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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Odyssey Tri-Ball
The Odyssey Tri-Ball SRT Putter.
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 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.'
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.
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:
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.