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Introducing the “New Callaway”

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Callaway is not the same company as it was last year.

We’ve been covering the PGA Merchandise Show for more than eight years, and we have never seen Callaway have the buzz it had this year. Was it the new X Hot woods and irons? Was it the new Versa Putter line? Or was it the 40-foot tall “Social Wall” that showcased all the social media praise surrounding the new recent launches?

The answer is all of it.

That’s why we gave Callaway a “Best in Show” award this year. The company has always had one of the deepest engineering teams in golf, but their their recent product lines haven’t been up to par with the other brands. This year, the team came to play with the big boys, armed with drivers, fairway woods, irons and putters that have golfers talking again.

With CEO Chip Brewer at the helm, Callaway has become infected with the passion and creativity that they’ll need if the hope to take back the market share they lost to the other major Original Equipment Manufacturers.

The Social Wall

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Let’s try to put Callaway’s 2013 PGA Merchandise Show booth perspective  — Callaway went on the net and pulled comments and reviews from average Joes who have been talking about the company’s new products and image. Then its staff took all those comments and created a banner that spanned from ceiling to floor and was as wide as its huge booth. Who does that?

Can you imagine the team it took to gather all those quotes? The fact that Callaway has received so much early release buzz from everyone is a testament to the great strides the company is making to turn around its image. On another note, we’re so pleased that all the great communities the quotes were gathered from actually exist, and proud to say most of the comments were from GolfWRX.

Behind the social wall, there were sitting areas so golfers could take in the new Callaway, as well as hitting bays that allowed visitors to test the new product on launch monitors to validate performance. Really cool stuff. Click here to see all the photos in the gallery.

Versa Putter Line

In addition to the Social Wall, we felt the new Versa putter line alone had merit enough to Best in Show. The technology is simple — alternating black and white paint sections that are perpendicular to the line of the putt to help golfers to line up better. The buzz has been huge, especially on the PGA Tour, where non-Callaway staffer Charles Howell III has already used a Versa to claim a T3 finish at the Sony Open.

Click here to see all the photos in the gallery, and check out the video below with Odysset Principal Designer Austie Rollinson about the new Versa putter line:

[youtube id=”jNSa4AZrHSk” width=”600″ height=”338″]

Callaway X-Hot Woods and Irons

Callaway’s new woods and irons are long and hot, and they look modern and sexy. The feel of the clubs made us say, “Wow,” and the distances the clubs were flying let us know that there was some serious engineering involved.That’s why there’s so much buzz about Callaway’s new 2013 Razr Fit Xtreme driver, X Hot fairway woods, hybrids and irons.

The show marked the first time most golfers were able to hit the “new Callaway,” and very few left disappointed.

Click here to see many more photos in the Callaway Gallery

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and the irons…

dbbbebd3ad6539396927a6194742ba97Callaway X-Hot Iron

Dr. Alan Hocknell, vice president of R&D for Callaway, talks about Callaway’s drivers for 2013 — the RAZR Fit Xtreme, X Hot and X Hot Pro — with Zak Kozuchowski of GolfWRX in the video below.

[youtube id=”RVt02baGr0U” width=”600″ height=”338″]

Click here to see many more photos in the Callaway Gallery

Here you can watch a video about all the new irons — the X-Forged and the X Hot line. Luke Williams, senior director of woods and irons for Callaway, discusses the differences between Callaway’s three new iron offerings for 2013 with Zak Kozuchowski.

[youtube id=”OD5ltnU6GB4″ width=”600″ height=”338″]

Click here to see many more photos in the Callaway Gallery

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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.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Harry’s Corner: Callaway #BringsIt At The PGA Show | Callaway Golf News and Media

  2. Andrew Cooper

    Jan 29, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Callaway’s 2013 product range is stunningly good. For a combination of looks, feel, forgiveness and performance I think Callaway are hard to beat right now.

  3. Aaron

    Jan 29, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Love my Razr Fits, but those Razr Hots are dead ugly.

  4. Brian

    Jan 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    whats difference between Razx Tourwith custom shaft DG Light and Hot irons??
    Thankyou

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Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

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

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black
  • Waterproof full grain leather
    2-year waterproof guarantee
  • thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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Equipment

Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Concept 2 NB

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Scotty Cameron T5W

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

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