Cleveland posted a teaser picture on their twitter a few days ago of a new wedge that they are releasing in September. You couldnt see much in the picture but the assumption was that the release is a wedge .Srixon has taken over for Cleveland in the irons and woods while they have kept the Cleveland name on the wedges and putters.
A Game Changer
This new wedge is really aiming at changing the wedge game. They are making a wedge that has a cavity. I know you are probably thinking “Robert your PING Glide wedges have a cavity. Wait, Didnt Cleveland release a wedge with a cavity?” Yes they did but this isnt a small cavity like those clubs this is going to be a wedge with a large sole. Cleveland is asking the question “If you play game improvement irons why are you playing a blade wedge?” I think this is a fairly good question. I love the idea of making a wedge that has a cavity. You get the benefits of the wedge and the cavity back. The Rotex face is going to give you that spin you get from the wedge while giving you the forgiveness you probably also want on your wedges.
Would I use it?
In my set I have a random gap wedge that was given to me by my father in law before he passed away. I play this club for a few reasons. When I use my blade wedges I honestly get a little flippy with my hands. This causes me to hit the ball very high and end up short a lot of times. If I get handsy with my cavity back I will blade it over the green. This really makes me drive the ball. The cavity gives me the confidence the ball will get in the air and wont need my help. The wide sole also lets me use it around the green as a chipper. When I am ready to hit a bump and run this is the club I use. I dont get fancy. I dont open it to hit a flop shot or anything else
It does have its problems though
Now I like this as a gap wedge. I couldnt imagine using this as a lob wedge or even really a sand wedge. My 54 and 58 degree wedges get used for multiple types of shots. Sometime I like opening up the face and hitting a flop shot. Too much bounce will hinder the ability to do that. The cavity will get in the way as well.
Will it work?
The question then becomes will this be successful? I have to say I dont think it will in year one. This is is a border line radical idea. The people who buy them will love them but I dont imagine many people will buy them in year one. People will begin playing with the guys who bought them early and see how cool they are. Then year two and three sales will increase. I hope Cleveland sticks with these for a few years. I think these can really help golfers.
Another busy day in the world of golf! We have some club news and also some crazy news from the PGA Tour. Lets start with the big time equipment news.
Callaway expands their fairway wood line
We were introduced to a new fairway wood from Callaway. This one is bound to get some feelings of nostalgia going. They are going to bring back a modern version of one of the most popular fairway woods ever, the Steelhead. The company took the shape of the classic Steelhead and put a modern engine under the hood.
They kept the steel face of the original to keep the feel. The face does have all the cup face technology Callaway is known for to increase ball speed. Like a ton of Callaway products the crown will be carbon fiber. They made the crown this light so they could move the Center of Gravity low and forward. A low and forward Center of Gravity helps lower spin to help get every yard possible. In addition to being incredibly light the crown also features the Aerodynamic design that Callaway engineered with Boeing. The sole has the familiar hawkeye design that will look and feel familiar. That sole is very useful in all situations. I had a year where my swing left me and found one of these in a Goodwill bin. It was a perfect mini driver. It helped me play that summer with little frustration. I am actually really excited. The Steelhead will retail for $229.99 and will hit the pro shop 7/14. I know I love equipment but its usually hard to justify the price. This one is actually going to be on my to try and buy list.
The news from the PGA Tour is possibly the most sudden and surprising news from the tour in a long time. Phil Mickelson and his caddie Bones have gone their separate ways. Bones has been on the bag for all of Phils career. They seemed to have a relationship more unique than any other player caddie relationship. They were best friends. Over the past few weeks they seemed to be at odds with each other. It wasnt too severe but it was noticeable. This may have been a chance to save the friendship at the expense of the professional relationship
PING decided to make their presence known on the USGA conforming list this morning. We are seeing our first look at the brand new PING driver, the G400.
Same 3 models as before
The G400 will also come in 3 different models just like the G series did. We have the LST, the SFT and the G400. The LAST is for a more penetrating ball flight. The SFT is the draw based higher flying driver and the G400 is the middle of the road driver.
Tungsten instead of weights
The last model used a strategically placed weight to accomplish these ball flight goals. The new model has instead used tungsten to provide the needed weight. They have also added what looks to be a weight in the back to help pull the Center of Gravity back to increase forgiveness. If you don’t like the turbulators on the crown I am afraid I have some bad news, they appear to be staying.
Usually when things hit the USGA list they tend to be put into play pretty quickly so we very well could be seeing these on tour this week at the US Open
Well demo day at the merchandise show is over and some of the stuff out there is starting to flow out of Orlando. It doesnt seem there was anything too earth shattering. Dont get me wrong we have some new stuff and there were a couple of surprises but nothing overly crazy.
We start off with one of the most basic parts of the club. Golf Pride is coming out with a revised version of the MCC Plus4 grip. It is named the MCC Plus4 Align. They have added a rib to the backside of the grip. This allows the player to put their hands on the club better and more consistently. Basically they added a rib to a grip. This isnt anything crazy or earth shattering. Companies have been doing this for years. That being said things had moved to no rib in the grip so it is nice to see that option coming back.
Im a big fan of using technology out on the course. Thats why when I saw a tent for VPAR that said “Now you know when each shot counts” I looked it up and saw it was an app that allowed you to have live leader boards with your friends. You could have a tournament and it would track your scores and display them like a leader board at a professional tournament. This would let you know the score you would need to win the tournament. Its a good way to give you and your friends. It also has stat tracking and GPS rangefinder capabilities. Its pretty nifty. I downloaded it and will let you know what I think next time I’m out on the course.
Probably the coolest thing I saw in all the pictures today was the Skycaddie LINX GT again I am a huge fan of technology and love what it can do for your average golfer. Tour players have access to caddies who can give them precise numbers to bunkers,hazards,front of green, middle of green, and back of green. The pros also have very specific ways of tracking how far they hit each club. The Skycaddie Linx GT allows you to do both of these things in one. It is a GPS range finder that will give you all of the important distances you may need. Thats super useful. Knowing its 135 to clear the water is more useful than not knowing at all. This could save you a stroke or 2 out there. That would be cool enough but it wouldnt be ground breaking. Thats been around a while. Where this is different is they have incorporated shot tracking. It comes with sensors that you stick in the grip of the clubs. When you hit the club it registers the shot. When you drive to your next shot it calculates the distance you traveled and tells you how far you hit the ball. Its always useful to know how far you hit each club. The results may not be what you want to see but if you use that information correctly it can make a difference. Its $349.99. Id love to get it out on the course and do some reviews but it may be a little too rich for my blood.
I am a big fan of getting kids into the game. Its the only way we will keep the game alive in the future. If you have a child who is showing some interest in the game and needs some clubs youd be hard pressed to find something better than the US Kids Golf sets. They sell clubs by height not age. That to me is a big selling point. It is also affordable and high quality.
I dont have anything to say about the Epon AF Tour. I just needed an excuse to put this club up. Its gorgeous.
Tomorrow could be a huge day. Taylormade and Tiger Woods have an announcement. Some people are saying Tiger will be announcing that he is playing Taylormade clubs. Others are saying Tiger is buying a majority stake in Taylormade. Stay tuned for info!
This past week was a pretty crazy week in the golf equipment world. I wrote about Hogan firing all of their employees and reorganizing. Callaway also told everyone their poorly kept secret. They have a new driver and it is Epic. Finally we got a look at what Ping is releasing as their newest iron.
In a couple of weeks the biggest equipment event of the year takes place in Florida, The PGA Merchandise Show. With it being such a big deal I decided to give you a nice preview of what to expect.
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