Equipment

July 1, 2013 - 10:49pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Callaway FT Optiforce driver and fairway wood
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The lightweight 440cc FT Optiforce driver (left) produces a boring trajectory, while the fairway woods (right) create a higher ball flight similar to that of the RAZR Fit Xtreme fairway woods.

The new FT Optiforce driver and fairway woods from Callaway Golf are designed to increase clubhead speed and, therefore, improve distance. 

Callaway is launching two variations of the FT Optiforce driver clubhead – a full-sized 460cc head and a slightly smaller 440cc version. And in a first from Callaway, the loft and lie on these new drivers can be adjusted to optimize launch conditions. 

''Players using an 8.5-degree driver are fundamentally different than players using 12.5 degrees of loft, so with the FT Optiforce Driver we have optimized each of the two available heads and adjusted critical elements like size, weight, center of gravity position, Moment of Inertia and others so that golfers have the best chance to optimize their launch conditions for better total performance,'' said Callaway Senior Vice President for Research and Development Alan Hocknell.

The FT Optiforce driver was created from an extremely aerodynamic prototype and, as a result, is tops among the most aerodynamically efficient drivers Callaway has ever brought to market. In fact, the company says, the 440cc FT Optiforce has 23 percent less drag than a Callaway X Hot Pro 9.5-degree driver.

The heads of the new drivers include Callaway's lightweight Forged Composite material in the crown – it's same composite found in the RAZR Fit Xtreme drivers – and two stock shaft offerings that keep their overall weight under 300 grams. The primary stock shaft is a 43-gram Project X Velocity shaft, the lightest shaft Callaway has ever included in a standard driver offering. The secondary shaft is a 62-gram Mitsubishi Diamana S+. 

Like the other 2013 Callaway drivers, the FT Optiforce models include Speed Frame Face Technology, which distributes stress across the titanium clubface for a larger, more consistent sweet spot and increased ball speed. The Speed Frame Face also saves weight that is redistributed in the head to improve the Center of Gravity and maximize stability, which enhances forgiveness and ball flight.

The new drivers also feature an advanced OptiFit Hosel that allows players to adjust the loft 1 degree down or 1 to 2 degrees up. This helps golfers find their ideal launch angle and amount of backspin, while the neutral or draw lie settings – also contained in the hosel – help locate their proper side angle and sidespin.

The 460cc model, with red trim on the sole, has a standard loft of 10.5 degrees and a Center of Gravity positioned low and back in the head to create a higher trajectory. The 440cc version, with white trim paint, has a standard loft of 9.5 degrees, and a low and forward Center of Gravity to produce more of a boring ball flight. The larger clubhead is also slightly more forgiving.

Also available is a full line-up of FT Optiforce Fairway Woods that includes 3-, 4- 5-, 7- and 9-woods. The construction of these clubs produce distance gains similar to the X Hot fairway woods, Callaway says, while their trajectory resembles that of the RAZR Fit Xtreme fairway wood.

The FT Optiforce fairways have a Forged Speed Frame Face Cup made of high-strength Carpenter 455 stainless steel that produces significantly hotter responses all across the face. The optimized Center of Gravity, accomplished in part through a proprietary design called the Internal Standing Wave, delivers a higher launch with slightly more spin than the X Hot Fairway Wood, resulting in consistent distance from all turf conditions. 

The fairway clubs are also available with two stock shaft offerings, a 53-gram Project X Velocity shaft and a secondary Mitsubishi Diamana S+ shaft.

The Optiforce drivers and fairways will be available at retail on July 12. The drivers will carry a suggested retail price of $399, while the fairway woods will carry a suggested retail price of $229.

 

Callaway FT Optiforce drivers enhance aerodynamics and adjustability
July 1, 2013 - 1:20pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bushnell Golf
Bushnell
Bushnell Golf's new NEO-X GPS Rangefinder Watch.
No matter what level of ability you possess on a golf course, the game is always a little easier when you know how far you need to hit your golf ball.
 
Thanks to all the great technology out there these days, there's no reason or need to walk off your yardages from sprinkler heads. Not too mention, walking off yardages takes time. Do you really want to add time to your round?
 
Bushnell has the solution with the introduction of its NEO-X, a Golf GPS Watch that will give all golfers with precise yardage to provide the confidence needed to become the golfer you want to be.
 
With a battery life lasting up to 16 hours, Bushnell promises that its NEO-X outperforms its nearest competitor with two-times the battery life.
 
Unlike handheld devices, there's no need to worry about remembering to bring the NEO-X along for your round of golf -- just keep it on your wrist.
 
The NEO-X comes preloaded with over 30,000 worldwide courses, and can be used as an odometer on the course or while exercising off the course. The NEO-X is an easy-to-use GPS rangefinder, with instant measurements for golfers in a simple, lightweight form-factor.
 
To learn more about the NEO-X, visit www.bushnell.com.
 
You can also find Bushnell Golf on Facebook, or on Twitter, @BushnellGolf.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
Bushnell introduces new NEO-X GPS Rangefinder Watch
June 28, 2013 - 10:40pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Bob Vokey and Rob Labritz
Vokey Wedges via Twitter
Wedge designer Bob Vokey (l) and PGA Professional Rob Labritz worked on Labritz's wedges a few months before Labritz used one of them to earn a spot in the PGA Championship in very dramatic fashion.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the week has to be PGA Professional Rob Labritz canning a 95-yard wedge shot in sudden death at the PGA Professional National Championship to earn a spot in the PGA Championship. Heck, it was even No. 1 on ESPN's top plays.

As happy as Labritz was with his fantastic feat, someone else pretty satisfied, too – Bob Vokey, the namesake of Titleist's Vokey Wedges and the man who designed the wedge that Labritz used to hit what he called ''the shot of my life.''

On Friday, the Vokey Wedges Twitter account tweeted out a photo from April, showing Vokey and Labritz working on the bounce of Labritz's wedges. ''How'd those wedges work out Rob?,'' Vokey asked in the tweet, and I think we all know the answer.

In case you missed it, you can click here to see Labritz's walkoff wedge as well as his joyous reaction to it. And you can click here to relive all the action from the PGA Professional National Championship.

 

Bob Vokey approves of Rob Labritz's walkoff wedge shot
June 28, 2013 - 5:38pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Titleist 714 Series of irons
Courtesy of Titleist
The four models that will make up the 714 Series of irons are now undergoing what Titleist calls the "performance validation process" before being released to the retail market for the 2014 golf season.

Two years ago at the AT&T National, Titleist gave its staff players their first real look at some of its 712 Series of irons. Last year at the AT&T National, Titleist gave its staff players their first real look at the 913 drivers and fairway clubs. 

And earlier this week at the AT&T National, Titleist showed its staff players the forthcoming 714 collection of irons, as a couple dozen sets were shipped to Congressional for some early testing.

Bringing the prototypes for the Titleist CB, MB, AP1 and AP2 irons that will make up the 714 Series is a big part of the development process. “All Titleist golf clubs go through this critical step to validate their performance before being launched to market,” the company says.

Of the four models, the CB and MB underwent the least change. In fact, Vice President of Golf Club Marketing Chris McGinley told PGATour.com that "the one thing we kept hearing from tour players was, 'Don't screw them up. '" 

So Titleist didn't – instead, the club designers chose to keep the makeover minor, focusing mostly on touch-ups to the sole and overall shape of these classic forged blades.

By contrast, the AP1 and AP2 irons received more of a renovation to enhance their forgiveness, starting with making their heads more progressive down through the set to keep the feel more consistent from club to club. Also, Titleist added more camber to the soles and cleaned up the way the hosel blends into the clubhead.

"We made some significant changes to [the AP] irons," McGinley told PGATour.com. "How significant? I'd say this was the largest amount of change we've made since the franchise began."

The new clubs won't be formally introduced until the fall at the earliest, and the final versions will make up Titleist's 2014 iron offerings.

 

 

Titleist gives first look at 714 series of irons
June 27, 2013 - 8:22pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges
Courtesy of Callaway Golf
The Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges feature a rough face and aggressive grooves, and come in either a shiny or smoky finish.

Callaway Golf has been teasing us with hints about its new Mack Daddy 2 wedges for a couple of months or so, and now we have the big reveal.

The new wedges are forged from a soft carbon steel for enhanced feel and feature expanded grooves for more spin. They also offer a variety of custom sole grind options. 

''Golfers ask their lob wedges to perform a lot of different shots, so it's important to design these wedges to be extremely forgiving and versatile,'' said Chief Club Designer Roger Cleveland, who created these wedges. ''And that's what we've done with these new grooves and the added custom grind options. The MD2s will be a must for the golfer who wants to perform to his or her best in the toughest of conditions.''

Unique to the wedges with 56 degrees of loft or higher is a new 5V groove pattern, which features wider, more aggressive grooves that increase spin and promote more control around the green. In fact, Callaway says, this new groove pattern is 39 percent larger than on previous models and produces 25 percent more spin on full shots hit out of the rough compared to its 2011 predecessor.

The lower-lofted Mack Daddy wedges also feature the wider grooves, but with a different sidewall in the grooves to tone down the spin just a hair. The new grooves are right up against the USGA limit – in fact, Callaway says, they're actually bigger than the grooves in its models before the implementation of the USGA's 2010 rule – and the clubfaces feature Callaway's Lasered Micro Groove for added roughness across the face.

There are three custom sole grinds available for the 58- and 60-degree clubs:

The U-Grind, which Phil Mickelson inspired and which he has been using for more than a year, has a wide, concave sole and a rounded leading edge to make it easier to stay low and under the ball when opening the face. This grind is versatile in both firm and soft conditions, Callaway says.

The C-Grind is also relieved in the heel and toe to keep golfers from creating too much bounce when they open the face. The depth of the sole is narrow to help facilitate proper contact and to allow the wedge to perform in all situations.   

The S-Grind is relieved in the heel only, and is best suited for firmer playing conditions. This grind, also called the standard grind, is fitting for the golfer who doesn’t want to add loft for a shot and instead play it with a square face.

The Mack Daddy 2 Wedges will be available at retail nationwide on July 12, and will carry a suggested retail price of $119 per club. They will debut with 52-, 56-, 58- and 60-degree options, while 47-, 50-, 54- and 64-degree wedges will come out in November. All will be available in either a shiny Slate finish or a smoky, glare-reducing Chrome finish.

 

 

Callaway Mack Daddy 2 wedges new from grooves to sole
June 20, 2013 - 7:41am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
GolfLogix, app, golf, smartphone, instruction, GPS
GolfLogix
The GolfLogix app is available on more than 60 smartphone models.
Are you looking for an alternative to an expensive GPS device for your golf game without sacrificing key features?
 
GolfLogix has just the thing for you. Instead of carrying around an extra device and remembering to charge it before you head to the golf course, you can simply download the GolfLogix App to your smartphone.
 
The GolfLogix App is free and easily downloaded to more than 60 smartphone models for 32,000 golf courses worldwide. It provides accurate distances to points throughout the hole, yardage-book quality imagery, scorekeeping, logged club tracking to produce a mapped history of every hole and aerial flyovers just like you see on TV.
 
As GolfLogix explains on its website, there are two levels of membership:
 
The Free Club Membership and the $19.99 Annual Champion Membership.
 
The free GolfLogix Club Membership includes GPS yardage to the Green Center, yardage book quality aerial imagery of each hole, score & stat tracking, 4 player scorecard and storage of all your rounds in the Member Clubhouse at GolfLogix.com. These features are available to use on 30,000+ mapped golf courses.
 
When becoming a free Club Member, you will also get two free rounds to try all of the Champion Member features. After completion of the two free Champion Member rounds you will have the option to upgrade and "Become a Champion Member" or "Continue as a Club Member."
 
The annual Champion membership features are valued at over $39.95, but you can join today for only $19.99. Champion Members get all of the Club Member features listed above as well as precise GPS measurements to the front, center and back of the green, pin positions, distance to all hazards and layups, target distances to any point on the imagery, hole flyovers, patented club tracking and plotting, view of your club ranges on top of the hole imagery, calorie counter, and digital yardage book notes that you can place and store on each hole. No other distance measuring device or app can match the feature set, pricing and high-quality standards of GolfLogix.
 
To learn more about GolfLogix, visit www.golflogix.com.
 
You can also find GolfLogix on Facebook and on Twitter, @GolfLogix.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
 
 
GolfLogix app provides GPS for device you already have
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