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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    After Further Review: Nelson lost in the shuffle?

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 3:40 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the Nelson's future ...

    If the goal was “different” by bringing the AT&T Byron Nelson to Trinity Forest, consider it achieved. But bringing a world-class field south of Dallas could still be tricky.

    Yes, the tournament can always rely on local resident and AT&T spokesman Jordan Spieth to throw his hat in the ring. But even with Spieth strolling the fairways this week, the field strength was among the worst all season for a full-point event.

    The debut of the sprawling, links-like layout likely did little to sway the undecideds, with only the third round offering the challenging conditions that course co-designer Ben Crenshaw had envisioned. And the schedule won’t do them any favors next year, as a revamped itinerary likely puts the Nelson right before the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.

    The course will inevitably get better with age, and Spieth expects positive word of mouth to spread. But it might be a while before the stars truly align for an event that, for the moment, feels lost in the shuffle of a hectic schedule. – Will Gray

    On Jordan Spieth's putting ...

    Jordan Spieth’s putting is plainly bad right now, but it isn’t going to stay this bad forever.

    He is the second ranked player on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, just like he was last year. This putting slump has lingered, but it’s unfathomable to think this guy just forgot how to putt.

    Sooner rather than later he’s going to remember he’s Jordan Spieth and the 40-footers are going to start pouring in. He’ll be telling Greller to go get the ball because he’s too far away and the tee is in the other direction.

    Bottom line, the ball striking is for real and the putting slump will pass. He’ll win soon – maybe even as soon as this week. – Nick Menta

    On golf and gambling ...

    On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court over tuned a federal ban on sports betting in most states, a move the PGA Tour and many professional sports leagues embraced as a tool to both build fan interest and grow revenue.

    Experts estimate sports betting could become a $150-$200 billion annual industry, and even a small piece of that could be significant for golf, but there will be risks.

    Unlike any other sport, golf is played on multiple fields simultaneously, which inherently creates risks when gambling is introduced to the equation. Although the Tour has gone to great pains to head off any potential problems, like all bets gambling comes with great rewards, and great risks. – Rex Hoggard

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    Wise continues whirlwind ascent with first win

    By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 3:13 am

    DALLAS – Still shy of his 22nd birthday, Aaron Wise continues to prove himself to be a quick learner.

    Wise went from unheralded prospect to NCAA individual champ seemingly in the blink of an eye while at the University of Oregon. After eschewing his final two years of eligibility in Eugene, he won in Canada on the Mackenzie Tour in his third start as a professional.

    He continued a quick learning curve with a win last year on the Tour to propel him to the big leagues, and he didn’t flinch while going toe-to-toe with Jason Day two weeks ago, even though the result didn’t go his way.

    Faced with another opportunity to take down a top-ranked Aussie, Wise made sure he got the job done Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson – even though it took until dark.

    With mid-day rains turning a firm and fast layout into a birdie barrage, Wise seamlessly switched gears and put his first PGA Tour title on ice in impressive fashion with a bogey-free 65. Deadlocked with Marc Leishman to start the day, Wise made six birdies in his first 10 holes and coasted to a three-shot win as the leaders barely beat the setting sun to avoid an anticlimactic Monday finish at Trinity Forest Golf Club.

    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

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    As it turned out, the hardest part of the day was enduring the four-hour weather delay alongside his mother, Karla, as his afternoon tee time turned into a twilight affair.

    “She was talking to me in the hotel about what a win could mean, what a second could mean, kind of taking me through all that,” Wise said. “I was like, I’ve got to calm down. I can’t just sit here. I said, ‘You’ve got to go.’ I kind of made her leave the room.”

    Wise displayed some jitters right out of the gates, with a nervy three-putt par on the opening hole. But with several players going on birdie runs to turn what seemed like a two-man race into a much more wide-open affair, Wise went on a tear of his own with four birdies in a row on Nos. 7-10.

    That gave him a window over Leishman and the rest of the chase pack, and he never looked back.

    “I talked to myself and kind of made myself trust my putting,” Wise said. “These greens out here are really tricky, and for me to roll those putts in on 8 and 9 really kind of separated things.”

    Leishman had held at least a share of the lead after each round, and the 34-year-old veteran was looking for his third win in the last 14 months. But a bogey on No. 10 coincided with a Wise birdie to boost the rookie’s advantage from two shots to four, and Leishman never got closer than three shots the rest of the way.

    “He holed putts he needed to hole, and I didn’t,” Leishman said. “Hit a couple loose shots where I could have probably put a bit of pressure on him, and didn’t. And that’s probably the difference in the end.”

    Instead of sitting next to a trophy in Dallas, Wise could have been closing out his senior season next week with an NCAA appearance at Karsten Creek. But the roots of his quick climb trace back to the Master of the Amateurs in Australia in December 2015, a tournament he won and one that gave him confidence that he could hold his own against the best in the world. He returned to Eugene and promptly told his coach, Casey Martin, that he planned to turn pro in the spring.

    The same dogged confidence that drove that decision has been the guiding force behind a whirlwind ascent through every rung of the professional ladder.

    “I just have a lot of belief in myself. I didn’t come from a lot. A lot of people don’t know that. I didn’t get to travel a bunch when I played junior golf,” Wise said. “Kind of all along it’s been very, very few moments to shine and I have had to take advantage of them.”

    Despite that belief, even Wise admits that he’s “shocked” to turn only his second real chance to contend at this level into a maiden victory. But fueled by the memories of a close call two weeks ago, he put the lessons learned at Quail Hollow to quick use while taking the next step in an increasingly promising career arc.

    “It was awesome, everything I dreamed of,” Wise said. “To walk up 18, knowing I kind of had it locked up, was pretty cool.”

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    Grace celebrates birthday with final-round 62

    By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:51 am

    DALLAS – Branden Grace celebrated his 30th birthday in style, making the biggest charge of the final round at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

    Grace closed out a 9-under 62 as the sun began to set at Trinity Forest Golf Club, moving from outside the top 10 into a share of third place, four shots behind Aaron Wise. It equaled Grace’s career low on the PGA Tour, which he originally set last summer at The Open, and it was one shot off Marc Leishman’s course-record 61 from the opening round.

    “Good birthday present. It was fun,” Grace said. “Little bit of imagination, little bit of luck here and there. You get more luck on the links golf course than maybe on a normal golf course.”

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    Weeks after Grace’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, he now has his best result on the PGA Tour since winning the RBC Heritage more than two years ago. As a world traveler and former Presidents Cup participant, the South African embraced an opportunity this week to go off the beaten path on an unconventional layout.

    “It feels like a breath of fresh air coming to something different. Really is nice. I really enjoyed the golf course,” he said. “Obviously I think we got really lucky with the weather, and that’s why the scores are so low. It can bite you if it settles in a little bit in the next couple years.”

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    Scott barely misses qualifying for U.S. Open

    By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 1:33 am

    DALLAS – A birdie on the 72nd hole gave Adam Scott a glimmer of hope, but in the end even a closing 65 at the AT&T Byron Nelson wasn’t enough to earn an exemption into next month’s U.S. Open.

    Scott entered the week ranked No. 65 in the world, and the top 60 in next week’s rankings automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills. The cutoff was a big reason why the 2008 tournament champ returned for Trinity Forest’s debut, and midway through the final round it seemed like the Aussie had a shot at snagging a bid at the 11th hour.

    Scott needed at least a solo ninth-place finish to pass an idle Chesson Hadley at No. 60, and while his 5-footer on the 18th green gave him a share of sixth place when he completed play, he ultimately ended up in a three-way tie for ninth at 15 under – barely short of a spot in the top 60.

    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

    AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos

    “I tried to make the most of really favorable conditions today, and I did a pretty good job of it. Just never really got a hot run going,” Scott said. “I feel like I struggled on the weekend reading the greens well enough to really get it going, but I think everyone but the leaders did that, too. They’re not the easiest greens to read.”

    Scott has played each of the last three weeks in an effort to earn a U.S. Open exemption, and he’ll make it four in a row next week when he returns to the Fort Worth Invitational on a course where he won in 2013. Scott still has another chance to avoid sectional qualifying by earning a top-60 spot at the second and final cutoff on June 11 following the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

    Scott has played 67 majors in a row, a streak that dates back to 2001 and is second only to Sergio Garcia among active players. While he’s prepared to play each of the next three weeks in a last-ditch effort to make the field, he’s taking his schedule one event at a time with the hope that one more good result might take care of business.

    “I’ll play next week and hopefully play really well, and give myself a bit of cushion so I can take a week or so off and try to prepare the best I can for the U.S. Open,” Scott said.