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Show Stoppers: Day 3 at the PGA Merchandise Show

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Team GolfWRX is in Orlando to be your eyes and ears at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show.

Enjoy our last edition of “Show Stoppers” — the newest, coolest products we found at Demo Day and inside the Orange County Convention Center.

Cleveland Wedge Analyzer Powered by Swingbyte

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In the realm of golf club fitting, wedges are far and away the most complicated. There’s so many variables to consider: loft, bounce, a golfer’s swing, the course conditions, etc.

Cleveland’s new Wedge Fitting App works in tandem with SwingByte to make the fitting process painfully simple.

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To get fit for a wedge, all golfers have to do is select their course conditions and make a swinging motion of their choice (chipping, pitching, a flop shot, etc.) with a club equipped with SwingByte.

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The free app uses an algorithm based on angle of attack and several other variables to recommend one of Cleveland’s three different wedge grinds, and can also recommend wedge lofts based on what set of irons a golfer plays.

Cool Clubs S3 Shaft Analyzer

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Scottsdale-based custom club fitter Cool Clubs hopes to make shaft fitting simpler with its new S3 Shaft Analyzer, which measures every important shaft parameter — straightness, consistency, deflection, stiffness profiles, frequency, torque and more — on a single machine in just 2.5 minutes.

The S3 was designed and built by Cool Clubs, and the company has published data of more than 1000 driver shafts on its mobile app.

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The app is free, but gearheads will want to pay $20 for a 1-year subscription that unlocks all of Cool Clubs’s shaft data.

The company plans to perform similar tests to each shaft category going forward.

Puma shoes, a block of ice and Blair O’Neal

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Puma’s new TitanTour shoes are designed to keep your feet cool, but we’re not sure the shoe – or even the ice sculpture shoe display – can cool down Cobra-Puma brand ambassador Blair O’Neal.

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The shoes are designed to regulate temperature by using Outlast Certified Space Technology — designed for NASA to manage temperature in spacesuits  — which explains the astronaut mannequin trying to photobomb our photo of Blair.

To learn more about the TitanTour shoes, click here.

Epson M-Tracer MT500GII

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Epson’s M-Tracer MT500GII is the latest in the fast-growing category of lightweight, affordable golf swing analyzers.

The M-Tracer weighs a featherlite 15 grams and a built-in inertial measurement unit, derived from Epson’s industrial sensors, providing golfers with detailed information about their club head speed, swing tempo, face angle, club path and more.

The device is part of Epson’s new Active product category, a line of sports and fitness devices that the Japanese electronics company has developed to give athletes accurate, easy-to-understand data on their performance.

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The M-Tracer measures the swing at 1,000 samples per second and uses bluetooth to wirelessly transmit swing data to iOS and Android devices. It works with Epson’s M-Tracer app to create a 3D “trace” of the club head, further in-depth analysis and allows golfers to store up to 3,000 swings of a golfer’s swings in the cloud, according to Epson representatives.

The device will be available March 15 at endorser David Leadbetter’s Academies and through Epson’s website for $299.

Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage XT

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The prototype shaft Mitsubishi Rayon shaft used by Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy is coming to retail.

It’s called the Kuro Kage XT and is manufactured in the company’s Toyohashi facility in Japan with a higher grade carbon fiber material that gives the shaft less torque and a stiffer tip than Mitsubishi’s Kuro Kage Silver TiNi shaft.

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The KuroKage XT (bottom) has an ion-plated finish.

It will be available in April and will sell for $400.

Sam PuttLab 

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There’s a few scratch golfers on the GolfWRX team, but the putting analysis and training system made the SAM PuttLab exhibitor say “Yikes” to our strokes.

The new Sam PuttLab 5, which uses ultrasound technology and algorithms to track the movement of your putter head, now allows the golfer or fitter to watch a 3D replay (below) of the stroke. It’s like watching your stroke on TV – even though some of GolfWRX’s putting strokes were made for radio.

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SAM’s new PuttLab App also allows users use their smartphone as a remote control for the PC software and share their data results on social media.

Always wanted a PuttLab? The company has a PGA Show discount running through Feb. 15, which gives consumers a $500 discount and free shipping. Sam PuttLabs start at $6,495.

Full 2015 PGAM Coverage

Show Stoppers: Demo Day
Show Stoppers: Day 2
Show Stoppers: Day 3

Visit our 2015 PGAM forum to see all the photos and discussion.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Lee H.

    Jan 28, 2015 at 12:59 am

    That Cleveland wedge analyzer was right on point when I tried it at the show. It validated what I knew all along about my swing, which is that I sweep the ball. Therefore, it recommended their 1-dot wedges (something with less bounce), which also helps with the playing conditions I play in.

    Also, I would like to mention that the new version of the Srixon Z-Star that was given to me at the show has noticeably more spin on it than the 2013-2014 version. Those with swing speeds under 105, I’m 92, will appreciate the better feel of the ball and increased spin.

  2. Glen Coombe

    Jan 26, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    We’re happy to have made the news! SAM PuttLab & BalanceLab are constantly being improved. Our new 3D replay is very exciting. I combined both technologies with my Putting Perfection Platform to great reviews… By those who experienced it.

    Check the Putters forum for more info.

  3. Lane

    Jan 26, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    The name for this article came from someone that stumbled on the new show at the Wynn casino in Las Vegas. At least that’s the first thing that came to mind. Show Stoppers. It’s being advertised all over in Vegas

  4. Lane

    Jan 26, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    The name for this article came from someone that stumbled on the new show at Wynn

  5. Dolpglundgrenade

    Jan 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Seriously? So nothing. There was nothing new or interesting to the average wrx reader? I guess you should skip putting this up and focus on other fun and interesting facts about the show because this is s###. C’ mon man.

  6. JEFF

    Jan 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    This is what’s boring golfers into doing something different. I’m a golfer and ready to take up bowling after reading about this crap!

  7. Jacko

    Jan 24, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Boring… Any chane of something useful, the “hype” of this golf show is such a disappointment, when will people realise the only way to improve at this sport is to actually have some ability, work hard on your game and understand what you are capable of mentally on the golf course! Shaft and wedge analysers ?? … ZZZZ

    • Rich

      Jan 26, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Please see my comment below. You need to look more closely at the pictures my friend.

  8. Philip Kim

    Jan 23, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Kuro Kage XT? Sweeet

  9. Jay

    Jan 23, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Wow. Four swing analyzers and a pair of shoes. That’s all you got? Snooze…..

  10. austin

    Jan 23, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Big fan of what blair is doing

  11. bob

    Jan 23, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    well, that was boring.

    • Rich

      Jan 23, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Are you kidding. Did you see Blair O’neil?

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Equipment

‘Now I’m short and crooked:’ Revisiting Phil Mickelson’s driver-less setup at the 2008 U.S. Open

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Editor’s note: We filed this piece for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report

At 7,643 yards, Torrey Pines was the longest course in major championship history when it hosted the 2008 U.S. Open.

So what was Phil Mickelson’s plan of attack for the first major at his hometown muni? Eschew the driver. With firm summer conditions and thick rough lining the fairways, Mickelson decided to start the week without a driver in his bag.

“I don’t really want to hit it past 300 yards on most of the par-4s because it starts running into the rough,” Mickelson said back then. “And I felt like with the fairways being firm like they were today, all I needed was 3-wood on the holes.”

Mickelson may employ a similar strategy this week. He expects to hit a 2-wood on about half his tee shots this week. But Mickelson, who’s made no secret of his pursuit of extra clubhead speed in recent years, also will have his driver in the bag.

“There’s a lot of holes where it kind of turns or tightens,” he said in his pre-tournament press conference. “That 2-wood, I’ll call it, seems to fit the right yardage on a lot of those holes for me.”

Mickelson’s 5-degree driver, the Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond driver with a Fujikura Ventus Black shaft, also will be in the bag. It’s the same club that helped him hit big bombs in his win at last month’s PGA Championship. Most impressive was the 366-yard tee shot he hit to set up a crucial birdie on the tournament’s 69th hole.

In 2008, Mickelson opted for a Callaway FT Tour 3-wood — a 13-degree version bent to 11.5 degrees and equipped with a 43-inch Mitsubishi Diamana White Board shaft – in lieu of his driver.

However, over the opening two days of the tournament, Mickelson struggled off the tee. On the brutally challenging and lengthy California course, Mickelson found himself not just in the rough for most of Thursday and Friday, but short too.

Read the full piece here. 

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (06/16/21): TaylorMade SIM 2 Max 5-wood

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Taylormade SIM 2 Max 5 Wood w/ Ventus Velo Blue 7X SST PURE ($445 shipped).

From the seller (@edwardsr): “Taylormade 5 wood shafted with Fujikura Ventus Velocore Blue 7X SST Pure’d and built by True Spec Golf in Scottsdale AZ. True spec measured the head at closer to 16.5-17ish degrees loft and the lie angle to be about 58.5ish  Club plays right at 43 inches and the shaft is tipped 1 inch. OEM HC included!”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Taylormade SIM 2 Max 5 Wood w/ Ventus Velo Blue 7X SST PURE

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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Dustin Johnson joins LA Golf as a partner, member of board of directors

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The No. 1 golfer in the world is joining the reigning U.S. Open champion. Dustin Johnson, who put an LA Golf Prototype shaft in play at the PGA Championship, is now an LA Golf partner and member of the company’s board of directors.

As a refresher, the company, which rose from the ashes of Matrix Shafts, features a unique structure and not only offers ownership stakes to professionals but also relies heavily on the feedback of the best golfers in the world in crafting future iterations of its shafts.

Not surprisingly, DJ is switching to LA Golf’s wares in the pursuit of greater accuracy and distance, according to the company.

As we wrote for PGATour.com, when Johnson put an LAGP shaft in play at the PGA Championship, Reed Dickens, LA Golf’s CEO had this to say about Johnson’s prototype: “We custom designed a low torque shaft for Dustin for lower trajectory and have been iterating with him for a few months. We’re excited that the No. 1 player in golf trusts LA Golf enough to put our product in play for the first time at a major championship.”

Johnson himself had this to say about his testing and the prototype development

“I…have been testing the LA Golf shafts for months. I have been really impressed with how much more consistent my ball striking has been and really like the ball flight I’m seeing. I don’t swing hard often, but with the LA Golf shaft, I can really go after it and know I am going to hit the ball more consistently in the middle of the club face. My misses have also been much better…”

CEO Reed Dickens founded LA Golf in 2018 after a tenure as the founding CEO of Marucci Sports. The small-batch company boasts the distinction of being “the only shaft manufacturer where each structure is co-designed with players and built in the USA,” and it has a particular focus on building shafts that perform at the top end of the swing speed spectrum.

LA Golf counts dozens of golfers on world tours among its partners, and the company has seen an uptick recently, with more than 20 pros signing on in the past three months.

LA Golf’s board is an interesting one as well, featuring not only Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau, but TV personality Amanda Balionis, entertainer Kelley James, Duck Commander’s Willie Robertson, and Marucci Sports CEO Kurt Ainsworth as well.

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