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WRX Spotted: LA Golf Shafts “Rebar” wedge shaft

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la golf shafts rebar wedge shaft

Regarding a golf shaft: “It feels like a piece of rebar” is one of those phrases in the golf vernacular. In the case of LA Golf Shafts and its newest prototype being tested on tour, “being as stiff as a piece of rebar” is exactly what the company is going for.

To get the inside information on the new Rebar prototype, we reached out LA Golf Shafts Chief Product Officer John Oldenberg to find the out about the origin and development of the shaft

“The word “rebar” says it all. Our team did some testing with Bryson about a month back in San Diego with the Cobra folks on iron and wedges. At the time Bryson asked if we could make him a graphite shaft that was stiffer than the Dynamic Gold X7 that has been gaming. The answer to him was absolutely!”

Bryson DeChambeau's LA Golf Shafts Rebar wedge shaft

Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf Shafts Rebar wedge shaft

This is the biggest misconception that many consumers still have about graphite—it’s not as strong or as stiff as steel, since when it was originally introduced the shafts were targeted as a softer, lighter alternative to steel.

Back to John

“I told Bryson that with graphite, I could make the shaft as stiff as rebar. He was intrigued and ask that we make him shafts to test that were as stiff as we possibly could. So that’s what we did, hence the working name ‘Rebar’.  He tested a ‘Rebar’ 7 iron shaft at Cobra about 2 weeks ago and really liked it, and asked for some wedges to test. 

“The shafts that he is testing now  (that we spotted at the Safeway) are the ‘Rebar’ wedge shafts.  They are at least a full flex stiffer than his X7’s and are a whole lot stiffer in the tip, while also being a bit lower in torque.  So far the response from him has been very positive.  Last I heard he had re-shafted his three wedges with the “Rebar” and was taking them out on the course for a practice round.

“If these shafts work, the plan is to work him into a full set of graphite by the end of the year.”

This is certainly an interesting development since currently there isn’t a single player in the top 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings who plays graphite iron shafts—and the only one in the top 50 right now (based on current bags) is Matt Kuchar. Designers have said for years graphite can be made stiffer and even more reliable than steel, and now we are slowly seeing these product developments make their way to the PGA Tour.

 

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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.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Longus Hitterus

    Sep 27, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    I need this in a Driver. Thanks

    Big Dawg

  2. Fred

    Sep 25, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Bryson is a brilliant idiot who will soon think himself out of golf.

    • Brent

      Sep 26, 2019 at 12:13 am

      Really Fred? He got to be a top 10 player on earth with multiple wins on the PGA tour, doing and thinking exactly how he does. But please, enlighten us what he should do differently with his equipment.

    • Scott

      Sep 26, 2019 at 6:51 am

      Says the guy who can’t break 80 from the forward tees.

    • Chris P. Bacon

      Sep 26, 2019 at 7:32 am

      Fred is the type of guy who uses iron covers.

  3. James Awad

    Sep 25, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    About 25 yrs ago, when graphite shaft innovations were finally yielding some good breakthroughs, one of my students, an engineer (of course) brought me an 8 page print out of all the computations he did and ‘proved’ rebar would be better than any steel or graphite shaft…(as long as you’re Iron Byron)

    Kinda been done with wedges – see ‘Lobster Shaft’…

    I’m in favor of really stiff wedge shafts, but very little tech is required for that 🙂

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What GolfWRXers are saying about Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges

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@clevelandgolfeu

In our forums, our members have been discussing Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges. WRXer ‘hammergolf’ wants to hear from single-digit players who are currently playing the wedges, and our members have been sharing their thoughts on the clubs with plenty of praise for the wedges in our forums.

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.

  • cfmgolf: “I am definitely a believer. Tried it on a whim at a PGA SuperStore in FL last fall and was stunned by the consistency of it. Changed from a RTX3 to the CBX2 in my 52* gap within a couple of weeks. Now that we are back in OH for the summer, I changed out 3 wedges (Ping Glide 3.0, and 2 of the RTX 4’s) for an entire bag of the CBX2’s. I am trying the full face in my 56* and found it to be very good also. Biggest benefit for me has been the consistency of the CBX line. Shots out of the rough that can be high on the club don’t really lose much – i.e. more forgiving. I go between a 6-8HCP, and short game is my strong point. Very happy with them so far.”
  • JCRay33: “6 handicap here and bought a couple CBX’s (54 and 58) from 2nd swing a couple months ago and absolutely love them! Way more forgiving than typical blade wedges (had vokeys before) and great feel as well. It’s easy for ego to get in the way and not want to get these, but once you realize, all that matters is performance the choice is a no-brainer and results speak for themselves really.”
  • mortimer: “CBX2 50. Excellent gap wedge for full, 3/4 shots and chipping. Forgiving, consistent and more than acceptable spin numbers. Also offset is fine to my eye. Having said all that I would not game a 58/60 degrees one if you like to manipulate the face for different shots around the green as I do. Intrigued though with the new full-face but have not seen one in person yet.”
  • Simp: “I have a set of 58, 54 & 50 raw CBX2’s allegedly tour issue, and I love them. The 58 has a grind that is lovely. I’m a 0 FYI.”
  • nicelife: “I have Srixon irons and Mizuno T20 wedges. I found the CBX2 50 was the perfect transition club between sets. LOVE the Srixon/Cleveland V-Sole. Visually the face has more grooves than I would normally like to look at, but its performance more than makes up for it. I really like the satin finish. So much so I’m thinking about refinishing my irons. Go for it you won’t be sorry.”

Entire Thread: “Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges”

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the best non-mainstream brands for golf apparel and accessories

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@linksstrathaven

In our forums, our members have been discussing non-mainstream brands offering the best apparel and accessories. WRXer ‘CousinDonuts’ kicked off the thread with a great selection, and our members have been mentioning their favorites in our forums – with a wide variety of different brand’s receiving a mention.

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.

  • Mike T: “Apparel: J Lindeberg – Euro Style cut and fit. Shoes: Lamda – Handmade in Portugal.”
  • aem604: “Reigning Champ-Good active but also golf ready.”
  • Righty to Lefty: “Fenix Xcell based out of Thailand and have great gear with an Asian twist. I absolutely love all the vivid colors and options, especially from their previous collections. They also have a U.S. based collection that may suit others. Cross Sportswear based out of Sweden and have so really nice gear and a rarity which is waterproof trousers that look exactly like slacks. Antigua polos are nice quality and have some good designs. Druh has really good gear…pricey but still nice stuff. Retailer: Function 18 has quite a bit of your higher-end apparel all in one place. I start there and then go to each website individually to see what else they have available.”
  • kmay_: “Check out Pioneer Golf Co, Canadian headcover brand. Make some awesome covers and valuables pouches, starting to release some branded apparel. Prices are super fair, and if you’re in the US, they’ll be a steal.”
  • ScottWS33: “Bluegrass Fairway for headcovers, valuables pouches and scorecard holders.”
  • BobsBugsBeGone: “Best Exotic Belts: Jacob Hill Leather by Piedmont.”

Entire Thread: “Best non-mainstream brands”

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Coming out of the haze: What to expect from the OEMs in the second half of 2020

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As we slowly come out of the lockdown haze, it’s going to be interesting to see which OEMs are primed to come out swinging. From where I sit, there are a few companies that either kept the foot on the pedal or found new ways to interact with the masses. I have been tracking the major companies for different reasons, and I am optimistic on most fronts. Now, it needs to be said that everyone has been keeping the respective momentum going in their own ways—this has been a challenge for everyone, so this analysis is simply a commentary on what may come in the second half of the year.

Many good folks were either furloughed or laid off during this lockdown—that’s where we all lost. It needs to be acknowledged that we are talking about golf here, but the underlying reality of this is still devastating. I so look forward to getting into the trenches with these folks again either back where they were or at new companies.

TaylorMade became educators…and kicked off live golf again

Big giant club company or big giant marketing machine…it doesn’t matter what you label them as. TaylorMade Golf, in my opinion, turned the heartbreak of stalling one of the biggest first quarters in company history into an opportunity to start talking…and teaching. With the help of the tour team and TM athletes, TaylorMade focused hard on talking to us all during the lockdown. With multiple initiatives through social media, the Driving Relief event, and the tour staff engaging way more than usual. I believe TM created a runway to start moving quickly once stores and pro shops open up again.

Let’s face it, with the social media presence, the most robust tour staff maybe ever, and the driver everyone seems to have reserved for the top big stick of 2020, what’s not to be confident about? On the flip side, a company that big could have really taken it on the chin hard, but how they handled the lockdown—from my chair—was fun to watch and will ultimately ensure a quick restart. There is something to be said about having guys like Trottie, Adrian, and Hause in the fold informing and keeping things fun.

Rumor has it new irons are dropping in the fall/winter, which could spell two awesome bookends to a bittersweet 2020.

PXG leaned in

Why online sales for all OEMs spiked is no mystery. Boredom, desire, and a credit card are keys to any great online buying experience, but PXG made certain that if you were not a buyer previously, you may be now.

The price tag has always been a key topic with Bob Parsons’ Scottsdale-based company. It’s no secret that the clubs aren’t cheap, but during this lockdown, they did multiple strategic initiatives to not only crank up direct-to-consumer buying but also expand the PXG conversation into different areas, namely fashion.

Price cuts across the board started early and, rumor has it, enabled PXG to achieve sales numbers unlike any other period in the company’s short history. Yes, cutting prices helps unit sales, but in the case of PXG, it brought in the club customer that ordinarily shied away from PXG for financial reasons and ultimately made them buyers. That’s where PXG seems to shine, once they finally get you in, they are very effective at keeping you in the family. Mercedes-Benz AMG is like that: once you have had a taste of the Kool-Aid, it’s hard to go back to Hawaiian Punch.

In addition to the aggressive price-cutting, PXG fashion, spearheaded by President Renee Parsons, launched a new collection that is designed and manufactured by PXG. Fashion in times like these is always a risk from a financial standpoint, but this launch has been on the calendar since the BOY and the current lockdown did not disrupt that. It speaks to the confidence that Bob and Renee have in what they are doing. Now, is it a guarantee that PXG garments will fly off the shelves? No. but that’s not the point, it’s the fact that this current climate didn’t scare them into pivoting or holding off.

Point to this pick is PXG looks healthy coming out of this and it was possible to believe that perhaps this would have taken a toll on the custom fit brand. There is even a commercial produced during lockdown to attract even more club builders to the fold. Not normal behavior in times like these, but is anything that PXG does normal? No, and that’s what makes them fun to talk about.

The company also released its Essential Facemask with 50 percent of proceeds going to Team Rubicon.

Ping was quiet…but don’t be fooled

Yes, they did some rare social media engagements with Kenton Oates and the tour staff, which were fantastic. But the real magic here was the quiet way in which Ping slipped into 2020 and the mystery they have in hand and what’s to come next.

There hasn’t been really any new Ping product in a good while, and I anticipate a big winter for the Solheim crew. Sometimes, silence is golden and from what I can gather, what Ping has coming in irons and woods will be yet again a launch that gets people talking.

Ping from a business standpoint is a company that gets one percent better every year. Never any dramatic shifts in strategy or product. It’s always good, it’s always high-performance, and it’s always in the “best of” category across the board.

Watch out for them over the next six to nine months…a storm is brewing. A good one.

Cobra introduced the “Rickie iron”

Cobra Rev 33 Irons

Compared to 2019 and the runaway success that was the F9 driver, Cobra Golf seemed to cruise along in the first quarter of 2020. The SpeedZone metal wood line was an improvement tech-wise from the F9 but seemed to get lost in the driver launch shuffle with an earlier release—and frankly everyone in the industry took a back seat to TaylorMade’s SIM.

It’s not placing one stick over the other actually, I have been very vocal about my affections for both, it’s just some years, the story around a club can generate excitement, and if the club is exceptional, boom. Cobra was that cool kid in 2019.

What Cobra decided to do in the downtime is slowly tease and taunt with a “Rickie Fowler” iron. Players blades aren’t typically the driving element of any business model, but what Cobra did was introduce to a beautiful yet completely authentic forging that will not only get the gear heads going nuts but also entice the better players to start looking at Cobra as a serious better players iron company. No small feat.

Point is, Cobra has generated buzz. It helped that Rickie’s performance at Seminole was just short of a precision clinic. Beyond the Rev 33, its rumored Cobra has a new players CB coming and some MIM wedges.

It should be an exciting last half for the Cobra crew.

The Titleist train chugged on

I mean, what else is there to say about Titleist? They are as American as apple pie, have a stranglehold on multiple tour and retail categories, and one of the best front offices in golf. The company is a well-oiled machine.

So what do I expect from them in the last half? Well pretty much what I would expect on any other year, solid player-driven equipment. A metal wood launch is coming, the SM8 was a huge hit in stores and on tour, and the ball portion is the biggest 800-pound gorilla in golf.

It was also nice to see a little more social media interaction beyond the traditional. Aaron Dill has been very active on the social media front and a good portion of the tour staff, namely Poulter, JT, and Homa were proactive in engagement. Might seem trivial to some, but specifically, Titleist and Ping are not super active in the organic interaction game, so it was nice to see both companies dive into the fold.

Cleveland/Srixon should have a lot to look forward to

Let’s be honest here, 2019 was a quiet year overall for Srixon. Shane Lowry won The Open, but in the golf mainstream it was a leap year for them in regards to any launches. The anticipation from me personally of what is to come is quite strong. I adore the irons. I have yet to meet one I didn’t love, and fitters across the country will speak to that in sales. The Srixon iron line has become a popular yet-sort-of-cult-classic among fitters and gearheads and rightly so. They are phenomenal.

The recently teased picture of the new driver on the USGA site more or less teased us of what is to come for the overall line. New Cleveland wedges are coming shortly and the golf ball has always been a solid component to the Huntington Beach company.

As much as anyone in the market, I believe Srixon could finish the year with some serious momentum going into 2021. The irons and ball have always been firestarters. My only wish for them, selfishly, is a more aggressive tour strategy in regards to landing one of the perennial top 10. It seems like a dumb thought, but I have always felt Cleveland/Srixon was always a serious hitter that at times seems to get lost in the conversation. Having a big gun on staff or a couple of them will remedy that quickly.

Callaway has an eye on big things for the golf ball

Callaway, a company that seems to do it all well, was actually a bit quiet since the lockdown started. After a solid release of the Mavrik line and some momentum in the golf ball area, I’m sure this lockdown probably felt like a kick to the shin.

However, this company is shifting in a good way. The idea that they were a golf club company that happened to make golf balls is slowly turning into a company with multiple major components that stand alone. TaylorMade is on a similar shift, and honestly it’s very interesting to watch. Do I think that anyone will ever catch Titleist in the ball category? No, I don’t. All of these mentioned golf balls are ridiculously good, but 75 years of trust and loyalty are hard to compete with. But that’s not the point, Callaway is a monster company that takes the golf ball conversation very seriously, and I believe this will serve them very well coming out of this craziness and help the momentum going into 2021.

 

 

 

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