Thursday, March 2, 2017

2017 PGA Merchandise Show - Day 3 Recap (Part 3): Titleist, Vokey Wedges, Scotty Cameron, TaylorMade, Adidas, Ping, and Tear Down

No matter how you measure your game, you're going to need more than great technique to play your best and shoot your lowest scores.  The right tools always matter. 


So let's sink our teeth into the latest gear from Titleist, Vokey, Scotty Cameron, TaylorMade, Adidas, and Ping in this final section of PGA Show recaps. 

We'll finish this section with a few pictures of the tear down, and then finally on to my Best of Show wrap up to reveal what gear stood out above all others. 

I really can't believe I'm going to say this, because I'm not a Titleist fanatic, and any given season I haven't carried more than a few Titleist clubs in my bag.  But this year I could literally play an entire bag of Titleist clubs and never look back. 

The 917 D2 and D3 drivers feature the most customization of any Titleist drivers to date with SureFit CG adjustability, and once I was able to optimize each, it was step up and just let it fly.  Distance with both drivers made me deliriously happy and both were flat-out fun to hit.  The deep crack sound at impact is also the best I've ever heard on a Titleist driver, no thud or high pitched sounds.  I hit more long drives with the D3 than the D2.  However if you're not always swinging your best, the D2 is definitely more forgiving. 

The 716 AP1 and AP2 irons have been out for awhile, and all I can say is shame on me for not spending more time with them earlier.  The AP1 long irons are so easy to hit you might put a 3-iron back in your bag.  Even if you don't have a world class swing, you'll get world class results.  The AP2 irons were an absolute privilege to hit.  Tons of playability, and forgiveness that's unmatched in a players iron. 

Vokey Wedges 
There's a long list of things we can't control in golf.  But the Titleist Vokey Spin Milled SM6 wedges can definitely shorten that list.  From full swings to chip shots, I could predictably execute just about any shot I wanted with the SM6.  Granted, I was only able to hit off one kind of surface at demo day, but when you hit specific targets time after time after time, that's something you tend to remember.  New TX4 grooves let you spin any shot to your heart's content.  And a huge array of sole grinds for different swing styles and course conditions should serve the needs of any golfer

Scotty Cameron 
New Scotty Cameron putters this year include the Select Newport 3 and a host of new Futura models with removable, customizable sole weights.  There's a flowing, rhythmic feeling to strokes with the 6M, and it was one of the most balanced, stable putters I hit all week.  Short putts are essentially gimmes. 

TaylorMade Golf 
TaylorMade's new M1 driver features a dual track system on the sole that allows you to move weight left to right and forward to back.  That lets you control draw and fade bias, as well as launch, spin, and forgiveness.  The M2 driver features a new, more flexible sole slot and is the more forgiving of the two drivers.  Surprisingly, I had better distance with the M1. 

The P770 irons replace the PSi irons in TaylorMade's line-up this year, and the P750 replace the PSi Tour.  I hit both of these irons at Demo Day and the sound and feel is better than most.  The P770 are higher launching and more forgiving than the P750, and produced powerful ball flights with feathery soft landings.  A lot of hidden technology in the 770s that made me feel comfortable swinging hard without worry of spraying shots all over the place. 

Oh yeah, Dustin Johnson's U.S. Open Trophy was on display.  And yes you better believe I stepped inside the rope to put my hands on the same trophy Nicklaus, Palmer, Woods, McIlroy and Spieth have  all raised in triumph. 

Adidas Golf 
Adidas new Powerband Boa Boost combines a new Boa closure system, Boost cushioning, and a Powercage saddle for outstanding comfort, traction, and stability. 

Ping Golf 
Ping's new i200 irons fall between their i-Blade and G irons in terms of playability and forgiveness.  I liked the compact, subtle, minimalist look and they had just the right amount of offset for my eye.  With strong lofts and faces 30% thinner than the i-Blade, these have plenty of zip off the face.  The weight saved is moved to the perimeter for noticeable stability and forgiveness. 

The Tear Down 
Only 364 days to PGA Show 2018! 

READ MORE: 2017 PGA Merchandise Show: Best of Show *COMING TOMORROW*

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