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2021 Virtual PGA Show: Things we loved, Day 1

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As promised, we’re checking out all the digital booths at the 2021 Virtual PGA Show for items of intrigue and note, and we’ve found no shortage of interesting items.

Here are a few of our favorites from our first day of browsing.

(More on the 2021 Virtual PGA Show here)

Altaz rangefinder

That’s not a flip screen video camera—it’s an alternative to playing pirate with a telescope to acquire distances. 

Product description: Our rangefinder adds an external 3″ LCD screen which makes it much easier to search the target. No more twitching eye, sunglass in the way, or shakey hand, our rangefinder eliminates all the problems that many golfers experience. It is simple as using similar to digital camcorders, just point, and press. Golf will get the right distance to help them select the right club to improve their scores.

Website: www.altaz.golf

Sik Component Bag

We like this presentation of the buffet of options for Sik putters both for the fitting capabilities and the minimal use of shop square footage for retailers…and of course, if you’re a real gearhead, you just buy the thing for personal use. 

Product description: Become a SIK Golf retailer with SIK Golf’s Component Bag, a complete matrix of interchangeable heads, hosels, and gripped shafts that are ready to assemble into every possible SIK putter combination. The Component Bag also includes multiple standard shaft lengths and Armlock setups for your customers to test drive. Displayed and stored in a classic SIK Golf Staff Bag, featuring organized and compartmentalized drawers.

Website: www.sikgolf.com

Custom Golf Bag Hoods

We’ve seen specialty bag hoods before, but nothing on the level that Custom Golf Bag Hoods is doing.

Company info: Custom Golf Bag Hoods was created so that golfers around the world could dress their bag up from the ugly black rain hood you get when you buy the golf bag which eventually you’ll end up losing or miss placing it. CGBH are made of water-resistant nylon fabric with a 24-inch zipper and vinyl leather piping to keep the hood upright and sturdy, velcro straps to secure it to the bag, and DIY button snaps to make your own buttons in the position of your existing snaps on your bag.

Website: customgolfbaghoods.com

Areso Golf: RW Design Wedge

While we can’t speak to the feel or performance, the materials story is compelling and the aesthetics would definitely earn these wedges a test at a traditional PGA Show Demo Day!

Product info: RW Design Wedges are made from forging carbon steel and milled face for maximum spin around the greens. Grooves and face are machined for spin and face variable thickness controlled for performance.

Ecco: Biom H4 shoe

An enhanced, improved, and even more stylish version of one of the most popular designs on the market. What’s not to love?

Product description: The ECCO BIOM H4 is made in durable ECCO leather with a slick, micro-perforated embossing and GORE-TEX waterproof technology to keep your feet dry even in wet conditions. The new ECCO MTN GRIP outsole features our signature FLUIDFORM™ Technology, as well as an eye-catching PU midsole with TPU inserts on either side that securely hug your foot and offer added stability and support while you’re on the green.

Website: www.us.ecco.com

Puttist Putting Meter 

We may be biased, as our James Chang covered the Puttist back in November, but this is one of the most unique training aids on the market. 

Product description: Puttist Inc. was established in 2009 for “PUTTIST”, the first putting meter in the world. Don’t practice, just have fun with distance-metering game up to 50ft. Your score will go up so naturally and no more suffering from 3-putt. That is why people call “PUTTIST” 3-putt Killer! Rechargeable and Plug-in model available for meter and feet. Just Putt & Win!

Website: www.puttist.com

PuttView: The Book

There are plenty of green book vendors, but Puttview’s stylish presentation of the maximum amount of information allowed under USGA rules definitely caught our eye. 

Product description: PuttView’s “The Book” is the component that brings your indoor and outdoor experience together. Every detail of “The Book” was designed to help you save a shot under the most critical tournament situations. PuttView’s technology and attention to detail results in the most accurate book allowable under the Rules of Golf.

Website: www.puttviewbooks.com

Stay tuned tomorrow for more products from the 2021 Virtual PGA Merchandise Show!

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: 2021 Virtual PGA Show: More things we loved – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: 2021 Virtual PGA Show: Things we loved, Day 2 – GolfWRX

  3. Jim

    Jan 27, 2021 at 2:25 am

    Looks like a bunch of nothing on day one. A flip screen range finder is bound to break quickly and I would not spend coin on that. The rest of the items are blah……

  4. Brandon

    Jan 26, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    Looks like day one was a dud.

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GolfWRX Spotted: Prototype Callaway Jaws wedge (Updated with in-hand pics)

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Update (6/8): Our friends at Sports Marketing Surveys sent along some in-hand photos of the new Jaws wedge from the Scottish Open. For the first time, we can see the wedge has full-face grooves and is stamped with “Full Toe” on the hosel, leading us to not-so-expertly suspect this might be called the “Callaway Jaws Full Toe.”


Callaway introduced the most recent iteration of its Mack Daddy line in September of 2019 with Jaws MD5 wedges. So, you don’t have to be the savviest of GolfWRX forum members to deduce we’re due for another generation of Callaway wedges soon.

I mention all of this as a preamble to ask the question: Is this design we spotted in the bag of Chase Seiffert at the Rocket Mortgage Classic the next Callaway Jaws wedge? (and might we be sold bold as to christen it the “MD6”?)

The answer according to Callaway? Not exactly.

The official word from the Carlsbad-based company, “This is a prototype wedge. We’re constantly testing prototype products with our staff pros out on tour.”

In other words, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but they aren’t saying.

Regardless of whether this is the “MD6”, it is a new wedge design with a different channel in the rear of the club. Given the trend toward moving mass around in wedges, we can assume this is done in order to optimize weight placement to enhance launch and offer a measure of forgiveness. There certainly looks to be more mass high in the toe of the wedge.

Enhanced grooves were a big part of the MD5 story (generating lower launch, higher spin than with the Mack Daddy 4). Indeed, Callaway marketed the Jaws grooves as “the most aggressive grooves in golf.” It stands to reason that, if this is the MD5’s successor, there will be improved groove technology here as well — but that’s difficult to determine from a spy shot of the cavity of the club and no comment from the manufacturer!

Chase Seiffert’s Callaway Jaws Prototype wedge

Callaway Jaws MD5 wedge

We’ll keep an eye on Callaway staffers’ bags in the tournaments ahead and will certainly let you know when we have more information.

In the meantime, speculate away! What do you think about this design? Does this have the look of a wide release to you or is this a more limited prototype? Let us know in the comments.

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The Wedge Guy: Some putting research I’ve been doing

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As many of you might know, I started my golf industry career in the advertising and marketing world, and my first golf client was the Ray Cook putter company, which in the 1980s was still a very relevant brand, with a long history of PGA Tour use and over 150 wins, including all the majors. But it didn’t take me long to be drawn to the back end of the business, where putters were created and crafted.

Being the kid that was loaded with curiosity, I began to dive into the “whys and wherefores” of putter function. I read nearly every book I could find on putting and was blessed to be able to spend time with many teaching pros, PGA Tour pros, and mental coaches.

In the decade before I became focused on wedges, I became somewhat of a “junkie” into the cause-and-effect of the trilogy of putter design, agronomy practices, and technique evolution. And I created over 100 different putter designs for several companies during that decade.

To me, the modern history of putter design is kind of a chicken-and-egg thing. It’s apparent to me that the design of putters and changes in putting technique have evolved together. And that this “dance” has been driven by advancements in agronomy practices that have made greens ever faster and smoother.

A hundred years ago, when greens were probably not any better than the typical tee box today, putting was done with a lightweight club with considerable loft and a very wristy “pop” or “hit” of the ball. Bobby Jones and his peers were masters.

As greens got quicker into the 1960s and 70s, a more arms-and-shoulders stroke began to replace the “pop”, and putters like the Ping Anser, Zebra, and Ray Cook mallets began to replace the staid old blades like the Bullseye and 8802. Putters also began to get much heavier. This continued evolution of agronomy has pushed even typical green speeds into the 10+ range on the Stimpmeter, and the intertwined dance of putter design and putting technique has continued to evolve. The modern oversized mallet putters are many ounces heavier than their forerunners, and grips have gotten larger to take the small muscles out of the stroke action.

And whereas unconventional methods were rare 20 years ago, the “claw,” “armlock,” and “left-hand-low” are now seemingly the norm on the PGA and LPGA Tours. It is all driven by faster and faster green speeds. With that bit of my own historical perspective, let’s go to that research I’ve been conducting on my own the past few months.

One of my goals for 2021-22 is to shoot my age, which means I need that magical day of 2-3 under par to pull that off. To give that a chance to happen, I realized have to get more consistent on the greens – good shotmaking alone doesn’t put those scores on the card. So, I purchased a practice putting mat for the living room and made a commitment to not just practice my putting, but to return to my penchant for learning.

I’ve been studying what I have been learning along the way.

My personal favorite putter is a “modernized” take on the Bullseye that I designed for the Ben Hogan Company in the early 1990s. It has a then-patented approach to weighting that makes it face-balanced and pretty darn forgiving for the type of putter it is. And it is that forgiving thing that is the subject of what I want to share with you today.

As I hit dozens of putts several times every day, I have been exploring the effect of off-center impacts and different stroke paths. I’ll offer this disclaimer and tell you that this is pure visual observation, as I am not recording any of these putts with high-speed cameras or radar. And that I am watching putts of 5-10 feet on an indoor mat that probably runs about 9 on the Stimpmeter.

But what I’m observing goes against almost all of what we are told about putter “forgiveness.”

First, realize that the ball is in contact with the putter face for mere milliseconds on almost all but the longest putts. On a deliberate off-center hit – even ½ to ¾ of an inch toward the toe or heel – I am consistently seeing the ball leave the face on an exact right angle to the clubface angle at impact. And yes, while the face does recoil a bit from an off-center impact, the ball is obviously already gone so it is not affected measurably by that recoil. In other words, I’m seeing putts intentionally hit on the toe go straight at the hole, as do putts hit intentionally the same measure toward the heel. I have hit hundreds of putts with these kinds of misses and see the same result every time.

My toe hits go straight, and my heel hits go straight.

I then began to watch the ball’s path when I altered the stroke path from extreme inside-out to extreme outside-in. I have been making a deliberate effort to keep the face square to the intended line, though the stroke is crossing that line from inside-to-out or outside-to-in. Again I am observing how the ball leaves the face of the putter, regardless of whether the putter is coming across the line from the outside or inside. And every single time, I see the ball leave at right angles to the face, rather than reacting at all to the direction of the putter head path.

My point of sharing all this is to encourage you to relax your focus on hitting putts perfect and get more focused on the hole . . . or rather your intended starting line. As long as the putter face is square to that line at impact, the ball will go pretty much where you are looking, regardless of whether your impact is perfect or your stroke flawless.

I expect this to generate interesting responses, and I look forward to seeing all of you chime in.

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GolfWRX Members Choice: Best fairway wood of 2021

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What is the best fairway wood in 2021? At GolfWRX, we take great pride in our online community and the cumulative knowledge and experience of our members. Needless to say, that extends to their GolfWRXers views on the best driver of 2021.

The bedrock of GolfWRX.com is the community of passionate and knowledgable golfers in our forums, and we put endless trust in the opinions of our GolfWRX members—the most knowledgeable community of golfers on the internet. No other group of golfers in the world tests golf clubs as frequently or as extensively, nor is armed with such in-depth information about the latest technology.

You can see the full results for the best fairway wood of 2021, as well as additional comments, in the forums.

Best fairway wood of 2021: The top 5

1. Titleist TSi2

What Titleist says: “For players seeking incredible speed and accuracy across the entire face. A deeper, lower CG pairs with the new Active Recoil Channel 4.0 to produce a consistently higher, faster launch.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @MPAndreassi: “I have a TSi2 7 wood on the way. The launch and flight of them is unbelievable for me.”
  • @XanderSingh: “I’m gaming the TSi2 4w and 7w. still messing around with shafts for both, but they are great performers and very easy to hit off the tee and the ground.”

You can read what other golfers are saying about the TSi2 fairway wood in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

2. Ping G425 Max

What Ping says: “In the G425 fairways and hybrids, two shared PING innovations known as Facewrap and Spinsistency combine to deliver more distance and spin predictability for carrying trouble and hitting greens. A tungsten sole weight increases the MOI in the stainless steel heads for added forgiveness. ”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @monkeyboy: “Added Ping G425 max 3 and 5 woods with stock shafts about 4 months ago. After many range sessions and rounds, I can accurately say that these are the best fairways woods I have owned. I think the main difference for me is how flat they sit at address; it just works well for me. I make better contact, more often with these clubs – from tee and deck. In the end, I really think that I could have gotten away with just the 5 wood – it is a powerhouse, many time distance is as good as the 3 wood, easier to control.”
  • @quizzylish: “It’s a very nice fairway wood, and it took me a little bit to get used to the very shallow face and head shape; the sound is very different too. It is very straight and maybe even draw-biased; I had a hard time trying to hit fades unless I feel like I make a ridiculous swing, like holding off my release. “
  • @uglande: “And don’t sleep on the 7 wood. It’s so handy and does not balloon like I thought it might. Really nice high but powerful trajectory.”

You can read what other golfers are saying about the G425 Max fairway wood in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

3. TaylorMade SIM2 Ti

What TaylorMade says: “When we brought back V Steel and combined it with SIM, our goal was simple. The lowest CG of any fairway we’ve ever created. In 2021, we’ve taken it low again. With a low CG, you can launch it higher with SIM2 Titanium.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @heavy_hitter: “They are lower spinning fairways, and they hit BOMBS!!”@bjno1300: “I’ve only had one quick session with mine, but on the monitor before I bought it, the numbers were great. Bought one off the shelf so didn’t have to wait, but now I’ve gotta dial it in with a shaft.”

You can read what other golfers are saying about the SIM2 Titanium fairway wood in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

4. TaylorMade SIM2 Max 

What TaylorMade says: “Multi-material construction and efficient weight distribution on the sole of the club deliver ultra-low CG for explosive distance, high launch and low spin.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @platgolf: “Played the Sim Max 5 wood with a regular flex Ventus shaft. This is one amazing club. It is long and straight! Unless something happens, it is in the bag. The sound off the face means business. No wonder these clubs have such a high rating here. Forgot to add, hitting off the turf is so easy!”
  • @buckethat72: “I have hit both (TSi2 and SIM2 MAX) and feel the same way, can’t go wrong with either. I have been a TM woods guys for many years and sticking with the SIM Max2.”

You can read what other golfers are saying about the SIM2 Max fairway wood in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

5. Titleist TSi3

What Titleist says: “TSi3 fairways feature a new SureFit CG track technology, offering three unique positions to adjust club head CG to fine-tune ball flight with neutral, fade or draw flight.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • @ak90: “I’m a high-speed player and, as mentioned above, love the TSi3 as a second tee club, but it is nearly worthless hitting into any green. Spin is very low, and flight is super penetrating. I really like the TSi2 for hitting into longer greens but don’t find myself hitting it off the tee very often. I’m still working that section of my bag out… I have a tsi3 18 degrees with a 10TX Ventus black that I use for a “driving iron” and interchange that with the TSi2 18 degrees.”
  • @MH2: “I have found the tsi3 fairway very forgiving and easy to launch off the deck and an absolute beast from the tee.”

You can read what other golfers are saying about the TSi3 fairway wood in the GolfWRX forums, and see our launch piece here.

See the full results for the best fairway wood of 2021, as well as additional comments, in the forums.

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