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James Achenbach

Stories by James

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Golf Pride Tour Velvet Super Tack

A new member of the Tour Velvet family was released at the PGA Merchandise Show. Called Tour Velvet Super Tack, the grip will be available March 1 in retail outlets.

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King: Bigger cup, larger ball can grow golf

Mark King, chief executive of TaylorMade Golf, says about a dozen golf courses are poised to target growing the game by adding 15-inch cups – more than triple the diameter of the 4.25-inch cups players are used to.

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Hyler secured Pinehurst's place in U.S. Open

Raleigh’s Jim Hyler, who would become the USGA’s president in 2010, was among a visionary, influential group that delivered the first Open to tiny Pinehurst.

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TaylorMade pledges $5 million to grow game

TaylorMade Golf pledged $5 million Tuesday evening to foster the growth of the game of golf in a five-year effort will be conducted under an entity called Hackgolf.

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True Temper’s dynamic history

The Dynamic steel golf shaft was introduced in 1942. Today, 72 years later, it is still manufactured by the same company, True Temper, and remains the most popular iron shaft on the PGA Tour.

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Fujikura's MCI shaft

Fujikura’s MCI (Metal Composite Iron) shaft recently became widely available through the certified network of Fujikura dealers. This iron shaft is a blend of graphite and steel. The objective is better balance, feel and stability.

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UST Mamiya's Recoil shafts

UST vice president and shaft designer Mike Guerrette says the company has finally mastered the ovaling process – just ask five-time major winner Ernie Els.

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Q&A with Adams Golf's John Ward

John Ward, a veteran sales executive with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, was named president of Adams Golf in June 2012. After 1 1/2 years at the helm, Ward offers candid observations about his company, the state of golf and the future of the game.

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Toy Box notes: Nike balls in Hawaii

At the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Nike’s Scott Brown played the new RZN Platinum golf ball, while Russell Henley used the new RZN Black ball.

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Toy Box notes: TaylorMade gear in Hawaii

TaylorMade’s new JetSpeed driver offers another choice to touring pros, as have Tour Preferred MB irons and the Tour Preferred X golf ball as the PGA Tour spent two weeks in Hawaii.

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My Year In Golf: James Achenbach

Golfweek Senior Writer James Achenbach has seen his fair share of innovation in his career, but says 2013 showed him superior new golf clubs and balls are all around us. They exist to service the dreams and fantasies of golfers young and old.

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Achenbach: Industry Cup reflects affection for game

The companies that partake in the annual Industry Cup are in business to make money, but they also make it their business to benefit the game by adding to the fun and enjoyment.

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Long-drive legends: Dempsey adds melodic voice to long drives

Pat Dempsey is a prominent example of someone who discovered golf later in life. Dempsey, 56, of Sunland, Calif., came into the game at age 39 and quickly became involved as a spokesman, advocate and businessman.

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Woods employs new Nike driver at World Challenge

Tiger Woods switched into a Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Tour driver -- and also went from a 73-gram Mitsubishi Diamana White Board to a 103-gram Blue Board.

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TaylorMade captures Industry Cup for second time

Behind the team of Frank Firman, Greg Cesario, Pete Roberts and Joe Ryon, TaylorMade became the first team to win the Industry Cup title since Golfweek took over the event four years ago.

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Titleist's Martens wins Long Drive at Industry Cup

Titleist engineer Grant Martens is 150 pounds soaking wet, but managed to win the Long Drive competition at the Industry Cup at Oak Creek GC in Irvine, Calif.

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With McIlroy in tow, Nike introduces new line

Rory McIlroy spoke frankly at Nike's recent Innovation Unleashed event in Las Vegas -- as did Nike Golf president Cindy Davis.

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Wilson Staff C 100 irons

Wilson designs its irons in three categories: Feel, Control and Distance. The Wilson Staff C 100 is the centerpiece of the Control category.

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Callaway Big Bertha, Big Bertha Alpha

Big Bertha is back. Callaway Golf will use the famous name for two new drivers and a line of fairway woods for 2014.

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Wilson Staff D 100 ES hybrid-iron set

The Wilson Staff D 100 ES, a long-distance combination set of irons and hybrids is being introduced because a distance-producing 6-iron doesn’t mean much if a golfer isn't hitting the center of the face.

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Nike VRS Covert Forged irons

The Nike VRS Covert Forged irons are the company's first forged iron with its high-speed NexCOR face, which Nike says uses variable face thickness to amplify trampoline effect.

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Nike VR X3X wedges: Toe Sweep, Dual Wide Sole

Nike Golf’s Mike Taylor listened to countless touring pros as they explained what they liked and wanted in wedges while he developed the VR X3X Toe Sweep and VR X3X Dual Wide Sole.

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Nike VRS Covert 2.0 fairway woods, hybrids

Nike, with its new VRS Covert 2.0 fairway woods and hybrids, has adapted the same Fly-Brace design principle that is used in the new VRS Covert 2.0 drivers.

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Achenbach: McIlroy heeds some major putting advice

In shadowing Rory McIlroy and putting guru Dave Stockton at a Nike promotional event, our James Achenbach heard one major topic of conversation: putting.

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Nike VRS Covert 2.0 driver

Nike's 2014 VRS Covert 2.0 driver might not look much different on the outside, but its new Fly-Brace technology in the hollow internal cavity gives the clubhead a new stiffness that the company feels is a good thing.

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Nike's new RZN golf ball line

The new Nike RZN golf balls come in four models: Black and Platinum are four-piece balls, while Red and White are three-piece balls.

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Borrowed driver helps English to Mayakoba win

OHL Classic winner Harris English's Ping G15 driver was broken en route to Malaysia in October – so he won at Mayakoba with Billy Horschel’s backup G25.

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TaylorMade wins with woods

Henrik Stenson’s victory on the European Tour was the eighth worldwide for a player with a SLDR driver.

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Four worldwide wins for Titleist golf balls

Harris English, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott and Wen-Chong Liang won this week using Titleist golf balls.

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Short shots: Odyssey putters, Aldila shafts in play

A couple of quick notes on equipment from the pro tours this week, including Odyssey putters and Aldila shafts.

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Ping CEO joins parents in Ariz. golf hall

John Solheim, Ping’s president and chief executive, joins his parents, Karsten and Louise Solheim, as members of the the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame.

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Toy Box short shots: Senden's putter, more

John Senden used a new TaylorMade putter while contending on Tour; players are quickly turning to new Nike drivers and balls; plus more in this week's Toy Box short shots.

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Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro fairway wood gains win

Chris Kirk’s victory gave the new Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro fairway wood its first victory.

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Two international wins with Titleist gear

It was a huge weekend for Titleist, as staff members Adam Scott and Victor Dubuisson won on different continents with all-Titleist bag configurations.

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Kirk relies on mostly Callaway in win

Chris Kirk carried a mixed bag of mostly Callaway clubs during his win at the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic.

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Callaway X2 Hot & X2 Hot Pro lineup

Any discussion of Callaway Golf’s new family of clubs revolves around the word hot -- it's even in the name of the new Callaway X2 Hot lineup of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons.

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Callaway X2 Hot & X2 Hot Pro driver

Callaway's new X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro drivers are all about ball speed, with a face 4 percent larger than the previous model without adding weight.

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Callaway Apex Pro irons

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.

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Toy Box: Johnson, Couples increase driver lofts

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.

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Achenbach: Reflections on golf in the fast lane

Our James Achenbach reflects on the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship, won by Tim Burke on Oct. 30 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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Burke's blast takes World Long Drive checkered flag

Tim Burke of Orlando, Fla., hit a 427-yard drive Wednesday night to defeat favorite Joe Miller of London and claim the winner-take-all $250,000 first prize in the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship.

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Long Drive Championship favors Miller

The Open Division finals of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship will be held this evening, Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 6-8 p.m. PDT.

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Achenbach: 5 myths about long driving

The RE/MAX Long Drive Championship begins Oct. 30 in Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Golfweek Senior Writer James Achenbach explains five myths about long driving.

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Olsavsky agrees to Cobra Puma R&D post

Golfweek has learned that Tom Olsavsky, director of product creation at TaylorMade Golf, has agreed to replace Tom Preece as vice president of research and development at Cobra Puma Golf.

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New Nike ball in play for McIlroy, Pettersen

As Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods engaged in a head-to-head exhibition match in Haikou, China, the big news for gearheads was that McIlroy was playing with a new Nike driver and new Nike ball.

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Toy Box notes: Moore mixes; Pettersen wins; more

In gaining his third PGA Tour title, Ryan Moore used clubs from four different manufacturers and a ball from a fifth; plus bags from Suzann Pettersen and Gary Woodland.

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Q&A: Cobra Puma Golf president Bob Philion

Cobra Puma Golf president Bob Philion is widely regarded as one of the rising young stars in the golf industry at age 41.

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Els experimenting with ball, shafts in Asia

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.

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Increase in loft common with SLDR line

TaylorMade, with its new line of SLDR drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, has taken the traditional perception of loft and altered it substantially.

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Toy Box: Walker's driver formula: Titleist + Aldila

Jimmy Walker recently took half an inch off his driver to tighten his dispersion; also a look at other driver shafts in wins last week, as well as a couple of putter notes and more in our Toy Box.