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

 

TAYLORMADE GOLF COMPANY DELIVERS MILESTONE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS IN NEW 2019 TP5 & TP5X GOLF BALLS

Maybe I’ve missed the mark but I have to admit that I have limited using either the TP5 of TP5x golf ball from TaylorMade Golf. The chosen golf ball of their Tour Staff has received accolades from those that have used it. From Tour Staff to mid-handicap players. Most of which say the ball is long and performs great.

In the limited experience that I refer to I have to say a couple of things. First, as memory serves me the ball felt great off of the face of driver and irons. Was it longer than my typical golf ball? In my honest opinion, I don’t think it was longer but it did get a nod as far as short game goes. It performed great on and around the greens. There was however one issue that I had with it. The cover seemed too soft and didn’t seem to be very durable. A sacrifice for feel? Perhaps.

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TaylorMade Golf is introducing new versions of the TP5 and TP5X for 2019. I hope that they address this issue unless it was some sort of anomaly. I fully intend on using both golf balls for the purposes of conducting a more thorough testing process and review this year. So stay tuned. In the meantime, find out all that you need to learn about the latest iteration of these golf balls from the press release below.

Industry-Leading 5-Layer Construction Has Been Reengineered with an Innovative New Speed-Layer System to Deliver Noticeably More Speed in the Most Complete Tour Ball

CARLSBAD, CALIF. (January 3, 2019) – TaylorMade Golf Company, an industry leader in product innovation and technology, today announced the release of its significantly enhanced 2019 TP5 and TP5x golf ball models. Highlighted by its new High-Flex Material (HFM) TaylorMade has taken the 2019 TP5 & TP5x to a new level of performance.

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With the new TP5 and TP5x golf balls, we knew there was an opportunity to make them even faster. Our research into the driver and ball interaction at the moment of impact along with the development of a new material (HFM) has given us the ability to more efficiently convert compression into speed, at any swing speed. The new Speed-Layer System (SLS) controls spin rates that is critical for driver, iron and wedge performance.

Eric Loper, Director of Golf Ball R&D 

The key to achieving enhanced speed without impacting other areas of performance comes down to the ability to weave the new High-Flex Material (HFM) within TaylorMade’s proprietary 5-layer ball construction. In traditional golf balls with 3 or 4 layers, manufacturers are unable to utilize a soft core AND maintain high ball velocities.

 

With the 2019 TP5 and TP5x, speed and spin are effectively decoupled—which enables an incredibly soft core to be “wrapped” by increasingly stiff materials, creating a Speed-Layer System with each outer layer getting progressively faster.

 

Based on initial player testing with the 2019 TP5 and TP5x, the top athletes in the world are experiencing speeds they’ve never seen before. During a recent testing session, Jon Rahm (who averages 177-179 MPH ball speed with driver) was seeing numbers upward of 186 MPH with an average of around 182.5 MPH. Additional TaylorMade staff professionals also experienced noticeable gains in ballspeed at a recent testing session across high, mid and lower swing speeds.

 

New Speed-Layer System with HFM 

The new Speed-Layer System is comprised of four increasingly stiff layers, featuring a new material called HFM. HFM is the fastest material TaylorMade has ever used and is essentially a tightly wound spring and when compressed generates more rebound energy for more ball speed. The tightly wound spring characteristic of HFM also increases the force on the driver face, further increasing the speed of the golf ball when it leaves the driver face.

 

Tri-Fast Core 

The Tri-Fast Core consists of an extra-large, low-compression inner core (16 compression in TP5 & 25 compression in TP5x) and a progressively stiffer outer core and mantle. The combination of these three layers work in conjunction to create lower drag and increased carry—the primary reason TP5 and TP5x have become the hottest Tour balls in golf. The Tri-Fast Core delivers breakthrough iron performance by achieving maximum carry, giving golfers of nearly every swing speed (over 60 MPH) choosing less clubs into the green.

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Dual-Spin Cover 

The Dual-Spin Cover boasts an ultra-soft cast urethane cover and a 30% more rigid inner cover. This system creates a condition that is ideal for greenside control, as the rigid inner cover forces the soft urethane cover into wedge grooves for maximum spin generation.

 

Additional enhancements in the 2019 TP5 and TP5x models includes a new Soft-Tough cast urethane cover. In order to achieve improved scuff resistance, shear resistance, and overall durability, the new cover features a cast urethane compound and new paint formulation to help each ball feel better and last longer.

With the improved cover durability, new HFM material, and TaylorMade’s proprietary 5-layer design, TP5 and TP5x are able to produce optimal flight, velocity, and control regardless of which model golfers prefer to play.

How to Choose Between the ’19 TP5 & TP5x 

 

The 2019 TP5 and TP5x offer complete tee-to-green performance thanks to TaylorMade’s patented 5-layer construction. While both deliver significant distance off the tee, the TP5 has a softer feel (85 compression), launches lower on iron shots and has more spin around the greens (+300 compared to TP5x at 100 yards & +200 at 30 yards) while the TP5x has a firmer feel (97 compression) and will generate higher launching iron shots. TaylorMade staffers anticipated to play the TP5 are Rory McIlroy & Beau Hossler, while Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Jason Day will expectedly gravitate toward the TP5x model.

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Pricing & Availability 

 

The 2019 TP5 and TP5x will be available at retail on 2/15/2019 at an MSRP of $44.99 USD per dozen. To learn more about TP5 and TP5x golf balls, visit  TaylorMadeGolf.com

Fitting the ’19 TP5 & TP5x 
To properly fit golfers around the world, TaylorMade has brought on 55 dedicated golf ball fitters who will perform over 100,000 fittings in 2019. To book a golf ball fitting and experience the 2019 TP5 and TP5x, visit myFittingEXP.com
Until The Next Tee!!
#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee