Irons Run the Gamut at PGA Show

By George WhiteJanuary 28, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 PGA Merchandise ShowORLANDO, Fla. -- The new irons which were previewed at the PGA Merchandise Show went from one extreme to the other, but all are touted to get the ball up in the air quickly and to hit it great distances. Here are a few of the merchants who showed off their wares this week:
SRIXON ' The I-403 irons are made from extremely soft SUS 255 stainless steel, incorporating several features to make the club easy to hit.
The tungsten-nickel sole weights move the center of gravity to the lowest level providing ideal launch conditions. Variable hosel lengths and varied back-weighting position optimize the center of gravity point so that long irons are easier to hit squarely and get up if the air. Short irons have the ideal scoring trajectory.
CALLAWAY ' Big Bertha Fusion Irons is the name of Callaways lead brand. The clubhead is shaped radically different with a more traditional look. Three metals comprise the clubheads ' tunite, a material composed of nickel and tungsten, allows for 77 percent of the mass to be positioned around the perimeter of the clubhead; the face insert is composed of titanium; and a chemically engineered polymer interacts with the titanium face, reducing vibration at impact.
Callaway also offers the X-18 irons, which feature a deeper 360-degree undercut channel and notch weighting; and the Big Bertha irons for the average golfer ' they are Big Bertha 2002s with a lot of the newer technology, featuring a rounded heel-to-toe sole to get more loft from lies of all kinds.
YONEX ' The Cyberstar VX irons are Yonexs new offering, featuring a UL-titanium composite shaft technology used exclusively by Yonex.
It features the new dual core head technology which allows the clubface to compress and release at impact, resulting in a longer ball carry and more forgiveness on mis-hits. An Ultra Thin SUS 60 Stainless Steel clubface is only 1.2 millimeters thick, which reduces the head weight by 10 grams. Tungsten Balanced weighting in the clubhead is designed to provide additional head stability and less twisting at impact.
Yonex has a decided advantage over other clubs because they make their own shafts, says endorser Scott Hoch.
MacGREGOR ' MacGregor has a new concept in the new V-FOIL M675 irons ' it features a flexible high rebound face technology while combining a clubface metal that is harder in the center and softer in the perimeter. On-center shots thus come off the face faster, which produce greater distance, while off-center shots come off nearly as fast with little distance lost.
Two forged metals are used ' a harder 1045 carbon steel in the long irons for greater distance and forgiveness, and a softer 1025 carbon steel in the short irons for more spin and control. And all M675 irons deliver the forged advantage ' shot consistency, distance control and an unbelievable feel.
CLEVELAND ' The CG2 irons are ideal for the low- to mid-handicapper, utilizing the forgiveness of a cavity-back and the workability of a blade. These perimeter-weighted irons, made from Carbon Metal Matrix, have a small cavity-back design which offers increased control along with added forgiveness. The design of the CG2s combined with low-density properties of Carbon Metal Matrix have helped engineers at Cleveland Golf create irons with both increased moment of inertia for extra stability at impact, as well as a lower and deeper center of gravity which helps promote a higher ball flight.
The density-relieving spheres within the Carbon Metal Matrix also help dramatically dampen vibration.
MIZUNO ' The MX-17 is Mizunos prime new offering for the mid- to high-handicapper. Long- and mid-irons in this set offer extreme pocket cavity design for high launch, short irons emphasize a deep undercut cavity for better feel and maximum control and accuracy. All irons feature something called Multi-Piece Wax Technology, which accounts for the lowest center of gravity of any Mizuno iron.
More proficient players use the MP-32 with Cut Muscle technology. This refers to the positioning of weight that is cut from the muscle area of a traditional muscleback iron into strategic locations in the lower back and surrounding portions of the club. This movement of mass around the clubhead ideally positions the center of gravity and creates a consistent sweet spot location throughout the set.
NIKE ' Nikes Slingshot irons feature a bar across the width of the back of the club. The club features progressive offset, which helps position the hands in front of the ball. A wide constant sole width increases effective bounce of the club, and the lightweight speed steel shaft means more clubhead speed for increased distance.
The Slingshot iron features cold-rolled Custom 455 Stainless Steel in the clubface.
TOUR EDGE ' Tour Edge introduces the JMAX Iron-Woods, designed to greatly help golfers inability to hit long irons. Its construction optimizes weight distribution to produce a higher launch and spin, plus superior forgiveness on off-center hits. Extra clubhead weight delivers a higher moment of inertia, allowing the club to resist twisting and produce more accurate shots. With a higher trajectory than the equivalent irons, these clubs can consistently reduce scores by several strokes per round.
Tour Edge touts these clubs as ideal for players of all skill levels. While better players may only replace their longer irons, based on performance benefits, mid- to high-handicappers can go with an entire set of JMAX Iron-Woods.
WILSON ' Wilson Golf presents a new generation of Wilson Staff irons with the Wilson Staff Pi5 (performance irons) for the accomplished golfer and Wilson Staff Di5 (distance irons) for the golfer seeking maximum distance and the ultimate in forgiveness. Both feature a progressive design for optimal weight placement in the head and matched shaft performance throughout each set.
The Pi5 irons feature a soft, compact 431 Stainless Steel cast head with thin top-lines and progressive sole widths from the short to long irons. A carbon insert in the cavity absorbs vibration for smoother feel at impact, and the True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shaft features a .355-inch taper tip to promote stability and reduce torque. The Di5 Irons feature an oversize stainless steel cast head. A deep cavity undercut and heel notch work together to progressively move the weight from the heel in the short irons to a lower position toward the toe in long irons for higher trajectories.
TIGER SHARK - The Great White irons feature Tiger Shark's patented Impact Cavity that is undercut along the lower portion of the cavity to optimize the center of gravity for playability. This also expands the effective hitting area across a greater portion of the club face.
Tiger Sharks designers have utilized a special heat treatment process to create a 'new concept' steel for a Fluid Face, promoting increased stability and feel. Each iron features exacting specifications in loft, lie, bounce, weight and center of gravity to ensure set to set and iron to iron consistency.
LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster is an endorser for the club company.
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    Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

    SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

    Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

    Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

    With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

    ''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

    Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

    ''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

    Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

    Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

    He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    "I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.