Equipment & Product Reviews

The Best Grips of 2018: Golf Pride ALIGN, Lamkin Sonar/TS-1 PDF Print E-mail




If you haven't changed your grips recently or checked out what's new

in the market of golf grips, now is the time to see for yourself what the

leaders of the industry - Golf Pride and Lamkin have launched in 2018.

It could be argued that the proper grip is the most important component

of any club. So why don't grips get the attention of other golf equipment

components like clubheads and shafts? Perhaps, it's because most golf

grips cost less than $10. One thing is clear, it's the only part of the club

that you hold in your hands as you attempt to execute your best golf shots

- so why not pay a little more attention to what grips you play?


Golf Pride - Tour Velvet w/ALIGN

This year, Golf Pride brought their ALIGN technology to the best selling grip

in golf - Tour Velvet (available in standard and midsize). ALIGN technology

is a raised reminder component that extends along the bottom side of the

grip resting along the finger joints of the bottom hand for consistent hand

alignment (also available in the MCC and MCC PLUS4 models).


We tested the Tour Velvet ALIGN, first in the driver. The feel brought immediate

confidence, largely because the ALIGN component allowed a more stable position

of the hands during the transition portion of the swing, and secondly, the ability

to feel a constant repeatable square club face position at impact. So much so,

that I built a new 3 iron - installed the GP Tour Velvet ALIGN and have had

immediate success. Being able to once again game a forged long iron may not

have been a possibilty without ALIGN technology. When we met with Bruce Miller

from Golf Pride each of the last two years, he called ALIGN "An absolute game

changer," and he was so right. $8.99 each


For more information on Golf Pride:







Lamkin's new line of TS-1 and Sonar grips compliment the already popular

Crossline and UTX models. Featuring a fingerprint micro texture surface and

super tacky Genesis compound technology, it's perfect for those who prefer

a grip that offers a slightly softer feel with the ultimate in non-slip technology.







We tested the Sonar midsize, and within a range session the new handles

went on every wedge we play. For anyone who lives and plays in a humid

climate, these will quickly become a fixture in your bag. Sonar has less taper

for those who prefer a less handsy action in the bottom hand - perfect for

short iron control. The new treads burst into the winner circle at the Open

Championship at Carnoustie (in only the first week Francesco Molinari put

them in play). $8.99 each



For more info on Lamkin:
















TPT Golf Shafts PDF Print E-mail



By Jason Bruno

We first learned about TPT Golf shafts just prior to this year's PGA Show

in Orlando. THIN PLY TECHNOLOGY is the golf division under the umbrella

of parent company NTPT (North Thin Ply Technology).


A Switzerland based tech and composites company, NTPT specializes in

solutions for several industries that rely on cutting-edge high-performance

solutions, their resume includes breakthrough innovations in the world of

F1 race cars, America's Cup yacht sails, satellites, skis, snowboards and

luxury composite timepieces for the world renowned brand - Richard Mille.

Even the solar powered aircraft "Solar Impulse" depended on NTPT materials

for its record-breaking journey.


There is no debating their accomplishments or pedigree , but how does this

all assimilate to golf? Not by any means a traditional Golf OEM, NTPT's first

thought was to enter the market not as a shaft maker, but as a supplier of

premium materials to other shaft manufacturers. Although impressed by the

materials, the leading shaft companies felt they were too expensive. So with

a no compromise vision - TPT Golf was launched. According to Sebastian

Sebayang, Director of TPT Golf, "Four years ago we saw an opportunity to

bring our innovation to the golf market and produce a shaft with a new level

of performance."





Manufacturing Process:


TPT shafts are created using a revolutionary automated process that

eliminates inconsistencies often found in conventional shafts. Most shafts

in the marketplace are manufactured by hand, wrapping sheets of material

around a steel mandrel that produces a seam or "spine" (as it's referred

to in the industry), this often creates the need to put that shaft through

a "pure-ing process" in order to find the orientation that gives optimal

results. TPT's ultra-thin/ultra-light carbon fiber pre-peg is used along

with its automated winding process, there's no spine of any kind, just

concentric and identical shafts produced every time. The days of not being

able to match your favorite shaft are over. According to TPT, the result is

pure unparalleled consistency.





As you could probably conclude on your own, TPT golf shafts are not

inexpensive. In fact, they were introduced with an MSRP of $699, but

just recently the company reduced the price to $499. New investments

in manufacturing equipment and larger bulk purchasing of materials has

allowed the company to produce shafts in greater volume, thus a lower

pricepoint (making TPT slightly more accessible to the masses, $499 is

still beyond the scope and means of most golfers), but innovation comes

at a premium price (PXG is a prime example). According to Sebayang,

"By making the price of our shafts competitive with other premium shafts

on the market, we're confident that we'll enable more golfers to play their







Notice the unique minimalist raw appearance of the TPT shaft, no glossy

paint and over the top graphics here. The matte black/charcoal-ish vibe is

carbon fiber in it's processed and finished form.




TPT Shaft Specs:

Some faster swing players may look at this chart and wonder where

are the lower torque shaft options? (An X-stiff low torque model is

available now, see the new 15LT/LKP/LW below. Fairway specific

offerings and iron shafts are also in the works - coming soon.






11 TPT shaft choices

(10 shown) are now

available to consumers

(only through authorized

TPT fitters such as Hot

Stix, Club Champion,

TXG and the David

Leadbetter Academy at



LKP = Low Kick Point

MKP = Medium Kick Point

MT = Medium Torque

LT = Low Torque (new)

SW = Standard Weight

LW = Light Weight (new)


New for 2018 is the addition

of the 15/low torque/light-

weight model for those

players with more aggressive

transitions and faster club

head speeds, this series is

called "Extended Range".

(Shown below).




The new Extended Series is low torque and lightweight for high speed








As is often the case, our host site for this test was PGA Village and their

Learning Center in Port St.Lucie, Florida. As the PGA of America's flagship

property, the public is welcome to come work on any part of their game here.

Although we conducted this test in their indoor fitting center, a massive 35

acre outdoor practice facility is the staple of perhaps the finest site of its

kind in the country.





Our test setup at PGA Village, Foresight Sports GC launch monitor and



*Just a quick disclaimer regarding this test and the shaft model chosen

(16 MKP/MT/SW) for me based on some data I provided during our brief

meeting at the PGA Show. In an actual fitting with an authorized TPT

Fitter you will be put through a protocol which will include a warm up

(if possible, playing a few holes beforehand is always a good way to know

where your swing is on that particular day), this alleviates the tendency

to overswing during the fitting process. After a brief discussion with your

fitter about your game, he/she will have you demo several models to

narrow down exactly which shaft and clubhead setting suits your game.




Test performance #'s produced pretty typical numbers for me, except

for two areas. Usually if I see carry numbers around 250 yards, and spin

rates between 2000-2500, than I'm pretty satisfied. Both of these get a

check in the thumbs up column. However, the swing speed and ball speed

stats were impressive and disappointing respectively. TPT testing produced

swing speeds consistently between 106-108 mph (easily the best of any

shaft I've ever tested, and that's saying a lot). At the same time, ball

speeds of 145 mph show an inefficiency when considering the 107 SS.

Typically when everything is in harmony, I expect to see ball speeds

between 150-156 mph. The smash factor of 1.36 is an indicator that

all was not in harmony. A smash factor of 1.45 is about my standard.

Stats in green are above average, red below. The rest are in my typical



SS - 107mph

BS - 145.3 mph

Backspin: 2222

Launch: 12.9

Smash: 1.36

Carry: 247

Total Distance: 274.6

Offline: 7 yds left


Just to make sure these #'s were legit and not the launch monitor or its

setting, I also tested 2 other shafts (same TaylorMade M4 head in neutral

setting) that I've gamed recently. Neither averaged over 102 mph. The

go-to gamer shaft for nearly 2 years, is a bit heavier (77 grams) and

lower torque (3.1) than our TPT test shaft (68 grams 3.8 torque). With

an extensive fitting, I think it's likely the 15/MKP/MT/SW or the new low

torque - 15/LKP/LT/LW may be spot on for me. Excited about the club

velocity and spin rate for sure, so our test sample is definitely a close fit,

but if we had gone through a fitting (at say Club Champion for example),

perhaps they could have really dialed in the right set up. With summer

thunderstorms now the norm here in South Florida, we haven't been able

to properly field test the shaft on the course, but after we get about half a

dozen rounds in, we'll update the results.



Need tour validation? TPT does not endorse any players for using their

products, but that hasn't stopped many tour players including two top 10

players in the world from using TPT this season. Jason Day, won twice

on the PGA Tour this season, in San Diego (Torrey Pines) and Charlotte

(Quail Hollow) using TPT in his driver. Justin Rose also won earlier in the

campaign using TPT at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.



If you want the creme de la creme of golf shaft technology (have the

financial means), and the knowledge that with a proper fit by an authorized

TPT fitter you will have the best technology available for your game - then

TPT is worthy of your attention. When we compared for ourselves, we saw

first hand - the ultra-tight flex pattern of TPT vs other shafts on our CPM

machine, the claims of consistency are completely true. To see for yourself,

click on the link :


Available only at authorized club fitters around the world, check out TPT

for yourself. For more info on TPT:

























The Best Men's Golf Footwear - 2018 PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

June 21st signals the start of another summer and the solstice that brings

us the longest daylight of the year. All of this equates to extended time on

the links. Golf Footwear is a great place to start the journey, and after all

doesn't it all start from the ground up? If you're like me, starting the summer

season with new kicks is a must. If it has been awhile since you went shopping

for golf shoes, then be prepared to be amazed and perhaps overwhelmed by

all of the choices.


In 2018 golf specific footwear is better than ever and the latest innovation

and technology give you more options than you can imagine. Finding the

correct golf shoe is imperative but is a personal choice. Certainly, style is

a factor, but with so many specific shoe types available today (spikeless,

hybrid and premium tour) everything that you need to feel, play and look

your best is available - no need to compromise.



In this feature, we'll highlight what each shoe model specializes in and

which type of player and foot sizing it suits best. Just like golf gloves,

what's best for one, might not be a fit or feel for another. We rounded

up six of the top brands in the biz - Adidas, Footjoy, Puma, New Balance,

ECCO and Callaway for this review (for those wondering where is Nike in

this feature? It's a long story, but the short version is that since they have

removed themselves from the equipment side of the biz, they have also

removed themselves in large part from the golf media. Presently we're

working on re-connecting with a new PR contact at the "Swoosh" and will

have more to report in the coming weeks).






Two of the latest offerings from Adidas - Tour 360 2.0 & Adipower S Boost 3


The Tour 360 2.0 is the flagship golf shoe from the brand known for its 3

stripes. Worn each week on tour by Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele,

Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia - there is no mistaking the Tour 360's alpha

status on the roll call of premium tour shoes. For 2013 U.S Open Champion

and Olympic Gold Medal winner Justin Rose, the feel and performance of a

spikeless shoe is the choice. The Adipower S Boost3 is his go-to gameday






Blending the style of their new knit upper with the comfort and energy

return of Adi's BOOST technology makes for an outstanding walking








Rarely is a spikeless golf shoe ever able to compete on the same playing

field as their premium tour spiked brethren. Quite often, a spikeless golf

shoe meant a glorified sneaker with some nubbs on the sole. The Adipower

S BOOST3 breaks that barrier with the combination of energy returning

BOOST in the heel and Adi's BOUNCE foam in the forefoot for just the right

response for maximum power at impact. Puremotion outsole with Adiwear

traction provides stability and grip for even the fastest swings.






Climastorm's breathable water-repellant upper makes sure your feet stay

dry in even the harshest conditions. Our review pair came in Cloud White/

Silver Metallic/Light Onix. Also available in four other color combinations.

We first got a glimpse and became smitten by these during our with Adi's

Joel Monson at this year's PGA Show. Honestly, your biggest issue with

these might be the desire to wear them off the course as well. Guilty as

charged . . .

Recommended for: Those who prefer to walk the links and favor a

spikeless shoe. A medium fit but a roomy toe-box area for those who need

more volume in the fore-foot. Supreme cushy feel in every step thanks to

BOOST technology provided in the heel area. Many favor spikeless golf shoes

for their versatility, as an example I'm actually wearing these in the office

as I write this review.






TOUR 360 -2.0

The ultimate premium golf shoe of the 3 stripes is the Tour 360 2.0.

If a zero compromise tour shoe is what you're after, then this is Adi's

"Ferrari". Premium leather, BOOST and Climaproof make up this high-

performance beauty. Adi shoe creator Masun Denison introduced the

golf world to BOOST foam a few years back at the PGA Show knowing

it was a game changer, he was right.








The 10 cleat Puremotion outsole with CenTraxion for stability and grip

to the ground - for ball striking with maximum power.







Style wise, what's different from the previous model Tour 360? To the

casual shoe enthusiast, it might be tough to notice the very Subtle

differences (that were influenced by World No.1 Dustin Johnson). For

example, things like seams can tend to distract the games' best players

at address. The previous edition of the Tour 360 had vertical stitched

seams that extended from the lace area to the tip of the shoe and its

TPU outsole. Above, you can see the clean no seam appearance of the

2018 model. It's the little things, details, details. Available in nine

different color combinations and 2 new U.S Open editions (that also

includes the new Knit Tour360 features red/white/blue striping).




Recommended for: Those who demand superior support in the

arch, heel & forefoot as well as the maximum traction of any Adidas golf

shoe. BOOST keeps foot fatigue to a minimum and comfort to the max.

The Tour 360 comes in every size including widths, but the standard

sizes do tend to favor those with a narrow to medium width. With an

MSRP of $200 the Tour 360 2.0 is for those who take their golf footwear



*I personally own several pairs of Tour 360's, perhaps there is no better

compliment to a brand than when a product tester goes out and shops

for more of the very item that they review.


Adidas Golf:










Puma's IGNITE PWRADAPT. We've always been a big fan of the work by

Puma's shoe creator Grant Knudson, but these might be his best creation

yet. IGNITE foam creates the comfort while a premium full-grain leather

upper provides a sophisticated and refined look.






Gamed by Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau on the PGA Tour each

week is proper validation. IGNITE PWRADAPT Leather features incredible

comfort and sophisticated style. Leather model available in white (shown)

and black.






IGNITE insole and a mesh hybrid bootie lining provides a superb fit.







Non-leather version available in White, Black, Gray and Blue.






PWRADAPT pods provide high level grabbing power with tornado cleats and

Grip Zone comfort in a 3-D system that moves with you in the swing.



Recommeded for: Those players that fancy a refined style and some

new outside the box technology. The PWRADAPT Leather tends to run a bit

towards a narrow width and about standard on length sizing. A more nimble

shoe than many other Tour Premium selections. Extremely versatile for both

walking or riding on the course. 2 year waterproof warranty MSRP: $150


*Our first test drive in these resulted in a 1 under par 71 up in Orlando

a few weeks back. The pivoting cleats are an excellent innovation, and

believe me - nobody in our 12 man group was wearing better lookin kicks

. . .











Footjoy's latest premium shoe for the dedicated linkster is their

TOUR-S, big on stability. Launch pods and 9 cleats on the outsole

plate are spread out wide on the outer perimeter for the heavy

lifting of powerful ball striking. The combination of Powerstrap,

SecureCollar and . . .





ComforTongue is integrated into the TOUR-S to deliver an exact fit.






When we visited with FootJoy at the PGA Show we had our first glimpse

of the TOUR-S. Available in White/Blue, Black and White/White - MSRP

$249. BOA model (shown far left and below) available in White/Gray.






A closer look at the TOUR-S BOA version MSRP $279.


Recommended for: The massive legion of FJ loyalists, will love

this latest innovation - a breath of fresh air not only in technology, but

also in style (The TOUR-S exudes performance). The industry leader's

latest premium offering is inspired by tour players. Big on comfort with

a stable platform, the TOUR-S like many Footjoy models - tends to run

a bit larger and roomier in size than some brands, our test sample was

no different. Regardless of foot size, TOUR-S is available in medium,

wide and extra wide.










CALLAWAY - La Grange

Callaway's La Grange offering is a premium tour validated shoe worn

by Marc Leishman. A full-grain leather upper with Opti-dri waterproof

protection keeps you comfortable and dry. The POWERdrive platform

provides stability and FusionLite TPU outsole with nine Tornado spikes

give maximum grip.




TPU heel stabilizer provides additional support for the fastest swings.







La Grange is available in White/Lime, Brown, White and Black. 2 year

limited waterproof warranty. MSRP $199



Recommended for: Those who prefer a classic looking golf shoe

with big performance. It's a mature looking golf shoe that purists will

love. The cutouts in the outsole allow tons of natural motion and a softer

insole provides the perfect complement for those who may choose to walk

the links. La Grange sizing wears about half a size larger than most brands,

typical of most Callaway golf shoes.






Callaway's Coronado specializes in comfort. Traditional with a dash of

sporty styling combined with an Opti-Dri microfiber upper make the

Coronado a popular choice for those seeking full performance in their

golf shoe but at a value pricepoint. Slim-Lok removable cleats and

Fusion-Lite outsole enhances power and stability.



Coronado carrys the large chevron emblem along the upper, leaving no

doubt this a Callaway product. A molded sockliner with Opti-vent provides

breath-ability and relief from excessive summer heat. Notice the Camo

colorway (far right), Callaway has partnered with the Fairways for Warriors

to support veterans and their families. 2 year limited waterproof warranty.

MSRP - $129



Recommended for: Those who want a golf shoe loaded with

performance and racy style that doesn't break the bank. Coronado is

another shoe that runs a bit large to size. An extremely comfortable

golf shoe that can handle any condition or terrain. As good a value as

any in this review.

Callaway Footwear:








ECCO - BIOM Hybrid 3 GTX

ECCO's BIOM HYBRID 3 GTX is the latest spikeless golf shoe from the

company that created the category. GORE-TEX waterproof technology

is featured along with YAK leather uppers. BIOM Natural Motion brings

the player closer to the ground using an anatomical last.








ECCO's newest innovation in spikeless footwear is their TRI-FI GRIP

outsole with three different zones is built for stability, durability and

rotational support.






Conservative styling that is sure to appeal more to the over thirty crowd,

the BIOM HYBRID 3 is available in six different color combinations. Sizing

is spot on but does tend to favor a slightly wider foot profile (but take

note - ECCO uses Euro sizing). Best to get fit for the correct size at a






Concrete/Scarlet colorway





For those who want a flashy look, ECCO offers two such options:

Black/Buffed Silver print upper (above) and White/Silver Metallic.



Recommended for: Those players who prefer a spikeless golf shoe

in an understated Euro-look. Of all the shoes in this review, these came

out of the box the most ready to go - zero break-in. Perhaps it's the YAK

upper, that makes for such a supple feel. Although the BIOM 3 is a perfect

casual walking shoe on or off the course, with an MSRP of $200 you might

not want to wear these to the mall or park wearing out the sole. One

criticism - the insole pad. ECCO would do better with some beefier insole

padding, you shouldn't have to have supplement a new shoe with padding.


*Full disclosure, I enjoy practicing in a spikeless shoe but often prefer to

play in a full featured spiked tour shoe for maximum support and traction.

After playing 18 in these, there were no compromises what so ever.


ECCO Golf:


New Balance - Tour Minimus

The New Balance Minimus Tour is a different animal than every other

shoe in this feature and perhaps in the industry. Minimus Tour combines

the lightweight (11.7oz) and comfort of its spikeless brother (Minimus),

with the full performance of a tour offering - a true hybrid shoe. Champ

Slim-Lok Zarma Tour cleat system provides the grip.






New Balance sent us the Minimus Tour in this catchy Grey with Lime

Green combo. REVlite foam provides the same responsiveness of

previous New Balance foams, but this new innovation is an impressive

30% lighter than previous models with no loss of cushioning or stability.







Three colorways available for Minimus Tour - White, Grey/Lime and Black.




Recommended for: Any golfer who can appreciate a non-

traditional golf shoe that covers the essentials of golf footwear:

comfort, stability, and performance all in a lightweight sporty

offering that fits perfectly within the ethos of the New Balance

brand. Minimus Tour tends to run a bit on the small side, so make

sure you get the proper fit. Available in standard and wide width.

At $139, Minimus Tour is a great value.

*Our tester G.S has been mixing up gaming these in the N.Y area

and walking the U.S Open terrain out at Shinnecock Hills all week.

He reports a major thumbs up on all counts.


New Balance Golf:























New Tee to Green Gear From PING: G400 Max Driver & G700 Irons PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

When I sat down with Ping's Director of Communications Pete Samuels

during this year's PGA Show to discuss the company's latest edition to

their G400 driver line, the G400 Max, it was obvious that he knew PING

had crushed it with this new offering. Always known for their cutting-edge

innovation, their G400 models were making noise and gaining momentum

in the industry, and the G400 Max was the logical evolution. It's still clear

that Karsten's engineering ethos exists in every club bearing the PING








Ping's G400 drivers come in 4 different models: The standard G400, G400

SFT (Square Face Technology) that is for the player who tends to slice and

needs a driver that helps them get the face back to square. G400 LST (Low

Spin Technology) which is designed for the high swing speed player that is

looking to keep their spin rate down. All of those 3 models are 445 CC. G400

Max is the most forgiving of the four, at 460 CC and it's weight positioned

farther back than the other models, it has incredibly high MOI. In fact, the

G400 Max has a heel/toe MOI of 5700. Only PXG is in that neighbor-

hood, but when the top/bottom is factored in, the combined MOI is

9900! That's1000 more than any other driver on the market.




Technology -


"Low and back is our philosophy, by going a little bit bigger we have

more volume to extend the weight," said Samuels. "The tungsten weight

is in all four of the models, in the case of the Max, it is pushed further

back and actually wraps around the back of the crown. The tungsten is

what gives us the ability to increase the MOI and max the forgiveness."






Turbulators and Dragonfly crown are signature PING design elements on

all G400 drivers. According to Samuels, "Turbulators aide in aerodynamics,

while dragonfly technology is basically the thinning of the crown that allows

club designers to take those weight savings and re-position it for better MOI.

With so many of golf's leading manufacturers moving to carbon fiber materials

in the construction of driver crowns, why has PING continued to build drivers

with an all-Titanium construction? According to Samuels, "By keeping the

whole head titanium and being able to thin the crown, that's the best approach

in order to find that additional weight in order to re-position it in the head design."







We tested the G400 Max in 10.5 loft with the adjustable sleeve set in the

factory standard neutral position.







Notice the difference in the rear weight and tungsten position of the

G400 Max (above) vs the smaller and lower spin G400 LST (below) . . .




The tungsten weight port is located closer to the center of the sole on

the (445cc) G400 LST shown here.









Aesthetics -


G400 Max - Matte black, sophisticated and bold like a device used by

Bruce Wayne's alter ego and yet brilliantly simple in appearance. It just

looks fast . . .





It isn't just tee box eye candy, A closer look at where it all happens on the

G400 Max. The forged T9S+ face is hotter and faster - producing increased

ball speeds and a powerful feel at impact.








Powerplant options -

PING's TOUR 75 shaft was the powerplant of our G400 Max review and

is an available option for an upcharge. The Tour 75 is tip trimmed 1 inch

when installed in any PING driver (45.25"). Many high swing speed players

(that often prefer to upgrade to an aftermarket shaft) will find the TOUR 75

a stout and worthy choice, we did. Other shaft options include the PING's

Alta CB 55, Alta Distanza 40 gram, Aldila's X-Torsion, MCA Kuro Kage and

Project X HZRDUS Yellow.






Performance -


From a distance perspective, the G400 Max produced a solid yield with

the TOUR 75, not by any means the longest that we've tested (we'll

update the distance #'s once we get in a session with our usual gamer

shaft). However, in the forgiveness and dispersion category, the G400

Max was off the charts. Using the Foresight GC Quad, here are the results

of our indoor testing session with the G400 Max.


SS:103.1 mph,  Ball Speed: 151 mph, Azimuth: 1.2 R, Launch: 13.1,

Backspin: 2564,  Sidespin: 86L, Carry: 249 yds,  Total: 273 yds,

*Offline: 1.9 yards left


On course testing showed off the G400 Max as a shortgrass finder, we

practically had to aim offline to miss a fairway. Bold remarks for sure, but

the combo of forgiving head and stout shaft produced straight darts all

round long.


Sound/Feel/Playability -

The G400 Max is a bit louder with a more tingy blast at impact than the 3

other slightly smaller G400 models. Purely subjective on what you prefer

to hear at impact, I favor the more subdued thrash of the smaller models.


On-course testing brought the elements and factors that launch monitors

don't, but there were no surprises. Working the ball with the G400 Max

is quite easier than you'd think, but make no mistake, this club is a point

and shoot fairway finder. If you look at the *offline stat from our launch

monitor testing (1.9 yards L), it proved true on the course as well - missing

fairways was a chore.




Summary -

With four models to choose from in the G400 line, all you need to know is

exactly what it is your looking for from your driver. The need to reduce spin

- LST, Correcting the big miss to the right - SFT, Neutral bias and the easiest

for working the ball - standard G400. If you want the same attributes of the

standard model but with maximum forgiveness of any club in the industry,

the G400 Max is your choice . . .









G700 Irons

Game improvement and Big Distance comes from PING in the form of these

smooth looking hollow body G700 irons.







Technology -

The hollow-body 17-4 stainless steel head construction allows weight to be

positioned out to the perimeter of each clubhead - creating metalwood type

of launch and high ball speeds.







Maraging steel produces high C.O.R and fast flexing faces = mega distance.







Notice the hosel notch, which allows for weight to be moved elsewhere,

while the black dot signifies standard lie angle. Sole width and bounce

help with better turf interaction for improved ball striking.









Aesthetics -

The club designers at PING used contours and a hydro-pearl finish to create

a gorgeous set of game improvment sticks. There is some heft where you'd

think there would be on an ultra forgiving distance club, but the G700 comes

off as somewhat sleek in appearance.





The look is so clean, the closer you get the better they look.





Performance/Testing -


Big distance is the takeaway here. For the golfer looking to add pure

carry yardage, get fitted for the correct shaft and be giddy. Looking for

a reliable and forgiving long iron, my numbers with the G700 4 iron had

me so excited that after a dozen swings on the monitor, it was off to the

course. On the first short and tight par 4 - I hit 4 iron off the tee - 223

yards into the shortgrass. The high draw carried 210 yards and released

about a dozen yards or so. Off the tee - check.

Next, on the 458 yard par 4 - 2nd at Eastpointe West (that played 470

yards to a back pin), 198 yards remained from the fairway to a narrow

elevated surface guarded by water to the right, perhaps the hardest

approach on the course. A high soft fade was the only shot, and the G700

was up to the task landing softly and stopping about 12 feet below the pin.

Approach shot yardage, trajectory and workability - check




Sound/Feel -


G700 is a hollow body iron, producing a totally different sound and feel

than most irons on the market. Is it louder and more firm at impact than

what most players are used to? Absolutely, it feels more like hybrid than

iron. Is that the trade-off for maximum forgiveness and distance? Would

a foam filled sound dampener improve the acoustics and feel? Other

companies have used such a thing in their irons recently (TaylorMade's

P-790 w/SpeedFoam & Callaway Rogue X irons w/Microspheres are two

examples) to mitigate the hollow-body feel at impact. Perhaps, but only

the PING engineers know that one for sure. Our review models were

equipped with Recoil 780 F4 graphite shafts, so some vibration dampening

was already in place, but honestly they still lack that solid feel at impact.


It's a trade off, crazy distance and maximum forgiveness for a feel at impact

that is less than ideal. You decide, either way the G700 is a game improver

. . .



For More info on PING golf equipment:














TaylorMade M4 Driver Review PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

By now you're aware that TaylorMade's latest "M Family" of metalwoods

has moved on from the M1/M2 nameplates and has been replaced with

the latest editions in the form of M3 and M4. In this review, we focus

specifically on the mega forgiving but minimally adjustable M4 (which is

the replacement for the previous M2 model).



What's New for 2018?


The first thing you might notice is the M4 logo looks very similar to that

of a certain line of high-performance European luxury brand automobiles

whose slogan is "The Ultimate Driving Machine". Perhaps the similarity is

coincidence but we know better. Beyond the new graphics, there just

happens to be some serious innovation going on here. New for 2018, Taylor-

Made introduced TWIST FACE technology for greater accuracy, a new slot

technology called "HAMMERHEAD" (shown above), for better ball speeds

on primarily on lower face strikes, and it's second addition of its Geocoustic

sound enhancing shaped clubhead.








The new silver crown on the latest M metalwoods looks every bit as

sporty as the past versions with white trim. Notice the newly raised

crown ridge on the toe portion of the carbon-fiber section, a subtle

uptick in aerodynamics.








M4 features a red accent at the back of the crown (M3 has blue).








If there's a better looking big stick on the market, I've yet to see it. It

should be no surprise that we gave M4 an A+ in the looks department.











TWIST FACE is really what the buzz is all about with the M3 & M4. Since the

drivers of today all deliver big on distance, TaylorMade set out to create a

way to help keep that distance in the shortgrass. I'll attempt to give you the

abridged version. Typically the two most common types of mishits for golfers

with the driver are: High toe hit- (typically an inside out swing path) results

in a low ball flight that dives left. Low heel hit - (typically an outside in path)

produces a high spinning floater that sails way right. In traditional bulge and

roll technology (that has been the standard for what seems like forever), that

was created based on robot testing, these same mishits would curve back

towards the target (it seemed like legit data), but in real human swings that

vary in path, angle of attack and face direction, these shots more often than

not would produce results with far worse results than the old "Iron Byron"

robot showed.


TaylorMade tested tens of thousands of human swings and their data

showed that some things could be changed in order to help bring those

typical mis-hits closer to the fairway. Hence, Twist Face was born and

introduced in the new M3/M4.



So, How does the TWIST FACE concept work?

Providing a slightly more open high toe section with a fraction more loft,

TWIST FACE is designed to enable the toe hit to start slightly more to the

right (instead of that diving hook that finds the hazard or OB stakes left)

veering it's way back closer towards the fairway. To the other extreme, the

low heel hit will play in more of a closed position - lessening the high right

"crop duster" that plagues so many (including some of the world's best

like Rory McIlroy).









Can you actually see TWIST FACE? No, what you see on the commercial and

in advertisements is an exaggerated example of the technology - it's not

noticeable to the naked eye (The actual amount of twist in each clubface area

is less than a degree). Does it really work? We'll discuss our findings during the

test portion of this review.







The 41-gram rear weight bumper helps boost MOI making the M4 TM's

most forgiving driver. Geocoustic isn't a new feature for TaylorMade, but

it returns in an updated version for '18 after being introduced in last year's

M2. Geocoustic is advanced sole shaping that delivers a sound that's a bit

more explosive than most TaylorMade drivers of the past, we really liked

the bold tone of impact - it's a subliminal anthem directed at your foursome

serving notice that you just crushed one deep. According to TaylorMade,

"As a by-product (of Geocoustic), the sole contouring frees up volume in

the clubhead, allowing us to produce a bigger clubface with a 67% larger

sweet spot." Who doesn't like a larger sweet spot?










TaylorMade's other innovation that's been overlooked by many industry

folks is their new HAMMERHEAD slot technology. In my opinion, it just

might be the most significant, and here's why: 1) It's not a secret that

last year, TaylorMade's chief rival - Callaway introduced their "Jailbreak

Technology" in their EPIC model. The rest is history, TaylorMade lost its

hold on as the No.1 driver status (that it had for well over a decade).

2) TaylorMade had to make a counterpunch and create a technology of

their own that accomplishes at least the same level of performance.

Brand loyalty is huge, but losing yards can threaten even the most loyal

consumer. There was no choice, HAMMERHEAD is the correct volley for

TaylorMade just from an actual performance comparison standpoint.

2b) TWIST FACE is a big deal for TM to get back on top in the marketplace,

but HAMMERHEAD is like the O-Line on a football team, nobody pays

any attention to it, until you don't have a good one. Without it, you're toast.


With so many of us product reviewers using incredible new technologies

to track performance data, keeping ball speeds up even on those low

face hits (distance killers) is essential. Anyone can create a driver that

goes far when hit dead center, but when you can produce nearly the same

yardage when hit all over the face, you've got a keeper. B+ on the

Innovation ledger.







Gametime Setup/Stock offering

Sharp and clean at address (a solid A grade here), the M4 sets up really

square. Fujikura Atmos Red comes standard as the stock powerplant offering

on M4 (Mitsubishi Tensei White comes standard on the new M3). Atmos is

geared towards fitting a wider spectrum of golfers, so due to its slightly softer

profile and its high launch/mid spin, we had ours delivered in X flex. If you

prefer TM offers customizing your M4 with Fujikura, Aldila, Matrix, Oban,

True Temper, UST, Graphite Design and Mitsibishi as your choices of

upgrade in shaft (most with no upcharge).










Our indoor test center was the PGA Learning Center in Port St.Lucie,

technology powered by Foresight Sports GC Quad.



Testing is always a pleasure at the PGA Learning Center in Port St.Lucie

on their Foresight GC Quad. The M4 produced consistent results. Throwing

out the longest/shortest drives, the average = 102.3 mph swing speed, 152

ball speed, 13.6 launch, 2336 backspin, 236L side spin (draw), 252 yards

carry/283 total yards (10 yards left of the centerline). Typically about as

good as I can do from a performance standpoint.


I was most interested in what HAMMERHEAD and TWIST FACE would do

for my misses. The new slot technology actually did show improvement

on those low face hits that for me are normally about a 10% drain of

carry distance (with last years TM model). Instead, with M4 it was closer

to a 3% loss of carry. Wow! That could be the difference between carrying

it over a hazard or bunker (before 225 yards - now 245).


I tried to discern if TWIST FACE was influencing the flight shape of my

mishits in the simulator, but since you don't get a true sense of ball flight

indoors, I took the testing outdoors for multiple sessions both on the range

and in game mode. What I found was interesting, it did seem like my high

toe hits stayed right of what I expected when I was sure the hard draw

would be the result. When I'm swinging well, the mid-high toe portion

of the face is where I'll tend to miss, but a few shots that came out of

that spot (that usually comeback left) just stayed right. In other words

my typical push draw just simply became a push. I noticed nothing

different when I came out of swing and caught the shot on the low heel

- still a spinny up shooter that looks like a right handed batter that pushed

one towards "Pesky's Pole". So after several rounds, I collected no definitive

data or opinion on TWIST FACE. It's my belief that it may help a slight miss

off the high toe, but also don't expect that topspin push draw to come back

as much. My suggestion: with TWIST FACE learn to aim a bit more down the

middle. Is that such a bad thing . . .




M4 is worthy . For those who want the latest tee box basher with the

sound and feel we've come to expect from TaylorMade it passes all of the

exams. Throw in ample forgiveness and performance minus all of the uber

adjustability options (and at a cheaper price $429 to M3 at $499). Somehow,

Bazzel, Tomo and the guys at TaylorMade are still finding ways to create

better drivers. How much better is it than prior M products is up for debate,

but if you're still gaming outdated technology, M4 could be the right choice

for your game this summer (overall grade A-). As always, to make sure you

get in the right set up for your game, go get fit by a certified club fitter.



For more info on TaylorMade products:














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