Introducing the New CNCPT Irons – Engineered by Titleist

The latest realizations of this process – the new CP-03 and CP-04 irons– have been constructed from exotic high-performance materials that can take up to eight months just to source. Each part has been forged and cast to the extreme limits of precision, yielding a strike that generates supreme ball speed with ideal launch and unparalleled forgiveness:

  • CP-03 provides an astonishing balance of power and control in a progressive midsize muscle back profile;
  • CP-04 advances the original CP-01 design, delivering ultimate speed with enhanced accuracy in a player’s improvement head shape.

They join the superior blade-size performance of CP-02 in the new CNCPT series – available for fittings beginning today, Sept. 24.

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CNCPT PERFORMANCE & TECHNOLOGY

Every CNCPT iron is designed and engineered to an inconceivable standard of excellence through the following innovations:

  • Forged supermetal L-face insert– the thinnest unsupported, constant-thickness face in golf – produces supreme ball speeds with increased launch (mid to low irons). CNCPT irons are the first club designs to utilize this rare, super strong alloy.
  • Multi-material, hollow body design allows for optimized MOI and CG placement in every iron through the set.
  • Extraordinary amounts of high-density tungsten weighting – making up nearly 50 percent of the total head weight in the lower lofts – provide precise sweet spot calibration and greater clubhead stability. At least 100 grams of tungsten on average (mid to low irons) is used in each iron to produce the most generous and forgiving impact possible.

“CNCPT is the dream project for our engineers,” said Marni Ines, Titleist Golf Club R&D’s Director of Irons Development. “We’re on the journey to not only design the ultimate iron – but actually figure out how to make it. We’ve made a huge leap forward with the discovery of this supermetal alloy – the material is so strong and resilient that we’re able to forge iron faces even thinner than we once thought possible. It’s difficult to obtain and extremely challenging to implement into the manufacturing process, but the benefits to the overall construction in terms of ball speed, launch, distance and trajectory are just astounding.”

CNCPT MODELS

The CNCPT series is designed to allow players to construct their ideal blend of irons using any of the three models. The look, feel and performance of each iron provides a seamless transition in any combination:CP-02: Superior performance with a blade size and feel

  • Progressive muscle back profile
  • Minimal offset
  • Average of 113g tungsten per iron (3-8)

CP-03: Astonishing balance of power and control

  • Progressive midsize muscle back profile
  • Minimal offset
  • Average of 104g tungsten per iron (3-7)

CP-04: Ultimate speed with enhanced accuracy

  • Progressive midsize profile
  • Moderate offset
  • Average of 100g tungsten per iron (4-7)

FITTINGS & AVAILABILITY

Golfers can experience the performance of CNCPT by Titleist irons by attending a Titleist Fitting and Trial event (including Titleist Thursdays), being held at locations nationwide. To find an event, or book a CNCPT fitting with a Titleist Product Specialist, golfers can visit  https://www.titleist.com/fitting/appointments.

CNCPT by Titleist irons are available for fittings and custom order beginning Sept. 24. MAP $500/club.

48 Years in the Making – My Day at Cherry Hill Club

Often, when I think of why I’m so enamored with the game of golf the same answer always rings eternal. It’s the sights, it’s the colours, it’s the aromas like that sweet nectar that is dew mixing with the clippings of freshly cut grass.

When I was just a little boy, going back to when I was 4 or 5 often I travelled to the United States with my parents to visit family. Along Highway #3 between Port Colborne, Ontario and Fort Erie, Ontario lies a golf course that I’ve always admired, while looking out the window as we cruised by. Thinking back, I remember peering through the pine trees that separated the highway from their property, just to capture a glimpse of the green ribbon that I would later learn was called a fairway. It was always a look of bright-eyed fascination.

I never knew it then but, this was called a golf course, nay, a golf club called Cherry Hill Club. This was the very first golf course that I would ever see. I wouldn’t realize it for nearly another three decades, but I would love golf and much of my love for the game came from those fleeting glances, all so many years ago. As a matter of fact, until September 21st, 2020, every time that I drove by the pristine grounds that is Cherry Hill Club, I’d gawk and wonder what the golf club was like. An ironic sidebar, I applied to work there in the back shop or as a starter a few seasons ago.

Cherry Hill Club is a golf club that’s located in Ridgeway, Ontario and is a club that is rich in history. The golf course was designed by legendary golf course architect Walter J. Travis and was founded in 1922 by affluent families that owned land along the north shore of Lake Erie. During the 1920’s the area was a summer playground for prominent families from Buffalo, NY and Southern Ontario. Families from Buffalo would take a steamship ride aboard a passenger ferry like the SS Canadiana to spend time at their summer homes or days at Crystal Beach.

Looking down the fairway of the first hole from the Cherry Hill Club clubhouse patio.

Over the decades, an evolution has occurred at Cherry Hill Club as the club has matured over the last 98 years. Part of the history of this esteemed private club in the Niagara Region is that it has been a host venue for many notable championships. The great Canadian golfer George Knudson won the Ontario Open in 1960, which consequently, was Mr. Knudson’s first professional win. Our national championship was hosted at Cherry Hill Club as well in 1972. Legends of the game like Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Sam Snead, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, and Johnny Miller all strolled the fairways of Cherry Hill Club during the 1972 Canadian Open, the tournament won by Gay Brewer. Most recently, in 2016, Cherry Hill Club hosted a Mackenzie Tour event after wildfires devastated Fort McMurray, Alberta, which of course eliminated all hopes of a planned event being played there that year. Acting like a foster home, Cherry Hill Club was approached to host the event, and that’s exactly what they did.

Quite honestly, having the opportunity to play Cherry Hill Club is a dream that I thought that would never come true. Not to be self-deprecating but I’m a very humble man, not necessarily refined and to be totally frank, I always inwardly felt like someone of my ilk never belonged at a place like Cherry Hill Club, for fear of almost contaminating it. Fears that would be dashed by the time I left Cherry Hill Club, with the setting sun riding as my wingman, from an outing with the GJAC (Golf Journalists Association of Canada).

The practice green in behind the halfway house. Tricky.

My day at Cherry Hill Club started by attending a meeting on the patio of the clubhouse. 2020, as we all know, has been a year (to paraphrase President Franklin D. Roosevelt) which will “live in infamy”. The annual golf outing for the association was scrubbed earlier in the year due to COVID-19. In a manner similar to 2016, Cherry Hill Club accommodated our outing in these difficult and unprecedented times. As I walked up onto the patio to take part in the meeting, I actually stopped in my tracks to admire the view from the patio. The fairway of the first hole runs parallel to the patio, and I just took in the view, as two golfers meandered their way down the first fairway walking towards their respective golf balls. I was in awe and in love. As the meeting wrapped up, it was time to get to the range and start warming up for the round.

The driving range is located across the street and kitty-corner from the clubhouse. Fully appointed with Titleist golf balls, your warm-up is with real golf balls so you get a good idea of how you’re clicking on any given day. The grass on the tee deck is pristine, and really does serve as a sign of things to come. A tee deck that has nothing but even lies and that has plenty of room for golfers about to start their day. Speaking of signs of things to come, the practice green. The practice green is located by the halfway house and the Pro Shop. Prior to my round, I warmed up on the putting green, and I have to admit it, it was a struggle. Truthfully, I failed to make a putt, but I noticed one thing. The greens had very subtle breaks that you may not be aware of.

Safely in the fairway and ready to strike my second shot on the Par 4 15th hole at Cherry Hill Club.

As I made my way out to the starting hole, I took in all of the views that were afforded to me. Everywhere that I looked, Cherry Hill Club appeared to be flawless. It seemed that nary a blade of grass was out of place and the water hazards glistened under the clear, bright blue late September sky. My starting hole was #15, which is a dogleg left Par 4 hole. A water hazard awaits any errant tee shot struck too far to the left, which coincidentally sits at the entrance of the dogleg. A bunker sits across from the water hazard down the right side of the fairway. This hole was so aesthetically pleasing that I just took in the hues of green and blue, finding myself immersed, infatuated, and distracted. I was “in the moment”.

As the round wore on, the aesthetic beauty and charm of Cherry Hill Club never let up. Tee box after tee box, I was captivated by the beauty of this Walter J. Travis masterpiece. I had a sensation that in a way, transcended time, seemingly taking me back to 1922. There was a feeling, one in which you felt the quaint charm of the design. Generally speaking, when I think about golf courses that I’ve played, there’s always a golf hole that sticks out in my mind. Or there’s the gauche, almost derogatory terminology that is the proverbial “Signature Hole”. Neither of these applied at Cherry Hill Club. Across this great nation of ours that is Canada, we’re blessed with a wide scope of geographical features. At Cherry Hill Club, there are no golf holes that are lakeside, there are no golf holes that have dramatic cliffs dropping off into an abyss that is the ocean, nor are there majestic vistas with rugged mountains in the background. Cherry Hill Club doesn’t need it, Walter J. Travis made a masterpiece out of a piece of canvas that was once two farms.

Heading home. The Par 5 18th Hole at Cherry Hill Club.

The greens alone are special and very noteworthy. Without a doubt, the greens at Cherry Hill Club are nothing short of spectacular. Spectacular in the sense that they were in fantastic condition and quick (they were running 12’11” on the Stimpmeter) but that’s not the true beauty or genius of them. The true beauty lies in the undulations, both obvious and subtle, that were Travis’ vision. More times, often than not, I chuckled both to myself and out loud. Not because the greens were unfair or demonic, it’s not like that at all. I chuckled because I loved them so much. Subtlety is an art form. I’ve often said that to enjoy this game you have to have a “near sadomasochistic quality” and the greens at Cherry Hill Club brings that quality out of you. Out of the changes that have taken place over the years at Cherry Hill Club, the greens remain the same. Unchanged and designed to withstand the “tests of time”.

“The best set of greens in Canada.” – Ian Andrew (Canadian Golf Architect)

Ian Andrew on the putting surfaces at Cherry Hill Club

As mentioned, Cherry Hill Club has seen an evolution. Changes to a golf course in what has been nearly a century. Among these changes are the bunkers in terms of numbers, mounding, and the manner in which the golf course has been mowed by it’s dedicated Golf Course Superintendent and his professional staff. The mowing of the turf showing more contrast and depth from tee to green and around the periphery. The changes allow for more creativity to the golfer around the green where greens in regulation are missed. Putts, “Texas Wedges”, and “Bump and Runs” all can be executed depending on the situation, instead of executing the standard lob shot. The topography of the golf course itself makes it a very walkable golf course, and if I have any regret about my day at Cherry Hill Club, it was that I never walked the golf course. A diabetic foot ulcer prevented that enjoyable walk in Utopia from happening. But, I digress.

Everything about Cherry Hill Club is first class. From Head Professional Walker Arnott and his staff of Assistant Professional’s. Golf Course Superintendent Jeremy Krueger and his staff of unsung heroes to the Food and Beverage Staff. Everyone is there to assist you, to make you feel welcomed, comfortable, and to make your day enjoyable and memorable.

The final hole was the Par 4 14th hole.

Cherry Hill Club makes you feel like you’re in a bubble, which in a way is sort of ironic, considering the circumstances around the globe right now. Cherry Hill Club is a place where, once upon the grounds you feel like everything in the world is okay. I don’t know what the future holds for me and I don’t know if I’ll ever get the privilege, distinction, and honour to play Cherry Hill Club again. It took me 48 years to play Cherry Hill Club and the wait was worth every second.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Introduction to Testing – Rapsodo Golf MLM

When it comes to golf and technology we have seen all sorts of crazy advances. From agronomy to equipment to wearable golf technology. All of these things have contributed in helping golfers improve and shoot lower scores.

Another segment of the golf industry that’s helped golfers improve and play better golf is that of launch monitors. Launch monitors can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but there are some launch monitors out there that are small, compact, and fit into the palm of your hand. These launch monitors are called “Personal Launch Monitors”. And many of them cost less than $1000.

Among the types of units that I describe is that of Rapsodo Golf’s MLM or Mobile Launch Monitor. In looking at Rapsodo Golf’s MLM you have a device that costs less than $500 USD (the same price as a new 2020 driver). The MLM offers key swing metrics such as clubhead speed, distance, launch angle, and smash factor to name a few. But it also does a whole lot more like capture video during your swing sessions, the MLM shows your ball flight via a “shot tracer” and there are even games to make your game sharper. All of this through the use of an iPhone or iPad. As long as you have iOS 11 or better, the app will work.

While all of this is well and good, as far as I’m concerned the MLM had a flaw. The key word here being “had”. As I learned at the 2020 PGA Show MLM had no capabilities to work indoors or into a net. A real bummer for those potential consumers stuck indoors during the winter. Well, fret no more, because the team at Rapsodo Golf has since rectified this inconvenience.

Recently, I received the opportunity from Rapsodo Golf and Brenna Byrne (Account Executive at Uproar PR) to test and review the MLM. I received my demo unit two days ago and since, I’ve had a couple of sessions where I have employed the MLM. Below is my introduction video to testing and following that is a quick recap of my first session.

The Introduction
First session re-cap.

Stay tuned for the full review as I wrap up my testing down the road. We’re only getting started with this one.

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind

Review – Srixon Golf SOFT Feel BRITE Golf Balls

Let’s face it, golf balls consisting of bright, vivid colours aren’t for everyone. Just recently on social media, I was a part of a conversation where someone had mentioned that they couldn’t get the same performance out of a coloured golf ball versus a golf ball that’s white. I think that we could agree that this sentiment is mostly psychological.

But, the coloured golf ball market is actually a very competitive market and they really do have a place among golf consumers. Admittedly, I’m a golfer that used to sort of frown upon the coloured golf ball but out of necessity with aging eyes affected by diabetes, I too, am headed in the direction of playing bright-coloured golf balls. All of the major manufacturers produce at least one bright golf ball offering and among them of course, is Srixon Golf.

Srixon Golf isn’t new to the coloured golf ball game. As a matter of fact, they’ve offered their tour level golf balls (Z-Star and Z-Star XV respectively) in a high-visibility “Tour Yellow” for several years now. So adding more colour options to their golf ball stable isn’t a surprise. Especially, when it comes to golf balls directed at the recreational player looking for a golf ball that offers bright colours, a soft feel, and a very budget-friendly price point. In a nutshell, this is the Srixon Golf Soft Feel BRITE golf ball.

The Set-up

The Srixon Soft Feel BRITE golf ball is in its second generation. Built on the chassis that is the successful Soft Feel golf ball, which is in its 11th generation, the Soft Feel BRITE brings gofers a soft feeling golf ball in bright, vivid colours that are almost guaranteed to help golfers track the flight of their golf ball and then find it afterwards in the fairway. Or dare I say it, the rough. One could argue that the ease of locating the golf ball, could help with better pace of play.

The Soft Feel BRITE as you might expect is a golf ball that is two-piece and is safely lumped into the “Distance Golf Ball” category. The BRITE is offered in a few colours being BRITE Orange, BRITE Red, and BRITE Green.

The Srixon Golf Soft Feel BRITE has some key technological talking points that make it the golf ball that it is. Some of these talking points include…

  • FastLayer Core: With a soft center that gradually transitions to a firm outer edge, the FastLayer Core gives Soft Feel BRITE incredible feel and great distance off the tee.
  • Matte Visual Performance: Three BRITE color options – Red, Orange, and Green – deliver enhanced visibility so it’s easy to track and find the golf ball.
  • 338 Speed Dimple Pattern: To get more distance overall and better performance in the wind, Speed Dimples reduce drag at launch and increase lift during descent.
  • Soft Thin Cover: Provides more greenside spin and softer feel on all pitches, chips, and putts.

The Soft Feel BRITE is offered at retail with a price point of $21.99 USD per dozen or approximately $24.99 CAD per dozen.

The Transition

When it came to the testing of the Soft Feel BRITE golf ball, I ended up choosing the Soft Feel BRITE Orange. To be totally honest, I wanted to test the BRITE Red but there were none available where I made my purchase. In the past, I’ve liked watching the ball flight of red golf balls. Mostly because, it looks like a “shot tracer” on television. So, orange was my second option, and not to mention, orange is a colour of Until The Next Tee.

The testing process involved dedicated putting sessions, dedicated short-game practice, and of course on-course testing. For the purposes of writing this review, we’re going to look at the performance of these golf balls from green to tee.

Putting

I tested the Soft Feel BRITE with a few different putters where one of the putters had an insert, and the others had no insert at all. There is no doubt that the Soft Feel has the right moniker attached to it. This golf ball feels so soft off of the putter that you barely feel it leave the face. Moreover, the Soft Feel BRITE sounds very muted at the point of impact. The alignment aid is simple and functional and it’s easy to get your golf ball lined up and started on your intended line. I loved putting with this golf ball.

Short Game (Chipping, Pitching, and Bunker Play)

There’s no doubt that the soft feel of this golf ball is this golf ball’s “money maker”. The feel around the green while using wedges was impressive. It’s just so soft that it makes it fun to work with. Coming out of the sand, the Soft Feel BRITE spun quite nicely and landed softly with no rollout.

However, when it came to the greenside testing consisting of chips and pitches, the results were much different. On simple chips the Soft Feel BRITE consistently rolled out 8-10 feet after landing on the putting surface. These were shots executed onto either level parts of the green or even into slight upslopes. Anything downhill, there was another 3-5 feet of additional rollout. If you factor in this rollout, the Soft Feel BRITE is then consistent and predictable.

So, with that all being said the “Soft, Thin Cover” mentioned in the technical talking points did not equate to “more greenside spin” but did offer the soft feel that they talked about. Based on this feedback, anybody wanting to play the Soft Feel BRITE (or Soft Feel in general) spend some time with them around the green. It might save you a stroke or two.

Full Approach Spin

As much as the greenside spin wasn’t really there for me during the testing process, the full approach spin was a different story altogether. On approach shots into greens that were a little bit more on the firm side there was a degree of “drop and stop” characteristics. Approach shots would end up about 5 feet ahead of their pitch marks.

Now when it came to greens that were more receptive, the Soft Feel BRITE did have “drop and stop” capabilities. As a matter of fact, I had several shots spin back from their pitch mark making it almost seem like a tour ball.

I really thought that the Soft Feel BRITE offered very admirable full approach spin.

Distance

When it came to the distance of the Soft Feel BRITE, I really had mixed feelings. In adjudicating things from a distance standpoint, there really had to be a level of objectivity involved. One round was in very comfortable weather from a temperature standpoint, but the air was heavy with humidity. A couple of rounds had literally perfect golf weather. We’re talking low to mid 70’s and sunny, blue skies. And then there were a couple of scorchers too!

When it came to distance, I found that the Soft Feel BRITE was inconsistent. Out of the same dozen I had swings with a 9-iron on Par 3’s that barely flew 130 yards. Bear in mind that my average 9-iron is 140-150 yards. But then, I had an 8-iron fly 165 yards land over the green and come to rest 20 yards behind the green. More often than not though, I found that the Soft Feel BRITE was about a full club shorter than my gamer or against balls tested of the same genre. I can handle the golf ball being a little bit shorter, but the inconsistency that I experienced always had me second-guessing my club selection. That’s never a good feeling that inspires confidence.

Making my testing even more polarizing was the distance with the metalwoods and driver. I thought that the distance offered by the Soft Feel was reasonable. The dimple pattern which consists of 338 dimples is quite typical as far as distance golf balls go. But again, there were hints of inconsistency throughout my dozen. Some drives that were absolutely “nutted” off of the sweet spot were longer than my gamer. Meanwhile, there were other drives that were met with the same kind of swing that went nowhere, Thinking back, it was the sleeve of #3 balls where this was noticed with both the irons and metalwoods.

The feel off of the driver etc was very nice, and again the feel is what I think the hallmark of these golf balls truly are.

Visibility

I really liked the visibility of the Soft Feel BRITE. For the last couple of seasons, I’ve really struggled with tracking the flight of my white golf ball in subdued, overcast skies. The BRITE is my “cup of tea” as it was easy for me to track in overcast and sunny skies alike.

As far as finding these golf balls in the fairway, it’s no issue except for when you’re “dew sweeping” first thing in the morning and it’s bright out. This isn’t an issue with strictly the Soft Feel BRITE as it can be encountered with any golf ball. In this situation, I found that I had to get up ahead of the golf ball and look back down the fairway to locate my golf ball. But, when there aren’t the conditions that I just described and the fairways are void of dew, the Soft Feel BRITE sticks out like a sore thumb. Easy to locate in the fairway, rough, or on the green from way back in the fairway the Soft Feel BRITE is easy to locate.

The Finish

At the end of the day, the Soft Feel BRITE is a golf ball that some golfers will like. there are pro’s to the Soft Feel BRITE. I really like the feel and the high-visibility offered by these golf balls. I also liked the full shot approach spin. I am also quite fond of the matte finish and the fair price point.

However, I’m not necessarily sold on the full-swing distance or greenside spin of the Soft Feel BRITE. This is in fact a “distance ball” so the adage “it is what it is” does come into play.

The Soft Feel BRITE is worth a look and could prove to be valuable in early spring and fall golf conditions. Would I go out of my way to buy another dozen? That answer is very unlikely. I’d rather spend a couple more dollars and purchase the Q-Star or especially the Q-Star Tour. Hmm, the Q-Star Tour in BRITE Red? Now we’re talking!!

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Review – Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220 Fairway Wood

Testing products on an expansive driving range is one thing. On-course testing is a totally different animal altogether.

I have to offer many thanks to Jon Claffey (VP of Marketing for Tour Edge Golf) for giving me the opportunity to test and review the Exotics EXS 220 Fairway Wood for a long-term on-course testing and review.

I was really curious to see if this terrific stick would live up to the pressure of winning the Silver Teezy Award in the “Top Fairway Wood” category at the 2020 PGA Show Demo Day.

The EXS 220 proved to be a significant improvement over the EXS Fairway Wood, especially in the acoustics category. Technology talking points are plentiful in this fairway wood. Diamond Face VFT, SpeedTested shafts, SlipStream Sole Technology, Dual Carbon Tech and more all contribute to a fairway wood that could easily end up in the respective bags of many golfers.

Please see the full video review below.

While the EXS 220 Fairway Wood ended up being a really forgiving club with a ton of technology that offers plenty of performance for the golfer dollar. It was the sound of the EXS 220 Fairway Wood ended up being a focal point. Instead of explaining the sound, I figured that it would be best to have an audio clip instead.

Until The Next Tee!!

#seeuonthenexttee #fightandgrind