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Golf Tech Talk: The All New 2009 Ozik TP Series Shafts

ozik-tphd-seriesOzik Releases it’s new top of the line performance shaft

Matrix has created new levels of structural strength and combined them with advancements in spin control. “HD” refers to the hexdecagonal (16-sided) internal platform on which the new designs are built. With the stronger 16-cutt butt section, Matrix engineers were able to better structure and strengthen the tip without adding overall weight and, at time, even lowering balance points to better match today’s high MOI, low CG heads. The result is a stronger tip-strength-to-weight ratio than found with any previous Matrix Ozik.

The internal HD structure can be made more consistently uniform than a circular design, further reducing the need for specific orientation during installation.

In terms of performance, players should look forward to flatter, more piercing Tour-type ball flights and a more stable feeling than they have ever experienced with a Matrix Ozik shaft.

Construction and Materials:

TPHD:
16-Cut Hexadecagon Internal Structure (patent pending)
20 Individual material layers
18 High Modulus graphite layers
1 Full length layer of Japanese Ballistic Zylon
7″ of Matrix-wound 24ton, 50 count Boron Fiber
Strategically-placed section of 1KA Woven fiber
TSG Testing Results:

TourSpecGolf has put a couple of these shafts into the hands of low handicap hard hitting test subjects and overall the results have been promising and impressive.  Official TSG club tester Tatsuro Oshimoto says:

The Ozik TP7HD shaft lowered my ball flight and reduced wayward dispersion for me. I swing at 115mph and found the stiff flex to be a little soft with no tipping whatsoever.  I had TSG send me the strong flex to install into my Nike Dymo driver and this is the perfect flex for my swing. I was able to work the ball considerably more than other shafts I have tested and found a better forward kick with the ball hitting the ground running. I am so pleased with this shaft that I do not want to return it. I wish I could afford it because I feel it would save me a couple of strokes a round at least.  The distance gain over my tester Prototype Diamana shaft was noticeable but more importantly the improvement in my ball flight, dispersion, and forward kick. I give this shaft a huge thumbs up and of the many shafts I have been fortunate enough to test for TSG this is my favorite by a considerable margin.

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To learn more about the complete line of Ozik Shafts and to learn where you can purchase a new TPHD model please click here

To find out what flex you should be playing for your specific swing speed please click to Read More and view the official Ozik CPM flex guide…

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Chie Arimura’s Bag: A new trend signalling the end of the Tourstage ViQ line??

chiebagA few months ago, a fellow TSG forum member from Hawaii was talking to me about what’s in the bag for serveral JLPGA pros and he noted that many of the Tourstage pros were no longer playing the ViQ line, the most dominant line on the Japanese ladies tour which also happens to be one of the best selling lineups for the average male golfer in Japan. At the time, I kinda brushed it off thinking, no way Tourstage would dump their number one selling line focused on the largest group of golfers in Japan.

Now that I think back and look at Tourstage’s movement over the last few months. That forum member could very well be correct. It is only speculation but based on the fact that no new ViQ model has been even whispered about since late 2007 and the old and popular ViQ Forged iron from early 2007 has never been replaced does make one wonder. Then you look at all the JLPGA Tourstage pros. As I said what the girls play on tour actually parallel what is popular for the average golfer in Japan and its been that way for a long time.

If you look at Tourstage’s top female Pros, many of them are in transition away from ViQ line models. Almost all the girls are now playing X-Drive driver  models of some sort (including Tourstage number one Ai Miyazato), and many have switched over to X-Blade irons. Perhaps Tourstage’s sudden decision to release the X Series, traditionally their athlete low handicapper line, this year with multiple models targeting multiple levels of player also signaled a move that the X Series models like the GR are moving to replace the ViQ.

If you look at up and coming Tourstage pro Chie Arimura who I do frequently talk about on my blog, she has gone from playing several ViQ models last season to none now. Here is a break down of her current bag. Does it signal the end of the ViQ line? Only time will tell.

Chie-chan is playing the new X-Drive deep faced 701R 9.5* with Tour AD EV-5 shaft in stiff flex.  She’s got a Callaway X 3 Wood and then 5 7 and 9 X-Drive woods with pink Rombax 5X07 in stiff flex. Her new irons are the X-Blade GR C-1 Forged with NS Pro 750GH regular flex. She’s playing her trusty old 2006 X-Wedges in 52 and 58* lofts with 950GH regular flex. Her putter is the Odyssey Japan Black Series #1 with Prototype insert.

Here are Chie-chan’s distances:

1W      : 240yards
3W     : 205yards
5W     : 195yards
7W     : 185yards
4I     : 175yards
5I     : 165yards
6I     : 155yards
7I      : 145yards
8I     : 135yards
8I     : 135yards
9I     : 120yards
PW     : 105yards
AW     : 90yards(50*)
SW     : 75yards(58*)


Yonex 2009 NanoV Nextage Drivers – Taking it to the Next Level

nextagecompare
Yonex Golf has eploded in popularity over the last year or so thanks to the signing of super phenom Ryo Ishikawa. Yonex has always made very respectable equipment but the singing Ishikawa has blown demand through the roof. In 2009 Yonex has launched the new NanoV Nextage line, with a driver based on designs specifically made for Ishikawa. Mark Kanai over at Golf Digest Japan took the time to compare both flavors or NanoV Nextage Drivers, the Type 460 and Type 430.

Both new  NanoV drivers are all Titanium and feature a carbon graphite crown comprising of CS (CupStack) Carbon Nanotube and Elastic Ti. These materials increase strength and improve energy transfer through the shaft resulting in increased ball speeds. The Nextage driver features a power isometric face with variable thickness and longer toe and heel for maximum COR. This increases the sweet area minimizing distance loss on off center hits.

The Type 430 is the athlete model aimed at better golfers an those wanting control and workability. The 430cc has a more traditional shape with high back design and deeper face than its bigger 460cc brother.  The Type 460 has a shallower face and shallow back MOI type design made for higher launch and more forgiveness. The Type 460 focus on big carry and distance. Ishikawa plays the Type 430.

Technical specs from Mark Kanai’s testing:

  • Type 460 10* with R1 flex shaft, 46.25″ long, 288.2g D2 swing weight.
  • Type 430 10* with Graphite Design Tour AD EV-6 Stiff, 45″ long, 315.4g D1.5 swing weight.

The test Type 430 which is spec’ed to have a square face angle had a real face angle of 0.75* closed. The Type 460 had a real face angle of over 2* closed. Real lofts were also slightly higher than stated.

nextage460monitorMark first tested the Type 460, shots in the center of the face resulted in straight to slight draw shots with spin below 2600rpm. Hitting higher on the face actually caused the spin to drop to around 1700-2100rpm.  The low spin and deep center of gravity give it a respectable launch over 15* and good overall distance. The picture on the right shows a typical shot.  A 97mph swing produced 244.9 yards carry and 261.4 yards total. 6 yards to the right off center ( (Mark tries to slow his swing down when testing Regular flex but the head probably could not catch up and stayed open!). Backspin at 2302rpm and a launch of 15.7*. Ball speed 146mph. Noted was the nice “KAKIN” sound on impact thanks to the Ti face and carbon crown.

Next up was the Type 430 and it’s shallower center of gravity aimed at a lower trajectory. The EV-6 is a stable and firm shaft providing good kick and control with the Type 430.  The 430 paired with the EV-6 creates a nice soft feel as the ball catches the face. Shots are typically a fade ball.  Distance is as good as the 460.

There were higher launches on both most likely due to the higher real loft. This may vary on drivers off the shelf.

Overall Mark gave both drivers an over 80% rating for overall, feel, performance and value. The 460 can work for the slicer looking for a straighter ball and more distance however the stock shafts may feel soft and launch high. The 430 matches well with the EV and can be worked straight or fade.  Both drivers produce a low spin trajectory and provide adequate forgiveness.

YONEX 2009 NANOV NEXTAGE TYPE 460 DRIVER
YONEX 2009 NANOV NEXTAGE TYPE 430 DRIVER


Taylormade Japan R9 Max Driver Official Launch!

r9postpicsAfter long anticipation and waiting while every one used standard 420cc R9 drivers, the R9 Max Japan model driver officially launched today in Japan!

We received our drivers on Saturday and began shipping them out today and filling the many pre orders we had. I spent the weekend fiddling with the R9 Max and playing with Flight Control Technology for the first time.

FCT looks to be an interesting and useful technology. Those who love to fidget with their clubs and test different configurations are in for a treat. This is a golf lover and gadget freaks dream driver.  One of the things I noted right of the bat together with Tourspecgolfer was that the overall weight of these drivers is a lot more than standard drivers you see making us question how heavy is FCT in the hosel area? I’ve always wondered how that affects the balance of that head with extra weight added due to FCT but after testing the driver this weekend it does not seem to affect balance or performance. But for those who prefer ultra light JDM spec drivers this is a touch heavier which can both be a good and bad thing.

Taylormade has told me that there will be even more FCT shafts available down the road including several lightweight ones which I’m definitely looking forward to trying.

Many people have been opting for the R9 Max over the R9 even with the added cost of Japanese market pricing due to several of the benfits provided by the R9 Max. For those who don’t alread know:

  1. The R9 Max is 460cc large and is meant to be more forgiving than its 420cc R9 brother. The larger head inspires confidence who need it.
  2. The R9 Max has only one weight port but has a larger left right spread than the R9 thanks to its ability to adjust face angle by 3* either way.
  3. With the 3* face angle either way, effective loft is changed 1.5* stronger or weaker. (TM has used the simple calculation, every 1* the face angle is changed equals 0.5* for loft.
  4. The stock Motore shaft for the R9 Max is lighter than the US Spec R9 by 10+ grams. The R9 drivers are heavier as it is. The lighter shaft is good for feel and distance for us average folks.
  5. The best upgrades are available for the R9 Max and R9 Japan Market drivers including the Tour AD EV series, Diamana Kai’li and very hot Fujikura Speeder Motore.  More shafts are on the way.

r9maxadjust

Check out the R9 Max here in the Tourspecgolf Pro Shop!


Taylormade Japan New 2009 TP Forged Iron

tpforgedlaunch

Since 2007 when Taylormade first released the r7 Forged, golf enthusiasts have been coming back every year to continue enjoying forged TM irons from the Japnese market. Tourspecgolf previewed the new 2009 TP Forged in their forum with sneak peak photos from the Japan Golf Fair. We are just over a week away from the official launch in Japan and already pros and people with accesss to demos are raving about this new iron.

The new TP Forged has some changes over last years model. The 2009 has a straighter and boxier shape and with the less rounded toe appears shorter face length wise. While the face progression numbers look similar to the 2008 model, TM touts a straighter neck. The finish is a nickel chrome satin mix with satin being on the face and top line to eliminate glare and reflection. Gone is the micro milled face. The back cavity is a bit shinier than we would have liked but it does make up for it with a very clean design sporting only the TP emblem in the cavity and none of that orange and red stuff we saw last year.

Feel wise, our  TP Forged test irons still has nice soft feel with good crisp feedback on impact. This “soft yet crisp” feel can be attributed to the choice of S25C steel for its forging. Not the softest steel available, but forged soft enough and not mushy. Feedback and control is what TM pros want and this is what they get. The TP Forged is available off the bat with standard 950GH shafts from Nippon and DG S200 and X100. Upgrade shafts include PX and 1050GH. Our test irons had the DG S200 which produces a nice mid iron trajectory with good accuracy and adequate spin control even without the milled face. One thing we keep wishing for is that TM would allow length adjustments… I’m sure if they did they would sell many more of these beauties.

Dont Forget to Check Out Our Image Gallery for 15 more high resolution images of the 2009 Taylormade TP Forged Iron.

For more information or to inquire about availability please check out the full listing by Clicking Here


Shingo Katayama moves from Nike to ONOFF

shingotestimageWidely regarded as one of Japans great all time golfers along with the likes of Jumbo Ozaki and Tommy Nakajima, Shingo Katayama has made the move from being a long time Nike pro to the much smaller ONOFF brand. Widely regarded as the face of Japanese Nike, it is a surprising move but a good fit for ONOFF.

Katayama who showed up at the press conference donning his typical cowboy style golf hat now with a ONOFF logo on it was also all decked out with his new clothing and shoe sponsors. He will now wear Dance with Dragon one of Japan’s premier boutique brands and wear signature Asics golf shoes.

Katayama is also changing his ball from Nike One to Titleist Pro V1x. His new bag will feature:

ONOFF 2009 Driver
ONOFF Fairway Wings Woods
ONOFF Iron Plus Forged CB

All this new gear will be on display at the Masters in Augusta this week where Katayama hopes to contend.

ONOFF is a subsidiary of Daiwa Sports, which also include GIII and Roddio Shafts. Asics has long been a premier running shoe and fashion shoe maker in Japan known for style and functionality.

Check out all his latest gear in the TSG Pro Shop!



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