After an Epic year, Callaway went Rogue. Promising distance in a forgiving driver, the Rogue borrows Jailbreak and more from its big brother. Let’s see how the Rogue and Sub-Zero fare.
Callaway had a huge hit in 2017 with its Epic woods. In particular the Great Big Bertha Epic Driver earned its way into a lot of bags. On several occasions last year, I found myself in foursomes with three or four Epic drivers in play. That’s testament to a very popular driver.
To follow up on the Epic, Callaway debuted the Rogue this year to much fanfare. Like the Epic, the Rogue features “Jailbreak Technology,” those two bars behind the clubface designed to produce more distance through increased ball speed. In the Epic, that technology not only captured the imagination of golfers, it also produced noticeable results.
So when the announcement of the Rogue line came out in January, we took notice. The Rogue driver promised the distance of Epic in a more forgiving package. That would be one incredible combination if the Rogue could deliver.
Continue reading “Callaway Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero Drivers 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.
Amongst 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.
Continue reading “Pyramid Putters Aztec Series Blade Review”
The Mizuno MP-18 irons match their excellent design with even better performance.
“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.
Continue reading “Mizuno MP-18 Iron 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.
The 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?
Continue reading “Titleist 718 AP3 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!
When 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.”
Continue reading “Callaway Apex MB (2018) Irons 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 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.
Continue reading “Miura ICL-601 Driving Iron Review”
Ping’s latest offering promises to be their fastest, most forgiving driver ever. It was good enough to debut at the U.S. Open, but does it perform in the hands of the average golfer?
When I first started playing golf, I was given a set of clubs (with bag) by the person who introduced me to the game. He found it at a garage sale and bought it for me so that I would have my own clubs to play and practice with. It was a set of irons, 4-PW, with a random SW and an old blade-style putter that rattled when I shook it. It was enough to get me going in golf, but I knew at some point that I would need a driver.
Fortunately I had some pretty good friends, as another friend of mine eventually found out I picked up the game and gave me his old PING G2 driver. I loved hitting that club. Granted I was still a very poor golfer, but it made a world of difference just to have a driver that happened to be easy to hit. I even drove my first par 4 with it (honestly I haven’t driven many since).
It’s been almost ten years since that first driver but I finally have another PING driver, the G400. I’ve gotten a little better over the years but still maintain a love/hate relationship with my driver. Will the PING G400 revolutionize my game like the G2 so many years ago? Read on and see.
Continue reading “Ping G400 Driver Review”
The Mizuno JPX900 driver delivers a ton of adjustability. Can it keep up with the top driver models this year? (You might be surprised.)
The Mizuno JPX900 is the brand?s performance counterpart to its game-improvement JPX-EZ (which I thought was a pretty decent game improvement driver). The 900 is lower spinning and more workable, and provides a wider range of adjustments to fit your swing. I mean a really wide range.
The 900 replaces the JPX850, a pretty solid, lower spinning driver that required a reasonably good swing to produce consistent results.
Continue reading “Mizuno JPX900 Driver Review”
Callaway’s latest driver introduces Jailbreak technology that should add some speed off the face.
Jailbreak technology. Sounds evil. Sounds non-conforming. Well, Callaway has been working on the new technology for some time now and were able to get their newest driver, the Great Big Bertha Epic, on the USGA’s conforming list.
With the promise of extra ball speed off the face of the club, the Epic ma be the most anticipated driver of 2017. It certainly created a lot of buzz in December and early January. Does the Epic deliver on its promise? Just how much does Jailbreak technology boost your distance? Read on to find out.
Continue reading “Callaway GBB Epic Driver Review”