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Latest patent filings: An adjustable golf ball and more



It’s been a little more than a month since we last had a look at the major OEM’s patent filings.

Last time we looked at designs from TaylorMade, Ping, Titleist, and Nike. In this installment, we have some truly interesting contraptions, including some inspired (or insane, depending on your view) efforts, including an adjustable golf ball.

We’ll also take a look at what Ping, TaylorMade, and Callaway are up to. Keep reading for our June survey of patent activity.

Ping: Driver


As David Dawsey of writes, crown turbulators are a type of golf club technology that, in short, increase both club head speed and ball speed. In a study associated with another Ping club featuring turbulator technology, ball speed was more than 1 mph faster compared to an identical club sans turbulator.

Need more details? Check out the illustration and explanation below:




[0057] FIG. 29 shows a schematic view based on actual airflow visualization experiments of airflow over the club head 100 without turbulators, and FIG. 30 shows a schematic view based on actual airflow visualization experiments of airflow over the same club head with the turbulators 400. In FIG. 29, the streamlines representing airflow approach the club had 100 and are diverted over the club face toward the leading edge. The streamlines traverse over the leading edge 112 and flow over the crown 110. However, the airflow becomes detached from the crown 110 at the separation region 120, and creates a turbulent wake 122 over a substantial section of the crown 110. This turbulent wake 122 increases the drag thereby reducing the speed of the club head 100. Referring to FIG. 30, the ridges 401-408 are positioned downstream of the leading edge 112 and upstream of the separation region 120 of FIG. 29. Accordingly, the flow remains attached on a substantial portion of the crown 110 as is shown by the streamlines in FIG. 30. Therefore, the separation region 120 is moved farther aft on the crown 110.

More about this filing here.

Nike: Putter



Nike was granted a patent May 29th for a putter with an adjustable face. In contrast to putters that have had various faces that a golfer could effectively snap in, Nike’s new design features an “adjustable ball striking face insert [that] may be rotatably mounted within the putter head.

Further, the filing indicates “in some arrangements, the insert may be finely adjustable to alter the loft angle of the putter head.”

Read the full filing here.

TaylorMade: Club Face

Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 12.37.41 PM

TaylorMade was granted a patent May 8th for a golf club “with cover having roughness pattern. As the filing states, “The face plate comprises a lay-up of multiple, composite prepreg plies.”

In other words, it seems a sublayer of the club’s face is, essentially, woven, in order to precisely control face thickness. The filing indicates past difficulty with variable-thickness composite plates and presents TMag’s fiber technology as the solution.

Detail of the face structure below.

Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 12.42.13 PM


Read the full filing here.

Callaway: Adjustable Shaft/Hosel

Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 3.36.48 PM

According to a recent filing, Callaway is exploring “An adjustable shaft and hosel assembly allows for dependent and independent adjustment of a golf club’s face angle, loft angle, and lie angle.”

The filing lays out in great detail the ways in which technology in question allows greater adjustability than current adjustable drivers.

Read the full filing here.

Ping: Club Face Plates

Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 4.16.45 PM

Ping has been granted a patent for “golf club face plates with internal cell lattices and related methods.” This seems similar to the TaylorMade layered face mentioned earlier.

This from the filing indicates the concern with mass redistribution that all manufacturers share: “The ability to alter or redistribute mass at or around locations of high stress and/or of limited thickness in a golf club head, however, has to be balanced with respect to structural resilience considerations.”

If the previous indicates areas of concern, then this portion of the filing suggests the upside in such technologies: “Considering the above, further developments in terms of weight redistribution will advance the playability characteristics of golf club heads.”

Read the full filing here.

Nike: Adjustable Golf Ball

Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 4.23.58 PM

This is a real thing: Nike is developing a “golf ball with adjustable tackiness.” The filing also contains some of the greatest patent sketches of all time, including a golf ball in a microwave.

For the how and why of adjusting a ball’s tackiness, it’s worth quoting from the filing at length:

A golf ball is provided that includes a coating. The coating is designed to allow a golfer to modify or increase the tackiness of the coating. The coating changes tackiness when exposed to a soaking material. A method of determining a desirable length of soak is also disclosed.

Golf balls as typically constructed usually cannot be modified by the user to change their properties. In some cases, the lack of modifiability is due to a desire to prevent the user from changing the ball’s properties in such a way that they no longer conform to USGA regulations. However, in other cases, it may be desirable to allow a user to modify the properties of the golf ball to enhance play, particularly when the ball is not being used in a competitive environment.

Among the obstacles that are faced by golfers is moisture on the course. Often the moisture takes the form of dew or rain on the grass and rain or other precipitation falling from the sky. This moisture can wet the ball and the club face. When there is moisture between the ball and club, the ball is likely to slip while in contact with the club more than when golfing in a dry situation. This slipping may cause the ball to have reduced spin after impact and may otherwise negatively affect the flight path of the ball.

In addition, other changes to a golfer’s clubs may affect the degree of slip between the ball and the club. For example, if a new set of clubs is used, the surface of a new club face may have a reduced friction because it has not been used heavily and become abraded. Further, if a golfer begins to use a club with a different groove profile, the coefficient of friction of the club face may be reduced.

When these types of changes occur, it can cause a golfer to become flustered and mishit the ball to an even greater degree than caused by the equipment or conditions. Minimizing these effects may be helpful in the golfer having a pleasant golfing experience.

Accordingly, it may be desirable to provide a ball where the user can adjust the tackiness depending on the equipment and weather conditions.

Read the full filing here.

Nike: Automatic Club Setting and Ball Flight Optimization

Screen shot 2014-06-03 at 4.30.30 PM

As though the microwavable ball isn’t outlandish (or perhaps brilliant) enough, Nike is also working on a golf club that adjusts automatically.

This filing, too, is worth quoting at length:

[The filing concerns] Systems, methods, and computer readable media for changing and controlling settings … Such setting adjustment systems may alter one or more of: lie angle, loft angle, face angle, shaft stiffness, shaft kickpoint location, weighting, weight positioning, face flexibility, maximum face flex location, etc.

These systems and methods may use various types of information to determine the appropriate settings, such as: ball launch monitor data, swing path data, weather input data, course condition input data for a location of play, course design input data for a location of play, daily course layout input data for a location and a time of play, golfer past performance data (e.g., recent past performance, past performances at the location of play, past performance during an ongoing round of golf (i.e., on earlier played holes), etc.), current adjustable club setting information, and information indicating specific holes to be played.

Read the full filing here.

Callaway: Adjustable Driver

Screen shot 2014-06-04 at 10.37.49 AM

In a filing that shows the Big Bertha II design, Callaway also includes sketches of this club with an adjustable sliding weight that allows golfers to move the center of gravity low and forward (like TaylorMade’s SLDR driver) or low and rearward (like Ping’s G25 driver). This technology is significant because of its affect on a club’s moment of inertia, which is a measure of a club’s forgiveness.

The marketplace is currently divided between the benefits of a driver with a low and forward CG, which reduces spin and can allow for more carry distance and roll, and one with a rearward CG, which improves the consistency of ball speed on off-center hits and leads to a higher launch, given the same loft. With this technology, a golfer could fit themselves to a blend of low-spin performance and forgiveness that makes sense for their game at that time.

Read the full filing here.

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  1. SPSM

    Jun 5, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Somebody please stop Nike.

  2. Mike

    Jun 5, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Golfer: “@#$%^, it’s starting to rain. Quick, find a microwave and zap these Nikes. You know I’m going to lose spin off these wet clubfaces.”

    Caddy: “Uh, why don’t you just land it a couple of yards shorter?”

  3. RG

    Jun 4, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Bet those Nike balls will be hot…

  4. Fred

    Jun 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    I bet those new Nike balls come in a mesh pouch with a string and a paper tag. “Try the all-new Nike Tee Bag!” the ad will say, and a million dudes will adjust their junk absentmindedly.

  5. RAT

    Jun 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I have already tried the cooking of the RZN ball and no doubt this was the idea from Nike all along when they designed the ball..But not sooo fast ,it’s much harder to do than you think..You over cook it and the cover melts, under cook it and it dumbs the ball won’t travel well flys like a dying quail!! They should drop this idea because everyone will try it even in tourny’s..Must be a way to id these better yet don’t make them..

  6. LorenRobertsFan

    Jun 4, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Hey Nike, did you forget about the flop Odyssey had? Flip Face.. But this will probably do better if it comes to market. The open area in the middle of the Odyssey putters looked ugly. This appears more seamless

  7. Double Mocha Man

    Jun 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I think Nike’s idea is pretty tacky.

  8. paul

    Jun 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I like callaways idea the most. I love the big bertha, and love the sldr. So lets put em together.

  9. Richard L Cox III

    Jun 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    talk about “straight out of The Oven.”


  10. tim

    Jun 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I can just picture Nike’s campaign, “Microwave Technology”.

    • TJ

      Jun 5, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Nike The Oven
      Nike The Microwave

      Nike The Barbecue?

      This stuff writes itself

  11. Danny

    Jun 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Lol Nike tries way too hard to be noticed

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The most popular golf hitting nets on Amazon right now (Fall 2020 edition)



What are the most popular golf hitting nets on Amazon right now? From time to time, we like to get out of our little bubble of OEM releases and what’s being played on tour to look at what golf consumers are buying on one of the largest online retail marketplaces: Amazon.

Here are some of the best-selling golf hitting nets on Amazon as of October 2020.

1. GoSports Golf Practice Hitting Net

From the listing:Improve your swing both indoors or outdoors with this portable at-home golf hitting net (mat not included). Beware of other nets made by foreign companies with no real golf experience. The GoSports golf net was designed in the US and is made by golfers for golfers. Incredibly durable reinforced nylon net with innovative golf ball return feature for added convenience and increased golf swing practice time – no more chasing balls.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

2. FUNME Golf Hitting Net with Target Sheet Golfing Portable Swing Training Aids

From the listing:Golf net practice is made of high intensity nylon and high quality polyester,oxford built the base and the net Golf driver net is wide-opened tent, 9.8ft W x 5.9ft H x 6.5ft D. Perfect for indoor and outdoor use.Like backyard and indoor.Available in two sizes, adults or kids,every golf net has a durable carry bag. Designed with large hitting area and target sheet, this golf net target sheet can better helps beginner improve swing, ball striking and strength, helping you become a professional golf player.”

Price: $60.99

Buy here.

3. Heavy Duty Golf Net 

From the listing:Once the net is setup the hitting area 10 feet wide by 7 feet tall. This will give you plenty of room to hit any club from a driver to a lob wedge and hit the net. You can use this net as and indoor golf net or the backyard, at a park, in a garage, in the basement, at any field. Simply setup and start swinging. You can setup and take down this net in minutes. You will swing in minutes. When you finish practicing and training you can collapsible in minutes and place in the supplies carry bag.”

Price: $79.99

Buy here.

4. MESIXI Pop Up Golf Chipping Net

From the listing:The chipping net is not that easy to get flimsy with enhanced design. TWO Color: Very classic colors: red and blue. Pick your favorite color and show off to your friends. NO-BLOW-AWAY DESIGN: We sent 8 ground nails with the pack to spin the net and hitting mats to the ground. No blow away anymore.”

Price: $39.99

Buy here.

5. RELILAC Pop Up Golf Chipping Net

From the listing:Your Rolilac Golf Chipping Net is a perfect compact and versatile chipping training aid. It features multiple pockets and targets to improve your short distance pitching accuracy and keep challenging yourself. Best for golfers of all levels! Your Rolilac Golf Chipping Net can be packed in a 1.2 ft. handbag, and weighs a mere 1 lbs. Since it’s lightweight, foldable and portable, You can play golf whenever and wherever (backyards, parks, on the course and more) you want, indoor/outdoor day&night without weather limitation.”

Price: $19.99

Buy here.

6. SAPLIZE Golf Practice Net with Hitting Mat

From the listing:The dimensions of the net is up to 10ft (L) X 7ft(D) X 7ft(H)?large , light but stable. Increasing 30% area of chipping training curtain gives more protection of driving practice. Support driving and chipping practice. Hitting Mat is also included in the the package. The net is made of high impact polyester fabric and oxford cloth with good anti-tearing characteristics. Ideal golf nets for all golfers and can be used for training at indoor, backyard, outdoors, etc.”

Price: $79.99

Buy here.

7. Aoneky Golf Sports Practice Barrier Net

From the listing:Reinforced with a 1/4″ rope border along perimeter. Knotless mesh construction, rugged durability and premium quality. Hang/Install from vertical poles, cables/wires, structures, fences/trees, hooks. Works great as a barrier for homes or outdoors to practice shots with irons.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

8. SUNHOO Pop-up Golf Chipping Net with Dual Turf Hitting Mat

From the listing:Sunhoo golf chipping net Combo comes with the Lawn Saver Mat, practice Golf Ball and removable Rubber Tee, greatly save your shopping time and shipping cost. The golf net measures 12” by 12” only when folded, 25” by 25” after fully open; Really portable to carry thanks to the collapsible design.”

Price: $39.88

Buy here.

9. IPOW Golf Practice Net

From the listing:IPOW Golf Training Net adopts the super-strong 210D encrypted Oxford cloth, 170g / yard polyester mesh, and 11mm fiber poles, which makes it able to handle all kinds of severe weather and heavy use. Save Your Time & Energy: The uneven bottom design (high on both sides, low in the middle) is to allow all your shots to be collected into the net, avoiding the trouble of picking up the ball frequently.”

Price: $69.99

Buy here.

10. Club Champ Golf Practice Net

From the listing:9-feet wide by 7-feet tall. Net stops the hardest of shots. Sturdy, weather-resistant nylon net. Plated steel poles lock together. Easy set up and take down.”

Price: $19.97

Buy here.

Alternatively, find out how to build your own hitting net and simulator in Ryan Barath’s guide here.

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WRX Insider: Inside the bag of Ryan Palmer



Ryan Palmer has seen a bit of a career resurgence in the last 9-12 months. The four-time PGA Tour winner has always been known as one of the most consistent ball strikers out there, but even more, a player who stays ridiculously loyal to his clubs.

Case in point: The irons he played before his current set. Palmer cycled through multiple sets of Titleist AP2 710’s for almost nine years. In that time, Titleist introduced four iterations of the AP2.

“Why would he do this?” you ask. “Because they worked,” is the answer.

The same can be said for multiple drivers, 3-woods, and 5-woods that stayed in the bag for 3-4 years at a time.

It might not seem like a big deal but on tour it is. OEMs cycle in new gear almost every year, and these days the equipment improves from cycle to cycle, so having a player like Palmer stick to certain parts for so long is a bit of a rarity. The only other players I know who do it at this rate would be Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer.

RP and I have become friends over the past couple of years, and his approach to equipment is what every golfer should aspire to: it has to work. And if it does, don’t ditch it until it breaks or something comes around that is significantly better.

Over the past 9 months, Ryan has made more changes to his bag than any over the past decade. He replaced a driver, a four-year-old 3-wood (M2), and a five-year-old 5-wood (R15).

But as you will see when we look a bit closer, the changes have been for the better in every capacity.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees, Upright Setting, 18G Back weight)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke RDX USA Limited Edition 60 6.5 (D4, Tipped 1″, 45.25 Inches) 

“This combo was good from the start. Faster and longer than my M6 setup. I wanted to draw it a little easier than my M6. We dialed it in with Shawn Mullin and True Temper. It started more left than I wanted, so Adrian went to work to help correct my start line. I still wanted to hit my fade off the tee. He went and changed the sleeve to half-degree flatter and boom…was exactly what I was looking for. I’m excited about what this driver has. Faster, longer, and more stable. Even my mishits are longer and not as offline. With the help of Shawn and True Temper and the great mind of Adrian, we dialed it in. Getting longer at 44 will add to the excitement 2021 will hold.”

According to TaylorMade’s Senior Tour Manager Adrian Rietveld

“The main fix was I found a sleeve that sat max 1/2 flatter for the driver, and I bent loft onto his 3-wood without telling him before I ran it out to him on the course. I knew the 3-wood was near perfect, and when he asked for a backup driver exactly the same, I knew that was money too. He is as good off the tee as anyone—in my top 10 for sure.”

3-wood: TaylorMade Sim Max ([email protected] degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke Green “Hulk” 70 6.5 (D4, Tipped 1.5″, 43 Inches)

According to Ryan, his old 3-wood was just fine, but it took a lot of work to turn it over, so on a hole like 13 at Augusta, he couldn’t hit the shot he wanted, with the SIM Max, not only can he turn it over at will, he has every other shot. Rietveld simply added .5 degrees of loft to get spin up a bit. RP says off the tee he can get 280-290 out of this no problem and is champing at the bit to get to Augusta with it.

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke RDX 80 6.5 (D4, Tipped 2″, 42 Inches)

How did this 5-wood finally bump the trusty R15 out of the bag? “It does everything way better. I loved my old 5-wood because I trusted it with multiple shots. When Adrian dialed me into this one, I added even more versatility to it and some distance, which I’ll never run away from.”

Irons: Srixon ZU85 (23), Srixon Z 785 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Elevate VSS Pro X (4), KBS Tour 130 X (5-PW)

After his final set of 710 AP2 irons basically keeled over and died, RP tested a few sets and fell in love with the turf interaction of the Z785.

“I already get into the ground fine, so I like irons with a bit of bounce to add some speed through the turf. Once I had a chance to get around with these at home, it was pretty clear that they were an ideal replacement to the 710. Now I just hope I can stockpile 20 sets.”

His U85 came after some testing with the Z585 4-iron he played for a few months. He liked but didn’t love that iron for a few reasons but it was a shaft test with the U85/Elevate combo that won him over.

“I was at a tournament and finally brought this combo out to try and VERY quickly knew it was a gamer. I can hit it up/down/left/right and it flies to my number with a nice descent angle. It’s the first time I’ve had that much versatility with a club between my 5-wood and 5-iron. The shaft was the key—it’s simply awesome.”

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-08F, 56-10S @55, 60-04L)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X (50), KBS Tour 120 S (56, 60)

SPECS Length/Lie/SW

According to Vokey’s Aaron Dill, Palmer is fairly low maintenance when it comes to his wedges.

“RP is a pure feel player with impeccable tempo. It may look like he’s gliding thru the ball but with his lag and great hands, he not only creates great speed at the bottom when he needs to but can also take a lot off with little thought. The only real tweak we have made lately is going to a softer shaft (KBS 120 S) in his 55/60. This helps with feel obviously but also added a bit more spin out of those shorter shots.”

Putter: Odyssey Rossie II

“I tried some different putters over the past year or so, but this one just has so much history for me. I’ve used it since college, and no matter what, I can always go back to it and feel at home.”

– Ryan Palmer

Grip: Flat Cat

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

58R/+3 wraps/Logo Down

  • ONLY WADE LILES on TM truck does his grips, no one else.

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x ‘21

“I’m killing this thing. It’s really fast off the driver.”

Carry Distance (Stock) 

Driver: 295

  • Swing speed: 117 (Stock) 120 (Hard)
  • Ball speed: 175 (Stock) Low 180 (Hard)
  • Spin: 2100-2200 (Stock) 1800-1900 (Hard)
  • Launch: Try to stay at 12-13 degrees

3-wood: 265 carry off ground. 275 carry off tee

5-wood: 245 off ground. Stinger 5-wood flies 230-240 and runs out to 270-280

U: 225

5: 200-205

6: 190

7: 175-180

8: 165

9: 152-155

PW: 142-145

50 degree: 130

56 degree: 115

60 degree: 92-95



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Whats in the Bag

Wyndham Clark WITB (October 2020)



Driver: PXG 0811 Proto (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana TB 60 TX

Hybrid: PXG 0317 Gen 1 (17 degrees @15.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White HY 90 TX

Irons: PXG 0211 FB Proto (3-9)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 130 X

Wedges: PXG 0311 Sugar Daddy (46), Sugar Daddy Milled (52 degrees @51, 56, 60 degrees @61)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 130 X

Putter: PXG Gunboat

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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