In 2018 data showed that driving distances on these seven tours increased by an average of 1.7 yards, which is slightly less than the previous year's gain of more than 3 yards. On the PGA Tour however, distance gain was up almost 4 yards, and on the Web.com Tour gains were up almost 2 yards. But is this really such a bad thing?
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
The USGA and The R&A have released the 2018 Annual Driving Distance Report containing driving-distance data from seven men's and women's professional golf tours around the world, and as expected distance has once again increased.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Titleist is releasing five new golf bag models in 2019 across the Players and Hybrid categories, and to commemorate the launch, the Players 4 Plus will be on display this week on the PGA Tour, carried by the caddies of Titleist brand ambassadors competing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
I already gave you a sneak peek and reviewed the Hybrid 5 when I gave that bag away during my PGAPappas 12 Days of Christmas Golf Giveaway. And I can tell you now that the other four models in the 2019 collection are also feature-rich designs for dedicated golfers seeking lightweight stand bags without sacrificing storage or durability.
Bryson DeChambeau and Bridgestone Golf are one on heck of a burner right now. DeChambeau won his first European Tour event last week with a convincing 7-shot victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. And Bridgestone Golf won for the 8th time in the last 17 events, including wins on the PGA Tour and LPGA over the last five months.
DeChambeau hit 80-percent of the Greens-In-Regulation on Sunday using the Bridgestone Tour B X ball (good for second in the field), and his victory was the seventh in his career. In DeChambeau's last nine starts, he's won four times, picked up another two top-10s, and hasn't finished outside the top-20 a single time. I think it's safe to say Bryson trusts his golf ball.
Monday, January 28, 2019
New drivers and COR springlike effect are the rage this season as OEM's battle for your hard earned equipment dollars, but the golf ball might be making more of a difference in your game today than anything else on the market. And Mizuno is bringing the new tour-caliber RB Tour and RB Tour X balls to the United States for the first time in company history as part of their 2019 global launch.
The RB Tour and RB Tour X golf balls promise optimum greenside feel plus excellent performance in the wind thanks to a new drag-reducing Cone dimple profile (C-Dimple), and could realistically take a big bite of market share in just its rookie year. Let me tell you why.
Sunday, January 27, 2019
The 2019 PGA Merchandise Show wrapped up on Friday, and if you follow me on twitter and Instagram I brought you behind the scenes at Demo Day and from the convention floor.
I'll start posting more pictures, videos, and articles beginning this week that you don't want to miss - including recaps of each day, winners and losers from the Show, and my annual Best of Show wrap-up. And of course, I also brought home some goodies for you and this year we have eight really fun giveaways!
Monday, January 21, 2019
Adidas is taking performance golf footwear to the next level with their new Tour 360 franchise that features the totally redesigned TOUR360 XT (featuring the highest-performing cleated outsole the brand has ever made), the TOUR360 XT SL (the first-ever spikeless version of the TOUR360 in the history of the iconic shoe), and the TOUR360 XT SL BOA (a spikeless BOA version).
The new footwear derives its name from the X-shaped traction system (X-Traxion) on the outsole, which provides multi-directional grip throughout the swing. These X-shaped lugs provide more stability than ever before, and react with better traction through uneven lies due to their eight-sided touch points with the ground. You'll feel more locked in throughout the swing the lugs react to any conditions you might encounter, and the result is an exceptional grip without any sacrifice of comfort.
Fujikura is releasing their newest shaft in a long-line of Tour-inspired shafts next month that promises to significantly tighten shot dispersion and maximize ball speed (especially on off-center shots).
The new Ventus shafts are designed with cutting edge, premium materials, and are the first shafts to include Fujikura's all-new VeloCore Technology. Developed with an accelerated taper design that enhanced load and feel, the Ventus boosts clubhead performance by maximizing energy transfer no matter what kind of swing you have.
I've been telling you guys for years now that Srixon is making some seriously awesome steel. And the Z-FORGED (their latest offering) is crafted for the best players in the world, and one of the most gorgeous iron sets you'll find anywhere.
The Z-Forged begins with two sharp lines at the back (one from the toe and one from the heel) which form its signature double curve design. And it's forged construction delivers soft feel in a crisp explosive profile for an elevated blade performance.
The 2019 line from Callaway Apparel will feature a new technology called SWING TECH which fuses athletic performance with classic fit and game changing innovations. Re-engineered construction and materials provide noticeably less restriction and more stretch to maximize your range of motion on every swing.
What makes SWING TECH so revolutionary is that it's redefining what performance golf apparel should be. Seam construction and materials used were designed with the goal of limiting restriction throughout the swing. And with SWING TECH, Callaway Apparel has created a game changing innovation in authentic gold apparel that's going to help golfers look, feel, and perform their best from top to bottom.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
It implies seriousness and professionalism. It indicates strength and discipline. The color black is authoritative and powerful, and Titleist is now offering their 718 AP2 and AP3 beasts of the fairway in a limited high polish black finish that makes these irons look even more cold-blooded and dangerous.
The new 718 AP2 Black and AP3 Black heaters are finished with a sleek, high polish black PVD coating that gives them a supercharged, almost venomous look that confidently asserts you're a force to be reckoned with. These are the John Wick of golf irons.
In recent years Callaway Golf has dominated the equipment market as the #1 driver in golf and the number 1 irons in golf. And now with the announcement that Callaway is an Official Partner of the European Tour, it's making it known to all comers - they're locked and loaded with their sights set on being the #1 brand in golf for a long, long time.
The wide-reaching partnership is for the next five years, and you're going to see Callaway absolutely everywhere. They will be the official driver, official golf ball, and official shoe and golf bag of the European Tour. Odyssey and OGIO become the official putter and luggage brands respectively. And Callaway Apparel and Travis Mathew become the official on-course apparel.
Callaway Apparel announced today that PGA Tour winner and University of Texas national champion Cody Gribble will be their flagship brand ambassador for the Tour Authentic collection. This collection is an exclusively curated collection of ultra-premium garments representing the absolute best in materials, craftsmanship, and innovation.
Callaway executed a meticulous search to find and identify an ambassador for their Tour Authentic collection who would epitomize the elite player seeking the best in form and function. After meeting with Gribble Callaway knew immediately he is exactly the kind of player for whom this design was created.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Scotty Cameron 2019 Select Fastback 2 and Squareback 1.5 Putters Preview - Tour-Proven Mid-Mallets Add Key Neck Configurations
There are only a few putter companies on the market that get me really excited for new launch season. Scotty Cameron is always one of them, but not for the reason you might think. Yes Scotty is the gold standard for performance and craftsmanship. But Cameron also gives golfers exactly what they want when new designs are created and genuinely takes into account our feedback.
So it wasn't a surprise to learn Cameron added two new mid-mallet models to his flagship line of Select putters this year based on feedback from the game's best players and the golfing community overall. The Select Fastback 2 and Select Squareback 1.5 incorporate specific neck configurations and performance characteristics that focus and cater to our collective voices as a golfing community. And I have to salute Scotty for that.
Mizuno Unveiling New ST 190 Woods, JPX 919 Irons, and New Athlete Partnerships at PGA Merchandise Show
After a short hiatus from the PGA Merchandise Show, Mizuno Golf returns to Orlando next week where they will exclusively unveil new products and athlete partnerships to the more than 40,000 attending PGA Professionals, golf retailers, and industry leaders from around the world.
During Demo Day I'll be hitting and testing their new ST190 Woods and JPX919 Irons and bring you coverage of their comprehensive lineup of equipment, bags, and accessories throughout the week. I can't even begin to tell you how seriously pumped I am that Mizuno is back!
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Taking the most innovative design elements of their traditional models and blending them with modern techniques, legendary Japanese club maker Miura Golf has created the new CB-301 irons, and they're being hailed at the finest forged irons in Miura's storied history.
The CB-301 irons are fully forged cavity backs with an incredibly large sweet spot for consistent distance and accuracy, and also the longest irons Miura has ever produced. Miura's calling them the model we've all been waiting for. I'm calling them a cavity back design that potentially creates an entirely new standard for iron performance and exellence. Straight up, these look like champions for golfers of all skill levels.
If you want to be a great ball striker you need to hit the high soaring ball with your irons and also the low penetrating missile. And Aerotech Golf is making it easier in 2019 for us to fire darts and take control of our iron trajectories no matter what type of shot the course demands.
The new SteelFiber fc "Flight Control" graphite irons shafts will be unveiled next week at the PGA Merchandise Show, and these really could be the kind of shafts that once and for all make us the ball-strikers we've always hoped to one day become.
We’re about 80 days away from the first major of the new season, and last year’s major champions and stories will be tough to beat. Patrick Reed was amazing in his Masters win, outplaying Rory McIlroy while holding off frenzied charges from Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. Brooks Koepka won two of the next three majors, emerging victorious in the U.S. Open and PGA Championship (becoming just the 20th player in history to win multiple majors in the same season). And Francesco Molinari breezed through the final round at the 147th Open Championship bogey free to become Champion Golfer of the Year.
If any of these stories surprised you in 2018, prepare for even bigger surprises in 2019. Like Brooks Koepka not winning any majors after winning two in the last three years. Like Jordan, Rory, and Phil Mickelson not being able to close out career grand slam chances. And maybe the biggest surprise, first-time major winners taking all four major championships in 2019 (making that a run of 14 first-timers in the last 17 majors).
Monday, January 14, 2019
Matt Kuchar and Bridgestone Golf are getting used to taking up residence in the winner's circle. Kuchar's win at the Sony Open using a full arsenal of Bridgestone clubs and the Tour B X golf ball was his second victory in his last three starts, and Bridgestone's seventh win in the last 15 events.
Pretty soon Bridgestone's "Smiling Assassin" is going to be known more for the assassin part than the smile Kuchar seems to always have on his face. Kuchar's victory at Waialae Country Club also made Bridgestone's Tour B family of balls the winningest golf ball on Tour over the last five months.
If a pair of shoes is going to be inspired by golf courses, there's really only so much in terms of architecture you can draw upon. There are water and sand hazards. There are trees and waste areas. And of course there's grass. Lots and lots of green grass.
The new Nike Air Max 1 Golf "Grass" shoes look like like something Al Czervik from Caddyshack might wear for a round at snob-infested Bushwood Country Club, but really this is just a classic example of the be different, not necessarily better mantra of today's social media driven world. And so it makes perfect sense that Nike has taken their iconic kicks and given them this shaggy, grass-like makeover for an extremely interesting (entertaining?) look.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Jason Dufner Signs Godawful Endorsement Deal with Dude Wipes - Is This the Worst Endorsement Deal Ever?
When I'm making a decision on what male sanitary wipes to purchase, I want the expertise and peace of mind that comes with advice from a professional golfer. That has to be what Jason Dufner was thinking when he signed an endorsement deal this week with Dude Wipes, right? Well that, or Duf Daddy just doesn't give a damn and is getting his while the getting's good.
After confirming Dufner's twitter announcement of this godawful deal was the real thing, I quickly came to the conclusion this is the most ridiculous endorsement deal in the history of golf. It potentially has ESPN Films 30 for 30: The Rise and Fall of Jason Dufner and Dude Wipes written all over it. And it might even be the worst endorsement deal in the history of all professional sports.
With the New Year comes new goals, new dreams, and the usual suspects - New Year resolutions. It’s a time for self-evaluation, retrospection, and re-evaluating your golf game (with special attention given to those weaknesses that have kept you from taking the next step in playing better).
In this respect professional golfers are no different than the rest of us. They’re looking at their shortcomings and building plans for improvement to put themselves in the best positions to be successful. And if recent history has shown us anything, it's that we live in an era where any player can get better any given year. Here are five superstars who can make some noise and return to glory if they commit to these New Year Resolutions.
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Over the course of a professional golfer’s career, few achievements are so unique and rewarding as the moment it all comes together. It’s the breakout, and it’s a sacred moment. Not just improvement, but absolute revelation. Sometimes it’s a breakout tournament. Other times it’s a breakout round, or even a breakout shot. It’s living proof of what a player might become, and the hint that someday they could be a superstar.
It’s Jordan Spieth holing out from a greenside bunker at the 2013 John Deere Classic to force a playoff. It’s Rory McIlroy dominating in 2009 at Dubai to win his first professional victory. These breakouts happen every year, and sometimes when we least expect them. Here are five players to watch this season who could take a giant leap towards super-stardom in 2019.
Thursday, January 3, 2019
TaylorMade M5 and M6 Drivers, Fairway Woods, and Hybrids Preview - Speed Injection: A New Twist on Twist Face
It's not exactly like Popeye eating a bunch of spinach, but TaylorMade's new M5 and M6 drivers, fairway woods, and rescue clubs are speed injected with new technologies that promise to deliver maximum allowable speeds at impact.
Last year TaylorMade engineers developed Twist Face technology to counteract the high-toe miss (a hook) and low-heel miss (a slice), and help straighten ball flight for both. This year they've taken Twist Face to the next level with the introduction of Injected Twist Face technology, exposing the false narrative that speed limits have been reached in a metalwood.
Whether you like it or not, whether you want to admit it or not, Tour validation is brand validation. And so when Wilson Golf officially announced it signed Gary Woodland to a 10 club endorsement deal today, that immediately shot Wilson's reputation skyrocketing into another stratosphere of greatness.
Now this is not to say Wilson didn't make great clubs before. You already know my opinion about their equipment. From their irons (FG Tour V2, FG Tour 100, and C300 irons) to their wedges (FG Tour and PMP) and drivers (FG Tour F5 and C300), I think Wilson has made some of the best equipment in the industry for every skill level for many years.
Master Craftsman Bob Vokey is now offering the tour grinding experience to all golfers through the introduction of the new HandGround program on Vokey.com. For golfers seeking tour-level customizations such as additional heel relief, a squared up leading edge, or Bob's popular tour grind, the HandGround program is the answer.
For the last year Bob has personally trained two grinders on all of the performance and profile adjustments that have resulted from his more than two decades of work with the world's best players. Bob's passion for building relationships with individual players is the essence of the Vokey brand.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Kevin Na is a good guy with a great personality. And now he's also officially a Callaway Golf staff player.
On New Years eve Na announced on Instagram that he signed an endorsement deal with Callaway. And with new sticks in hand, Na looks ready to contend at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and maybe happier than he's ever been before in his career.
Gentlemen, start your engines! PXG is releasing GEN2 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids that feature Hot Rod technology inspired by American muscle cars, and promise to unlock more yards and find more fairways. And PXG's billionaire owner Bob Parsons hopes a new pricing structure will further increase their customer base in an equipment market that grows more competitive every year.
PXG's new GEN2 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids all feature updated carbon fiber crowns and new adjustable weight systems with movable tungsten and titanium weights. The new technologies are significant improvements over their GEN1 counterparts, but it's the price reduction that's most likely to bring in new golfers.