May 29, 2015 - 9:43pm
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The latest addition to Callaway's expansive Big Bertha family is the Mini 1.5 driver, which is now available at retail.
As its name suggests, the Mini 1.5 is smaller than a standard driver but bigger than a typical fairway wood. Specifically, its head is 235cc, making it about half the volume of a standard 460cc driver head but 35 percent larger than Callaway's XR fairway wood.
Callaway bills the Mini 1.5 as a new type of weapon off the tee for players of all swing speeds. Its size and construction make it capable of generating more ball speed than typical 3-woods, while also making it more forgiving than than many drivers.
The club contains Callaway's Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup and a Forged Composite crown, both of which are bedrock features in Callaway's best drivers. The crown is strong and lightweight, and allows Callaway to move extra weight to the clubhead's perimeter for more stability and forgiveness. The Face Cup, meanwhile, flexes more than other clubfaces, especially on shots hit low on the face, and boosts ball speeds over a larger area of the face.
It also has a cambered Warbird Sole to make it easy to hit off the turf as well as off the tee, as well as a shaft that is 44 inches long – two inches shorter than a standard driver shaft. And it features an OptiFit Hosel that lets golfers choose from eight different combinations for their loft and lie angle configurations.
The Bertha Mini 1.5 is available in 12- and 14-degree lofts, and carries a suggested retail price of $299.99 per club. Here's a video from Callaway about the club:
Callaway's Big Bertha Mini 1.5 fits in between driver and fairway wood
April 6, 2015 - 10:42pm
USA Today Sports Images/Ping Golf
Over the past six months or so, the G30 driver from Ping has emerged as a true success story, as it has become golf's best-selling driver over that time period. Its popularity has been powered to some degree by two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, whose pink G30 is easily one of the most easily identifiable clubs in all of golf.
And now, just in time for Watson's title defense at Augusta National, Ping has announced that it will make a limited edition of 5,000 all-pink G30s and donate $60 for each one of the $550 drivers to the Bubba Watson Foundation.
The bright pink G30 drivers are available for pre-order now through authorized Ping retailers around the world.
"Bubba has a huge heart and continues to use his success on the golf course to help people in need, especially children," said Ping Chairman and CEO John A. Solheim. "As we've seen on the golf course with his shot-making skills, he's a creative thinker and his decision to distinguish himself by using a pink driver and shaft helped make this program possible."
The limited-edition G30 drivers will have a bright pink shaft and clubhead featuring the same technology, including turbulators on the crown, that has earned the standard G30 high marks for its performance. The pink G30s will be available in 9- and 10.5-degree lofts (adjustable +- 1 degree) for right-handed players and 10.5 degrees (adjustable +- 1 degree) for left-handers. It is available in R and S flexes, and comes with a matching pink-accented head cover.
Watson has used a pink driver since 2012, and Ping conducted a similar charitable effort with its pink G20 driver. Those funds were donated to the Phoenix Children's Hospital and used to help build the new Bubba Watson-Ping Golf Motion Analysis Lab – the first and only dedicated facility of its kind in Arizona. The MAL uses advanced assessment tools to evaluate and treat children and adolescents who have movement disorders or walking difficulties caused by conditions like cerebral palsy.
"Besides making great equipment that helps me have success on the golf course, Ping and the Solheim family are incredibly generous in giving back to the game through ideas like the limited-edition pink G30 driver program," Watson said. "I'm excited golfers have the opportunity to participate in this great cause knowing they are also contributing to help improve the lives of the less fortunate."
Ping to sell 5,000 pink G30 drivers, share proceeds with Bubba Watson Foundation
April 2, 2015 - 3:12pm
USA Today Sports Images
Most of us in the world of golf are spending this week looking forward to the Masters. But one newcomer to the golf industry is having a pretty good week right now.
Parsons Xtreme Golf signed PGA Tour player Ryan Moore to an equipment contract, and he is using the clubs at the Shell Houston Open. In fact, Moore has been using a selection of PXG clubs since January, and the endorsement deal confirms his belief in this fledgling company and its products.
Parsons is best known as the founder of web domain registrar GoDaddy, which coincidentally went public on Wednesday. Parsons sold his interest in the company back in 2011, is said to be worth $2 billion, and has been spending much of his time pursuing his two passions – high-performance motorcycles and golf.
"Parsons Xtreme Golf was founded with the sole intent to design and develop the finest golf clubs ever made – I believe that is exactly what we have accomplished," he said. "Ryan's endorsement of our products gives testament to the quality of our equipment and I look forward to seeing the clubs in play in the hands of other professionals in the near future."
Parsons – who also owns Scottsdale National Golf Club in Arizona – enlisted a couple of well-respected industry veterans in Mike Nicollette and Brad Schweigert, both of whom spent many years designing clubs for Ping. Nicollette, formerly Ping's senior product designer, also played on the PGA Tour for almost a decade, while Schweigert, formerly Ping's director of engineering, holds more than 150 golf-related patents.
Charged to create the best clubs they could without any cost constraints or shortcuts, these two came up with a set that is distinctive in both appearance and technology. The heads feature a series of weight ports filled with high-density tungsten screws – 16 on the driver down to 11 on the irons – to create an adjustable weighting system that enables the golfer to determine the trajectory on each individual club.
Nicollette and Schweigert also created a sophisticated manufacturing process for their irons that includes forging, high-precision CNC milling, robotic plasma face welding and injection molding. To date, Parsons Xtreme Golf has received seven patents on its designs and has more than 40 additional patents pending.
"The proprietary technology is one of the most innovative concepts to ever hit the market in the iron category," said Schweigert, the managing director at PXG. "The extremely thin-faced construction coupled with a proprietary thermoplastic elastomer core supports performance gains greater than a similar-sized cavity-back in both distance and forgiveness."
PXG had invited Moore – famous on the PGA Tour for eschewing club contracts so he could pick and choose the clubs he preferred – to test out their clubs and provide a little feedback. He put the prototype PXG 03x irons in play at events including the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the Waste Management Phoenix Open before signing his deal.
"I knew some of the guys involved in it, and they kind of asked me to look at some prototypes and sets to try," Moore told GolfDigest.com. "They sent me some, and I tried them and I really liked them. I've been searching for a set of irons, and these are the best set of irons I've hit in a really, really long time. I was excited and from the second I hit them I couldn't put them down."
Moore – who also owns a part of True Linkswear – has tied for 17th in Phoenix, tied for 22nd at Riviera, tied for ninth at Doral and finished fifth in Tampa.
His endorsement contract is the first big step for getting PXG into the public eye. The company hasn't said anything about its plans for bringing the clubs to retail or signing other brand ambassadors, though they'll obviously be very high-end when they do go on sale. Here are some other photos that PXG-related people have shared on social media:
Ryan Moore signs to play clubs from PXG, GoDaddy founder's new company
April 1, 2015 - 5:29pm
USA Today Sports Images
Adam Scott has been using a regulation-length putter so far this PGA Tour season, but he'll switch back to his familiar long-handled flatstick when he returns to Augusta National.
Scott confirmed his plans in an email to the Australian Associated Press, which also reported that the world's sixth-ranked player spent several days at Augusta National late last week and early this week before deciding to return to the 49-inch Scotty Cameron Futura-X mallet with which he won the 2013 Masters among many other events.
Scott, who had used a long putter for several years, had been openly considering bringing his long putter back as the Masters approached.
"Putting with a longer putter is maybe the smarter thing to do (at Augusta)," he told PGATour.com after the Arnold Palmer Invitational. "It's all about the lag putting. It's such a difference in weight of club and stroke and everything. I'm just trying to figure it all out."
He tied for fourth at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in an encouraging debut with the short stick. But he missed the cut at the Valspar Championship and then tied for 35th at Bay Hill.
Scott didn't indicate when he would go back to the short putter, but he has the rest of the year to do so. The rule prohibiting the use of an anchored putting stroke that many golfers employ with long-handled putters goes into effect next January.
Adam Scott confirms that he'll revert to his long putter for Masters
March 26, 2015 - 10:34pm
Troy Merritt via Twitter
Thursday was a day unlike any we've seen in I don't know how long. First, we had the crazy wind at the Valero Texas Open that drove the morning wave's scores through the roof – and blew Dudley Hart's chip right back to him.
Then we had Aaron Baddeley's crazy OB/hole-in-one. Then we had Phil Mickelson's 8-iron breaking in half during a seemingly routine bunker shot.
And then, after we thought the day was done and things were finally calming down, came this: Troy Merritt broke the face of his 2-iron. And as you can see from the photo above the tweet below, Merritt didn't just crack his iron's face, he flat out blew a hole in it.
In fact, I've never seen an iron disintegrate like this one.
"Hit it off the tee and it caved in," Merritt said Thursday night on Twitter.
"Just a whisker toward the toe," fellow PGA Tour player Josh Teater tweeted, no doubt with a smile, in response.
"Extremely rare and unfortunate, but it does happen," said Wilson Golf, which made the club, on Twitter. "It will be remedied with a new 2-iron … ASAP."
According to the PGA Tour's ShotLink tool, Merritt's tee shot still managed to travel 155 yards off the tee on the par-4 hole – it didn't quite reach the fairway, but turned out fairly well given the damage to the face. He went on to bogey the hole en route to a 2-over 74.
Troy Merritt caves in the face of his 2-iron on tee shot at Texas Open
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