DRIVEN BY PERFORMANCE, RICKIE FOWLER CHOOSES TO JOIN TEAM TAYLORMADE WITH MULTI-YEAR AGREEMENT; SET TO PLAY NEW 2019 TP5X GOLF BALL IN COMPETITION

Four-time PGA TOUR Winner and Current #11 in OWGR, Fowler Chooses TaylorMade’s Flagship Tour Ball for Next Phase of his Career

 

Carlsbad, Calif. (January 21, 2019) – TaylorMade Golf Company, an industry leader in product innovation and technology, announced today that it has signed 4-time PGA TOUR winner and one of the most recognizable players, Rickie Fowler, to a multi-year contract to play TaylorMade’s flagship golf ball franchise, TP5x. The announcement comes after Fowler first reached out to the company in the fall of 2018 with an interest in exploring TaylorMade’s premier Tour balls, the TP5 & TP5x.

With the switch, it marks the first time in both Rickie’s amateur and professional career he’s played a new ball brand in competition.

“A lot of the best players in the world are playing pretty damned well with them. It’s no joke.”

Rickie Fowler, on TP5 & TP5x
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The signing is a decisive move by the company that reaffirms its global commitment to putting the highest performing golf ball on Tour in the hands of the most dominant players in the world.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Rickie to the TaylorMade family. He is one of the great athletes in the game today and even more so, an incredible representative of our sport. Rickie’s decision to come to TaylorMade and play our TP5X golf ball further reinforces our belief that if you make the best performing products, the best in the world will choose to play them.”

David Abeles, TaylorMade CEO

After extensive testing in the off-season, Fowler decided that the best performing golf ball for his play is the new TP5x. As an homage to his roots in motocross, Fowler will play the number 15 on his ball. In addition to the golf ball, Fowler will also wear TaylorMade’s premium glove offering – the Tour Preferred Glove, the glove of choice for TaylorMade Tour players constructed from premium materials for optimal comfort, fit and feel.

“It’s been fun to see what the ball can do. Extra yardage on irons, more spin around the green. One less club for me into many holes is a pretty big advantage, too. What more do you want?”

Rickie Fowler

TaylorMade introduced the 2019 TP5 and TP5x golf balls earlier this month, following the resounding global success of their predecessors on worldwide tours. With Fowler, 6 of the top 12 players in the Official World Golf Rankings have now put either the ‘19 TP5 or TP5x in play, further validating its world class performance. The 2019 models feature a new Speed Layer System with High-Flex Material (HFM), the fastest material the company has ever used in a golf ball.

“We knew the performance of our golf balls would motivate Rickie and ease the transition away from the ball he’s played his entire career. With his decision to choose TaylorMade, Fowler becomes yet another top player in the world to make the switch from the perceived #1 ball into TaylorMade and that only further validates our product as the best in the world.”

Eric Loper, Director of R&D, Golf Balls

Rickie will put the TP5x into play beginning this week, when he kicks off his 2019 PGA TOUR campaign at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. With the switch, Fowler joins fellow TaylorMade Tour staffers Dustin Johnson (TP5x), Jon Rahm (TP5x), Rory McIlroy (TP5) and Jason Day (TP5x), each of whom has already made the switch into the new 2019 golf balls at Kapalua. The all new TP5 & TP5x golf balls will hit retail shelves around the world on February 15.

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DISCOVER OUR NEW 2019 TP5 & TP5X GOLF BALLS | TAYLORMADE GOLF

VISIT SITE

For more information on Rickie, the TaylorMade Tour staff or the 2019 TP5 & TP5x golf balls, visit TaylorMadeGolf.ca.

Player’s or Game-Improvement Irons

This article may not head in a direction as you might expect from the title. As my departure for the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show is a week away I wanted to see where I should focus my energy on. Especially, when it comes to the subject of irons. Did golfers on social media want to learn more about “Player’s” irons or “Game-Improvement” irons.? According to the poll there was more interest in “Player’s” irons. A result that I found a little surprising.

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The sampling was relatively small but it still shed light on the subject. Thanks to those who participated.

Which irons can you relate to more? Which would you prefer to learn about? Asking for a friend LOL Please RT

Game-Improvement Irons – 41%

Player’s Irons – 59%

51 Votes

Personally speaking, it is my opinion that any golfer has the right to pick and choose whatever iron type that he or she wants to play. After all, it is their money. Say there’s a 25-handicap non-gender specific golfer that wants to play a set of Titleist 718 MB irons. I have no issue with that but is said golfer doing themselves a disservice? I definitely think so and you may think that I’m wrong. Conversely, is there anything wrong with a single-digit golfer playing a set of “GI” irons? On this occasion my opinion is no. Here’s some food for thought. Maybe he or she is a single digit handicap because of the GI characteristics. The thing is… with GI irons you can still work and flight a golf ball. It may not be as easy as with a blade but it can be done. Last year after the show I was in a Tampa area Edwin Watts and I was swinging Wilson Golf D300 irons. I was calling out my shots… fade, draw etc and I was getting the results as called out.

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My thought for a long time was that if I had a chance to win a tournament and I have to pick between vanity or function… function wins. I could be wrong but it is my opinion. Under pressure, there’s always a chance that a swing could be less than optimal and having the chance to rely on a little forgiveness isn’t a bad thing. Of course, I realize that even the player’s irons on the market have forgiveness built into them. A few years ago Tungsten was the “sudden innovation” that golf equipment manufacturers were incorporating into their iron design… player’s forged irons.

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It’s sort of funny in a way. I used to be all about blades or muscle-cavity irons. As the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show Demo Day has approached I find myself leaning towards GI irons. Maybe it’s a side effect of testing GI irons the past year, the fact that most recent press releases have been about GI irons and maybe it’s the fact that I’m playing a set of forged GI irons. Or maybe… just maybe it’s the fact that I’m not getting any younger (Yikes… I’m gonna be 47 next week). Either way, that’s where my head is at.

With a bevy of appointments on Demo Day I’ll be swinging as many irons that I can. Below is a brief list of what’s on my “hit list”.

  • Tour Edge Golf – EXS irons
  • Callaway Golf Apex 19 and Apex Pro 19
  • Cobra Golf KING F9 SPEEDBACK
  • Wilson Golf D7
  • Srixon Z 585 and Z 785
  • New Level 623-M
  • Mizuno Golf JPX 919
  • PING Blueprint
  • Epon Golf
  • Bridgestone Golf Tour B JGR
  • XXIO Forged

I cannot wait to get down there and put these irons through their paces. It’s all about first impressions. Stay tuned!!

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

 

Odds ‘n’ Ends

Sitting here.. I’m reflecting on several things from the last week in golf. Some of my thoughts are about the upcoming 2019 PGA Merchandise Show, some of it is about the recent equipment releases while some of it is about what we witnessed this past week in professional golf. Much like when you go out to the grocery store with no list you’re merely picking up odds ‘n’ ends. So that’s what this article is going to be titled. It might even turn into a regular piece. Who knows?!

The Sentry Tournament of Champions was a fun event to watch. Yes, it left me dreaming of going to the Hawaiian Islands as it’s always been on my “Bucket List”. Since I was 10 years old. I’ve always dreamed of seeing sea turtles, volcanoes, visiting Pearl Harbor and since I started my foray into golf.. playing Hawaiian courses and experiencing the “Tradewinds”. In a script perfect for a product launch Xander Schauffele won with the new Epic Flash and Apex Pro 19 irons in the bag. His closing round (62) was remarkable but I want to look at a couple of other things. Bryson DeChambeau proclaimed the new knee height drop to be “a bit absurd”. No arguments here. I’ve mocked it enough recently. But it’s as stupid an amendment to the rules of golf as an amendment can be. While it isn’t hard to bend over at the waist to execute the drop (Bryson was a bit over the top) what are the benefits? In one video I made demonstrating my need for “muscle memory” the ball rolled forward from knee height and rolled back into a divot. Does it really make a difference? If anything, nothing has changed. Am I missing something? Heck, why don’t we just place the ball. Screw integrity.

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Photo Credit: Golf Channel

Sticking with the Sentry Tournament of Champions we saw a first. Under the new rules of golf we had our first penalty assessed. Dustin Johnson has the “dubious” distinction. DJ was assessed a two-stroke penalty when a pulled tee shot went into the long grass… where the wild things are. A marshal on the course had marked the area that they had believed DJ’s golf ball had come to rest. Locating a golf ball with a (TaylorMade Golf logo on it) Johnson promptly chopped it out. After hitting his shot he continued his walk and found HIS ball. There’s a lesson here folks. Stay loose for that knee height drop. Bend over and move the grass and identify your golf ball. Besides, there’s no penalty for the moved ball. Or at least that’s the way that I translate it.

This past week we saw plenty of product launches. In particular, those from the “marketing mammoths” of the industry. During these launches there was no shortage of marketing buzzwords. TBRAR, Speed Bridge, Triple Track, “our longest golf ball”, AI, Flash Face Technology and so on. They do marketing and they do it well.

TaylorMade Golf announced their 2019 range of products. From the newly designed TP5 and TP5x golf balls to their new M5 and M6 range of products. The irons have incorporated “Speed Bridge Technology”. There is something there that sort of reminds me of the Nike SlingShot irons. I know… it was horizontal as opposed to vertical. Upon posting pics on Twitter (@UntilTheNextTee) my “Tweeps” were definitely not sold on the looks. Nor was I. After all… how can you kiss a girl (or guy) if you can’t look at them? Maybe their performance outweighs the aesthetics.

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I beat the tar out of the pricing in articles so we will not beat that “dead horse” again. Or at least for now.

Callaway Golf also announced their product range. Featuring the Epic Flash metal woods, Big Bertha 19, Apex 19 and Apex Pro 19 irons and lastly the ERC Soft golf ball featuring “Triple Track Technology”. I’ve seen this sort of thing before and I commented on it back around 2015. Kick X Golf has/had their Tour-Z golf ball (who consequently got sued by Acushnet and I’ve held a secret for a long time about that) and while technically different the alignment aid on those golf balls were the same as the newly introduced Triple Track Technology. I said then that it was the best alignment aid on the market for putting and now that distinction clearly goes to Callaway Golf. The three lines do significantly improve alignment on putts as Callaway Golf demonstrated during the launch. With that said, I am very intrigued by many things about the ERC Soft golf ball. In particular, their hybrid cover which takes the feel of urethane and combines it with the durability of surlyn. Consider the cover a “love child” of the two materials. For $39.99 USD this sounds like a decent offering. Color me intrigued.

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The 2019 PGA Merchandise Show is coming up quick and my booked appointment schedules are full. Demo Day is crammed full of interviews with the likes of Wilson Golf at 9 am and a company called Eagle Rebirth at 3. In between are appointments with Callaway Golf, Bridgestone Golf, Cleveland Golf/Srixon/XXIO, Cobra Puma Golf, Jack Grace USA and many others. The mix is absolutely eclectic. I’m also going to be visiting with others that are unplanned. Epon, Miura, Knuth Golf, Fourteen and Lynx Golf are high on that list. I have no doubt that there will be some surprises and hidden gems. There always is.

Until The Next Tee!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee