Connect with us

Equipment

Inside info on Jason Dufner’s custom LA Golf Shafts long iron shaft

Published

on

This week, on the range at the Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, the inaugural event of the 2019 – 2020 PGA Tour season, we spotted Jason Dufner with a very custom LA Golf Shafts long iron shaft.

We reached out to LA Golf Shafts Chief Product Officer John Oldenburg to get the inside info, and John did not disappoint in the details and the story behind the switch by Jason.

“Duff reached out to me shortly after he put our new OLYSS 65 Tour X prototype in play in his driver last season.  He was looking for something for his 4-iron that would get the ball up in the air a bit easier, but maintain (or increase) distance, and keep the spin close to where it was with his existing shaft which was a TT Dynamic Gold AMT S400.  What I worked on providing him was a shaft that had an overall stiffness/frequency and weight that were comparable to his current set up, but with a softer tip section.  And to improve accuracy (decrease dispersion), I wanted to get him something with lower torque than the TT AMT shaft.  So, in a nutshell, that’s what I designed for him.  It’s a 125 gram shaft with a frequency close to the AMT S400, but with a tip that is pretty significantly softer and has 0.3 degrees lower torque.  The combo of a softer tip with lower torque will help him to launch the ball higher but maintain his accuracy.  The “Duff 4-iron”, also has a higher balance point than the AMT S440.  That way Duff can use a heavier head, get the same swingweight he is comfortable with, and put a little more mass behind the ball at impact to get an increase in ball speed and thus distance.”

“That’s the great thing about graphite.  The limitless design capability.  Graphite is a huge family of composite materials, with different stiffness, strength, density, etc..   Steel, although there are more alloys available today, is primarily a single material with a defined, limited set of mechanical properties.  And even with the additional alloys, individual steel shafts are made from one single steel alloy.  I can mix and match any number of composite materials into a single shaft, to change, enhance, fine tune any number of the shaft playing characteristics.  I can lower the torque and soften the tip.  With steel, if you soften the tip, the torque has to go up.  With steel, change the weight and you change the stiffness and torque.  Composites allow me to adjust individual attributes while having little or no effect on the remaining attributes.  This is a huge benefit of graphite and one of the reasons that I am working with Bryson and Duff and complete sets of graphite for their irons.  Stay tuned!”

This hopefully answers some of the questions that have been asked in the forums about a potential full iron set, and thanks to John we can look forward to more individual player-focused products.

Your Reaction?
  • 83
  • LEGIT10
  • WOW4
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

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 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.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. David johnson

    Sep 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Great article i am an old golf pro who learnt his golf as a club maker and player the comments make perfect sense and I would love to contact this company for some own use driver and fairway shafts to give me back some length I have lost if you give me the contact details I would be most grateful

  2. dixiedoc

    Sep 12, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Duff’s going to need more that a new four iron

  3. JP

    Sep 11, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Too bad this isn’t available to the average consumer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Equipment

2020 Ping G710 irons: Loaded with new tech for distance and forgiveness

Published

on

With the introduction of the Ping G710 irons, Ping continues the tradition of making golf easier and more fun for the average golfer by offering their longest and most forgiving iron to date.

Ping G710 irons: Here’s why they’re better

One of the strongest materials available to the golf industry for club faces beyond titanium is maraging steel. Generally, we see it used in fairway woods, hybrids, and driving irons, but as designers continue to see faster ball speeds, higher launch, and greater MOI, maraging steel has made its way into more irons sets including, you guessed it, the Ping G710’s.

Thanks to the maraging steel’s high strength and durability attributes, engineers can push the face thinner, which in turn creates more discretionary mass to more around the head to raise MOI and increase forgiveness. The engineers at Ping didn’t just stop at thinner. Each face of the G710 series iron is machined with variable-wall thickness to increase ball speeds around the whole hittable surface to help with those pesky mishits and keep ball speeds and distances consistent.

Just like with other hollow irons from Ping, including the i500 and G700, the face is only part of the technology story. The body of the iron is maximized to flex along with the face to assist in energy transfer to the ball while also being built to provide a solid and pleasant feel. It’s one thing to offer more forgiveness, but if golfers don’t like the feel, all the effort is wasted.

The 5 Percent Factor: Ping has never shied away from providing quantitative values to back up how a product is better than a previous design. In the case of the G710, it offers a five percent boost in MOI compared to the previous G700, thanks to optimally placed tungsten heel and toe weights in the head. This further allows designers to actually shrink the head size while increasing forgiveness.

Hydropearl stealth

The G710s come with a new hydropearl chrome finish with black PVD coating. The hydropearl makes the surface of the irons hydrophobic to improve performance through the turf and in wet conditions. The finishing process goes through two-stages to ensure durability.

If you were ever curious about the effectiveness of the hydropearl’s ability to increase spin in wet conditions, check out the independent test video from the team at TXG.

Newly engineered shafts

With the G710, Ping is introducing the Alta Distanza Black 40 graphite shaft. This proprietary Ping-designed shaft is a no-upcharge option in the G710 iron. The shaft is the lightest weight in the Ping shaft matrix and produces maximum trajectory available in a Ping iron shaft. A more active tip in the 43-gram shaft delivers higher trajectories and best matches golfers with slower swing speeds.

Arccos sensors stock

Data is the most valuable asset to any golfer to help aid in improvement. From PGA Tour pros to weekend golfers, the more you know, the more you can systematically improve on weaknesses. Ping, along with Arccos, wants to help by offering Arccos sensors with each club.

The Arccos Caddie Golf Pride 360 Tour Velvet is standard on every G710 iron and comes in three sizes. Along with the sensors, golfers who purchase G710s will also get a free 90-day trial of the app and eight additional screw-in sensors at no charge after the purchase of at least six G710 irons. (After the free 90-day trial the Arccos app is $99 annually)

Specs, pricing, and availability

The Ping  G710’s come 4-PW with utility wedge and sand wedge also available to complete the set.

The stock steel shafts are Ping AWT 2.0 (R, S, X), while the stock graphite shafts are; Alta CB Red powered by AWT (SR, R, X), Alta Distanza Black 40, UST Recoil 760 ES SmacWrap (A), UST Recoil 780 ES SmacWrap (R, S)

Ping also offers a large array of aftermarket steel shaft options at no additional upcharge.

Ping G710 irons will retail for $175 per iron in steel and $190 per iron with graphite.

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Equipment

Titleist T400 irons: Pure Titleist, pure distance

Published

on

Let’s be very clear from the start, the new Titleist T400 irons are built for one thing and one thing only: distance-driven performance.

The T400 occupy the fifth and final spot in the T-Series iron lineup—alongside the T300, T200, T100 and T100-S—and specifically target golfers with moderate swing speeds seeking greater height, distance, and forgiveness—all while still being distinctly Titleist.

2020 Titleist T400 irons: What’s inside and out

From sole to grip, the T400’s have been designed to maximize distance by any means necessary. Working from the sole up, the first thing you will notice is how wide the iron is from the leading to the trailing edge. This wide-body head shape pushes the center of gravity low and as far back as possible to boost forgiveness and increase launch.

To help eliminate any turf interaction issue that might come from this wide-body shape, Titleist employed a split sole design to elevate the last third of the sole and stops the club from bouncing into the ball and producing lower face strikes on firmer turf. With this design, the T400’s effectively play the same through the ground as the T300 but in a much more forgiving package.

You might recognize this sole design trait from another OEM since Cobra has used a similar sole shape in irons like the F9 and the new King Speed Zone. It’s no different than OEM’s using similar wedges grinds—since they all refine them differently—and it’s not a bad thing for the consumer either: it proves that both companies are onto something.

“Look, we already know what people are going to think when they see these loft specs, but they have to consider the target market and what we are trying to accomplish.” – To remain unnamed Titleist Employee

There is plenty of reason for the stronger lofts being part of the package beyond face technology and center of gravity placement. In fact, some of if even relies on psychology to help make the clubs easier to hit.

Before we get to the psychology part of the discussion, let’s get through the technological advantages the Titleist iron design team has brought to the T400 iron.

Hollow Multi-Material Head Construction: Hollow heads are not new, but as we have made clear over and over when talking about golf clubs, engineers only have so much mass to work with. Hollow multi-material heads produce an extremely high MOI (level of forgiveness) that maximizes ball speed on off-center strikes. It’s the difference between playing tennis with an old metal racket and making the jump to oversized carbon fiber. Bigger is better.

High-density Tungsten Weighting: Tungsten offers an extremely high-density mass-to-volume ratio that allows Titleist designers to push weight to the far reaches of the head to boost launch and fine-tune spin. This high-density weight positioning keeps the area behind the face of the iron open and unsupported to let it flex like a trampoline to increase ball speed.

Forged SUP-10 L-Face Insert: You might recognize this face insert from another recently released Titleist product, the Titleist U500 and 510 utility irons. The forged high-strength steel “L-face insert” comes in at less than two millimeters thick and is built to flex and retain ball speed. The “L” face has variable thickness and wraps under the leading edge of the iron to save mass by removing welds in the area of the face. This creates the opportunity for more discretionary weight on the heel and toe for the tungsten mentioned earlier.

Since the longer irons are where retaining ball speed is key, the SUP-10 face insert is found in the 5-7 irons and transitions to offer a more traditional face insert. It’s like having a combo set made with all the technology of a compact hybrid—something a lot of golfers truly need.

Optimized Weight Platform: The stock shaft and grip offering were all selected to match the performance goals of the T400 heads and also produce very light total weights to help golfers gain clubhead speed. For any moderate speed player, the opportunity to gain clubhead speed is a big benefit.

For many older players (not to go down a philosophical rabbit hole, but this moment, reading this right now, is the youngest you will ever be for the rest of your life…) being able to get back that extra club of distance and hit it higher and land it softer makes the game more fun. And who doesn’t want to have more fun?

This brings us back to something I mentioned off the top: How can a club be psychologically easier to hit? Just like how single length clubs can give golfers the confidence to set up better, not putting the number 4 on the bottom of a club can also create the same effect… seriously! During the testing process with players, there was the idea to make the set numbering go from 4-iron to W49, and, in essence, make the pitching wedge the 43-degree club instead of the 38-degree but this came with a few challenges

  1. The lengths would have had to change and for slower speed players longer clubs off the turf can be more difficult to elevate.
  2. The mental hurdle of a 4-iron vs a 5-iron may seem silly, but as a famous golfer once said: “The hardest distance to tame in golf in the six inches between your ears.” Player testing over and over showed that even when specs were the same, golfers hit the 5-iron better than the 4-iron. You can put that in the “strange but true” file.

The Titleist T400 golfer

One of the first things a golf company does before creating new products is to evaluate its current lineup and look at how newer clubs help cater to specific wants and needs of certain players. That alone is part of how we developed the categories in our GolfWRX Best Irons in Golf survey: to cater to player attributes not handicaps.

“T400 is the super distance Titleist iron. This club is engineered to get the ball in the air and launch it as far as possible, even when the strike isn’t perfect,” Josh Talge, Vice President of Marketing, Titleist Golf Clubs.

“There are so many golfers, particularly players with moderate swing speeds, who can benefit from this technology. T400 gets the absolute most out of your swing while still providing the playability of a Titleist iron along with that look, sound and feel that dedicated players demand.”

Speaking to “the dedicated player,” the T400’s are progressive in blade length, hosel length, and overall shape from address to still allow for precision shots as a player gets closer to the green. Just because an iron is built for distance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the opportunity to hit controlled shots. This once again appeals across player profiles.

Left: T400, Right T300

The last part of this story is similar to other OEM’s, and that is Titleist’s desire to have a single brand/line of clubs across markets instead of segmenting based on geography. What do I mean by this? Japan and South Korea.

Japan and South Korea are the second and third largest golf markets in the world by dollars (Yen and Won) spent on equipment. It’s an impressive feat considering the number of active golfers is much fewer than other parts of the world, including Europe. The largest part of the audience is moderate swing speed players looking for more distance, and in a golf marketplace where non-conforming drivers are more widely accepted and used, the “loft jacking” conversation is a moot point—it’s all about hitting clubs further.

Shaft and grip specs

T400 offers premium lightweight graphite and steel aftermarket options to help the target moderate swing speed players maximize performance.

The stock shafts are

Graphite: Mitsubishi Fubuki MV IR: A mid to high launch shaft that comes in at 50g.  MV stands for “Maximum Velocity” – since the profile encourages higher ball speed through its ultra-lightweight iron-specific graphite design.

Steel: True Temper AMT Red: The highest launching in the AMT family of True Temper steel shafts ascends 95-107g (3g per club) with lighter long iron shafts for increased launch and speed and heavier short iron shafts for control.

Along with the stock shafts, Titleist offers a bevy of custom shaft choices, with many at no up-charge.

T400’s 43-gram stock grip, the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 Lite+, weighs in nine grams lighter than
the T-Series stock Tour Velvet 360 model.

Pricing and availability

The Titleist T400 irons will be available in golf shops worldwide beginning March 27 with fittings tools making their way to fitters beginning March 6.

They are priced at $185.50 per club ($1,299/set of 7) for steel and $199.50 per club ($1,399 /set of 7) in graphite.

Another way to experience T400

Beginning February 27, golfers can experience the T400 irons for themselves by attending a Titleist Fitting and Trial event, being held at hundreds of locations nationwide.

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK7

Continue Reading

Equipment

New Honma TR20 460 and TR20 440 drivers launch for 2020

Published

on

Honma has introduced its two new driver additions for 2020—the TR20 460 and TR20 440.

The TR20 460 (used by Honma ambassador Justin Rose) is a full profile driver deeper front to back with a swept crown designed for confidence and playability, while the TR20 440 is a compact profile that sits higher in the back for a traditional appearance.

Honma TR20 460 driver

Honma TR20 440 driver

Speaking on the new drivers, Honma President John Kawaja stated

“TR20 drivers are a feat of engineering craftsmanship from our incredibly talented teams in Sakata and Carlsbad. Combining innovative carbon construction with the legendary shaping of our takumis in Japan is something we’re very excited for golfers to experience.”

Honma TR20 460 driver

TR20 460

Both new additions from Honma feature a nearly total carbon body and a fast TiCarbon Fast Frame.

The TiCarbon Fast Frame combines an ultra-lightweight ET40 carbon crown from Toray Composites with a carbon sole on a highly optimized titanium frame designed to provide maximum speed and weight efficiency.

A unique vertical groove face works with the Ti frame and carbon body in a bid to deliver speed, and three strategically located and adjustable sole weights seek to provide flight and playability preference for increased MOI, reduced spin, or more draw bias.

Honma TR20 460 driver

TR20 460

The non-rotating hosel on the two new driver additions from Honma allows the clubhead to be adjusted +/- 1.5 degrees in face angle, +/- 1 degree in loft, and +/- 1 degree in lie angle without changing the orientation of the shaft in a design for more consistent performance and impact delivery.

Honma TR20 460 driver

TR20 460

Honma’s TR20 drivers are engineered with the brand’s VIZARD shafts, designed to provide a better whole club in 50, 60, and 70-gram options with different EI profiles to meet the distance needs of golfers with different swing speeds and shaft loading tendencies.

Honma TR20 460 driver

TR20 440

Honma’s TR20 460 and TR20 440 drivers are available for fitting in February and at retail in March and cost $649.99.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 9
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending