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GolfWRX Visits TMag in Carlsbad- Trip report

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Special thanks to TaylorMade and Adidas Golf for the invite, inspiration and the time for the visit.

About a month ago when planning for Greg’s trip to cover the Chevron World Challenge we contacted a few OEM’s in Carlsbad if they were interested in a visit. We would do some video tech pieces cover general photos of the new gear for 2012. TMag said come on in and Greg was to spend a half of a day working with TMag to cover all the stories.

Click here to see the dozens of photos and full discussion in the forums… http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/552395-golfwrx-visits-tmag-in-carlsbad/

Then I was on the phone bugging them probably to get me some info on their new stuff and one thing lead to another I was on a plane also. Dave said to bring my clubs and let me quote him…

“lets play some golf”.

Figured he would have me at some upscale sweet course and I would be able to take a cool 20.00 off of him in a friendly $5.00 dollar nassau. Off I went to TMag. Met at 8:00am Wednesday of last week the and spent the whole day on campus. Basic agenda…

8:00 breakfast – meet and greet.
9:00 Kingdom debut of the gear I had not seen yet
9-10:30 Capture images and do video tech interviews w/ some testing
10:30-11:30 Launch monitor and testing
11:30-12:30 Lunch (in Sean Toulon’s Office)
12:30-3:00 Adidas
3:00-4:00 Accessories
5:30-2:00 am Dinner and dancing LOL

Where is the golf??? Story later… hummm

Dave Cordero was the poor sucker that had to block out the day to schlep me around all day.We started at the Kingdom where they had a sweet spread laid out for me. Real touch of class. We talked shop and I was able to meet some of the Social media folks I haven’t met yet. Then Sean Toulon (Executive VP) came over and spent at least 45 minutes talking shop. Some of you reading have met him but just like us. Golfer, gearhead and passion of five. Love for the game, TaylorMade Golf and the equipment that he makes.

After a long discussion I met Jim Flick on the way to the range at the Kingdom. I was able to hit the new equipment that they asked me not to say or show pics yet of. Since Dave said “lets play some golf” I had my white out bag that was all tricked up. I was able to compare my gamers to the new gear and I think that was a surprise to them. With out giving to many details that would bar me from ever seeing them again I did have a break through with the 3 wood. I feel my current set up is dead on. I was able to hit their new 3 wood 15 yards longer. It wasn’t obvious either. Meaning not higher or less spin as much as ball speed. SOB jumped off the face like a cannon and felt awesome. All me and all in. I cant wait. I am thinking 13* might go farther than my Driver. Seriously.

The other gear was awesome to but that was the big highlight. I did hit a 3 and 4 iron longer than I ever hit an iron before I guess. That is another highlight. I nuked (well for my 105mph swing nuke is well…. my nuke) some long irons like I have never hit one. They were rockets for me. Interesting to say the least. I really cant go into more detail unfortunately because they have me under embargo.

Now before you tell me I sold out the man because I have pics that I cant show you, please hear me out. Rules of engagement 101… If we catch the scoop out in the field we are live. (present evidence of the RBZ From Camilo’s bag today) . If they invite us into their labs and show us secrets than they can tell me the schedule to post I of course would respect that. Trust me guys I am no sell out. We are social media pure and pure.i love to get in with these guys and they love us to.

Quote from Sean Toulon,

“I love you guys- I spend at least two hours a day on your site”.

So I have some photos that I cant share today but soon I will be able to. As for the testing I am a 4 to 6 handicap so it was a bit intimidating to have 3 product managers, the VP and 4 to 8 other TMag guys looking at you while you hit the new gear. I was ok but still always wish I smoked it like some of my scratch or plus handicap fiends. But all and all I hit the ball good enough to experience the technology and compare it to the last generation. Feel of the new iron set and distance was awesome. Everything about this new 3 wood is off the charts sick. I am all over it. 15 yards all day over my optimized gamer 3 wood. All ball speed.

TMag crew are awesome. Sean, Tom, John, and most of the managers are all good to great players in their own right. Fun to sit on a range test and talk gear with gearheads for hours on end. I was in heaven.

Did I say I smoked the 3 wood? I wouldn’t lie… I smoked the 3 wood.

After testing we had lunch in Sean’s office and then Mark King (CEO) came over and spent some time us. Funny how small the world is. Mark King and GolfWRX Greg Moore went way back when Greg used to work at La Costa as a Pro. Greg and Mark shared stories of the old days and how cool was that.

Then I was ready to play 18 holes and they sent me into a 6 hour product and facility tour that had me in a mental daze before I was half way through. All the cool new Adidas lines and some new shoes that I tried to smuggle out of there. You will freak out.

I never did ask when we were playing golf. I didn’t want to make Dave feel bad. However towards the end of the day I was showing him some of the pimped out raw wedges they sent me from my bag that was in the back of the Tahoe. Dave asked me, “why did you bring your clubs?” I said that you told me to come out and play some golf so I thought that meant…. play golf right? Ouch.. Honestly I think he was nervous after seeing me compress the ball like I did. We laughed it off and to dinner we went.

Off to dinner with all the top guys that were there in the morning events. Great time at dinner and talk family, golf and friends. Slept the night and flew back to Detroit camera in hand.

Anyways… here are some pics from “inside the ropes”

Click here to see the dozens of photos and full discussion in the forums… http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/552395-golfwrx-visits-tmag-in-carlsbad/

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Equipment

Titleist AVX golf balls passed the test, are now available across the United States

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Titleist’s AVX golf balls first came to retail as an experiment in three markets — Arizona, California and Florida — from October 2017 to January 2018. AVX (which stands for “Alternative to the V and X”) are three-piece golf balls made with urethane covers, and they’re made with a softer feel for more distance than the Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

After proving their worth to consumers, Titleist’s AVX golf balls are now available across the U.S. as of April 23, and they will sell for 47.99 per dozen (the same as Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls) in both white and optic yellow.

According to Michael Mahoney, the Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing for Titleist, the AVX is a member of the Pro V1 family. Here’s a basic understanding of the lineup:

  • AVX: Softest, lowest trajectory, lowest spinning, less greenside spin and longest
  • Pro V1x: Firmer than the Pro V1, highest spinning and highest trajectory
  • Pro V1: Sits between the V1x and the AVX in terms of feel, spin and trajectory, and will appeal to most golfers

Different from the Pro V1 or Pro V1x, the AVX golf balls have a new GRN41 thermoset cast urethane cover to help the golf balls achieve the softer feel. Also, they have high speed, low compression cores, a new high-flex casing layer, and a new dimple design/pattern.

For in-depth tech info on the new AVX golf balls, how they performed in the test markets, and who should play the AVX golf balls, listen to our podcast below with Michael Mahoney, or click here to listen on iTunes.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the AVX golf balls

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Andrew Landry’s Winning WITB: 2018 Valero Texas Open

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Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees at 8.8 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue ATX65 TX
Length: 45.25 inches, tipped at 1 inch
Swing Weight: D3

3 Wood: Ping G (14.5 degrees at 15.15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75
Length: 43 inches, tipped 1 inch
Swing Weight: D2

5 Wood: Ping G (17.5 degrees at 17.75 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85
Length: 42 inches
Swing Weight: D2

Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105X
Swing Weight: D2

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F and 60-10S)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S
Grip: Ping Pistol
Length, loft, lie: 33 inches, 3 degrees, 3 degrees flat

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord

WITB Notes: Landry tweaked his iron lofts before the Valero; 1 degree weak in his 4 and 5 iron, and 0.5 degrees weak in his 6-PW.

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Landry’s clubs.

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