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VERY FIRST LOOK AT THE PING i20 WOODS!!!

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An In-Depth, First-Hand Look at the New Lineup

By GolfWRX Editor beruo

Ever since PING decided to stagger the release of the G20 and i20 lines, speculation and interest has been high on what the latter half of launch would bring. Last month, PING hosted GolfWRX once again–this time to introduce us to the i20 lineup. Additionally, because of the interest shown by the members here, PING has allowed us to premiere the i20 product line. That’s right folks, you see it here first! :yahoo:

Click here to see more photos and read discussion in the forums… http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/561703-very-first-look-at-the-ping-i20-woods/

DRIVER

One of the great things about the i15 driver was that there were a lot of areas that could stand improvement. Its fade bias catered to a narrow group. The bulge and roll on the face made it too unforgiving for even tour pros to get comfortable with. And the awesomeness of the G15 was just too much to ignore. But this has all changed with the i20 driver!

In designing the i20 driver, PING utilized many of the same advances incorporated into the G20 driver, making appropriate design tradeoffs to meet the needs of better players. They made the driver more aerodynamic–something that golfers with higher swingspeeds would be able to take advantage of. Although this change lowers inertia, PING added tungsten weights to bring the MOI back up to G15 levels. It’s not as forgiving as the G20 driver–but the i20 driver is much more friendly than the i15, to the tune of being 16% more forgiving across the vertical (Y) axis and 12% more forgiving across the horizontal (X). So basically, even if the G20 driver never came out, the i20 would still have been an improvement over the G15 in terms of forgiveness.

It’s worth mentioning that the aerodynamics in both the G20 and i20 are very good. The smooth soles play a big part in this. Not surprisingly, abnormal depressions can cause turbulence and make for a MUCH less aerodynamic club. On the top, the crown bulge in the i20 serves to keep air flowing smoothly, closer to the head. The bulge on the i20 driver is less than that of the i15, but more than the G20.

This is not to say that the i20 driver is only for players with high swing speeds; other factors come into play as well, including angle of attack. PING is targeting players looking for a lower launching, lower spinning driver than what they’ll find in the G20. The i20 driver has a more penetrating ball flight and spins 15-20% less than the G20 driver.

One feature that is new to the i20 driver is a hosel location made to give the club “more toe” through rotation. This is accomplished by moving the shaft axis slightly back from the face, then lowering the inertia in that area, making it easier to rotate the club to square. These design features were a result of information gathered from their use of the Enso system, which bjackson will be covering in another thread.

One of the significant changes to the i20 driver is that it has been neutrally weighted to make it straight biased. Additionally, the moment of inertia around the axis has been dramatically reduced, which makes it easier to turn over, hold back, or otherwise manipulate–DESPITE having a higher overall MOI. So it’s kind of like putting a big old brush guard on a Porsche: it’s exceptionally aerodynamic, highly responsive, engineered for greater speed, and still really forgiving when you want to hit something. 😉

Like the G20 driver, the i20 is cast from Ti811: a slightly lighter and less dense titanium alloy than the i15. As they are both similar in terms of strength and elongation, PING can utilize more volume to manipulate variances in wall thickness to better optimize COG and inertia.

Lastly (depending on your priorities), the i20 line of woods feature an amazing looking matte black on black finish with a subdued alignment aid, and black-centric pair of shaft choices. Given the attention members have given to the tour only matte black G20 drivers we’ve seen pop up from time to time, the i20 line should make one of the perdiest additions to retailers come February!

The i20 driver will be available in 8.5º, 9.5º, and 10.5º lofts, both lefty and righty. Stock shafts include the new proprietary TFC 707D (R, S, and X flexes) and Project X Black (5.5, 6.0, and 6.5 flexes) at a standard 45.25” length. The Project X option is targeted towards players looking for a lighter shaft that will provide a bit more spin and kick than the TFC.

The on-sale date is February 9th but golfers can pre-order through their local PING retailers starting January 1st

MSRPs are as follows…

Driver = $385
FW = $225
Hybrids = $210

per Ping Press Release:

PING today unveiled the i20™ driver, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons, relying on innovation and custom engineering to ensure that every design attribute helps to optimize performance, right down to the color of the clubs’ finish.

“In the i20 series, we’ve combined workability, distance and forgiveness with the goal to make any golfer a more versatile and complete player,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “We’ve engineered the i20s with a solid feel and generous forgiveness but also a degree of workability for the player who wants full command of the clubface for controlling trajectory and shot shape. Anyone who is passionate about their game is going to be very confident and capable with this game-improvement technology.”

The matte-black finish of the driver, fairway woods, and hybrids is more than eye-catching, Solheim emphasized – there’s a real performance benefit. “The non-glare finish absorbs light, allowing the player to focus without distraction,” he said. “Our tour pros are very enthusiastic about the finish – but even more so about the i20s’ performance. Players are able to execute any shot they want with confidence.” The 460cc driver head is highly aerodynamic to reduce drag, which generates clubhead speed and ball velocity for maximizing distance. “The i20 driver is incredibly long but also highly accurate,” Solheim said. “We gave the fairway woods and hybrids the same matte finish, and their designs offer the high-launching forgiveness that makes them reliable from all turf conditions and from the tee.”

i20™ Driver

The crown is highly aerodynamic to reduce drag for maximizing clubhead speed and ball velocity, resulting in greater distance. The 460cc head features dense tungsten sole weights that increase the MOI and position the CG for low-spin, penetrating trajectories. The head is made from Ti 8-1-1, a lighter, lower-density titanium alloy that allows for a weight allocation that adds to forgiveness. A distinctive matte-black finish eliminates glare and distractions. Golfers can choose from two stock shafts: the PING TFC (Tip, Flex, Control) 707D for a low-spin, boring trajectory, or the lighter Project X Black by True Temper, offering mid spin and a higher trajectory.

-Drivers available in 8.5°, 9.5° & 10.5° lofts
-Stock graphite shafts: TFC 707D (R, S, and X flexes) and Project X Black (5.5, 6.0, and 6.5 flexes)
-U.S. MSRP: $385

FAIRWAYS

In addressing the fairway woods, PING had a more difficult time making improvements over the i15s as those woods were relatively popular. PING wanted to better optimize trajectories, maintain a compact headshape, and make the club more forgiving yet still maintain workability.

To address ball flight, PING lowered the center of gravity and moved it back. The COG on the i20 fairways is now lower than the G15 fairway and further back from the face than the i15. This makes for a more forgiving club than the i15 fairways, yet provide better players a lower spinning option than they’d find in the G line.

To maintain workability, PING again departed from the fade bias of the i15 line, opting to for neutral weighting, and decreased the inertia around the shaft axis by 17% over the G20 fairway. Like the driver, this makes it easier to rotate the club to square, turn it over, or otherwise manipulate the face with finer resolution. Inertia around the COG is still relatively high, so the club is more forgiving than its predecessor, but like a car with a racing suspension, somebody used to driving a big rig might be surprised by the responsiveness!

Like the driver, the i20 fairway is available in a very appealing matte black on black finish with a subdued gray alignment aid on the crown. The smooth sole with smaller footprint makes for a versatile club from either the tee or off the deck.

The i20 fairway wood will be available in 3S (14º), 3 (15º), and 4 (17º) in both dexterities. Stock shafts include the new proprietary TFC 707F (R, S, and X flexes) and Project X Black (5.5, 6.0, and 6.5 flexes). The Project X option is targeted towards players looking for a lighter shaft that will provide a bit more spin and kick than the TFC.

Click here to see more photos and read discussion in the forums… http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/561703-very-first-look-at-the-ping-i20-woods/

Per Ping Press Release:

i20™ Fairway Woods
The stainless steel i20 fairway woods are versatile performers, helping launch the ball with ease from all turf conditions and off the tee. When the ball is sitting down, the i20’s compact shape ensures the head will glide through heavy grass and launch the ball high and straight. Its neutral head rotation promotes square impact. The traditional head design makes aiming easy, and a matte-black, non-glare finish provides a distinct head profile. Golfers can optimize their ball flights with their choice of stock shafts: the PING TFC (Tip, Flex, Control) 707F for a low-spin, boring trajectory, or the lighter Project X Black by True Temper, offering mid spin and a higher trajectory.

-Fairway woods available: 3S (14º), 3 (15º), and 5-woods (18º)
-Stock graphite shafts: TFC 707F (R, S, and X flexes) and Project X Black (5.5, 6.0, and 6.5 flexes)
-U.S. MSRP: $255

HYBRIDS

When looking to improve on the i15 hybrids, it turned out that player feedback was overwhelmingly less than helpful as many responded that they wouldn’t want anything to change! Fortunately, PING’s engineers are able to rely on their own experiences as well to make clubs that can better meet players’ needs.

As with the other i20 clubs, the i20 hybrid is geared toward better golfers. PING reduced the profile both head to toe as well as front to back to create a more compact head. They also squared the leading edge a bit more, reducing the rounded appearance so that it’s easier to get a sense of where you’re aiming the clubhead.

With the reduced head size, PING moved the center of gravity down and forward to make for a more piercing trajectory and slightly lower spin, giving better players more control over ball flight. The smaller face and profile makes it more versatile from different lies and easier to get the club through deeper rough.

As has been the theme for the rest of the woods, the i20 hybrid sees reduced MOI around the shaft axis–a whopping 48% reduction over the i15. Again, in conjunction with the neutral weighting, this makes it easier to rotate the face to square or manipulate the face to work the ball either way.

The i20 hybrids will be available in 17º, 20º, and 23º lofts, both lefty and righty. Stock shafts include the new proprietary TFC 707F (R, S, and X flexes) and Project X Black (5.5, 6.0, and 6.5 flexes). The Project X option is targeted towards players looking for a lighter shaft that will provide a bit more spin and kick than the TFC. And both shafts look great with the matte black on black finish.

Click here to see more photos and read discussion in the forums… http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/561703-very-first-look-at-the-ping-i20-woods/

Per Ping Press Release:

i20™ Hybrids
For launching the ball high and landing it softly on the green, the i20’s compact head and low- deep CG are perfectly suited for the job. Forgiveness across the clubface allows golfers to swing confidently from heavy rough or tight lies with accurate results. More surface area low on the clubface ensures forgiveness to optimize launch conditions. The straight leading edge and slim, contoured head make aiming easy. A non-glare, matte-black finish eliminates distractions to help with aim and focus. Players can choose from two stock shafts: the PING TFC (Tip, Flex, Control) 707H for a low-spin, boring trajectory, or the lighter Project X Black by True Temper, offering mid spin and a higher trajectory.

-Hybrids available: 17º, 20º & 23º
-Stock graphite shafts: TFC 707H (R, S and X flexes) and Project X Black (5.5, 6.0 and 6.5 flexes)
-U.S. MSRP: $210

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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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Equipment

Fujikura launches new Pro 2.0 and Pro 2.0 Tour Spec shafts

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Fujikura has announced the launch of the second generation of its Pro series shafts: the Pro 2.0.

The first iteration of the Pro shafts were designed with a soft handle section to aid in loading. The Pro 2.0 presents an even more effective loading zone, according to the company, which also says torsional stiffness is 14 percent greater in the 2.0.

“Like all of our shafts, the Pro 2.0 has been designed utilizing enso, a 3D motion-capture technology that no one else in the shaft industry has,” said Alex Dee, Vice President at Fujikura Composites America.

“This technology and advanced data analytics has allowed us to crack the code on how club performance and ball flight are affected by shaft characteristics and swing type. When we compared to the original Pro, we saw the 2.0 was significantly easier to swing, had tighter shot dispersion, and lower spin to deliver the club head with more power, control and distance. We were thrilled with the result.”

The Pro 2.0 is painted “Destroyer Grey” with a metallic blue design in line with the original Pro shaft. The Tour Spec model is painted “Tour Spec White.”

The shafts will be available in weight ranges from 57 to 87 grams (5, 6, 7, 8) and in flexes starting at R2 up to X. $225 MSRP; $250 for the Tour Spec model. Hybrid option available for $140.

Available at over 600 qualified Fujikura charter dealers beginning February 1. Full specs at Fujikura.com.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Pro 2.0 in the forums.

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Fred Couples signs with Bettinardi, will continue to use FCB putter

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Fred Couples has been using his namesake Bettinardi putter, the FCB (Fred Couples Blade), for the past four years. Now, he’s officially joining Bettinardi’s Tour staff.

Couples, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour Champions, will putt exclusively with the company’s flatsticks.

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

“I’m really looking forward to representing Bettinardi and its beautiful range of hand-made putters, as they always give me great confidence when I’m standing over putts,” said Fred. “Having won 5 times already with a Bettinardi putter, there’s nothing I’d rather be putting with.

Couples averaged 1.70 putts per hole when playing in 12 events with the Bettinardi wand last year.

“Having Fred Couples join our Tour staff is a massive endorsement for Bettinardi Golf,” said founder Robert Bettinardi. “We’re so proud and excited to welcome him to our growing Tour staff. I’m sure he will prove to be a great ambassador for our brand, as he attracts huge crowds and media attention wherever he plays.”

Here’s a look at Boom Boom’s FCB putter.

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Odyssey’s new EXO 2-Ball, Works Red and Black, and Toulon putters

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There’s one thing Odyssey has never struggled with: giving golfers options. Today, the company launched a trunk-full of new putters, including eight Works Red and Black putters, Toulon Atlanta and Portland models, and an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball putter that gives the classic 2-ball design a very new, and premium look.

Most of the new putters, actually, are mallets. More specifically, they are mallets that Odyssey says feel like blade putters; that’s because they’re made with toe hang (like a blade putter) rather than face-balanced designs of typical mallets. Toe hang frees up the face of a putter to open and close, a stroke-style that many golfers employ — amateurs and pros alike.

According to Austie Rollinson, chief designer of Odyssey, there’s been a trend of blade users on Tour switching into mallets because of this toe hang, and that will continue to happen. Odyssey says that of the PGA Tour wins last year, 29 winners used mallets — 14 of those were mallets with toe hang — while there were 20 blade winners. Also, of the top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting, 31 players used mallets, 13 of which were toe-hang mallets, and 19 players used blades.

Therefore, many of the new putters from Odyssey are toe-hang mallets. Check out all of the new putters below, with info on design, pricing and release dates.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new putters here

Odyssey Works Red and Black putters

 

The new Works Red and Black putters — adding on to the line of putters released in 2017 — continue to use microhinge face inserts that are designed to “grab” the ball to impart more topspin on the golf ball to get it rolling faster. The new offerings launched today include a No. 1 Wide S, No. 1 Tank, No. 7 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, Marxman S, Jailbird Mini and Jailbird Mini S.

They will sell for $199 with a standard Winn AVS midsize pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke grip starting on February 23.

See more photos and join the discussion about the Works Red and Black putters here.

Odyssey EXO 2-Ball

The new EXO 2-Ball, made with Rose Gold PVD, is a premium version of the iconic 2-ball shape. It’s CNC-milled with a microhinge insert, has an aluminum crown with a steel sole plate and Tungsten in the rear portion of the head. The EXO 2-ball also has black circles instead of the familiar white color for which 2-balls are known.

According to Odyssey, it’s a “statement product,” and it will only sell 5,000 of these putters globally. They will sell for $499.99 starting on February 2.

Odyssey says: “Our new Odyssey EXO 2-Ball is a premium limited edition putter unlike any we’ve ever offered. It combines one of the game’s most innovative and iconic putter designs with top-notch materials and meticulous production to create something truly special.”

Toulon Atlanta and Portland

Odyssey’s premium putter brand continues dipping its toes in the mallet style with its new mid-mallet Atlanta and Portland models. They have gunmetal finishes and are 100-percent milled from soft, 303 stainless steel. They also have Toulon’s familiar diamond-milled faces for improved roll.

The Atlanta and Portland models will sell for $399.99 apiece and hit retail on February 2.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Toulon Atlanta putter here

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