Golf Balls Fill the Air at Merchandise Show

By George WhiteJanuary 29, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 PGA Merchandise ShowORLANDO, Fla. -- You have to take the manufacturers word for much of what goes into a golf ball. Do you want a high-resilience core? How about the geometries of the dimples? An ionomer boundary layer? Or maybe you want some polybutadiene.
Whatever ' the golf balls at the PGA Merchandise has it all. Heres a sample:
Callaway ' The HX Hot is Callaways newest offering. A three-piece ball, it has Callaways thinnest cover, with an inner construction designed to increase ball speed. Ball speed, says Callaway, is the key to extra distance, and Callaway believes it has found the maximum ball speed by use of a new, highly resilient core.
Callaway designers feel that a balls best performance lies in the greatest interaction between its layers. As such, engineers added feel to its distance ball by separating the high-resilience core from its fast cover by adding a soft, thin boundary layer that reacts like rubber. The result? The two layers interact at impact with the cover to increase velocity.
The cover of the HX Hot is made up of 332 geometries, both hexagons and pentagons, to reduce drag, increase lift and maximize distance.
Top-Flite ' Top-Flite is now owned by Callaway via a recent acquisition. One of the newer products of the Top-Flite company is the Strata TL-Tour.
The Strata TL combines circular and geometrically shaped dimples to reduce wind resistance and improve distance. Multi-layer construction lowers spin off the tee, but increases distance. The thin urethane covers produces feel and spin around the green.
An enriched energy core has a new formulation that makes it the fastest that Top-Flite has ever produced. Of course, the faster the spin, the longer the ball.
Nike ' The Nike One black focuses on the point of contact, trajectory and roll.
The point of contact speed is achieved through use of ND catalyzed polybutadiene in the balls core. And the ball is designed to take off on a lower launch angle, yet the exclusive 408 seamless dimple pattern prevents the ball from ballooning when it becomes airborne. The faster velocity and penetrating flight pattern lead to increased roll, providing greater distance.
Ben Hogan - Tour Deep is Hogans newest ball ' featuring a multi-layer double cover and a very thin urethane material. This thin cover allows for a large core, which in turn makes for more distance.
In addition to a cover pattern to traditional, circular dimples, the Tour Deep has the added technology of six deep dimples that are unique to this ball. These six are implemented to perfectly center the large high-energy core of the ball for a consistent cover thickness. In addition to centering the core. These deep dimples create turbulence in airflow, which improves aerodynamics for superior distance.
Srixon ' The Z-UR makes its debut under the Srixon label. The cover is urethane-elastomer, a soft, shear-resistant, membrane-thin material measuring 0.02-inch ' a noticeable contrast to some other manufacturers whose multi-layer balls contain covers which are as more than 50 percent thicker.
The Z-UR has the largest and fastest Energetic Gradiant Growth core that Srixon has ever developed, thanks to the thin cover and the high velocity ionomer boundary layer. These are combined with resilience-enhancing propriety bis ' or PBDS. And the Z-UR ball has a 330 dimple pattern which combines high trajectory with a penetrating ball flight for stability in varying kinds of winds.
Wilson ' Fifty years after the introduction of the first Wilson Staff golf ball, Wilson has introduced the Wilson Staff Dx2 (Distance) and Wilson Staff Px3 (Performance) featuring PhD (Pan Head Dimple) Aerodynamics. The PhD dimple pattern features just 312 dimples, each larger and almost 50 percent shallower than most standard dimples. This pattern produces higher lift and tighter trajectories.

In addition, each ball in the series is built utilizing Wilson's Progressive Layer Control Technology. This building-block system delivers maximum distance and soft feel across the line, and uses additional layers to accentuate secondary performance qualities like spin and response.
The Wilson Staff Px3 is a three-piece ball (core/inner mantle/soft ionomer cover) targeted to the golfer seeking distance and accuracy off the tee, but more control on iron shots.
Dunlop ' The Loco Dart is a Dunlop offering, utilizing a three-piece construction with DuPonts Surlyn cover. The titanium-enriched high velocity core generates the distance, while the advanced 442 dimple design provides a straighter ball flight.
The DuPont HPF polymer mantle gives added feel and control, while the premium high performance multi-layer design adds the latest in ball technology.
Precept ' The Laddie Xtreme is Precepts latest. This ball delivers a combination of distance with the driver, parlaying that with soft greenside control.
Off the tee, the Muscle-Fiber Core produces a high launch and low spin. This core, combined with the 370-dimple design, results in maximum distance. The shear resilient cover compound stands up to bladed wedge shots, while the ball still retains superior greenside performance.
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    Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

    Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

    There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

    Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

    The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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    Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

    Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

    It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

    While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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    McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

    Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

    Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

    The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

    McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.

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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.