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Latest patent filings: Sound-tuning, sound-analysis and adjustable irons

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It’s been a few months since we took a peek at the technologies major OEMs are working on. In an ever-increasingly competitive space amid an industry in contraction, OEMs seem to be digging deeper and going bolder to attract consumers (Callaway’s driver with a spoiler from the July edition of this series comes to mind here).

In a survey of what’s recently been made available for public consumption, that trend continues.

Let’s take a look at how our friends in Fairhaven, Carlsbad, Fort Worth and Phoenix are pushing the envelope.

TaylorMade: Multi-layer face insert

Golf club head - TMAG

TaylorMade is working on a driver with a multi-layer face insert that includes the prepreg plies technology we discussed in a previous installment in this series. The filing also makes mention of an “undercut fill structure,” which “can include at least three ribs equidistantly spaced from each other.”

TaylorMade: Contrast-enhanced club heads

Contrast-enhanced golf club heads - TMAG

TMag is also looking at “contrast enhanced” crowns. As the company’s filing states, “new approaches that permit more accurate and repeatable alignment are needed.” The filing also makes clear that the both black and white crowns are being developed.

Callaway: Adjustable iron-type golf club head

Adjustable iron-type golf club head

Callaway is exploring a highly adjustable iron head. As you can see from the image above, multiple sections can be adjusted. The filing refers to “features that allow for the adjustment of the principal moment of inertia angle and/or turf interaction, including an adjustable weight cartridge or an adjustable sole plate and a lightweight face.”

Callaway: Multi-material putter

Multiple material putter-CALLY

The Carlsbad-based company is also working on a “multiple material putter having a high moment of inertia and a low center of gravity,” according to another filing.

The filing further states: “Most putters are constructed in such a way that the head is made from a single type of parent material, such as steel. There is a need for putters that have increased moments of inertia and low centers of gravity.”

Titleist: A workable and forgiving iron

Set of golf clubs-Titleist

Moving on to Titleist’s R&D efforts: The company is continuing to work on cavity-backed players irons that offer more forgiveness and more workability at the same time. A lengthy paragraph from the filing lays this out in detail.

Previous game improvement club heads have relatively higher MOI-Y, at the expense of a higher MOI-SA because they are relatively large. Generally, better players have a tendency to prefer golf clubs having a lower MOI-SA so that they can control the orientation of the club head throughout the swing with greater ease….There remains a need in the art for an improved iron-type golf club. In particular, there is a need for an iron-type golf club that provides a lower MOI-SA in combination with a higher MOI-Y.

Titleist: Optimizing club heads for sound

Golf club head optimized for sound-Titleist

Titleist is also working on a driver that’s sound is “is aesthetically pleasing when the golf club head impacts the golf ball.” The filing indicates that today’s large, flat driver typically produce lower frequency sounds, which golfers, according to Titleist, don’t like.

Ping: Tuneable everything

Club head sets with varying characteristics and related methods-PING

The denizens of Phoenix are toying with irons with multiple adjustable weights, as a recent filing makes mention of. The filing further suggests that loft can be tinkered with.

Nike: Actually analyzing impact through soundImpact and sound analysis for golf equipment-NIKE

If you remember the “microwavable golf ball” Nike applied for a patent that we mentioned a few months ago, then this might not surprise you: Nike is working on technology to analyze impact sound to “determine one or more characteristics of the impact, and generating an output based on the determined impact characteristic.”

What does that mean? A few paragraphs in the filing sheds a little light on what Nike’s up to:

“The amplitudes and frequencies of the audio signal may be analyzed to determine various characteristics such as a magnitude of compression of the golf ball, an impact location on the surface and/or a speed with which the surface impacts the golf ball.

“The determined characteristics may be used, in some arrangements, to determine a golf ball impact location on the surface of the golf club head. Alternatively or additionally, the characteristics may be used to identify a type of golf ball best suited for a particular user (and/or, e.g., golf club head speed). In yet other arrangements, the determined characteristics, such as golf ball compression, may be used to insure the quality of a golf ball.

“According to other aspects, a mobile communication device may be configured to detect golf ball impact sounds and to determine the various impact characteristics. In one example, a mobile communication device may record the sound of a golf ball impact and to visually indicate the golf ball impact location against a golf club head.”

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Joe Golfer

    Oct 16, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Ralph Maltby of Golfworks has been selling irons for quite some time that have adjustable weights in the heel and toe.
    I think their latest is the Maltby KE4 iron head, which can be seen at the Golfworks site.
    I’m not advocating it, as I don’t know anyone who has ever tried one.
    I’m just saying that adjustable irons in this weighting respect have existed already for many years now.

  2. Archie Bunker

    Oct 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    These patents are technically worthless, and only provide marketing direction to sell more product. I can only imagine the absurd claims that will be made for these “breakthroughs” in the future.

  3. nikkyd

    Oct 12, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I like the adjustable bounce on the callys. I was just thinking that the other day. Why couldnt a guy weld a flange on the sole of an old set of blades ? Callaway has done it. Bravo.

  4. BigBoy

    Oct 12, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    the sheer stupidity of manufacturers today, it knows no bounds to that stupidity.

  5. Tom

    Oct 12, 2014 at 11:50 am

    From the looks of the design concepts, it would appear that there is more on the clubs that can break or fall off.

  6. Jay

    Oct 12, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Adjustable irons are ridiculous. Get fit for length,loft and lie and call it good. More does not equal better.

  7. moses

    Oct 11, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Hmmm. If only the USGA would let us have COR .860 it would save the golf equipment industry for the next 10 years.

    • No

      Oct 12, 2014 at 2:50 am

      No, it wouldn’t. It would make it worse.

      • Joe Golfer

        Oct 16, 2014 at 1:08 am

        @No
        the comment by @Moses was meant to be sarcastic.

  8. Shelton Cooper

    Oct 11, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    So Nike will just be using the Mizuno harmonic impact technology then. Does Mizuno not have a patent on that already?

    • Josh

      Oct 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      That is different. Mizuno’s tech is about making the feel and sound good to the player. Nike’s idea is about actually determining where the ball hit on the club face or how much compression a player got from the ball. From what it reads it sounds like it will be an app based on sound. So instead of using impact tape or a high speed camera to determine where the ball hit on the face, the app will determine it based on the impact sound.

      • RAT

        Oct 11, 2014 at 9:23 pm

        I can do this myself. I can tell by sound and feel that it was a good strike or not.

    • MHendon

      Oct 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Patents have become a joke and are virtually worthless.

      • 1badbadger

        Oct 18, 2014 at 4:18 am

        I think some of these IDEAS are a joke, but patents can be very valuable. Golf equipment companies will aggressively protect their intellectual property, and if a competitor infringes on another manufacturer’s patents the settlements can be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Whats in the Bag

Sam Burns WITB 2021 (December)

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sam burns witb 2021
  • Sam Burns what’s in the bag accurate as of the Sanderson Farms Championship. 

Driver: Callaway Epic Speed (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 TX

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Fairway wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (17 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X

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Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (21 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X

 

 

 

Irons:Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

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Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (50-10S, 56-10S @55, 60-12X)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

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IMG_8194.jpegPutter: Odyssey O-Works Black 7S
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Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

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A guide to buying junior golf equipment

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Junior golf equipment has come a long way in the past ten years. Gone are the days of used adult clubs that were cut down for juniors. It is fine to get a 2, or 3-year-old child started with some simple plastic clubs, but as kids get older, they need a set of golf clubs that are made with their body in mind.

Today there are several manufacturers making clubs specifically for juniors. Even with all these different types of clubs to choose from, there still are a few important things to consider when buying junior clubs. Length is the first consideration. The key is to find a set of clubs that is the right length for the junior golfer but also a set that the junior can grow with. Remember that it is all right for the junior to choke or grip down on the club. You just don’t want them to move their hands down the grip too much.

The basic rule is this: if the junior is choking down more than 1.5 to 2 inches, he or she is choking down too much. If they choke down more than 2 inches, the club is too long, and they may form habits that may be difficult to change. A set of clubs where the junior only has to grip down an inch allows them to make a normal swing at the ball and probably get two seasons out of the clubs.

Try not to let your junior play with a driver that is too long. At some point, they’re going to try and play with an adult driver before they’re ready. A driver that is too long can lead to timing problems and coming into the ball at a flat angle which makes it hard to hit the ball on the center of the face.

The next consideration is shaft flex. The main problem with the old cut-down set of golf clubs is the stiffness of the shafts. When you take 4 to 5 inches of length off a golf club, you make the shaft extremely stiff. This is the reason that junior golfers can’t hit the ball high with a cut-down set of clubs. One benefit of new junior sets is that the manufacturers are making shafts that are the right flex for a kid’s swing speed.

Using lightweight steel and graphite has made junior golf clubs more playable. The shafts of junior clubs today are so flexible that you can bend them with your hands. So check and make sure that your child’s set of clubs has a nice flexible shaft. Does your child need to be professionally fit for clubs? The general rule is that until they are 60 inches tall, they’ll be fine with a set of junior clubs from a good manufacturer.

After they reach 5 feet, experienced junior players really benefit from having each club fit for their game. The weight of the golf club is also very important to junior golfers. If the club is overly heavy, the child will struggle to take the club to the top of the backswing. The struggle to get the club back causes manipulation of the swing that will result in inconsistent shots.

A lighter club will help the junior get the club in the correct position at the top and lead to an easily repeatable swing. Just like with shaft flex, most club companies make junior clubs with lighter heads and shafts. So before you buy, just make sure you check the weight of the club and make sure it fits your junior’s age.

The size of the grip is also important. Grip size for kids is a new thought in the last few years. In the past, clubs were cut down, and any grip that fit the shaft was put on. The problem of oversized grips is the same for kids as adults. If the grip feels like a baseball bat, it’s going to change the swing mechanics.

Look for junior grips on their new set of clubs. If you’re changing grips, ask for junior grips with a core of 0.50. These thinner grips will make a difference in your kid’s game. There are now golf balls made for juniors. Here is the general rule for kids and golf balls. Most juniors swing speed is less than 80 MPH, so they can’t handle a lot of the balls on the market.

US Kids Golf makes two balls for juniors. One for kids with a swing speed less than 70 MPH and another for swing speeds around 90 MPH. These balls offer a softer core and more spin to keep the ball in the air and results in more distance. Other than US Kids, a ladies ball will help a lot of juniors that don’t produce a lot of speed.

Lastly, how many clubs does my kid need? Most experts agree that if a child starts at an early age, 4 or 5 years old, they need two clubs to start… a putter and a pitching wedge. Why a wedge instead of a driver? Because the length of the pitching wedge is short and it’s easy to get in the air. Longer clubs are obviously harder to get airborne and can lead to frustration.

As the junior progresses, add a 7 iron, then a hybrid, and then a 3-wood or driver. Those 5 clubs will get him/her through the first couple of years of golf. Once the junior has enough swing speed to make a noticeable difference in distance between irons, then they need 10 or 12 clubs in the bag. As a general rule, this usually happens around 10 years old for experienced juniors.

As adults, we realize how tough golf can be and how much the right equipment can help our games. By keeping these considerations in mind when buying junior golf equipment, you can help your junior play better golf, and more importantly, have more fun on the golf course.

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Equipment

The 8 top-selling golf cart accessories

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We hope you find this list valuable, GolfWRXers! These products are the best-sellers on Amazon in the golf cart accessories category at the time of publication. We may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publication!

1. Desert Fox Golf Phone Caddy

Product description:The best phone holder designed specifically for golf carts. Keeps your phone safe and at your finger tips.”

Notable review: “I was really getting tired of throwing my phone into the golf cart compartments with everything else and then fishing it out to use my golf app to keep score and review the hole. Enter Desert Fox. This is one of the best gadgets since sliced bread for keeping my phone accessible and it doesn’t get banged around inside the cart anymore with keys, balls, etc. Seems sturdy enough to last a long time and easy to use. The Velcro strap holds the device securely to the golf cart and I never worried about it loosening up. Slightly pricey but a great golf gadget that solved an annoying little problem. Who knew?!”

Get it from Amazon for $24.99

2. Golfer’s Best Tool Golf Multitool All-IN-ONE

Product description: “Six main functions that help you during your golf game in one small package; Includes Ball Marker, Brush, Stroke Counter, Cleat Tightener, Club Groove Cleaner (Divot Repair tool) and Bottle Opener with Screwdriver.”

Notable review: “Nice and sturdy tool. I was able to free up several items out of my golf bag with this little thing. I could clip it to either my belt or to the bag itself. Magnetized ball marker sticks perfectly to its place. I was afraid that the metal parts would bend or snap when used, but the whole structure is surprisingly sturdy. Stroke counter is a very nice addition.”

Get it from Amazon for $29.99

3. 10L0L Golf cart Side Mirrors

Product description:The whole set of mirror is made of impact black PP plastic housing, shatterproof glass and durable ABS clamps. It is anti-friction and corrosion resistant, suitable for all kind of weather condition.”

Notable review: “These side view mirrors for your Club Car provide much more “rear view” than the old five-panel mirrors commonly seen. Excellent quality. These mirrors are easily mounted. Drill two holes in each of the roof stanchions, using the templates. Attach the mirrors with the provided four screws. Once mounted, these mirrors are fully adjustable up and down, in and out. They can be tucked in if you use a cart cover.”

Get it from Amazon for $9.99

4. STICKIT Magnetic Rangefinder Strap

Product description: “The newly redesigned Gen3 STICKIT Magnetic Rangefinder Strap features a slimmer band with a strategically positioned cutout, which allows you to maintain access to multi-button devices, making it the most versatile magnetic strap, adjusting to fit over 50 makes/models, with all the major brands tested during product development — Bushnell, Callaway, Garmin, Leupold, Nikon, Precision Pro, TecTecTec.”

Notable review: “Love this little magnet strap!! Fits on any golf cart metal. I put in on the steering wheel column for quick grab and capture! And it still fits in the golf range finder case with the strap intact!!”

Get it from Amazon for $26.95

5. HomeMount Portable Speaker Mount

Product description: “Portable speaker mount for golf cart – Totally focused on the fun of playing golf and enjoy the music at anytime and anywhere.”

Notable review: “Was a little skeptical that it would hold the speaker without it slipping out. Worked great. Velcro has a strong hold. Golf courses don’t have the smoothest roads but the speaker never moved in the mount. Easily secures to golf cart rail. Doesn’t block sound or button function.”

Get it from Amazon for $13.96

6. Explore Land 600D Waterproof Golf Cart Cover 

Product description: “4 passenger golf cart cover size: 108L x 48 W x66H inch. Universal cover fits for most brand four-person golf cart, such as Yamaha, Honda, Club Car, EZGO”

Notable review: “Fits nicely on my old golf cart. I had a small problem at first, water would seep through cover if the rain was left on top of the roof. I placed a large pool noodle in center of cart and the rain rolls right off now! No more pooling of water and no rain water seeps through the cover! Cart sits out in the Florida sun all the time, does not appear to phased by it at all.”

Get it from Amazon for $68.99

7. JSP Manufacturing Universal Golf Cart Cup Holder

Product description:Designed to hold the 16.4 oz propane tank used in many heaters ~ Compatible with MANY propane cylinders and many other brands of portable propane cylinders / heaters ~ Direct replacement, perfect fit into your current cup holder ~ Tapered design – holds multiple cup sizes.”

Notable review: “We have four cup holders on the dash in our Ezgo golf cart. Nothing but an aluminum can fits in them. I bought two of these to fit in the cup holders. They fit perfect and will now hold a big Yeti. It was a cheap easy fix for cup holders that were useless.”

Get it from Amazon for $7.98

8. 10L0L Golf Cart Seat Covers

Product description:Great Choice if You Don’t Want to Spend 100s of Dollars on New Seats: Almost every golf cart I have seen eventually get tears on the driver side corner bench. Our golf cart seat cover really update the look of your cart, made your golf cart look like new again. The best choice of Christmas or Thanksgiving gift for golfer boss husband father boyfriend.”

Notable review: “The Cover fit my Yamaha golf cart perfectly, it was easy to install and it’s proven very durable after about three months. We don’t play golf, we have the cart for doing farm work, and the dog jumps up in the front seat pretty often and she has yet to tear it up. It’s a very good value and dries quickly when it gets wet.”

Get it from Amazon for $26.99

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