Equipment

Ryan Moore
USA Today Sports Images
The sole of Ryan Moore's new PXG driver features a circle of weight ports that enables extreme adjustability.
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
Adam Scott
USA Today Sports Images
Adam Scott will be reunited with his trusty Scotty Cameron Futura-X mallet for Masters.
 
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
Troy Merritt's 2-iron
Troy Merritt via Twitter
"Hit it off the tee and it caved in," Troy Merritt said Thursday night on 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
Ecco Fred Couples 1992 Masters golf shoes
Courtesy of Ecco Golf
Ecco has created 1,992 pairs of a special golf shoe in honor of Fred Couples' victory in the 1992 Masters.
 
Fred Couples has worn Ecco golf shoes for a few years now, and even has a model named after him. At the Masters next month, though, he'll be sporting a new shoe – and a few of us will be able to wear them as well.
 
Ecco has created 1,992 pairs – of the "Fred Couples Signature Edition 1992" in honor of Couples' victory in the 1992 Masters – for sale to the public. A version of the company's Casual Hybrid shoes, these Couples commemoratives are green and white and feature Freddie's laser-engraved signature on the heels.
 
 
The shoe, which Couples co-designed, is built on Ecco's E-DTS outsole, which features 100 molded traction bars in the sole to provide plenty of grip. It also has a premium leather upper, is waterproof and, like all Ecco shoes, is constructed with a direct-injection process that bonds the outsole to the upper without needing glue or stitching.
 
They'll carry a suggested retail price of $200 per pair, and will be available in time for the Masters. More info will be available soon on the Ecco USA site.
Ecco releases special golf shoe to mark Fred Couples' 1992 Masters win
Odyssey Milled Collection putters
Courtesy of Odyssey Golf
The Odyssey Milled Collection includes the#2 blade (left) and #6 mallet.
 
While Odyssey Golf has been rolling out new putter families like the Odyssey Works and Metal-X in the United States over the last year or so, the company has been selling a different line – called the Milled Collection – in Japan recently. Those putters are proving so popular that Odyssey is bringing them to America.
 
You might see some of these ultra-premium putters at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week, and you'll definitely see them at retail next month.
 
 
"Milled Collection has performed well both in the marketplace and on Tour in Japan, and we're very excited to introduce it this week on the U.S. tours," Odyssey Global Product Director Chris Koske said. "This is a great addition to the line for us. It's the intro of new and unique head shapes, and of course the Fusion RX insert that's been so key to the success of our Odyssey Works Putters." 
 
The headline feature of the Milled Collection models is the Fusion RX face insert, which Odyssey describes as blending the feel of its popular White Hot insert with the roll from the ultra-light stainless steel mesh from its Works putters and its Metal-X face. The mesh helps to grip the ball upon impact and set it rolling quickly and smoothly.
 
 
Odyssey's designers also have refined some of their most popular putterheads to create options like flatter toplines and more squared faces. Speaking of putterheads, in the United States the Milled Collection will be offered in Odyssey's #2 squared-off, heel-toe weighted blade; #5 mallet, #6 scoop-back blade and #9 toe weighted, heel-shafted, flanged blade. 
 
These new putters come with three sets of customizable weights to help you fine-tune your preferred weight and feel, and are created using advanced CNC milling with hand finishing.
 
They'll be available at retail on April 17, and will have a suggested retail price of $349.
 
Odyssey brings Milled Collection of putters from Asia to United States
TaylorMade Aeroburner iron and mini driver
Courtesy of TaylorMade
The small-headed TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver is for players who'd rather tee off with a 3-wood, while the AeroBurner irons are designed to create more distance.
 
TaylorMade unveiled its new AeroBurner driver and fairway woods back last fall – and the driver won three PGA Tour events in the last two weeks (Dustin Johnson at Doral, Alex Cejka in Puerto Rico and Padraig Harrington at the Honda Classic).
 
So the timing is perfect for the company to roll out the rest of the AeroBurner family – a Mini Driver, irons and two versions of an AeroBurner ball. 
 
The AeroBurner Mini Driver follows the successful launch of the SLDR Mini Driver, and is designed for players who prefer to hit tee shots with a 3-wood instead of a traditional driver. It also can serve as a replacement for the 3-wood.
 
"The SLDR Mini Driver captivated golfers on all skill levels by delivering better 3-wood performance from the tee," said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's Senior Director of Metalwood Creation. "With AeroBurner, we've now designed a metalwood that delivers even more speed and forgiveness to this new, popular club type."
 
 
The AeroBurner Mini Driver has a 253cc head (as opposed to the full-size 460cc heads on most drivers) and a 43.5-inch shaft, and TaylorMade's engineers say the club builds on everything they learned in creating the SLDR Mini. 
 
It's got a new aerodynamic shape with a shallow face designed to help get the ball up in the air, as well as a low-forward center of gravity to launch the ball on a boring trajectory. The head has a raised center crown and a hosel has a new fin to help maximize clubhead speed during the downswing. 
 
And like the rest of the AeroBurner metalwoods, the Mini Driver features the biggest open channel Speed Pocket of any TaylorMade metalwood in company history, which helps increase the size of the sweetspot while reducing spin. The club also has a new matte white finish, a black PVD face and linear crown graphic.
 
The Mini Driver will be available in both standard and TP models; the TP edition, for better players, is designed with a longer hosel, flatter lie angle and more open face angle. The standard version comes in three loft options (12, 14 and 16 degrees), while the TP comes in 12- and 4-degree options.  
 
The standard Mini will have a suggested retail price of $279 with a lightweight Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 shaft, while the TP will have a suggested retail price of $349 with a Matrix Ozik White Tie 70X4 shaft. Both will be available at retail on March 27.
 
AeroBurner Irons
 
TaylorMade calls its AeroBurner irons "the ultimate distance iron," and explains that its engineers have optimized loft and center of gravity placement for consistent, powerful shotmaking from any lie. And by incorporating Speed Pockets, the long-bladed heads can promote higher launch angles and more ball speed on well-struck shots while also protecting ball speed on shots hit low on the face for more consistency on mis-hits.
 
 
Aesthetically, the AeroBurner irons feature a dark, matte head finish like that on TaylorMade's recent SpeedBlade irons. The darker finish reduces glare off the clubface while delivering a sleek look. 
 
The new irons will be available at retail on March 18. A standard eight-piece set (3-iron through pitching wedge) equipped with stock REAX 88 High Launch steel shafts will have a suggested retail price of $699, while a set with REAX 60 graphite shafts will have a suggested retail price of $799 in stiff, regular, senior or ladies flex. 
 
AeroBurner Soft and Pro Golf Balls
 
Created for the majority of golfers with mid to high handicaps, the AeroBurner Soft golf ball is TaylorMade's softest two-piece ball and was engineered to deliver distance with stopping power. The company calls the AeroBurner Soft "a distance balls that actually stops," and says it delivers high greenside spin to help amateur players where they need it most.
 
The keys to its performance are its new, softer REACT Core for greater ball speed on all shots and Low-Drag Performance Aerodynamics 342 high-lift, low drag dimple pattern, which was designed to launch high and sustain flight. 
 
 
By contrast, the Aeroburner Pro is a three-piece ball engineered for high ball speeds off the clubface – like the speeds generated by elite players. Its spin control and soft feel come from the interface of TaylorMade’s Sin Mantle and proprietary Iothane cover. 
 
Both balls are available at retail now. The Aeroburner Soft carries a suggested retail price of $19.99 per dozen, while the Pro model carries a suggested retail price of $26.99 per dozen.
 
 
 
TaylorMade Golf expands AeroBurner line with mini driver, irons and balls
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