Can you believe it? It’s nearly 2019 and in a few short weeks UTNT will be heading down to Orlando, Florida for the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. Honestly, it’s this event that gets me excited in a way that Christmas does for children around the world. For this event… truly makes me feel like a child.
As the show closes in my appointment book is starting to fill up. It’s a good thing because it will give me content for the year. This year though, is going to be different as far as distributing stories for the year. Look for a ton of video and “First Look” reviews while I’m still in Orlando. It’s a perk of writing for yourself I suppose.
Crystal and I are covering it all this year. Apparel, accessories, gift ideas, training aids and of course golf balls and golf equipment. I’m going to be trying to swing as many products as I can from as many manufacturers as possible instead of having tunnel vision and being very selective. However, there are certain companies that I definitely want to visit on Demo Day.
Here is my proposed list thus far for the Driver/Metalwood Category.
Bridgestone Golf – They’re back for the first time in a few years. Not only are they unveiling a new Ball Fitting 2.0 system but perhaps they will have the Tour B JGR there to swing among their new offering…the Tour B J819. The original JGR was a sleeper in 2016.
Callaway Golf – The scuttlebutt surrounding the Epic Flash is pretty crazy. If this driver somehow marries the Epic and the Rogue the hype will be worth it. Honestly, I don’t know what they’re doing for irons this year.
Cobra Golf – You’ve seen my press release regarding the KING F9 SPEEDBACK range. With professional victories already this year by Lexi Thompson and Bryson DeChambeau it’s a must swing. Besides… the KING F8/F8+ was the best driver that I made swings with last year. Will the KING F9 live up to it?
Fourteen Golf – This JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) is the first brand that’s a little obscure on the list. At the moment, they have two driver offerings the CT 518 and the DT 112. I made swings with their drivers in maybe 2014 and I remember the crisp feel at impact. Their irons are typically very good.
Lynx Golf – Last year their #BB driver was the biggest surprise for me at the Demo Day. It was a nice looking driver and it performed very well. Maybe my expectations were set very low prior to hitting it and maybe that’s why I thought it “over-achieved”. Their new Black Cat woods and irons sound and look intriguing. Lynx Golf you’re no longer under my radar. The image was too small for me to share.
Mizuno Golf – The last time that I made a swing with a Mizuno Golf driver/metalwood was the JPX EZ. Before that, it was the Blue Rage. Yes… I kid you not. So I’m anticipating swinging whatever they bring to Orange County National Golf Resort and Lodge. Is it the ST190? Or is it a Prototype that I’ve seen on the internet. After all… if it’s on the internet it has to be true.
PING Golf – I have never made a swing with a PING product at the PGA Show Demo Day. A few years ago I snuck onto the ETC and made swings there where I was fit into a 8* G 30 LST and an X-Stiff shaft to get my spin down. It felt hot but I would have loved to see it on the Demo Day range. This year that changes one way or another.
Srixon Golf – Srixon Golf has two drivers in their stable for the 2019 product cycle. The Z 585 and the Z 785. I’ve heard conflicting reports about these drivers. Everything from they’re amazing and long to a few sales people at a large golf box store saying that they can’t hit them for the life of them. I’ll put them through their paces in Orlando.
Titleist – I haven’t made a swing with a Titleist driver since the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show. Funny story, the 917 D2 and D3 review that I did based on those swings at that Demo Day was one of my most read posts of 2018. I’m going to try to get a hold of the TS2 and TS3 at Demo Day. Titleist uses a two-year product cycle which is something that I’ve always admired about them. When Titleist releases new clubs… they’re fantastic.
Tour Edge Golf – I made a claim today. Tour Edge isn’t a game-changer in 2019… they’re an industry changer. The EXS line is promising and based on my findings while testing the EXS Hybrid was that they have a real winner. The driver and metalwood will be the same. Loaded with technology and an attractive price point at $299 USD. Tour Edge shows us that you can have premium products without having to sell off one of your organs to purchase them. I cannot wait to swing the EXS driver.
Wilson Golf – The winner of Driver vs Driver 2 was introduced to the golfing public. It was fun watching the Cortex through all of the phases. I’ve been a little critical of the Cortex because I thought it looked “too safe” and “too familiar”. But, they know what they’re talking about (Tim Clarke and the rest of the team at Wilson Golf). I saw it in hand and it really is their best looking driver yet. What I heard from reps about Srixon (above) was not how they felt about Cortex. Apparently, it’s the real deal.
Stay tuned for another piece leading up to the PGA Show. I have a list of “must try” irons and I’m surprised where that focus actually is.
Until The Next Tee!!