Golf Buzz

TaylorMade SLDR S driver and woods, and SLDR irons
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The TaylorMade SLDR S driver, woods and rescues and the SLDR irons join an already expansive collection of clubs in the SLDR family.

The flagship SLDR franchise at TaylorMade, which has grown steadily since its introduction, is about to undergo a massive expansion. On Monday, the company showed off its forthcoming SLDR S driver, fairway woods and rescue clubs along with the first edition of SLDR irons.

The "S" stands for silver, which is the color of the crowns on the new driver and woods – differentiating them from the dark and white crowns on previous SLDR releases. They're all designed for players of a wide variety of skill levels, and all created to help golfers get more distance. In fact, the company is already using the hashtag #DistanceforAll to promote these new sticks.

The 460cc titanium driver includes the sliding weight system found on those earlier SLDR drivers, but not the adjustable hosel. And, in keeping with TaylorMade's current "Loft Up" campaign to get amateur golfers to use drivers with higher lofts – this new driver comes in lofts of 10, 12, 14 and even 16 degrees. Its stock shaft is the Fujikura Motore Speeder 57.

The fairway woods, whose heads are made of stainless steel, come in 3-wood (in 15- and 17-degree options), 5-wood (in 19- and 21-degree options) and 7-wood (23 degrees), and come standard with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 65 shaft. The stainless steel rescue clubs come in 19-, 22-, 25- and 28-degree models with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 72 stock shaft.

These clubs will be available at retail on May 16. The driver will carry a suggested retail price of $329, while the fairway woods will go for $229 and the rescue clubs for $179.

MORE SLDR: SLDR white driver | SLDR 430 driver | SLDR 14-degree driver | Original SLDR clubs 

The SLDR irons, like the new SLDR S woods, are designed for golfers of all skill levels. The 3- through 7-irons include the Speed Pocket, a narrow slot cut in the sole intended to generate more face flex, that is also found in other recent TaylorMade irons like the RocketBladez, while the 8- and 9-irons feature a solid sole. 

The Speed Pocket permits the face to rebound farther and more easily upon impact, particularly when a golfer hits the ball low on the face. The improved flex, says TaylorMade, promotes increased Coefficient of Restitution – or springiness – and can help most golfers add several yards per shot. The Speed Pocket also helps to lower the Center of Gravity, promoting a higher launch angle, higher peak trajectory and a steep, quick-stopping descent.

The SLDR irons feature a classic design with a thin topline and sole, and a limited amount of offset. They also will be available this month with a suggested retail price of $899 for a set of eight irons with KBS Tour C-Taper 90 steel shafts or three optional Fujikura graphite shafts.

Here is a TaylorMade video explaining more about the new clubs:

 

 

 

 

Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Tiger Woods has been chipping and putting, but still cannot pinpoint when he will begin to take full swings as he continues his recovery from surgery for a pinched nerve in his back.

Tiger Woods – who is the defending champion of this week's Players Championship but obviously is having to sit out – gave us an update on his physical status today, and it contained some good news and some bad news.

The bad news: Tiger still isn't sure when he'll be back on the PGA Tour as he recovers from microdiscectomy surgery for a pinched nerve in his back.

"As for my return to golf, I really don't know. I'm doing everything I can and listening to my doctors and working on a strength program, and then we just have to see how my back is," Woods wrote, noting that he is still sore from the incision. "Some people heal up in three months, some people take four months, some people take longer. I just don't know."

Now, the good news. 

"One reassuring thing from my medical exam is I have zero arthritic changes whatsoever. I've kept myself in very good shape over the years, and it has paid off," he wrote. "We knew going into this procedure that it really helps to be strong, especially in my glutes and my abs. I was strong in both departments, and that helps with the recovery and rehab, and you're able to come back faster."

GOLF BUZZ: More on Tiger's back surgery, including his official statement

Woods has been walking, cycling and even swimming – but chipping and putting is about it as far as golf-related activities go so far.

"I haven't really rotated yet," he wrote. "As far as taking a full swing, I have conference calls with my doctors every couple of weeks to see how my progress is and just kind of chart it out from there. Basically, you just follow a program. It's tedious because it's little rehab stuff, but you still have to do it."

In the post, Woods also congratulated Bubba Watson for his second Masters victory, talked about the time he's been spending with his kids, gave an update on some golf course design projects, and thanked his fans for all their get-well wishes. To read his entire post, click here.

 

Grande Dunes No. 14
Bob Denney/PGA of America
Grande Dunes No. 14 will require a 200-yard carry over water and an expansive bunker guarding the front of the green.

Monday was media day for the 47th PGA Professional National Championship, to be held June 22-25 at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club and Grande Dunes Resort Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

47th PGA PROFESSIONAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: History, course tour and more

The PGA of America's Bob Denney got a chance to get out on the courses -- and snapped this awesome photo of one of the par threes that could present a "formidable" challenge next month. I'm not sure that's adequate to describe what golfers will see from the tee box.

Short is bad. Right is worse, way worse.

 

 

 

 

 

A field of 312 PGA Professionals representing 43 states and 41 PGA Sections will play in the largest all-professional championship in the country.

Myrtle Beach marks the ninth time that the Carolinas PGA Section has hosted the Championship. It will be the second visit by the Championship to South Carolina, and first since 2005.

Golf Channel will televise all four rounds live for the 18th consecutive year.

May 5, 2014 - 10:56am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bridgestone Golf
Bridgestone Golf
The latest versions of Bridgestone's popular TOUR B330-RX family of balls now feature the newly patented Hydro Core Technology.

You always hear about how important it is to be properly fit for golf clubs -- and there's no question it is.

But did you know it's just as important to be fit for the proper golf ball? Golf balls these days come built specifically for the player's level of ability. Frankly, if you're not using the golf ball that suits your game, well, you're just not going to get the most out of your score.

RELATED: Visit PGA.com's extensive equipment page | PGA.com Value Guide

With Bridgestone Golf, it's never been easier to get fit for the proper golf ball. And, the best part? You don't even have to leave your house.

Bridgestone Golf's B-Fit feature on the company's website allows the consumer to either call, or have a live chat via your computer, smart phone or tablet to consult with an expert B-FIT Technician to find the proper golf ball for your game.

Via the web chat option, you can be fit for the proper golf ball in no time. The B-FIT Technician asks a series of questions about your game, inquires about what it is you like/must have in a golf ball, and explains the science behind why you should be using a certain model of Bridgestone ball and the benefits you can get out of it.

Through the web chat, I was fit for the new B330-RXS, featuring Bridgestone's new hydro core technology.

Hydro? Does that mean, "water?" Yes, it does.

The latest versions of Bridgestone's popular TOUR B330-RX family of balls now feature the newly patented Hydro Core Technology. This groundbreaking technology provides golfers with swing speeds less than 105 mph longer distance and greater accuracy.

The folks at Bridgestone explained:

As with any new product, Bridgestone concocted and tested countless compounds for the core of its new B330-RX line. During testing, engineers discovered that a prototype with water in its core formulation produced 30% more gradation. This increase allowed for greater spin reduction from the inner and outer regions of the core producing longer distance and improved accuracy. Thus Hydro Core Technology was born.

"Bridgestone invented an entirely new product category with the introduction of the B330-RX family of golf balls," said Corey Consuegra, Director of Golf Ball Marketing – Bridgestone Golf, Inc. "We were the first to recognize that optimizing performance based on swing speed improves golfers' games. With continued innovation in engineering and reliance on amateur testing, our newest models really deliver."

Like its predecessors, the new B330-RX and B330-RXS golf balls feature a 3-piece urethane cover and continue to rely on Bridgestone’s Dual Dimple Technology. The B330-RX and B330-RXS are optimized best for players with swing speeds below 105 mph. The B330-RX is designed for players with a distance preference while the B330-RXS is targeted at those seeking maximum greenside spin.

"With the addition of Hydro Core Technology, the B330-RX family represents our commitment to using both data collected from 250,000 live ball fittings and R&D’s innovation in the lab," said Consuegra.

The new TOUR B330-RX and TOUR B330-RXS balls retail for around $44.99 per dozen. In addition to traditional white, the 2014 TOUR B330-RX is also available in Optic Yellow.

Visit www.bridgestonegolf.com to learn more.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

Golf Pride
Golf Pride
Golf Pride's new line of CP2 grips are available in two models -- the Pro and the Wrap. The Pro is pictured here.

Back in January at the PGA Merchandise Show, Golf Pride introduced its newest performance grip -- the CP2 line.

Defined by their comfort, control and performance attributes, the CP2 grips are the softest performance grips in Golf Pride history. The company says it's new proprietary Control Core technology allows for a softer feel without compromising performance.

RELATED: Visit PGA.com's extensive equipment page | PGA.com Value Guide

"Consumer testing validation was instrumental in the performance development of the CP2 line," stated Brandon Sowell, global sales and marketing manager for Golf Pride. "As soon as players took a swing, they could feel the Control Core benefits. Players commented that the fantastic feel and control immediately transferred to a high level of confidence as they stepped up to the ball. The innovation in the CP2 grips delivers softer feel with the control and durability that golfers expect from Golf Pride."

The CP2 line is available in two models -- the CP2 Pro in red and the CP2 Wrap in blue.

I recently had a chance to try out the Pro model. I've been a longtime fan of Golf Pride's Multi-Compound grips because of the feel. While the CP2 Pro looks significantly different from the Multi-Compound, I was impressed to not sacrifice any feel on the new grip, which features a straight, texture grip pattern.

They were distinctly softer than Golf Pride's Multi-Compound offerings -- which will always be my favorite -- but were much easier on the hands, especially at the start of a new season as any regular golfer tries to work through blisters.

And what, exactly, is that proprietary new Control Core technology? It's a 2.5" inner control core stabilizer located at the top of the grip where the greatest amount of swing pressure is received. It reduces torque by 41 percent compared to the same grip without the core. A straighter taper in the lower section, Golf Pride explains, encourages even hand pressure for a more stable and consistent swing.

If you're in the market for new grips -- and you probably should be at the start of a new season -- these are worth a try. And they're friendly on the wallet too.

Available now, the CP2 line comes in three sizes -- standard, midsize and jumbo -- with a price of $6.99, $7.49 and $7.99, respectively.

To learn more, visit www.golfpride.com.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

May 3, 2014 - 11:03am
Michael.Benzie's picture
Jason and Amanda Dufner
PGA.com
Jason and Amanda Dufner dressed in their Kentucky Derby finest for the year's biggest horse race.

PGA Champion Jason Dufner and his wife Amanda spent the weekend at the Kentucky Derby, and attended the parties as well as the race – and we followed them throughout their two-day tour of one of the country's most exciting sporting events. In a few months, Dufner will be back in Louisville at Valhalla Golf Club to defend his title in another signature event: the PGA Championship.

During his days at the Derby, Jason met celebrities like Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and horse trainer Bob Baffert, and even showed off his Wanamaker Trophy alongside the NHL's Staney Cup. We've put together a special photo gallery of the Dufners' big weekend, and below you can see our exclusive social media mosaic recapping some of their highlights: