Sunday, February 17, 2019

2019 PGA Merchandise Show - Demo Day (Part 2 of 2): Callaway Golf, Ping Golf, Miura Golf, Cobra Golf, and Fujikura Golf

In Part 2 of my PGA Merchandise Show Demo Day recap I'm going to show you more new equipment from Callaway, Ping, Miura, Cobra, and Fujikura, and of course give you my opinions on all the clubs I hit. 


Demo Day at Orange County National is a gigantic event, and taking you alongside on twitter and Instagram as things unfolded was incredible fun.  There's still a lot more to show you however, so let's jump right back into it, as we're getting closer to my Best of Show article where I'll share what clubs I thought were best and why. 

Callaway reps had a lot of fun on Demo Day, and I laughed as more than a few of them were running around and humming "Flash-Maker of the Universe."  True story. 


But that shouldn't be surprising because Callaway has a lot to smile about these days.  The Apex Flash driver was longer and more forgiving than the Rogue, which just amazed me given how high I graded the Rogue last year. 


The new @callawaygolf Epic Flash driver was a top-3 performer for longest and easiest to hit drivers at Demo Day. _____ Nothing subjective here - it’s 💯 absolutely longer than the Rogue and also more forgiving, which honestly is kinda nuts. #TNTgoBOOM 🧨 _____ The Apex Forged were my favorite Callaway irons I’ve hit going back to the Diablo Forged. Incredible buttery feel and ridiculous distance. Apex Pro with a more classic, compact look. I’d put either in my bag and never look back. _____ #pgashow #callawaygolf #alwaysbegolfing #pgatour #golfer #golf #golfers #pgapappas #golfing #golfshot #golfpro #golfswing #golfaddict #golfporn #callawayepicflash #golfirons #lovegolf #golflife #golfreview #golfislife #golfclubs #golfequipment #golfgods #golfswag #golfballs #golfcourse #golfcoursephotos #teetime #callawayapex

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The new Apex and Apex pro irons are considered player's distance irons, and I found them to be better than their predecessors in just about every way.  Both the regular and pro versions felt softer, few longer, and were excellent driving through the turf.  The regular Apex was more forgiving thanks to its slightly bigger profile.  However, I'd call both models compact looking, and honestly the forgiveness of the standard Apex is hard to pass up unless you're a bonafide shot-maker. 


The new PM Grind 19 wedges are easy to describe - my favorite Callaway wedges ever.  The PM 19 wedges spin more, are more versatile, and easier to hit than any Callaway wedges I've ever played.  Angled microgrooves grab the ball more effectively, and the added face height makes them easier to open up and make great contact with.  Seriously, bravo on these Callaway.  

Once upon a time I was nicknamed Peter Ping.  You couldn't find a club in my bag that wasn't a Ping.  But a stretch of time went by where I didn't think next gen models gave me any significant improvement, and (gulp) a few times I even preferred the performance of older lines to newer models (woops again).  That changed this year at Demo Day. 

The new @pingtour G410 driver was one of the straightest most forgiving drivers I hit at demo day. And more importantly, it gave me noticeably better distance than the previous 400 and 400 MAX models. _____ The G 410 irons are the sleekest and sexiest G series irons Ping has ever made. Probably also the easiest to hit irons at demo day. _____ I’ve soured on Ping a bit for a few years, but the 410 is probably my favorite driver going as far back as TiSi Tec, and irons since G10.‬ Great job all around for Ping this year. _____ #pgashow #pingg410 #alwaysbegolfing #pgatour #golfer #golf #golfers #pgapappas #golfing #golfshot #golfpro #golfswing #golfaddict #golfporn #ping #golfirons #lovegolf #golflife #golfreview #golfislife #golfclubs #golfequipment #golfgods #golfswag #golfballs #golfcourse #golfcoursephotos #teetime #pinggolf

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The G410 is straight and easy to hit, pretty much like most Ping drivers.  But it also finally gave me some solid distance, which I haven't seen in a Ping driver since the G driver three years ago (which I still have).  It still wasn't as long as other drivers I hit, but it was longer than the G400 and definitely long enough for me to consider putting a Ping driver back in my bag.  And a  new draw and fade adjustability in the 410 also makes it a better value plain and simple. 


Recent Ping G-model irons have been on the bulky side.  Not so much that they didn't suit my eye, but the G410 definitely have a smaller look to them which I can appreciate.  In addition to being shorter from heel to toe, the 410s also have less offset and a narrower top than previous models. 


Tungsten weights in the toe might not appeal to traditionalists, but they help make these easy to hit, high-launching, and very forgiving.  Pretty much the trifecta of characteristics mid-to-high handicap golfers are looking at in their irons. 

You know how they say there are girls you date and girl you marry?  Well the Miura CB-301 irons are definitely the ones you marry.  These irons have it all.  They're gorgeous to look at, particularly at address.  Nothing fussy about them, just clean lines and abundant sex appeal. 


They're slightly larger than the Miura 501 irons, which makes them more forgiving.  And in fact, they have the largest sweet spot of any iron Miura has ever made.  

The undeniably and uniquely soft Miura feel, combined with strong ball flight and sharpshooter accuracy made hitting the CB-301 pure rapture.  "Do you, Pete Pappas take these Miura CB-301 irons to be your... Stop.  I do." 

Having played the Cobra F7 and F8 drivers the last two years, I was especially curious to see what the F9 could do to improve performance on drivers I already thought were right up there with any drivers on the market.  And the F9 did not disappoint. 


Despite being the last driver I hit on the day, and therefore also being the most tired when I got to it, the F9 gave me some of my most consistently long drives at Demo Day.  And as I've said to you guys all along, distance is king for me.  It's the number one thing I look for in a driver and the F9 produced some bombs.

What was also great about F9 (and I can tell you this for sure) is that it's even more forgiving than previous models on mishits both low and high on the face.   I missed some shots out on the toe, which I'm not ashamed to admit, and the F9 was extremely kind.  I'm pretty sure you're going to have to put an incredibly horrible swing on the F9 to hit bad shots with this. 


As much fun as I had hitting the F9 driver, hitting the F9 ONE Length irons was even more enjoyable.  As you guys know I've hit and played single length irons for a few years now, and Cobra's F7 and F8 ONE Length just didn't quite do it for me.   The F9 completely changed that feeling, and hitting shots with these irons was extremely gratifying. 


There aren't pins of course out at Demo Day, but I took aim at general locations out in the distance and would have been knocking down flags if I was on a course.  These are hands-down Cobra's best ONE Length irons to date.  They're very long, very straight, and ball flight, distance control, and gapping is consistent throughout the set - something I thought plagued previous versions.  I can tell you already, the F9 ONE Length irons were one of my favorites from Demo Day. 

More stability and less spin is generally going to mean the most distance you can get from your driver, and that's what Fujikura's new Ventus shaft is promising.  It's designed using two different carbon fibers to create the extra stability, and a stiff tip decreases spin and launch angle. 


I only hit a dozen or so shots with it, but it felt like I was able to easily turn into impact with this shaft, and while I can't say for sure if there was actually less club-head twisting on mishits, I was definitely pleased with my overall dispersion.  Look for a full review on the Ventus later this season. 

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