CALLAWAY, PING OFFER NEW CLUBS In a refreshing break from all the recent golf ball introductions, two of the Big Five equipment makers have new clubs for us to look at. Callaway Golf has introduced the Hawk Eye VFT Tungsten Injected Titanium irons, and Ping has brought out its TiSI Tec driver.
In keeping with Callaways commitment to pleasing-to-hit, game improvement clubs, the VFT irons promote higher ball flight in the long irons (for more distance and ease of getting the ball airborne) and a lower trajectory in the short irons (for greater control), the company said. VFT stands for variable face thickness, and Callaway says the variability allows it to adjust the face thickness architecture of each club to tailor the ball flight to the type of iron selected.
Another key feature, said Callaway, is an internal weight pocket in the sole of each club. That pocket was part of the original Hawk Eye irons, but its longer in the VFTs, which allows it to be filled with even more tungsten balls and molten metal. Translation: More oomph and rise in the ball flight.
The VFT is also characteristically Callaway in another way: Its premium-priced. A set of eight irons with graphite shafts carries a manufacturers suggested retail price of $1,640. With steel shafts, the MSRP is $1,400.
And by the way: Word is the golf world wont have to wait too long for the next driver from Callaway.
Pings new TiSI Tec driver looks a lot like the companys large and popular regular TiSI, but Ping claims the new club was designed to be even longer. Over the years, Ping has made a habit of tweaking existing products to improve them rather than introducing completely new clubs, and that appears to have been the plan with the Tec. The weight in the new club has been moved lower and further forward, resulting in more boring ball flight that could lead to more roll, said John Solheim, Pings chairman and CEO.
That ET on the sole of the clubhead stands for effective trajectory, or the effective loft of the club at impact. That means that a 10-degree Tec driver will have the same loft at impact as a 10-degree old TiSI, even though a Tec standing still has a somewhat higher loft than its predecessor. That feature lends itself to the boring flight Solheim mentioned.
Ping also has a variable face thickness technology, which it says is patented and dates back to the early 1990s.
The Tec will begin shipping this fall. MSRP will be $550.
Used to be that the major golf equipment companies used the Las Vegas and Orlando golf exhibitions as the stages for product introductions. But independent debuts such as Callaways and Pings have become the norm over the past few years for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that at a trade show, you have to share the media attention with everyone else.