2001: Zevo mounts comeback
Monday, December 5, 2011
Not only is Zevo back, but the golf company is back with a space-age driver that gives a renewed definition to clubhead stability.
Zevo’s Compressor titanium driver, to be introduced at the PGA Merchandise Show, contains an internal compression device made of a material called Zylon. This device, designed for stability, connects the sole and crown of the driver.
Manufactured in Japan, Zylon is said to be 40 percent stronger and 12.5 percent lighter than carbon fiber. The Zylon compression device, weighing less than 2 grams, is connected to the sole on one end and the crown on the other, using aerospace fasteners. Tension that compresses the two together is applied with a precisely calibrated torque wrench.
Zevo officials use words such as “preloaded” and “prestressed” to describe this union of the sole and crown. “Once it is put in tension,” said director of marketing Tim Morrison, “it has zero elongation. This piece of Zylon is so strong, you could lift your car off the ground with it.”
This new driver is the creation of Dave Boone, executive vice president at Zevo, who designed clubs for Lynx Golf in its heyday.
“Without this technology, you have expansion and movement of the driver head,” Boone said. “You’re dissipating energy.”
Zevo feels so strongly about this design, the company intentionally has created a thick-faced driver (almost 3 millimeters) in a world of thin-faced drivers.
“It is designed not to flex,” Morrison said. “We’ve just found that it works better. We’ve had a lot of very skilled players try it, and they love it. On the other hand, average golfers don’t lose as much when they hit it off-center.”
Because of its anti-flexing design, the club had no problem passing the U.S. Golf Association’s test for spring-like effect. “Titanium wants to move on impact,” Boone said. “Now we’ve eliminated the expansion that occurs in the body. It’s easy to hit, and there’s better dispersion.”
The driver, with a metallic black finish, is big and loud. The size is 410 cubic centimeters, and the noise is piercing.
“We knew it wouldn’t sound like a tin can,” Boone said, “but the first time we hit it, we had to ask ourselves if it was too loud. It didn’t take us long to answer that question – golfers like the sound. We see it as a bonus.”
A proprietary, filament-wound shaft also will promote the Zylon theme. The shaft contains spirals of Zylon on the outside of the shaft, which, according to Boone, minimizes ovalization of the shaft during the swing. Standard length is 45 inches.
Zevo, under the leadership of president Michael Hoffee, has changed its colors (to red and white) and its motto (to “Driven by Design”).
“We’ve rebuilt the infrastructure and the personnel,” Hoffee said.
Zevo was founded in the early 1990s by Sean Toulon, now vice president of business development for TaylorMade. In 1996, Toulon sold the company to Hoffee’s father, John, whose fortune came from the hospital supply business.
From the beginning, Zevo focused heavily on custom fitting but sputtered in the face of intense competition. In 1999, Michael Hoffee decided to seek a new direction for the company. Now, he says, he has that direction.
“The best people in the industry, innovative designs, premium products that nobody else is selling, that’s what we are offering as a company,” Hoffee said.
Among the new products from Zevo to be seen at the Merchandise Show will be an iron with a “flying buttress” – lattice-like reinforcement inside the cavity back intended for stability. The iron will have a cast stainless steel body and a cold-rolled, stainless steel face.
“We’re back with some revolutionary golf clubs,” Hoffee said.