PRGR Red Driver New for 2016 – Pro Gear also known as PRGR has a lot to offer this year. First they announced the RS series woods, irons, and wedges those were geared toward the better player and now the release of the new Red Series which caters to the slower or smoother swinger. Today I highlight the driver.
There are two versions of the driver, the Red which you see here in the photos and the Red-S 9.5. The S version fills the segment between slower swinger and faster. What makes this Red special is more than a few things and we will go into it after the jump…
Coming Sept 16th a 2000 set limited production that will never be produced again that celebrates the success the Modus series has had on both the U.S and Japan tours not to mention various smaller tours worldwide.
6 years ago in 2010 the Modus Tour 120 was released and NSPRO has sole more than 2 million worldwide. Now they are commemorating this with the limited RED edition. The price is higher retailing for about $70 usd per shaft but it’s a beautiful Japan Only shaft that will quickly sell out.
A box of 2012 ONOFF demos arrived yesterday and as I noted when I first saw them at the ONOFF Product Launch in Tokyo in October, they look amazing. Top notch designs and finish and I can’t wait to test them out. As always the ONOFF clubs are divided into two lines, the Type-D or RED and the Type-S or Black. The Type-D is more suited for the average golfer looking for ease of use distance performance while the Type-S is for the better player, featuring smaller heads and square to open face angles and has always been a favorite line at TSG. The only clubs that were not refreshed were the 2011 ONOFF Forged iron and the ONOFF S-Forged Wedges.
I’ll be reviewing the new forged Type-S Driver as well as Type-S fairway wood and new Type-S Utility which was derived from the very popular but rare fairway wings Pro Spec model we saw this year for Shingo. The driver is forged by Endo and features a variable thickness and ribbed cup ELF Titanium forged face. The Type-S fairway wood looks awesome, compact, pear shaped and deep faced. They are 1* OPEN and have a V shaoed sole with tungsten weighting and a variable thickness high maraging face. The new Type-S UT has a similar look to the Pro Spec with the face and neck merged as one continuous line and a recessed top line. Again the face is deep and features yet again a variable thickness high maraging face.
There is also a new ONOFF Iron which falls in the RED line. The last 3 generations have seen minor tweaks to design and to the unfamiliar with ONOFF clubs, could have all passed for the same model. The 2012 model has bee radically re-designed and visually it looks more aggressive than the past models. The iron features a 3 piece design with a very thin variable thickness high maraging cup face which feels very very good. An ultra heavy tungsten sole (78g in the 5 iron) is featured on the 4-9 iron creating very easy launch and higher MOI.
The Type-D RED line is made for ease of use which you can clearly see in each clubs design. The driver is bigger and shallower and features a 0.5* to 1.5* closed face (depending on the loft) to help battle the right side. The fairway woods are larger in head size and feature a closed face for the 3 and 5 woods and square faces for the 7 and 9 woods. Unlike many ultra shallow FW’s these days, the ONOFF RED still maintains a mid height face. The Tungsten in the V Sole is designed for easy launch and big carry. The RED Utility has a confidence building size and is not overly long in length for more consistent ball striking.
I only have about 5 days with the clubs so I a will be snapping pics and hitting all the models in the next few days. Tomorrow I am testing the Ryoma F vs the egg Spoon and will throw in the ONOFF fairway woods as well as I am sure they can hold their own. Be sure to check the TSG Pro Shop soon if you want to order.
ONOFF has produced some very hot drivers over the years. Year in and year out they’ve always been known to produce drivers that are easy to hit and great for distance. They recently announced their all new 2011 models so I asked that they send them over for me to check out.
Type D and Type S for 2011
In the past, ONOFF divided their models into a RED line and a PLUS line. The RED models were meant for the more average golfer and focused on an easy high launch and distance and forgiveness. The Plus line on the other hand had more of a focus on control and direction. Last year they began rebranding the models by also calling the Red the .XD model and the Plus the XP model. This year in their marketing they seem to have dropped the Red and Plus monikers at least in Japan. They now call the models the Type D which is the average golfer model and the Type S which is for the better player.
Sharing visual cues…
I had very limited time with both drivers as these loaners had to get back to ONOFF so I tried to spend a good day at the range with both. As always, ONOFF drivers are very clean looking and and feature visual cues that have evolved across the models over the last few years. On first impressions, I noticed that even the Type S model (formerly Plus) seems to have gotten a shallower face than in the past (image at right), though the rest of its design is very “Plus” looking with clean looks, long hosel, and a 1 degree open face angle.
Wide Hyper Effect Face II
Like previous models, both the D and S use ONOFF’s Wide Hyper Effect face though its been redesigned and given a “II” as the second generation. In order to expand high initial velocity area, the club face is divided into 6 different areas. The thickness of the center of the face is thickest and it is getting thinner to perimeter of the face. The face is thicker on the Type S matching well with faster swingers who want a softer feel at impact and the strength to repel stronger impact for higher ball speeds. The Type D has a thinner center area than the S which helps increase smash factor for slower more average swing speeds. Also carried over to both models is ONOFF’s Power Sole Bridge, which adopts a power ribbed construction for the sole. This increases the rigidity of the body which lowers spin and optimizes energy transfer for distance.
ELF Titanium, Hmmmmm…
Now here is the interesting part. According to ONOFF, the Type S athlete model is made with a forged ELF Titanium face. Those who read the blog will know that this is a very common material used by Endo for Callaway and PRGR drivers made in Japan. ONOFF also notes that the Type S is made in Japan. The Type D on the other hand uses a pressed 6-4 Ti face. The body materials are also different with the Type S using more premium KS100 Ti for the ribbed body and Type D using 811Ti. I’m pretty sure the Type S is made at Endo and the Type D most likely produced in China like past ONOFF drivers. Why they decided to do this, I still have to ask them but it sure makes the Type S far more attractive.
Type S > Average golfer?
Even though past ONOFF drivers were not made in Japan, they performed very well and were indeed some of the easiest drivers to hit and produced pretty awesome distance. Now that the Type S is made in Japan, the question is can an average golfer with an average low 90’s swing speed hit the Type S? The answer is yes. Both drivers are relatively easy to hit and the Type S is certainly playable by the average golfer as long as your bad shot is not a slice. Feel is different between the two drivers as you can imagine with the different materials. The Type S is softer feeling at impact and sound is more subtle while the Type D is more high pitched and both metallic sounding and feeling at impact.
One of the reasons the Type S has become easier to hit compared to previous generations, is it’s shallower face and more shallow back head which has taken the CG further back and increased MOI. I actually preferred the Type S though specs would suggest I would be better off with the Type D. Does the manufacturing have something to do with it? Of course. I won’t try and pull anyone’s leg by saying I don’t care where a driver is made cause I do. This doesn’t mean that the Type D is not a good driver. It’s just that the Type S is a better driver. There are other reasons that I like the Type S besides where its made and that’s its softer feel,and that’s its trajectory as well. The Type S has a more penetrating straight ball with low spin for good run. I’ve gone from a player who needed all the carry I could get to a player who now prefers a more stable mid trajectory ball that will run as long as it can. The Type S is that driver for me. As I’ve improved as a player I’ve actually gone from a player who battled a slice to one whose bad shot is now a pull thanks to swing adjustments. The bottom line is I like the Type S looks, it’s sound and feel and its trajectory and of course those are all very important factors in liking any club.
I’ve talked a lot about how I like the Type S but what about the Type D? The Type D is very much like RED model drivers of the past. This D model tester I had also produces a higher ball with a draw bias. The driver itself is pretty good looking as well and features a closed face which becomes even more closed as the lofts get higher plus a weight more towards the heel giving that right to left bias. For the player who is not a fast swinger, battles a slice and needs a higher launch, the Type D is a great option and will certainly perform with a lot of ease of use and forgiveness. The Type D is still the driver for the majority of average golfers especially the higher handicapper ones who struggle with the driver.
Stable stock shaft…
ONOFF stock shafts are pretty good. They are afterall owned by Daiwa who also run premium shaft brand Roddio and are masters of carbon manufacturing thanks to their huge share of the fishing rod business in Japan. Some club makers here in Japan even go as far as saying ONOFF makes the best stock/oem shafts as they can rival aftermarket shafts. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but as far a stock shaft goes, it’s pretty good. For me the ONOFF shafts have always had a good balance of feel, kick and control. Any hard hitter or super fast swinger should consider an upgrade shaft anyway and that goes for any brand but for those of us who are mortals and don’t swing like the pros, the ONOFF stock shaft is a good choice.
As always, ONOFF drivers are pretty customizable by Labospec, ONOFF Tour division. They can not only adjust face angle but also lie angle to a certain degree because ONOFF drivers typically use a proprietary hosel/socket which allows for these adjustments internally during the shaft install. Shaft options also include all Roddio shafts.
The ONOFF will be available in the pro shop this week so look for them on Tourspecgolf.com or contact us to customize one.
Nike Japan had a special launch event with top Japanese Nike Pro Keiichi Fukabori to preview their all new VR, SQ and Slingshot 2010 lineups to be released in Japan. GDO covered the event and had lots of pictures of the new gear. Here are some of the drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons that will be released in Japan right around the Japan Golf Fair in February. The Japanese lineups will include the latest top shafts direct from the Nike factory including Graphite Design’s Tour AD DI-6, Fujikura’s Motore Speeder VC6.1 and 7.1 and Diamana’s ‘ilima shaft. Shown in the pictures is also the Japan only Machspeed Forged Iron and Machspeed round head driver.
I posted a few weeks ago about the spotting of a new Diamana Red prototype on the Japanese tour. After speaking with Diamana Japan, they did in fact confirm that that prototype would be going retail in October. So the news is now official and we have Mitsubishi Rayon’s new Diamana ‘ilima shaft. As Mitsubishi said when the red proto was first spotted, the very successful first generation Diamana series was released with Blue, Red and White Boards in that specific order. Diamana then moved to a new method of manufacturing and design with the Blue Kai’li. So following that pattern a Red model is next in line.
This new generation Red Diamana, the ‘ilima, follows a similar pattern with the original M Series Redboard. While it is not another Redboard it is a mid kicking low spin driver which provides a higher trajectory than the typical Diamana shaft. It’s meant for those who want control but need or want more carry. As with the kai’li, Mitsubishi designed these new Diamana’s with focus on not only the way the shaft bends but the torsional rigidity of the shaft. By focusing on how a shaft ovals and returns to original shape, Diamana creates performance oriented and tour proven shafts that maximizes energy transfer at impact with minimal twisting. Stability and balance are the keys to the new ‘ilima which feature a more rigid mid section and firm tip which result in great control and lower spin.
The explosive performance of the new Diamana ‘ilima is thanks to Mitsubishi Rayon’s second generation manufacturing process and the use of M.D.I. or Multi Dimensional Interlay Technology. The layering of cross axis carbon with rings of additional carbon create minimal ovaling and a shaft that returns to its original shape quickly for a controlled whip like performance.
The new ‘ilima is named after the orange Hawaiian flower which has 5 petals and a series of stamens in the center. This flower was worn by Hawaiian goddesses in ancient myths providing protection. It is still a popular flower today in Hawaii and you can see the the ilima on the new Diamana ‘ilima’s flowerband design.
The new Diamana ‘ilima will be available in 60, 70 and 80 models featuring lower torque and a 50% balance point with mid kick. Pre order for the new ‘ilima begins later this week in the TSG Pro Shop!
A new Mitsubishi Diamana prototype sporting the Ion red colors of the old Diamana Redboard and the flowerband of the new Kai’li have appeared on the Japanese tour. This new prototype is currently being tested in the driver of Mizuno pro Toru Suzuki and in the driver and fairway wood of PRGR pro Azuma Yano. Mitsubishi Rayon Composites explained it this way:
The very successful original Diamana series was released with Blue, Red and White Boards in that specific order. Diamana then moved to a new method of manufacturing and design with the Blue Kai’li. So following that pattern a Red model is next in line.
Mitsubishi goes on by saying that this will be different from the previous Redboard. The Blue Kai’li like the old Blueboard is a lower launching low spin control shaft. The new Red Prototype is based on feedback from pros on the Japanese tour wanting a shaft with max carry coupled with accuracy. The Red Board was the highest launching Diamana so we can probably assume a mid launch, low spin, low torque shaft. On the first day of testing, PRGR Pro Azuma Yano used the Red Proto 70 in his driver and gave feedback that the shaft has exceptional distance and was very good at unloaading to the square position at impact without having to make any effort at timing the shaft. He proceeded that same day to re-shaft his fairway woods with the Red Proto as well.
Lighter weight 60 Protos are being tested on the JLPGA while the heavier 70 and 80 series are being tested on the JPGA. We’ll report back as we get more info on this shaft.