Absolutely one of the best players Hybrids I have ever laid by hands on, The A-Grind UT PROTO. Currently A-Grind has 2 Hybrid Wood style clubs and 1 driving iron design and personally I think this is the better option of the three if your looking for a more traditional hybrid. For those of you who don’t know much about A-Grind Follow the Jump we will dive a bit into his history and then my Review…
Wrapping up the new summer releases from Mizuno are the MP-CLK-F Fairway Woods, MP-CLK-H Hybrids, and MP FLI HI Driving Irons.
The new Fairway Woods features a Forged Cup face in the #3 & #5 while the 7 features a maraging face insert. Mizuno has also introduced a cut away sole channel as many OEM’s have recently and says that it increases RBI for a stronger trajectory and more distance. This year Mizuno has designed the new CLK-F & CLK H to flow in shape and spec so more players use the full line up. 3/5/7 woods into the 3UT and possibly into a Fli Hi driving iron. Stay tuned for more info!
We received our sample products of new 2011 Srixon Japan products last week and since the Japan Golf Fair i’ve been lusting to try a new driving iron. Some of us call them Driving Irons, others say Hybrid Iron, and Srixon say’s Utility Iron. There are three really hot DI clubs on the market from Japan at this moment. The Yonex Zero Iron that Ryo Ishikawa play’s, the Fourteen Hi610 T.S and this new Srixon.
The Srixon Z-UTi features a mild steel S25C forged hollow body design. The hollow structure improves forgiveness and allows for a lower center of gravity which is needed when hitting lower lofted irons. It’s 2 piece design also incorporates a soft iron vanadium steel face. The thing is with multi piece designs usually they sacrifice feel in the name of forgiveness but Srixon has been able to keep a rewarding and pure feel. The laser milling now a staple in Srixon and Cleveland has also been applied.
Another interesting aspect is that the spin rates have been truly optimized with the combination of the face milling, sand blasting and now an updated pitch angle of the groove interval. Srixon Japan’s professional golfers wanted an accurate long iron that was extremely forgiving and easy to hit. It’s available 18/20/23* with your choice of the steel NSPro 950GH and the Miyazaki Kusala Blue 77 gram utility shaft The head and shaft are made in Japan. Look forward to a good run of video reviews this week. This should be one of them.
Just received my 2011 X-UT hybrid from TourStage yesterday and have already taken it to the range. I’ve got a lot of clubs I’m reviewing right now and tomorrow I have the support of TSG club tester Tatsuro Oshimoto to help me out so that we can provide a mid handicap perspective (ME) along with a plus level player (Tatsuro).
My first impressions right out of the box are, is this thing gonna be hard to hit? It’s a fantastic looking hybrid it’s face is fairly deep and it’s dimensions playeresque. Its overall a compact design and extremely appealing to my eye. The face looked a bit open which I like because I have a tendency to pull hybrid clubs. I was never one to get along with wood style utilities and always preferred driving irons over them so I decided to order this one with a steel NS950 shaft to keep dispersion tight and predictable.
First Impressions were extremely positive, with the steel shaft it flew dead straight, It had a low/mid trajectory and felt very easy to get off the ground. I’ve only got about a half bucket 30 balls under my belt with it so far and real course testing occurs tomorrow. If your familiar with last years model the UT-101w this one has a slightly lower CG yet has been moved forward for less spin and workability. The 2011 TourStage X-UT features “onset” which supports you in keeping the left side out of play. For those of you not familiar with onset, its the opposite of offset where the face is slightly positioned forward of the hosel. The body is made of SUS630 stainless steel and the face is a hyper stainless 455 variable thickness cup face.
Tomorrow it goes up against the new Miura MG Hybrid which has a deeper face than the X-UT. The comparison will be difficult as I have shafted the MG hybrid with the Ozik Altus Hybrid shaft in X. Stay tuned many reviews coming up!
Miura Giken Japan has introduced an all new Hybrid head they simply call the MG Hybrid. The MG Hybrid is designed to have the accuracy of an iron but the ease of use of a wood. The MG Hybrid produces a more penetrating trajectory thanks to a deeper face (purposely designed the same height as a ball) and optimal CG. Miura decided that to create the optimal trajectory for different lies and conditions, the CG should not be placed too low like in many clubs today. This allows for more stability, direction and control. The MG Hybrid features a stepped slow for less friction during contact with the ground. The black IP finish gives a premium look and design.
The new MG Hybrid is available only in 2 lofts, hb3 20* and hb4 23*. The face angle on both models is square and the weights are 235g and 242g respectively. The hosel diameter fits 0.350 shafts meaning only certain hybrid shafts will fit. (9.0mm or 0.354″ to be exact so most taper tip shafts will also work with a tight fit). The MG Hybrid is being sold as head only and does not come with a headcover. We can also have the club custom built to your specs so contact us for more details. A full written review with video is in the works expect it in a couple of weeks.
New clubs arrive at TSG’s office locations in the U.S & Japan daily and yesterday the new Fourteen UT-409 landed at our doorstep. We first announced the new 409 utility back in march when we first caught sight of it at the Tokyo Golf Show. With the Official U.S and Japanese release we decided to give you the skinny on what appears to be a very game challenger in the utility/hybrid scene.
The UT-409 is a 2010 year product model and is geared to match the skill set of a wide range of players, I know your thinking every brand says that about their products that it will work for the pro & the hack but we feel that fourteen is accurate on that statement. Here’s what I mean, it’s got a very square face which suites the better player, it’s semi compact which also fits the good golfers game while on the other side its extremely easy to hit and I think its due to the semi shallow face and its body slope on the crown.
Fourteen’s COO Marcy Kamoda had this to say about the new utility wood:
This highly accurate hybrid not only is easy to get the ball airborne from any lie but maintains optimal spin. The head is also carefully offset according to the loft and is easy to align. Its sole has been engineered to be highly functional from any lie. This club is the perfect replacement for long and middle irons. It provides exceptional distance control and forgiveness.
“Typically we design Fourteen Golf products specifically for the professional but this utility wood performs for the average golfer as well as the professional.”
The UT-409 Utility Wood will start shipping into retail in January and suggested retail is $241.99.
Fourteen Golf in Japan established itself in 1981 as a premier golf equipment design company. The highly successful venture developed exclusive designs for Titleist, Yamaha, Srixon (formerly Dunlop Japan), Wilson, PRGR, and many more. The original team was credited with developing the first hybrid iron and the highly popular “Citation” cavity iron by Power Bilt which was one of the most popular irons of the 1980s. In the year 2000, the business transitioned into branded design and manufacturing company.
The name “Fourteen” is based on the fundamental rule of golf which states that the player can carry up to 14 golf clubs in their bag. Fourteen Golf strives to produce the best 14 clubs ever. Fourteen Golf aims to achieve the ultimate in club characteristics which allow golfers to hit shots they didn’t think possible. These clubs bring out the strength in a player. Like their “feather” moniker which represent the best scores in golf; a birdie, eagle, and albatross, these clubs will bring out the best scores for any golfer, professional or amateur.
Mizuno MP-68 – MP-58
Mizuno Golf is on the path of releasing another strong showing of new products set for 2010. The most noteable are the all new deisgned MP-68 Blade, MP-58 Forged cavity back and the MP-T10 Wedge. Mizuno’s goal with the MP-68 was to produce a classic muscle back design that featured the technology of today when it came to its aesthetics and forgiveness. Now there are many opionions of what the MP-68 is a cross between but we are hearing that its an all new design not to be confused with other past models dispite any simularities.
The New MP-58 Iron which is also scheduled for late 2009 or early 2010 is of course forged and part of the always stunning MP series which is Mizuno Golf’s players category and what is used on the U.S PGA tour by Mizuno staffers. They call it dual muscle and were not sure if thats exactly the accurate term for the club. I would call it a dual cutaway or dual inset designed product but to each is own. This iron has somewhat of a semi thin topline and sole with just a bit of offset.
The Mizuno MP-T10 Wedges look pretty freaken awesome, offered in a flat matte black finish with limited paint fill or a soft brushed satin low gloss finish it features less metal in all the right places. Designed for the better golfer who enjoys opening up the club head or reduced drag in the rough they made an up to date compact headed wedge. All of the new irons and wedges feature grooves that are USGA legal well into the future.
New MP-Fli Hi Hyrbid, MX1000 Irons , and MX300 Irons have also been added to the line up, we have images of those as well as the MP-68, MP-58, and MP-T10 wedges after the jump…
Click Here or Read More to View the additional Imagery…
Ping G15 Hybrid Review by Tatz
Total Score = 22/30 Possible Points!
** This Review is based on the Driving Iron Style G15 not the Hybrid Wood model **
Feel: 4/5 points
The G15 Hybrid had a very interesting and pleasing vibration at impact. It was different but felt very good so no faults at all there. The toe shots were a bit numb but the result was worth it. This felt like more of a hollow titanium driving iron than your typlical hybrid wood style club feel.
Forgiveness: 3.75/5 Points
Very forgiving especially out on the toe, Tatz says that it felt like something was behind the mass of the toe making it fairly straight and accurate when missing out on the end. Heel shots were user friendly as well and the sweet spot appeared to cover a large zone. A decent swing should put up a good result most of the time. Keep in mind it is a driving iron style club that is less forgiving than a hybrid wood style but a lot more forgiving than a traditional long iron.
Accuracy 4.5/5 Points
The G15 Hybrid excelled in this category. Mostly because it is a driving iron and used to produce lower more accurate shots than a traditional hybrid wood style but it was an all around straight shooter even with a what we would call a medium to med/high trajectory. The standard build of the club, its shaft, and specs should work well in a good players hands as well as the average golfer. Tatsuro can hit just about any club straight so he may not be the best judge this one.
Distance & Workability 4/5 Points
Compared to the Epon AF901 with a standard graphite shaft the G15 didnt compare in terms of distance or feel but this club was longer than just about every other driving hybrid iron he has ever tested. It was fairly easy to work but Tatz noticed that when hitting a high draw the tendency of his swing combined with the design and original setup made his ball turn early when compared to others on the market. hitting low to high soft landing fades worked out perfectly for his swing.
Aesthetics: 2.75/5 Points
Pretty Ugly he says, its got a goose neck and looks like a driving iron that was mated with a hybrid wood. I have not seen it in person but from various angles posted online can understand what he’s saying. I would like to add that the entire G15 series sole design reminds me of an autobot for some reason. But hey some people cant look past that and let the club shine for what its supposed to do… Provide Results!
Overall: 4/5 Points:
Good club but would Tatsuro dethrone his AF901 for it? Nope he likes it but again he wants something with almost no offset, a lower trajectory and provides a bit more mishit feedback. This G15 Hyrbid is a great clubs for the average golfer and can solve some big problems that many players have like hitting long irons, sub 5 wood distances with a soft landing onto the green or give them some lift options for the longer club. Available in five lofts: 17 degrees, 20, 23, 27 and 31. The Japanese versions are set to have different standard shafts than the U.S offerings.
Economical Golf Transportation
If you’re a golfer and in the market for a new car, why not consider an Eco friendly car like the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight? With the help of Alba Magazine, I’m going to take a look at both cars today and how they fare up storage wise for the hardcore golfer like you and I. Storage is after all a major concern when we need to lug all of our golf gear to the course or range. First lets take a look at both cars.
Two of a Kind
The Toyota Prius was first introduced as a prototype in the Japanese market in 1995. It’s debut was officially in December of 1997 in Japan making it the first ever mass produced hybrid vehicle in the world. Japan had the Prius all to itself until 2001 when it was finally released worldwide. Because of its awesome fuel efficiency, the Prius is a top seller in both Japan and the US market. Rated as the most fuel efficient automatic car in the US, sales there made up for half of the Prius’ 1.2 million worldwide by early 2009. The new 2010 model has a new streamlined aerodynamic body and does an amazing 50mpg (US) or 4.7L/100km! Due to higher than projected demand, production for the 2010 Prius with a base price of $21,000 USD has been increased to 50,000 units a month!
The Honda Insight was originally a 3 door hatchback from its debut in 1999 up to 2006. In 2009 Honda released the 2nd generation 5 door Insight which at a $19,800 base, is the least expensive hybrid car in the US. This new generation Insight does 41MPG (US) or 5.7L/100km. Honda is estimating 200,000 sales worldwide for the new Insight including 100,000 in the US alone.
Besides saving money on gas and contributing to a cleaner environment, these two cars being hatchbacks are great for transporting golf equipment. Alba Magazine recently took a look at the trunks of both and results were promising for both whether transporting just a couple of bags or the all the bags of your high school golf team. Lets take a look at the Toyota Prius first. The Prius is very roomy. If you leave the seat configuration as is with the back seat up you can easily lay 2 golf bags down flat on the truck bottom. With 1 back seat down, 3 golf bags and a 2 boston bags can fit with ease so your threesome is set. What about if your son asks you to transport his school golf team’s golf bags? No problem, with the both back seats down you can fit 7 golf bags!
The Honda Insight is similar in dimensions to the Prius, it has evolved on the outside from the 3 door hatch to look very much like its competitor. If you think the similar dimensions mean that it can carry the same amount of golf bags… yes you are right! 2 golf bags will also lie flat in the hatch with no back seats down, the Insight also matched the Prius with 3 golf bags and 2 boston bags with 1 seat down and 7 bags in the hatch with both back seats down.
So as golf transportation both these cars are great. The Toyota Prius and Honda Insight will do the job transporting you to and from the golf course and save you some pretty penny on gas if you play frequently or take some day trips to play golf. These are not your typical station wagons but high tech, efficient performers that get the job done. Just like the golf clubs you are always looking for!
( Srixon ZTX 2009 Hybrid )