Coming Soon! – Titleist 915 D4 Driver
We've got a fresh entry on the USGA's Conforming Drivers list from Titleist. Considering Titleist has been fairly consistent with it's one-two punch of D2 and D3, the emergence of a third 915 model will likely come a bit of a surprise to some, but remember, we told you Titleist would have 3 drivers for 2015.
While Titleist is still fairly tight-lipped about the new offering, here's what we've learned so far.
- Weight closer to face than D3 and D2.
- Deeper face than D3.
- Because of the deeper face, it is 450cc, 10cc more than the D3.
- Looks very similar to the D3 but with more curvature across the crown for a slightly rounder look.
- Reduces spin by approximately 300RPM (compared to D3).
- Lower MOI than D2 and D3, but offers similar to higher MOI compared to competitive low spin product.
- It will be available through Titleist's yet to be announced MOTO program. MOTO stands for "Made Only To Order", which basically means you can't just go to Golfsmith at grab a D4 off-the-rack.
- The D4 will be released in May.
What Does that Mean?
What we're talking about more closely fits the conventional definition of a better player's driver. The most intriguing piece of this is that bit about the weight being closer to face. The rest of the tech (Active Recoil Channel, Radial Speed Face) will almost certainly carry over from the D2 and D3. Nevertheless, the D4 is a potentially interesting change of pace for Titleist, who, despite its reputation of being a brand for better players has continuously churned out some of the most forgiving drivers in all of golf.
Is it that Titleist really make clubs for better players, or is that it better players are better in part because they have the good sense to play more forgiving drivers?
From a comparative design philosophy perspective, Titleist is much closer to PING than it is TaylorMade. How far Titleist has swung to the other side with the D4 remains to be seen, but I suspect the D4 won't prove to be dramatically different. Titleist is a company that thrives on subtle and systematic changes not total revolution.
Also worth a mention, the D5 model that Adam Scott has been testing is apparently dead for now. The feeling inside of Titleist is that if one of the best golfers in the world struggles to control it, it's probably not right for the average golfer. No doubt some of the hardcore forum guys will be inconsolable for the next little while.
Why Wait So Long?
It's reasonable to assume that, in general, the D4 will be well-received, however, there will no doubt be some who'll be frustrated (probably annoyed) that Titleist chose not to release the D4 alongside the D2 and D3. It's not that consumers don't appreciate having options, but as a general rule we prefer that all of them be on the table at the time of purchase.
Unfortunately that's not how the golf industry operates.
More To Come
Sources are telling us that as equipment sales continue to grow, Titleist will offer more of these specialty releases down the road. If you think about it, it's not a huge leap from the Vokey Wedge Works model, and that's worked out pretty for Titleist.
The Titleist 915 D4 Driver (available in 8.5°, 9.5°, and 10.5°) is slated for a May release (assuming things go as expected on tour), and while we haven't been given specific pricing information, I expect the D4, which will offer the same stock shaft selection as the D2 and D3, will be priced comparably to the other 915 models. I'd wager you're looking at $449 plus the cost of whatever shaft upgrade you need to make the numbers right.
MACEDON, N.Y. - Callaway Golf Company recently unveiled a new line of GPS and Laser Rangefinders at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando Jan. 21-23. Callaway introduced the GPSync watch, the ECLIPSE GPS and the 300 Laser Rangefinder.
Each of the three devices is equipped with a feature that sets them apart in the distance-measuring devices category. The 300 Laser Rangefinder has a built in P.A.T. (Pin Acquisition Technology) mode, which allows golfers to accurately grab the flag from up to 300 yards away. The GPSync and ECLIPSE both display yardages to the front and back of hazards (doglegs, bunkers, water) giving the golfer enough information to layup or go for it.
"Overall the response was tremendous! The media, industry, buyers, and PGA pros were very impressed with our new, innovative GPS and Laser devices," said David Witkoski, Vice President Marketing and Product Development for IZZO Golf, an official licensee for Callaway. "We look forward to establishing Callaway as a significant player, within this category, for years to come."
Callaway's ECLIPSE is a unique and versatile wearable GPS device. The ECLIPSE's clip can attach to either end of the GPS unit allowing you to have the correct orientation when viewing the ECLIPSE whether it's attached to your belt or to your bag.
• Preloaded 30,000+ golf courses worldwide
• Accurate distances to front, center and back of green
• Accurate distances to front and back of hazards and doglegs
• Auto-Hole advance and shot distance measurement
• Score keeping features, Putts Per Round, Greens In Regulation
• Rechargeable lithium ion battery
• The ECLIPSE retails for $199.99
Callaway's sleek and stylish GPSync watch can be used both on and off the course. The GPSync has all the key features of the ECLIPSE plus
• Bluetooth enabled (Apple or Android) - view text/e-mail/missed calls notifications
• Upload save round scores to app
The GPSync retails for $299.99.
Callaway's 300 Laser Rangefinder is sleek, compact and easy to handle.
• Range: 5-1,000 Yards (5-300 yards to flag)
• P.A.T. - lock on to pin up to 300 yards away
• Accuracy (+/- 1 yard)
• 6x Magnification
• Scan landscape to acquire multiple targets
• Water/Fog proof
• LCD display
• Measures in yards or meters
• 4.25 inches by 1.75 inches by 1.5 inches
The 300 Laser Rangefinder retails for $279.99.
The production is ahead of schedule and all three devices will be available in mid-March.
ABOUT IZZO GOLF
IZZO Golf is an official licensee of Callaway Golf. IZZO offers high quality technology products that help golfers lower their scores and increase their enjoyment of the game.
ABOUT CALLAWAY GOLF
Callaway Golf Company creates products designed to make every golfer a better golfer. Callaway Golf Company manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf accessories, under the Callaway Golf® and Odyssey® brands worldwide. For more, please visit CallawayGolf.com
Cleveland Golf has introduced additions to its CG Black line of woods and irons, designed specifically for seniors, women and players with slower swing speeds. The CG Black line will now include the new CG Black Custom driver, as well as the new CG Black CB irons. These latest additions to the CG Black line are currently available for pre-order with in-store availability beginning on February 13, 2015.
The evolution of the CG Black line started with understanding that the average golfer swings their clubs at least 15 mph slower than professional golfers. Cleveland Golf developed key technologies targeted toward golfers? swings and ball-flight inefficiencies and then incorporated them into the CG Black family to optimize performance. Cleveland Golf engineered the CG Black line to make slower swing speed golfers, seniors and female golfers more efficient, focusing on the many factors, which inhibit them from hitting the ball farther, and maximizing their potential. Cleveland said the incorporation of Speed Innovation into the CG Black family of woods has made them lighter, longer and faster than ever before.
The CG Black Custom is a lightweight, adjustable driver engineered for amateur golfers who score better. Optimized for golfers who have a swing speed between 85 mph and 105 mph, the CG Black Custom is said to be one of the lightest drivers on the market. It offers adjustable lofts ranging from 9° to 12°, and comes standard with a Mitsubishi Bassara E50 graphite shaft. The CG Black Custom will carry a minimum advertised price (MAP) of $399.99.
The new CG Black CB irons were designed for better amateur golfers also with swing speeds ranging from 85 mph to 105 mph. The CG Black CB?s long and mid irons also utilize a high strength HT 1770 steel face material for improved COR which leads to increased consistency, forgiveness and distance off the club face, according to Cleveland Golf. Designed with a premium black finish, the CG Black CB irons are offered with a Nippon NS Pro 1050 GH steel shaft (MAP $699.99) or a UST Recoil 660/670 graphite shaft (MAP $799.99).
MACEDON, N.Y. - Golf Digest editors named IZZO Golf's Swami GT as "Best in Show" amongst 12 new & innovative products that were selected during the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show, January 21-23, in Orlando.
More than 1,000 companies and brands displayed their equipment, products, apparel and services at the 62nd PGA Merchandise Show. The annual industry wide trade show included 41,000 PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders representing 79 countries.
According to Golf Digest editors, what made the Swami GT stand out from other distance measuring and stat-tracking devices is that it offered both GPS and Game Tracking functions in one unit at a value-based retail price of $199.99.
"To have the Swami GT named as one of the best products at the PGA Show by Golf Digest is tremendously gratifying for IZZO Golf," said Dave Witkoski, VP of Marketing and Product Development. "It further validates IZZO Golf's expanding technology in Distance Measuring Devices and our commitment to provide quality products at an affordable price."
The Swami GT comes equipped with 14 club tags that affix to the grip on each club. When in use, club information is sent from the club directly to the Swami GT. The unique patent pending E-Caddie feature makes club recommendations based on your distance history and does not require manual inputting of data. The Swami GT will be available this spring.
• Average Drive
• Longest Driver
• Putts Per Round
• Distances For Each Club
• Greens in Regulation
• E-Caddie (makes club recommendations based on your distance history)
• Preloaded With 30,000+ Golf Courses Worldwide
• Accurate Distances to Front, Center and Back of Green
• Accurate Distances to Front and Back of Hazards and Doglegs
• Large, Vibrant 2.5-inch Color Display -- Easy to Read and Operate
• Conveniently Clips on Belt or Bag
• No Annual Fees or Subscriptions
• One-year Limited Warranty
• Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
ABOUT IZZO GOLF
From the original IZZO Dual Straps to our ultra-light carry bags, cart bags, training aids, travel gear, accessories and SWAMI GPS devices - IZZO is dedicated solely to making your golf game better and more enjoyable than ever before. For store locations and other information visit our website at izzo.com
Great Article from the GOLF WRX
The GolfWRX team was in Orlando for the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show to bring you live coverage of the event. Now that we’re back in Detroit, it’s time to make sense of it all.
It’s always fun to see the latest golf equipment, apparel and gadgets, but it’s even more fun to predict what products have the potential to change the way golfers play the game.
Goofy training aids and novelty items will always have their place at the PGA Merchandise show — it’s actually part of the charm — but they aren’t likely to revolutionize golf or the industry.
On the other hand, there were products that were truly innovative, and will help golfers improve their games, have more fun, or both. Here are five top trends we think will have a positive impact on golf for years to come.
Launch Monitors and Indoor Golf
Like the introduction of video analysis, launch monitors and swing tracking devices have transformed golf instruction and how the game is understood — and they were everywhere at the Orange County Convention Center.
Doppler Radar launch monitors FlightScope and Trackman have earned their keep as the premier club/ball tracking devices, but we also saw a slew of other options — especially those that are designed to work indoors. Some products cost as much as luxury cars, while others were cheaper than a nice steak dinner for two.
One of our favorite simulators was from Full Swing Golf, which uses a combination of infrared and camera technologies to give users accurate ball and club data. With the addition of Swing Catalyst, golfers can also see how their weight moves during their swing simultaneously with high-speed video.
“We’re a launch monitor first and a simulator second,” said Chad Coleman, vice president of marketing and sales for the company — but that doesn’t mean that the simulator part was a second priority. Golf shots hit on Full Swing Golf systems appear on the screen in real time, and course displays are digital, not photographs, which makes course play more realistic.
After announcing partnerships with Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, Full Swing was arguably the hottest simulator at the Show. Units start at $45,900.
Looking for a more affordable fix? Portable devices such as those from Epson and SwingByte, which work with smart devices through Bluetooth, attach to any golf club to offer data on swing speed, path, tempo and a lot more. They also display swings in 3D through their respective apps.
Epson’s M-Tracer will sell for $299 when it is released, while the SwingByte 2 currently sells for $169.
Science and Motion (SAM) PuttLab 5 brings launch and swing analysis into the putter realm. It uses ultrasound and algorithms to track your putting stroke and provides feedback on launch, path, face angle, tempo, impact and more. You can even watch a graphic replay of your swing on TV if you have it connected to a monitor.
As this technology evolves, the most coveted tee times could become those slotted after the sun goes down.
Putter Adjustability and Counterbalancing
Adjustability in golf clubs is hot in the equipment industry and for very good reason. With a few clicks of a wrench, golfers can dial in the loft, lie angle face angle and head weight of their clubs.
Putters, for the most part, have been neglected by the mainstream — but that’s beginning to change.
Happy Putter, invented by Vikash Sanyal, the founder of Never Compromise putters, allows golfers to adjust lie angle, loft, head weight and offset.
“TOUR PLAYERS HAVE HAD ACCESS TO ADJUSTABLE PUTTERS FOR YEARS ON TOUR VANS,” SAYS SANYAL. “HAPPY PUTTER LET’S ALL GOLFERS ADJUST THEIR PUTTERS NOW, TOO.”
The smiley-faced putter has 484 total configurations — making it more adjustable than any club on the market.
Counterbalanced putter grips have caught the attention of golfers — especially with the looming ban on anchored putters in 2016 — because they add more stability to the stroke. But not all new counterbalanced grips are created equal.
Nike’s new CounterFlex putter grips allow golfers to adjust where the counterbalancing weight is located with a sliding 70-gram weight that is secured inside the grip. In our testing, there was a noticeable difference in feel when the weight was located in the bottom of the grip versus the top of the grip. Golfers will get more counterbalancing effect if they locate the weight at the top of the grip, but like all things in golf equipment, results vary.
SuperStroke introduced it’s +Plus Series grips at the show, which allow golfers to turn any putter into a counterbalanced putter.
With SuperStroke’s “CounterCore,” golfers can add a 50-gram weight plug inside the butt end of the grip without removing the grip or adding adhesive, allowing them to switch from a counterbalanced putter to a non-counterbalanced putter with the turn of a wrench.
The +Plus Series grips come in three sizes: 2.0XL (big), 3.0XL (bigger) and Flatso 2.0XL, which has a wide, flat front that offers a different feel.
Club Fitting Made Easier
Isn’t it frustrating when you want to try a certain shaft with your favorite driver head, but their adjustable tips aren’t compatible with each other?
Club Conex’s new UniFit adapters allow golfers to try just about any shaft with any club head. It works with three pieces — one that replaces the adapter inside an adjustable club head, one that attaches to the shaft and one that sandwiches between. The adapters offer 12 unique settings and 1 degree of adjustment.
It’s idealistic to think that universal adapters could become common place in the industry — different equipment companies use different adapter technologies to further their own designs — but it’s great that gear heads (like us) who like to test multiple club heads from multiple manufacturers now have an inexpensive way to do so.
The target market for UniFit is club fitters looking to reduce shaft inventory, and we anticipate that we’ll see a lot of them make the switch to this technology.
Cool Clubs, a custom club-fitter based in Scottsdale, uses its new S3 Shaft Analyzer to measure every shaft parameter and has compiled a database of over 1,000 shafts. The app, which costs $20 for a year subscription, allows golfers to see the results from every shaft in Cool Clubs’ database.
Comparing shaft parameters has never been easier, and as golfers demand more information before they buy shafts, this trend isn’t going anywhere.
Most of the GolfWRX Staff originally found the site through their yearning to know more about the clubs tour players were using. For that reason, we’re glad to see major equipment companies releasing more tour-inspired, niche products.
Sure, more frequent releases create year-long interest in golf equipment brands and can possibly boost sales, but what we like is that it gives golfers access to clubs that they otherwise may not have been able to purchase.
Callaway’s new Mack Daddy PM-Grind wedges were designed by Phil Mickelson, and a high-toe design and extended grooves make hitting open-faced shots easier and create more spin.
TaylorMade’s AeroBurner MiniDriver further proves the point that specialty clubs can have staying power.
Its predecessor, the SLDR MiniDriver, was released in 2014 as an oversized fairway wood designed for use off the tee. It was redesigned for 2015 as part of the company’s AeroBurner line, proving that specialty clubs don’t have to be one-hit wonders.
Golf clothes that don’t look like golf clothes
To the chagrin of traditionalists, snapback hats, flat-brim hats and spikeless, sporty shoes are here to stay, and there was a wealth of apparel companies offering products that fit the trend.
We’re not saying Rickie Fowler had everything to do with this, but it’s no coincidence that his big hats and bright-colored outfits have gained traction since his arrival on Tour.
Golf clothes seem to want to look like anything other than golf clothes right now, even on the traditional side. Spikeless shoes may have just been the start.