Mizuno Golf Introduces ST SERIES DRIVERS AND FAIRWAY WOODS

SHOWTIME: NEW ST SERIES METAL WOODS DELIVER SOUND AND SPEED BENEFITS OF 2ND GENERATION SAT2041 BETA TI FACE 

MIZUNO’S NEW ST SERIES WILL BE AVAILABLE AT RETAIL GLOBALLY FROM FEB 2021 

Mizuno, the Japanese equipment manufacturer founded in Osaka in 1906 has announced that its next generation ST Series of metal woods will be made available to the public from February 2021.

Mizuno’s new ST Series drivers represent the culmination of the Japanese company’s 3-year, rapid-fire driver development project.  Preceded by the highly acclaimed ST190 and ST200, Mizuno’s first drivers widely played by its global tour staff, the new ST-Z and ST-X further deploy Mizuno’s new SAT2041 Beta Ti face and complex carbon construction to deliver both potent ball speeds and a dense, satisfying sensation at impact.  

“Most of our ST200 tour feedback was on the sensory side, a desire for a sound our players generally described as solid or dense,” said Chris Voshall from Mizuno. “We spent the next year working on improving feedback, hand in hand with releasing the additional ball speed we knew was left in our SAT2041 Beta Ti face.”  

SAT2041 stands for Super / Alloy / Titanium / 20% Vanadium / 4% Aluminium / 1% tin and it offers 17% more tensile strength and 8% more flexibility than traditional 6-4Ti. 

A Nippon steel product that was developed over five years as a lightweight, high strength material for the automotive industry and used for complex cycle parts requiring intricate design and an ability to withstand strong forces, SAT2041 has a fine grain structure inherently resistant to fatigue. As a high strength Beta Ti, SAT2041 maintains its characteristics and resists micro fractures for longer than the commonly used 6-4, Alpha Beta Ti. 

The ST Series offers a choice of two different head designs in the driver, with characteristics to suit different playing requirements and deliver different ball flights.

ST-Z Driver

The ST-Z driver has been designed to be ultra-stable and to offer low-spin efficiency. It has a balanced toe/heel carbon composite construction with deep central back weight – for a spin efficient, straight-line ball flight. It features the 2nd generation of Mizuno’s Forged SAT2041 Beta Ti face for potent ball speeds and consistent performance over time.

“The ST-Z’s predecessor the ST200 had a reputation for being a straight-line bomber favored by our longer hitting tour players, and the ST-Z profile is no different,” said Chris Voshall. “But with a year’s extra experience of engineering Forged Beta SAT2041 Ti. we were able to release a little extra ball speed and a much more satisfying experience off the clubface.”

A balanced use of carbon composite on the sole and a deep central sole weight are biased towards a straight-line flight and low spin efficiency. The ST-Z driver has a wide, low footprint, with a neutral visual lie angle and comes with 4 degrees of quick switch adjustability to fine-tune look and trajectory.

ST-X Driver

The ST-X driver features a draw-biased carbon composite construction aided by a heel side sole weight. Like the ST-Z, it’s built upon the 2nd generation of Mizuno’s Forged SAT2041 Beta Ti face to produce potent ball speeds and consistent performance over time. 

“In testing, a lot of our tour players preferred the ST-X over the ST-Z for its deeper shape and slightly smaller profile,” said Chris Voshall. “I’d recommend starting with an open mind and dropping the ST-X alongside the ST-Z in the address position. For a draw bias driver, it’s not going to be what most players expect.”

An expanded toe located carbon composite window, with a heel located sole weight combine to produce a reliable draw bias. The ST-X driver offers a more compact profile, a slightly deeper back portion and more upright visual lie angle and also comes with 4 degrees of quick switch adjustability.

As with the ST-Z, the ST-X offers more dense feedback through impact and a more muted, powerful tone.

Those with mid-lower swing speeds will benefit from the J-Spec, Japan Specification, incorporating an incredibly lightweight 39g MFUSION graphite shaft.

ST-Z Fairway Woods

Offering high levels of stability and low spin efficiency, the ST-Z fairway woods offer a throwback profile, with curves for the purist and performance for the pragmatist. 

Mizuno’s 3rd generation MAS1C face is Mizuno’s most powerful to date. The ST-Z fairway woods provide a balanced package of low spin performance and stability, not common in most fairway woods. Both 3 and 5 woods have an adjustable, quick switch, hosel offering 4 degrees of loft and face angle adjustability.

The ultra-lightweight carbon crown lowers the COG for better spin vs MOI performance, while re-engineered WAVE Technology, delivers a compact wave design that lowers the mass

“The fairway wood might be the least regularly changed club in any bag so we spent a lot of time looking at older models that our tour players had hung onto over the years,” said Chris Voshall. “It ended with a lot of really subtle touches on the ST-Z, like leading edge and transition into the hosel. There’s a lot to like at address.”

Mizuno has strived to “create the best products for consumers” for 115 years, and the new ST Series adheres firmly to that original spirit and desire, while offering the best performance benefits that modern technology can bring. #STShowtime #ReachBeyond

The ST Series woods will be available at retail from February 2021. Test the ST-Z and ST-X at a Mizuno Swing DNA Fitter. For further information or to find out more about Mizuno’s full range of golf equipment visit: Mizunogolf.com. 

MSRPs:
ST-Z Driver: $400
ST-X Driver: $400
ST-Z Fairway: $300

Until The Next Tee Experiences its Best Year Ever

As 2020 came to it’s conclusion, which was a breath of fresh air for most of us, it also signalled the best year that I’ve experienced as a golf writer/reporter/blogger.

Early on, I started as Alexander Toth Golf and that site gained traction. Then, one day I woke up and decided to re-brand. I figured that I couldn’t market my name. Even from a logo standpoint. So, Until The Next Tee was created just prior to the 2017 PGA Show. When I had arrived at that show, I didn’t even have new business cards yet. I went from 23,000 views as ATG in 2016 to around 8,000 views the first year as UTNT. My strategy might have failed.

I stayed the course and things slowly started to get better. In my second year as UTNT I started to reflect the same numbers that I left in the last year of ATG. Maybe the change was going to work out after all. 2019, came and passed and blew my previous views record out of the water. I ended 2019 with 68,000 views. It was a remarkable growth for me. My views had nearly tripled. I was ecstatic and pleased that so many people would read what I had to say.

But then 2020 happened. The start to the year was pretty anemic, but I was still really pleased with the traffic. I was averaging just over 5,000 per month. The pace was was going to equal 2019, and I was quite happy with it. I met with a member of a P.R. firm at the 2019 PGA Show and he stated that he was impressed with the 5,000 views per month, especially seeing that my views are all organic and that I don’t employ “click-bait”.

After writing an article at the end of May, my monthly views seemed to jump overnight. When the dust settled on 2020, I exceeded my totals from 2019. Over 129,000 views. I’m blown away and I am so thankful for everyone that read or listened to what I had to say this past year. Whether it was over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn or any other avenue, you took the time to visit. Thank you!!

I also owe many thanks to the public relations firms and golf manufacturers that took a chance on me. Through press releases or media samples to field test I was able to provide content and educate. There are so many people to thank and I apologize if I leave anyone out. Many thanks go out to Jon Claffey (Tour Edge), David Wheatley (Medi8 Golf), Tracy Nackel (TEN Marketing and PR), Vanessa Price (Read The Greens), Noelle Zavaleta (Cleveland, Srixon, XXIO), Jeff Hamilton (Wilson Golf Canada), Nick Obritsch (TaylorMade Golf Canada), Rachel Rees (Cobra Golf), Stuart Goldstein (RG Narrative), Jay Armour and Jason Hiland (Sub 70 Golf), Brittany Zoet and Brenna Byrne (Uproar PR) and so many others.

2021 will see a couple challenges for me. The first is that there’s no in-person attendance for the 2021 PGA Show, with an emphasis on no Demo Day. That’s where I generally experience the latest golf equipment and where my “First Impressions” reviews are generated from. So, there’s no PGA Show Demo Day Teezy Awards in 2021. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to either experience Demo Days in the area or get the chance from equipment manufacturers to demo their equipment for a week or two and then send them back to post reviews on new equipment, resulting in a year-end Teezy Awards. I do have a couple already lined up with TaylorMade Golf (Canada) sending me new golf balls in the spring, Tour Edge Golf will be sending some of their Hot Launch 521 equipment to test, and Wilson Golf (Canada) and I will be working together as well on some demo opportunities. With any luck, there will be others.

A 2020 review product. The EXS Pro hybrid from Tour Edge Golf. Support from the brand will continue in 2021.

To help with potential content look for a couple of news thing in 2021. Look for my foray into podcasting, I already has a couple of guests willing to come on. Look for more golf course reviews too. That is one aspect of things that I’ve lacked as far as reviews go. Occasional golf tips too. Why not?! When there’s a will, there’s a way.

I pride my brand on being humble, thankful, and genuine. Human, natural, and unscripted. This will never change. Thank you so much, and I would be honoured if you joined me in 2021.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind

WILSON INTRODUCES NEW STAFF® MODEL R GOLF BALLS

CHICAGO, November 17, 2020 9AM EST/8AM CST – Designed directly with Wilson Advisory Staff members and with direct feedback from the game’s best players, Wilson Sporting Goods announced their new, revolutionary Staff Model R golf ball. A true Tour-inspired ball, the Staff Model R features a first-of-its-kind raw, unpainted cover to ensure aerodynamic consistency and pure, precise ball flight to the intended target.

The Staff Model R is designed for PGA Tour professionals and low handicap players striving to carve out fairways and attack pins. The Staff Model R ball features a 4-piece maximum-velocity construction that delivers long distance and a thin urethane cover promoting exceptional spin for greenside control. The ball’s key feature is a raw unpainted cover, which provides next level precision, accuracy and reliability.

“Staff Model R is unpainted as the dimple cross-section geometry and the pattern of dimples on a golf ball are critical aerodynamic elements that affect the flight performance of the ball in terms of trajectory, distance and directional stability. These dimples are a mere 0.004-0.007 inches deep and super sensitive to the level of paint on the ball,” said Bob Thurman, Vice President Wilson Labs.

“The painting process can frequently result in balls with poor, uneven paint coverage and pooling of paint in these shallow dimples,” said Frank Simonutti, Global Director of Golf Ball Innovation. “This can significantly affect the trajectory and the directional stability of the flight of the ball. By eliminating the paint, we were able to eliminate all of the short comings attributed to the paint process used on all golf balls.“

According to Thurman, under a black light, it is very easy to observe inconsistencies and paint pooling in the dimples. “Our internal testing* shows that tour quality balls on the market can drift offline as much as +/- 25 feet on a 200-yard 5 Iron shot. The Staff Model R ball’s urethane cover has been left completely unpainted, creating a nearly perfect aerodynamic surface that can be relied on to deliver the ball to its intended target,” concluded Thurman.

Although the removal of paint allows for ball flight to the intended target, the lack of paint protection may compromise the physical look of the ball. Given paint on golf balls is primarily for glossy appearance, UV stability and stain resistance, the Staff Model R may eventually stain and discolor during play depending on turf, weather and course conditions.

Finished with a modern Staff Model stamp, the all-new Staff Model R ball joins the award-winning Staff Model ball family, designed by and for the advanced player. The Staff Model R ball will be available on Wilson.com and select retailers starting November 17th, 2020 for $49.99.

*Results of internal testing performed in Humboldt, TN. Driver test (105 mph) on 7/7/20, 9-iron test (84 mph) on 8/7/20 and 5-iron test (93 mph) on 8/9/20

About Wilson Golf

For 100 years, Wilson Golf has designed, manufactured and distributed premium and recreational golf equipment throughout the world. Since 1914, Wilson Staff irons have won 62 major championships, more than any other iron manufacturer in history. The winning tradition continues today by delivering the highest quality equipment to all golfers to enhance performance on the course and overall enjoyment of the game.

About Wilson

Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., a division of Amer Sports, is the world’s leading manufacturer of sports equipment, apparel and accessories. Through its dedication to creating products that enable athletes at every level to perform at their best, Wilson has earned its place as a leader in sporting goods for over a century.

Review – TaylorMade Golf Soft Response Golf Balls

The Set-Up

The TaylorMade Golf Soft Response golf ball is a three-piece golf ball that is the heir to the throne that was relinquished by the Project (s). A golf ball that was released in 2018. Back then, the Project (s) proved to be a real pleasant surprise, as it performed very well in every facet of the game when tested that year.

Back in late 2019, I first caught wind of the new Soft Response that was going to be released. I was naturally intrigued to see if the new Soft Response was going to be a step forward, a step back, or no different than the underrated Project (s), a golf ball that I’m not certain received much fanfare,

TaylorMade Golf made the decision to discontinue the Project (s) in favour of the Soft response. The Soft Response was ultimately developed when TaylorMade Golf surveyed thousands of golfers. Results of the survey indicated that golfers wanted a golf ball that offered soft feel without giving up distance. How was tis accomplished?

Starting with the cover, the soft ionomer cover of the Soft Response golf ball is durable and features an “Extended Dimple Pattern” that’s designed to keep the golf ball in the air for a longer period of time, whilst keeping the spin rates low. The compression rating of this golf ball is quite low, with a rating of 35, thanks to the trademarked ZnO Flex Core™. In doing so the Soft Response gives golfers “a softer feel while maximizing energy transfer and rebound at impact, resulting in dominant distance for the average swing speed player”.

The Soft Response golf balls come in three colours where white, a high-visibility yellow, and a matte red finish are available.

The Transition

A combination of getting older and diabetes has led to my eyes not functioning quite like they used to. Over the last year, I’ve really struggled to follow the flight path of my golf ball, especially when the skies are overcast.

Now, I realize that bright, high-visibility golf balls aren’t for everyone and believe me when I say that I didn’t like them either. But out of need comes necessity or vice versa. There really is quite the market in the golf ball industry for high-viz golf balls, otherwise all of the manufacturers including TaylorMade Golf wouldn’t produce them. And, like it or not, it seems like I’ve fallen into the demographic of golfers that need them. SO, I’ve been searching for the right colour. I’ve struggled with different colours experimenting with green and orange as well. But for some reason, I’m really able to locate and track red. In the air, I find that the red acts like a “shot tracer”.

Sticking with the visibility for a second, I’ve found that the matte red colour is very easy to locate in the fairway and/or rough. As mentioned, I’ve struggled at times locating green and orange especially in certain conditions. This is particularly the case during bright, cloudless mornings where the dew reflects the sun. The red finish however, allows me to locate it easier. Except for one instance. In the fall, when it just so happens that red leaves have fallen to the ground.

As far as summarizing the performance of the Soft Response golf balls, I feel that it’s important to discuss this from the green and work my way back to the tee.

Putting – The Soft Response feels terrific off of the putter. The feel may not be for everyone, but I like the soft, muted feel, sound, and sensation that I get from putting with the Soft Response. The alignment aid is very functional, and what I really like is how the bright white print contrasts on the matte red finish of the ionomer cover.

Greenside Spin – Thinking back to my experiences with the Project (s) in what seems an eternity ago, that ball impressed in this facet of the game. Maybe my striking and short-game is better in 2020 than it was back then, but I feel that this golf ball stops better. Strange for a non-urethane cover right?! But it really seems to be the case. I experienced very little rollout of firm greens and softer greens this ball, for me, acted in a way like a tour-level golf ball. Bear in mind that this depends on the golfers and how you strike the golf ball. Results will of course, vary. Out of greenside bunkers I found that the Soft Response put the brakes on rather briskly.

Full Swing Approach Spin – Up above I detailed the the greenside spin being similar to a tour-level golf ball. When it came to approach on full swings with anything from a 5i down thru wedge this golf ball did a little bit better that “drop ‘n’ stop”. In my experiences, more often than not (flipping the club notwithstanding) the Soft response would end up backing up a little bit. Time and time again, I would find my golf ball sitting in front of the ball mark. Anywhere from from 6″ to 18″.

Driver Spin – In my opinion, TaylorMade Golf did a very good job with acquitting themselves on their claims. The Soft Response is a golf ball that yield low driver spin. This golf ball, in my experiences did not balloon, and that led to this golf ball being very long off of the tee. Which brings me to distance. I also found that the wind did not effect this golf ball off of the driver and that it really had a tendency to fly straight, and sort of just “float” out there.

Distance – I didn’t start using this golf ball until mid-September. The Soft Response is the longest golf ball that I’ve struck in 2020. For the first time all year, I was finally seeing ballflight in a manner that I’m used to seeing. I haven’t been shy about discussing my struggles this year and to be honest, early October is when things started to come around. Much of this has to do with low-compression of the mantle layer and I’m certain that the dimple pattern has something to do with it as well. Distance with the irons is also longer, and I would suggest up to a club and half over another ball of the same genre that I’ve tested.

With all things being equal, the Soft Response has proven to be longer than my typical “Benchmark Golf Ball”.

The Finish

TaylorMade Golf might hate me for saying this. But, the Soft Response, for me, has proven to be longer than their TP5 or TP5x, both golf balls that I really like a lot. I would have no problem teeing up either one tomorrow. But the Soft Response is a golf ball ball that I also wouldn’t be hesitant to put into play.

It is a multi-layer golf ball that has a rugged, durable cover that can withstand a beating and the matte red finish is easy to track in the air or locate on the ground.

It provides very surprising greenside spin and yields plenty of length. The soft feel of the Soft Response is a winner, and it’s no surprise that I love the soft feel. I do gravitate towards low-compression golf balls now a little more than I used to.

The Soft Response is the best of this genre of golf ball that I’ve tested. When you factor in the price it gets even better. At $29.99 CAD or $24.99 USD it won’t break the bank.

The Soft Response golf ball might be worth your while. This might be the “Sleeper Golf Ball of 2020”.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Testing Introduction – Dry Glove

Are you like me? Do you suffer from excessive perspiration on the golf course? In the summer or during hot and humid days, do you have perspiration cascading down your arms? I know that I do. Well, there might be a solution for you.

Dry Glove. An innovative product that is a lotion designed to keep your expensive golf glove in tip-top condition. Made from a propietary compound, Dry Glove doesn’t have a chalky texture, isn’t gritty, is not sticky, and is odorless.

Many thanks go out to Brad Nazzarini from Dry Glove for this testing opportunity. Please see the video below for the introduction and some initial thoughts.

If your sport requires a glove, Dry Glove might be a great investment. Stay tuned for more coverage on this product. Please visit http://www.drygloveusa.com for more information on this product.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee