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TaylorMade launches 2022 Stealth irons featuring all-new Cap Back Design

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TaylorMade has today announced its new Stealth game improvement irons, which are powered by the all-new Cap Back Design with toe wrap construction.

Building from the Cap Back Design in SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons – which utilized the concept of a multi-material hollow body construction – the new Stealth irons are engineered to improve face flexibility and deliver fast ball speeds.

All-new Cap Back Design

TaylorMade engineers created the multi-material Cap Back Design by utilizing the concept of the hollow iron but replacing the steel back with a low density, polymer composite cap.

This construction is designed to improve the face’s ability to flex, delivering ball speed and forgiveness without compromising the center of gravity (CG).

Cap Back Design supports the entire topline from heel to toe with the strong, lightweight polymer material spanning the entire cavity to provide additional rigidity in the upper part of the face. Working in unison with the flexible Thru-Slot Speed Pocket, it created a larger unsupported area of the face, translating to a larger and more intelligently positioned sweet spot.

Toe Wrap Construction

The toe wrap construction shifts substantial mass from the extreme high toe of the head and repositions it low in the sole of the iron.

This redistribution of mass lowers the center of gravity by up to 0.8 millimeters, resulting in an increased launch angle that is designed to produce a super-high ball flight, added distances and maximum stopping power.

“When we were thinking of the next level of Cap Back Design, we centered our thinking around the fact that the majority of golf shots happen at center face or lower. In order to drive performance lower in the club face, we needed to drive the center of gravity lower in the club face because where CG goes, the sweet spot follows. With the addition of toe wrap construction and the ability to move weight lower in the club, Stealth irons provide a perfect harmony of technology and design for the golfer who is looking for a performance advantage on the course.” – Matt Bovee, Product Creation, Irons

Along with the new features, the 2022 Stealth irons feature core TaylorMade iron technologies that have been engineered to integrate seamlessly within the latest designs.

Echo Damping System & Inverted Cone Technology

Hidden inside the Cap Back Design, the Echo Damping System spans the full face from the heel to the toe and uses multiple contact points on the face in design to absorb unwanted vibrations. Each damper has been uniquely designed for each individual iron, as ribbed structures align with the contact area and the Inverted Cone Technology surface featured in each club.

The Inverted Cone Technology is located heel-to-toe in the 4-PW of the 2022 Stealth irons. The 450 stainless steel face has a strategically positioned sweet spot that spans the most common impact points in design to deliver explosive ball speeds and consistency.

The long irons are designed with slightly more draw-bias than the mid-irons, which in turn have slightly more draw-bias than the short irons. This design element is intended to provide the most accurate ball flight for all levels of golfers.

The aesthetic of Stealth drew inspiration from TaylorMade’s P·700 series with the idea of providing players with an iron that looks visually appealing in their bag and at address.

In addition, the 360 Undercut Technology with stiffening topline ribs in the 4-7 irons in a bid to promote face flexibility and ball speed in these core lofts while maintaining desirable sound and feel. A fluted hosel design promotes lower and deeper CG placement to offer players improved launch characteristics while providing a clean look at address.

Hosel bending notch technology is again incorporated to allow for an easier lie and loft fitting, allowing every golfer to customize their setup.

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Specs: 4-PW (7 pc. set with AW, SW & LW also available) 
  • Stock Shaft: Men: KBS Max MT 85 steel shafts (S, R) or Fujikura’s Ventus Red graphite; Women: Aldila Ascent Ladies
  • Availability: Pre-order January 4, 2022, and at retail beginning April 1
  • Pricing: $999 steel/$1,099 graphite
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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Jason

    Jan 5, 2022 at 8:48 am

    I’m sure they’ll try to put a carbon face on the irons. It’s only a matter of time.

  2. Tony Dyck

    Jan 4, 2022 at 10:00 am

    I guess the guys from Nike should be flattered at the almost direct copy of the Nike Vapor (as far as looks go).

  3. John

    Jan 4, 2022 at 9:58 am

    Nike Vapor anyone?

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Equipment

Fujikura launches new Ventus TR Blue shafts for 2022 (plus a deep Q&A)

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FujikuraVentusTR

Fujikura’s family of Ventus shafts is undoubtedly one of the company’s best-performing, most popular and best-selling shaft lineups ever.

Back in September 2018, Fujikura launched the Ventus Blue shaft on the PGA Tour, finding immediate success for its ability to create speed without sacrificing stability. The secret sauce was a technology called “VeloCore,” which is a multi-material construction that uses ultra-stiff Pitch 70 Ton carbon fiber to increase stiffness.

The Ventus Blue allowed players to hit the center of the face more often due to a reduction in twisting and droop on the downswing.

As a mid-launch and mid-to-low launch shaft that provided speed and stability, the Ventus Blue fit the swings of most players. But, of course, there was demand for other models both in the market and on Tour. So, in September of the following year, Fujikura launched the Red (higher launch/higher spin) and Black (lower launch/lower spin) versions to appeal to the needs of different swings.

Fujikura’s arsenal of Ventus shafts allowed nearly any golfer across the swing spectrum to fit into one of the three options, including top tour players.

Although the Ventus shafts remain in the bags of tour players and perform well in the market, Fujikura has been working behind the scenes over the last several years to enhance performance.

After using its in-depth ENSO analytics and working closely with tour players, Fujikura has developed a new Ventus TR Blue shaft. Like the original Ventus Blue, the TR version is a mid-launch shaft, except it’s stiffer in the mid/handle section to improve stability and consistency of strike.

While VeloCore is still used throughout the Ventus TR shaft, the new construction features “Spread Tow” fabric in the butt-end section to increase torsional stiffness. Spread Tow, essentially, is a checkerboard-like design that weaves fibers together to increase strength and reduce weight. According to Fujikura, the torque is 10 percent stiffer in the section that uses this design.

Fujikura’s Product Marketing Manager, Spencer Reynolds, explains exactly what Spread Tow is and why it’s effective

“Essentially, there’s a standard carbon weave and then there’s a Spread Tow carbon weave. What a Spread Tow does is it takes all these individual strands of carbon and irons them flat into a tape, and then weaves those over-under, over-under almost like a checkerboard pattern. So there’s very little space for resin to accumulate, you get super low resin content, and then you also get a lot of strength in varying directions. It can take pull and load in multiple directions. Another benefit is that it’s super lightweight. You’re getting an incredible amount of strength, in an ultra-lightweight package.” (Read the Q&A later in the piece for way more insight from Reynolds on the Ventus TR).

For golfers, the new Ventus TR construction will lead to more stability at impact and during the backswing-downswing transition. In comparison to the original Ventus Blue, the Ventus TR will play slightly stiffer for lower spin but not quite as stiff as the Ventus Black.

Debuting a slightly new look, the Ventus TR has a lightweight phantium paint finish that glistens in the sunlight, and it has a gold “TR” block. Also, if you look closely at the butt-end section of the shaft, you can visibly see the Spread Tow woven technology. Fujikura has confirmed that the checkered design isn’t just a graphic — that’s a look into the real technology through the paint finish.

Described by Fujikura as a mid-launch, low-spin shaft, the Ventus TR comes in the following options: Ventus TR Blue 50 (R2, R and S flex), Ventus TR Blue 60 (R, S and X flex), Ventus TR Blue 70 (S and X flex) and Ventus TR Blue 80 (S and X flex), each of which are available at 46 inches.

Fujikura’s new Ventus TR Blue shafts will be available at over 600+ authorized retailers starting Feb. 1, 2022, selling for $350 apiece.

Fujikura Ventus TR: The inside story

For more on the Ventus TR, how it was designed, what it’s designed to do, and what the “TR” actually stands for, we talked with Spencer Reynolds, Product Marketing Manager at Fujikura.

Tursky: Simple question to start, what exactly is the Ventus TR shaft? What’s different about the new design?

Reynolds: Yeah, so on our end, for the last three years, really, people have been asking us what’s going to be next for Ventus, right? That’s kind of the curse and the blessing of having a really successful part. And the cool thing about Ventus is that it’s successful from the amateur level all the way to the PGA Tour. So you get tasked with these three things. 1) They want something new, 2) it needs to be better and 3) don’t change it. It’s kind of an awkward recipe to make new product.

So what we find is it’s a bit of a three-step process. It starts with taking a successful part and profile, and let’s listen to feedback. So we talk to tour pros, we’ll talk to charter dealers, we’ll talk to players and say, ‘Alright, if there was something about a particular profile that you’d want to change or enhance, what would it be?’

The luxury that we have is we take that feedback, and then we can kind of pair that up with our ENSO analytics. We have thousands of lines of different data and combinations of shaft builds, and how that interacts with different players, so we can pretty confidently say if we take this feedback, we make this change here, we make this section different, we make it softer or stiffer, whatever it is, we can look at an algorithm and look and past data and get a pretty good feel for how this is going to play out.

Then step three is, we find the right recipe, build prototypes, test it to death, and then roll it out to market. And that’s the super simplified version of it.

We got really nitpicky with Ventus, and one of the things we realized was that VeloCore technology is still an incredibly stable platform. So combine that incredibly stable core, incredibly ultra-stiff tip section, we have a lot of stability there. But what ENSO analytics showed us was, when a shaft goes into transition on the downswing, especially at higher swing speeds, but really for all swing speeds, that’s where a shaft takes on a lot of stress – unwanted stress, anytime there’s a quick change in direction. And we see that happen in the mid-handle section. That’s really where that occurs a lot.

Anytime we see that inconsistency in a shaft build, it can lead to unnecessary twist or unwanted twist. We want this piece from grip to tip to be as consistent as possible. So you start to look at specific sections now, and if this is a weak section or a section that can be compromised, how can we beef it up. Easy thing is we strap a bunch of material to it, right? But that doesn’t work because now you’re compromising swing weight, overall weight, and in a profile like a mid-launch, low-spin profile shaft like this, you’re really starting to compromise feel. You’re starting to push it much more into that handle-stiff, rebar, high swing speed space. This can live there with stiffer flexes and higher weights, but in that mid-low spin range, you want to maintain some of that feel.

So it leads us down a rabbit hole, how can we source new composites? How can we source new materials? How can we solve this problem? Well, we integrated a new Spread Tow carbon fabric.

Essentially, there’s a standard carbon weave and then there’s a Spread Tow carbon weave. What a Spread Tow does is it takes all these individual strands of carbon and irons them flat into a tape, and then weaves those over-under, over-under almost like a checkerboard pattern. So there’s very little space for resin to accumulate, you get super low resin content, and then you also get a lot of strength in varying directions. It can take pull and load in multiple directions. Other benefit is that it’s super lightweight. You’re getting an incredible amount of strength, in an ultra lightweight package.

Now we get away from that idea of compromising swing weight or overall weight, but when we measure this – we have a proprietary measurement system where we don’t just look at torque overall. We look at torque in every section of the shaft specifically. So what is the handle torque? What is the mid torque? What is the tip torque? And we compare that section to a Ventus Blue, and it jumps the torsional stiffness almost 10 percent in that specific section, which is a big chunk.

Tursky: What do these benefits equate to in real life for a golfer? 

Reynolds: The basic way to look at it is, you’re increasing consistency by that much more by increasing stability that much in a shaft. So any increase we see in stability, especially getting into double digits, it’s a huge gain.

What it really gives players, though, is you’re not really compromising player feel. So you’ve increased torsional stiffness in that section and made the shaft that much more consistent, without it feeling boardy or stiff in a particular section.

Tursky: So, in the handle section, you can see a checkerboard style graphic. Those are just graphics, right? You’re just highlighting the technology underneath? 

Reynolds: No, you’re seeing the material. That’s the material showing through, so you can actually see that under the Ventus decal, especially in the sunlight. When you see the checkerboard popping at you, there’s just a touch of paint over it. That’s the actual material on the part. So you will see some cool cosmetic changes on this, you will see a kind of sparkly blue finish that you can see when we’re in the sunshine. It’s got the added “TR” graphic to go in the label.

Tursky: What does the “TR” stand for?

Reynolds: It really doesn’t have a necessary meaning, but it has cool company history. We’ve had a TR part in the past in the Speeder TR. So, to us, it kind of means a lot of different things. In the past we’ve called the TR, we’ve called it tour rated, torsionally reinforced, we’ve come up with a million different acronyms, but truthfully it’s just kind of a brand name for us that has cool company history.

Tursky: I always thought it was “tour ready”…

Reynolds: Yeah, tour ready. We’ve gone through a litany of things. But for us, it’s kind of just a nod to our company history. And it helps it stand out just a little bit, too. As easy as the Ventus 2.0 would have been, we wanted to add some substance with it with a cool nod.

Tursky: In general, if I’m hitting an original Ventus against a Ventus TR, what are some things I can expect? 

Reynolds: Yeah, you’ll start to see some slight changes. We have integrated some stiffness to the profile. I would say that apples-to-apples, compared to a Blue, you may see some lower spin, certainly not as aggressive as Ventus Black. But it’s player dependent. We can look at a player profile on a spec chart and have a good idea of how it’s going to perform, but if you really want to know how it works for you, it’s always best case scenario to get fit, try it, try different combinations, and see what really sings for you.

Tursky: So, at least for now, there’s just a TR Blue?

Reynolds: There is. I know what your next question is. I’ll tell you this. Anytime we integrate a new technology that we see great success with, we absolutely explore it into other profiles. It’s absolutely in the consideration. And the cool things really from a design perspective with the TR, and we talked about this a little bit in a product last year, which was Speeder NX, we talked about a thing called variable torque. And we’ve really done a lot in that design space that we’re targeting these specific sections. What we found is that really is a powerful lever in adjusting shaft performance. Really targeting specific sections and talking about twisting profiles versus just E.I. profiles, whether that’s adding or subtracting material. Whatever it is, that idea of varying toque in specific sections is a space that we feel we’re just dipping our toe into and we’re really excited to run with. We’ve seen really cool results so far with the Ventus TR and we’re psyched about it.

 

 

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Srixon introduces new Z-Star Series Divide golf balls

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Srixon Golf has today announced the launch of the Z-Star Series Divide, with the Z-Star Divide and Z-Star XV Divide hitting retail on January 21st.

The balls arrive in a white/yellow color code, with the Z-Star Divide featuring a new FastLayer core that starts soft in the center and gradually becomes firm around its edge in design to give high-speed players excellent feel and ball speed. The Z-Star XV Divide contains a newly formulated inner core that bids to add resiliency for even more ball speed.

 “We are thrilled to be launching Z-Star Divide and Z-Star XV Divide. While they certainly stand out on the course, the performance benefits are what excite us the most. They’re so easy to align your putts, see flying through the air, and give great visual feedback on pitches and chips around the green.” – Brian Schielke, General Manager of Srixon North America

The latest additions from Srixon include all the tech within the Z-Star Series golf balls, including a high contract white and yellow thermoplastic urethane cover featuring SpinSkin with SeRM, a durable coating with flexible molecular bonds that digs deep into wedge and iron grooves, in design for maximum spin.

The balls also feature a 338 Speed Dimple Pattern with less drag and more lift in design to boost overall distance and provide a penetrating ball flight.

In addition, the new colorways on the Z-Star and Z-Star XV Divide are designed to allow players of all skill levels to track their spin, especially around the greens.

The Divide series arrives at retail on January 21st and cost $44.99 per dozen.

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The cleanest looking game improvement irons – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing clean looking game improvement irons. WRXer ‘SteelyDan’ kicks off the thread saying

“I am playing Mizzy JPX 919 forged but am looking for more forgiveness and launch in the longer irons. I tend to hit them fat. Guess the Hot Metals are the obvious choice but a least the 919 HM felt dead to me.

Any other recommendations with a clean look (no funky badges etc)? Doesn’t have to be the very latest model.”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts and suggestions 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.

  • Carolina Golfer 2: “I like the looks of the Titleist T300 snd the upcoming Wilson D9 Forged look incredible.”
  • Lefty87: “I went directly from the 919F to PXG Gen 3 P. They have a very similar profile, but the PXG’s are longer, more forgiving, and have just as good of a feel, if not better than the 919F. Not to mention they are only $133 a stick right now, and they’ll be at your door in two weeks.”
  • chocolate_rehab: “I was going to say ZX4 – that’s more the SGI model from Srixon. ZX5 is more game improvement. As far as looks go for this sort of iron, ZX4 and Ping G710 are the cleanest and best looking imo.”
  • A.Princey: “Maltby DBMs or the equivalent, TE(more traditional loft).”

Entire Thread: “The cleanest looking game improvement irons”

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