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SURPRISE! ANOTHER NEW GOLF BALL: Now that the golf ball wars are at fire-when-ready status, expect a steady barrage of new models between now and the end of the year. The latest salvo will come from Precept, which will launch the solid-core Tour Premium LS (Less Spin). The balls cover is made of urethane, the same material used in the cover of Titleists popular Pro V1. Precept promises a seamless ball with more uniform dimple distribution, thanks to an updated injection molding process.
 
The Pro V1 is compression molded, and something of a golf urban legend has arisen concerning the so-called seam that allegedly exists between the two compression-molded halves of the ball. Many players swear that when teed up with the seam parallel to the ground, the ball flies farther off the tee. If that happened regularly, the ball would violate the U.S. Golf Associations rule requiring ball symmetry. But USGA technical director Dick Rugge says the Pro V1 is OK on the rules.
 
The Precept Tour Premium LS will ship in October. The suggested retail price will be $50 per dozen, but the street price will probably be in the $33-to-$37 range.
 
And Titleist? Dont be surprised if theyre out of the wound ball business by the beginning of next year.
 
AND THE FAIRWAYS RAN RED: Not that they ever really went away, but fairway woods are enjoying another resurgence this year. After getting the golf worlds attention again in 1999 with clubs from Orlimar and Adams, new not-quite-as-big sticks are showing up with other notable trademarks, such as Ping and Titleist, not to mention old standbys Callaway and TaylorMade.
 

Wilson Deep Red Fairway WoodsNow Wilson Golf is following up its Deep Red driver, which we first saw at the 2001 PGA Merchandise Show, with matching fairway woods. The stainless steel clubs come as 3 (15), 5 (18), 7 (21) and 9 (25) woods, and of course they have the candy-apple color scheme for which the line is named.
 
The clubs are weighted low and to the back to encourage a higher trajectory. Look for them in August; suggested retail will be $250 per club.