Callaway's new X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro drivers are all about ball speed. Both drivers are highlighted by Callaway’s Hyper Speed Face made of 455 Carpenter steel.
In 2013, Callaway used 455 Carpenter steel in the face of its X Hot fairway woods. The clubs were so successful at retail that Callaway decided to use the material in the faces of all its X2 Hot metalwoods (drivers, fairway woods and hybrids) for 2014.
Both drivers include Callaway’s OptiFit adjustable hosel. Not only does this mean that golfers easily can change shafts, OptiFit also provides independent loft and lie adjustment as well as shot-shape adjustment (neutral or draw). There are eight settings.
The loft range varies from 2 degrees up to 1 degree down from the stock loft of each driver. Lofts for X2 Hot are 9, 10.5 and 13.5 HT. For X2 Hot Pro, only one loft is available: 8.5 degree. With loft adjustment, the Pro model can be lowered to 7.5 degree or raised as high as 10.5 degree.
A 7-gram nonadjustable external weight screw can be found in the back of the X2 Hot Pro.
The X2 Hot head ...
Chris Kirk punched his ticket to the 2014 Masters by winning The McGladrey Classic on the Seaside Course at Sea Island in Georgia. Here's a complete list of the clubs Kirk used to win his second PGA Tour event:
• DRIVER: Callaway FT Optiforce (9.5 degree) with a Mitsubishi Diamana Plus White 62X shaft
• FAIRWAY WOOD: Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro (13.5 degree) with a Mitsubishi Diamana 'ahina 80X shaft
• HYBRID: Ping Anser (17 degree) with a Mitsubishi Diamana Plus White 92X shaft
• IRONS: Callaway RAZR X Muscleback (3-9) with True Temper Tour Issue shafts
• WEDGES: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (47, 54, 58 degree) with True Temper Tour Issue shafts
• PUTTER: Odyssey Tour Milled #1
• BALL: Titleist Pro V1x
Callaway Golf’s new Apex Pro iron, available Jan. 17, is a thought-provoking iron that surely will generate plenty of discussion among skilled golfers.
Callaway officials believe this forged iron will become the company’s most popular iron on major professional tours, and there is a groove story to be told that could surprise more than a few players. Some experienced competitors may shake their heads at this new logic.
Here goes: With iron shots out of the rough, grooves that generate a lot of spin can be a bad thing. For excellent players, this spin can lower the trajectory or knock the ball out of the air. It dramatically can reduce the distance of a shot.
Remember, this applies to shots from the rough. Callaway engaged in extensive testing with its staff professionals, and the results were stunning. In general, less spin meant higher trajectory and extra carry distance. More spin meant just the opposite.
“Yes, it results in a bit of a flyer from the rough,” said Luke Williams, Callaway’s senior director of global woods and irons, talking about grooves that create lower spin. “The ball gets up in the air, and we found this to be ...
One of TaylorMade’s goals is to convert golfers – touring pros and amateurs – to higher lofts with the SLDR driver. The most recent example: Dustin Johnson won the WGC-HSBC Champions with a 10.5-degree SLDR driver. Previously, he had used a series of 9-degree TaylorMade drivers.
Why more loft? Because the low-spinning SLDR driver (with a low-forward center of gravity) knocks down the trajectory for virtually all golfers, according to TaylorMade. The official club survey showed a total of 28 TaylorMade drivers in play at the HSBC Champions, and 20 were the SLDR model. Of those 20, 12 had a loft of 10.5 degrees.
Another example of higher loft was provided by Fred Couples at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. He had used an 8-degree TaylorMade R9 460 driver. At the Champions Tour finale, he romped to a six-stroke victory with a 9.5-degree SLDR driver.
Here’s Johnson’s bag (all TaylorMade except putter): SLDR driver (10.5 degree, with Fujikura Fuel 2.0X graphite shaft), R9 3-wood (15 degree, with Aldila RIP 80X graphite shaft), R9 5-wood (19 degree, with Aldila RIP 90X graphite shaft), Tour Preferred MB irons (3-PW, with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue ...
Dustin Johnson earned his first World Golf Championship title Sunday by shooting 66 to win the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Here is a complete list of the clubs he used to get the win in China.
• • •
DRIVER: TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degree) with a Fujikura Fuel 2.0 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade R9 (15 degree) with an Aldila RIP 80X shaft; (19 degree) with an Aldila RIP 90X shaft
IRONS: TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
WEDGES: TaylorMade TP xFT (54, 60 degree) with KBS Tour shafts
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist Newport 2 prototype
BALL: TaylorMade Lethal
• • •
Tour Edge started the Exotics line in 2006 because the company wanted to prove it wasn’t just a maker of “price-point” equipment, that it could make high-end products with unique designs using cutting-edge materials. The new XCG7 irons, which should arrive in stores in mid-November and are designed for golfers looking for more feel and stability, continue Tour Edge’s push with the Exotics line.
Cast from 431 stainless steel, the XCG7 irons are designed with two tungsten weights – one in the heel area and one in the toe – that increase perimeter weighting and forgiveness.
“We used to have two tungsten slugs in both the heel and the toe area,” said Dave Glod, founder and owner of Tour Edge Golf. “But we’re using more tungsten than ever now, which creates a higher moment of inertia (MOI). It’s 10 percent higher than (last season’s) XCG6 irons.”
Glod also said that because the faces of the Exotics XCG7 irons are thicker in the center and thinner near the edges, they produce more ball speed.
The Exotics XCG7 irons are designed with a pocket cavity behind the face, leaving a small gap between the back of the hitting area ...
Got equipment questions? We've got answers.
This collection of posts follows the equipment-based conversation between readers and Golfweek Senior Writer David Dusek during a 30-minute chat on Oct. 30, 2013. Recap the discussion here.
Log onto Twitter and use #Golfweek to get in on the next conversation!
• • •
David Dusek (@Golfweek_Dusek)
Okay, a few equipment questions have already been sent to me via #Golfweek, so let's get this thing started… You ask, I answer. Fire away!
• • •
Landon Cameron, @landoncameron: @TaylorMadeGolf @Golfweek_Dusek what's driver b going to look like ? And what will new tour irons look like? #golfweek
Dusek: TaylorMade is making an announcement in mid-November about an as-of-yet un-named product. I suspect it will be new irons. I was told by a TaylorMade exec in Sept. that the next generation of TP irons are coming soon. Look for thin topline/sole... #Golfweek
• • •
Andrew Punt, @andrewpunt: @TaylorMadeGolf @Golfweek_Dusek if strengthening lofts has to do with trajectory, where does the extra length come in to play #golfweek
Dusek: Because manufacturers are getting better and better and lowering the CG of irons, it's easier to hit long irons higher … Added length comes from strengthening lofts (delofting) and still having a ...
As Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods engaged in a head-to-head exhibition match at the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Resort in Haikou, China, the big news for gearheads was that McIlroy was playing with a new Nike driver and new Nike ball.
Information on both these 2014 products will not be released by Nike until late November.
Nike refers to the driver as Covert 2.0 and the ball as the new RZN. There are at least two versions of the new RZN, because Woods was reported to be playing a different RZN model than the one used by McIlroy. Oh, by the way, McIlroy shot 6-under 67, while Woods shot 68.
Suzann Pettersen, the runaway winner of the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, also used one of the new RZN balls.
RZN refers to the lively resin core used by Nike. RZN first appeared in Nike’s 20XI S and 20XI X balls.
Ryan Moore does things his own way – his apparel is unique, his golf swing is different, even the configuration of his golf bag is unorthodox.
In gaining his third PGA Tour title, Moore used a driver and fairway woods from one company (TaylorMade), irons and a wedge from another company (Ping), another wedge from a third manufacturer (Callaway), a putter from a fourth company (Yes!) and a ball from a fifth equipment maker (Titleist).
Moore became the first PGA Tour player to win with Ping’s S55 irons. He also carried a Ping Tour 54 SS wedge. Nice timing for Moore’s victory – the S55 irons make their retail debut Nov. 1.
Moore used True Temper Dynamic Gold Lite shafts (X100) in the irons. These shafts weigh 110 grams, 20 grams lighter than the standard Dynamic Gold X100. Consumers who are interested in a lighter version of the Dynamic Gold might look at Dynamic Gold SL (SuperLite), which has replaced Dynamic Gold Lite in the True Temper lineup. The weight range for DG SL is 104-109 grams.
Moore carried two TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway woods (15 and 19 degree), and he used different shafts in each. He had a ...
Ryan Moore birdied the first hole of a Monday playoff against Gary Woodland to win the CIMB Classic on Monday morning. Here is a complete list of the clubs Moore used to earn his third PGA Tour title:
DRIVER: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast TP (8.5 degree) with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 (15 degree) with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 shaft; (19 degree) with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 8.2X shaft
IRONS: Ping S55 (3-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Lite X-100 shafts
WEDGES: Ping Tour with Gorge Grooves (54 degree) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shaft; Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (60 degree) with a KBS Tour shaft
PUTTER: YES! Sandy-12
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x
There wasn’t much of an offseason for touring pros in 2013, but Ernie Els is experimenting with new golf equipment just like he might in the longer offseason of years gone by.
Playing in Asia, Els has been doing some experimenting with equipment. Last week in the Venetian Macau Open, he used a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball. This week in the CIMB Classic, he is playing a TaylorMade Lethal ball.
Els is a Callaway staff player, and mostly has played the Callaway HEX Black Tour ball in the last two years.
The biggest change for Els, though, is graphite iron shafts in his Callaway irons (5-9 Razr X Muscleback and 3-4 X Utility Prototype). For the two Asian events, he has used 125-gram Recoil Prototype iron shafts from UST Mamiya.
The SLDR driver was released in mid-2013, and two things made it different than recent TaylorMade drivers. The first was a sliding weight in the sole that gave the SLDR (commonly referred to as “The Slider”) either a draw or a fade bias. The second was the club’s center of gravity (CG) position, which was more forward than other TaylorMade drivers. According to the company, shifting the CG down and forward created less spin and increased ball speed.
While the five SLDR fairway woods that will arrive in stores Nov. 15 do not feature the sliding weight found in the driver, TaylorMade has designed the CG position in all of them to be more forward to reduce spin. TaylorMade also gave the clubs an updated version of the channel found in the company’s RocketBallz and RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway woods.
“The secret of the new SLDR fairway woods is the position of the CG and the new SpeedPocket,” said Tom Kroll, TaylorMade Golf's product evangelist. “That combination is going to give you the high-launch, low-spin ball flight and give you a really strong-performing fairway wood.”
The RocketBallz and RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway woods featured a slot in ...
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- TaylorMade, with its new line of SLDR drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, has taken the traditional perception of loft and altered it substantially.
The SLDR clubs, particular the drivers, will require most golfers to increase the amount of loft in their metalwoods.
The list of converts includes PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson, who has gone from 9.5 to 10.5 degrees in his driver and from 15 to 17 degrees in his 3-wood.
Stewart Cink took a jump in driver loft from 10.5 to 12 degrees. Justin Rose, the U.S. Open champion, went up from 8.5 to 9.5 degrees. All SLDR products can be adjusted 1.5 degrees up or down to find the most effective loft.
Purchasing the proper loft in a TaylorMade product has never before been more crucial and more unconventional at the same time. The reason is simple: The SLDR line is designed with a center of gravity that is low and forward. In most metalwoods, the CG is low and back, or low and somewhere in the rear portion of the clubhead.
Low/forward, according to TaylorMade, creates more ball speed and more distance.
More loft goes hand-in-hand ...
Webb Simpson won his fourth career PGA Tour event on Sunday after shooting a final-round 66 at the TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. Here is a complete list of the clubs that Webb Simpson used to win the Shriners Hospital for Children Open.
DRIVER: Titleist 913D3 (10.5 degree) with a UST Mamiya VTS 6X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 913F (15 degree), Titleist 913F.d (18 degree) with UST Mamiya VTS 8X shafts
HYBRID: Titleist 913H.d (20 degree) with a Graphite Design DI Hybrid 105X shaft
IRONS: Titleist 680 (4-9) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (48) degree with a True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shaft; (54, 58 degree) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER: Ping G5i Craz-E B belly
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x
A club specifically designed to help mid- and high-handicap golfers hit better chip shots or effective runners around the green is nothing new. Neither is a high-lofted club with a super-enlarged sole to make escaping greenside bunkers easier. However, Cleveland thinks that with the release of the new Smart Sole C and Smart Sole S, which will go on sale Nov. 15 for $99 with a steel shaft and $119 with a graphite, it can help eliminate indecision and make getting the ball close to the hole much less stressful.
The Cleveland Smart Sole C wedge comes with 42 degrees of loft, which is the equivalent of a 9-iron, but its expansive sole width reduces the likelihood of a fat chip shot or digging the club into the turf.
"It's been a few years since we came out with a super game-improvement wedge like this," said Pat Ripp, a research and business solutions engineer at Cleveland Golf. "The interesting thing about it is that we only wanted to have it made in one loft to simply the bag for the high-handicap player."
Ripp noted that the club is reminiscent of Cleveland's Niblick Scoring Club, a wide-soled, low-profile wedge ...
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