Friday, February 2, 2018

2018 PGA Merchandise Show - Demo Day Recap Part 3 of 4: FootJoy, Titleist, Miura, and Lynx Golf

Halfway through Demo Day is a dangerous point for me.  Muscles are starting to ache and burn.  Orange County National Golf Center begins to look even more gargantuan knowing there are still numerous companies to cover.  The sun's beating down and I have to decide, "do I save the space in my backpack for much needed water, or for more gear to bring back for you?"  Maybe just a quick breather to recharge? 

 

But you know what happens.  It's breakneck from start to finish.  I put on my Bose earbuds, queue up Eminem "Till I Collapse," and forge ahead to more new equipment.  And forget the water.  In my Demo Day Recap Part 2 I went under the hood with new gear from Ping, Callaway, and Fujikura.  In Part 3 I'll show you the latest from FootJoy, Titleist, Miura, and Lynx Golf. 

FootJoy 
The big story from the FootJoy camp is their new Tour S shoes.  FJ claims these are the most stable kicks they've ever created.  I'm only including a few pictures here and will have the substance of my coverage from the floor.  I had a great conversation with Chris from FJ about the Tour S and have some tasty pics and info you don't want to miss. 

 
 

Still, I had to at least try them on at Demo Day.  Stability is great, but if your golf shoes aren't comfortable who cares about the rest.  Soft foam around the ankle and tongue was pleasant feeling, and the dual density footbed was actually cozy. 

 
 

What surprised me most however, was how lightweight they were for shoes with such stable outsoles.  Out of the box my initial impression was the Tour S offers premium comfort, stability, and style, and FootJoy clearly spared no expense in designing these shoes. 

The spikeless PRO/SL were also out on display, and though these shoes aren't new, they're the textbook example of "don't mess with a good thing."  I heard numerous people say they're the most comfortable spikeless shoes they've ever worn, from any brand.  You'll see me in the PRO/SL sometime this season as I definitely need to see for myself. 

 
 

Titleist 
I've wanted to hit the 718 AP3 irons something fierce ever since they were announced about four months ago.  To say I've been high-strung waiting for the chance is an understatement.  Neurotic is probably a better description.  Strolling up to the hitting bay with a black bag full of Titleist balls, there should have been walk up music playing - "Enter Sandman" - I was seriously pumped.  And I'm thrilled to report the AP3 irons exceeded my already insane expectations. 

 

Let me first give you a little perspective.  I used to love the AP1 irons awhile back, but it seems Titleist made them bigger over the years and that eventually didn't suit my eye.  I moved into the AP2 irons and they did almost everything I needed my irons to do, but they weren't as forgiving as the AP1s in lost distance on mishits.  Mixing sets didn't resolve my dilemma. 

The AP3s however, are bringing me back into the Titleist fold (most of my AP3 pictures will be from the floor because I spent a substantial amount of time hitting these irons).  They're beautifully compact, and forgiveness is much closer to the AP1s than the AP2s.  Although the AP3s are played on Tour, I'd consider them game-improvement irons because even misses low on the face launched high and produced impressive distance. 

 
 
 
 

Tungsten weights hidden in the toe and heel make the AP3s extremely stable.  An undercut cavity and leading edge that wraps around the sole gives the face more pop than the AP2s.  Turf interaction was sublime, and the feel was incredible for a non-forged iron.  It was definitely worth the wait to hit the AP3s, and these were easily one of my favorite new irons at Demo Day.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if the AP3s become Titleist's best selling irons, and I wish I could have come home with them to be honest.  Well done Titleist! 

Most of my pictures of the Titleist Vokey SM7 wedges will be from the floor, but hitting them on Demo Day I can tell you their spin and feel is ridiculously awesome.  CGs have been pushed up in the higher lofted wedges and down in the lower lofted wedges making distance and trajectory control exceptional. 

 
 
 
 

I'm not quite ready to say these wedges should be immortalized after just one session with them, but the fact I'm even thinking about that says something.  Whatever kind of course you play, whatever your typical miss is, whatever types of shots you have to hit, the SM7 wedges have you covered with six different grinds for a better short game

Miura Golf 
I got a chance to hit Miura's new MC-501 muscle cavity irons and IC-601 irons, and will compare them to my own set of CB-501 irons for some points of reference. 

 
 
 
 

Muira told me the MC-501 irons are basically Miura modern blades that are easier to hit than  traditional blades.  The MC-501 soles looked about the same width as my CB-501 irons, but Miura said there's additional weight concentrated in the sole and behind the impact area for more piercing flight, improved feel, and extra forgiveness. 

 
 
 

The MC-501 irons aren't difficult to hit, but they're clearly designed for advanced players.  When I hit these pure the feeling was unmatched and ball flight was strong and long.  Poor shots however were definitely punished.  The MC-501 irons reminded me of the Miura MB 5005 irons in terms of ball flight and feel, except the MC-501 irons are slightly more forgiving. 

The IC-601 irons on the other hand are extremely forgiving.  I thought that was especially interesting because they actually look more like blades from the back than the MC-501 irons. 

 
 
 

The IC-601 irons have wider soles and a bit more offset than my CB-501 irons, making it very easy to get the ball airborne.  I'd even go so far as saying the IC-601s are the easiest to hit irons from Miura I've ever tried - including the Passing Point 9003.   

Miura is also releasing a new Tour wedge that I absolutely loved.  It has a classic shape and design, and is available in 2-degree loft increments from 48* to 60*. 

 
 
 
 

A new groove pattern increases spin on intermediate shots, and the sharp leading edge was cash money ripping through the firm turf without getting the club stuck in the ground. 

I didn't hit the new KM-009 putter but from just an appearance standpoint it looks delicious.  Miura traditionalists will probably rave about the soft satin finish and ultra-smooth face milling. 

 
 
 
 

Lynx Golf 
Lynx Golf was my first big surprise of the PGA Show.  They've never really been on my radar, but I realize now they probably should have been. 

 
 
 
 

Their new Prowler CB Forged irons are gorgeous.  Thin top line, narrow sole, and exquisite feel.  There's plenty of forgiveness built into the CB Forged, and flight was medium-to-high with distances I'd expect from particular irons.  Long irons might have bigger yardage gaps between them than short irons, but no one ever complained about more distance. 

 
 
 

The Prowler VT irons were flat out fun to hit.  Higher ball flight than the CB Forged, but also increased distance and easier accuracy.  The VTs feature hollow heads that are thicker on the top and bottom, and thinner on the sides and in the middle to maximize MOI.  The VTs are about distance and forgiveness above all else, making them a great choice for a wide range of golfers. 

 
 
 
 

Both irons looked and performed great, and the price point makes them particularly competitive.  You've done a fine job with these irons Lynx, but I say this now with nothing but good intentions.  The videos and information on your website don't even come close to doing these irons justice.  I visited your website for the first time "because" I was impressed hitting your irons.  There's nothing on the website however, that would make me want to hit these irons if I didn't already know what I learned about them at Demo Day.  The CB Forged and VT deserve more. 

READ MORE: 2018 PGA Merchandise Show - Demo Day Recap Part 4 of 4.

6 comments:

  1. A great read. I will have to check out the Lynx sticks.. I have a pair of older FJ SUPERLITES that are incredibly comfortable. I made the mistake while ordering MyJoys and get medium width instead of wide. Any idea on who at FJ could assist in getting them steamed and stretched? I am opened to any solutions. Thanks Pete.

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  2. Thanks John, Lynx were solid for sure, and a few c-notes less than competitor irons in the same category. Regarding the shoes I'd suggest calling them and checking out info on shoe modification here: https://www.footjoy.com/shoe-repair.html. Hope they can help you out!

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  3. THE MIURA IRONS LOOK GREAT AND SO DO THE THE FOOTJOYS. MY WIFE LOVES HER LYNX SET.

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