Inverted Cups – Yay or Nay?

Life is about making choices and often difficult ones. Look no further than a certain soup company from commercials years ago, in fact, so long ago that it feels like a lifetime ago. You had to make a choice, “fork or spoon”. Heck, back in the day there was a local amusement park that had a roller coaster called “The Comet” and they decided to make some seats facing the front and some facing the back. In their commercial, there were two Buffalo Sabres hockey players arguing “frontwards…backwards”. Choices.

One of the protocols put into place here in Ontario (or in most places for that matter) to allow golfers to get back out onto the course was to modify cups. The reason was simple and pretty obvious. It was to limit the amount of contact golfers would have on each other and implements on the course.

There are many ways to do this. Pool noodles have been placed inside or outside of the hole, and in some cases, rudimentary pieces of 2″ PVC tubing have been employed as well. The latter was awful, not only was it a cost-cutting “nickel and diming” way of doing things but I also still came into contact with the pin. Out of necessity, tinkerers have invented things like PitchFix’s “PickCup” (left) or the “EZ Lyft” (right) have been created. All of these methods allow the golf ball to disappear like your playing… “real” golf. Both of those products are pictured below.

I would be the first to admit that I hated the inverted cup idea. My malcontent was due to a few things. What differentiated a “holed out” putt, chip, or pitch and one that wasn’t? In the following picture, I made putts from the same distance, utilizing the same stroke and both were right in the “gut of the noodle”. You’ll see that both golf balls came to rest in varying lengths away from the hole. What are the guidelines? Is it up to the discretion of the golfer? If you simply hit the inverted cup is said shot, holed? In my opinion, I think that there is a lot in question here and it becomes even more convoluted the further out from the green that you go. I think by using the inverted cup you’d see handicaps lower by 2 to 3 shots, which isn’t and wouldn’t be a fair representation of a golfer’s true handicap.

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But, there might be a hidden “pro” to the inverted cup idea. In a way, it’s almost like a training aid. When we’re putting or performing any other short game shots, it’s our focus that’s paramount. Granted, we should be focused no matter the shot. At any rate, we’re either keyed in on the hole or the pin. The other day was my first time practicing my short game and in doing so, it was also the first time that I’ve experienced inverted cups.

For some inexplicable reason coming out of the gate this year my short game has been “clicking”. It’s odd because usually the short game and consequential feel is the last thing that I find early in the season. The golf that I’ve played has been very limited thus far, seeing that it’s been limited to a total of 18 holes, not consecutively played. I played 4 holes with my former GM and he was inquisitive about my short game asking “Where is that coming from?” and the answer is that generally, it’s always been there. My scrambling stats show that.

So I’m out there the other day practicing my short-game after working on my full-swing (ugh, that’s been surreal and a story for another day) at Brock Golf Course. It’s a fun facility not too far from my front door. It seemed like I couldn’t miss. I was “holing out” chips, pitches, and putts from nearly everywhere. I found that the pool noodles were almost acting like “Tiger Vision” from the old Tiger Woods PGA TOUR video games for the consoles. My focus was honed!

While I’m still no proponent of inverted cups, I feel that in some cases there’s a benefit to them. Other than helping golfers to stay safe and not spread COVID-19 they can help with focus. What say you? Yay or Nay?

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

“First Impressions” Review – Bridgestone Golf TOUR B Golf Balls (2020)

When you think about the arsenal in your golf bag, what is the one product or piece of equipment that you use on every shot from tee to green? A driver? No. A putter? Nope, not that either. How about the golf ball? Whether you’re a scratch or better golfer firing 68s or a golfer that shoots scores a little higher, it’s the golf ball that is omnipresent.

In the past, I’ve had the opportunity to test and review different golf balls from Bridgestone Golf. Whether it was the TOUR B range from 2017, or the e12 from 2019, offerings from Bridgestone Golf always seem to fare very well.

When news started to percolate out of the Bridgestone Golf  “camp” about a new TOUR B golf ball, I was caught up in the “hype” that their savvy marketing team was sharing over social media.  Not to mention, there were some very exciting things being said about the “then” new prototype TOUR B golf balls that Matt Kuchar had put into play. Better numbers were being touted with the prototype when compared to the 2017 iteration.

In a nutshell, the golf ball was re-invented with new technologies. So, let’s have a look at what the new TOUR B golf balls for 2020 are all about.

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The Set-Up

Following on the heels of the successful 2017-18 range of TOUR B golf balls, As a matter of fact, Bridgestone Golf did not focus R&D on new equipment for 2020. So, if you’re looking for new equipment from Bridgestone Golf in 2020 you won’t find any. Their focus was solely on new golf balls (technology).

Bridgestone Golf has once again released a range of golf balls using the same monikers.

  • TOUR B X
  • TOUR B XS
  • TOUR B RX (Available in White and Yellow)
  • TOUR B RXS (Available in White and Yellow)

In name, they’re the same, but that is where the parallels end. There is a ton of technology put into the new TOUR b golf balls, and much of this technology was put on display by Marketing Manager Elliot Mellow at the Bridgestone Golf booth during the 2020 PGA Show.

  • REACTIV Urethane Cover – The new REACTIV cover of the new  TOUR B golf balls is designed with a few goals in mind. More distance and higher ball speeds with your driver and add more spin with your wedges. How do they achieve this feat? This cover “sticks” to the face longer.
  • Gradational Core – Added distance and more forgiveness are generated from new core technology. The Gradational Core produces higher initial ball speed and less sidespin. This equates to more power and control.
  • Dual Dimple – While this technology isn’t new, the Dual Dimple design is a proven technology that Bridgestone Golf has employed over the last few generations of golf balls. Dual Dimple means that a more preferred trajectory is achieved through less drag which yields more distance.
  • Seamless Cover Technology – Perfectly balanced dimples aid in creating consistent flight and performance.

As you noticed, there are two categories of TOUR B golf balls. While all of the TOUR B range has the same MSRP ($44.99) there is a difference in the golf balls. You’ll notice it in the name. Where the TOUR B (X and XS) are geared for players with swing speeds more than 105 mph the RX and RXS are geared more towards the recreational player and those with swing speeds less than 105 mph with one Major exception.

** Fun Fact: Fred Couples plays the TOUR B RXS

 

The Transition

There has been no golf in Ontario since March. So, this is why this is a “First Impressions” review. Until golf resumes where I live (thanks COVID-19) my testing thus far was conducted right after the PGA Show while I was still down in Florida.

To conduct the testing, I would have one night where I spent considerable time focusing on the short game side of things (putting, chipping, pitching, and bunker shots). Secondly, I would play a round of golf before departing Florida where I would have an opportunity to see what the TOUR B golf balls did tee to green in real-world conditions.

For the sake of keeping everything streamlined and organized in the writing of this review, I’ll break everything down by the golf ball. I’ll touch on each of the characteristics that I noticed.

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TOUR B X – This is the golf ball that has been validated on TOUR by the likes of Bryson Dechambeau, Lexi Thompson, and Matt Kuchar.

I found this golf ball to feel the most firm out of the four golf balls. It was something that I noticed on the first night of testing around the greens chipping and while putting. Without knowing and looking, I could tell that this was the TOUR B X. The green was firm and I was genuinely surprised by the amount of roll that it had. You never expect a golf ball to check up out of the rough, but from tight lies, I expected more. Maybe, my expectations were too high? I’m not suggesting that the golf ball rocketed past the hole, it’s just that it didn’t stop where I planned on it stopping.

On the golf course, the next day, it was a recurring theme when it came to the short game. However, when it came to other aspects of the game (driving and approach shots) the TOUR B X has decent distance, was very controllable, and had very nice approach spin. Kudos to the REACTIV Urethane Cover. Even though it’s classified as being soft, for my liking I found it to be too firm.

 

TOUR B XS – The golf ball that Tiger plays and designed.

Ironically enough, without looking to see which golf ball this was during the first night of testing I was able to identify which golf ball this was as well. Feel is a very individual sense and as “firm” as the X was the XS is not. I found it to be that much softer. Of course, this golf ball is not mushy. I really liked the greenside control that the TOUR B XS exhibited and this ball performed exactly as I felt it should. It checked and stopped where I felt it should have (other than out of rough) and I enjoyed the feel off of the putter.

On the course, I hit some of my best shots that day using this golf ball. I’ll be honest, I don’t know where my clubhead speed is at the moment but I did hit some very nice drives with this golf ball. I don’t hide the fact that I gravitate towards a softer feeling golf ball. Maybe, it’s because of my advanced years. All that I know is that the XS seemed longer than the X. Easier to compress? Tee to green this ball felt very good. Driver and irons alike. Again, this golf ball was very controllable and checked off a lot of boxes for me, in regards to what I look for in a golf ball. Looking back at 2017 and that review, I determined that the TOUR B XS was the choice for me. It might be the same for 2020.

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TOUR B RXAs mentioned, the TOUR B RX is geared for golfers with swing speeds under 105 mph. In the past, the RX and RXS dating back to the B-330 RX and RXS had a borderline “cult following” amongst recreational players.

I felt like the RX fell somewhere in between the TOUR B X and XS in terms of firmness. Rolling putts, it had a nice blend of firm meets soft and the same really could be said of the other aspects of the short game when using the RX. Chip shots did tend to have some rollout characteristics and I would contend that the rollout was a shade more than that of the TOUR B XS.

Implementing the RX on the golf course did see a lot of good things going for it. In my estimation, the distance was about on par with B X. The RX felt really nice on full iron shots and in general, on any swing more than a chip this ball delivers good feel.

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TOUR B RXSAlso geared for the “recreational player” and players with swing speeds under 105 mph is the TOUR B RXS. Or is it geared for that type of player?

The golf ball played by Rocco Mediate and Fred Couples. THIS golf ball could be a serious cult hit!!!

Going into testing, I knew that this golf ball was put in play by Fred Couples on the Champions Tour (PGA TOUR Champions). The first week that Freddy put it into play he nearly won, losing in a playoff. There isn’t much that this golf ball does not do.

The feel of this golf around the putting green feels great with on any shot. Putting, chipping, and pitching. It really made no difference, it just felt really stinking good! The greenside spin was so good, that at times I thought, it was the TOUR B XS. The RXS was quite predictable and I would suggest as predictable in terms of playability and reaction around the greens.

While testing this golf ball on the golf course, I was borderline “giddy” with the results that I was seeing. The TOUR B RXS just felt “explosive”. There was no doubt that this ball yielded by longest tee shots out of the four and more can be said about distance with the irons as well. This is a very good golf ball (tee to green) and for a golf ball and what I look for, the TOUR B RXS checks ALL of the boxes for me. The TOUR B RXS IS my favourite from Bridgestone’s 2020 golf ball line-up.

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The Finish

Bridgestone Golf really might have “re-invented the golf ball”. Bridgestone Golf R&D has placed a lot of time and effort into golf ball development and it shows! The REACTIV cover technology coupled with their proven dimple in dimple design works. This is a golf ball that performs exceptionally well, and depending on what you look for in a golf ball, there’s a golf ball for every type of player.

If you’re really unsure of which golf ball model to choose there are options. You can head over to the Bridgestone Golf website by following this link. There, it’ll give you the option of using their new VFIT Ball Selector tool, VFIT Video where you record your swing in slo-mo using your phone and submit your video to their Ball Fitting Experts (they are the best in the biz for ball fitting) or if you know your launch conditions you can use VFIT Numbers.

Give the new TOUR B a look (as golf opens up here, there will be a follow-up to this review. Stay tuned!)

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

REVIEW – Golf Gum (“The Golfer’s Gum”)

I’d like to extend a special thank-you to Scott Schaible who is my Media and Marketing contact for Apollo Brands, makers of today’s review subject. Golf Gum. Without Scott, this testing and review opportunity would never have happened. Scott, thank-you!

Chewing gum. Yes, it has been proven to relieve stress. A study back in 2008 at Melbourne, Australia’s Swinburne University showed that “chewing sugar-free gum effectively reduces anxiety by more than 17 percent during stressful situations”. Do you find yourself anxious and/or stressed on the golf course? Maybe chewing gum could help you get through your next round of golf or range session.

In the past, I have chewed gum on the golf course or during a range session and when I have done so, I always thought that my swing was smoother, which yielded better results. Truth be told, if you were to watch me swing a club on video, you’ll notice that I have this “little mouth thing” that I do right before making the swing. I do this whenever I concentrate and it goes back to when I was a little boy hammering nails into wood with my father in the basement. Unfortunately, this also leads to tension in my jaw and if you have tension in the jaw, there’s a good chance that you might have it through the rest of your body. If there’s an ingredient that doesn’t mix well with the golf swing, it’s tension.

So, when I had the chance to try Golf Gum, gum that was specifically developed for golf, there was no way that I could balk at the opportunity.

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The Set-Up

Made in Denver, Colorado, Golf Gum is considered to be an energy supplement that’s designed to help golfers to shoot lower scores while having more energy to help them get through their round of golf or a range session. But how?

Like I mentioned above, chewing golf is known for relieving stress and anxiety. Furthermore, chewing golf can also help you concentrate more on a task and it can also help your memory. In another study, from 2002, it was determined that “people who chewed throughout tests of both long-term and short-term memory produced significantly better scores than people who did not”.

Golf Gum is totally sugar-free as is also free of Aspartame. Instead, for the purposes of sweetening, Xylitol is used. Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is extracted from birch wood to make medicine. Also incorporated into the ingredients of Golf Gum are B Vitamins which are good for everything from converting food into energy (B2 or Riboflavin) to neurological function (B12). Vegans need not fret, Golf Gum is a good option for you because, Golf Gum is vegan-friendly.

The star of Golf Gum might be it’s “Liquid Core”. Each piece of Golf Gum contains approximately 80 mg of natural caffeine, which is extracted from green coffee beans.

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The Transition

I received my shipment of Golf Gum back in November but a very early winter storm and freezing temperatures (the coldest all winter) had golfers up here thinking that we were in for a long winter. Luckily, the snow and ice thawed and afforded golfers in my area an opportunity to play some late fall/early winter golf. So, like many others, I made my way to one of two golf courses that try to stay open year-round in the area.

I opened up my “care package” of Golf Gum that was sent to me and the first thing that I noticed was the fragrance of Spearmint. I have never opened up a box for review that smelled so good. Just the fragrance alone made me want to chew some gum. After taking pictures of the products for the review, I proceeded to pop the first piece of Golf Gum into my mouth in between the third and fourth hole.

Upon placing that first piece of gum into my mouth I was actually surprised. This gum is full of flavor but initially, I thought that the Golf Gum was almost too sweet. However, once I had gotten a few chews in, the sweetness really leveled out. As far as the “Liquid Core” goes, I admit that it was almost fun. As I recollect, I thought that “there was a party going on, and that it was in my mouth”. I really liked the liquid center of the Golf Gum. Because I started to chew the gum a little late into my 9-hole round I couldn’t really come to a concrete conclusion on the effects of the caffeine. Quite honestly, I’m not sure that I’d really see the effects over 9-holes.

I would play more golf in the month and a half leading up to my PGA Show trip to Florida and on several occasions, I would chew Golf Gum consequently during more 9-holes rounds, rounds where I would start chewing the gum long before my round. Lo and behold, I’m pretty certain that I felt the effects of the caffeine. I only know it, because my speech picked up speed and I did feel a new level of alertness. Golf Gum, definitely seemed to have a calming effect on my swing and I’m certain that this wasn’t “placebo effect”. Practice sessions in my backyard revealed more of the same but I wouldn’t be able to fully deliberate and pass judgment on the benefits of Golf Gum until I got in some long days on the golf course or otherwise with it.

Consequently, the long days experiencing and testing Golf Gum that I seeked, would finally take place in Florida during the PGA Show and while playing some post-show golf before returning home to Canada. The flavor or Golf Gum is without any doubt in my mind the longest-lasting gum that I have chewed. The flavor and I kid you not, lasts longer than 3 hours. So, it’s entirely possible that one piece of gum will last during an entire round of golf. It really kept me loose and focused during the rigors of Demo Day and while walking the show floor. To that end, I can tell you that it energized and helped me to maintain my concentration.

When it came to playing golf, I would test out Golf Gum. I did not chew any gum on the Front Nine and I would prep for the Back Nine by starting to chew Golf Gum on the 9th Tee. Consequently, the results were pretty uncanny. The back nine saw better scores, and seemingly better swings. More importantly, my level of focus was better as well.

** While at the show, I was given a two-piece sample of their new CBD gum called “Synapse”. I started chewing that gum the day I left home at 5am, I would chew that piece of gum until 10:30 that morning after landing in Buffalo. When I threw it out, it still had flavor.

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The Finish

I am convinced that Golf Gum is a product that works. It’s just too coincidental that my swings, focus,, and energy levels were all better while chewing Golf Gum. Great flavour that lasts a ridiculously long time and this is a gum that doesn’t turn “chalky” or gets a weird texture after chewing for a long period of time.

Here’s a little fun fact. Did you know that Tiger Woods was observed chewing Golf Gum during the 2019 Masters?

Golf Gum is “The Golfer’s Gum”. For more information please visit Golf Gum. Single packs of gum retail for $7 USD and I really think a pack or two of Golf Gum would be a good addition to your golf bag.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

 

Official Press Release – TaylorMade Golf SIM Metalwoods

Shape In Motion. Now we know what the name SIM stands for. It was an acronym used in naming the new metalwood product range from TaylorMade Golf for 2020.  The SIM range features a newly designed shape that features an asymmetrical sole design and a lightweight carbon crown constructed from Chromium. The material is a 5th Gen carbon composite material.

There are a lot of talking points to touch on, but I’ll let the press release from TaylorMade Golf Canada’s Senior Marketing Manager Nick Obritsch do all of the talking. Please see the press release below.

The new line of metalwoods is available for retail on February 7th, 2020 with pre-order being available January 10th.

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#untilthenexttee #fightandgrind

TAYLORMADE UNVEILS THE NEW SHAPE OF PERFORMANCE WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF SIM METALWOODS

Dynamic Shaping and Unconventional Geometry Unlock the Next Level of Speed and Forgiveness

CARLSBAD, Calif. (January 6, 2020) – TaylorMade Golf Company builds on its history of metalwood innovation and groundbreaking technologies with the all-new SIM family, highlighted by drivers, fairways and hybrids.

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SIM DRIVERS

With an asymmetric sole design and enhanced Inertia Generator, SIM drivers rely on geometry to unlock the next frontier of performance. A series of shape-inspired innovations work in unison to improve forgiveness while also increasing aerodynamics and clubhead speed at the most critical stage of the swing – the last three feet (one meter) of the swing prior to impact.

Known as the speed generation zone, this is where the most meaningful increase of clubhead speed occurs. At the Tour level, players commonly accelerate from 90mph to 120mph in that moment of truth. SIM drivers are engineered to improve aerodynamics, and thus clubhead speed, through this critical phase of the golf swing.

 

SHAPE IN MOTION – ADVANCED GEOMETRIC SHAPING FOR AERODYNAMICS, CLUBHEAD SPEED AND FORGIVENESS

SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max•D drivers feature a raised crown and sole to reduce drag and improve airflow throughout the swing. While raising the crown and sole improves aerodynamics, it typically comes with a tradeoff in the form of higher CG projection. However, the SIM family of drivers counteract that with the Inertia Generator positioned low and back with a heavy steel weight at the rear of the club. This design element moves the CG projection very low, optimizing launch conditions and increasing MOI – providing additional forgiveness for the golfer.

During aerodynamic testing, TaylorMade discovered the need to rotate the Inertia Generator to match the direction of airflow within the speed generation zone. The result is air that moves smoothly across the sole on the downswing and enhanced clubhead speeds in company tests.

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To put it simply, TaylorMade has designed a driver with no tradeoffs. SIM is fast, forgiving, promotes favorable launch conditions and has one of the hottest faces in golf.

“The history of driver design has been about prioritizing tradeoffs. You could have great launch conditions, but poor forgiveness. You could have great forgiveness, but at the sacrifice of distance. You could have an aerodynamic shape, but with less than optimal launch conditions. But through the use of multi-material technology, we’ve developed a new shape that optimizes performance in all three areas. It’s forgiving, fast and promotes the ideal launch conditions.”

Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Product Creation 

AN EVOLUTION OF MATERIALS

TaylorMade’s journey to SIM began with the lightweight carbon composite technology the company has developed over the course of the last 15 years. The fifth-generation carbon composite material, which was refined throughout the lifespan of the popular M series, was the key to unlocking a series of new geometric opportunities for TaylorMade engineers.

By using carbon materials to construct the crown and sole paneling of SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max•D, designers saved a considerable amount of weight, which was then redeployed into the flagship design feature of SIM drivers – the heavy Inertia Generator that’s positioned low and back in the club.

New for 2020 is an ultra-light weight chromium carbon crown with a chalk white topline that creates contrast with the black clubface to help frame the ball at address and improve alignment.

SPEED INJECTED TWIST FACE

In 2019, TaylorMade took Twist Face® – the revolutionary face curvature that’s designed to straighten ball flight – to the next level of performance with Speed Injected Twist Face. Exposing the false narrative that speed limits have been reached in a metalwood, this breakthrough technology allows the company to push ball speeds near the legal limit for every driver in the SIM family, particularly on off-centre hits. There are three key features that allow this to occur.

  • Ultra-thin Titanium face with redesigned Inverted Cone Technology (ICT)
  • Variable amounts of injected resin based on testing of the face
  • A proprietary algorithm to tune each head
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Every SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max•D driver head is inspected, measured and tuned to maximize speed and to ensure conformity; a process truly unmatched in the golf industry. Where other drivers have a greater level of variation in ball speed from one to the next, TaylorMade’s engineering and development processes effectively deliver a level of precision that ensures every golfer gets a hot and fast driver head.

SLIDING WEIGHT TECHNOLOGY AND LOFT SLEEVE

Continuing a history of adjustability and personalization, the SIM driver features Sliding Weight Technology that allows for up to +/- 20 yards of draw or fade bias. For even further personalization, the 2° Loft Sleeve™ allows for the adjustment of the loft, lie angle and face angle of the driver. The Loft Sleeve™ is available on all three models, while Sliding Weight Technology is only offered in SIM.

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SIM

SIM allows the player who craves customization and adjustability to optimize ball flight characteristics by creating a +/- 20 yards of draw-fade bias through Sliding Weight Technology and a single 10g weight. It features a slightly smaller face than SIM Max and SIM Max•D, appealing to players who place a premium on adjustability and control.

 

 

SIM MAX

The SIM Max driver is designed to deliver maximum forgiveness. The all-new Inertia Generator positions additional weight at the extreme rear of the club to further increase MOI, providing more forgiveness and slightly higher launch conditions than the SIM driver.

 

 

SIM MAX•D

The SIM  Max•D  is engineered to help golfers a common slice tendency on the course via a strategically placed heel-bias internal weight  and divergent topline masking, which makes the driver look more open at address helping golfers close the face at impact.  The draw-biased design promotes the highest launch and offers the largest, most forgiving face in the SIM lineup.

 

 

PROGRESSIVE FACE HEIGHTS

Using data collected during the development of our Twist Face®, which shows the correlation between handicaps and mis-hit dispersion, TaylorMade implemented Progressive Face Heights in SIM drivers.

The SIM Max has an 8% larger face than SIM, while Max•D has an 18% larger face. Data shows that the golfers most likely to gravitate towards the performance features of SIM Max or SIM Max•D will also benefit from the increased forgiveness of a larger face.

“We know that the player who generally purchases a draw-bias driver commonly has the widest area of dispersion across the face. So we wanted to give that golfer the biggest face possible. Using all the data we collected in the development of Twist Face – and learning how big the mis-hit zone is based on handicaps – we really tried to design them for the golfer who’s likely to purchase each of these drivers.”

Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Product Creation
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SPECIFICATIONS, AVAILABILITY & PRICING

SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max D will be available for pre-order on January 10 and at retail on February 7, 2020.

SIM has an MSRP of $699.99 CAD and will be offered in 8°, 9° and 10.5° lofts. Stock shaft offerings include Mitsubishi Diamana S Limited 60 and Project X’s HZRDUS Smoke Green 70, with numerous custom shaft options available at no additional cost. They come stock with a new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47g).

SIM Max and Max•D have an MSRP of $649.99 CAD and will be offered in 9°, 10.5° and 12° lofts. SIM Max stock shaft offerings include Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 and Ventus Red 5, with numerous additional shaft options available at no additional cost. SIM Max•D stock shaft offering is the UST Mamiya Helium, with numerous additional shaft options available at no additional cost. Both models also come stock with the new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47g). The women’s offering for both SIM Max and SIM Max•D include the Aldila NV Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip (38g).

SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max•D Fairways

The iconic V Steel design has been reinvented with the new SIM family of fairway metals. Advanced shaping combines with a V Steel™ sole to improve turf interaction and playability from various lies.

A more rounded leading edge improves the club’s initial contact with the turf, while the V Steel sole further raises heel and toe sections of the sole away from the ground and improves versatility. These design features combine to significantly reduce turf contact area in SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max•D fairways, reducing ground friction which can positively influence both clubhead speed and ball speed.

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Matching the aesthetics of the SIM driver family, the chromium carbon crown and contrasting chalk white colour help frame the ball at address and improve alignment.

SIM FAIRWAY

The SIM fairway is a 180cc titanium head that combines a lightweight carbon construction with a revolutionary new ZATECH titanium face and a heavy 80g steel sole weight. The strategically positioned weight creates an extremely low CG that allows for increased ball speed, higher launch and improved forgiveness on low-face hits.

The ZATECH Titanium face is breakthrough in materials technology that enables TaylorMade engineers to push the limits of speed in a titanium fairway wood. It’s the first time TaylorMade has used this rare and ultra-strong material in the construction of a metalwood. The ZATECH titanium is made in small batches using a unique process that allows engineers to improve the strength of the face while maintaining a high level of ductility. The SIM titanium fairway is engineered for crazy distance with adjustability through the Loft Sleeve.

 

 

SIM MAX

The 185cc SIM Max steel fairway woods are constructed using strong and durable C300 face material. Also featuring the reinvented V Steel for exceptional versatility from all lies, the SIM Max is designed for higher launch and peak trajectories, with extremely long distance and improved playability.

 

 

SIM MAX•D

The oversized 190cc SIM Max•D has been optimized for forgiveness and golfers seeking a draw-bias design. Like SIM drivers, the fairway woods feature progressive head sizes to provide greater forgiveness to the players who need it the most.

 

 

“For many golfers V Steel will trigger memories of an iconic product we released more than a decade ago. As we reviewed the research used to develop the original technology, we discovered a massive benefit to having a fairway metal with significantly less turf drag through impact. By pairing V Steel with our technologically advanced materials, we’ve created fairways that are extremely playable, forgiving and provide explosive distance.”

Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Product Creation 

TWIST FACE®

TaylorMade introduced Twist Face to its fairway metal lineup in 2019 and has carried the revolutionary technology into each SIM offering. Like the SIM drivers, the faces have been modified to counteract the gear effect on common mis-hits in the high-toe and low-heel. Although the concept is the same as in the driver, the exact geometry is slightly different to account for the unique mass properties and impact location patterns in fairway woods compared to drivers.

SPEED POCKET™

The Speed Pocket in SIM fairways has been engineered to provide increased ball speed to the entire face while improving forgiveness on low-face impacts. A slot insert has also been designed to sit flush with the sole to improve sole interaction and eliminate turf drag from the Speed Pocket, aligning with the performance goals of V Steel.

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SPECIFICATIONS, AVAILABILITY & PRICING

SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max•D fairways will be available for preorder on January 10 and at retail on February 7, 2020.

SIM has an MSRP of $499.99 CAD and will be offered in Rocket 3/14°, 3/15° and 5/19° lofts. It will be offered in the Mitsubishi Diamana FW Limited 75 stock shaft, with numerous additional shaft options available at no additional cost. It comes stock with the new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47g).

SIM Max and Max•D have an MSRP of $399.99 CAD. SIM Max will be offered in lofts of Rocket 3/14°, 3/15°, 5/18°, 7/21° and 9/24°. Shaft offerings include Fujikura Ventus Blue FW 5 (R and A flexes) and Ventus Blue FW 6 (S and X flexes), with additional custom shaft options available at no additional cost. SIM Max•D will be offered in lofts of 3/16°, 5/19° and 7/22°. UST Mamiya’s Helium FW is the stock shaft offering with numerous custom options available at no additional cost. Both models also come stock with the new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47g). Women’s offerings for SIM Max and SIM Max•D fairways include the Aldila NV Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip (38g).

SIM MAX RESCUE

As a long-iron replacement, it’s imperative that hybrids be versatile and playable in all conditions. That’s why TaylorMade has incorporated V Steel technology into a hybrid for the first time in the company’s history with SIM Max Rescue. The clubhead is engineered to deliver improved turf interaction and reduced friction when playing from various lies. A reshaped leading edge works in conjunction with V Steel to further improve playability and strike conditions.

 

Designers rounded the toe and adjusted the face angle to give SIM Max Rescue a more confidence-inspiring shape at address for all levels of golfers. It utilizes the same C300 Steel face used in the SIM MAX fairway woods to help improve ball speed, durability and overall performance. The corrective technologies of Twist Face and Speed Pocket offer improved performance and forgiveness on mis-hits on the toe, heel and low on the face.

SPECIFICATIONS, AVAILABILITY & PRICING

The SIM MAX Rescue will be available for preorder on January 10 and at retail on February 7, 2020. It has an MSRP of $329.99 CAD and will be offered in lofts of 3/19°, 4/22°, 5/25°, 6/28° and 7/31°. It will be offered in the Fujikura Ventus Blue stock shaft, with numerous custom shaft options available at no additional cost. It comes stock with the Lamkin’s Crossline 360 grip (47g). Women’s offerings include the Aldila NV Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip (38g).

2020 Major Predictions – PGA TOUR

As the calendar winds down on the calendar for the year 2019 there are many things to look at and think about. Tigers Woods wins at The Masters and in doing do he collectively “flipped off” all of the naysayers who said that he was done. How does crow taste by the way?

At Bethpage, the polarizing Brooks Koepka claimed the Wanamaker Trophy in winning the PGA Championship. He may not win regular events, but he’s a threat every time he tees it up in a Major. The very likable Gary Woodland won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. His first Major championship. You had a feeling that it was going to come eventually. But if there was a newly minted Major champion that you have to like and feel good about. Shane Lowry would be that guy. It was fun watching him win the Open Championship. He really ended up running away with the Claret Jug besting runner-up Tommy Fleetwood by 6 strokes.

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Lowry signing autographs at the 2017 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.

As we fast-forward to 2020 I thought that it might be fun to make bold predictions regarding the 2020 Major tournaments. Oh, and before anyone suggests it, no I will not talk about The Players Championship. My opinion is to just leave it as it is. A stand-alone tournament for… The Players. So without further delay. Here we go!

(Injuries and unforeseen circumstances can really put a damper on these things)

 

The Masters – Is it just me or can you practically smell the azaleas, dogwood, and pine straw already. Honestly, I don’t know what it smells like there but I have an image, or smell, conjured in my imagination. It’d be easy to pick Tiger to win The Masters and repeat. Seeing that, as it stands now he is the favorite to win again according to oddsmakers. So with that said. Here’s my pick. This guy made putts on the fast and firm greens of Royal Melbourne during the Presidents Cup. He’s long and has the control. My pick. Justin Thomas.

PGA Championship – TPC Harding Park will be the venue for the 2020 PGA Championship. The “San Francisco Treat” was named after avid golfer and former President, Warren G. Harding and opened in 1925. Tight tree-lined fairways and small undulating greens were the norms of courses designed in this time frame. A premium will be placed on accuracy and iron play. Will length be a determining factor in this one? Maybe not. Then again, is length really a factor for many of these guys?

My pick had a sneaky journeyman-like 2019 campaign. A pretty good striker of the golf ball his iron play is solid, putting is good and has adequate length for a 7,200-yard golf course. Currently ranked #8 in the world. My pick is Justin Rose to heave the Wanamaker Trophy over his head. Sorry about the jinx Rosey!

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Photo Credit: PGA.com

The U.S. Open – A Father’s Day tradition. Sticking with the theme of golf courses designed in the 1920’s Winged Foot Golf Club is another golf course that features tight fairways and distinct green complexes. The A.W. Tillinghast-designed gem has hosted a cacophony of major events including some prior U.S. Open’s. What separates this course from TPC Harding Park? The USGA. I hope the USGA does what it does best. Set the course up in such a way that it makes professional golfers irate.

If this thing ends up a “Battle of Attrition” you have to like Brooks Koepka‘s chances. It might be an unpopular choice because he’s as polarizing a player as there is in professional golf. He may not win a ton of PGA TOUR events but he really shows up for the Major’s and he loves the U.S. Open. We don’t know how bad his injury truly is that kept him out of the Presidents Cup.  His health could be a factor.

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The Open Championship – The 149th Open Championship will take place at Royal St. George’s. The venue last hosted the Open Championship in 2011 which was won by Darren Clarke (his first and last). While I can see the likes of Rose and Tommy Fleetwood contending here I think both come up just short. Weather is always a factor during the Open Championship perhaps a little less so in England than in Scotland or Ireland for that matter. So if it’s cold and crappy out that could hurt an “old guy” riddled with past injuries (Tiger Woods).

With all things being equal and taking the lousiest weather conditions into consideration I like Rory McIlroy to win the Open Championship. He had a solid 2019, really solid in fact and I just think he’ll continue to roll in 2020.

 

The maiden 2 Royal St Georges

It’ll be fun to watch all of the Major championships in 2020. I think the collection of courses by architects of the 1920s makes the events more intriguing. You know what else will be fun? Watching my picks “crash and burn”.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Happy Golf Festivus

You’ve heard about it because of Frank Costanza. George’s somewhat intense father on the television show “Seinfeld”. Are you down because of the stress that is Christmas? Well, no need to fret. Because there is a “Festivus, for the rest of us”. December 23rd. Yep, it’s today. So get ready for the airing of the grievances and some feats of strength because it’s “Golf Festivus”.

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Airing of Grievances

Frank Costanza said it best. “I got a problem with you people! And now you’re going to hear about it”.

  • Slow play. I don’t care if we’re talking about Bryson “The Tortoise” Dechambeau or the folks at your local daily fee golf course. All that I know is this. There is no reason for rounds of golf to last longer than 3 hrs 45 min. Fun fact. When I played U.S. Open Qualifying everybody walked (of course). It was less than 3.5 hours. Play ready golf. Get to your ball and take the shot. Are you playing in a medal competition? Likely not. Hit your shot and move on.
  • The golfing public that keeps slamming Patrick Reed. It’s time to let go. Enough said. I’m done here.
  • You people who ride carts and park in front of the green. Wake up and smell the freshly cut grass. Park parallel to the pin. that’s the quickest exit and entry point.
  • You know those poles or signs that say “No Cart’s” in front of the green? The superintendent put it there for a reason. Don’t take your carts past those signs. Because we all want tire tracks in front of the green.
  • You people that don’t fix ball marks and divots. Yet you complain if your ball hits one on the green causing you to miss your putt. It’s karma. Oh, and you likely don’t fix them because you’re too lazy or because you have a fall sense of entitlement.
  • Slow play has plagued the PGA TOUR right?! Why can’t they play “ready golf”? Lead by example. Experiment on the LPGA Symetra Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, or the Mackenzie Tour. Much in the same way the NHL uses the AHL as it’s test-bed for new ideas.
  • Music haters. The times have changed, music is totally cool on the golf course… With a caveat. If you are one of the DJ’s out on the golf course, the entire golf course doesn’t wanna listen to your Backstreet Boys.
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No, not that DJ.

  • Professionals that damage courses. That’s you, Bryson and Sergio. I still say if they wanna damage the course. Penalize them. Not with strokes. Put them to work. Let them live a day in greenskeeper’s shoes.
  • There’s a better way to enforce the cannabis policy. Don’t! It’s so common that the PGA Show has exploded with CBD vendors. It’s becoming legalized more and more and if it’s prescribed by a doctor than it’s even more legit. I know, it’s about the Olympics. My suggestion. Enforce it a year out from the Olympics. If the PGA TOUR/IOC is that concerned, monitor players 365 calendar days out from the beginning of the Olympics.
  • The double-standard that has been created on the PGA TOUR
  • Trick shots. It’s time for them to slowly fade away. I appreciate the talent but it’s old. So 2018.
  • 25-Handicaps giving new golfers “lessons” at the range. Oh, and filling their heads with technical jargon like “weight transfer” and explain it wrong. You’re going to screw them up even more. Another new golfer… That will quit the game.

Feats of Strength

  • Coming all the way back , after my Stroke and playing the best golf that I’ve ever played. 2019 was my best year for scoring average.
  • My first Ace. Even though it was unwitnessed. It was still exciting.
  • Until The Next Tee had an amazing 2019 and it isn’t quite finished yet.
  • Tiger Woods winning The Masters, tying Snead with 82 victories, going 3-0 at the Presidents Cup and being the winning captain at said Presidents Cup.
  • LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan for slowly getting the purses to where they should be for the LPGA and pursuing companies to “walk the talk” when it comes to sponsorship dollars.
  • Brandon Matthews. Because he knows that there’s more to life than golf.
  • The guys might be good but the girls on the LPGA TOUR are amazing. Watch them.
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Feats of strength indeed. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Now we just need a “Festivus Miracle”. Happy Festivus!!

Until The Next Tee!!

 

#fightandgrind #golf #festivus #airingofgrievances #featsofstrength #tigerwoods michaelwhan #brandonmatthews #cbd #jaymonahan #sergiogarcia #brysondechambeau #pgatour

 

 

The Presidents Cup Day 4 – Gimmes (TEAM USA Wins)

Well, a heartfelt congratulations go out to the team representing the United States for staging a comeback in the 2019 Presidents Cup. With the victory (16-14), the team led by Captain Tiger Woods retains the cup and of course, another accomplishment has now been added to Tiger’s impressive resume. Here are my final gimmes from the Presidents Cup.

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  • Well, I guess I have to come clean first. I was wrong. Dead wrong. I called for a bloodbath. Total decimation of the International Team before the event began. I was wrong. The International Team fought and ground their way into a lead. The leadership shown by Captain Ernie Els was exemplary. He had a plan and stuck with it. A man of conviction. I respect that as I am the same type of person.
  • Staying with the International Team for a second. They took the American side to the limit. With seven rookies! This bodes well for the future of not only the Presidents Cup but the International Team as well. We’ll be looking back at the 2019 Presidents Cup as a turning point of this event.
  • Was it just me or was this fun and compelling television to watch? I never get behind the Presidents Cup. I can say the word “never” again.
  • Patrick Reed. He played some dominant golf, didn’t he? He whumped C.T Pan 4&2 with coach Kevin Kirk on the bag. It’s amazing how the tone on social media towards him changed. It goes to show, everyone loves a winner.

2019 Presidents Cup - Day 4

  • How much credit for the U.S. victory should go to the Vice-Captains. Steve Stricker, Fred Couples, and Zach Johnson. Someone had to keep the mice away while the big “Cat” was at play. Tiger assembled a great support staff including of course Couples who himself has led the U.S. to a Presidents Cup on three occasions.
  • Abraham Ancer. He wanted Tiger in November. He got him and he lost 3&2. Golf Twitter was all over him for it last night. The same people that were all over Reed until last night. Know this, Ancer will be better for it and now the golf world has taken note of the diminutive man from Mexico.
  • Tell me that this victory meant nothing to Tiger. His eyes were filled with tears when all was said and done.

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  • Whoa, Nelly. Adam Scott. Boy, did the native Aussie ever put his back against the wall in his match against Schauffele. He was 4 DN at one point.
  • Sungjae Im. How good is he?
  • I love watching the European Tour this time of the year. Because of it, I have gotten to see Cameron Smith over the last couple of years. He’ll be a Major winner. Oh, did I mention that he beat Justin Thomas?
  • Hideki Matsuyama. Well, he let that point slip away. His tied point was a loss
  • Imagine if this cup would have ended in a tie.

Well, that wraps up my coverage for the 2019 Presidents Cup. Hopefully, when the event is next held in 2021 at Quail Hollow Club (Charlotte, NC) it’s just as exciting.

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee #untilthenexttee