“Let’s build ’em hybrids. What the hell.”
The TaylorMade tour staff photoshoot has become an early November tradition that is well known to the golf junkies of the world. For civilians, it’s when Tiger, Rory, DJ, Rahmbo, and the rest of the staff will get their first look at the new TM equipment.
Fun for us onlookers, but extremely stressful for TM marketing, R&D, and tour departments.
“First impressions are everything. If we don’t get ’em excited right away, it could go the other way fast.” – Chandler Carr, TaylorMade Product Creation
The task of prepping the new clubs falls on the shoulders of TaylorMade’s Product Creation Team—Chandler Carr and Patrick Baxter. Every year, they get staff specs, pillage the stock for the right components, and assemble the full gamut of what each player typically games. One thing that is never in the conversation is hybrids, however—nobody on staff hits ’em so why build ’em?
This is where this story gets fun.
Either as a joke or out of general curiosity, Chandler had the thought to build up hybrids for the entire staff. Obviously, team TaylorMade has all players specs dialed in but hybrids? Without knowing the exact hybrid specs there was a good amount of guesswork involved as well as some healthy debate between those in the room (including Baxter) on the practicality of building a hybrid for Tiger Woods, Rory, or any of the staff that has never even sniffed a hybrid.
I know Chandler well, and he is a gearhead of the highest caliber as well as a person who will take a risk just to see the outcome. What’s the worst that could happen? Nobody hits ’em and they end up back at HQ in a pile of “I told you so?”
So, after finally convincing Patrick Baxter to go along, the Rescues were built to spec and shipped off to sit in the bags of the highest-ranked tour staff in the world.
Now, there are hybrids on tour—lots of them. But they are not the most desired choice for multiple reasons the main one being a left-miss tendency. And frankly, most players would rather look at a 5-wood or 2-iron. In relation to TaylorMade, they don’t really make hybrids for the tour: they are for the higher handicap player.
The story continues…
The TaylorMade staff shows up at the Floridian in West Palm Beach, Florida, for a day of content with people like Me and My Golf, for testing with Tomo Bystedt, Bazz, and Keith, interviews with selected press, and the fun of all being in one place at one time on a day off.
When each player approached the new bags of goodies, Rory was the first to comment
“There is a hybrid in my bag, is someone trying to tell me I need help with my long irons?”
He was kidding, obviously, but it was a weird thing for a player like that to see in his bag. However, during a break, Rory decides to kill some time and starts hitting the 19-degree Sim Max Rescue. He put on a ballstriking clinic that had the whole place in awe.
“The flag was 260 out and he was peppering this thing with draws, fades, stingers on command.” – Chris Trott, TaylorMade Sports Marketing
Low and behold DJ gets wind of the action, hits a few, loves it and puts it in the bag.
This is a unicorn situation for TaylorMade…sort of. A few weeks later, the buzz around Rory and DJ putting Sim Max Rescues in the bag hit Instagram during the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, and it was a big deal. That buzz created curiosity that trickled down the world rankings, and within days the TaylorMade tour crew had orders coming from some of the best players on the planet, staff and non-staff.
Looks good for marketing, but for Wade and the boys in the truck, it’s been a club building calculus problem.
Heres the thing, Sim Max Rescues are production-only heads…not tour spec heads. They’re built for big box retail and online buyers. When a product goes to Tour, it’s built for the tour, which in this case means it would have a longer hosel for manipulation, center of gravity would be different, and there would be a hot melt port for sound and swing weight, etc.
The issue is the heads that went out to the truck for the first event stateside were retail production heads. So, if a guy wants to try one and give it a fair shot, the TM tour trailer has a component that is damn near impossible to bend (due to the short hosel), tricky to weight with no hot melt alleyway, and also it’s a head built specifically for a 65-gram 40-plus inch regular flex graphite shaft. For the club builders out there, you can see the dilemma.
In a one-off situation, it’s not a huge issue, but due to the volume of players wanting to test, TaylorMade literally ran out of Rescue heads this week in Phoenix. Wade and crew are in full grind mode on the truck. This is the “influencer” thing working. Situations like this where the world No. 2 gets excited, puts it in play and boom, instant curiosity from his peers.
I’m assuming the plan is to create a tour head to allow for an easier build, but that could take weeks. (I’ll keep you posted on that)
So it goes like this: TaylorMade owes Chandler and Patrick a thank-you for the bold idea, and Chandler and Patrick owe the boys on the truck a case of apology beer for the chaos created. And if sometime in April Rory flings his Sim Max Rescue into the eighth green at Augusta and has a four-footer for eagle to take the lead, Chandler and Patrick can say “I told you so.”
Not all heroes wear capes.
Collin Morikawa WITB (2020 ZOZO Championship)
Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 degrees @ 13.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX
Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09SB), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (56-14F @55), TaylorMade MG2 Hi-Toe (60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: TaylorMade Spider FCG
- Hosel: Short Slant
- Alignment: No line
- Length: 34.25”
- Lie: 69.5°
- Loft: 2.5°
- SW: D4
Grip: TaylorMade Red Cap
Shaft: KBS CT Tour
Ball: TaylorMade TP5
Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord
Cobra introduces new 2021 King Tour irons with MIM technology
It’s been quite a while (three-plus years) since we have seen any new players irons from Cobra Golf. The Rev33 “Rickie iron” was teased out over the last year, but the focus has mainly stayed on its Forged Tec line, which has done well in the very competitive players distance category.
So why the long wait?
According to Cobra’s VP of R&D Tom “TO” Olsavsky it was for a very specific reason…
“A long time ago we had actually planned it to launch at the end of 2019 as we usually try to launch players irons in the fall. Between COVID-19 delays and the new breakthrough innovation MIM process, it took us a little longer but it’s been worth the extra time, player feedback has been amazing so we are confident it will succeed.”
Introducing new 2021 Cobra King Tour irons
Metal Injection Molding AKA MIM is a term we have heard a few times over the past year. Cobra just recently implemented this process into its MIM wedge line. Essentially, it’s a process that allows OEMs to fine-tune a club heads shape and spec to the nth degree all while dialing in the softest feel possible. Seems awesome for a wedge and even better for an iron. To make it really easy to understand, it’s not cast, it’s not forged, its MIM.
The multi-material 1025 iron head has a tungsten weight inserted into the toe section that dials in the CG directly to the sweet spot. This practice is very popular—and almost essential at this point—Cobra has done this in the past with its previous players irons and it was first introduced as a head weight adjustment for Rickie Fowler years ago.
The final step is a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) insert to ensure impact gives off that “Muscle Back” softness at impact, a good way for traditional players to try new tech and not sacrifice the familiar softness of a forged blade.
Who is it for?
According to Olsavsky
“The King Tour iron is designed for the range of Tour players to single-digit handicaps. It slots in nicely between the pure MB type irons and Players Distance. It’s also a slight merger between Forged Tour and Forged CB shapes, so hoping to cover both players that would have chosen one of these 2 irons.”
2021 Cobra King Tour irons: Optics
The new 2021 Cobra King Tour has a slightly shorter blade from the previous King Forged Tour iron based on comments from staff, the top line has been thinned out (a hair) and offset was increased to satisfy staff feedback.
According to Cobra Director of Tour Operations Ben Schomin
“The initial shape was developed years ago in the AMP Cell Forged iron and then transitioned with a few tweaks into the King Forged Tour. The shape in general was always well liked, but there was a common theme among R&D/marketing employees and players that the long iron blade lengths were a little long from heel to toe. We made some design changes to the MIM Tour iron that addressed blade length along with a few other feel enhancing tweaks. Overall it is a very eye pleasing shape.”
To make it really uncomplicated: the new 2021 Cobra King Tour is a simple, compact player cavity back designed to do its job. Cobra irons have always gone through the turf well, and now has a softer feel thanks to the MIM process. Players will get the MB feel in a CB iron.
Cobra doesn’t have the biggest Tour presence in the world, but it does have some VERY unique minds to pick from for R&D.
“Like all of our new gear, we love to get input from our staff. In this case, having players like Jason Dufner, Rickie Fowler and others giving specific feedback is always an integral part of the process. For example, Duf is as knowledgeable about what makes a good club as anyone out there. If he responds well to shape or feel we know we are in a good place.” -Ben Schomin
And we had to ask about BAD…Is this something Bryson would put in play?
“At this time there is no plan to make one length out of this head. But who knows, if he gets fired up to play them we will make it happen. He seems to be doing fine with what he has in the bag now, lol.” -Ben Schomin
2021 Cobra King Tour irons: Overall
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, these days any product that hits the market will be (for the most part) superb. Like its competitors, Cobra is offering a simple yet elegant players CB that will hold water with anything else.
The real question goes back to the players themselves: What are you looking for in your irons? Is it more distance (hopefully not), precision, turf interaction, curb appeal? We all respond to different parts and now more than ever there are options to satisfy your heart and your hands. This new Cobra iron has everything a player would want. So, get fit, and put ’em to the test.
The King Tour Irons with MIM Technology are available in a 4-PW set make-up in right hand only.
A 3-iron and gap wedge are available via custom order. Each King Tour iron is equipped with a steel KBS $-Taper 120 shaft in the golfer’s choice of stiff or regular flex. In addition, each iron comes with a Cobra Lamkin Crossline Connect grip in black.
A wide selection of shaft and grip upgrades are also made available through custom order. The stock steel set retails for $1,299 and will be available beginning October 30, 2020, on cobragolf.com and through Cobra’s entire network of off-course retailers/custom club fitters.
GolfWRX Classifieds (10/20/20): Putters! 3D printed NCW, TP Mills, Scotty Cameron circle T
At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.
One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.
Soft lines, milled face, and a true one of a kind, what else could you want in a beautiful TP Mills putter?
To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: TP Mills
FTUO – for tour use only! This Scotty Cameron is straight from the tour and ready for your local country club, muni, or indoor golf league – wherever it is you play.
To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Circle T putter
This is truly in the IYKYK (if you know you know) category of golf equipment. A fully 3D printed putter from the same great people that produce some of the greatest custom forged irons on the planet: National Custom Works.
To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: NCW 3D printed putter
Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds
19th Hole4 days ago
The average driving distance for male amateur golfers by age
19th Hole1 week ago
The average driving distance for male amateur golfers in each handicap range
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Bryson DeChambeau’s 48-inch driver set for the Masters; damages car behind range at Shriners
Equipment6 days ago
Costco Kirkland Signature wedge review – GolfWRXers discuss
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Sergio Garcia’s winning WITB: 2020 Sanderson Farms Championship
19th Hole1 week ago
Matthew Fitzpatrick accuses DeChambeau of ‘making a mockery of the game’; Bryson responds: ‘Hey man, I’d love to help out’
Whats in the Bag1 week ago
Tyrrell Hatton’s winning WITB: 2020 BMW PGA Championship
Whats in the Bag1 week ago
Martin Laird’s winning WITB: 2020 Shriners Open