Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY) has had a great run with the Rogue which was the bestselling driver in 2018 but now Rogue appears to be on the way out of the Callaway lineup. The replacement is named the Epic Flash along with the Epic Flash Sub Zero if the two newbies showing up on the USGA list of conforming driver heads is a true indication. The company typically introduces new drivers early in January prior the PGA Merchandise Show which in 2019 is runs from the 23rd to the 25th.
From the images on the USGA website both the Epic Flash and the Epic Flash Sub Zero (Sub Zero is Callaway’s designation for lower spin models) use the Jailbreak Technology, two titanium rods running from the crown to the sole. First seen in the Great Big Bertha Epic in 2017 a refined version was also used in the Rogue. Both Flash models have a channel at the rear of the sole with a sliding weight to effect draw/fade bias. The approved Epic Flash clubheads included the regular, three versions of the Sub Zero and a Sub Zero (Tour).
If Callaway follows the timeline from previous years to introduce the Epic Flash models they will first show up in the bags of staff players at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the following week at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Pricing of the Epic Flash will be announced with the introduction. According to Andrew Tursky on PGATour.com the new driver was spotted on the range at the QBE Shootout pro-am.
Callaway through the third quarter ending Sept. 30 reported their share of the hard goods market in the U.S. was 24.9% holding the top position in sales for all clubs.
TaylorMade Golf: TMaG is using teasers in social media and on the Golf Channel for their new drivers that we’re guessing will named the M5 and M6. No definitive information is available as yet from the company but the tag line for the February 1 introduction is “Everybody Gets Faster.” From the teaser images, purposely without detail, the most obvious feature of the new drivers is two weight screws on the face, one towards the heel and one towards the toe, located low towards the leading edge. Face screws disappeared from drivers and fairway woods with the advent of first steel headed woods. For those taking up the game in the past 25 years they may never have seen a wooded clubhead driver with face screws, whereas some of us have a closet full. No word on the status of the “Twist Face” feature to at least partially straighten out off center impacts introduced in 2018 with the M3 and M4 models. TaylorMade Golf will not be exhibiting at the PGA Merchandise Show evidently opting to use social media and conventional advertising to tour the new technology.
In Case Anyone Should Ask:
Goodbye Sunshine State Hello Lone Star State: The PGA of America announced a move from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where their headquarters has been located for more than 50 years, to Frisco, Texas north of Dallas. The new 600-acre mixed use site development tagged initially for a $520 million project is a partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts, Stillwater Capital, Woods Capital and local government. In addition to PGA headquarters plans call for retail space and an Omni Hotel with convention center plus two 18-hole golf courses and extensive practice facility. The courses are scheduled as venues for the 2023 Kitchen Aid Senior PGA Champion, the 2027 and 2034 PGA Championships all owned by the PGA as well as two Women’s PGA Championship, and another Senior PGA Championship. The PGA also owns the Ryder Cup so presumably the courses could host this international competition. PGA spokesmen said the move is to be completed by mid-2022.
Miura Expansion: Japanese club maker Miura Golf is expanding their efforts to reach consumers and for the first time will sell assembled clubs on MiuraGolf.com. Formerly their highly respected products were only sold through custom fitters. The fitting interface guides golfers through every step of customization: Miura club heads come in three distinct finishes and can be matched with seven loft options, 18 different shafts and 14 grips to produce a set of clubs that is truly fully customized. Customers can also acquire custom-designed individual clubs from the MC-501, IC-601, Tour Wedge and Wedge Series lines, as well as Passing Point Neo hybrids and KM-007 and KM-009 putters.
Kizzire and Harmon Win with Titleist: Patton Kizzire (6 ft., 5 in. 215 lbs.) and Brian Harman (5 ft., 7 in, 150 lbs.) may be a study in contrasts physically but they were still able to win the QBE Shootout by one over the team of Graeme McDowell and Emiliano Grillo. This was the first appearance by the duo in Greg Norman’s tournament which had a field of 12 teams including the team of LPGA star Lexi Thompson and Tony Fineau who finished in seventh place.
Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5°) – Fujikura Speeder 757TR X shaft
Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15°) Aldila Tour Blue 95TX shaft
Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19°) – UST Mamiya Axiv Core 100 shaft
Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), Titleist 718 CB (5-6), Titleist 718 MB (7-9) – all True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (48°, 52°, 56°, 60°) – True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue Onyx shafts
Putter: Scotty Cameron Golo
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist 917D2 (8.5°) – Accra Concept Series M4 55X shaft
Fairway Woods: Titleist TS2 (13.5°) – Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution II S shaft, Titleist 917F2 (15°) Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution II S shaft
Hybrid: Titleist 818H1 (21°) – True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue shaft
Irons: Titleist CB 718 (5-9) – True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (46°, 50°, 54°, 60°) – True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider OS CB
Ball: Titleist Pro V1