Welcome to the September 2010 issue of Equipment Reviews, sent out monthly exclusively to the loyal customers of Edwin Watts Golf. If you haven't already signed up for your free Equipment Reviews subscription, then please click here - there's no obligation and you can cancel at any time.
Everyone knows Tiger Woods hasn’t been himself on the course this year. But statistically, where has he faltered most, compared to last year? People have noted that Tiger’s missed a lot of short putts this year. But when he’s five feet or closer from the cup, he actually sinks 97.35% of them, just slightly below his 2009 average. Tiger notoriously tried switching putters from a Scotty Cameron model to a Nike Method at this year’s British Open for a couple of rounds before swapping back, but statistics clearly show that his putter was not the problem. So where do statistics imply he should focus, for potential equipment adjustments? For starters, his driving accuracy is down from 64.29% of fairways hit to 57.21%. He’s only lost 2.6 yards per tee shot, down to 295.8 yards/drive -- so distance isn’t really an issue. However, he finished 13th on the PGA Tour in 2009 in hitting 68.46% of Greens in Regulation, while this year he ranks 153rd with 64.07%. And when he’s between 225 and 250 yards from the green, he averages putting the ball more than 64’ 4” from the cup (fourth worst on Tour) – whereas in 2009, he put it to 48’ 7” (that’s 25% closer!). Thus, he needs to improve his accuracy from afar, which starts with putting the ball in play off of the tee.
Mizuno MP-63 Irons
This is the next evolution of Mizuno’s most popular Tour iron, made of soft-feeling, mild carbon steel. The company’s Grain Flow Forging process combines with a Diamond Muscle design, creating a nice blend of feel and control in a player’s-style cavity back. If you know Mizuno’s irons, then you’ll be readily familiar with the clubhead size, top line, offset and sole width that work in concert to optimize feel and versatility. Mizuno used modal analysis to perfect the sound and feel of impact vibration on these irons. Then several versions were tested by the likes of Luke Donald until this rendition prevailed. This iron’s sole includes the visible grind on the trailing edge for precise turf interaction that translates to complete shot versatility. Meanwhile, the progressive cavity depth ensures playability in the deeper long irons and control in the shallower short irons. Modified U-grooves conform to the new USGA rules, as well, producing an ideal spin rate for maximum playability.
Tour Edge Exotics Trilogy Fairway Woods
Tour Edge has produced some outstanding fairway woods under its Exotics label in recent years. Now, the Trilogy Rail woods focus on forgiveness and easy-to-hit shots from deep rough, firm turf and awful lies. The large, diamond-shaped inner rail performs as a rudder, guiding the clubface into a square position at impact while minimizing divots. The sole’s two outer rails and one inner rail collectively help enhance stability on off-center hits and improve turf interaction. Meanwhile, a 60-gram internal weight chip lowers the CG, to get the ball up quickly. The club combines a hyper-steel body with a thinner maraging steel face. The variable face thickness is elliptically shaped, to help forgiveness and distance from key points on the clubface. The club's lightweight Graphite Design Tour AD 60 shaft has a softer tip that helps shots get up high.
HOT GEAR NEWS
TaylorMade unveiled Burner 2.0 irons, with refined feel, sound and playability. Bearing a two-toned, glare-resistant "Burner Black" PVD finish, the irons are weighted to optimize ball flight for each individual iron. Each iron also has a unique face thickness: The thinnest and fastest faces are in the long irons, with the face in each successive iron a little thicker. The thinner the face, the higher the COR is for more ball speed and distance; the thicker the face, the better the feel. Progressive topline thickness helps visually, as they’re thicker in the long irons… In addition to Mizuno’s new MP-63 irons mentioned above, the company’s other 2011 irons include the distance-oriented JPX-800 that combines MAX COR Technology, “Hot Metal” clubface, exotic pocket cavity, and aggressive triple-cut sole; JPX-800 PRO that are grain-flow forged from "Pure Select" mild carbon steel and scientifically tuned for impact sound and feel; and MP-53 irons with V slot CNC milled pocket cavities in the 3- through 7-irons and solid power bar in the 8-iron through pitching wedge… YES! Golf introduced three new putters (named Naomi, Courtney and Jennifer) with C-Groove technology and negative draft that allows them to sit perfectly square on greens… Sun Mountain’s new Swift X bag weighs a touch over three pounds, has seven pockets and a dual strap…Karsten Manufacturing entered an agreement to let Apple use the PING trademark in connection with its iTunes social music discovery feature…Miyazaki Shafts debuted its really light C. Kua series graphite shafts for drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. The 59 flex code profile aims to feel stable in the top 3/4 of the shaft with a slightly more active extreme tip section; the 43 flex code profile is stiff in the hands and softer in the tip, for a mid-to-high trajectory; the 39 series shafts use a balanced flex code profile with a slightly softer mid tip section; and the 83 series hybrid shafts offer a tour-inspired flex code profile with increased mid tip stiffness… adidas Golf debuted the rich-looking adiPURE Z shoes with premium, hand-finished leather throughout, THiNTech low-profile technology, and two-year waterproof warranty… Wilson Staff’s 2011 lineup will include Di11 game-improvement irons; FG62 forged muscleback blades; FG Tour wedges; DXi driver with 5-zone face technology and fairway utilities with large radius sole; D-FY combo set for women; and the Vizor putter … Bridgestone’s hot e6 balls are now being offered in bright yellow and orange… ECCO announced its Spring/Summer 2011 men's golf collection, which includes the leather-soled World Class GTX, BIOM Golf with natural motion, Golf Street in rich camel leather, and the traditional Comfort Classic...Is anyone putting better than K.J. Choi right now? He's using a PING Scottsdale Tomcat putter with a SuperStroke Fatso grip.