Over the last handful of years, PING has followed a fairly predictable pattern of releasing the new "i" series iron one year followed by the "G" series the next. This has pretty much been their pattern since the i10/G10. This time around, the company is shaking things up with the new i and GMax irons. Both sets feature new technologies and should help add distance and accuracy to your bag. On top of the two new sets of irons, the company also announced the Glide ES wedges.
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Mizuno Golf is a company long known for creating some of the games’ best irons. In particular, the MP series has an almost cult following for their sexy looks and buttery feel. In the past, the MP irons were reserved for only the games absolute best players, or at least they should have been, considering their small size and punishing nature. For those needing a bit more help than the MP series could offer, Mizuno offered the MX and, more recently, the JPX series of irons. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with those lines, they did lose some of the appeal of the sleeker MP irons. Recently, however, the line between MP and JPX has been blurred as the company has created more player friendly MP irons. A few years back now, the company debuted the MP-H4 irons, whose aim was to deliver the look and feel of an MP iron with unmatched forgiveness. I was lucky enough to be the one to review those irons, and I must say that I really liked them, and even made a hole-in-one with them. However, the increased forgiveness came with an increase in size that resulted in a look that wasn’t quite right. The company now has the successor to the MP-H4 in the MP-H5. The new set looks trimmed down from the previous version but still promises to deliver all of the forgiveness.
Over the last few years, PING drivers have been gaining more and more popularity. Part of that may be due to the fact that one of the longest players on the PGA Tour, Bubba Watson, is a member of their staff. Like many companies, PING has a couple of different driver lines, each aimed at a different group of golfers. While there have been options such as the Anser driver or the short lived K series, most of PING's products are either part of the "i" series or "G" series. The "i" series has typically been viewed as the line for the better player, while the "G" series is more for the weekend warrior. While some of that still holds true, the lines are becoming more and more blurred and it isn't uncommon to see the better player, including the likes of Bubba Watson, with the "G" series driver in the bag.
With the G30 driver, PING has their most radical product offering to date. Known more as a traditional company, it isn't often that their clubs have technology not seen on other clubs. The company was among the last to go to adjustable hosels as standard for their drivers, and even at this point there are other hosels that are much more advanced and allow for more settings. Also, you aren't going to find any movable or sliding weights on this club that will let you fine tune the club's center of gravity. What you will find, and what's not on any other driver currently available, are "Turbulators."
Read on to find out exactly what Turbulators are, how they work, and whether they lead to a driver that's worth putting into your bag.
Years back, Callaway Golf had a hit with their X Forged wedges featuring the original Mack Daddy Grooves. Those grooves were wide and deep and chewed through golf balls. Then the rules changed and the company had to go back to the drawing board. After a few different models, the company and Roger Cleveland created the Mack Daddy 2 wedges. These wedges have proved to be popular ones, which is evident as they are still the companies current wedge despite being released two years ago. That isn't to say that things have remained completely stagnant though; as time has passed more options have been made available. At first it was just a couple more loft/bounce options with different grinds. Last year, the company released the Tour Grind version. This year, the change is a bit bigger. The company's newest version of the Mack Daddy wedge is the PM grid, and it will be available starting May 15th.
Cobra Golf may not have the largest tour staff, but a couple of the names that they have are big ones. Between the likes of Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson, the company has successfully transformed themselves from the brand that "old guys" play to one that is more appealing to the younger golfer. This transformation really began with the release of the AMP product line a few years ago, and since that time, the company has followed those up with the AMP Cell and BioCell clubs. Now it's time to replace that line-up once more. Building off the success of last years BioCell line, which got great reviews here at The Sand Trap, is the new Fly-Z line. With an array of different products ranging from drivers and woods to hybrids and irons, the Fly-Z has something for everybody no matter your need or ability level.
Golf is a game of technology. Players are constantly looking to gain an edge by making sure that the clubs that they put in their bag give them an extra couple of yards, keep them in the fairways (or closer too them), and put them on the green. If there is one company that has tried to bring as much technology as possible to the putter, that company would have to be Odyssey golf. While the PING Anser and its subsequent clones and variations still represent the most popular style of putter, no company has been as innovative with their various designs as Odyssey. Between the different inserts, head shapes, and alignment aids, Callaway's putter division believes that they will have something that works for you.
At the beginning of 2014, Callaway made a rather large splash in the driver world with the reintroduction of the Big Bertha driver. The return of perhaps the most iconic name in the company's history was met with great success. The Big Bertha Alpha was a first of its kind driver that allowed golfers to change the vertical center of gravity of the club. The standard version of the club was also popular and allowed golfers a wide array of features that could be fine tuned to fit their games best. I was lucky enough to be the staff member that reviewed the Big Bertha driver, and it was one that found a home in my bag for a long period of time. However, it eventually did lose it's spot to a different Callaway driver, the FT Optiforce 440, which I had reviewed just a little while before the Big Bertha.
Enter the Big Bertha V Series. While some might figure because of the name that it is meant to replace the 2014 Big Bertha; that actually isn't the case. It is really the replacement to the FT Optiforce which I loved so much. The first thing that I noticed about the V Series driver is that many of the bells and whistles of the Big Bertha were missing. For example, there are no sliding weights or Gravity Cores. In fact, the only adjustment that can be made is at the hosel, as the club features the Optifit hosel which has become standard on Callaway clubs. However, don't let the lack of features fool you, this is still a club that packs a punch. Read on to get the full review.
In today's golf equipment world, the major manufacturers are companies like TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist and PING. Look in the bag of most players and you're likely to find clubs with one of those names stamped on them. That wasn't always the case though. It wasn't long ago that a different name dominated golf clubs; Wilson Staff. While the company definitely lost a bit of popularity in the 2000s, they have been making a comeback as of late and their clubs are popping up in more and more bags, including both weekend warriors and tour pros alike.
At one time, it was hard to beat a set of Ben Hogan irons. For the better player, they had it all; the company offered a sleek blade that was forged out of soft carbon steel and offered feel that many felt was unmatched by any other manufacturer. Then the company got sold. And then sold again. And again; until finally in the mid 2000s, clubs with the Ben Hogan name all disappeared. Now the company is owned by Eidolon Golf. Readers of this site might recognize the name as the company that owns Scor Golf.
Scor is the maker of the unique 4161 wedges, which offer every loft from 41 degrees to 61 degrees with their V sole. Their thoughts are that short irons are more like wedges and less like irons and should be designed as such. Some of the ideas found on the Scor Wedges are found on the new Ben Hogan irons and wedges, which promise to be the best feeling, most consistent and most responsive clubs you can put in your bag.