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Spotted: Titleist 718 T-MB Irons

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The two photos of what appear be Titleist’s yet-to-be-announced 718 T-MB irons landed in our forum after being posted on Instagram by TourSpecGolf, an online retailer that specializes in Japanese golf equipment. The photos are the first indication that Titleist might release an updated version of its 716 T-MB irons, which were launched in October 2015.

The 716 T-MB irons are a first-of-its-kind set from Titleist, using a three-piece, hollow-body construction that merges a high-strength steel face with an average of 80 grams of tungsten in each cast iron head. We gave the 716 T-MB irons 5 Stars in our review, saying golfers will be “wowed by the distance and forgiveness they get from their stunning, compact design.”

Full sets of the 716 T-MB irons are sold through Titleist’s Made-Only-To-Order (MOTO) program for $1599 per set, with 2-5 irons being sold at retail for $199 (steel) and $229 (graphite). The irons have been used by several PGA Tour players, both as full sets and as long-iron replacements.

The 718 T-MB photos show a look that’s highly similar to the 716 T-MB irons with a few noticeable differences. For one, 718 is engraved on the hosel of the irons. More interestingly, the anodized bronze finish on the sole and back of the irons has been slimmed, giving the irons a more streamlined aesthetic.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forum. 

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17 Comments

  1. Dave R

    Feb 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Wow another new iron . Who knew

  2. Rich

    Feb 8, 2017 at 3:09 am

    The first sign of this was when TSG reduced the 716 model to $800USD, not the pics from TSG.

  3. Michael

    Feb 7, 2017 at 5:03 am

    “…with a few noticeable differences. For one, 718 is engraved on the hosel of the irons….”

    hahahahahaha

    • Jim

      Feb 16, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Substantial improvement in aerodynamics – no doubt 😉
      ….I got a kick out of that too

  4. S Hitter

    Feb 7, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Back to back years of the same excrement colored irons that feel and perform like the color

  5. Jack

    Feb 6, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I didn’t notice this before, but this is basically the same tech (hollow head) has the Parsons irons?

  6. David Montgomery

    Feb 6, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Agreed on the 718 irons line! I cannot wait for them to come out!

  7. Brian

    Feb 6, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I’m sure they’ll be overpriced like everything Titleist makes.

    • LD

      Feb 7, 2017 at 6:01 am

      Price is listed in the article, and yes they are overpriced.

  8. Scott

    Feb 6, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Say what u want. Titleist is just a bunch of Jedis. Period.

  9. chris

    Feb 6, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Looks like the tungsten might have a darker tint? Would be great to see a black or darker grey option in 2018.

  10. golfraven

    Feb 6, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Bring on the 718 irons line!

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New Bridgestone E12 Contact golf ball features tire technology, major performance gains

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It’s not very often that a golf company touts huge technology gains with its mid-level priced products. Large scale changes are generally reserved for the premium price point and performance category, and then those technologies funnel down to the mid-price point in the next generation.

Bridgestone is flipping that model on its head, however, with the release of the all-new e12 Contact, which looks to offer one of the biggest performance jumps in the mid-price golf ball category ever developed.

Bridgestone e12: The science

The focus for Bridgestone with the e12, just like it was for the re-engineered Tour B series and its ReActive cover in 2020, is contact science—it’s where the e12 Contact derived its name from.

“Bridgestone has long been a pioneer in bringing to market unique dimple shapes, sizes and constructions in the golf industry, but up until this point that has primarily been a means of achieving optimal aerodynamic performance,”
-Elliot Mellow, Golf Ball Marketing Manager for Bridgestone Golf.
“In the new e12 CONTACT, dimples actually serve as a source of increased power and distance as well. They also contribute to minimizing hooks and slices, making the newest e12 a golf ball that provides performance you can actually see in terms of straight distance.”

The breakthrough comes in the form of a new dimple design to increase the ball contacting the face for both soft feel and additional distance. The new dimple design places a raised area in the middle of the traditional dimple, which when hit with a direct force, creates a whopping 38 percent for more face contact at impact.

  • This face contact and compression promotes a longer amount of time for the ball to stay on the face resulting in more efficient energy transfer to engage the core layer of the ball which from Bridgestone’s testing has resulted in a gain of over 1.5 mph ball speed.
  •  On the other end of the spectrum, in the short game, the additional contact helps increase spin in the scoring clubs and compared to the previous generation results in over 600 rpm more spin.
  • Although less scientific, Bridgestone also says that many players will experience a benefit when putting thanks to improved putter face contact.

Why not put this into a premium ball?

This is the million-dollar (or millions and millions of dollars) question, and it actually has a fairly simple answer—the new dimple design increases the peak trajectory of the e12 Contact and also makes it fly straighter. This makes it the perfect fit for a golf ball designed to enhance distance and reduce total golf ball curvature but less ideal for a tour-level ball designed for maximum trajectory control.

I realize that makes it sound like a negative, but in reality, it’s the exact opposite—the engineers at Bridgestone have closely analyzed the target golfers and designed a ball to fit their needs. The new e12 Contact is so efficient at creating the desired results from both distance and scoring clubs, they have eliminated the previous “Speed” and “Soft” balls and made one better with the e12 Contact.

Price and availability

The new Bridgestone e12 Contact will be available at retail and online starting February 26 at the price of $29.99 a dozen.

Beyond the traditional white version, the e12 Contact will also be available in Matte Green, Matte Red and Matte Yellow color options.

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2021 Mizuno ST-X and ST-Z drivers, fairway woods: Moving Mizuno woods forward

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Since 2019 and the launch of the ST190 series, Mizuno has quickly changed the perception around its metal woods. With the new ST-X and ST-Z drivers, along with the new ST-Z fairway woods for 2021, it is once again proving Mizuno isn’t just an iron company anymore.

The ST-X and ST-Z drivers represent the next evolution for Mizuno and are a culmination of a focused team effort to prove that, when side by side with the industry leaders, Mizuno drivers can both compete and win the battle of ball speed, spin, and dispersion.

A global effort to produce better (The “how’d we get here?”)

As a global brand, Mizuno used to have a small issue with market segmentation when it came to its club releases, meaning that depending on where you were in the world, there were different metal wood sub-brands to cater to various consumers.

This worked OK for the individual markets, but overall, it wasn’t working worldwide for one simple reason—more designs meant Mizuno engineers had to stretch their biggest resource, time, thinner. It also didn’t create a lot of continuity in the products, which from a consumer-level, always made it feel like Mizuno’s approach was just “let’s give this a try!”and it really wasn’t working.

This brings us to the “New Mizuno.” Since the original ST190 series was released in 2019 (don’t forget development started long before the release date), Mizuno has had a fully dedicated team in place working on metal wood development and technology. This has allowed engineers to work tirelessly on creating drivers that win on both a technology front as well and where it matters most: in fittings and on the course where golfers care about performance.

The technology inside the 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers

  • SAT2041 beta-titanium faces: This titanium material is not new to the world of aerospace engineering, but as golf clubs are concerned, it had mostly been found previously in high-end JDM (Japanese domestic Market) drivers because of cost but was first used last year in the ST200 series drivers. SAT2041 has higher strength and rebound properties allowing Mizuno engineers to improve the multi-thickness areas behind the face for higher ball speed, and save mass to reposition around the head.

  • New CorTech face design: Now, speaking to the faces, thanks in part to the material and Mizuno engineers’ ability to tweak and adjust based on continuous R&D, the faces of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers have been made thinner in certain areas to further optimize CT and COR, which contributes to more consistent ball speeds and additional discretionary mass.

  • Using discretionary mass differently: A few grams here or there mean a lot in the golf club design world, especially when it comes to drivers. Mizuno shaved mass around the head to boost MOI in both of the new drivers and create performance separation in how they will work best for the intended players. Both of the new drivers have a carbon crown and also feature carbon panels around the sole skirt to help precisely locate the center of gravity.

Meet the 2021 Mizuno drivers

Mizuno ST-Z driver

The ST-Z replaces the ST200 and has been designed to offer the highest MOI possible without sacrificing lower spin—this driver is all about stability. Mass saved around the head, thanks to the carbon panels, along with the better-optimized face has allowed the designers to position the CG as close as possible to the neutral axis, to raise MOI, and create a neutrally biased driver. 

Compared to the ST-X, the Z is longer heel to toe and slightly shallower to once again use any and all available options to maximize performance and playability.

Mizuno ST-X driver

Although the new STX driver shares a similar name to the previous ST200X designed to be an exclusively lighter weight draw-biased driver, the new STx is for any golfer seeking slightly more spin compared to the STz and also greater workability, thanks to a center of gravity positioned slightly more forward and closer to the shaft.

From the bottom, the easy way to separate the ST-X from the Z is the reduced amount of carbon on the sole and slightly more heel-biased back weight to aid the engineers in repositioning the CG.

The ST-X’s slightly deeper face and shorter heel-to-toe length help to make the driver ever so slightly more draw-biased than the ST-Z but also happens to make the driver more workable.

For those still in need of a premium lightweight option, the new ST-X has the ability to be built to a lighter and longer spec similar to the ST200X thanks to the adjustable weight in the sole, which goes from a stock 11-gram weight to just four grams when built to J-Spec. This brings the head weight to 194 grams vs. 201 grams in the standard ST-X configuration and 204 in the ST-Z. When matched with the M-Fusion shaft, you get a driver that competes against any other in the ultra-lightweight category.

2021 Mizuno STX and STZ drivers prices, specs, and availability

The ST-X and ST-Z stock shaft options are directly driven from popular profiles on tour and feature a familiar story of high, mid, and low launch. The drivers will also carry a fourth shaft option, which is a carryover from the previous ST200X.

High Launch – Project X Riptide CB 50g and 60g

Mid Launch – Fujikura MotoreX F3 60g

Low Launch – ProjectX HZRDUS RDX Smoke Black 60g

High Launch and ultra-lightweight – M-Fusion

Mizuno will also continue to offer upcharge shafts options including:

  • Tensei CK Pro Orange and White 60 and 70g
  • Fujikura Ventus Blue and Black 60 and 70g
  • Graphite Design Tour AD Di6 & 7 along with XC6 & 7

STX and STZ drivers will be priced at – $399.99

The Mizuno STX and Z driver’s pre-sale starts today January 25th, with products on retail shelves starting February 18.

Mizuno ST-Z fairway woods

Technology and design

  • 3rd gen MAS1C high strength steel face: Last year, with the ST200, Mizuno completely overhauled the internal structure of its fairway woods, and the ST-Z is the next evolution. Similar to the driver, engineers have improved the CorTech multi-thickness pads behind the hitting area to raise ball speeds while also improving sound and feel

  • Carbon crown: When it works, it works, and the carbon steel crown of the ST-Z fairway woods reduces mass from higher in the head and gives the engineers the ability to better position it to deliver the performance variables they are searching for.

  • New shaping: After all the material and sciencey stuff were figured out, the last part of the new fairway woods to consider was the shape. It seems simple, but the shape not only has a huge impact on the club’s physical performance, but it plays a major factor in how golfers perceive it in the address position. The leading edge and the hosel transition have been adjusted to appeal to the target players and make it more efficient from the turf, which is where most players will use their fairway woods the most.

Specs, prices, and availability

The ST-Z fairway woods will be available in the lofts of 15 and 18 degrees, and with Mizuno’s Quick Switch adjustability, the fairway woods can go up and down two additional degrees.

The stock shaft configurations for the ST-Z will be the Fujikura MotoreX 7 in stiff flex and the ProjectX RipTide CB in regular.

The ST-Z fairway woods are priced at $299.99 with pre-sale and fitting tools available starting today January 25th with the product on retail shelves on February 18.

 

 

 

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XXIO launches premium, lightweight 2021 Prime and Prime Royal lines

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XXIO and its Prime line of premium clubs are one of the leaders in the world of lightweight golf equipment. With the introduction of its newest 2021 Prime line, XXIO looks to continue to offer some of the fastest and most forgiving clubs on the market for those golfers in the moderate-to-slow speed category.

The biggest key to the XXIO Prime line of clubs is in strategic weighting and mass saving at every possible step without sacrificing forgiveness. From a practical and club fitting perspective, lighter weight clubs offer golfers the ability to stay in balance and route the club properly, which leads to more consistent results along with clubs that are just overall easier to swing and swing faster.

“From the exotic materials and construction to the ultra-lightweight shafts featuring our Weight Plus counter-weighting technology, every detail in the new XXIO Prime has been engineered to add distance and accuracy – specifically for players who have lost some yards over the years. XXIO Prime is truly different and special.”
– Jeff Brunski, Vice President of Research and Development.

A key component to the lightweight designs are the Prime SP-1100 shafts, which use T1100 carbon fiber and nanoalloy resin. T1100 is well known for being used in the ultra-stiff Project X HZRDUS T1100 shaft, but it can also be used to stabilize extremely lightweight designs to add strength and offer tip stability without losing feel.

2021 XXIO Prime driver

Since engineers are working with light target head weights, internal optimization is crucial in keeping MOI as high as possible. The 2021 XXIO Prime driver uses what they are calling the “Star Frame” rib structure to save every last gram around the head—specifically in the midsection of the sole to push more mass low and deep.

This works alongside the “Rebound Frame” to optimizes the stiff and flexible areas around the driver’s head to focus energy towards the face to create extra ball speed.

Another cool design feature found in the driver and the rest of the 2021 Prime metal woods and hybrids is a draw bias bulge to more efficiently promote a draw-biased ball flight thanks to gear-effect.

2021 XXIO Prime fairway woods and hybrids

Technology

The new XXIO Prime fairway woods and hybrids feature where their engineers have dubbed “Cannon Sole”, which is a floating sole weight positioned in the rear of the head and allows the cup face to more area to flex for additional ball speed and forgiveness—especially for shots hit lower on the face.

XXIO Prime hybrids

XXIO Prime irons

Behind the face of each iron, which is made of Super-Tix Plus titanium, is a structure intended to flex more to increase ball speed.

According to XXIO, the combination of technologies in the new iron offers a 110% larger sweet spot than the previous generation Prime irons.

XXIO Prime-exclusive shaft specs

XXIO Prime Royal edition

Along with the new 2021 XXIO Prime line, there will also be an additional Prime Royal series targeted exclusively towards female golfers. The series will be highlighted by it’s careful attention to detail and offer quality luxury performance according to XXIO.

Price and availability

The all-new 2021 XXIO Prime is now available for preorder and will be available starting February 12, 2021.

The XXIO Prime Royal line pre-order starts February 25 and will be available in golf shops starting March 12.

Prices of the XXIO line are:

$899.99 for XXIO Prime Driver

$599.99 for XXIO Prime Fairway Woods

$399.99 for XXIO Prime Hybrids

$274.99 for individual XXIO Prime Irons, $1,099.99 for 4-piece set of XXIO Prime Irons

$1,199.99 for XXIO Prime Royal Driver

$799.99 for XXIO Prime Royal Fairway Woods

$449.99 for XXIO Prime Royal Hybrids

$299.99 for individual XXIO Prime Royal Irons

$1,799.99 for 6-piece set of XXIO Prime Royal Irons

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