Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New TaylorMade RSi Irons - More Slots Will Improve Your Game

Nobody's perfect and in golf mis-hits happen even for the likes of your Tour pros such as Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose. 

Have you ever looked at the face of your irons and noticed where the ball impact imprints were? Well TaylorMade has and the results are pretty interesting.

Results gathered by TaylorMade from thousands of club fittings revealed 76% of all iron shots are mis-hits struck outside the center of the face (where the fastest ball speeds are produced). This discovery led the company to the development of a revolutionary new technology designed to improve consistency and distance on off-center strikes.

Now the "Speed Pocket" that was introduced by TaylorMade three years ago in the original RocketBallz irons was great for hits low on the clubface.  The spring action of the slot allowed those mishits to maintain ball speed and keep you from losing a lot of distance on those miss-hits. 

But with the majority of miss-hits (76%) coming from off-center hits TaylorMade knew something had to be developed to keep these shots from losing significant distance.

Hence the invention and introduction of Face Slot Technology where two slots are located near the heel and toe of the clubface to provide uniform flexion across the face, and this also helps protect ball speed and generates more consistent distance on off-center hits.

With brand new Face Slot Technology working in tangent with an improved Speed Pocket with Thru Slot Technology, the new RSi irons provide the golfer with forgiveness across the entire face as opposed to just on the bottom when catching the ball thin.

TaylorMade RSi 1 Irons

The new RSi 1 irons replace the existing SpeedBlade irons in the TaylorMade iron lineup and are targeted towards the game-improvement player.  The RSi 1 features the new Face Slot Technology in the 3-8 irons two slots are located near the heel and toe of the clubface that provide uniform flexion across the face. Face Slot Technology helps maintain ball speed and generates more consistent distance on off-center hits.

Also in the 3-7 iron is an improved Speed Pocket with ThruSlot Technology which helps maintain ball speed on shots hit below the center of the face, as well as increasing launch angle and ball speed on all shots.

RSi 1 also incorporates a new Advanced Face Design - TaylorMade's thinnest face, deep undercut and Inverted Cone Technology combined - to promote maximum face speed, while improved sound and feel is achieved through advanced construction and multiple dampening systems.

The new RSi 1 irons come standard with a REAX 90 steel or REAX graphite shafts. They will be available for sale starting Mid-November with an 8-Piece steel shaft with a MSRP of $799.99 and 8-Piece graphite shaft set with a MSRP of $899.99.

TaylorMade RSi 2 Irons

With its more streamlined head, thinner sole and top-line and less offset the new RSi 2 iron is targeted towards the better, lower-handicapped golfer.

Like the RSi 1 Irons, the RSi 2 also features the new Face Slot technology and improved SpeedPocket .  These innovative performance technologies help maintain consistent ball speeds throughout the face.  

RSi2 irons are loaded with progressive multi-material technology and refined shaping to provide playability and precision for all golfers. 

The long irons have tungsten low in the toe for higher launch and more ballspeed. 

In the mid irons there is a high-strength, thin-face steel construction for high speed and consistency. 

The shorts irons feature a forged carbon steel face with milled grooves for soft feel and control that the better player demands. 

A fully forged 1025 carbon steel wedge for optimum feel and precision round out the most complete set of irons TaylorMade has ever created.

"The RSi 2 iron set provides the ideal blend of performance and beauty. We have combined a progressive multi-material construction (Tungsten and Forged Components) with our most innovative performance technologies (Face Slots, Speed Pocket with ThruSlot) to provide the best of all worlds in a slim, beautiful package." Brett Wahl TaylorMade VP of R&D

The RSi 2 irons are paired nicely with a KBS Tour 105 Steel Shaft that provides tour-caliber performance at a lighter weight for optimum blend of speed, stability and accuracy. They will be available for sale starting Mid-November with an 8-Piece set with a MSRP of $999.99.

Monday, October 27, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Robert Streb at The 2014 McGladrey Classic - Great Golf Blog

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga.  Add Robert Streb and another first-time winner on the PGA Tour after his extra-hole, playoff victory at the McGladrey Classic.

For Streb it was a long, agonizing wait as he finished 90 minutes ahead of the final group to see if anyone would catch him as he posted a 7 under par , 63 on the final day.  Unfortunately he was tied by Will MacKenzie and Brendon de Jonge and had to go back on the course for the playoff.

Streb nailed a 4 foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to gain his first PGA Tour victory and all the benefits that come with it including a entry into the 2015 Masters Tournament.  

What's In Robert's Bag?

DriverTitleist 910 D3 (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 65 TX

3 Wood:Titleist 913 Fd (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

IronsTitleist 714 CB Forged (2-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold  S300

WedgesTitleist Vokey SM5 (46.08F - 56.10M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

PutterScotty Cameron GoLo Knucklehead

BallTitleist Pro V1X

Get all of Ben's gear at discount prices at Great Golf

Monday, October 20, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Ben Martin at The 2014 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open - Great Golf Blog

Ben Martin drilled a 45 foot eagle putt in the final round on the 16th hole to help him win his first tournament on the PGA Tour at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Martin needed to finish strong to hold off a hard charge from Kevin Streelman who pulled ahead of him in the final round.  On the 16th hold par 5 Martin reached the green in two but was over 45 feet away.  That's when he pulled out his Scotty Cameron and rolled in the improbable eagle which lifted him back into the lead and to his first victory.

“It was an awesome way to finish,” Martin said. “I didn’t feel like I had much going all day. Four under on my last four to cap my first win was just awesome.”

Martin finished at 20-under 264 and returns to the Masters, this time as a pro. He played Augusta National in 2010 as the U.S. Amateur runner-up.

What's In Ben's Bag?

Driver: Titleist 910 D3 (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 7X

3 Wood: Ping i25 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 85TX

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (17 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Irons: Titleist 714 CB Forged (3, 5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 (50-08F, 54-11M and 58-11K)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1X

Get all of Ben's gear at discount prices at Great Golf

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Titleist 915 Drivers, Fairways and Hybrids - Released Only When It Is Time

Unlike other golf equipment manufacturers that release new drivers every 6 months, Titleist sticks to its strategy of only releasing equipment when there is a significant technological advancement that will improve their equipment.

The new 915 line may not look so different from its predecessor (the 913 Line) when you're staring down at it from address. There are still the beautiful, classic lines to the clubs that everyone associates with Titleist clubs.

But turn the club over and look at the sole. Maybe we should call it the "soul" because that is where the heart of the new technology resides. The clubs feature a channel that runs from the toe to the heel, just behind the leading edge. Titleist calls it an Active Recoil Channel (ARC), and according to Chris McGinley, the company’s vice president of golf club marketing, it’s the key to many of the clubs’ performance enhancements.

The ARC is designed to let the front of the club flex more at impact which would produce higher ball speeds and less spin which is the holy grail of distance today. Early prototypes of ARC actually performed too well as the new spring-like effect exceeded the USGA allowed levels. So Titleist had to taper it back a little bit by adding a variable face insert which is thicker in the middle and thinner on the edges. The insert allows center-hits to remain conforming while at the same time allows off-center hits to not lose ball speed and distance.

To get the correct launch angle for ultimate distance Titleist engineers lowered the center of gravity and moved it further back in the club. Shifting weight lower and farther back helps the 915D2 and 915D3 produce slightly higher launch angles than their predecessors, the 913 drivers. It also helps increase the moment of inertia.

The 915 Driver will be available in the D2 and D3 Model.  The D2 has a 460cc head with a slight draw-bias.  The D3 is 440cc's has a deeper face which produces a lower, more boring ball flight. 

Both drivers feature the same 16-position SureFit Tour adjustable hosel system. It allows golfers to increase the club's stated loft by as much as 1.5 degrees or reduce it by .75 degrees. Players also can make the club up to 1.5 degrees more upright or flatten the lie angle by .75 degrees.

The 915D2 comes in lofts of 7.5, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees. The 915D3 is available in 7.5, 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees. The 915D2 and 915D3 will retail at $449 and can be paired with wide selection of custom "stock" shafts.

There are two Fairway Woods in the 915 line, the 175cc 915F and the 160cc 915F.d. Both have a classic look at address, featuring a black crown and an understated alignment aid near the face. Both clubs also feature Titleist’s SureFit Tour adjustable hosel system that allows golfers to change the loft and lie independently.

The Active Recoil Channel (ARC) is also present in the new 915 fairway woods. “The channel is slightly deeper in the fairway woods, and positioned slightly closer to the face, than in the drivers,” said Chris McGinley, Titleist’s vice president of golf club marketing. “Compared to a driver, fairway woods have a lot more loft, and more loft creates more spin. So in order to have maximum effectiveness in terms of spin reduction, we needed to move the ARC a little more forward in the fairways.”

The 915F will be available in lofts of 13.5, 15, 16.5, 18 and 21 degrees. The 915F.d will be available in 13.5- and 15-degree versions. Like the 915 driver, Titleist is offering a wide variety of "stock" shafts to go along with this fairway wood.

There are two new Hybrids in the 915 line915H has a stainless steel, 118cc-head. The 915H.d has a 107cc head. The 915H was designed to create slightly more spin and has a slightly higher launch angle, and both clubs were given the same uniformly thick Carpenter stainless steel face insert.
Because most of time golfers are hitting hybrids to greens as opposed to drivers and fairways which are hit off tees, the Active Recoil Chamber in the Hybrids is mainly designed to increase ball speed and distance while maintaining spin.

The 915H will be available in lofts of 18, 21, 24 and 27 degrees. The 915H.d will come in lofts of 17.5, 20.5 and 23.5 degrees.

The new Titleist 915 Line will be available for sale starting mid-November 2014. With Titleist it just goes to show you that you don't need to release new drivers every 6 months with a variety of colored heads to be successful.  All you need is a quality product that has significant improvements over the previous model and Titleist has accomplished this with the new 915 Line. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 PGA Grand Slam of Golf Starts Today - Does Anyone Really Care?

Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer tee it up today for a made-for-tv 36 hole tournament played in Bermuda.

The tournament pairs up the current winners of the four golf Majors but since McIlroy won both the Open Championship and PGA, Jim Furyk gets the call to fill in the foursome.

This is a prime-time TV tournament but at this point in the season will anyone be watching?  Well for us in the golf-starved Midwest, with the golf season quickly coming to an end, it will be refreshing to see some sunny-warm weather golf being played by some of the top golfers in the world.  Our eyeballs will be watching and dreaming of warm-weather golf hoping that these next 6 months of winter passes fast!


Player: Rory McIlroy
Age: 25
Majors won (4): 2011 U.S. Open; 2012 PGA Championship; 2014 Open Championship; 2014 PGA Championship
Best Grand Slam finish: Third, 2012 at Port Royal

Player: Martin Kaymer
Age: 29
Majors won (2): 2010 PGA Championship; 2014 U.S. Open
Best Grand Slam finish: T3, 2010 at Port Royal

Player: Bubba Watson
Age: 35
Majors won (2): 2012; 2014 Masters
Best Grand Slam finish: T3, 2012

Player: Jim Furyk
Age: 44
Majors won (1): 2003 U.S. Open
Best Grand Slam finish: Won in 2003 at Poipu Bay Golf Course in Hawaii and in 2008 at Mid Ocean Club in Tucker's Town, Bermuda

Tuesday,Oct 14TNT4 p.m.  -7 p.m. ET/PT
Wednesday,Oct 15TNT4 p.m.  -8 p.m. ET/PT

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Sang Moon Bae at 2014 Open - Great Golf Blog

Sang Moon Bae Kicks of the 2015 PGA Tour Schedule with a win at the Open at Silverado in Napa Valley CA.

It was his first win since his Byron Nelson win in 2013 and with that he becomes fully exempt on the PGA Tour through 2016/2017 season, earns an invitations to the 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the Masters, the Players and the PGA. Bae also joined K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang as the only Korean-born players with multiple Tour wins.

What's In Sang Moon Bae's Bag?

Driver: Callaway Big Bertha V-Series (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD MJ-7X

3 Wood: Callaway Diablo Octane (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana ‘ahina

Hybrid: Callaway X Hot Pro (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue ATX 105X

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Wedges: Callaway X-Forged (52, 56 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue

Putter: Odyssey Demascus Grand

Golf Ball: Callaway SR3

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Retro Pom Pom Headcovers Are Back In Style - Great Golf Blog

Did you happen to see the headcovers used by the USA Team at last week's Ryder Cup?    The 2014 USA Ryder Cup team used custom-made Pom Pom headcovers and they really looked good.  Too bad they didn't play as well as their gear looked...

Just like fashion, if you wait a while things come back in style.

Pom Pom headcovers were all the rage back in the 70's when Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson were dominating the PGA Tour.  Back then, the OEM headcovers were not the greatest so a lot of players swapped them out for custom headcovers.

Today, OEM headcovers are a lot more stylish and OEM's put a lot of work into styling their matching headcovers.  But there is something just a little too sterile about the new headcovers.  Maybe its the man-made synthetic material they use or the styling or just the way they fit.  Maybe it's that everyone else with the same driver has the same cover and I like variety.  In any case, I wanted to add a little customization and style to my bag without spending a lot of money.

Now I am now way a fashionista but if you are looking to add a little style to your bag then one of the best ways to do that is to change your headcovers.

I could have gone the animal headcover route but to me it just looks a little weird to have an animal sitting atop of your clubs.  So I decided to go retro and go with pom pom headcovers.  To my surprise there are quite a few companies that offer pom pom headcovers all ranging in style and price.  

After a lot of research I decided to go with a company called Sunfish Sales Headcovers.  This is a fairly new company based out of Tennessee and they are putting out a high-quality pom pom headcover at a very reasonable price.  Now I am not a knitting expert but from the look and feel of these covers you can tell that they are of high quality and substantial.  The label states that they are all  hand-knitted from 100% New Zealand wool.  

The pom sizes vary per club.  On the driver it is a large - 6" pom while the fairway has a 4" pom and hybrid has a 3" pom.  The length of the headcovers is more than enough to protect the shaft from scraping against your bag.  In addition, there is a sewn in elastic that is designed to keep your cover fitting snuggly and  prevent it from falling off. 

There are enough color combinations available to ship immediately to meet most golfers needs but if you want something customized that is available but expect about 4 weeks for delivery.  I ordered the driver, fairway and hybrid cover with red and black stripes and it shipped immediately and I had it within two days.

Price was extremely reasonable as I paid less than $70 for all three.  Now that may seem a lot but there are other companies that sell just the driver cover for that much.  And for a hand-knitted, 100% wool covers I felt it was well worth the investment.