Tag: taylormade


TSG Club Works Cult Classic | R9 TP Forged Irons

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What can I say TSG Club Works does top notch work :)  We took in some homeless used classic Taylormade R9 TP Japan Forged Irons and did our magic removing the TP badge sending them into our Black Boron finishing factory ( in Japan ) then a custom white/yellow paint fill job.  These irons are Dark and Evil looking now.  We still have these set of heads 5-PW available if anyone is interested.   Follow the Jump for more pics!…

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Taylormade Royal Gloire Driver for Japan

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Taylormade Royal Gloire Driver – A Graphite Composite Face… that isn’t something we see very often in golf especially a face that looks as out of the ordinary as this driver,  and whats with no adjustability whatsoever?  This is common in Japan yet in the states adjustability is very popular.  Don’t ask why ;)

This face is a lightweight carbon material that features a new widened inverted cone technology that supposedly creates a hotter ball velocity that is stable and straight.  Designed for the slower swinger,  female or senior golfer it’s touted as the most premium club Taylormade has produced and with a price nearing $1500 usd it’s geared to a very specific segment.  Even if that’s not you have a look at this very interesting and intriguing club,  and if you are in the segment this caters to I suggest having a read by following the Jump…

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3 Weeks with the Taylormade Gloire F Driver

Taylormade Gloire F Driver

I usually pass on trying the newest Taylormade gear,  not for any other reason than there is enough written about them everywhere on the web yet I was intrigued by the latest Gloire F as it’s a Forged driver which is something we haven’t seen from Taylormade since well I don’t remember when.

The Gloire F this year is geared toward the better player where as previous models where more mid-high handicap designs and with this new F we actually see the majority of the TM staffers in Japan using the complete line up from Driver, FW, UT, and Irons.  I’ve spent 5 rounds with this in the bag so follow the jump to read the review…

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Taylormade Japan R15 460 430 Drivers FW and Rescue

Taylormade announced their new 2015 R15 lineup today here in Tokyo. The mid December release includes 4 black IP soles with white crowns in the form of a high launch shallower face low spin 460 driver, a mid launch deeper face low spin 430 driver, a fairway wood and a rescue. Stock shafts will be made by Mitsubishi Rayon and all top end Japan market aftermarket shafts are also available for custom order directly from TM Japan. The drivers feature a new 25g adjustable slider which is split into two weights for more versatility. The adjustable sleeve will allow for 12 positions with a 2 degree range of adjustability. The fairway wood uses one adjustable 22g weight and also has 12 positions and a 2* range of adjustability. The Rescue has no slider weight but does feature the speed slot with a low forward design and 12 positions with 1.5* of adjustability.

This blog post is so we can get the announcement out quickly to all those who are interested in the R15 launch. We’ll continue updating specs and features through social media including our forum and facebook.

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Taylormade Japan arc1 Putter and Carbon Steel TP Wedges

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In recent years Taylormade Japan has slowed it’s pace a tad when it comes to releasing Japan market only specific models but we are still lucky enough to get a taste here and there. Back in late spring several online golf communities and blogs noticed a new prototype putter being used on the PGA tour, a neo-mallet with a huge ring for a body. This putter was aptly named the arc1 by Taylormade and we all began to wonder at what point TM would release this putter to the public if ever. Fast forward to late summer when Taylormade announced that Japan would be he retail test market for the arc1 which is not surprising considering TM has been known to release more unorthodox and technology testing type of products here before anywhere else (or only here in many cases). It’s been nearly a month since the arc1 has come out and I was able to finally get a demo from TM Japan to try out.

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You have to give TM credit for daring to be different in designing something they believe to make a functional difference in a golfer’s putter game. A more radical design can sometimes take the risk of being called ugly because it’s different and that certainly was the case earlier this years as photos of the tour prototypes began surfacing. Cries around the web proclaimed it to be ugly and something out of Star Trek along the lines of the Starship Enterprise – and that’s whatever one said when TM first showed off it’s spider putter years ago. (Though in my opinion, the arc1 is more deserving of the Starship Enterprise comparison.) Truth be told though, TM is not the first one to create a mallet putter that looks like a hole. Many years ago Mizuno created a line called the Draino putters in which the 100 model looks eerily similar.  Even Odyssey’s Marxman putter has similar ring to it but looking at the arc1, the execution of TM’s design is probably the best of all.

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Looks of any club is certainly subjective and a personal preference and many times we see clubs “grow on us”. I’ll be honest when I say that I didn’t mind the looks when I first got the putter. If one can get over the looks, the primary concern is of course does this design help make putts. Looks aside, one thing TM did get right with the arc1 is the head weight.  The majority of golfers want a heavier head. In all the years I worked at TSG, I never once had a customer come to me to make or find a LIGHTER putter head. All the talk about head weight and it’s affect on greens of different speeds is certainly valid, but in the end, I’m a believer that a heavier head stabilizes my stroke and gives me a much more consistent feel and direction than a head I cannot feel. The combination of the arc1’s SUS304 ring and 220g aluminum body result in a very healthy 385g (give or take 2-3g for variance) head. I very much like the weight in my hands and with this heavy head, at all the lengths offered by TM 32″ 33″ 34″ 34.5″ 36.5″ you can expect a nice had heavy feeling swing weight. Keep in mind though to keep swing weight from going overboard in the 34.5″ and 36.5″ lengths, TM has countered the balance with heavier 130g TM Smart arc Grips. The 32″ 33″ and 34″ come with a 63g TM Winn arc Grip and the 33″ and 34″ also have an option of the 103 Super Stroke Mid Slim 2.0R. My demo is a 34″ with Winn arc Grip so the swing weight is right up there around E9.5.

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Japan Golf Fair 2013 Day 1

The entire TSG team arrived bright and early at the 2013 Japan Golf Fair at Tokyo Big Sight ready for a day of meetings and checking out the latest gear. To our surprise, unlike previous years, there was quite the lineup just to get into the show before the 10am gates opened. Perhaps the economy in Japan is finally turning around or this years golf show was to be unlike any other. All we knew is we had a busy day ahead and our predictions came true as for the first time ever we spent more time developing relationships than taking pictures… so yes admittedly we are a bit behind in our coverage. Today I will highlight just a few brands to start off our continued coverage over the next week(s).

As we headed into the East Halls where the show is held every year, we quickly weaved our way towards the back where Taylormade and many of the bigger brands typically have their booths. This was the plan to beat the crowds. Taylormade’s setup was twice as big in previous years and they had Adidas golf on one side and shared their space with Adams Golf. Tourspecgolfer actually ran into Tom Watson on the elevator who is here for promotions of the new Adams lineup and part of the morning events at the TM booth. Taylormade went all out as they do every year and had an army of R1 girls ready to promote the new R1 driver. While we know the R1 as well as new Rocketballz Stage2 clubs are coming out worldwide, we were excited to see the new Daddy Long Legs Spider Putter.

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Taylormade 2012 Titanium Fairway Woods: Gloire and R11

Taylormade Japan is a brand that always provides Japan market only models to satisfy the demanding Japanese golfer ready to spend his or her Yen on premium quality. Instead of offering a similar lower cost, 17-4 stainless steel model fairway wood, (well they actually do in the standard R11 and RBZ), TM decided to release an all Ti R11 fairway wood as well the Gloire all Ti Fairway wood. Before I get out and hit the two, I thought I would do a side by side comparison so that potential buyers can understand the differences.

The R11 Ti is similar in shape to the standard R11 fairway wood but sports different colors and a different IP smoked finish. Besides its physical looks, the Japan market R11 Ti also features a larger volume head with Titanium body, crown and face. Overall the club is about 16g lighter than the standard R11 which along with the Ti material increases swing speed and distance. The R11 Ti is aimed at the improving golfer and average golfer who wants an easy high launch in a mid to smaller sized head.

The Gloire Ti FW is part of the premium Japan Only Gloire line.  Made for max performance, ease of use and distance, the Gloire FW is even bigger and lighter than the R11 Ti and the 5 wood tester I have rivals some of the bigger 3 woods. While like the R11 Ti, it sports a full Ti head, it uses a more expensive Alpha/Beta Titanium mix for the body and a beta Ti for the face. The Gloire is aimed at the average golfer and senior wanting a premium light weight performance club.

Because the Gloire has a bigger head at 195cc vs 160cc (both 5 woods), it actually has the deeper and larger face of the two heads.  Both are more than adequate for teeing off and of course both feature adjustable sleeves which alter loft.

From the side you can see that the Gloire is quite a bit longer from front to back vs the R11 Ti. Both are high launch models but the Gloire with its long head really allows the CG to be placed deep in the head. However as you can see from the sole picture above, it has a pair of tungsten weights placed forward on the head to control spin and launch by balancing the CG low and forward.

At address again, you can really see the size of the Gloire vs the R11 Ti. The Gloire head is rounder and while it is spec’ed on Taylormade’s website as being 1* closed face, it looked very square to me and just as square as the R11 Ti which is spec’ed as 0* face angle. Both heads with their white crowns and black faces frame the ball well. I was not a fan of the white heads when TM first introduced them but I’ve admittedly grown to liking them. So both the R11 Ti and Gloire are high quality all Ti fairway woods aimed at easy launch, big forgiveness and big distance. The Gloire can be considered on the large side and ultralight side as it offers two shafts, and with the lighter shaft borders right around 300g!

In the next week I will try and find some time to hit both side by side against the Ryoma FW and the egg Spoon, two very highly regarded fairway woods here in Japan. In the meantime you can already find both these fairway woods in the pro shop!


Taylormade 2012 Japan Market Clubs Update!

Taylormade added all their new 2012 Japan market offerings to their site today so I will briefly go over some of the products and you can see what the lineups now look like below. We will get demos to review at a later date and at that time I will go into more detail. As I mentioned the other day Gloire is the new premium distance line which is a whole new offering. Its aimed at the recreational golfer looking for max ease of use and distance in a premium club.  They’ve added a few other clubs along with Gloire you can see below.

DRIVERS

The Gloire is the new distance driver and is Taylormade Japan’s forged model – yes a forged driver from TM!  They’ve also added the R11-S and RocketBallz driver. One thing I did not expect was the redesigned R11-J which has been increased to 460cc in head size and 45.75″ in length and re-tuned for max forgiveness and distance. TM calls it the R11 distance model for the Japanese market.

FAIRWAY WOODS

TM Japan has added the premium Gloire FW made for maximum distance and forgiveness and they have also thrown in a Japan only R11 Titanium FW! There is also the RocketBallz FW.

IRONS

TM Japan has two models of Gloire premium irons. One is in fact a utility iron at 20 and 23* lofts and the other are max distance irons with a Maraging face and 26* 6 iron! Though I must admit it looks a lot like the RocketBallz Max shape. They also added the RocketBallz Irons.

WEDGES

TM Japan added two new All Terrain Versatility Wedge models, standard ATV wedge in tour satin and the ATV Forged wedge in smoked Ion Plating finish!

PUTTERS

TM added the new Tour Preferred Ghost which features 4 head shapes and a deep milled forged face. They also introduced  Ghost Tour putters which feature 5 head shapes with Pure Roll faces as well as the Ghost Manta which goes along with the stingray and limited edition Itsy Bitsy Spider Ghost.

So it seems like an exciting time once again in Japan for new TM products. Stay tuned for live pics and reviews of all the clubs.


Taylormade Japan Limited Itsy Bitsy Spider Ghost Putter

Today I received the brand new Taylormade Japan Limited Edition Itsy Bitsy Spider Ghost Putter. While the Itsy Bitsy Ghost was previously seen only on Tour in the bags of top TM pros, Taylormade Japan decided that the Japanese market which sees many Japan only TM putters, would be a great place to first release the Itsy Bitsy as a limited edition.  When they first announced the IBS Ghost, I asked TM sales how many of these so called Limited Editions they were making. At that time sales said it was not determined. Well it turns out, they made a lot as the 33″ center shaft IBS Ghost I received is marked as Limited 5314. So I’d have to guess they made at least 6000 pieces which compared to most retail runs is probably a small percentage but as a limited edition, its quite a number.

The TM Japan Itsy Bitsy Spider comes in both double bend shaft and center shaft models, both face balanced and with 33 34 and 35″ lengths. It comes with a new Itsy Bitsy Spider headcover and the usual TM Japan warranty papers attached to the grip. The IBS Spider of course features Moveable Weight Technology and comes with 2 x 4 gran weights installed in the head. One of the improved features of the IBS Ghost is that the head weight of the steel wire aluminum body has been increased by 10g over the previous Japan IBS to around 365g. One of the questions I get asked most by customers is how heavy is that TM putter head and most of the time TM doesn’t state the head weight specs.  I have certainly found many of TM’ Japan’s previous model putters to fall on the light side which is a negative especially for those who play shorter weights and end up with lower swing weights.  I added 20g of weight to my current Corza Raylor Ghost and handling them side by side, the IBS Ghost feels very similar now but without having to add any additional weight. The 365g head is a big plus.

The heavier head allows the player to feel the putter more in their hands and creates a more stable and controlled stroke.  The design of the Spider originally was to create a high MOI, max forgiveness type putter but many found and still find the standard Spiders on the large size which also resulted in less direction.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider’s smaller head and white body with single alignment line frame the ball very well especially with black weight ports in the back (yes it still looks like something out of Star Trek from the back view!) I really like its look at address and for some reason I find it looking much cleaner. This new “panda” look really works for me with the black and white contrast. Unlike some center shaft models, the single alignment mark extends all the way to the the top line edge, unobstructed by the shaft.

I’ve owned a few Spiders in the past and I always ended up dropping them from my bag. It wasn’t about the design of the head but more the feel. I just never got along with TM’s AGSI and RSI faces because I found them too soft to the point where I was not getting enough feedback from the putter.  Sure everyone lofts soft feel but I like soft but crisp and I like feeling the ball compress (ball choice of course has a lot to do with this as well). When Taylormade moved to the Surlyn Pure Roll faces, I really embraced them as they still felt soft but I could clearly feel and get feedback from the face on impact. I’ve also found that since switching to the Pure Roll face, (in my Corza Raylor Ghost which I have been using since early Summer) I’ve rolled the ball better than ever with less skidding and immediate forward rotation. This has resulted in much better distance control as well.

I’ll be taking the Itsy Bitsy Spider Ghost for 18 holes tomorrow and if the Pure Roll face rolls as well as my Raylor and the the Spider is as forgiving as it should be I think there will be a new gamer in my bag. Face balanced and center shafted should get along with my straight back and forth stroke better than the double bend Raylor. Sales of the the new IBS Ghost have been brisk and its no wonder mine is already at over number 5000 on the limited count. We were warned that they would sell out by TM  sales and even with their big production number this seems to be the case. Quite a large number of customers were able to pre-order them and have them go out last week, just in time for Christmas. If you try you could very well still be able to get yours in the Pro Shop before Christmas too.



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