Pyramid Putters Aztec Series Blade Review

A new player in the clubmaking industry, Pyramid Putters, hits the market with a brand new putter. We test it and let you know if the new tech works.

PyramidAmongst all the clubs we golfers carry in our bags, the most personalized, or better said the most unique, has to be the putter. Sure, the drivers have added a little color over the past few years and of course there are cavity back irons and blade irons of many types, but for the most part the other thirteen clubs all look relatively the same between manufacturers. The putter on the other hand is unique. Shapes, lengths, forms, and colors can vary wildly. A popular saying amongst many golfers is “I’d putt with a shovel if I could make more putts”. I mean did you ever see the putter Jack Nicklaus used to win the 1986 Masters? Good lord, that thing was ugly.

Because golfers will putt with just about anything this leaves the market for putters and putter manufacturers wide open. If you were looking to be a golf equipment start-up breaking in to the market with a putter would be an excellent start. (And we see this every year at the PGA Merchandise Show.) This means when the opportunity to review a putter comes along many of us who’ve been doing reviews for many years are skeptical.

Mizuno MP-18 Iron Review

The Mizuno MP-18 irons match their excellent design with even better performance.

MP-18 Irons“Irons to touch your soul.” That is the tagline for the Mizuno MP-18 irons released recently. I’ve been playing a set of Mizuno irons, except for maybe a year, for the past 20 years starting with the T-Zoids so I’m guessing my soul is their target audience. I’ve always looked forward to seeing what they have in store with their latest releases. Back in 2014 I had a chance to review the MP-4’s and have had them in the bag since.

This year, they introduced the MP-18’s as the latest update to their catalog of irons. I was able to get my hands on a progressive set of both the muscle back and split cavity (SC) irons. More and more players are using this type of setup and, with the introduction of new irons and technology, I thought it was time to give them both a try.

How do the new MP-18’s stand up to their predecessors? Do they touch my soul? Read on to find out.

Titleist 718 AP3 Irons Review

Titleist designed its all new AP3 to combine the best of the company’s popular AP1 and AP2 irons. Making an iron as long and forgiving as the AP1 that is also as workable and great feeling as the AP2 would create one great club. Is the AP3 all that? Well, I truly enjoyed finding out.

Titleist AP3 ironsThe Titleist iron line has traditionally skewed toward the “better” player. With the exception of the AP1, the brand’s irons favored workability and distance control over forgiveness. Previously, there was a pretty big jump from the everyman’s AP1 to the tour-popular AP2. Now Titleist has added a true “mid-AP” iron with the AP3, a “better players’ distance iron.”

Irons in this category are expected to deliver extra distance while still providing the feel and consistency that mid- to low-handicappers need.

Titleist bills the new AP3 iron as its longest and fastest player’s iron ever. The AP3, which fits between the AP1 and AP2, is intended to provide some of the forgiveness of the former with some of the shotmaking ability of the latter for players wanting more distance and forgiveness without sacrificing feel. Add one and two and you get three. Now the name makes sense!

AP3 truly represents the best of both worlds. We’re giving you the distance and forgiveness of a game improvement iron packed into the look and feel of a player’s iron.

Josh Talge, VP Marketing, Titleist Golf Clubs

That’s a pretty tall order. The AP1 is very popular among mid- and higher-handicap players (though the long irons sometimes find their way into the bags of better players). The AP1s strong suit is forgiveness and ease of getting the ball in the air. The AP2 is widely played on professional tours and by a sizable number of lower handicap players, where its feel and consistent distance pays dividends. Can the AP3 really combine the best of both worlds?

Volume Five Hundred Twelve

Justin Thomas wins the Honda Classic.

Hittin the Links Welcome back to another week of Hittin’ the Links!

This week was a fun one. Although Justin Thomas left with the hardware, Tiger Woods played his best golf in quite a long time, fishing T12 at PGA National. Thomas, not to be outshined, won the event under fading daylight on the first playoffs hole.

We’ll have plenty of Honda Classic coverage, plus a check-in on the LPGA Tour, a few bits of USGA news, and a little Ryder Cup coverage.

Let’s hit the links.

A New Twist: TaylorMade rolls out M3/M4

TaylorMade has released its M3 and M4 families of woods and irons. Twist Face Technology in the woods promises to help correct for off center contact, while RIBCOR is aimed at helping you get more distance with your irons.

Bag DropNow available in U.S. golf shops, TaylorMade’s M3 and M4 families feature technology packed woods, Rescues, and irons. Here is a slightly shortened version of the TaylorMade media release on the launch, starting with the drivers.

TaylorMade’s Twist Face technology, featured in both the new M3 & M4 drivers, is TaylorMade’s solution to counteract golfers’ most common misses, more specifically, those resulting from the high toe and low heel impacts.

To counteract the high-toe miss (a hook), the driver face has been “twisted” open (loft increased and face opened) on the high-toe to help straighten ball flight. Similarly, to counteract the low-heel miss (a slice) the driver face has been twisted closed to de-loft and close the face in the low heel area. Ultimately, TaylorMade’s Twist Face technology delivers a corrective face angle when hit off-center for longer, straighter shots.

Volume Five Hundred Eleven

Bubba Watson wins at Riviera.

Hittin the LinksWelcome back to another edition of Hittin’ the Links! This week we’ve got stories from all across the world.

Starting in Southern California, we’ll take a look at Bubba Watson’s win at Riviera, his 10th on Tour. We’ll also journey east to Florida, where Tiger Woods has entered another tournament, spin by Georgia where Augusta is planning a course change, and finish with a pair of tournaments in Oman and Australia.

Let’s hit the links!

Callaway Apex MB (2018) Irons Review

Rumor has it Sergio Garcia’s switch to Callaway played a role in the company’s introduction of these irons. If so… Thank you, Sergio!

Callaway Apex MB 2018 HeroWhen Callaway acquired the Ben Hogan brand all those years ago, better players were curious what would come of the Hogan designs, names, and ethos. Callaway was, at the time, producing great clubs but was seemingly focused much more on game-improvement and super-game-improveement irons, while the Hogan brand targeted primarily better players with simple, austere designs that evoked a sense of history and longevity over fanciful new technology and flash. Would Callaway use the Hogan IP to bolster their better player lineup, or did they just want the Apex name and the Hogan designs, patents, etc.?

For a few years, many feared it was the latter, as few clubs Hogan-like clubs were introduced, and even as recently as 2016 the “Apex” name was stamped onto clubs that didn’t resemble the old Hogans very closely. But, over the past several years, Callaway has seemingly boosted their stable of PGA and LPGA Tour pros. They’ve continued to introduce irons aimed at the game-improvement and super-game-improvement segments, but they’ve also strengthened their commitment to players clubs with wider releases of clubs designed for the better player.

After a series of irons like the Apex Pro and the 2014 Apex MB, the 2018 Callaway Apex MB fully returns to the Ben Hogan roots. Easily the best looking irons Callaway has released within the last decade (hey, this is my review, after all!), the Apex MB unabashedly says “I’m not giving you a ton of help, but if you can handle me, I’m going to be your new best buddy.”

Another Jailbreak: Callaway Launches Rogue

Jailbreak is back. Callaway’s Rogue drivers and fairway woods feature the technology. And the Rogue line doesn’t stop there… you can also get Rogue irons and hybrids to fill out your bag.

Bag DropBuilding on the success of its Epic line, Callaway is giving its new line of Rogue clubs an enhanced version of Jailbreak Technology in both the driver and, for the first time, the fairway woods. Plus, there are new irons and hybrids to accompany the line.

Miura ICL-601 Driving Iron Review

Miura, the mystical Japanese brand with a samurai sword-making background, has released a new driving iron with a typical Miura price tag. Is it worth a spot in your bag? Does it feel like a Miura? Read on to find out…

Miura ICL-601 HeroMiura has an almost mythical background. The company, once upon a time, forged the blades carried by Japan’s respected samurai. Nowadays, the company forges blades (and cavity backs) for players who look to defend their honor against Old Man Par rather than those who would do harm against Japanese nobility.

I still play primarily with a set of Miura Tournament Blades I reviewed back in 2011. In fact, I still carry a 3-iron in that set (it passes the modern-day “butter knife lookalike” test). The 3-iron is nice, but it doesn’t see a lot of action: it’s not the most forgiving 3-iron ever made (understatement!), and I generally only pull it from the bag when I need a 230-yard shot that won’t get up into the wind like a hybrid would.

So, when I heard about the ICL-601, I was excited to see if I might be able to replace my 3-iron with a “driving iron” style iron to offer more forgiveness and an ability to hit it from a wider variety of lies. And, of course, I was looking forward to see whether the “Miura feel” carried over into a polymer-filled, hollow-body “iron.”

Read on to see what I thought after putting it through its rigorous paces.