Equipment

TaylorMade RSi 1 and RSi 2 irons
Courtesy of TaylorMade Golf
The new RSi line of irons from TaylorMade feature vertical slots cut into the heel and toe of the face to help the performance of off-center hits.
As most of us golfers will testify, we tend to hit a lot of shots somewhere other than the center of the clubface. In recent years, some equipment companies have tweaked their designs to expand the sweetspot to help us out.
 
TaylorMade – which studied thousands of clubfittings and found that 76 percent of all iron shots are mis-hit – has come up with its own solution. Its new RSi line of irons feature slots in the face to help improve consistency and distance on off-center hits.
 
"No golfer is perfect, not even the best players in the world hit the center of the club every time," said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade's director of product creation for irons, putters and wedges. "So with RSi, we're giving all golfers a technology that can help their mis-hits perform more like pure strikes."
 
The introduction of Face Slot Technology, as TaylorMade calls it, comes two years after the company debuted its "Speed Pockets" – small slots in the soles of woods and irons that improve the performance of shots struck low on the face. 
 
For the RSi irons, TaylorMade cut vertical slots in face on either side of impact zone to help provide more uniform flex across the face and protect ball speed on off-center hits. The slots – cut into the 3- through 8-irons – are 35 to 38 millimeters deep, depending on the club, and are cut all the way through the face and filled with a durable epoxy compound. 
 
Speaking of Speed Pockets, the 3- through 7-irons include them as well. Their ThruSlot technology helps to activate the lower portion of the face by creating higher launch on shots hit below center, and helps to negate the loss of ball speed and spin rate from an off-center hit. The combination of these two features, the company says, give the RSi irons a larger sweetspot with forgiveness near the toe, heel and bottom of the club.
 
The new RSi line includes three models: The RSi 1, RSi 2 and RSi TP.
 
 
The RSi 1 features TaylorMade's Advanced Face Design – which gives the irons the company's thinnest face ever, a deep undercut and Inverted Cone Technology to promote greater ball speed. In addition, a stabilized head structure and multiple dampening systems improve their sound and feel, and a new True Temper Reax 90 steel shaft helps optimize ball flight. 
 
The standout feature of the RSi 2 model is what the company calls Progressive Multi-Material Construction. The 3- through 5-irons are cast from 450 stainless steel with tungsten weighting to promote a lower Center of Gravity and slightly higher flight. The mid irons (6-7) are cast of 450 stainless steel but don't have the tungsten weighting.
 
The short irons (8-, 9- and pitching wedge) incorporate forged faces to promote feel and accuracy, and the wedges are completely forged. All the RSi 2 irons come stock with the all-new KBS Tour 105 shaft. 
 
Finally, the RSi TP irons – which TaylorMade expects will become the most-played model on the PGA Tour – combine Face Slot Technology with advanced two-piece construction that merges a premium 1025 forged carbon steel hosel and face with a 431 stainless steel back in the 3- through 7-irons. This, the company says, provides the precision and feel of a forged iron with the advanced geometry of cast irons.
 
The short irons (8- through pitching wedge) are classic forged heads with a slight muscle cavity. And all the RSi TP irons come stock with the popular KBS Tour Steel Shaft.
 
"The RSi TP irons were developed to deliver launch, consistency and feel to take performance to the next level for our tour professionals," Bystedt explained. "It really is the best combination of performance, look and feel that we've created for the world's best players."
 
Both the RSi 1 ($799 per set with steel shafts, $899 with graphite) and RSi 2 ($999 with steel, $1,199 with graphite) will be available to demo at select TaylorMade retailers now, and sets (3-iron through pitching wedge) can be purchased beginning Nov. 14. Individual gap, sand and lob wedges will be available in the RSi 1, while only gap and sand wedges will be available in the RSi 2. The RSi TP ($1,199 per set) will be at retail on Jan. 15, 2015.
 
Here's a video from TaylorMade introducing the new irons:
 
 
TaylorMade debuts RSi iron family with face slots
October 13, 2014 - 10:19am
Posted by:
PGA.com
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Vapor Fairway Woods
Nike Golf
Nike engineers reimagine fairway woods design to promote speed and forgiveness for the golf athlete.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Nike Golf innovation begins with the golf athlete in mind – always. Nike engineers and designers took the inspiration and insights from Nike athletes to drive the technology of Nike’s new Vapor Speed and Vapor Flex fairway woods, available on January 30, 2015.

“Athlete insights drove significant chassis refinement in the Vapor fairway woods.” said Nate Radcliffe, Director of Engineering for Nike Golf. “Our athletes wanted tighter but forgiving leading edges, fuller profiles and added ball speed. We’ve delivered that with the synergy of our FlyBeam and compression channel technologies.”

The Vapor Speed fairway woods have a 25% larger footprint with a lower and deeper Center of Gravity (CG) than previous Nike models.

“Athletes including Tiger Woods requested larger face profiles in fairway woods, but it was vital that we do that without compromising ball speed or optimal launch conditions,” said Radcliffe. “We successfully modified the chassis by sloping the crown to lower the CG which optimized launch characteristics across the family.”

Like the new Vapor drivers, the Vapor Speed fairway woods feature Nike’s new FlyBeam-reinforced Covert Cavity Back design, a re-engineered Compression Channel and a NexCOR face – all combining to stabilize the chassis, maximize ball speed and promote longer and straighter distance. The low CG provides a high launch with a lower-spin flight.

The Vapor Flex fairway woods highlight the same technologies found in the Vapor Speed on a more compact chassis, except the Vapor Flex has added Nike’s FlexLoft 2 adjustability system, allowing the golf athlete the functionality of five lofts and three face angles within 15 different settings.

The new, improved FlexLoft system is five grams (30%) lighter without compromising function, which leads to a CG that is up to 2mm lower on the Vapor Flex fairways. The redistribution of mass creates more stability, better launch conditions and faster swing speeds. Another benefit of FlexLoft 2 is its forward and backward compatibility. Golfers with previous generations of Covert can use shafts with the original adaptor in the new head or vice versa.

Nike Vapor Speed Fairway Woods:

Availability: January 30, 2015
Specifications: 3W: 15° (RH/LH); 5W: 19° (RH/LH): MRC Fubuki Z 60 shaft: X, S, R, A, W
MSRP: $240.00 Street Price: $199.00

Nike Vapor Flex Fairway Woods:

Availability: January 30, 2015
Specifications: 3W: 13° - 17° (RH/LH); 5W: 17° - 21° (RH/LH): MRC Diamana S+ Blue Board 70 shaft: X, S, R
MSRP: $300.00 Street Price: $249.00

For more information, visit http://www.nike.com/nikegolf

Nike Golf's Vapor Fairway Woods
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 drivers
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The Callaway Big Bertha 815 (l) blends distance and forgiveness, while the Double Black Diamond is for experts only.

The Big Bertha family of drivers from Callaway Golf is getting so big that it's going to be tough to fit them all around the table at Thanksgiving. The Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha, both unveiled late last year, were recently joined by the V Series, and now come two more models – the Big Bertha Alpha 815 and the 815 Double Black Diamond.

The V Series is a lightweight driver for golfers who need help generating their maximum swing speed. The Alpha 815 blends both distance and forgiveness for a wide range of golfers (it's significantly more forgiving than the original BB Alpha), while the Double Black Diamond – as any snow skier knows – is for experts only.

The Alpha 815, Callaway says, represents a brand-new driver category: low spin for extra distance with the forgiveness many golfers need to hit the ball straight. The Double Black Diamond is an extremely low spin model for advanced golfers who don't need a lot of help hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway.

Both these new models feature the Gravity Core that Callaway pioneered in the original Big Bertha Alpha. One end of the core has a heavier weight while the other has a lighter weight; golfers can move the center of gravity up or down depending on which way they insert the Gravity Core to optimize their ball speed locations to wherever they usually hit the ball off the face. 

GAME CHANGERS VIDEO: Odyssey Versa Jailbird putter

The heads, larger on the 815, slightly more compact on the Double Black Diamond, what Callaway calls "RMOTO:" technology that lets the company produce a larger, more forgiving clubhead while maintaining a lighter overall club weight. It also has an ultra-thin face. Like many recent models, these heads are also made of strong, lightweight Forged Composite material.

Both drivers also feature Callaway's OptiFit adjustability. The adjustable hosel lets golfers choose from a combination of eight different loft and lie angle (Draw or Neutral) configurations, while heel and toe weights (1- and 7-gram weights for the 815, and 1- and 5-gram weights for the Double Black Diamond help dial in your shot shape even more.

These new models come with a 53-gram Fujikura Speeder Motore 565 shaft as their primary stock offering, but Callaway offers no-upcharge upgrades to a variety of premium shafts including models from Aldila, Fubuki, Fujikura, Matrix and Mitsubishi.

The Big Bertha Alpha 815 carries a suggested retail price of $449.99, while the Double Black Diamond goes for $499.99. Both will be available on Nov. 14.

Here are a couple of videos from Callaway intoducing the new models:

 
Callaway adds Alpha 815 models to its Big Bertha family of drivers
October 7, 2014 - 9:51am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
CarveOn
CarveOn
CarveOn, based in Dublin, Ireland, creates personalized golf accessories, including yardage book covers and scorecard holders.

Golf accessories sure have come a long way over the last few years.

Virtually everything you can think of -- clubs, bags, golf balls, clothing, footwear, etc. -- can be not only customized these days, but also personalized.

Having a golf accessory with a personal touch is special for any avid player. No matter your ability, it makes you feel like a Tour pro.

That's where a company based out of Dublin, Ireland -- "CarveOn" -- comes into play.

CarveOn, founded in 2011 by Alan and Gary McCormack, design and craft a contemporary range of accessories from their Kildare workshop -- everything from leather iPhone and iPad sleeves to tote bags, messenger bags and more.

But what really caught our eye is what CarveOn is doing in the golf space: customized -- and personalized -- leather yardage book covers and scorecard holders.

RELATED: Vessel customized golf bags | Custom golf towels from Players Towel

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy himself uses a yardage book cover customized for him from CarveOn.

"We don't have any official sponsorship arrangements with players on Tour but we did make a lot samples and were delighted to see so many of them in use," Alan McCormack, Creative Director of CarveOn, told us. "We made a custom yardage book for Francesco Molinari who posted a very nice picture of it in a tweet thanking us which was really great for us. We also made a red yardage book for fellow countryman, Rory McIlroy, which he used during his highly publicized run of major wins recently. We would like to think it brought him some luck. We have made them for probably a dozen or so pros which has really helped spread the word, particularly in the U.S."

The leather yardage book covers by CarveOn are designed for professional caddies and golfers and are completely customizable. They're designed to house official European and PGA Tour (9.5 cm x 17.4 cm) yardage books.

As for the materials used, the yardage book covers are crafted from 4 oz. vegetable tanned Tuscan leather, blending traditional style and functional design. They're available in tan, red, dark brown and black.

CarveOn leather goods are hand-waxed and polished then precision stitched using premium wax thread. Normal wear and tear ages each piece with a unique patina to create an individual, distinctive and timeless character.

Each leather cover comes presented in a signature engraved wooden box, perfect for a special gift.

The leather yardage book sells for around $100.

"Our golf accessories are only on the market since earlier this year but have become very popular in that short period of time," Alan McCormack said.

The leather yardage book might not be for everyone -- particularly the average golfer; it's more for the tournament player. However, anyone who plays on a regular basis, no matter the handicap, would appreciate the scorecard holder.

The scorecard holder incorporates the same materials as the yardage book cover, but also includes an elastic pen/pencil holder. It's available in tan, red, dark brown and black for roughly $75.

Customizable and personalized options on all CarveOn products include initials, name, text or logo.

"The majority of our goods are made to order so we had an amazing opportunity to offer our customers complete flexibility with regards to personalization," Alan McCormack said. "We invested heavily in advanced equipment which allows for precise one-off customization. We also have an excellent in-house design team that handle client's brands and artwork with great professionalism. The feedback has been fantastic. Many of our customers have been hitting social media with pictures of their personalized accessories and commending us on our work. A satisfied and vocal customer is the best form of advertising in this business."

CarveOn golf accessories are the perfect gift for the golf lover in your life, or even as a gift to yourself that's sure to make the rest of your regular foursome jealous.

"We are relatively new to the golf world but are fascinated with the sheer scale of the industry and the opportunities present," Alan McCormack said. "It is really an entire multitiered ecosystem within itself. We have received an influx of orders from individual players, but also from teams, clubs, tour operators and large corporates. There are plenty of companies importing accessories from places like India and China but I think the market is saturated. People have forgotten what real leather and craftsmanship feels like. We are here to remind them."

To learn more about CarveOn, visit www.carveon.com. You can also find CarveOn on Twitter, @carvedon, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

CarveOn creates special, personalized golf accessories
October 2, 2014 - 7:14am
Posted by:
PGA.com
tj.auclair's picture
Titleist
Titleist
Titleist introduces new 915 drivers, fairways and hybrids.

FAIRHAVEN, Mass. -- New Titleist 915 drivers, built for distance without compromise, are designed using patented Active Recoil Channel technology to produce lower spin and higher speed for more distance – without sacrificing forgiveness.

Available in golf shops worldwide beginning Nov. 14, new Titleist 915D2 and 915D3 drivers benefit serious golfers of all swing speeds by delivering maximum distance while maintaining a high MOI for exceptional forgiveness. The improved performance of Titleist 915 drivers, underlining the Titleist Golf Club R&D team’s driver design strategy of “distance and forgiveness,” is the result of three key advancements:

-- The proprietary Active Recoil Channel, a long, wide and deep sole channel that actively flexes at impact and recoils to launch the ball off the face with higher speed and lower spin;

-- Radial Speed Face, a high-speed forged face insert with a radially thinner perimeter in the heel and toe, which works with the Active Recoil Channel to increase ball speed on off-center hits; and

-- A precise, high-MOI design with a low and deep center of gravity location that delivers stability and forgiveness by preserving off-center ball speed for more distance, more often.

Those technologies, combined with the fitting precision of Titleist’s industry-leading SureFit Tour hosel and tour-validated looks, sound and feel, make for the most complete, consistent driver performance in the game.

“The new 915 drivers are a game-changer for us,” said Dan Stone, Vice President of Research and Development, Titleist Golf Clubs. “We’ve increased speed and lowered spin without sacrificing MOI or forgiveness – and we’re the first to get that combination right.

“The Active Recoil Channel is a major technical leap in the area of spin reduction. In player testing, we’ve seen significant distance gains, up to 15 yards for players who need spin control.

“We began incorporating Active Recoil Channel in the prototype phase about four years ago, but this kind of technology requires a lot of fine-tuning if you’re going to do something that’s different, as opposed to making a cosmetic or marketing change. By adding significant technology for speed and spin without sacrificing MOI, we think we’ve done something very special that nobody’s done to this point.”

The 915D2 driver is a 460cc full-pear shaped head designed for maximum forgiveness and a slight draw bias. The 915D3 features a 440cc pear shape that is forgiving and workable, and offers 250rpm less spin than 915D2 to produce a lower peak trajectory. Both models launch similar to their previous generation Titleist 913 models.

Eighteen players put new 915 drivers into play the first week they were available at the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loan Invitational in late June – including Geoff Ogilvy, who trusted his 915D2 9.5º driver to victory at the Barracuda Championship a few weeks later. Twenty-four players used 915 drivers in early August at the PGA Championship, as the momentum continued to build on the PGA Tour and across the worldwide professional tours.

“Titleist players demand the highest quality and performance from their driver. They want more distance, but not at the expense of forgiveness,” said Steve Pelisek, General Manager, Titleist Golf Clubs. “With 915 drivers, our R&D team has produced the best combination of high speed, low spin and high MOI the game has ever seen. It’s distance all the time – distance on center hits, distance on off-center hits, more distance more often. We know that players truly understand and value that distance consistency.”

LOWER SPIN, HIGHER SPEED THROUGH NEW ACTIVE RECOIL CHANNEL: The new Active Recoil Channel – a long, wide, deep channel, positioned along the sole of the clubhead, close to the leading edge – delivers more distance by actively flexing at impact to launch the ball with lower spin and higher speed.

The Active Recoil Channel (ARC™) allows the entire clubface, both crown and sole, to deflect at impact for high speed. (Clubs without ARC technology have a more rigid sole and deflect mostly in the face and crown at impact resulting in less speed and higher spin.)

“With the Active Recoil Channel, the ball is compressing in a different manner and doesn’t have the chance to gather as much rotational energy so it departs the club face with less spin,” Stone said. “It also creates a greater recoil effect, which imparts more speed, particularly low on the face.”

The effectiveness of the Active Recoil Channel is maximized by its efficient, proprietary construction. Relative to competitive drivers with slot technology, ARC is wider, deeper and longer, stretching across the entire sole from heel to toe.

“All of those aspects garner us more performance out of our channel design,” Stone said. “Properly managing spin benefits us through all levels of swing speeds and player types. High spin players get longer, straighter flight with more carry distance. Players that already manage spin well can further increase their distance by a slight loft increase. Even players on the PGA Tour, who are typically the best-fit players in the world, have increased their distance potential.

“It’s also important to remember that less spin across the face also means more consistent spin across the face. When we launched these drivers on tour, the most dominant point of feedback we received was that the spin and speed are very consistent across the face. And what that translates to for every golfer, not just PGA Tour players, is that you’re going to see better launch conditions and more distance even if the ball is hit off-center.”

INCREASED BALL SPEED THROUGH RADIAL SPEED FACE: Working in combination with the Active Recoil Channel, the Radial Speed Face increases ball speed on off-center hits for more distance and more consistent speeds across the clubface.

The high-speed, variable thickness face insert has a central thick portion, but is thinner and organically tapered as you move out from center. During the development of 915, Titleist R&D identified specific areas on the face insert, particularly in the heel and toe, which could be thinned further to increase performance on off-center hits.

“Active Recoil Channel and the Radial Speed Face are two technologies that really work well together,” Stone said. “ARC does an excellent job increasing ball speeds overall, however, its biggest effect happens low on the club face where the channel is positioned. As you move off center and mishit heel or toe, that’s where the Radial Speed Face insert kicks in –you’re getting more flex in those areas which helps generate more speed.

“The speed consistency on heel and toe hits is one of the first things Tour players are noticing. They don’t hit it off-center too often, but when they do it’s often a pressure situation when they need forgiveness the most.”

HIGH MOI DESIGN FOR DISTANCE AND FORGIVENESS: Distance gains from the Active Recoil Channel and Radial Speed Face are preserved by the 915’s precise, high-MOI design.

“Many golfers understand high MOI as straightness or accuracy, but high MOI is truly about speed and distance,” Stone said. “It’s about maintaining speed across the face for increased distance consistency. We’ve added great performance with the Active Recoil Channel and Radial Speed Face to lower spin and increase speed, and by having high MOI we don’t have to give any of it up.”

With 915 drivers, Titleist R&D targeted a low and deep center of gravity (CG) position in order to maintain stability and forgiveness. The new Active Recoil Channel construction, however, added mass low and forward in the sole – which, in general, is counter to maintaining inertia and a low and deep CG.

To help offset that weight, Titleist engineers cast the 915’s ultra-thin crown and body from 8-1-1 titanium, which provides the same resiliency and properties as the 6-4 titanium used in prior generation 913 models but has a lighter density. (At 0.5 mm, it is also the thinnest consistent crown thickness in the industry.) R&D saved additional weight by tapering the top line and leading edge, and adding thin pockets in areas of low stress toward the front of the head. All these measures created discretionary mass, which was redistributed low and deep resulting in an ideal CG location and high MOI.

“It’s easier to move your center of gravity low and forward, but if you choose to go low and back to preserve MOI it’s more of challenge,” Stone said. “Low and forward reduces spin, but what you give up by going forward is forgiveness and MOI, so there are some tradeoffs. There is a significant distance potential in terms of the consistency of our products versus competitive low-spin products.

“Our team is always looking at how we can engineer a structure gram by gram. It might not sound like a lot, but the attention to detail that we take with our designs and redistributing mass in the proper way allows us to implement a major technology like ARC without penalty.”

INDUSTRY-LEADING ADJUSTABILITY WITH SUREFIT TOUR HOSEL: The distance potential and complete performance of Titleist 915 drivers can be further refined through precision fitting using Titleist’s patented, industry-leading SureFit Tour adjustable hosel technology.

The dual-angle SureFit Tour hosel, inspired by the customization previously available only on a tour van, allows golfers to set loft and lie independently to optimize ball flight – higher or lower, and for more draw or fade for improved shot control and maximum distance.

“The SureFit Tour hosel continues to be a significant competitive advantage for us,” Stone said. “Through our testing, we know that putting a golfer in the most precise fit unlocks the technology and distance potential in 915 even more.”

The SureFit Tour hosel features a sleeve and ring, each with four settings. The sleeve settings are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and the ring settings are lettered A, B, C, D. In total there are 16 settings, each creating a unique loft and lie combination.

A Titleist authorized fitter will utilize the SureFit Tour hosel, coupled with interchangeable shafts and SureFit Tour weights, to determine a player’s optimal setup so they are playing a 915 driver fit precisely to their game.

The Titleist 915 driver hosel is compatible with 913 and 910 model shafts.

915D2 vs. 915D3: The 915D2 and 915D3 models are designed to provide distinct performance differences, particularly in spin and flight, for greater fitting flexibility.

The 915D2 driver features a larger (460cc), full pear profile for maximum distance and forgiveness. 915D2 produces a higher peak trajectory with 250rpm more spin than 915D3.

The 915D2 profile has been slightly elongated to help maintain inertia and a deep CG, resulting in increased stability with more dynamic face closure for a slight draw bias.

Workable and forgiving, the 915D3 offers a smaller (440cc) deep face pear profile that delivers distance with trajectory control. A result of tour feedback, the 915D3 has a 3mm deeper face than the prior generation, and delivers 250rpm less spin than 915D2. 915D3 produces a lower flight with no draw bias for tour-inspired workability.

915D2 is available in 7.5º, 8.5º, 9.5º, 10.5º and 12º lofts. 915D3 is available in 7.5º, 8.5º, 9.5º, and 10.5º. (7.5º lofts are RH only.)

PLAYER TESTING RESULTS: In player testing, golfers that had previously played a 913D2 experienced an average of 115rpm (and up to 300rpm) lower spin with the new 915D2 model – with an average of three yards (and up to 15 yards) more carry distance.

Golfers who previously played a 913D3 saw an average of 250rpm (and up to 500 rpm) lower spin with the new 915D3 – with an average of nine yards (and up to 20 yards) more carry distance.

With both 915 models, players experienced more consistent speeds and lower spin across the face than their 913 drivers.

915 DRIVERS ON TOUR: More than 25 players on the PGA Tour have relied upon new 915 drivers in competition since the tour seeding and validation process began in late June, as well as nearly 100 players across the worldwide professional tours – including Adam Scott (915D3 10.5º), Zach Johnson (915D2 8.5º), Jimmy Walker (915D2 9.5º), Bill Haas (915D2 8.5º) and Graham DeLaet (915D3/7.5).

Geoff Ogilvy was one of 18 players to put a new 915 driver in play the first week it was available at the Quicken Loans Invitational at Congressional Country Club. A few weeks later, Ogilvy played his 915D2 9.5º model in winning the Barracuda Championship for his first PGA Tour title in four years. He also finished tied for second at the Deutsche Bank Championship in September.

“I just unscrewed my 913 shaft and put it in the 915, and after two shots I was sold,” Ogilvy said. “This one is a really big bump forward in performance. The whole face is hotter, so the shots lower on the face perform way better, which for me is great because I love to tee the ball down a little bit.

“It’s just been a great driver for me. I’m equally happy hitting a draw or a fade. When I won in Reno, that’s a course that you need to move it both ways off the tee. And I was so happy with my driver all week. I hit it miles in the altitude and it went forever. And there are a few holes where you have your little bunts, draws and fades and I could do that as well. It just did everything I wanted it to. Driving it so well was a big part of winning it.”

Among other players who have put 915 drivers into play with early success include: Kevin Na (915D3 9.5º), Bernd Weisberger (915D3 7.5º), Cameron Tringale (915D3 9.5º), Jason Bohn (915D3/10.5), Erik Compton (915D3/9.5), Ben Crane (915D2/9.5), Matt Jones (915D2/9.5) and Scott Stallings (915D2/9.5).

WHAT PLAYERS ARE SAYING…

Adam Scott: “Some things are gimmicks and Active Recoil Channel is not. The fact is it’s producing more miles per hour off the club for my ball speed. That’s massive. … Picking up 10 to 15 yards carry is a big deal. It makes a huge difference if I’m hitting a wedge in instead of maybe an 8-iron or if I’m hitting a 5-iron instead of a 3-iron.

“Not only by adding ARC are you gaining the miles per hour, but with the other innovations and redistribution of weight throughout the head the sweet spot gets bigger as well. … I certainly feel like my mishits – if you can even call them that, because you’ve almost got the whole face to play with – have been very good. The carry distance of what I’d call a mishit has been negligible to the ones flushed out of the middle.”

Jimmy Walker: “The golf ball comes off more consistent. We don’t always hit it in the center of the club, and I think mishits are coming off with a lot more control than they used to. When you mishit shots the ball is still coming off with ample amount of speed whereas before in previous driver versions, if you hit one off the center of the clubface a little bit, you were seeing a dramatic drop in speeds and increases in spin. This new driver, the 915, if you’re just off-center a little bit, it’s really keeping the speed up, keeping the spin down, and allowing you to hit better shots more consistently.”

Bill Haas: “It’s hard to find the higher launch and yet not get more spin. With 915, it’s launching a little higher for me but I didn’t gain more spin, which is important. If you have too much spin, you lose distance.”

Zach Johnson: “The new 915 certainly is more forgiving. A mishit still goes properly. My ball speed has gone up and I feel like I’m putting the same swing on.”

Graham DeLaet: “The new 915 driver is awesome. It comes off super hot. My spin rate has come down just a little bit, which I always battled a little bit, and it’s just optimal ball flight. With the spin, you can just see it. The ball is launching nice and flat, especially the into-the wind-shots I was noticing a big increase in distance.”

TOUR-PROVEN STOCK SHAFT MATRIX: The 915’s high-performance stock shaft matrix features five new aftermarket options from the most played driver shaft families on the PGA Tour to fit a wide range of players and swing speeds.

The stock lineup includes the Aldila Rogue Black 70 (mid-launch) and Aldila Rogue Silver 60 (lower-mid launch); and the Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 70 (low launch), Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Blue 60 (mid launch), and Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Red 50 (high launch).

In addition, Titleist offers an industry-leading number of custom shaft choices.

PLAYER BENEFITS:

• LONGER DISTANCE through low spin and high speed from the Active Recoil Channel™.

• HIGHER SPEED on off-center hits from the Radial Speed Face.

• LOWER SPIN across the face improves distance and direction on off-center hits.

• EXCEPTIONAL FORGIVENESS from the stable, low and deep CG, High MOI Design.

• PRECISION FIT through our industry leading SureFit® Tour Hosel technology.

• PREMIUM SHAFTS provide high performance options to maximize your speed and timing.

• SOLID FEEL and sound from the higher standard of acoustic engineering.

• GREAT LOOKS from the pear profile and rich appearance.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: The new 915D2 and 915D3 drivers will be available in golf shops worldwide beginning Nov. 14 with an MAP of $449 (MSRP $499).

FAIRWAYS AND HYBRIDS:

New Titleist 915 fairway metals and hybrids, designed using new Active Recoil Channel™ technology to produce lower spin and higher speed, deliver longer distance with exceptional forgiveness from both the tee and turf.

The fastest fairway and hybrid designs Titleist has ever developed, the new 915F, 915Fd 915H and 915Hd models significantly increase distance for serious golfers of all swing speeds while maintaining high MOI for forgiveness.

Available in golf shops worldwide beginning Nov. 14, Titleist 915 fairways and hybrids provide improved performance through three key advancements:

-- The proprietary Active Recoil Channel, a long, deep, forward-positioned sole channel that actively flexes at impact and recoils to launch the ball off the face with higher speed and lower spin;

-- An Ultra Thin Face, a high-strength, uniformly thin high-speed face insert that increases ball speed across the face; and

-- A precise, high-MOI design with a low center of gravity (CG) location that delivers stability and forgiveness by preserving ball speed across the face for more distance, more often.

Those technologies, combined with the fitting precision of Titleist’s industry-leading SureFit Tour hosel and tour-validated looks, sound and feel, make for the most complete, consistent metals performance in the game.

“The new 915 fairways and hybrids really bring us to another level from a distance perspective,” said Dan Stone, Vice President of Research and Development, Titleist Golf Clubs. “The combination of the Active Recoil Channel and Ultra Thin Face is powerful in creating more speed with spin reduction for maximum distance. And with our high-MOI design strategy we’re able to provide golfers with the best combination of distance and forgiveness.”

Titleist R&D designed 915 fairways and hybrids to maximize their low-spin, high-speed potential, with the SureFit Tour weight placed in a low, central position behind the Active Recoil Channel on each model to help create ideal CG properties. Golfers can select their models – 915F or 915Fd, 915H or 915 Hd – based on head shape, forgiveness or ball flight. 915F and 915H feature larger profiles for all-around performance with maximum forgiveness; 915Fd and 915Hd offer smaller head shapes for workability and forgiveness, with slightly lower launch and spin and therefore lower flight than F and H.

The first week they were available on the PGA Tour, 15 new 915 fairway metals and nine new 915 hybrids were put in play at the World Golf Championships event at Firestone. The following week at the PGA Championship, there were 29 new 915 fairways and 13 new 915 hybrids in players’ bags, including Jordan Spieth, Bill Haas, Victor Dubuisson, Jason Dufner and Webb Simpson.

“The new 915 fairways and hybrids, just like our new 915 drivers, really exemplify our R&D team’s design strategy of ‘distance with forgiveness’, ” said Steve Pelisek, General Manager, Titleist Golf Clubs. “And from our player testing on tour and with amateurs, we know that these products are longer, more consistent and more playable than ever.”

LOWER SPIN, HIGHER SPEED THROUGH NEW ACTIVE RECOIL CHANNEL: The Active Recoil Channel – a long, deep channel, positioned along the sole of the clubhead, close to the leading edge – delivers more distance by actively flexing at impact to launch the ball with lower spin and higher speed.

The Active Recoil Channel (ARC™) allows the entire clubface, both crown and sole, to deflect at impact for high speed. (Clubs without ARC technology have a more rigid sole and deflect mostly in the face and crown at impact resulting in less speed and higher spin.)

“With the Active Recoil Channel, the ball is compressing in a different manner and doesn’t have the chance to gather as much rotational energy so it departs the club face with less spin,” Stone said. “It also creates a greater recoil effect, which imparts more speed, particularly low on the face.

“With fairways and hybrids, because you’re often hitting those clubs off the ground, you tend to hit them lower on the face and when you hit lower on the face you generally get more spin. That’s when the Active Recoil Channel really kicks in to help reduce spin.”

On 915 fairway metals and hybrids, ARC is narrower, deeper and positioned further forward than on 915 drivers in order to optimize the performance of the fairway and hybrid heads.

“Fairways and hybrids have a lot more loft than drivers, and more loft can cause more spin. Hitting it off the turf, lower on the clubface, also creates spin. So in order to have maximum effectiveness in terms of spin reduction, we had to make some adjustments by making ARC deeper and positioning it further forward,” Stone said.

INCREASED BALL SPEED FROM ULTRA THIN FACE: Titleist 915 fairway metals and hybrids feature a new Ultra Thin Face that works in combination with the Active Recoil Channel to deliver increased ball speed across the entire face. The high-speed, constant thickness face insert, made of high-strength Carpenter steel, is the thinnest face insert Titleist R&D has ever developed.

“If you think about how the Active Recoil Channel works, with its flexibility it actually takes some load off the face. We found through our testing that we could thin the face further without compromising durability. And because we’re not at C.O.R. limits like with drivers, we were able to make the insert thinner. Those two improvements have allowed us to maximize ball speed across the entire face to make these clubs longer. You get more speed off the turf from ARC, and more speed when you hit it off the tee with the Ultra Thin Face,” Stone said.

MORE DISTANCE FROM FORGIVING HIGH-MOI DESIGN: Titleist 915 fairways and hybrids feature a low CG, high-MOI design for stability and ball-speed preserving forgiveness.

“When you add new technologies like Active Recoil Channel and the Ultra Thin Face, the last thing you want to do is counteract their effectiveness,” Stone said. “The high-MOI construction assures we don’t give any performance back. High MOI isn’t only about accuracy. It’s about distance consistency. It’s about maintaining speed across the face.

“Our main focus was to get that CG low, not too far forward or too far back. Since fairways and hybrids have higher lofts, when you start to push the CG too far back, your spin goes up drastically which hurts the overall performance. And we’re not interested in going supremely low and forward because, similar to drivers, you are giving up a lot of forgiveness. It’s a balance.”

Titleist engineers made several improvements to each chassis that allowed them to redistribute mass low to maintain MOI. The ultra-thin crown is cast thinner to .55mm, just .05mm thicker than 915 drivers. Thicknesses were reduced in the topline (fairways only) and face flange. The addition of the Active Recoil Channel also benefited CG by adding mass low on the head. Furthermore, the SureFit Tour weight was placed low in the center of the sole of each model.

INDUSTRY-LEADING ADJUSTABILITY WITH SUREFIT TOUR HOSEL: The distance potential and complete performance of Titleist 915 fairways and hybrids can be maximized through the precision fitting of Titleist’s patented, industry-leading SureFit Tour adjustable hosel technology.

The dual-angle SureFit Tour hosel, inspired by the customization previously available only on a tour van, allows golfers to set loft and lie independently to optimize ball flight – higher or lower, and for more draw or fade for improved shot control and maximum distance.

“The SureFit Tour hosel continues to be a significant competitive advantage for us,” Stone said. “Through our testing, we know that putting a golfer in the most precise fit unlocks the technology and distance potential in 915 even further.”

The SureFit Tour hosel features a sleeve and ring, each with four settings. The sleeve settings are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and the ring settings are lettered A, B, C, D. In total there are 16 settings, each creating a unique loft and lie combination.

A Titleist authorized fitter will utilize the SureFit Tour hosel, coupled with interchangeable shafts and SureFit Tour weights, to determine a player’s optimal setup so they are playing 915 fairways and hybrids fit precisely to their game.

Titleist 915 fairways and hybrids are compatible with 913 model shafts.

915F VS. 915Fd FAIRWAY METALS: The new 915F and 915Fd fairway metals provide golfers with low-spin, high-speed performance in two distinct chassis options.

915F features a full pear profile (175cc) for maximum forgiveness. The large profile provides confidence and produces a slightly higher flight versus the 915Fd. It is offered in five lofts (13.5º, 15º, 16.5º, 18º and 21º), including a new high-lofted 16.5º 3-metal and new 18º 5-metal.

915Fd, with its traditional pear profile (160cc), is workable and forgiving. The compact profile delivers slightly lower launch and spin versus 915F. 915Fd is available in 13.5º and 15º lofts.

Neither model promotes a draw bias.

“In previous generations, Fd was a significantly lower-spinning product than F,” Stone said. “So we saw an opportunity to bring them both to a more optimal CG position. Now players can make their decision based on shape, trajectory and amount of workability or forgiveness – not solely on the fact that one spins more than the other.”

915H VS. 915Hd HYBRIDS: Like their fairway counterparts, 915H and 915Hd hybrids offer low-spin, high-speed performance in two different shapes and sizes.

915H has a subtle pear profile (118cc) that provides confidence at address. The fuller, rounder profile delivers maximum forgiveness and slightly higher launch and spin versus Hd. 915H is available in 18º, 21º, 24º and 27º lofts.

915Hd is a slightly offset, small pear (107cc) that delivers distance with shot control through a flatter trajectory and less spin (about 120 rpm) versus the H. 915Hd is offered in 17.5º, 20.5º and 23.5º lofts.

“If you’re a sweeper who likes to play your hybrids more like a fairway wood, you’re probably better suited in H,” Stone said. “Hd has a little more offset in it, so if you’re a more aggressive player who likes to engage the turf, that’s probably the better choice.”

PLAYER TESTING RESULTS: In player testing, golfers who had previously played a 913F experienced up to 3.5 mph more ball speed with an average of 200rpm (and up to 750rpm) lower spin with the new 915F model, resulting in an average of 3 yards (and up to 11 yards) more carry distance.

Golfers who previously played a 913Fd saw up to 3.2 mph more speed with an average of 150rpm (and up to 500rpm) lower spin with the 915Fd model, resulting in an average of 3 yards (and up to 9 yards) more carry distance.

With the 915H, players experienced up to 4 mph more speed with an average of 250 mph (and up to 330 mph) less spin than the 913H, resulting in an average of 6 yards (and up to 16 yards) more carry distance.

With the 915Hd, players saw up to 3.3 mph more speed and an average of 150rpm (and up to 290 rpm) lower spin than 913Hd for an average of 8 yards (and up to 16 yards) more carry distance.

In general, every additional 1 mph of speed results in 2 to 3 yards additional carry distance.

915 FAIRWAYS AND HYBRIDS ON TOUR: 915 fairway metals and hybrids have found instant acceptance and success since the seeding and validation process began on the worldwide professional tours. The new models made their debut in August at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where 15 new 915 fairway metals and nine new hybrids were immediately put in play. At the following week’s PGA Championship, 29 new 915 fairways and 13 new 915 hybrids were in players’ bags – including Adam Scott (915F 15º), Jordan Spieth (915F 15º, 915Hd 20.5º), Jimmy Walker (915F 15º & 18º), Steve Stricker (915H 18º), Bill Haas (913F/13.5), Victor Dubuisson (915F 13.5º) and Webb Simpson (915Fd 15º).

Most recently, Justin Thomas played a new Titleist 915Fd 15º fairway metal on his way to a playoff victory at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Open, his first-career win on the Web.com Tour, virtually securing Thomas a PGA Tour card for the 2014-15 season. (Thomas also had a new 915D3 8.5º driver in the bag.)

Player counts have continued to climb, with several players carrying multiple models. Among the more than 50 players with 915 fairways and hybrids in their bags are: Kevin Na (915F 15º & 18, 915H 21º), Geoff Ogilvy (915F 16.5º), Scott Piercy (915F 16.5º), Scott Stallings (915Fd 15º, 915Hd 17.5º), Cameron Tringale (915F 13.5º), Chesson Hadley (915F 16.5º), Charley Hoffman (915 13.5º), Matt Jones (915F 16.5º), Brooks Koepka (915F 13.5º, 915Hd 20.5º), Ben Martin (915Fd 13.5º), Jason Bohn (915Fd 15º, 915Hd 20.5º), Greg Chalmers (915Hd 20.5º), Tim Clark (915F 16.5º), Erik Compton (915Fd 15º, 915Hd 20.5º & 23.5º), Ben Crane (915F 15º & 18º) and Ben Curtis (915F 13.5º, 915Hd 17.5º & 20.5º).

WHAT PLAYERS ARE SAYING…

Jordan Spieth: “The Active Recoil Channel on the 915 really feels like the ball shoots forward even faster… You can see the ball jumping a little more and spinning less. … I’m able to adjust my 3-wood to an A•4 (SureFit Tour hosel) position to where it’s knocked up a degree in loft so when I’m hitting off the fairway it just looks like it’s easier to get it up in the air. The ball sticks on the face and shoots off harder and higher. And from there, I feel like I have every shot that I want. I can use it off a tee and it’s going to stay in the air longer. I’ve hit it further than ever off a tee and then into the green I’m able to still stop it on par-5 greens if I need to hit them in two.”

Geoff Ogilvy: “I’ve always used a 15-degree 3-wood, but (with 915) I’ve gone up to a 16.5-degree loft and I’m hitting it further than my 15-degree, which is a massive advantage. Loft is your friend and it makes it easier to hit it straight. It looks easier to hit and it is easier to hit. … It’s really that perfect blend between one that you can really get hot and hit hard and one that you can try to feel into the green as well. It’s got a consistent, great face with the channel taking a lot of spin off the ones you hit hard.”

Kevin Na: “The mishits are coming off the face just as hot, and even for a tour player, I do mishit it. I’ll hit it off the toe a little bit, off the heel, sometimes a little thin. It’s very minor, but knowing that even though you mishit a little bit it’s not going to affect it as much is a nice feeling…. I put the fairway wood in play the first day. The previous fairway wood I was playing with, I’d been playing it for seven years.”

TOUR-PROVEN STOCK SHAFT MATRIX: 915 fairways and hybrids have a high-performance stock shaft matrix featuring four new aftermarket options from the most played shaft families on the PGA Tour to fit a wide range of players and swing speeds.

The stock fairway lineup includes the Aldila Rogue Black 80 (mid-launch) and Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 80 (low launch), Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Blue 70 (mid launch), Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Red 60 (high launch).

The stock hybrid lineup includes the Aldila Rogue Black 85 (mid-launch) and Mitsubishi Diamana D+ White 90 (low launch), Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Blue 70 (mid launch), Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Red 60 (high launch).

Titleist offers an industry-leading number of custom shaft choices.

PLAYER BENEFITS:

• LONGER DISTANCE through high speed and low spin from both tee and turf.

• HIGHER SPEED across the face from the Ultra Thin Face and ARC.

• LOWER SPIN from the forward-positioned ARC for trajectory control.

• FORGIVENESS from the low CG, high MOI Design

• PRECISION FIT through our industry leading SureFit® Tour Hosel technology.

• PREMIUM SHAFTS provide high performance options to maximize your speed and timing.

• SOLID FEEL and sound from the higher standard of acoustic engineering.

• GREAT LOOKS from the pear profile and rich appearance.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: The new 915F and 915Fd fairways will be available in golf shops worldwide beginning Nov. 14 with MAP of $279 (MSRP $299). The new 915H and 915Hd fairways will be available in golf shops worldwide beginning Nov. 14 with a MAP of $249 ($269 MSRP).  

Titleist introduces new 915 drivers, fairways and hybrids
Rory McIlroy
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Rory McIlroy's new Nike Vapor Pro driver has a distinctive gold sole color.
It's highly unusual for a player to break out a brand-new piece of equipment at an event as big as the Ryder Cup, but it appears that Rory McIlroy might do just that. In practice this week at Gleneagles, he's been playing a Nike Vapor Pro driver in place of his usual Nike VR_S Covert 2.0 Tour driver.
 
"Everyone saw yesterday it was the only driver I had out there in the bag," McIlroy said Wednesday morning at Gleneagles. "It's looking likely that it's going to be in the bag this week." 
 
McIlroy has been testing the new driver since the summer – as has Tiger Woods – so putting it into play this week wouldn't be as rash a move as it might seem. 
 
 
Nike introduced its Vapor family of irons a few weeks ago but had said nothing official about the drivers and fairway woods, so not much is known about them. One thing that's obvious, though, is the color – in the sunlight, the sole flashes gold, in contrast to the Covert drivers with their distinctive red and white bottoms. And the crown is a more traditional black, as opposed to Nike's recent red-headed drivers. 
 
McIlroy offered no specifics on the club Wednesday, but Golf Digest quoted Tiger Woods as saying that the Vapor Pro contains a compression channel in the sole, something that is absent in the Covert drivers.  
 
"I pushed our team to bring [it] back because sometimes I like to shape shots by teeing the ball down and hitting it lower on the face," Woods said. "with the compression channel, I'm able to do that and not lose as much ball speed." 
 
Rory McIlroy practicing with new driver, might play it in Ryder Cup
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