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Davis Love III was still using a persimmon driver in 1997?!

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The revolution of metal drivers was happening quickly in the early-to-mid 1990’s, but Davis Love III was set on sticking with his Cleveland Classic Oil Hardened RC85 persimmon driver. He wasn’t oblivious to the emerging technology, though. He knew exactly what he was doing, and why.

“The Cleveland has been in my bag since 1985,” Love III wrote in his 1997 book, “Every Shot I Take.” “It was given to me by a good friend, Bob Spence. I experiment with metal drivers often; I find – for me, and not necessarily for you – they go marginally longer than my wooden driver, but they don’t give me any shape. I find it more difficult to create shape to my drives off the metal face, which is important to me. …I also love the sound my ball makes as it comes off the persimmon insert of my driver.

“I’m no technophobe,” he added. “My fairway ‘woods’ have metal heads … but when it comes to my old wooden driver, I guess the only thing I can really say is that I enjoy golf more with it, and I think I play better with it…golf is somehow more pleasing to me when played with a driver made of wood.”

Although his book came out in 1997, Love III switched out his persimmon driver for a Titleist 975D titanium driver in the same year.

It was the end of an era.

During Love III’s 12-year-run with the persimmon driver, though, he piled on four wins in the year of 1992, including the Kmart Greater Greensboro Open — now known as the Wyndham Championship.

Love III, who’s captaining the 2022 Presidents Cup United States team next month at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, N.C., is playing in the 2022 Wyndham Championship in nearby Greensboro. In celebration, we took a look back in the archives to see what clubs Love III used for his win in 1992 for an article on PGATOUR.com. We discovered he was using a Cleveland Classic persimmon driver, in addition to a nostalgic equipment setup.

In our latest Two Guys Talking Golf podcast episode, equipment aficionado and co-host Brian Knudson, and myself (GolfWRX tour reporter Andrew Tursky), discuss Love III’s late switch to a metal-made driver, and why he may have stuck with a wooden persimmon driver for so long.

Check out the full podcast below in the SoundCloud embed, or listen on Apple Music here. For more information on Love III’s 1992 setup versus his 2022 WITB, click here.

 

 

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Edward

    Aug 8, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    Who would win on the pro tour if players were only allowed woods, forged blades, and balata balls? Tiger.

    • Rich

      Aug 9, 2022 at 9:02 am

      I think the PGA should be like MLB. Standard clubs and balls. Tiger would win.

  2. Garry Flanders

    Aug 8, 2022 at 8:46 am

    This guy says its a 6.5 975D in ’97 https://www.instagram.com/p/CZQooODsU-B/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

  3. Tom Newsted

    Aug 8, 2022 at 8:23 am

    I think thats pretty cool. I remember when the metal woods first hit and many players like Davis Love III, Fred Couples and many others said they wouldnt switch. After the Big Bertha and the Yonnex driver they all started to move over to them. Cobra had a great driver for a little while. This Tiger kid used it in 97 to win some tournament in Georgia.

  4. The truth

    Aug 6, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    Kuch sucks…

  5. Hollabachgt

    Aug 5, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    Pretty sure Davis changed from Persimmon to a 976R. The same for Leonard. Who started the 1997 season with Persimmon, but by the Open was playing a 976R.

  6. chip75

    Aug 5, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    If I remember Davis used a persimmon to a record 380+ yards drive during his first few years on tour. The 975D was a huge gamechanger. After that it was the widespread adoption of a solid-ball (Pro V1).

  7. Snoozer

    Aug 5, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    Snore

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Equipment

2022 TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 wedges launched

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What you need to know: TaylorMade is launching the latest iteration of its “Swiss Army knife” Hi-Toe 3 wedges. In contrast to TaylorMade’s MG3 wedges, Hi-Toe 3 wedges feature a higher toe peak, higher center of gravity for lower launch and more spin, a four-way cambered sole, and full-face scoring lines all aimed at maximizing versatility and performance around the green.

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3: What’s new

  • Full length scoring lines on all lofts above 54 degrees for additional spin on open-faced shots.
  • Raised micro-ribs between the full grooves (introduced in MG3 wedge) add texture to the face for increased spin and performance on partial shots.
  • Aged copper finish to complement the raw face

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3: Additional technology

In order to assist in executing “all the shots” TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 marketing references, TM engineers again incorporate a four-way cambered sole into the 8620 carbon steel Hi-Toe 3. Generous bounce and a wide sole meet a low leading edge for enhanced playability from a variety of lies.

And of course, the weighted toe pad “high toe” portion of the Hi-Toe 3 raises the center of gravity and moves it closer to the center of the face in an effort to produce lower launching, higher spinning shots.

ZTP Raw Grooves are implemented in the Hi-Toe 3 for optimal spin across a variety of conditions.

Full face ZTP RAW grooves

What TaylorMade says

“Our athletes all offered great input individually, but collectively everyone wanted something versatile. They wanted a single wedge that could perform around the greens from deep rough, thick fescue, bunkers with different sands, in wet conditions and from tight lies. That’s a lot to fit into a single design, but with Hi-Toe 3 we’ve done it.” — Bill Price, Product Creation, Wedges and Putters

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3: What it looks like

52 degree

56 degree

60 degree

Pricing and availability 

Hi-Toe 3 is available for order now at www.taylormadegolf.com and at retail locations with an MSRP of $179 USD. Hi-Toe 3 comes stock with the KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 shaft (115g) and Lamkin Crossline 360 Round 52 gram grips (Gray/Blue/Black End Cap).

Hi-Toe 3 is available in standard bounce (50, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 60 degrees), low bounce (58, 60 degrees), and high bounce (58, 60 degrees).

KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 115 shafts are standard along with Lamkin Crossline 360 grips.

MyHi-Toe 3

Added elements of personalization are available through MyHi-Toe 3. They may choose from four different finishes, including the classic brushed copper, chrome, black and raw, before selecting text, logos, and paint fills to create a purely unique design.

A complete list of customizable options includes:

  • Finish
  • Grip
  • Shaft
  • Length
  • Personalized text
  • Loft & bounce
  • Custom paints fills: Logos, icons, carbon steel, hosel rings, text

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (8/9/22): Mint Ping i500s

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At GolfWRX, 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 – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of mint Ping i500s.

From the seller (@lawrencedc1): “Asking $725 Plus Ship.  Played 5 rounds.  Didn’t make the Bag!”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Mint Ping i500s

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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Rounding out the lineup: Fujikura Ventus TR Red, Black

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What you need to know: Fujikura introduced the second-generation of its Ventus line with Ventus TR Blue in January. As expected, and as was the case with the original Ventus Blue, Fujikura is now adding Ventus TR Red (mid-high launch), and Ventus TR Black (low launch) to the family.

What’s new

Spread Tow: Improving on the original Ventus Red and Ventus black design, and like Ventus TR Blue, TR Red and TR Black feature “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.

Additional technology

The Ventus family’s secret sauce is still “VeloCore,” which is a multi-material construction that uses ultra-stiff Pitch 70 Ton carbon fiber to increase stiffness. This enables players to hit the center of the face more often due to a reduction in twisting and droop on the downswing.

Per Fujikura, Enso analytics continue to shown one of the highest stress points of the shaft is the mid/handle section during the transition and downswing. Accordingly, engineers focused on this section of the shaft in the development of Ventus TR with the goal of minimizing twist and ovalization — and maximizing consistency and stability.

In terms of feel, Fujikura says feel is similar to the original Ventus Red and Black but with increased stiffness and lower launch/spin.

What Fujikura says

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 much more about Spread Tow and the Ventus TR profile in our Ventus TR Blue launch piece.

Regarding the line extension, Reynolds said:

“Any time we incorporate a new technology into a shaft offering, it’s always in the conversation to expand and integrate that technology into additional profiles. The immediate adoption, success, and performance gains we saw from VENTUS TR Blue led us to enhance the line with additional profiles. Expanding VENTUS TR offerings provides fitters more options in the VENTUS line to fit, and ultimately help a wider range of players improve the performance of their drivers and fairway woods. With six VENTUS profiles available with varying performance characteristics, the VENTUS line is truly firing on all cylinders.”

Pricing and availability

MSRP: $350 through 600-plus authorized Fujikura Charter Dealers and select OEM custom programs

Available at retail: End of August

Flexes: TR Red (R2-X flex, 59 grams – 89 grams), TR Black (S-X flex, 59 grams – 89 grams)

 

 

 

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