Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pros: Available in four different models — #1 Wide, #7, 330M and V-Line — and two different lengths (35 and 38 inches). Each Tank Cruiser putter comes with a weight kit that offers three different head weights and counterbalance weights. Stock 15-inch SuperStroke Mid Slim 2.0 grip is a nice touch.

Cons: $249 is pricey for an insert putter, but there’s value in the stock SuperStroke grip that houses an adjustable counterbalance system and the putter’s slick weight kit.

Bottom Line: Odyssey recognized that there was a gap between the company’s conventional putters and its counterbalanced Tank models. Tank Cruiser putters sit nicely in between, offering several different models and a well-thought-out, nicely packaged adjustable weight system.


Odyssey Principal Designer Austie Rollinson told me in last 2012 that the ban of anchored-putting styles by golf’s ruling bodies would fuel putter innovation. My guess is that the Tank Cruiser was exactly what he had in mind.

Like previous Odyssey models, the Tank Cruiser putters ($249) have two adjustable weight ports and three sets of putter head weights that weigh 10 grams, 15 grams and 20 grams. They allow the putter head to be made as light as 365 grams or as heavy as 385 grams in 10-gram increments.

What’s new, however, is that the putters also have a screw-in weight system in the butt end of their grips. Those removable weights, which weigh 0, 15 and 30 grams, allow golfers to change the overall feel of the putter.


Adding the heavier weights to the handle of the grip will move the putter’s balance point closer to a golfer’s hands, while using the lighter weights will move the balance point closer to the putter head. Golfers looking to smooth out their stroke often add more weight to the handle of their putters, while those more reliant on feel or like to feel a more active release during the stroke usually add more weight to their putter heads.

Counterbalanced putters like the Tank Cruiser are nothing new to golf, as many serious players have tinkered with different head weights and “back weighting,” the process of adding weight to the handle of the putter, for decades. But Odyssey is the first major putter manufacturer to simplify this process with adjustable weight ports in both the head and handle of a putter, saving tinkerers time and money.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 6.04.25 PMScreen Shot 2014-04-24 at 6.04.10 PM
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The V-Line (left) and #7 Tank Cruiser putters. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

The Tank Cruiser putters are available in four different styles — the #1 Wide and 330Mhave a bit of toe hang, while the #7 and V-Line are face-balanced — and each is available in lengths of 35 or 38 inches. Odyssey advises golfers who are interested in a counterbalanced putter to try the 38-inch model if they use a putter that is 35 inches or longer, or to try the 35-inch model if they use a putter that is 34 inches or shorter.

The Tank Cruiser putters come stock with a 15-inch SuperStroke Mid Slim 2.0 grip that weighs about 70 grams without weights. It’s extra length allows golfers to choke down on the longer-than-standard putters as Odyssey advises without the worry of running out of grip. And since the grips are non-tapered, golfers will have the same feel at the top of the grip as they do at the bottom.


As a former long putter user, I was devastated when the USGA announced that starting in 2016, I wouldn’t be able to anchor my 50-inch broomstick to my sternum in the USGA qualifiers I like to play. So like most golfers who were reliant on anchored putters, I started experimenting. I tried arm lock/Kuchar putters, big grips and several different putting styles before I realized that I could survive without my anchor. But surviving on the greens and thriving on them are two different things.

The takeaway from my tinkering was that I needed a counterbalanced putter with special weighting to help me putt my best. One of my favorite options was Odyssey’s Tank putter, but it felt clunky to me and I was moving away from face-balanced models. If only the Tank Cruiser putters were available then, I wouldn’t have spent so much time and money adjusting my gamers with shaft extensions, grips and lead tape.

The #1 Wide (left) and 330M putters. Click on the photos to enlarge them. 

Adjusting a Tank Cruiser putter allows a golfer to play Goldilocks. For me, putting the heaviest weights (20 grams) in the putter head made it feel too heavy. The 5-gram weights, on the other hand, made it feel to light. The 15-gram weights got me closer, but it still wasn’t “just right.” I’ve spent the last month experimenting with the 0-, 15- and 30-gram counterweights in the grips of the #1 Wide and 330M putters I was sent for review, and have finally settled on the 15-gram weight in the #1 wide. That gives me a more traditional look and the counterbalanced feel that I’ve come to enjoy, especially on the short putts that I tend to miss to the right of the hole.

What I was after, and what most golfers will be looking for, is the feeling of an effortless release of the putter at impact. In theory, the extra weight in the handle should slow down that portion of the putter during the stroke and allow golfers to more easily square up the toe with the heel at impact, but that won’t be true for all golfers. Some players, like me, will like the overall heavier feeling, which can add stability to a golfer’s stroke. Some golfers won’t know why they like it… they just will. And that’s great, too.

Each Odyssey Tank Cruiser comes with three sets of adjustable putter head weights (5, 10 and 20 grams) and three different counterbalance weights (0, 15 and 50 grams), as well as a special wrench to make the adjustments. 

So how do you know if a counterbalanced putter is for you? Making changes to the putter’s adjustable weight system creates noticeable differences in feel, but if you’re strongly opposed to the way the putter feels in its stock configuration (two 15-gram weights in the head and a 15-gram weight in the handle), it’s probably not right for you. And if you do like the stock setup, you should still experiment with the different weights. You’ll know when you get it right, even if it takes you some time like it did for me.

Looks and Feel

The Tank Cruisers have Odyssey’s Black Matte finish, which gives the putters a classic, no-glare look and offers a nice contrast with white alignment aids on each putter. I found the finish to be fairly durable, although the finish on the sole will show some wear as soon as you take it to the course.

The #1 Wide (left) and 330M putters at address. Click on the photos to enlarge them. 

Odyssey also took care to offer several different alignment aids in the line. The #1 Wide has a single alignment aid that is located in the flange of the putter, while the 330M has two lines on the flange that frame the ball nicely at address. The #7 has a sightline on the putter’s top line, as well as two longer lines that reinforce a golfer’s alignment on the fins of the putter. The V-Line has the most aggressive alignment aid with three long sightlines on its flange.

Each of the putters has Odyssey’s re-formulated White Hot insert, which feels extremely soft and is Odyssey’s most popular insert on the professional tours.

The Takeaway


If you’re struggling with your putting, there’s no reason not to try a counterbalanced putter. They’re great for golfers looking to get a jump on switching from their anchored putters, and while they’re not for everyone, they can be a nice change of pace for golfers who want to feel something a little different.


SOURCE. http://www.golfwrx.com/204723/review-odyssey-tank-cruiser-putters/

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CARLSBAD, CALIF., September 29, 2015 - Today Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) officially announced new Apex Irons, new Apex Pro Irons, and Apex Hybrids. The new Apex clubs, which will be available to golfers by the end of the month, advance the Apex product line that is widely regarded as establishing a new performance standard in the iron category since it launched two years ago.

In the new Apex Irons, Callaway for the first time has precision engineered its industry-leading face cup technology into a forged iron to promote increased distance. This set also features a multi-piece construction with more offset in the longer irons, a more compact shape with less offset in shorter irons, and advanced forging for incredibly soft feel.

The new Apex Pro Irons are a forged performance set built specifically for skilled players. They incorporate Tour influenced shaping and design with a classic look, progressive flow weighting that optimizes Center of Gravity (CG) for playability and control, and soft feel that better players prefer.

And the Apex Hybrid is the first hybrid for the Apex and Apex Pro player. It has a longer, more iron-like blade length with a Neutral CG bias, controlled ball flight, and workability from precision shaping. The new hybrids also deliver high ball speeds from a forged face cup, and an Internal Standing Wave that helps move the CG for versatility on various shots.

Live now, the Callaway Apex webpage features a suite of multi-material content related to the new products, including product videos, imagery and more: callawaygolf.com/apex

The new Apex Irons (available lofts: 3-SW) and new Apex Pro Irons (available lofts: 3-AW) will be available at retail on October 30, and golfers can pre-order them starting October 16 on Callawaygolf.com. Both iron sets will have a retail price of $1,199.99 for steel shafts and $1,399.99 for graphite shafts. The new Apex and new Apex Pro sets will both have a wide selection of no upcharge shaft options, including popular shafts on Tour.


The Apex Hybrid (available lofts: 2H-5H) will be at retail and online on CallawayGolf.com on December 4, and golfers can pre-order them starting October 16, with a retail price of $219.99 each.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

 It doesn’t require much imagination to see that Titleist is making a big push in 2016. The product launches continue as the company is looking to change the way golfers think about hybrids. The company announced its new Titleist 816H hybrids.


“Golfers have long thought of hybrids as ‘rescue clubs’ and not ‘scoring clubs,’ but we intend to change that perception. More golfers than ever are replacing long irons with hybrids and carrying multiple hybrids in their bags because of their performance benefits. Our new 816H models are technically advanced scoring clubs that have better shot stopping ability and can improve yardage gaps at the long end of the set,” said Chris McGinley, Vice President, Titleist Golf Club Marketing. “Instead of thinking about getting out of trouble or just getting the ball close to the green, golfers can now think about hitting the green and stopping the ball closer to the pin more often.

“Our best club fitters on tour and in the market look at hybrids as a direct extension of the iron set, and fit golfers for hybrids and irons at the same time. For this reason, we’ve made the decision to put Titleist hybrids and irons on the same launch cycle.”

Available in golf shops worldwide beginning Oct. 23, 816H hybrids are available in two models, loft choices every 2º and a new 1º SureFit Tour hosel for independent adjustment of loft and lie. The 816H1 model has a larger profile that offers confidence at address, with slightly increased face progression that performs well from the rough, Titleist said. The 816H2 hybrids feature a more compact shape with a slight offset promises an iron-like shot control for players who engage the turf more aggressively.

Both models feature an Active Recoil Channel ? a long, deep channel, positioned along the sole of the clubhead, close to the leading edge ? that promises 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 to deflect at impact for high speed. According to Titleist, ARC is particularly effective on hybrids, which are most often hit off the ground with the ball impacting low on the face. Shots hit lower on the face generally produce more spin, which is counteracted by ARC.


“The Active Recoil Channel has revolutionized distance for us across our entire metals line and really pushes us ahead of the pack in the hybrid category,” said Dan Stone, Vice President, Titleist Golf Club R&D. “But distance is still only one part of the equation. Golfers, now more than ever, are relying on their hybrids to hit precise golf shots and help them create more scoring opportunities. Our R&D philosophy of ‘distance and forgiveness’ ensures that we take the entire shot into consideration, not only how far it goes. 816 provides golfers with complete, consistent performance ? the distance to consistently reach the green, the trajectory to stop the ball on the green closer to the hole, and the forgiveness that delivers similar results even when the strike is off center. We haven’t made any sacrifices.”

 The 816H hybrid line offers loft choices every two degrees from 19º to 27º. “For most golfers, long irons become more difficult to hit and produce shorter distances than desired. 816 hybrids extend those distances and really allow us to bridge that gap between the longest iron and the fairway wood,” said Stephanie Luttrell, Director, Titleist metalwood development. “Following extensive research and player testing, it’s our recommendation that the majority of players use 4-degree loft gaps to create appropriate distance gaps. That’s why we offer 2-degree loft increments, which gives us three pairs of hybrids (19º and 23º, 21º and 25º and 23º and 27º) spaced in 4-degree increments. And for the player who truly loves hybrids and prefers them over fairways woods, there is the option to carry three hybrids (19º, 23º and 27º).”

The 816H hybrids feature a new SureFit Tour hosel configuration that adjusts loft and lie independently in 1º increments (as compared to .75º increments on 915). The 1º increments mirror the adjustments typically made to irons, while allowing more fitting flexibility for players to try the same lofts at different shaft lengths. The adjustable SureFit Flatweight (available 6, 9, 11, 13 and 16 gram weights) provides further flexibility when fitting different loft and length options.

“In the past, golfers looking to replace a long iron only had one hybrid loft option. With 816, the number of choices has grown significantly,” Luttrell said. “For example, when replacing a 4 iron with an 816 hybrid, golfers can test both the 23º and 25º models, providing two different lofts at different lengths. Using the SureFit Tour hosel, both lofts can also be adjusted to 24º, providing the same loft option at different lengths. In addition, using interchangeable shafts and weights, the longer length shaft in the 23º can be tested in the 25º, while the shorter length shaft in the 25º can be tested in the 23º. A skilled fitter will employ all of these options to quickly dial in a golfer’s setup.”

During independent player testing, golfers on average experienced longer carry distance (3 to 5 yards), similar to higher (1.5 mph) ball speeds and lower spin (300-500 rpm) compared to three key competitor’s hybrid products (Callaway XR, Ping G30 and TaylorMade AeroBurner), Titleist said.

The 816 hybrids also have a new contrasting, color scheme with a gray crown and a black PVD face and sole. “We wanted to differentiate 816 hybrids as its own category,” Luttrell said, “and this cosmetic change has been positively accepted both with amateurs and our tour staff.”

The new 816H hybrids will be available in golf shops worldwide beginning Oct. 23 with minimum advertised price of $249.

More than 40 players across the worldwide professional tours have switched to new 816H hybrids, Titleist said, since the start of the tour seeding and validation process, including Jordan Spieth, who put a new 816H2 21º model in play at the World Golf Championships event at Firestone. Other players that have already switched to 816H models include Robert Streb, Victor Dubuisson, Zac Blair and Brendon De Jonge. Titleist shared some feedback from some of its TOUR staff on the new 816 Hybrids:

Jordan Spieth: “The new 816, with the silver head and black face, is a really cool looking hybrid. It’s really clean, really crisp. When I strike it, it shoots off the face nicely. It goes a little higher than my 915 hybrid, and a little bit further. If you’re going to hit it a little higher and further, ultimately that’s enough to make a golfer really pleased. When you mishit a hybrid, you need it to stay on line, still get up in the air and to still go far enough ? and that’s what 816 does.”

Ian Poulter: “I love my hybrids. A lot of guys only use one hybrid, but I transitioned away from a 4 iron into a 4 hybrid a while ago. Based on my early testing I can tell that 816 hybrids are definitely scoring clubs. I get the extra benefit of the higher ball flight, whether it’s from the rough or even if it’s from the fairway. When it lands on the green, I get it to stop a lot quicker than if I was using a 4 iron. If it’s a tuck pin, I’ve still got the beauty of actually landing it tight to the pin and having it stop quickly. Versatility is there as well. I can use it from the fairway, I can use it from the rough. It nicks through the rough nicely. I get the help with the ball picking up nice and quick, and again it stops very quickly from the rough.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015



You’ve probably been told on more than one occasion that Titleist are a serious golfers’ brand, that they only make equipment for the better players amongst us. After spending some time hitting their new 716 irons we’d urge you to reconsider.

You’ve probably come across the AP1 and AP2 names before – they were first introduced in 2008 and the AP2s have been a firm favourite with their Tour players ever since. Well now both models have been updated and amended and their ready for action in the hands of you the club golfer. 

It’s not often Titleist makes sweeping claims and promises of more distance, ball speed and forgiveness, they’re usually much more restrained. But they are doing just that and billing the new AP1s as their longest, most forgiving irons ever. 

That’s quite a statement considering their rich history, major wins and the amount of Tour players relying on their clubs to make a living. This is how they’ve done it.

Extreme Tungsten Weighting

Tungsten is a really expensive metal to work with, but it’s much denser than the typical steel that’s used in club heads. Lots more weight can be focused in a specific area of the clubhead to improve its MOI performance or position the centre of gravity location precisely. On average 43g of tungsten (50% more than 714) is used in each AP1 iron (except the short irons) creating a really forgiving, high MOI design that’s very easy to hit. Admittedly other manufacturers use tungsten, but Titleist claim they use much more than their competitors, who typically insert anything between 2 - 12g per head.




Undercut Cavity and Unsupported Face

If you’ve not heard about speed slots and compression channels before we can only assume you’ve been living in a cave on some far flung off-grid desert island for the last five years. Titleist’s spin is to strengthen the faces of the AP1s, which means Titleist technicians have been able to remove the bulk of weight that supports the chassis behind the club face. By removing this bulk it naturally allows the face to flex at impact which transfers more energy back to the ball, which ultimately means maximised distance from your current club speed. Clever stuff and there’s no external slots to look at either. 

Familiar chassis with bevelled top edge

Titleist are really confident their head shapes are what golfers want. They constantly consult with both their tour staff and club golfers over what they do and don’t like about their products and, you’ve guessed it, head shape always tops their list of things not to change.


 What Titleist have done on this incarnation is to bevel the top-edge beautifully, taking away the chunkiness of an all out game improvement design and meaning the AP1 now has a huge target audience.  


Smaller head but better MOI

If you took the best game improvement iron you could find in 2015 and made the head smaller so it looked more appealing, but at the same time improved its MOI performance so its more forgiving how much would you want a set? Well Titleist claim that’s exactly what the AP1 does. Their blade length compared to traditional game improvement irons is shorter, so visually the head looks a little smaller but because they use so much tungsten the MOI performance is actually higher. Which hats off is really impressive.

Lightweight XP90 Shaft

Lightweight steel shafts have developed a strangle hold on the game improvement iron sector as they help golfers increase head speed without changing their swing. The XP90 is a leading lightweight shaft, but its worth remembering if you invest in a set of Titleist and want to max out your potential proper custom fitting is definitely the best way forward.


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Thursday, September 17, 2015

 Mizuno's New MP-5 Refines The Iconic Player's Iron

Player iron with muscle-back feel and player's cavity forgiveness


Norcross, Georgia (Sept. 17, 2015) - Mizuno, a leader in iron technology and design, introduces the latest "player" iron, the MP-5, to its award-winning line. The MP-5 delivers the feel of a muscle-back with the forgiveness of a player's cavity to provide golfers unparalleled long-iron forgiveness and enhanced control in the scoring irons.

Mizuno's stable of PGA Tour and European Tour players, including Luke Donald, Charles Howell III and Chris Wood, worked with Mizuno golf engineers throughout the R&D process to provide feedback and help shape the ideal players iron. The channel back flow design offers players predictable and reliable ball flight control, which is crucial for shot making. The MP-5s offer feel and precision using high-quality 1025E Pure Select steel and Mizuno's patented Grain Flow Forging process coupled with H.I.T. (Harmonic Impact Technology).

"Interaction and feedback from our Tour players during the research and development process of the MP irons is crucial and the MP-5's easily passed the test and seamlessly integrated into their bags," said Chuck Couch, Vice President of Product Development, Golf Division, Mizuno USA. "The cutting-edge design of the channel back in the MP-5 are true to Mizuno performance heritage and will make the MP-5s a must-have for the low-handicap golfers."

The MP-5 irons feature the same tour-preferred sole design and head-shape as the MP-64s providing consistent turf interaction for predictable trajectory and an unmatched ability to control the ball off the clubface. The MP-5s strategically places weight toward the toe, for more solid feel, even on off-center shots.

Available In Right-Hand Only
Shaft: Steel - Dynamic Gold S300 Graphite
Grip: Golf Pride MCC Blue/Black 60 Round
Custom options available on Mizuno.com
Suggested Retail Price Steel: $999.99
Suggested Retail Price Graphite: $1099.99
In-store and Online: Sept. 18, 2015

For more information about Mizuno irons, please visit mizuno.com

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