousso: “I’m still regularly playing an old (about 25+ years old) American Open 56* wedge, the grooves on it are likely too worn to be of any use but it’s still pretty much the club I trust the most around the greens, the rest of my bag is around 2005ish (irons) or 2011ish (woods and other wedges), but I recently pulled the trigger on a driver upgrade…”
  • SecondandGoal: “Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT. Made in 2007, got it for $25 on Craigslist about 4 years ago. I’ve changed every other club in the bag at least twice since then. Going to be hard-pressed to get this out of the bag.”
  • lefty1978: “I don’t always bag this club anymore. But I have a 17° Controller driving iron from around 1999. I like it because it hits low running bullets.”
  • James the Hogan Fan: “Putter- 65ish years old, Irons from 2003, Woods from 2008, Driver from 2014, Wedges from 2016, but, one from 2002. Quite the mix I’d say.”
  • ChipNRun: “A few years ago, it was a Ping Pal putter from circa 1973. I sent Ping a photo of the clubhead for verification: they said it was legit, they just couldn’t tell what batch it came from due to primitive data markings. Until about a year ago, I played Callaway X20 Tours (2008 origin); CPreO sold me a display set in 2011. Right now, the Tour Edge XRail 7W (2012) – and sometimes its brother 4W – hold the record.”

Entire Thread: “Oldest club in the bag that you use regularly?”

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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

2020 Cobra Golf T-Rail iron hybrid set

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Cobra Golf T-RAIL

New for 2020, the Cobra Golf T-Rail (Transitional Rail) super game improvement iron—the company’s first all hollow iron hybrid set.

Cobra T Rail irons fuse a hollow, hybrid shape with an iron face and topline, with the iron-hybrid design aiming to provide golfers with the perfect blend of distance, forgiveness, and accuracy.

According to the company, the hollow body construction creates a lower, deeper CG than traditional cavity-back iron designs. The lower, deeper CG aims to aid golfers in getting the ball in the air and on line easier than conventional cavity-back irons.

Speaking on the new T-Rail irons, Tom Olsavsky, VP of R&D, Cobra Golf, stated

“T-Rail irons make it easy for beginners and golfers who have lost some distance and control to gain the confidence needed to play better and have more fun. Players who need max forgiveness and are looking for more distance will be amazed at how far and straight they hit these, even being able to get them airborne from tough lies.”

The irons feature the brand’s Baffler Rails technology which seeks to provide players with more speed and stability out of every lie through its turf interaction.

The irons also contain a high-strength, forged steel face designed with E9 technology, which includes a thin pocket from heel to toe which is intended to offer maximum ball speed and forgiveness on off-center hits.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

The new additions from Cobra arrive in a hollow, iron-hybrid construction in the 5-PW with a 4-hybrid to make a 7-piece set. The irons, which come in a black/blue colorway for men and black/lilac colorway for women, come equipped with Cobra Ultralite 50g graphite shafts (Stiff, Regular and Lite) and Cobra Lamkin REL midsize grips.

Both the Men’s and Women’s T-Rail sets will be available beginning November 1, 2019, and cost $899.

Cobra Golf T-RAIL

 

 

 

 

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