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Winners from the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show



Another PGA Merchandise has come and gone, which means it’s time for us to tally our votes for our favorites from the yearly golf equipment extravaganza in Orlando. In past years, we would take this time to highlight the most impressive products we spotted during our four days at the Show. But this year is a little different because of our daily “Show Stoppers” wrap-ups, which highlighted our favorite products from each of the Show’s first three days.

We take great pride in spotlighting great products from smaller golf companies, but as you might have noticed in Show Stoppers, the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show was dominated by major equipment releases from golf’s largest equipment manufacturers.

We didn’t forget about them. Click here to view our dedicated subforum on the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show with photo galleries that highlight many of the event’s smaller companies.

Callaway, Ping, TaylorMade and Titleist made a big splash at this year’s Show, launching multiple new products in major categories that garnered most of this year’s buzz. They were clearly the winners of the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show. But instead of us selecting an overall winner, we’ve decided to breakdown the performances of each brand individually and allow our readers to decide on the winner in the poll below.

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The Winners


Callaway brings the heavy artillery

It doesn’t hit a golf ball, but that didn’t keep the armored tank Callaway had flat-bedded onto the floor of the 2014 PGA Merchandise from being one of the Show’s biggest stories. The Tank was a well-placed prop given the company’s huge release of “Tank” and “Tank Cruiser” counter-balanced putters, which make up the largest counter-balanced line of any major putter manufacturer.

The original Tank putters ($199) launched in 2013, and are the company’s heaviest counter-balanced putters. They’re available in slightly modified versions of the company’s #1, #7 and 2-Ball putters. According to Austie Rollinson, Odyssey’s principal designer, the company sold more Tank putters in 2013 than it ever had belly and long putters in a single season, which prompted the release of the new “Versa Tank” putters and Tank Cruiser line.

The Tank Cruiser putters (available in #1, #7, 330M and V-Line models for $249) might more aptly be called “Tank Lites.” They’re designed in the same 35- or 38-inch lengths as the Tank putters, but with lighter putter heads, shafts and grips that will make them an easier transition for golfers using a standard-length putter. They also have adjustable weights in their putters heads and in the butt ends of their 15-inch SuperStroke 2.0 grips, which allows golfers to increase or decrease swing weight to their preference.

Click here to see photos of all of Odyssey’s new putters from the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, including the new Metal-X Versa. 


And did we really just go three paragraphs without mentioning Callaway’s biggest release, the Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha drivers? The Big Berthas were the most talked-about drivers of the Show, with just about everyone finding time to give the modern classic a whack at Demo Day. Also popular were Callaway’s new irons with another throwback name, the Apex and Apex Pro, the company X2 Hot fairway woods and hybrids and Odyssey’s Metal-X Milled putters.

Yep, that’s pretty much the whole line. When each of your company’s new products is one of the most talked-about clubs in its category, your company is in for a good year.

The fine-tuned Ping machine


Unlike Callaway and TaylorMade, Ping sticks to a pretty predictable product launch cycle, which means that there are usually few surprises from the company at the PGA Merchandise Show. But Ping managed to surprise us this year with one of the coolest gadgets of the Show, its nFlight Motion system.

nFlight is a small piece of hardware, made by SkyPro, that attaches to the shaft of a golf club. It connects via BlueTooth to Ping’s nFlight app, which allows fitters to dial golfers into a Ping club head, shaft and loft recommendation in just three swings. Yes… just three. It’s a blessing for Ping golf shops without a launch monitor, and we were impressed with the recommendations the software gave us in our driver fitting. An added bonus is that nFlight works as an iPing when placed on a putter shaft thanks to its powerful accelerometers and gyroscope. Right now, nFlight is just for fitters, but if that changes, Ping players will be craving the inexpensive device for their own use.


On the golf club side, Ping finally showed off its Rapture fairway wood, which has a 219-cubic-centimeter club head made of titanium to maximize the ball speed of the “driving fairway wood.” Many golfers still think of Ping as a game-improvement brand, but clubs such as the Rapture fairway wood, Rapture driving iron and S55 irons prove the company can make exciting products for even the most-demanding, high-level golfers.

Ping also launched the Karsten hybrid-iron set, which just might be the easiest-to-hit set of irons on the market today, as well as the Karsten TR putter line, which combines Ping’s classic putter shapes with 100 percent milled “True Roll” grooves that offer more consistent ball speeds on mis-hit putts. There’s also Ping’s new i25 drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons, which are lower-launching and lower-spinning than the G25 line. That adds up to one of the most well-rounded equipment lineups in the game.

See more photos of Ping’s clubs from Demo Day.

A better-looking TaylorMade eyes the future


TaylorMade pushed the release of its 2014 line of SLDR and JetSpeed drivers, fairway woods and hybrids earlier than we expected in 2013, which set the company up for a boring showing at the PGA Merchandise Show. But in typical TaylorMade fashion, the company left something in its reservoir for the January ’14 event in the way of its Tour Preferred line and “Hack Golf” initiative.

Last year, TaylorMade was coming off its best year in history, and seemed satisfied to flaunt the improved technology in its R1, RBZ Stage 2 and RocketBladez lines at the PGA Merchandise Show. The clubs performed, but they didn’t come close to matching the beauty of this year’s line.

The Tour Preferred irons are the most stunning of the company’s new releases. They’re available in a one-piece forged MB model, which is aimed at purists, as well as two slotted models: the CB and MC. We love that TaylorMade scrapped the yellow theme from last year’s irons and returned to its classic red-and-black TP accents. We also love the new Tour Preferred wedges, which have a raw finish, micro-milled face texture and bring back the standard sole design that went missing in 2013 (a narrower ATV grind is also available in the 54-to-60 degree models).


There’s two new Tour Preferred balls as well — the “Tour Preferred” and “Tour Preferred X” — which marks a return to the two-ball strategy that has worked so well for Titleist.

We could talk about the company’s SLDR and JetSpeed lineups, but we know that you already know about them, so we’ll skip to this. TaylorMade pledged $5 million to its new “Hack Golf” initiative, an attempt to crowdsource golf innovation and spur its growth. It also built a mini theater inside its mammoth PGA Merchandise Show booth called the “Innovation Lab” that highlighted two prototype (and non-conforming) clubs, the M.O.A.D (Mother of all Drivers) and M.O.A.I. (Mother of all Irons), which showed off the company’s engineering might.

We admire the company’s dedication to growing the game, but wonder if non-conforming equipment is really the way to do it. On the other hand, we’re all for the larger holes and simpler-to-follow rules that TaylorMade CEO Mark King is asking golf courses to experiment with to make the game easier, faster and more fun.

See more photos of TaylorMade’s clubs at Demo Day.

FootJoy wows, Vokey, Cameron and AP2’s get better


Last but not least is Titleist, whose FootJoy brand might have had the most important launch of the show, its DNA shoe.

With DNA, the company managed to hit the sweet spot between a classic-looking golf shoe and a modern, athletic-inspired model. It’s smooth and sleek, and available in a variety of colors that will please traditionalists and golfers who like a bit more color. They sell for an understandable price of $190, and $220 with the company’s BOA lacing system (click here to read our full review of the shoe).


One of Titleist’s most successful brands, Vokey wedges, also got an upgrade at the PGA Merchandise Show in the way of the new SM5 wedges. The new wedges are available in three finishes, including a new “Gold Nickel” finish, and offer more stock grinds than ever before.

Show-goers arrived early at Demo Day to sample the SM5’s seven percent larger grooves, which are deeper and narrower in 46-to-54-degree lofts to reduce the chance of flyers, and wider in the 56-to-60-degree lofts to add more greenside spin.The shape of the SM5 wedges also was tweaked, with the toe getting slightly rounder in the higher-lofted wedges so they look better when opened up. And their leading edges are also curvier in the higher lofts, which makes the wedges more versatile when played from opened or closed positions.

See all the new Vokey SM5 grinds and finishes.


Giving the SM5’s a run for their money in terms of buzz was Scotty Cameron’s new Select putter line, which offers the first major upgrade since the putter maker went to removeable weights. The Select “Squareback” and “Fastback” putters each have an aluminum sole plate that pops through their flange to offer golfers a unique alignment system. It’s a functional change as well, as the aluminum sole plates (which were also added to Cameron’s GoLo 7, GoLo S5 and GoLo 3 putters) save approximately 30 grams of weight from the designs. The weight was added back to the putters in the form of thicker faces and cavities, which improve the feel of the putters.

See photos of Scotty Cameron’s full line of new putters.

And that’s just what’s brand new from Titleist. Its 714 AP2 irons launched this fall, but they were still an attraction at the Show. Another year has gone by, and still no brand has been able to match the buzz the new AP2 has created for itself. It’s easily one of golf’s best-performing and most beautiful irons.


Like the list? Hate it? Let us know in the comments section, and don’t forget to vote in the poll at the top of the page. 

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  1. Fred

    Jan 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I’m very interested in PING’s new Rapture fairway wood. I’ve watched some videos, and read some interesting articles about it. Seems like it could be a real game changer.

  2. Alex

    Jan 29, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I really enjoyed the Look of the Golo 5 that will be coming out. Looked to be the shape of the previous Del Mar head shape. Need to get my hands on one ASAP!

    Ping with the SkyPro was impressively accurate. Their little challenge thing was fun. One of the few booths that took the time and allowed us to participate for more then 5 seconds.

    The odyssey tank was really cool!

  3. gocanucksfan123

    Jan 27, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Anyone have any more info on the Taylormade Tour Preferred Wedges? Looks intriguing to me. Also, if someone could provide some info on the Bridgestone products at the show, that would be great. Thanks.

  4. Ben

    Jan 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    DAE think the new scotty putters are fugly? Talk about jumping the shark….

  5. Me

    Jan 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Pretty lame coverage by GolfWRX. I would’ve expected to see thousands of pics of every booth and every piece of merchandise. But I guess you guys aren’t allowed to disseminate too much up and coming info or ideas to us consumers yet. Still, very lame.

  6. dman

    Jan 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    aside from the TP line, taylormade makes the cheapest quality golf equipment. i’m sick of hearing about the new, plastic reinforced, fake metal, spray on cavity back they come out with every two months.

    • johnleg

      Jan 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      this statement is completely false in every aspect.

  7. Dan

    Jan 27, 2014 at 11:51 am

    What about Bridgestone Golf? They had some amazing new products!!!

  8. Sky

    Jan 27, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I voted ping because although they were maybe not as flashy as Callaway or TM, they had cool contests, gave away hats and gloves, and their reps were very helpful. Their new stuff is great too!

  9. t

    Jan 27, 2014 at 10:05 am

    The game is too difficult. The new equipment is not making the game easier. Courses are too long and only benefit players that can play a high soft shot….target golf. No more running the ball up. People who can’t get the ball up have no chance. Also, courses aren’t designed with speed in mind, they are designed with how many houses can we fit. If I didn’t invest my entire life into this game, I’d quit.

  10. Harry

    Jan 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I could not agree more with the comment of Danny! This is not a game for everyone.

  11. Danny

    Jan 27, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Taylormade can try all they want but Growing the game of golf only benefits the manufacturers and courses. I don’t understand why they always try to appeal to the general public to grow the game. To me it just means a higher demand for the finite amount of time we have. Growing the game means higher prices and longer rounds for me. Sorry if I don’t jump at that chance.

    • Concerned Citizen

      Jan 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      The point of this is if nothing changes golf may not be a viable option for ANYONE. The fact that 5 million golfers (25% of core golfers) quit the game in the past 10 years is a problem everyone in the industry acknowledges. With water issues in the future, the young generation not as interested as generations past, and whatever unforeseen troubles that could arise, something has to change. It’s in the best interest of everyone in the industry, be it golfers, golf pros, course operators, golfwrx, or manufacturers. The old selfish outlook of “I don’t want anyone on the course but me” is part of the challenge that’s faced. Maybe Hack Golf creates avenues for beginners to start somewhere other than where the seasoned golfers play, we’ll see what happens. But if you could suggest something constructive (instead of whining about a call to action) we might all benefit from it…

  12. Kyle

    Jan 27, 2014 at 12:28 am

    How about Adams? XTD line looks way better than anyone else’s and now they add another great looking hybrid and mid handicap iron set. Instead of the “second shot” I’ll take them for every shot!

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Spotted: Luke Donald’s new Odyssey Versa 12 CS putter



Luke Donald has been using a center-shafted Odyssey #7 putter for a very, very long time. Recently Luke decided that he wanted to change it up and try some new putters, according to Joe Toulon, Callaway’s PGA Tour manager.

The new putter is an Odyssey Versa Twelve CS mallet, center-shafted, of course. Odyssey’s Versa high contrast alignment system debuted in 2013 and brought back this year with a full line of head shapes. The Twelve CS is a high MOI mallet with a  raised center section and “wings” on the sides. The head is finished in black and then a large white rectangle runs down the center of the putter to aid in aligning the putter towards the target. There is also a short site line on the top, right next to where the shaft attached to the head.

Odyssey’s famous White Hot insert is a two-part urethane formula that offers a soft feel and consistent distance control. The sole features two weights that are interchangeable to dial in the desired head weight and feel. The Versa Twelve CS usually comes with Odyssey’s Stroke Lab counterbalanced graphite shaft but Luke looks to have gone with a traditional steel shaft and a Super Stroke Claw 2.0 Zenergy grip in Red and White.

Our own Andrew Tursky asked Joe Toulon about the type of player who gravitates towards a center-shafted putter:

“Since it’s easy to manipulate the face angle with something center shafted, probably someone with good hands. If you’re a good chipper you may like the face control that a center shafted putter offers.”

Check out more photos of the Odyssey Versa Twelve CS Putter.

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7 takeaways from an AWESOME equipment talk with Padraig Harrington



Fans of golf equipment have long known that Padraig Harrington is one of us. Throughout his career, Harrington has been willing to test new products, make changes from week to week, and play with a bag of mixed equipment brands.

What equipment fans may not know, however, is just how brilliant of an equipment mind Harrington truly has.

Ahead of the 2023 Valero Texas Open, I caught up with Harrington to pick his brain about what clubs are currently in his bag, and why. The conversation turned into Harrington discussing topics such as the broader equipment landscape, brand deals in 2023, his driver testing process, why he still uses a TaylorMade ZTP wedge from 2008, square grooves vs. V-grooves, and using a knockoff set of Ping Eye 1 irons as a junior.

Padraig Harrington’s 2023 WITB

Below are my 7 major takeaways from the extensive gear talk with Harrington.

1) Padraig’s stance on equipment contracts, and why he prefers Wilson

Harrington is a longtime Wilson staffer, and although he supports the brand and uses their equipment, he doesn’t use a full bag of Wilson clubs. He finds Wilson’s understanding of a player’s need for flexibility to be beneficial to the player, and it’s attracting more and more professional players to the company (such as Kevin Kisner and Trey Mullinax).

“Wilson wants me to play whatever I’m comfortable with. It’s very important. They’re not a manufacturer that says, ‘We want you to play 14 clubs.’ There’s always a club you don’t like. That’s just the way it is. So Wilson is like, ‘We want you playing well and playing the best clubs for you.’

“I am very comfortable with their irons. I’m very comfortable with their wedges, as you can see. They have an old hybrid 4 iron that I love. They have a new hybrid 4-iron that is too powerful. I put it in the bag last week and I had to take it out. The thing is, I use a 4-iron and a 5-wood. My 4-iron has to go somewhat relative to my 5-iron, and then I have to bridge that gap between 4-iron and 5-wood, so it has to do both. The new 4-iron was going 230 yards. My 4-iron goes about 215-235, maybe 240 on a warm day. And my 5-wood is like a warm-day 265 in the air, but I have no problem hitting it 235, so I can cross it over. But this 4-iron, the new version, it just went. I couldn’t hit the 215 shot with it; it’s just too powerful. That’s why I have the old 4-iron in the bag, but it does the job to bridge the gap…

“As players get more money, they’re less dependent on manufacturers. They need the service of a manufacturer – because, like I need to be on that truck and get things checked. But you’re seeing more players see Wilson as an attractive option because you don’t have to use 14 clubs. If you’re not happy this week with the putter; you know, Wilson has the putters, they have everything, but if you want to chase something else for a moment…remember, there’s two things you’re chasing. If you’re a free agent, it’s not good to be changing a lot. That is a distraction. But it’s nice to have the option that if somebody…like I feel Titleist has come out with a great driver. And I’m able to work my way straight into Titleist and say, ‘Hey, gimmie a go with that. Oh, this is a great driver, I’m going to use this.’ Wilson is aware of that. They want their players to be happy and playing well. Like it’s still 10 clubs, but it’s just not 14 and the ball.

“The irons are great, there’s no doubt about that. They’ve won the most majors. They make a gambit of irons. If you want to use a blade, they have the blade. If you want to use my iron, which is just a good tour composite, it has a bit of a cavity-back, you can do that. If you want to use the D irons that have rockets going off there, you can have them. Like the 4 iron, the one they gave me, it was a rocket! And guys are happy to carry driving irons like that, but mine has to match in with the 5-iron. It was just too high and too fast.

“So yeah, I think you’re going to see manufacturers go more of that way. Our players want to be independent, but the problem is that full independence is not great. You don’t want a situation where you’re turning up – as you see kids who make it into their first tournament, and the manufacturers start giving them stuff, and they’re changing. You don’t want to be the guy changing too much.”

2) The dangers of a 64-degree wedge

Although Harrington himself uses a Wilson Staff High Toe 64-degree wedge, he seldom practices with it. Here’s why he warns against it:

“The big key with a 64 wedge is DO NOT use it. No, seriously, do not use it. It’s a terrible wedge for your technique. That club is in the bag and it gets used on the golf course, and it gets used when it’s needed, but you don’t practice with it, because it’s awful. So much loft will get you leading too much, and you’re going to deloft it. Hit one or two shots with it, then put it away. You’re better off practicing with a pitching wedge and adding loft to be a good chipper instead of practicing with a lob wedge and taking loft off. A 64-degree wedge is accentuating that problem. It’s a dangerous club. It does a great job at times, but it certainly can do harm.

“It’s not bad having it in the bag for a certain shot, but it’s a terrible club to practice with. I literally hit one or two full shots with it, a couple chips with it, and that’s it. I know if I spend too long with it, I’ll start de-lofting.”

3) The interchangeable faces on TaylorMade’s ZTP wedges from 2008 were Padraig’s idea?!

I couldn’t believe it myself, but Harrington says that the idea for TaylorMade to offer interchangeable face technology on its ZTP wedges in 2008 was originally his idea…

“The TaylorMade is obviously attracting a lot of attention, but that was my idea! Myself and a consultant for Wilson, I got him to build changeable faces and he sold that to TaylorMade…that’s fully my idea. He sold that then to TaylorMade, and TaylorMade produced them, which I was happy about. But TaylorMade couldn’t sell them. You can’t get people to clean the grooves, so they weren’t going to buy a new face. Why have 400 faces at home? So I went out and bought these faces to make sure I had them for life. And I was home chipping a while ago, and I have a nice 58. I like the grind on that wedge, and the fact I can just replace the face and have a fresh face every three weeks, it’s just easy, so that’s why that’s in there.”

4) Driver testing isn’t all about speed

“The driver companies know I’m a free agent when it comes to drivers, so every time a new driver comes out, they’ll come to me and say, ‘Hey, would you have a look at this?’

“I will test everything, yeah, but it has to beat what I have in the bag. And Wilson’s new driver is the same. They brought out a new driver and it’s great, but I love the driver I’m using. So I say, ‘Look, guys, not only do you have to be as good as the incumbent, you have to be better, because I already know this and I’m familiar with it.’

“Wilson has built a very, very good driver. There’s know doubt about it. But I love the driver I’m using. And none of these manufacturers can build me a driver that’s better.

“Ball speed gets a driver into the conversation, and then you bring it to the golf course. So the driver has to be going as good as my current driver, and then I bring it to the course and see if I can hit the thing straight. I have gone down the road [of prioritizing speed]…I used a driver in 2014, and it never worked weekends. But it was fast. I used it for about six weeks I’d say – six tournaments – and I missed six straight cuts. It never worked the weekend. It was really fast on the range, but it just wasn’t good on the course.”


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5) Playing with knockoff irons as a junior

“I played as a junior for Ireland, under 18’s, and I owned half a set of golf clubs, and they were imitation Ping Eye 1’s. I borrowed the other half set off my brother. We had a half set each. I had the evens, he had the odds. In that tournament, there was a guy playing with Ping Berylliums with graphite shafts. They cost 1,900 pounds. Mine cost 100 pounds, and they were knockoffs. So I played, for my country, with a set of knockoffs. Before I used those knockoff clubs, I used a mixed bag of clubs. As in, I picked up whatever club they had. The 6-iron might go farther than the 5-iron. The 5-iron might go with a fade and the 7-iron might go with a hook, but I knew what my clubs did. Each club had a purpose.”

6) Using square grooves and V-grooves simultaneously

Square grooves – or “box grooves” – were outlawed by the USGA in 2010 because they were said to help golfers spin the ball too much. V grooves are said to provide less of an advantage because they restrict the sharp edges of the grooves, thus reducing the amount of friction imparted on the golf ball. Prior to the rule change, however, Harrington actually used both V grooves and box grooves, and he’d adjust his setup depending on the golf course.

“What’s interesting is, when the box grooves were around – very few people know this – I carried two sets of clubs at all times. I carried a V groove and a box groove.

“Yeah, see, the box grooves were unbelievable out of the rough, spin wise, but if the rough got to a certain level, the ball would come out so low and with spin that it wouldn’t go very far. Your 7-iron coming out of this rough would only go like 140 yards and it wouldn’t get over any trees because it would come out so low. What I was doing was, if I got to a golf course with this sort of a rough, I’d put in a box groove 7-iron and a V-groove 8-iron. If I got in the rough and I had 170 yards, I’d hit an 8 iron and get a flyer, because the 7 iron wouldn’t get there depending on the lie. And I couldn’t get it over things. So if there were trees, you needed the V groove to get over the trees. A box groove wouldn’t get up in the air.

“No one else was doing it. I played with the box groove for a couple years before I realized that in certain rough, you need the V groove to get there. Hale Irwin played a U.S. Open seemingly with no grooves. Off the fairway it’s meant to make no difference. I would disagree, but that’s what the officials would say. But out of the rough you needed the flyers to get to the green. The V grooves were doing that for me. You get your flyer to get of the rough to get the ball there, but then if it was the first cut of rough, or light rough, or Bermuda rough, or chip shots, it would come out so low and spinny that you’d have no problem.

“I can’t believe that people didn’t realize that I was doing this two-groove thing all the time. I swear to you, you could stand here, you would not launch a 7-iron over that fence there if it was box grooves out of light rough, and V groove would launch over it. The launch characteristics were massively different.”

7) Blame the person, not the putter

Interestingly, Harrington, for all his tinkering, has only used a handful of putters. It turns out, there’s a good reason for that — although he’d like his current model to be a few millimeters taller.

“I used a 2-ball when it came out. Then I used a 2-ball blade, which I won my majors with. I always had a hook in my putts, so not long after I won my majors, I went to face-balanced putter because it helps reduce the left-to-right spin. I started putting really badly in 2013 and 2014 – I had some issues. And then come 2016-2017, I just said, look, I putted well with this putter. If I use this putter, I can’t go back and say it’s the putter’s problem. It’s gotta be me. So I went back to the face-balanced 2-ball blade because I’ve had good times with it. I may have only used 5 or 6 putters in my career.

“I’m really happy that I’ve got a putter that I know I’ve putted well with, and I don’t blame the putter. I can’t say that anymore. I don’t blame my tools, I blame myself if I miss a putt. So it comes down to…I know the putter works, then it’s me. Me, me, me.

“You know, I’ve toyed with using other shafts in the putter, and I will look at other putters, but things are askew to me when I look down. So I can’t have a putter with a line on it. It doesn’t look square to the face. I’ve never putted with a putter that has a line on it for that reason. I line up by feel. I know that putter works, I know it suits me, so that’s why I go with that…

“I prefer a deeper putter (a taller face). The one issue I have is I hit the ball too high on the face, but they won’t remodel the whole system to make me a deeper putter. I’ve tried some optical illusions to try and get it where I hit the ball more in the center, but I hit it high. It seems to be going in the hole so I’m not going to worry about it too much. But in an ideal world, if someone came along and said they could make the putter 3-4 millimeters higher, I’d be happy with that.”

See more photos of Padraig Harrington’s 2023 WITB here

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TaylorMade survey on ball rollback finds everyday golfers massively against introduction of Model Local Rule



In response to the USGA and R&A’s recent announcement that they plan on rolling back the golf ball for the professional game, TaylorMade Golf issued a survey asking everyday golfers to voice their opinion regarding the topic of golf ball bifurcation. Today, they are sharing the results.

Almost 45,000 golfers across more than 100 countries spanning a variety of ages, abilities and participation levels took the time to complete the survey and have their voice heard, with some of the major findings shown below:

  • To the best of your knowledge, do you agree with the proposed golf ball rule?
    • 81% No
    • 19% Yes
  • Do you think average hitting distances in professional golf need to be reduced?
    • 77% No
    • 23% Yes
  • Are you for or against bifurcation in the game of golf (i.e., different rule(s) for professional golfers versus amateurs)?
    • 81% Against
    • 19% For
  • How important is it for you to play with the same equipment professional golfers use?
    • 48% Extremely important
    • 35% Moderately important
    • 17% Not important
  • If the proposed golf ball rule were to go into effect, would it have an impact on your interest in professional golf?
    • 45% Less interested
    • 49% No impact
    • 6% More Interested

The results also show that 57 percent of golfers aged 18-34 years old would be less interested in the pro game should the rule come into effect, while five percent said they would be more interested.

“The goal of our survey was to give golfers the opportunity to voice their opinion on this proposed ruling as we absorb the MLR and its potential effects on the everyday golfer. We are grateful that nearly 45,000 golfers across the world felt the need for their voice to be heard. The overwhelming amount of responses show the passion, knowledge and care for the game our audience possesses. Each response and data point is being reviewed as we will utilize this feedback in our preparation to provide a response to the USGA and R&A.” – David Abeles, TaylorMade Golf President & CEO

You can check out the survey results in full here.

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