It may have been Super Bowl 50 weekend but golf had its share of excitement at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour with Hideki Matsuyama beating fan-favorite Rickie Fowler in a four-hole playoff. Japanese native Matsuyama played Srixon Z945 irons, a professional category iron, with a traditional muscle back design and thin topline. Their compact shape is forged from 1020 carbon steel giving a soft feel with lots of responsiveness. The face is a high-strength maraging steel, the sole has a “Tour V”-design and pricing is $999.99 for an 8-iron set. The stock shaft is True Temper Dynamic Gold, the stock grip the Lamkin UTx Full Cord Red and KBS Tour and Nippon NS Pro 950 shafts are available at no upcharge.
Matsuyama also carried three Cleveland Golf 588 RTX 2.0 wedges with ROTEX micro-milled faces and sharper grooves. They are available in several lofts all in a traditional muscle-back design with the standard shaft being the True Temper Dynamic Gold and they carry a price of $140 each. His ball was the Srixon Z-Star XV ($45 dozen) with the second generation of the SpinSkin covers that provides increase friction with the clubface while lowering the cover softness from the previous mode.
On the LPGA Tour the diminutive South Korean Ha Na Jang won the Coates Golf Championship with Honma woods and irons. Her driver the Honma Tour World TW727 460 has a clubhead made with a high-density forging process to maintain hardness and increases strength by about 15%. There’s also a new variable thickness design face with an expanded sweet spot. It sells for $605.
Danny Willett was the winner at the European Tour Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a Callaway Golf XR 16 ($350) driver set at 10.5 degrees. The company worked with engineers at aerospace giant Boeing Co. to develop a new clubhead shape that reduces aerodynamic drag while give more forgiveness for off center hits. The clubface is also thinner by 19 percent than last year’s XR model and the body is lighter as well. The saved weight has been repositioned to increase the resistance to twisting. Stock shaft is the Fuikura Speeder Evolution 565.
Willet stayed with Callaway for the golf ball he used in the win. The Callaway Speed Regime 3 is made for high speed swings (over 105 mph) and has a soft urethane cover for added spin. This five-piece ball is part of Callaway’s Speed Regime family and has been on the market for two seasons selling for $40.