Tour Authentic Line:
Ever since Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els put a prototype set of Callaway Blades into play, many in the golf world have been eagerly awaiting word from Callaway for a possible launch date.
The wait is over, since this April Callaway will launch the new X-Prototype irons as part of their new Tour Authentic line. This line consists of equipment straight from the PGA Tour. There are no modifications to accommodate the average player, these are clubs designed for the best players in the world now available to the public. Along with the X-Prototype irons, a new FT-5 T driver, X-Forged Wedges, Tour Milled Putter, and Staff Bags complete the line and offer golfers the chance to play what the pros play.
FT-5 T Driver
The FT-5 driver was a big hit among consumers, the Tour versions were aimed at better players but still some golfers wanted more. The new FT-5 T driver will take them one step further. By incorporating the traditional FT-5 body, Callaway has added the new T hosel which is placed closer to the leading edge and gives the driver a more open look. The driver will also feature a face angle that lies 1.5 degrees open further enhancing the driver's open appearance and workability. The FT-5 T driver will be available in Draw, Neutral, and Fade Opti-Fit Weight configurations in lofts of 8.5 and 9.5 degrees.
Once regarded as a strictly game improvement brand, Callaway has made some major roads into the players market with the X-Tour and X-Forged irons. Taking that design one step further, Roger Cleveland has designed the X-Prototype, a forged muscle back with the X-Muscle which provides forgiveness while still allowing for trajectory and shot control. The X-Muscle also features a flighted center of gravity with the highest muscle in the short irons for trajectory control which moves to the lowest in the long irons for high, soft landing shots. The sole grind of the irons is positioned right between the X-Tour which many players felt had too much bounce and the X-Forged which many felt had too little. The X-Prototype should play somewhere between the two in terms of turf interaction. The irons will be made from soft 1020 carbon steel and are forged by the famed Endo manufacturing facility.
GolfWRX recently covered the addition of the new X-Forged wedge to the line with a new C-grind added to their wedges. However, as part of the Tour Authentic line, the X-Forged will also be available with the PM grind that made the original X-Tour wedge so successful. The club will also feature a tighter heel to toe radius for greater playability around the greens. The X-Forged also features the super-sharp 'Mac Daddy' grooves which are at the USGA's maximum allowable depth and width providing tremendous amounts of spin. The wedges will be available in both durable chrome and low glare vintage finishes
Tour Milled Putter
Although many people were very impressed by the Odyssey Black series, quite a few longed for the original Tour-only milled putters prototypes seen among Callaway staffers on the PGA Tour. Odyssey will finally appease the masses with the introduction of the new Tour Milled Putter. Milled from a single blank of 303 stainless steel, this putter is sure to be a big hit among traditionalists. The putter features a thin face for a soft yet solid feel. The thin face also allows weight to be moved to the perimeter and deeper to the back of the putter providing for more forgiveness. The putter will be available in 33, 34, and 35 inch lengths with a standard head weight of 340 grams.
After the USGA recently announced a rule proposal allowing different forms of adjustability for golf clubs. Once the announcement spread last year, the race was on among manufacturers to find new ways to incorporate this into their golf clubs. Callaway has just announced their the new I-Mix line of drivers that takes full advantage of adjustability. Inspired by the constant tweaking done to drivers from week to week on tour, the I-Mix will incorporate the FT-5 and FT-i club heads along with over 50 different shaft models that are fully interchangeable with the new I-Mix connector system. In 2008, Callaway will begin selling the FT-5 and FT-i club heads unshafted with the new threaded hosel so golfers can select their ideal head and shaft combinations. The FT-i will be available in either draw or neutral weighting with 9, 10, and 11 degree lofts. The FT-i Tour will be availble as the Low Center of Gravity model in both draw and neutral with lofts of 9.5 and 10.5 degrees.
The key to the I-Mix system is the threaded cap screw that is attached to the shaft. The screw is machined from 6-4 titanium which not only saves weight, but ensures a durable, corrosion free system. The club and shaft screw together and are secured with the I-Mix wrench which allows the golfer to have a safe, secure fit; but still provides easy disassembly and reassembly when needed.
Callaway has realized the potential of adjustability with their Opti-Fit weighting system which provides up to 50 grams of discretionary weight which can be moved to provide golfers with either a draw or neutral bias, depending on their ball flight needs. I-Mix pushes that technology one step further now that golfers can easily move between draw and neutral heads, lofts, and shaft combinations to find the perfect launch conditions for the conditions and course they face.
However, club heads are only half of the magic formula to make a great golf club. To complement the club heads, Callaway will be introducing 65 shafts from many different manufacturers including Aldila, Graphite Designs, Fujikura, Mitsubishi Rayon, UST, Matrix, and Grafalloy. Each manufacturer will have a variety of shaft models and weights so golfers can pick the perfect setup to achieve their desired ball flight.
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