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Forum Thread of the Day: “Courses that are now obsolete on Tour due to power in the game?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Titleist99 who asks WRXers if they feel some golf courses are now obsolete on Tour due to the ever-growing power element in the game. Some of our members list tracks which they think will struggle to host majors again, while others explain why they feel every famous course still has its place on the calendar.

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.

  • oikos1: “The courses aren’t obsolete because most fans enjoy seeing a course overpowered. Golf traditionalists may not like it but just look at other sports today. Sure, a no-no, once it gets to the 7th becomes interesting, but most fans want to see homers and runs scored. Same in basketball, no one wants a pro game ending at 60-54 and football clearly is shooting for high scoring passing affairs. The majority of golf fans just don’t want to watch pro’s grind it out every week. They want to cheer for birdies and eagles. They want to see if the impossible is possible, the potential for crazy good. Bring on the 54 in golf! So no, golf courses aren’t becoming obsolete. PGA Tour attendance has been on the rise the last three years. If anything, they are looking at ways to make the events bigger and will seek venues that allow for just that.”
  • LICC: “Some former Majors courses that are now too short for the majors: St. Louis, Canterbury, Northwood, Prestwick, Myopia, Five Farms, Wannamoisett, Chicago Golf Club.”
  • Obee: “The problem with the shorter courses is that the Tour players don’t like having driver taken out of their hands. And that’s really all it is. They get ‘bored.’I get it; it does take away a large part of the game. But I would love to see them play more short courses were drivers taken out of their hands on a good number of holes. But as far as ‘obsolete’ goes. None of the courses are obsolete. They are just different.”
  • NJpatbee: “Course design and not just length add to the difficulty of a course. Pine Valley will never host a pro tournament because of their inability to handle the crowds; I would speculate that even the regular tees would be a challenge for the PGA Tour pros. The Championship Tees would be a bear. Now, I have never played there, but I am available if any member wishes to invite me!”
  • Titleist99: “PGA TOUR might want to add a little rough to protect our classic courses..”

Entire Thread: “Courses that are now obsolete on tour due to power in the game?”

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Moosejaw McWilligher

    Nov 21, 2019 at 3:09 am

    No such thing as an “obsolete” golf course. A tournament requires that the winner takes one or more fewer strokes over 72 holes than everyone else. Whether that winning score is -30 or +10 makes little difference to most golf fans, and zero difference at all to the integrity of the game itself.

    It DOES however, mean a lot to the enormous egos and enormous pocketbooks of golf course architects – who can pad their resume and their bank account by declaring courses “obsolete” and then getting paid to “re-design” (ie, lengthen) those courses. And the egos of members of private clubs who compensate for other shortcomings with their “big bad” golf course.

    It also can affect the egos of old former pros who don’t like seeing their scores and records broken – which also makes zero difference to the integrity of the game.

    “Obsolete” is fake news.

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Equipment

Patrick Reed’s irons and playing golf club detective

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As golf writers with a specialty in golf club technology and an understanding of how the industry and supply chains work, it’s usually not overly difficult for us to draw some conclusions as to where particular clubs might come from. The reason being that as far as top-end quality components go, there are only so many places that have the capability to produce them—especially when it comes to creating thin cast/forged titanium woods or forged irons.

When a new club shows up, this puts us in the position of reading between the lines, closely comparing pictures, club designs, and even fonts, in an attempt to connect the dots.

One of the first examples of this in 2019 was Francesco Molinari’s custom Callaway irons—obviously different from the standard Apex MB model. Francesco even divulged some information about their Japanese roots in an interview with Golf.com’s Jonathan Wall “These [Apex MB] forged blades are made, I think, in Japan, so they’re slightly different from the standard muscle back.” I took a deep dive on these in a piece that can be found here. 

OEM Oversight

Don’t think for a second it’s only equipment junkies on the outside doing research to learn more about their favorite clubs or trying to track down prototype information—OEMs and equipment manufacturers do it too; they even have teams dedicated to the task.

One of the best examples of this is a group of engineers located in Titleist HQ in Fairhaven Massachusetts. Their primary role is to monitor their supply chain, but the other key part of their role is to keep up to date on what other overseas manufacturers are doing with their balls, including the “white label” balls being sold under various brands—a hot topic that has been discussed many times over. The reason this is key for Titleist/Acushnet is they are both designers and patent holders when it comes to golf ball IP (intellectual property), and Acushnet also owns its manufacturing, something only the largest companies can afford to do.

The “Patrick Reed Signature” Irons

Photo By: Royce Thompson (PGA Tour)

This brings us to Patrick Reed’s new “signature” irons, spotted earlier this week at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Patrick has been quiet on the subject beyond a few details including that he’s been working on them for over a year with a small Japanese company, and we would be hearing more at the beginning of January. First reported by PGA Tour’s Andrew Tursky, thanks to some digging on the USGA Conforming List, the irons are Manufactured by Emery JPN Co.

Here’s where the detective work kicks in: I went beyond the USGA’s list and starting searching for Emery JPN Co. online and came back mostly empty-handed until I had an idea. The USGA isn’t the only governing body to have conforming lists so I went to the R&A, and BINGO!

A quick search for Emery resulted in them being the parent company for a number of quality component OEMs including GrindWorks.jp , SAQRA , and Patrick Reed.

Just like with golf balls, phones or computers, smaller companies don’t own their manufacturing and instead rely on creating a design to then be built by a much large facility. With phones, that means Foxconn, with golf balls that means a few large companies in Taiwan and China, and for forged irons, that generally leads to Endo—one of the largest forging companies in the world—they even have they own in house brand, Epon. Considering that GrindWorks irons are known to be forged at Endo, I would be happy to draw a straight line to the Patrick Reed irons also being forged there too.

Until we have further details this is still speculation, but to see what other are saying in the GolfWRX forums check out the discussion here: GolfWRX Forums: Patrick Reed with new Irons

 

 

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Patrick Reed’s custom Scotty Cameron Captain America putter”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases Patrick Reed’s custom Scotty Cameron Captain America putter. The Texan had the putter made for the 2018 Ryder Cup and didn’t put it into action, but Reed has the flat-stick in the bag this week at the Hero World Challenge, and it’s serving him well as he sits atop the leaderboard at the halfway mark.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say on the putter at the link below.

  • JBull1011: “Awesome looking putter!”
  • Cmiller6868: “My dream putter. This putter gets better looking every time I click on it.”
  • SubaruWRX: “I know it’s picky, but I wish he’d done white paint fill in the middle dot.”

Entire Thread: “Patrick Reed’s custom Scotty Cameron Captain America putter”

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Honma launches new premium Beres line with clubs featuring 24K gold and platinum accents

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Honma Beres Line

Honma has launched its new premium Beres line which includes drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons available in the brand’s 2,3,4 or 5 star grade options – with the 5 star option containing 24K gold and platinum accents.

The four full premium Beres product lines are defined by a star grade ranging from 2-5 stars. According to the company, the grades are differentiated by increasing levels of cosmetic detail, shaft performance and use of precious metals in the clubhead, culminating in a 5 star offering featuring both 24K gold and platinum accents.

Honma beres Line

Beres 5 str iron

Speaking on the all-new Beres line, Hiroshi Suwa, Senior Director, Product Development Division, stated

“Only Honma’s most experienced takumi are permitted to work on BERES. These golf clubs represent the soul of our company and are the ultimate artistic expression of our most talented clubmakers.”

The metalwoods of the Beres line feature maximum active speed slot technology that fully activates at lower swing speeds to increase distance. The sole slot of these metalwoods features deep side slot extensions designed to increase distance on off-center hits. A thin, internal, radial-ribbed face in the Beres drivers seeks to offer maximum distance potential off the tee.

Hona Beres Line

Beres 4 star irons

The maximum active speed slot technology extends to the new Beres irons where three sole slots, two internal and one external, aim to work to increase speed off the face for ultimate distance even at slower swing speeds. A 3D L-Cup face construction pushes weight back in the irons to visible weight pads designed to enhance forgiveness and speed on off-center hits.

Honma beres Line

Beres 3 star iron

The new Beres line also contains ARMRQ shafts which have been redesigned to increase distance – having been constructed with multi-axis metal hybrid armor technology visible under the grip for a high smash-factor design

For the 3-5 star grade options, Honma increased the use of special “twist fleuret” M40X composite material inspired by the shape memory characteristics of fencing swords – designed to provide players with extra distance.

Honma Beres Line

Beres 3 star driver

On the new premium line, Chris McGinley, Vice President of Global Product, said

“The new BERES brings modern, elegant beauty and high-performance technology to a wide range of golfers across all global markets who appreciate fine detail and impeccable craftsmanship in golf clubs.”

The all-new Honma Beres line is available for both men and women and can be purchased now in stores and online with prices ranging from $850 for the 2-star driver to $4,500 for the 5-star offering.

 

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