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Bridgestone introduces ultra-premium Tour B Series

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Coming mid-Spring and only available through Bridgestone-authorized fitters (and only available for a limited time): Bridgestone’s ultra-premium Tour B Series of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons.

Bridgestone’s Tour B Series of drivers includes three models: the XD-3, XD-5 and XD-7, each featuring a matte finish and adjustable hosel that allows eight face-angle/lie configurations.

  • XD-3: 455cc head, round shape, deep face, medium launch, neutral trajectory.
  • XD-5: 460cc head, flatter, shallow-face design to promote a high launching draws.
  • XD-7: 445cc head, classic pear shape, lower-launching, fade-biased tractory.

From a features standpoint, the drivers include Bridgestone’s Flex Action Speed Technology (FAST), which is designed to increase ball speed for maximum distance, even on off-center hits.

XD-3

Lens Position: 531

 

XD-5

Lens Position: 686

XD-7

Lens Position: 498

In combination with F.A.S.T. is a technology Bridgestone calls “Power Ribs,” which were added to internally to the driver heads to increase ball speed and dampen vibrations. The faces of the Tour B woods also feature Power Milling, which is designed to stabilize the ball at impact to increase compression and reduce spin.

The XD drivers come with a set of interchangeable weights (2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 grams). Exotic premium shafts are offered stock, including top models from Mitsubishi, Fujikura, UST Mamiya and Aldila.

“We wanted to do something really special this year and decided to go ultra-high-end in every facet to create a line that combines incredible craftsmanship with the latest technological innovations,” says Zack Kupperbusch, Golf Club Marketing. “To launch the product, we will be working with a select group of authorized fitters, who will custom build each club to perfectly suit customer needs and preferences. Further information on fitting locations will be available shortly.”

XD-F

Lens Position: 538

XD-F fairway woods are equipped with a shallow face and are available in lofts of 15 and 18 degrees. Featuring the compact shape preferred by better players, the XD-H hybrids come in lofts of 18, 21 and 24 degrees.

XD-H

 

CU_xdh_st_01

Bridgestone Golf is also adding to its forged iron line the cavity-backed X-CB and traditional X-Blade. Both feature 1020 Endo forging, 15 premium shaft options and minimal offset. The X-CB is engineered with a wider sole to prevent digging and encourage smooth turf interaction, while the X-Blade has a narrower sole.

X-Blade

Lens Position: 1186

 

X-CB

Lens Position: 1162

Drivers will retail for $699, fairway woods and hybrids for $399 and $249, respectively. Both the X-CB and X-Blade will be $1,200 (4-PW).

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31 Comments

  1. Jake Wherley

    Jan 20, 2017 at 2:06 am

    I, as a Bridgestone staff member, and as a huge equipment junky, cannot wait to try these suckers out and put them in the bag! Look absolutely fantastic! And I didn’t think they could make anything that would take my J15 CBs out of my bag…I’ve been proven wrong.

  2. Stevegp

    Jan 20, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I like Bridgestone gear. It will be interesting to see how they new releases do.

  3. Stevemac

    Jan 19, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    i just cant imagine there is that big of a market out there. i love tinkering but as ive gotten older and the USGA limits on COR, etc- I am losing interest in spending the money. Look at the flurry of attention the Costco ball generated. New club introductions have slowed so manufacturers have to find $$s somewhere. Most club reviews are not seeing notable differences from model to model. I definitely am not the first in line for new product now.

  4. Dunn2500

    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Everything is priced right cept driver and fwy wood…….don’t forget it’s being able to get all the premium shafts as well, that so many were crying about few years ago…..well now you can but it’s gna cost you……still cheaper than buying clubs and reshafting on your own…… $699 is gna be hard sell though for drivers that aren’t even that popular…….all irons are $1200 now

    And these are endo which is kinda nice…..I think they will limit the quantity as they don’t sell that many here but am sure they’re team has looked at all pertinent aspects and feels they can still profit so……all of it looks nice……

    Hopefully they don’t make the blade length so long heel to toe…..only complaint with their irons

  5. Jack

    Jan 19, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    I don’t know about the driver being 700. On the rakuten website (japanese Amazon basically), it’s about 400+ USD for the XD-03 with Tour AD TX1-6 shaft. For that price difference might as well just get it from Japan.

  6. Philip

    Jan 19, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Ultra – premium, not just premium clubs. Now those clubs are definitely much better than all other non-ultra clubs :o)

  7. Chris

    Jan 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    I hope everyone complaining about $1200 for a forged set of irons understands that they cost more for these irons now with the materials they are building them from. These are companies that have to make money, too. For what it costs them to get the materials for those heads, this isn’t really a huge price markup for them. I remember people complaining about $1000 for Mizuno’s a couple years ago when it cost them about $800 to get those made. Throw in the fact that a lot of these companies add in shafts at no extra cost, and you’re right in line with where they should be.

  8. Joshua Rodgers

    Jan 19, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    1020 Endo Forging…I’m betting those blades will find their way into Tigers bag.

  9. the bishop

    Jan 19, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Both irons, the X-blade in particular are spectacular looking and $1200 is not unreasonable in today’s market for forgings. $249 is in line with other manufacturers top line hybrids. $699 and $399 for drivers and fw’s respectively is another matter. Jury is out but they may have a hard time moving them at those price points.

  10. Takehiko Takaoka

    Jan 19, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Almost same price as in Japan

  11. Mat

    Jan 19, 2017 at 3:23 am

    For everyone on here complaining about the pricing, turnabout is fair play. If you live outside of the US, these are pretty normal prices anymore. Granted US$700 is a little high even for imports, most equipment is straight up 30% more overseas before taxes and such.

  12. Bert

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Picked up a used but flawless set (4-PW,AW) of RSi 2’s the other day for $275. Sounds about right.

  13. Kevin

    Jan 18, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Bridgestone sells a lot globally and definitely has a cult following here in the states, for irons and woods. Driver looks good but I still agree with most that $699 is to much for even some of the most hardcore Bridgestone fans. The irons at $1200 seem very reasonable. To bring that cost down they would have to go to a harder metal and all the fans would complain, a no win situation for them. $1200 has been common for a forged club for a couple of years now, this is nothing new.

  14. golfraven

    Jan 18, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Certainly like the CBs but prices are at premium. I would expect that performance is at same level otherwise those will be a shelf stocker.

  15. Mike

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Welp, I was waiting for this driver to compliment my J15 CB’s (which I got for $400 and probably couldn’t be replaced by these because they’re too awesome), but would never pay that price for any driver. Even if it is an unbelievable product, what’s it going to give me, 4 yards? I’m almost offended

  16. Ron

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Hmphf.

    How come no one makes a 3-iron anymore?

    • Chuck

      Jan 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      I can’t say that “everybody” makes 2- and 3-irons, but most do. They just prefer — as marketing has told them — that more and more people would rather buy a 4-PW set, or a 5-PW set or (my new favorite) 4-9 and 5-9 sets.

      Because we are also seeing more, not fewer, choices with lots of utility irons in the 2-4 range.

      • Feel the Bern

        Jan 19, 2017 at 9:33 am

        I also think is a price gouge. People wouldn’t be able to stomach 1400$ for 3-PW, for clubs that used to cost three digits. Dropping a club off while raising the price slightly minimizes the optics of said price gouge.

  17. Myron miller

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    As others have said, $699 for a driver and $399 for woods is crazy. I can get custom made, fitted driver for same or less. What does this driver do that many others don’t? Certainly its distance is pretty close to everyone else. So why so much more expensive. Last time i checked Bridgestone wasn’t known for its driver usage or for anybody buying them.

    • Lap

      Jan 18, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Import prices. Duh. Different agreement in the WTO deal between Japan goods and China goods coming into the US.

  18. Large Chris

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    “Only available for a limited time”
    Thank goodness for that, where I live I can hardly get through the doors of the golf retailers due to the thousands of Bridgestone driver, irons and hybrids on offer in all the stores (that’s being sarcastic by the way).

    • Large Chris

      Jan 18, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      To be fair the pics do look very nice, the X-blades in particular.

  19. Dat

    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Will prices ever come down at all in this market? These companies are doing this to themselves. There is a reason that Srixon’s 945 blade only sold like crazy when it went down to $400 this winter.

  20. Glfhsslr

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:53 am

    All the high price tags mean is, you won’t be buying a new set of irons every year lol

  21. Smitty

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Another set of irons that retails for $1200?! OEMs are going to run themselves out of business trying to keep up with PXG. I’m a HUGE Bridgestone fan and love the look of these clubs but there is absolutely zero chance I’m dropping that kind of cash on these.

  22. creeder

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:18 am

    thanks PXG for all the ultra premium high priced gear. Dont fall in the trap.

  23. chinchbugs

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:42 am

    I would enjoy a combo set in those…but I would also enjoy some manufactures coming out with a set of irons priced under $1k these days…

  24. Deron

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Trying to follow the PXG model? Hope this sort of thing doesn’t become a trend.

  25. NolanMBA

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Their price point is interesting… Is bridgestone a hit globally or something? I know people like their irons and balls but not their woods and certainly not at $699.

    • Branson Reynolds

      Jan 18, 2017 at 11:43 am

      Those irons look great. i understand their price. But a $700 Driver from a company that has to be last in Driver sales among the big names…i don’t get it.

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Equipment

James Ingles resurrects custom putter brand

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Everybody loves a comeback story. Ben Hogan post-1949. Tiger Woods post-2009. You remember the first act and are now given a glimpse at what a second act could become. It’s a chance to reimagine and build on success. While the reason James Ingles Putters has been placed on hiatus for the last five years isn’t exactly “rock and roll,” they are indeed back on the market and ready to deliver. If you’re in the dark on James Ingles Putters’ history and/or why they’re back, here’s the story…

James Ingles started playing golf when he was 14 years old in 1997, which was an exciting time in golf, especially in the world of equipment and putters more specifically. Around that time, he purchased a special edition Scotty Cameron putter, which was inspired by David Duval, who was his favorite player at the time. He rushed home excited to show the new flatstick to his dad. His dad proceeded to look it over and sort of brushed it off as just a machine-made, milled steel putter. There were probably thousands of others just like it.

Heel-shafted blade 28g James Ingles Putter made from a copper alloy called Coldur A

That may be a curious reaction to most people, but as it turns out, James’ father has a unique frame of reference for this sort of thing. At that time in 1997, he happened to own Charles Hellis & Sons, a bespoke gunsmith in the London area (about 18 months ago he sold the business and retired). In his trade, no two items are alike. They begin with a quality forging and are then finished by hand to the customer’s specific requests. Shotguns from makers in and around London are known all over the world for their craftsmanship and attention to detail. It also happens that a lot of the steps in the gun making process actually transfer quite well to making putters.

In 2009, James approached the head gunsmith at Hellis and asked him if it was possible to make a putter in-house. That conversation started the development of James’ first putter, an 8802-style blade known as his 28g model. James uses the same forging house as Charles Hellis, which has been in business since 1904 and served many industries over the years. Hand engraving, when requested by the customer, is done by independent third-party engravers who also serve the local shotgun industry.

“I’d been around Hellis since my early teens, so I had at least seen and therefore had an appreciation for the machining and hand engraving that goes into shotgun manufacturing.  I spent a lot of time on the aesthetics of that first putter because I really wanted to get that right.  We knew there was going to be a fair amount of handwork involved in finishing the putter after the forging, but ensuring the overall shape of that forging was absolutely critical.”

Custom heel-toe weighted blade putter with hand engraving from James Ingles Putters

It’s worth taking a quick pause to point out an important distinction. There are loads of high-quality CNC milled putters today, which are milled by a computer to exacting tolerances from a 3D CAD model (think Tyson Lamb, Logan Olson, and the like). The “old fashioned” way many putter makers (such as T.P. Mills and his contemporaries) would have crafted their putters would have been start-to-finish on a hand-operated milling machine. One of the things that sets James’ putters apart is that they are first forged into a rough shape (not dissimilar to the way many forged irons are made) and then milled by hand into the finished product. This isn’t to say one method is objectively better or worse than another, only that they perhaps may arrive at a different result and may be for different customers.

“When we first came to market, everything we sold was direct to the consumer.  The golf industry was quite different in those days, so if you wanted to be competitive, you had to keep cost and margins as low as possible.  Then we started to partner with Scratch in 2013, which made sense for a lot of reasons.  Essentially, Scratch would work with the customer to define specifications and such.  They would send us that information and we would make the putters.  When Scratch went under in 2015, there were a host of other things going on in my life, though.  My first child had just been born and I had a full-time career as well, so going back to the way things were didn’t make sense.  I didn’t have the capability to have everything go directly through me anymore, so we made the decision to kind of shut things down for a while.”

Custom James Ingles Putter Covers

For the last five years, James’ life has mainly been focused on raising his two young kids and making a living as a building surveyor. By his own admission, he hadn’t even been playing much golf and had instead taken up long-distance running. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic started taking hold, and he started to introduce his now-five-year-old son to golf.

“We had gone to the driving range and Jude was having lots of fun hitting golf balls.  I also started to realize I could actually find the middle of the club face every now and again, so that was promising.  I then took him to the local pitch-and-putt and all of a sudden, all of my enjoyment for golf really just started flooding back.  I started an Instagram account for the golf business [@jamesinglesputters by the way] and posted pictures of Jude and I playing and also pictures of old putters I’d found lying around my garage.  Loads of people started commenting and messaging and it just felt like there was some unfinished business there.  Ultimately, I suppose that’s why we’re launching the business again and you and I are having this conversation.”

James Ingles putters have two main forgings that they can work from: the aforementioned 28g and also the 12g, a traditional heel-toe weighted blade design which can be finished in a number of ways depending on the customer’s preference. They are also capable of milling custom shapes from billet steel.  In addition to putters, James will be doing many small runs of accessories such as putter covers, ball markers, and divot tools.  All information can be found on his new website.

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Callaway announces huge all-stock merger deal with Topgolf

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Callaway Golf has announced an all-stock merger agreement with TopGolf with the number of shares to be issued based upon an implied equity value of Topgolf of approximately $2 billion – including the 14% already owned by Callaway.

Callaway first invested in the golf entertainment company, Topgolf, back in 2006 entering an exclusive golf partnership agreement at all Topgolf venues.

 

On the new deal expected to be completed in early 2021, Chip Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Callaway said that the all-stock merger between the two can create “an unrivaled golf and entertainment business”.

“Together, Callaway and Topgolf create an unrivaled golf and entertainment business. This combination unites proven leaders with a shared passion for delivering exceptional golf experiences for all from elite touring professionals to new and aspiring entrants to the game. We’ve long seen the value in Topgolf and we are confident that together, we can create a larger, higher growth, technology-enabled global golf and entertainment leader.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Callaway will issue approximately 90 million shares of its common stock to the shareholders of Topgolf, excluding Callaway, which currently holds approximately 14% of Topgolf’s outstanding shares. Upon completion of the merger, Callaway shareholders will own approximately 51.5%, and Topgolf shareholders (excluding Callaway) will own about 48.5% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

Topgolf’s revenue for 2019 was approximately $1.1 billion, and the company currently has 63 locations worldwide, including 58 in the U.S., and has more than 23 million customers. Find out all about Topgolf here.

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What irons are left-handers playing? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our lefty members have been dishing on the irons currently in their bag. WRXer ‘1221’ is in the market for a new set and wants to see what other left-handers have been finding success with, and our members have been sharing their clubs 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.

  • dclccoritti: “Titleist…all blades. Love the look of the new TM P7-CB’s.”
  • LeftyMatt24: “I’m in T100s bent weak. They are an awesome middle ground between blades and players. Titleist offers their full line in left and right-handed. The new SEL from Mizuno is a good option. Can’t go wrong with Srixon z785 either.”
  • The_Champ: “Ping Blueprint.”
  • Llefty: “Srixon 585 3-PW and Bridgestone JGR Tour B HF2 5-AW.”

Entire Thread: “What irons are left-handers playing?

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