Tag: Drivers


Could this be the New Nike VR Driver?

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Last week Nike released word on the new Nike Method Putter line set for release in 2010 and at the same time rumors are abound that a new Nike VR Driver, VR Fairway Wood, and VR Hybrid could be in the works as well. Just days ago Nike submitted some crazy new patents showing what could be coming in the future…

 

Nike VR Driver?

Could this be it? The new Nike VR Driver?  I personally don’t think so it’s a bit brave and out there for a new flag ship players club that Tiger would supposedly use but who knows they got Mr. Woods to use the Sumo square driver didn’t they.  David Dawsey of Golf-Patents.com first broke news last week about a shape shifting Nike patent that we later posted on. In the below application it shows some sort of piece that slides in on a tract from back to front that changes the weight and performance of the golf club head. I can only assume that you can stop the weight at 2-3 various points as designated with the 2 holes on the sole.

 

Nike-VR-driver-prototype

 

 

Or is this the Nike VR Driver?

Another image submitted in the same patent application shows a driver that could potentially come with 3 half moon pieces with each having different weighting systems to provide the golfer with a fade, neutral, or draw bias. This in my opinion is a pretty cool feature but whats the difference between these pieces and adjustable screws. I understand that these pieces would distribute the weight more evenly than a compact screw but in the end are both just gimmicks because golf club factories have been using internal weighting for ages.

Only time will tell, i spruced up the diagram to get you Nike fans excited with what could be one of the options for the new Nike VR driver.  I just wish they would make a premium version of forged J.I.S grade titanium that was manufactured in limited numbers in Japan.

 

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Nike’s Insane New Iron & Driver Patent Application!

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( source golf-patents.com )

Nike Gets Crazy!
We can pretty much say Nike fell a bit short when designing the new adjustable Nike Dymo drivers when compared to the Taylormade R9.  The Dymo just doesnt contain as many adjustable features or for that matter the overall design of how we make those adjustments to the club head.  Now Nike may be making up for it with some new iron and driver designs that if released would be pretty intense.


Adjustable Iron MOI/CG
Yup if you click here you will see the diagram that nike submitted to the U.S patent office that displays an iron with a portion of the back cavity that can drop down.  This dropping piece can do two things,  when raised it puts mass behind the striking zone which effects feel and forgiveness or when lowered it increases the moment of inertia and can lower the clubs center of gravity. I have no idea if the piece when lowered will drag or hit the ground or if this type of design would be legal in the game of golf but it does have some merit and while it looks a bit cheesy in these diagrams there a dozen + ways to spruce up the actual product if it ever nears public release.

One of the designs show an empty ” flap ” while the other shows a filled ” flap ” that would contain the Nike Logo. The empty flap would produce less moveable weight while the filled one could potentially do more to adjust MOI and CG placement.

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Adjustable Drivers x 2
If you take a look at the image you will see that 2 designs have been submitted. The one that gets me most excited is the one that allows the golfer to move the adjustable crecent moon shape piece in the rear. We can of course assume that this will create a more evenly distributed weight pattern across a wider area of the drivers head vs weighted screws that pretty much increase or decrease weight in very specialized and concentrated locations.


My Take!
To many screws and moving parts even on the current Dymo and the R9.  Factories have told me in the past that the adjustable shaft sleeves alone weigh 8-11 grams and putting that much weight into the neck area effects the sweet spot and balance of the driver not to mention the shaft performance itself. So far high quality forged carbon or titanium with top notch inner face patterns + interior laser or plasma welded weights and proven simple designs work best in our testing.


US Pub. No. 20090186717 titled “Golf Clubs and Golf Club Heads with Adjustable Center of Gravity and Moment of Inertia Characteristics,”

Click Here or Read More to View the Patent Drawings…

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Talking About Drivers Part 1: Real Loft

drivers1Driver Distance
The driver ultimately is all about distance in golf and we golf enthusiasts are on a never ending quest to find the longest driver out there. Yes we sometimes forget that accuracy should trump distance especially if you are 300 yards out in the woods vs 260 yards straight down the fairway. The truth is, pretty much all of the emails I get regarding driver recommendations and choices start out with “I am looking for the longest driver TSG has”.  My answer always is, “There is no such thing as the longest driver out there otherwise everyone would be buying it”.  It’s all about finding the right driver for the specific individual. The longest driver for me may not be the longest driver for Tourspecgolfer and vice versa. There are many things that will affect how a driver feels and performs and I’ll start by talking about trajectory and real loft of drivers.

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Real Loft versus Stated Loft
The real loft or actual measured loft of a driver may not affect most average golfers but for some enthusiasts or hardcore players, real loft will have an impact on the fine tuning of ones trajectory and ultimately distance. Due to manufacturing margin of error and different manufacturing methods themselves, real or actual loft is many times not what is marked on a driver. I’ve read many publications in Japan which have test real lofts and we have done some of our own checking with certain brands. Depending on the brand, some real lofts are very close to stated lofts while some are off by more than a degree or even 2. In most cases way off means much higher than stated. For the average golfer or slower swinger, this is not necessarily a bad thing as we could all use more carry but for the player looking for lower launch, buying a driver with stated loft at 9* but a real measured loft of 12.5* is not a good thing. Last year for example, Albatross Magazine measured random off the shelf drivers and the worst was a Cobra L5V with stated loft of 10.5* and a real loft of 14.0*.  Three drivers, the Callaway Legacy, Titleist 909D2 and the Mizuno MP Craft T1 actually came in very slightly below stated loft.

drivers3Results off the Shelf
Its not easy checking the real loft of a driver when buying it off the shelf. Sometimes we can only depend on a manufacturer/brand’s reputation for good quality control and acceptable margins of error. In the past Tourstage and Srixon have been known to be very good with real loft and companies like Epon Golf even let you choose the real loft of your driver ie 10.2*. Choice Magazine recently did a writeup comparing several off the shelf drivers old and new and their trajectory + carry and run. For this real loft post lets take a look at some of the real loft results they reported.

PRGR GN502 Silver
Stated Loft: 10.5*
Real Loft: 11.3*
ONOFF 46D
Stated Loft : 11*
Real Loft: 12.5*
Tourstage ViQ HT
Stated Loft: 11.75*
Real Loft 12.0*
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TM Burner TP (2009)
Stated Loft: 9.5*
Real Loft: 10.3*
MacTec NVR Type 1
Stated Loft: 10.0*
Real Loft: 11.8*
Nike SQ Dymo
Stated Loft 9.5*
Real Loft 10.2*
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Tourstage X-Drive GR
Stated Loft: 10.5*
Real Loft: 10.5*
XXIO Revo
Stated Loft: 10.5*
Real Loft 11.7*
Yonex Nextage 460
Stated Loft: 10.0*
Real Loft: 12.6*
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TM r7 CGB Max (2008)
Stated Loft: 10.5*
Real Loft: 12.9*
TM R9 FCT
Stated Loft: 9.5*
Real Loft 9.5*
Yamaha Inpres X 4.6V
Stated Loft: 9.0*
Real Loft 8.4*
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Tourstage X-Drive 901
Stated Loft: 9.5*
Real Loft 9.7*
Callaway Legacy Aero
Stated Loft: 10.5*
Real Loft 10.5*
Ping Rapture V2
Stated Loft: 10.5*
Real Loft 12.5*
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Titleist 909D2
Stated Loft: 9.5*
Real Loft 8.7*
Yamaha Inpres X 4.6D Type S
Stated Loft: 10.0*
Real Loft 10.0*
Cobra S9-1 Pro S
Stated Loft: 9.5*
Real Loft 10.4*
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Mizuno MP Craft S-1
Stated Loft: 9.5*
Real Loft 10.0*
Callaway FT-9 Draw
Stated Loft: 10.0*
Real Loft 12.2*
Srixon ZR-30
Stated Loft: 9.5*
Real Loft 10.5*

The above chart is just a sample of random drivers grabbed off the shelf and may not be representative of that specific model in general but it definitely gives some idea about the differences a golfer might encounter when buying a driver off the shelf. In the end, real loft may not matter to some golfers, if they hit a driver well, they hit it well whether or not the loft is accurate. But for those who are launch monitor fanatics and specs are everyting a good clubmaker or even retail store with pro shop can measure the loft you are getting.  Loft is just one piece of the puzzle for how a driver will perform so in the next few parts on this topic, I’ll talk a bit about CG, face angle, and face height.


Mizuno JPX E600 vs PRGR GN502 Silver

e600gn502As many of you know, I am a humongous fan of my PRGR GN502 Silver driver. It is easy to hit, feels great and goes a long way. The design of this club makes it easy to square up to the ball and really helped me with my bad shot, the dreaded slice.  The other day I had the chance to get a new 2009 Mizuno JPX E600 driver to hit head to head against my PRGR.

The GN502 is a high launch driver focused on maximum carry and designed to also help those battling the right side by placing the CG at a 30* angle relative to the face from the hosel which makes it easier to draw the ball. The GN502 has a longer face from heel to toe providing more hitting area and a recessed top line which is one of my favorite features as it allows me to go after the ball without fear of coming under the ball especially if I tee it up high.

Mizuno claims the  JPX E600 while only 460cc performs like a 500cc head with amazing forgiveness and a humongous sweet area. A low center of gravity and low spin create a maximum carry driver. Mizuno’s Ultra Dynamic Stability design stabilizes the head and prevents twisting for straighter more accurate shots. It’s a rather good looking driver at address with no alignment mark and a slight blue tint to it.

Spec wise and even size and shape wise, both drivers are very similar. The PRGR is a shallower faced larger 460cc head like the Mizuno E600 which is not quite as shallow but still shallow. They don’t have that high MOI shape but are not quite traditional shaped either. The larger head at address does provide a sense of confidence but those who prefer smaller heads may not like either. Both drivers are around 285g and are shafted with the original stock shafts at 45.5″ and Regular flex. The PRGR is a 10.5* with a PRGR Tuned GN502 Graphite shaft while the Mizuno is a 10* with a stock Quad JPX shaft. Both are rather high tech looking designs which is cool and doesn’t really come into play since most of the looks are on the sole (yes I know many golfers do prefer the minimalist look). So the bottom line is how do they stack up and perform against one another?

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I had our pro shop check out the real loft of both heads before testing as this can have a big affect sometimes on trajectory of the drivers. The 10.5* PRGR had a real loft of just under 11.5* and a closed face of 0.5*. The 10* Mizuno had a real loft of 11.5* and a closed face of 1.25*.  The extra actual loft is not too big of a concern as I have seen much worse than 1.0* or 1.5* difference from stated loft.  Both these drivers are made to launch higher with their low CG but also spin low for carry and run.

I’ve had a lot of time with the GN502 as it is my gamer so I can say this. It has a great feel to it, a unique one almost a cross between the soft spongy feeling of a the old Epon 460ZR driver and the sold feel of an Tourstage X-Drive. With the PRGR it really squares up at contact making you feel like you have really grabbed the ball. Some of you may know what I’m talking about especially if you are a slicer, your driver lays a glancing blow off the ball, looks like its going straight then heads right. That glancing blow just feels weak. The PRGR totally overcomes that with the 30* gravity angle which really helps the head rotate square, and I have noticed this a lot as have other customers who have bought this driver in helping reduce slicing. The GN502 launches high but not ballooning and gives a good 10-15 yards of roll which is great for a high launch max carry driver. For the average R flex guy like myself, we are talking carry around 215-220 and with that extra roll, total drives over 230 approching 240. This is the longest driver I have hit. Even longer than my old Epon EMB. Back spin will vary from player to player based on swing style, ie a player with a steeper swing will naturally produce more back spin. I seem to average around 2500-2600rpm with the PRGR which is very good for a stock shaft. Launch is around 15* which is perfect. So the GN502 feels great and goes long for the average golfer. But what about Mizuno’s E600 which is indeed a direct competitor.

Initially setting up with the E600, I found it to be a bit upright and checking the lie discovered it was close to 62*. A more upright lie is actually supposed to be more forgiving for the average golfer as the club flattens out during the downswing and the more upright lie compensates for that allowing for better contact. For some lie is not that big an issue since the sole of the driver is not making contact with the ground any way. The Mizuno felt good at impact, a different feel from the PRGR, not quite as spongy but more crisp. I should mention that the sound of both drivers is rather pleasant unlike some drivers today which are obnoxiously loud.  The stock shaft of the Mizuno seemed a tad softer than the M-40 shaft I have on the PRGR. I’m glad to say I was able to hit quite straight with this  E600 and in fact performance was very close to the PRGR with a slightly higher launch of around 15.5-16*.  Another positive is the back spin which was again around 2650rpm. Distance is very very close with perhaps  bit less roll.

Being an average golfer, I will NOT brag that I am able to work power fades or soft draws at will. I am more than pleased with a driver that goes as straight as possible and stays in the fairway with as much distance as my swing can muster. I’m glad to say both these drivers can do that. Both PRGR and Mizuno claim these drivers as mid handicapper drivers but they could easily be played by higher handicappers and even low handicappers wanting an easy driver to hit. If you want a driver that feels good, is very forgiving and you battle a slice, both the PRGR GN502 Silver and Mizuno JPX E600 will definitely be options for you. If you are a lower handcapper wanting more workability and a lower trajectory, check out the PRGR GN502 Tour or the new Mizuno MP Craft S1 in the TSG Pro Shop!


Srixon Z-TX Becomes Official!

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Jim Furyk Helps with Design 
The Srixon Z-TX that GTI first released Images of several weeks ago has been made official.

SRI Sports will be releasing the new Z-TX line of woods in Japan on September 12th. No official word about a U.S release yet but they are saying it will be a global model as players on several tour’s are now playing it.

Currently many top Tour Players in Japan are touting it as the best driver they have every played, It has also racked up a a couple of win’s on the JPGA and JLPGA tours. The entire design concept was created with a lot of input from top players like Jim Furyk and Tommy Nakashima.

The driver head is 460cc’s yet has a 6% larger volume than the previous model to promote a sense of security over the ball. The face design is an adoption from the XXIO line up with special face groove input from Nakashima.


More Carry, More Roll
The distance for JPGA tour player Shintaro Pro is being said to be a gain of 5 yards of carry and 10 yards of roll. The standard shaft will be the Fujikura Motore Speeder VC6 and the SV-3020J yet a ton of custom shafts will become available. The length off the rack is a bit longer at 45.25″.

With a sales goal of 20,000 pieces in the first year Srixon is said to be very motivated by this new product’s results and looks forward to its success on many Golf Tours accross the globe yet the U.S Pga Tour was not mentioned specifically.

If you would like to see Actual Prototype Images Click Here or Read More….

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PRGR GN502: 70% of Golfers will Benefit from our new series

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report_img_02Pro Gear recently featured a report done in collaboration with top designer Ryo Yashiro from the Yokohama Rubber Hiratsuka factory.

The massive R&D department that PRGR ( Pro Gear )  features has every top swing analysis system including their own PRGR science fit. The PRGR science fit is a unique system and the only one of it’s kind that measures grip speed and torso turn which creates power and speed from the large muscles instead of the end resut which is club head speed and spin rates.

Over the years Yashiro san has accumulated data from Professional and Amatuer golfers who visited as part of the R&D program. This lead to the creation of their newest line the GN502 series. Please keep in mind this is not the GN502 Tour Driver or GN502 Forged Model.  This is the standard GN502 that is aimed to help improve the game of 70% of all golfers.

Ryo Yashiro goes on to say:

First I aimed to monitor the golfers grip speed.  There isn’t much data that explains the body turn type and where the hands are in relation to the torso. The type of golfer that has an early and loose release type increases the side spin left to right creating a slice and losing carry. The ball flight is also very unstable and inconsistent. What kind of club should be designed for such a player to be able to meet the face with the ball square at impact?  I then began working on a plan that includes the visual effect as well as the shape, function and Technology.

The Goal:
Creating a club that is square more often at impact than others for all types of golfers from Professional to Amatuer.  Let’s face it many golfers even after decades of playing the sport we love so much are still unable to square the face at will.  So PRGR started from the pure basics  of the body before working their way to the design of the club.

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Taylormade R9 Type E Long Drive Spy Pic’s!

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The Taylormade R9 MAX Type E Long Driver First look Only at Golf To Impress. This  Japan Only product is set to release this November and features a more forgiving face, lighter head weight for longer lengths and a standard 45.75″ shaft. Expect TourSpecGolf to recieve a few demo’s very early of the next installment in the Taylormade R9 line up.  Everyday this week we will be featuring a new Taylormade R9 product so stay tuned…

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New Products Launch at TourSpecGolf!

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A bunch of new items have been released and TourSpecGolf  as usual is the first to have them available. This week’s new listings come from big brands like Fujikura, TourStage, Honma, and Fourteen Golf. Let dive right into the new products recently made available.


verticle-new-prodWhats New @ TSG!


– ONOFF Tour Issue  Custom Built Drivers: Available in the Tour Plus and Tour Red models built directly by the ONOFF Tour Van in Japan featuring custom length, lie, face angle and specs. Click Here to Order.


– Fujikura Rombax Bangvoo Shaft : The most high end Fujikura shaft ever made available featuring their first 70T rated carbon  to allow more stable performance from a lighter shaft giving the golfer more distance. Click Here to Order.


– Quadra Composite Techno Fire Shaft: Made of 80T rated carbon graphite this is the highest quality found on the retail market anywhere. Quadra is the manufacture of the material giving them an advantage over other shaft labels. Click Here to Order.


Fourteen JC-909 Driver: New 4-Piece titanium head comes standard with a 46.5″ shaft.  This is supposed to be the best feeling Fourteen driver produced to date. Another key is the club features a very easy to hit CG placement to take advantage of the oversized head and longer length shaft. Click Here to Order.


–  TourStage X-Wedge 101WS Low Bounce & 101 Mid Bounce:  More wedge options by TourStage one in low bounce with a wide sole to prevent turf digging and the other a more mid sized wedge with a multiround grind for a player who needs to adjust the shot. Click Here to Order.


– Honma Beres W-102 & 201 Wedges: The W102 model is designed for a better player wanting focus and feel of a compact wedge as well as a straight neck design. The 201 model has some offset and a larger head plus increased bounce for a very forgiving experience . Click Here to Order.


–  Yamaha Inpres X 4.6ST Long Drive: Already the best selling driver in Japan Yamaha has perfected it with a newer low spin design while matching the spin with CG placement for a ton of carry and maximum run. This is a light weight driver built for extra distance at 46.25″. Available in 9, 10, and 11* Click Here to Order.




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