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The best booth at the 2013 PGA Show: Welcome to ‘Club TaylorMade’

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By David Phillips Jr., GolfWRX Contributor

TaylorMade’s setup at the PGA Merchandise Show is like any other major equipment company. Just as they have done the last few years, TaylorMade positions its display in an isolated room at the far end of the Orange County Convention Center, distancing itself from its competition — companies like Titleist, Nike, Callaway and Ping, which are clustered together on the other end of the building.

At this year’s Show, TaylorMade’s setup gave visitors the feeling that they were walking into a Miami nightclub — call it Club TaylorMade. The two huge entrances were tunnels, which featured bright lights to let visitors know they were in for something special.

TaylorMade added to the party feeling with booming house music, which was quiet enough to be able to engage in normal conversation without having to yell. The main lights were dim, but there were enough colored spotlights to brighten the party. Check out the video tour below we took that shows the attention to detail.

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Inside Club TaylorMade were about a dozen individual booths that were bigger than most of the booths on the floor. The displays towered to the ceiling, letting visitors know that the latest and greatest from TaylorMade was worth showcasing.

Click here to see the photo gallery and read the discussion in the forums

The first booth inside the entrance was the R1 booth, which was positioned to the right. Click here to read a full review on the R1. There were two white “c” shaped leather couches around a table that was designed as a giant adjustable sole plate that controls the face angle on the R1 driver. TaylorMade also positioned Apple iPad Minis all around with the company’s R1 app that allows golfers to virtually dial in an imaginary driver to what ever specs they choose.

Inside the booth. there were dozens of R1 drivers for visitors to pick up, waggle and say,

“Wow look at that crown.”

Move a little further into this booth and visitors could get their picture taken with TaylorMade’s R1-inspired War Paint superimposed on their face. There was a giant 10-by-20-foot TV that displayed a visitors picture with the likes of Sergio Garcia, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson. What if you wanted to keep your War Paint picture? Well, TaylorMade would print them out and put them in a special folder for you to take home.

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Next was a giant display of TaylorMade’s Rocketballz Stage 2  drivers and fairways woods, which the company claims to be “Rocketballz-ier.” If you wondered what was so different about the new fairways, all you had to do was look up and it told you — last year’s original RocketBallz fairway woods were 17 yards longer, and this year’s Stage 2 models were 10 yards longer than that. It was an impressive display that reached almost 30 feet in the air.

Click here to see the photo gallery and read the discussion in the forums

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The next section bragged of TaylorMade’s new line of golf balls, a sector that TaylorMade has seen steady growth in popularity and performance. The booth was exclusive, with a sign reading: “This ball is for TaylorMade players only.” Remember, it’s Club TaylorMade, so the booth had a velvet rope and a guard checking to see if visitors were on the list of players who play TaylorMade. OK, there was no list, all you have to do was say, “Yes, I play TaylorMade” and you got in. But you get the idea.

Inside there were a six men dressed in suits explaining TaylorMade’s Lethal golf ball. Once you talked to them for a few minutes and understood the evolution of the 5-piece golf ball, they reached behind the desk and pulled out a fresh sleeve of the balls that aren’t available in store yet.

Click here to see the photo gallery and read the discussion in the forums

taylormade Lethal

Remember how I said we were just getting started?  Well we have only covered the first quarter of Club TaylorMade. Next up from TaylorMade is “this little thing” that the company says has changed the iron forever. The booth has a 40-foot tall picture of the speed pocket on the sole of a 7-iron, which had a spotlight positioned behind it that showed through to highlight the speed pocket every few seconds. Click here to read the review and tech videos on the new RocketBladez Irons.

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After covering only four booths, visitors may begin to get tired, so Club TaylorMade had its own lounge and bar area populated with six large flatscreen TV’s playing Golf Channel all day long. If you came at the right time, you may be able to meet Natalie Gulbis, who hung around the area during the show.

Click here to see the photo gallery and read the discussion in the forums

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Are you a tradition blade putter guy, or you like the look of TaylorMade’s new Spider S putter, the higher MOI putter to date that TaylorMade has released? Either way, the putting green was the first chance to get a nice feel for TaylorMade’s new Lethal golf ball. If you started to get an itch to hit some golf balls on the putting green, it was no problem. There was a giant indoor driving range on the other side.

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At the range, TaylorMade had six FlightScopes and every new club in its line-up with shafts galore to help golfers find what they needed. Bob VanSweden, TaylorMade’s two-time fitter of the year, was also on standby. As much as golfers wanted to keep hitting the $900 R1 Super TP with a Oban Kiyoshi White shaft, they needed to keep moving on the velvet carpet that led the way into the Adidas booth, which was essentially a giant TaylorMade-Adidas golf shop. Every bag, towel, hat, visor, glove and accessory TMag fans wanted was there.

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At the Adizero booth, there was combination after combination of the new shoes and clothing lines to match. Maybe the coolest part of the booth, which could be lost in all of the TMag glitz and glam, was the Twitter wall that showed all TaylorMade golf tweets in real time. Simply awesome.

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Click here to see the photo gallery and read the discussion in the forums

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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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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Martin

    Jan 30, 2013 at 8:08 am

    TMaG and now Adams are definitely years ahead of their so called competition.

    @ Trevor, dont hate the player, hate the game bro….bet ya you will be hitting one of those soon, when you realize you cant keep with your golf buddies hahaha.

  2. Trevor

    Jan 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    RocketBallz, RocketBladez, face-paint, overly designed drivers, jacked lofts and lengths and the “speed pocket that change the tour forever” coupled with a fashion-esque booth with house music. They’ve obviously identified a niche market here and they seem to be between the ages of 5 and 16. Good luck to TMaG and their marketing team but I’ll avoid this type of nonsense like the plague.

  3. J

    Jan 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    More Kool-aid.

    • Chappy

      Jan 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      Bummer, i so wanted to see Taylormade at the show never thought of going down to the end of the fashion area to find them,the show was scaled down in comparison to other years, i figured they didn’t come to the show this year when i didn’t see their booth in the regular area with the other manufacturers.. Looks like i missed the best part of the show

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm’s Winning WITB: 2017 DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75TX

5 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8X

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52 and 56 degrees), TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Equipment

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mizuno’s new ST-180 driver

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Mizuno has recently released a new ST-180 driver that we spotted on Tour at the 2017 RSM Classic. The company’s “wave sole” technology makes an appearance for the first time in a Mizuno driver; the design is used to push weight low and forward to reduce spin rates, and the construction contracts and expands during impact to increase energy into the golf ball. The result is a lower-spinning driver, especially for those who hit down on the golf ball, and increased ball speeds across the face.

The ST-180 drivers have a new Forged SP700 Titanium face insert that allows the faces to be made thinner — saving weight from the face while increasing ball speeds — and they feature what the company calls a “Internal Waffle Crown” that saves weight to help shift CG (center of gravity) low and forward in the head.

There’s a slew of custom shafts available for no upcharge. The stock grip is Golf Pride’s M31 360, and the drivers are selling for $399.99, available in stores now.

Below is a collection of early feedback from GolfWRX members, and make sure to join the full discussion. See more photos of the ST-180 driver here.

Note: The posts below have been minimally edited for grammar and brevity.

GolfWRX Members comment on the new Mizuno ST-180 driver

TeeGolf: I’ve seen the ST180 driver [in person] and it looks like it sits perfectly square to me. And this is coming from someone who has been playing a Titleist driver set 1-degree open for the past 3 years. It doesn’t look closed at all. 

trhode: I’ve been playing the M2 all year. In comparison at address, the ST is very closed. I had 3 customers look at it yesterday too and they all had the same reaction: closed. That being said, I did play 18 on the simulator and hit some monster drives. The head, with the Raijin shaft, seems to be just a little lower spin than my TaylorMade M2. The blue finish doesn’t bother me either. 

akjell: Hit this yesterday at the Mizuno demo day yesterday at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, CA. Far from a hook machine but definitely a bomber. The Mizuno’s reps put me in a Mitsubishi Tensei White 70X and I could hit this this driver on a string possibly a bit better than my M1. Of the Mizuno drivers of late, this has to be the best one.

odshot68: Ordering it today. Was fit and played a round with it. Optimal launch and spin. Tensei Blue 70x at 9.5 degrees. This is definitely not left bias; first Mizzy driver ever.

nmorton: Hit this today and it’s going in the bag. Just a classic head shape that suits my eye. Been messing around with a number of drivers over the past year and haven’t singled one out. Last long term driver I had was the 850. The ST checks all of the boxes for me…looks great down by the ball, sounds solid and performs as good as any other. What really sold me was how well slight mis-hits performed. I had the 12.5 dialed down so it definitely sat open a bit. Didn’t hit the fairway but it looks sharp as well. 

evoviiiyou: Had a chance to test the driver with a couple shafts last night. The head is definitely deeper than the JPX900 and the footprint seems bigger from he set up position, very confidence inspiring like the JPX900 but a little improved. Finish and graphics are very similar to the 900 which is very nice if you like the satin Mizuno blue and I do love it just like the satin black I recently had done to my JPX driver and 3 metal. 

regiwstruk: My current gamer is a Titleist 917D3, and this is definitely replacing that. I used a JPX 900 from November 2016 through June 2017 — biggest differences are the sound and that the distance is up there with at least one of the leaders in the market. Anxious to see how it does on the course! 

Paul065: It is high launch, low spin yes but I wouldn’t say it was targeted at the average golfer. It’s basically their version of Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Rory used the Sub Zero. 

Tommyj: I went down to Carls yesterday specifically to look at the ST180. I’ve read some comments that the face looks closed. When I picked it up it was in the 10.5D position and did look slightly closed but then looked perfectly square at 9.5D and also square at 10.5D which seemed sort of odd. The shape is not for me, I had a Cobra F6 and while the ST180 footprint isn’t that big its still substantial. I like blue on drivers and the ST180 has a real quality look to it with the matte finish, having said that I’m not sure I’d want to be looking at that shade of blue all the time. The sound was an absolute killer for me, it was completely unexpected because I always associate Mizuno with being traditional and understated… ST180 launch was lower than G400 in the neutral setting, about the same when I lofted the Ping down.  ST180 was noticeably lower than D2. Longest driver of the three was G400, followed by ST180 then D2. For me the ST180 had the widest dispersion with G400 being the most accurate (by a wide margin).

Discussion: Read more comments about the ST-180 driver here

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