Here is a quick rundown of a few of the clubs and balls introduced at the just concluded 2019 PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center. In coming weeks Golf Gear Weekly will give you all the details of those we consider significant plus the results of hitting them on the course and range.
The G410 family is includes two new drivers, the G410 Plus and G410 SFT, and for the first time in a PING driver a movable weight to adjust ball flight tendency with Draw, Straight and Fade settings. The G410 uses their well-regarded Dragonfly crown with Turbulators, a Forged titanium face and a new hosel adjustable with five settings between +1.5° and -1.5°. Street price will likely be $500 which is $100 more than the G400.
Ping recognized with players getting more distance from drivers and irons set makeup was suffering and the G410 fairway woods, hybrids and Crossovers are meant to provide a more consistent transition. Fairway woods (MSRP $310) have a shallower forged maraging steel face and a low and back center of gravity for easier launch plus a +/- 1.5° adjustable loft. G410 hybrids are loft adjustable +/- 1.5° with a new thinner maraging steel face in a larger profile head that a back weight to increase forgiveness. MSRP is $270. PING’s G410 edition of the Crossovers also has the maraging steel face plus a 30-gram tungsten toe weight in the shorter clubhead that is narrower in the sole than the G400. Priced at $247.50
They also have added distance-producing features in the G410 irons with a redesigned cavity more perimeter weighting in the multi-material head of 17-4 stainless steel, tungsten toe/hosel weights and aluminum/elastomer badge. The finish is the water repelling Hydropearl version 2.0 and MSRP is $135 per iron with steel shafts and $150 with graphite.
2019 Pro V1/Pro V1x—Now in Yellow
The most popular ball on every pro tour and the favorite of recreational players has an updated version. The 2019 Titlesit Pro V1 and Pro V1x (both $48 per dozen) have a 17% thinner cast urethane cover which allow the casing layer or mantle to be made 14% thicker to give lower driver spin and more ball speed. The Pro V1 is still a three-piece construction but with a core stiffer in the outer portions progressing to softer towards the center while the four-piece Pro V1x has a true outer core reformulated to be stiffer and wrapped around a softer inner core. The big news which will probably grate the wrong way for some traditionalists is both can now be purchased in yellow.
A new management team at Bridgestone is putting renewed emphasis on the ball fitting program that lead to the second spot in ball sales behind Titleist. That position was lost over the past three years to Callaway’s Chrome Soft and Bridgestone want it back.
The mid-priced e12 is a new three-piece Surlyn cover model selling for $29.99 per dozen and will be available Feb.15 in the e12 SOFT and e12 SPEED. In response to consumers in addition to white the e12 will be sold in matte green, matte red and the most popular of the non-white colors matte yellow.
Lynx Switch Face
Not only is UK-based Lynx Golf coming to the U.S., but they are bringing a unique driver with a face that can be switched as simply as unscrewing the old face and screwing in the new. This new type or customization is aimed at providing golfers with interchangeable faces to give them true lofts and offer five lofts with varying open/closed faces for a total of 25 combinations. The VT Prowler will be in shops in March and sell for $525 with additional faces $120.
This new muscle back Z-Forged blade has a classic shape with a redesign Tour V.T. sole to improve turf interaction and add to consistency. Single billet forged from soft 1020 carbon steel give a smooth Tour-quality feel better players want. Z-Forged from Srixon will be in shops and fitter Feb.1 for $142.85 per iron, $999.99 for a seven-piece set and $1,142.84 for an eight-piece set.
Vokey SM7 wedges will be offered in a Slate Blue finish and in shops and on Vokey.com on Jan31. and available in all 23 SM7 loft, bounce and grind options in both right and left hand at $199.
Scotty Cameron Phantom X Putters
With nine mallet shapes, all somewhat smaller than the Futura predecessors, the Phantom X family offers low-bend, mid-bend and straight shaft setups with a variety of flange orientations and improved alignment markings. Available in shops on April 12 the Phantom X carry a suggested selling price of $429.
In Case Anyone Should Ask
Club Counts at Farmers
Counting drivers 47 played a Titleist, 33 teed it up with a TaylorMade and 28 the Callaway Epic Flash. TaylorMade says that 23 players of the 33 using their driver were non-contracted players. Titleist was top choice in fairway woods with 57, hybrids 24 and irons 48 while Titleist’s Vokey led the wedge count (219) and their Scotty Cameron the putter count (63). Titleist reports that of their 47 drivers at Torrey Pines 12 were the new TS2 and 29 the TS3. In balls Titleist as usual led Callaway with 112 players versus 19.
Justin Rose’s winning equipment:
Driver: Honma Tour World 747 460 (9.5° adjusted to 8.5°) – VIZARD FD-7 shaft
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M6 (15°), TaylorMade M3 (19°) – Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei Orange CK Series 80TX shafts
Irons: Honma Tour World Rose Proto (2, 4-9) – KBS C-Taper 125 shafts
Wedges: Honma Tour World Rose Proto (48°, 52° & 56°), Titleist Vokey SM7 (60°) – KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 shafts
Putter: Axis1 Prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5