“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.
J.T Poston WITB 2020
- J.T. Poston’s WITB accurate as of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 50-12F, 54-14F, 60-04L)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo 5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
Shot Scope introduces V3 Smart Golf Watch – the first GPS smart golf watch to feature artificial intelligence
Shot Scope has unveiled its all-new V3 Smart Golf Watch, featuring artificial intelligence which offers golfers real-time on-course performance tracking capabilities.
Through the Power-Sense AI strap technology, the V3 Smart Golf Watch captures data on every shot, which provides golfers instant feedback in design to allow them to understand their swing better and to reach optimal performance.
Per the company, the data becomes more personalized with the more rounds the golfer plays in a bid to provide highly refined settings that are personal to each player.
Backed by proprietary dual GPS antennas (30cm GPS accuracy) the watch contains 35,000 pre-loaded courses worldwide.
Speaking on the new V3 Smart Golf Watch, David Hunter, CEO, Shot Scope stated
“Artificial Intelligence in a smart golf watch is a game-changer as the V3 provides golfers with real-time game tracking data like never before. As a multi-function watch, and backed by V3’s Power-Sense AI strap technology and dual GPS Antennas, golfers have never been afforded such an innovative combination of performance tracking and distance measuring.”
Once players sync the watch through Bluetooth, golfers can avail of the interactive dashboard. The interactive dashboard provides an aerial view of the course for a bird’s-eye view, and enables the watch to capture and analyze over 100 tour-level statistics on club distances and tee shots.
Shot Scope’s PinCollect technology will record putt and pin location, while also capturing and analyzing approaches, short game and putting statistics.
The Shot Scope V3 Smart Golf Watch includes 16 pre-labeled Club ID tags and comes in five watch strap options, including black, blue, red, gray and purple.
The Shot Scope V3 costs $219 and can be purchased at Dicks Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy, PGA Superstores, TGW.com, golf specialty stores or online at www.shotscope.com.
What GolfWRXers are saying about the most underrated well-priced modern putters
In our forums, our members have been having an interesting discussion on modern putters. WRXer ‘Justsomeguy’ asks fellow members for their thoughts on the most underrated and well-priced modern-day putter, and WRXers have been having their say with lots of different flat-sticks 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.
- hsmahon: “Cleveland Huntington Beach #1 is the best putter for the price. Feels just as good as any Scotty.”
- scottaz: “Mizuno M.Craft. Looks and feels great and easy to dial in with the weight kit. Three different styles and colors and cost less than most new high-end putters.”
- James the Hogan fan: “Wilson infinite series is pretty good, Windy City is one of the anser variants. Sleek looking black finish and styling too.”
- NRJyzer: “Hard to beat the Huntington Beach putters. Plenty of models to suit personal tastes. Quite soft feeling. I have a 1, thinking about checking out the 2 as I’ve been putting better with my Snake Eyes Viper Tour, and it’s the closest thing to an 8802ish stick.”
- txgolfer45: “Original Ping Anser and Anser2. Picked up a MySpiderX earlier this year for $200 in like-new condition. Money well spent since new is $420.”
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