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Show Stoppers: Day 3 from the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show

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The GolfWRX team is live from this year’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. The “Show Stoppers” segment will highlight our favorite clubs, gear, and training aids at the show.

At the PGA Merchandise Show, golf companies show off their latest equipment on Tuesday at the PGA Demo Day at Orange County National, and at the PGA Show inside the Orange County Convention Center on Wednesday through Friday. Follow along as we bring you inside the ropes of this year’s events.

Axis 1 Joey C Putter

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Axis 1 introduced its new Joey-C putter at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show. It features a traditional blade look, similar to the Axis1 Joey, and adds a copper insert for softer feel.

Axis 1 putters have a center of gravity that is balanced in the center of the club head. That translates into hitting putts on-line more consistently. The design also promotes a stroke that stays more square to the target, limiting face rotation during the stroke.

Axis 1 putter cost between $199 and $299, depending on the model. The Joey-C sells for $229.

Club Crown by Vive

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Club Crown by Vive is a company that makes a high-tech film that allows golfers to customize the crowns of their drivers. The film weighs just 2 grams, increasing the heft of your driver head by a mere one percent.

They cost around $50 each, and are available in a variety of stock styles and custom options. Installation is quick and easy, proved by the lovely Tovah (above) in this photo slideshow.

Edel Golf’s Custom Irons, Wedges and Putters

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Edel Golf’s wedges are some of the most drool-worthy wedges in golf. They’re offered in eight different stock grinds, and a near-limitless amount of custom options that have caused many a golfer to spend more than they intended on new short-game sticks.

Click here to see more custom Edel Golf irons, wedges and putters from the PGA Merchandise Show.

New Balance Golf Shoes

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New Balance, a company that is best known for its walking and running shoes, launched its first line of golf shoes at the 2014 PGA Merchandise show. Six styles for men and women offer both cleated and spikeless options, which are available in both waterproof and breathable fabrics.

The Minimus Sport Golf and the Minimus LX Golf shoes utilize the One-Lok cleat system that puts golfers’ feet close to the ground while providing added stability. Men’s shoes are offered in D, 2E and 4E widths, and women’s are offered in B and D widths. Prices range from $119.99 to $159.99.

Click here to see more New Balance golf shoes from the PGA Merchandise Show

Odyssey Putters

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Odyssey released several new putter models at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, including its high-end Metal-X Versa putters.

The Metal-X Versa putters combine two of Odyssey’s latest technologies: its acid-etched Metal-X face pattern that improves face friction for a better roll and its Versa technology, which uses white-and-black lines that are layered perpendicular to the target line to help golfers increase their awareness of face angle throughout the stroke.

Odyssey also unveiled its “Tank Cruiser” putters, which have removable weights in the sole and grip to allow golfers to fine tune swing weight and total weight. The putters are available in the four models: #1, #7, 330M and 2-Ball in 35- and 38-inch lengths. They’ll sell for $249 each when they hit stores on April 1.

The Metal-X Milled putters will hit stores on Jan. 17 in six model. The #1, #6, #9HT and 330 Mallet will cost $299, while the #7 and Rossie, which have aluminum sole plates, will cost $349.

Click here to see more Odyssey putters from the PGA Merchandise Show.

Rife Switchback Putter

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The Rife “Switchback” is an adjustable putter with four interchangeable bumper weights that change the head weight from 350-to-380 grams.They have a clean, high-tech look, and will be a hot commodity for tinkerers at the reasonable price point of $199.

Also new from Rife is the company’s Maven putter, a design that was inspired by new Rife Brand Ambassador Mike Shannon, one of Golf Digest’s Top-50 best teachers in America. The Zebra-shaped putter (see the photos in our forum) will come with five different hosel configuration to help golfers dial in their alignment and toe-hang needs. The first model, which has a plumber’s neck, will be available in May and sell for $235.

Click here to see more photos of Rife putters from the PGA Merchandise Show.

True Temper Project X LZ

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True Temper’s prototype Project X LV graphite shafts are hand rolled to exact specifications at the company’s headquarters in San Diego. They have the stiff butt and tip sections that characterize the original Project X graphite shafts, but the mid-sections are much softer.

According to Don Brown, product development manager for True Temper, the softer mid sections act as “loading zones,”  helping golfers release more energy into the golf ball at impact. Click here to read more about True Temper’s prototype Project X LV shafts.

True Temper’s Project X PXv 39 shaft also caught golfers’ attention at the PGA Merchandise Show. It’s the first of the company’s shafts to weigh less than 40 grams at a length of 46 inches. Originally, it was intended for recreational players, but it has been tested and put in play by professionals in Europe and the U.S.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. 78Staff

    Jan 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    $50 for a driver head wrap? PT Barnum would be proud…sheesh.

  2. Neal Gregory

    Feb 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I purchased a 34inch 350g Axis1 Umbra putter. The zero balance helped with not pulling putts. I played with it for a couple rounds that had very challenging greens. My only complaint was that it felt too light, so I returned it. The owner was great about the return. Once Ohio thaws out, I will def. be purchasing the Umbra 400g and putting a slightly larger grip on it.

    Looks of a putter builds confidence? No, my friend, sinking putts you wouldn’t normally make builds confidence. Anyone who putts for dough knows that!

    Neal

  3. Pingback: Are You a Golf Technology Geek? Day 2 PGA Show 2014 – Video | GolfShadowAre You a Golf Technology Geek? Day 2 PGA Show 2014 - Video - GolfShadow

  4. Really!?!?!

    Jan 24, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Okay, I have to call BS on this one. These are supposed to be “showstoppers” and the axis 1 putters are a joke. I would be willing to bet that if they weren’t a golfwrx sponsor they never would have made this post. You cannot tell me for one second that there wasn’t something better to cover than those hideous things. Sorry to vent a little but that is a lame sponsor plug…nothing more, nothing less.

    • Phil Long

      Jan 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      A joke? Lol!

      I usually don’t respond to posts like this but I will.

      Tell you what….please shoot me an email and next time I am in your area, I will personally meet you and let you roll the putters. You can even bring yours too and we can do some testing. I’m confident enough in our product to do so. Doubt I will hear from you but hope I do.

      Thanks,
      Phil Long
      Vice President
      Axis1 Golf
      [email protected]

      • Really!?!?!

        Jan 26, 2014 at 11:23 am

        The gauntlet has been thrown and I gladly accept the challenge Mr. Long. I shot you an email, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Joel

      • Michael K

        Jan 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        Mr. Long….I live in Maryland and would love to try one of your putters if you are ever in the area…I also play at Andrews Air Force Base and you are welcome to be my guest. r/Mike

        • Phil Long

          Jan 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm

          Michael,

          Thanks for the offer. Would love to. I know its 5 months away but I am coming up for the AT&T National. We could get together then if not before. Shoot me an email!!

          Thanks,
          Phil

    • Mike

      Jan 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Who cares if they roll the ball better. Those things are hideous and after a month of playing it, you’ll go back to trusty. Bottom line is that confidence starts by looking down at something that is pleasing to the eye. Not that thing. Just saying.

      • Charlie

        Jan 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        Seriously? what one person deems hideous another thinks is the perfect look.

        There are a million different putter designs. You go find one that you think is pretty, meanwhile I’ll find one that best rolls the ball in the cup.

    • Charlie

      Jan 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      What a lame post from someone who has never seen an Axis in person let alone actually tried one out. The Odyssey Sabertooth was pretty hideous until people realized how good of a putter it is.

      I’ll bet you’re the type who discounts a putter until a pga player wins with it, then you rush out to buy.

  5. JCorona

    Jan 24, 2014 at 9:47 am

    My name is Joey C…. would I be a narcissist if I got that putter??? That being said, how can I NOT buy a putting that is actually named after me…. then again, I don’t drink Corona beer….

  6. Homer Simpson

    Jan 24, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Booth girl showdown! Booth girl showdown! Booth girl showdown!

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Equipment

2021 Callaway Epic Speed Launch Day Report: Everything you need to know about the new equipment from Callaway

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It’s the official launch day of the all-new Callaway Epic Speed line of metal woods, which includes both driver and fairway wood models—Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic LS. To summarize the newest releases, Callaway engineers are taking their artificial intelligence as far as they ever have by using it to optimize both the face and body of the driver to deliver forgiveness and distance increasing ball speed across the face like never before.

If are looking for in-depth information, on the ins and outs of the new designs and the technology that makes them possible, check out our full launch pieces below.

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

The Epic Speed is the fastest swinging driver Callaway has ever made. The elevated Cyclone Aero Design gives players a clubhead that gets through the air and down into impact faster creating even more ball speed opportunities.

2021 Callaway Epic Max driver

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Max driver is a heater, but more than anything, it’s forgiving. Using all the tech bells and whistles from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown lighter with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. A rear sliding 17-gram weight in the trunk to tune in launch and shape and the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

2021 Callaway Epic Max LS

Out with the Sub Zero and in with the most playable players driver Callaway has created. With a neutral shape and weight configuration that is the more fade bias of the Callaway family, the new LS has a very high MOI (8,400+) for a tour-inspired driver. The idea was to give high speed players something fast all while mitigating the big miss better players fear. Yes, we all fear a big miss, but at high speeds, the foul ball is, well, a bit more foul. The new triaxial carbon crown saves 13 grams of weight, which was redistributed to increase MOI and lower CG.

Perspectives from the GolfWRX forums

  • bcflyguy1 – I’ve also found the Max head to be excellent when lofted down and weight pushed to the toe; becomes surprisingly neutral when configured as such. Obviously can see where many will prefer the more muted sound/feel and compact footprint of the Speed head or may need the greater fade bias from the Max LS and its Trip Diamond-ish shaping. However, the Max offers a VERY rare combination of tons or horsepower but with sufficient traction control to keep even me from figuratively wrapping it around a light pole.
  • noodle3873 – Just got back from hitting balls. My local Pro was breaking in his Epic LS 9° against his Mavrik SZ TD 9°. Both heads were built/hotmelted to the same weight. He was using GC Quad and brand new Srixon range balls (not ideal but numbers are like for like). On average he was getting more launch, more ball speed and a couple more yards out of the LS.
  • mtp –  I hit the whole lineup today. Not a fitting.  Just trying them out. Was using the HZRDUS Smoke Green. LS was best for me. Prefer the shape, sound and feel over my current Sim Max.
  • zeke66 – This thing is a beast. Hit it with a Paderson ballistic tp. I was swinging awful with all 3 drivers I was hitting including gamer, and wouldn’t leave the hitting bay until I started hitting it better. So I grabbed the Max Ls 9.0 and worked through it. Average ball speed was around 177 low 120’s with spin around 2100-2200, launch 12-15. When you catch one on the screws… it goes as good as anything I think.

More from the GolfWRX forums

GolfWRX’s resident equipment tester, Brian Knudson of the Club Junkie podcast, had this to say

Epic Max driver: A lot of draw bias, but easy to launch high and takes some right side out even with a neutral weight. Sound and feel are improved over Mavrik, much more muted and solid feeling. Center strikes are hot, and even misses carry some good ball speed.

Epic Speed driver: The best looking of the Epic drivers. Offers the most penetrating flight. Seems to be pretty low spin and easy to work the ball in either direction. Misses don’t stay online as well with more curvature. It is long and going to be a really good option for skilled players.

Epic Max LS driver: Very forgiving and offering a straighter flight than Max. Slightly lower trajectory as well. Toe misses hold their line better than the other two. Shots low on the face don’t get up as high as expected but still carry. Misses off-center still have good carry distance

Here’s what the biggest YouTube testers and reviews have to say on the newest Callaway Apex line

And on Instagram

 

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From the Twitterverse

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Best utility iron of 2021 – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing 2021 utility irons. WRXer ‘Krod10359’ kicks off the thread, saying:

“Just want to know your opinion on what new utility iron you have hit this year. Looks like a lot of solid offerings out right now from Ping, Srixon and Callaway. Let me hear what you have to say about these clubs.”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum.

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.

  • hypergolf: “This…(photo above)”
  • TigerInTheWoods: “Sim Udi is a beauty. Launches a bit higher and is a bit more forgiving than the P790 UDI which was really the benchmark for this kind of club.”
  • craz-e: “Hard to go past the Srixon for performance and value. The current offerings from Titleist (u500 & u501) and Mizuno (HMB) are also great options and worth trying.”
  • Golfingfanatic: “The new Callaway one is pretty good.”

Entire Thread: “Best utility iron of 2021”

Not yet a GolfWRX member? Sign up for FREE here.

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2021 Callaway Epic driver: Epic Speed, Epic Max & Epic LS drivers

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Callaway Golf introduces new Epic driver lineup for 2021—Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers—giving us the best of everything.

When it comes to a hot face, Callaway Golf has been at the top of the heap since its introduction of Jailbreak Technology back in 2017. In simplest terms, Jailbreak allowed Callaway to vertically stiffen the face, which allows the face to absorb a ton of energy and release it right back into the golf ball.

When Epic hit the market, it was instantly the driver of that year due to its ball speeds and forgiveness across the face, but most importantly for Callaway, it gave the company a strong foundation to build from for models to come.

In 2020, with the help of artificial intelligence, Callaway engineers were able push that idea a bit further with the successful Mavrik line. This time, artificial intelligence took Jailbreak and found ways to make it even more efficient with the addition of the Flash Face.

Now, in 2021, using every piece of tech at its disposal, Callaway officially launches the new 2021 Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers.

The new AI-designed, carbon-loaded, MOI machines are the culmination of now four iterations of Jailbreak technology, and in my opinion, Callaway has its fastest but more importantly—most golf-course friendly—driver ever.

Let’s dive in…

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

The Epic Speed is the fastest swinging driver Callaway has ever made. The elevated Cyclone Aero Design gives players a clubhead that gets through the air and down into impact faster creating even more ball speed opportunities.

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed Driver, Cyclone Aero Shaping

In addition, the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and the new look Jailbreak Speed Frame create stiffness not only vertically across the face but east and west as well. The result? Speed, stability, and a ton of forgiveness.

The new 2021 Callaway driver, face on

“Spin robustness” is another key term in the 2021 Callaway campaign. What this means for us is giving players spin where we need it (i.e. off the heel spin stays down, off the toe spin stays up, out of the middle the ball goes forever).

Another key aspect to notice across the line is the enhanced composite crown. The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver has a triaxial carbon crown that covers even more real estate allowing Callaway to redistribute 16 grams of discretionary weight. The larger carbon surface area also innately created a way for Callaway R&D to make the Epic Speed a bit more draw friendly without having to add external weight to the heel.

Callaway Epic Speed driver, address

2021 Callaway Epic Max driver

Sole view of the new Callaway Epic Max driver

Yes, the new 2021 Callaway Epic Max driver is a heater, but more than anything, it’s forgiving. Using all the tech bells and whistles from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. A rear sliding 17-gram weight in the trunk to tune in launch and shape and the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Sliding weight

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Address

2021 Callaway Epic Max LS

Incorporating the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and Jailbreak technology, Callaway has created a new more forgiving profile in a players driver.

Out with the Sub Zero and in with the most playable players driver Callaway has created. With a neutral shape and weight configuration that is the more fade bias of the Callaway family, the new LS has a very high MOI (8,400+) for a tour-inspired driver. The idea was to give high speed players something fast all while mitigating the big miss better players fear. Yes, we all fear a big miss, but at high speeds, the foul ball is, well, a bit more foul. The new triaxial carbon crown saves 13 grams of weight, which was redistributed to increase MOI and lower CG.
Like Epic Max, LS also has a sliding weight to tune in adjustability.
Inspired by the Triple Diamond tour heads of the past, Callaway decided to go away from cranking spin down to oblivion and offer a driver that was actually closer to what the tour leans towards. Yes, they love a low spin head, but not too low spin. The Triple Diamond heads were basically a Sub Zero shape in a higher MOI profile. If you go through our tour photos, you will see more Triple Diamonds than anything. Obliterating launch and spin sounds good for Trackman, but it’s hard to play that way on the golf course all the time.

Initial Tour Reaction

I had a chance to chat with  Callaway’s PGA Tour Manager Jacob Davidson on the early response and this is what he had to say.

JW: In early testing, what is the first thing players are seeing with Speed and LS?

JD: Early feedback from the tour guys has been a noticeable difference in an increase in ball speed across the face but more importantly the dispersion has tightened down range. Many guys have also quickly fallen in love with the sound of the new metal woods.

JW: What most excited you with the new line?

JD: We knew early on with this product launch that we had an exceptional driver. To start- the look of the heads and the shaping allows the clubs to sit beautifully at the address position. From there the overall feel and sound matches exactly what tour guys prefer. The guys we have worked with have converted into the new woods extremely quickly with very positive feedback. For us, we are excited to have some great starting lines, a competitive ball speed advantage, and an increase in forgiveness.

We are constantly studying what makes world class drivers of the golf ball world class. After much research, we determined the ideal spin/ degree of launch and worked closely with our R&D team to reach these numbers. We were absolutely amazed to see what they came back to us with. Using AI they were able to figure out how to increase the MOI in this line of drivers while also focusing on more ball speed. It truly is remarkable the new frontier of technology we are using in our drivers to help our players play their best golf.

Overall Thoughts

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Epic Flash (acoustics), and Mavrik was solid but didn’t blow me away. This new 2021 Callaway Epic line of drivers is exactly what players want: a golf club that is playable all while providing the distance and performance we have gotten used to over the past few years. It’s a new trend in the market that I’m loving. Drivers are becoming golf course friendly again. We tried to kill spin—when ultimately it was our best friend in the long run.

Specs

At Retail: 2/18

Lofts: 9, 10.5, 12 degrees (Epic Speed) 9, 10.5 degrees(Epic Max & Epic Max LS)

Price: $529.99

Stock Shaft Offerings

  • Epic Speed Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g – S)
  • Epic MAX Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g -S)
  • Epic MAX LS: Mitsubishi MMT (60g – S,X. 70g – S,X)
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