Youve Come a Long Way Baby

By January 24, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 PGA Merchandise ShowORLANDO, Fla. -- If a golf ball had to chose which club in the bag he'd most like to be best friends with, it would undoubtably go with the putter. The putter is assuredly the easiest on the dimples and most often the one club getting him to his favorite hang out - the bottom of the cup.
 
The driver might argue his case by saying it has the ability to launch the little fella 300-plus yards down the fairway, and a wedge might state that it can take it 'dancing,' but the relationship between putter and ball is secure. The putter and the ball come together more often during a round than any other combo - just ask Dave Pelz.
 
Thank goodness the ball is still round, as the putter might have trouble recognizing his mate what with all the changes that have happened to the ball in the past 10 years or so. With new technologies and new materials, today's golf ball has been transformed dramatically, although the end result of longer and straighter has stayed the same.
 
Here's a look at some of the latest offers coming out from the leaders in golf balls and putters:
 
Golf Balls
 
Callaway HX Hot
Callaway's HX Hot Ball.
Callaway
Callaway has come out with the new ball called the HX Hot which retails for $24.99. A high-resilience core boosts ball speed, resulting in more distance for the widest range of swing speeds. An Ionomer cover reduces spin off the driver for long, penetrating trajectory.
 
The HX Hot is on fire. At $24.99 (a dozen) we have found a sweet spot in the market,' said one Callaway rep.
 
Srixon
The new Srixon Z-URC and Z-URS golf balls, at $40 a dozen, tied for the highest rated Tour Performance balls in the Performance category on the 2007 Golf Digest Hot List, and were rated outstanding in Technology/Preference/Value. With a new technologically advanced cover, thinner mid-layer and larger core, the new Z-URS is the latest addition to Srixons world-wide Tour winning golf balls. Touted as a golf ball that has more ball velocity and greenside spin and control.
 
Titleist
The Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are the well-known No. 1 choice on worldwide tours. It's designed for serious golfers with a wide range of launch conditions seeking Tour-level technology and Tour-proven performance. The Titleist Pro V1 golf ball provides improved launch conditions for longer distance while maintaining superior Drop-and-Stop performance into and around the green.
 
'Whether the focus is on optimizing performance at the highest levels of the game or improving the performance for aspirational golfers seeking to achieve a competitive advantage and advance their games, golfers will soon experience New Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls that are better than ever from tee-through-green,' commented George Sine, Vice President, Golf Ball Marketing and Strategic Planning, Acushnet Company.
 
Nike
With a 312-dimple pattern with five different dimple sizes designed for more carry and distance, the Nike Juice 312 is also is in the value range at $20 a dozen. It has a perfectly spheroidal Surlyn caplet embedded with hundreds of sculpted recessions to control directional agitation and wind puncture.
 
Bridgestone Golf
Bridgestones polymer science technologies deliver a revolutionary golf ball in the Tour B330. Engineered for serious players and Tour professionals seeking exceptional distance, accuracy and soft feel. Soft Urethane outer cover with seamless 330 dimple design is for pinpoint accuracy. $40 a dozen.
 
Putters
 
Odyssey Tri-Ball
The Odyssey Tri-Ball SRT Putter.
Odyssey
The Odyssey Tri-Ball SRT putter features a higher MOI for a straighter back and through stroke, and a lightweight body for precise balance. The Tri-Ball alignment system allows for better visualization for more accuracy. The face is made with milled steel place inside their well-known urethane insert to create Dual Insert Technology. Retails for $200.
 
Mizuno
Mizuno teamed-up with world-famous putter designer Bob Bettinardi to produce a new series of putters. The A-Series is designed for the player that prefers the look and feel of a mallet style putter in their hands. The A-Series consists of two face-balanced, Moment of Inertia, mallet-style putters milled from 6061T6 Aluminum. Each A-Series putter features a low, deep Center of Gravity and Bettinardi's patented Honeycomb Face for consistent ball striking and the truest roll in the game and 'gives you the confidence, feel, and consistency to sink more putts.'
 
PING
The dual-durometer insert of the G5i Series provides the feel and distance control golfers long for on putts of all lengths. The combination of the soft perimeter and firm impact area means golfers can lag with confidence and be firm when it counts the most. Retails for around $115. The putter's reputation for quality and consistency is furthered by the precision machined insert cavity.
 
TaylorMade
With a typical putter, backspin is produced at impact, which makes the ball skid and bounce before forward roll begins. That skidding and bouncing can rock the ball off-line to the left or right, and can cause the putt to come up short of the intended target. The new Rossa CGB with ASGI (Anti-skid Groove System) is engineered to reduce backspin and promote forward spin earlier in the shot for enhanced distance-control and accuracy. Retails for $110.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - PGA Merchandise Show and Convention
  • Reviewing Irons and Wedges
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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.