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WRX Spotted: Sergio Garcia with prototype Callaway Apex MB Smoke irons

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Last week, at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude, Sergio Garcia was spotted with some fresh new Callaway Apex MBs with a smoke finish. The specs appear to be the same as his previous set in chrome but with the obvious finish change.

Trends for black/smoke or raw irons seem to be cyclical with some players just like with the general consumers. We have seem a number of companies, from Callaway to Titleist, produce their most popular sets with a darker finish recently. With Callaway, the black irons are found in the Apex line (but not including the Apex MB), so maybe, just maybe, this is an indication that we could see a limited release down the line.

It wouldn’t be the first time Callaway has done a product for tour that was eventually released to the general public—remember the Triple Diamond Epic anyone? (How could you not?). It’s also not the first time Sergio has used an iron with a darker finish, because if you remember back to his days with TaylorMade, they did the second version RAC MB TP in a smoke finish that looked great (it’s also one the sets I regret selling to this day).

With Sergio Garcia currently sitting at 62nd in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, we should see these in the bag a few more times and potentially at the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta—if he can get his game on track.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. 2putttom

    Aug 5, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    wow ! I’ve always liked the Callaway blade and finish looks great

  2. PGA

    Aug 4, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Who cares, he’s finished anyway except acting like a child!

  3. Robert Coppersmith

    Aug 4, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Those babies will leave a real dent in his caddy’s athletic cup.

  4. Charles Panco

    Aug 4, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Can they survive smashing through a tee marker?

  5. Martin

    Aug 4, 2019 at 6:46 am

    Nice finish

  6. EinNM

    Aug 3, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    So now we know the next set of clubs Sergio will be throwing at his caddie.

  7. Mike B

    Aug 3, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    If Callaway wants to test their black finish, no better jacka$$ to do it. Maybe they are petulant child proof

  8. gery katona

    Aug 3, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    A blade is a blade is a blade, but those are stunning blades.

  9. JROC

    Aug 3, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    You’re telling me that Sergio Garcia is getting prototype anything at this point. Why have companies not dumped this fool and put as much distance between them as possible. He has run out of chances, we all know his true colors. No more passes

  10. Benny

    Aug 3, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    These are sick and I will try my best to get a set. Or even the raw heads. Love them all and have had this infatuation since 10 years ago with my first MB2 set.
    Thanks Callaway and Sergio. Now go win. I can only imagine how friggen hard it is to not snap clubs out there let alone want to take huge divots out of a green. You want to take a backhoe to that perfect place because you are so mad you could push a buttom tha launch an A-Bomb. Its golf, we all get there!

  11. Rich Douglas

    Aug 3, 2019 at 10:59 am

    I’d rather he kept his clubs and changed his attitude.

  12. Gunter Eisenberg

    Aug 3, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Even though a man-child is using these clubs, will it be in a more durable DBM finish like the black irons used by Matlby, Cobra, an Ben Hogan?

  13. Dave Maddux

    Aug 2, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    A list of other athletes who want to win and thrown tantrums on a regular basis…..and we didn’t care

    LeBron James
    Rafael Nadal
    Roger Clemens
    Draymond Green
    Bryce Harper
    John McEnroe
    OBJ
    Philip Rivers

    Like it or not, and I don’t agree with damaging tee boxes….Sergio just wants to win. BTW those black finished are perfection.

    • Rich Douglas

      Aug 3, 2019 at 11:00 am

      Interesting list. Which one of those guys spit in a hole? Oh, right. None of them.

    • JP

      Aug 4, 2019 at 9:26 am

      Which of those named are golfers?
      .
      Golf is not just a game but a noble sport where the blessings of good manners and behaviour can shape one’s character and social reform. A Gentleman’s Game played by Gentleman known as such because of the Art of Etiquette that grooms a ‘Man’.

    • JP

      Aug 4, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      Who on that list played the “Gentleman’s Game” professionally?

  14. Leave a reply

    Aug 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Wooo Weee, big deal!! I hope he swings those irons around his neck and knocks some sense and sportsmanship into that thick head of his!

  15. James

    Aug 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Such a rotten child does not deserve such pretty tools.

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees, D4 swing weight)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.75 inches)

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Alpha 90 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (22 @ 19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09, 60-10 @ 62 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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Today from the Forums: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums we delve into a subject dedicated to wedge fitting. Liquid_A_45 wants to know if wedge fitting is as essential for golfers as iron fitting, and our members weigh into the discussion saying why they feel it is just as imperative.

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.

  • Z1ggy16: “Super important if you’re a serious golfer. Even better if you can get fit outdoors on real grass and even go into a bunker.”
  • ThunderBuzzworth: “The biggest part of wedge fitting is yardage gapping and sole grinds. If you have a grind that doesn’t interact with the turf in your favor, it can be nightmarish around the greens. When hitting them try a variety of short game shots with different face angles etc. with the different grinds to see which one works best for what you need.”
  • Hawkeye77: “Wedge fitting I had was extremely beneficial when I got my SM6s a few years ago. Mostly for working with the different grinds and how they interacted with my swing and on different shots and having an eye on my swing to help with the process and evaluate the results. My ideas of what grinds were right for me based on researching on Titleist, etc. just were not correct in 2/3 of the wedges I ended up with as far as the grinds were concerned. Good to have an experienced fitter available to answer questions, control variables, etc.”
  • cgasucks: “The better you get at this game, the more important wedges are.”

Entire Thread: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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