Callaway’s latest flagship irons combine the precision of a player’s set with the forgiveness of a game-improvement set in one package.
It seems more and more nowadays that the landscape of golf equipment is changing. Where there used to be fairly distinct categories of clubs meant for certain skill levels (blades and cavity-backs, players irons, game-improvement, and super game-improvement, etc.), clubs are designed now to benefit and appeal to a broader range of golfers. Equipment manufacturers have found that even better players appreciate additional forgiveness in their irons while less skilled players can still use workability and good feedback on mis-hits, just as long as they don’t come with significant loss in distance or accuracy.
Callaway’s newest flagship iron, the Apex CF16, is blurring the lines once again. As the first forged irons to feature Callaway’s Cup 360 technology, it blends the characteristics normally found in a game-improvement iron with those of a forged iron. The Apex name has a long history of being top of the line in forged irons and the previous Apex offering, the 2013 Apex irons, lived up to the standard. With the CF16s, Callaway sets the bar even higher by pushing the limits of speed and distance out of an iron while maintaining the same high level of precision that Apex is known for.
Does it live up to the hype? Can Callaway have it’s cake and eat it, too? Read on, to find out.
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The Arccos is one of two semi-automated stat-tracking platforms available to the common golfer. How does it stack up? Read my comprehensive review to find out.
The saying goes “Different Strokes for Different Folks.” The premise is that different people like different things for different reasons. It is the reason why there are so many different types of pizza toppings.
So when I set out to review the Arccos Golf Statistic Tracker, I did so largely by comparing it to the trusty GAME Golf I’d purchased a few months prior. Both systems collect the same type of data. You hit a shot, and both record its GPS location. From that, you can determine the distance between shots, and combined with a map of the course, can determine the type of lie from which a shot was hit (fairway, rough, green, bunker, etc.).
I’ll primarily talk about the Arccos in this review, but where things are different, I’ll mention the GAME Golf separately. I cannot tell you which system is better for you. There are some key differences between the Arccos and its competitor, and which is best for you lies in choosing the one which differs in the way that suits you best.
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Titleist updates the AP1 with more forgiveness and distance.
Titleist has updated their AP1 line with the new 716 AP1 irons as their longest, most forgiving iron ever. The new 716 AP1 design has an unsupported face made of heat treated 17-4 stainless steel that provides more flex for faster ball speed. More high density tungsten in the toe than previous models lowers the center of gravity, improves MOI and increases launch angle. The 716 AP1 line includes a new high launching True Temper XP90 staft. Let’s take a look and see how it performs.
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Callaway wants you to leave no yard behind. To do this they designed Great Big Bertha Driver to get the most distance for ALL golfers. I review the driver and let you know if I left any yards behind.
The golf industry like any marketplace is constantly changing. In the late 1990s Callaway was as hot as any golf company could be. They were the first to really embrace titanium driver heads in a big way. Over the years that stranglehold on the top spot was lost. Callaway seemed to lose their way.
That is until the last few years where Callaway has gone back to utilizing the brand name that was so popular for them, Big Bertha. The last few drivers released by Callaway have been outstanding, and the latest release – the Great Big Bertha for 2015 – is the crème de la crème. The marketing campaign for this driver, “Leave no yard behind,” is really a great theme. Because we are constantly blasted with marketing nowadays it might not get as much attention as it deserves, but if I were to sum up the performance of this club and someone mentioned that tag line to me, I would wholeheartedly agree.
Callaway has packaged almost all of the really good technology that they have developed in the past few years and threw it all together into one awesome driver. For the review I was given a 9° driver with a stiff shaft. With that introduction, let’s get started with the review.
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TaylorMade introduces their new multi-material M1 driver with carbon composite crown and new T-Track adjustable weight system.
TaylorMade introduces its first multi-material driver, the M1 Driver, with a carbon fiber crown and new T-Track adjustable weight system. The carbon fiber crown allows TaylorMade to shift even more weight lower in the head for a lower center of gravity. The T-track’s tungsten weights provide independent positioning to change both spin and flight. Let’s take a look at the new driver and how it performs.
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Phil may have created the Phrankenwood back in 2013, but this is Callaway’s first mini driver to hit the market. Will it help you to win your own majors?
I have a love-hate relationship with my driver. Some days we’re perfect for each other. Other days I wish I left it at home so I can enjoy a round of golf. It’s such a fickle beast that I’ll even have problems with it from hole to hole, never quite knowing if it’s going to cooperate or not until I hit the ball.
I’d have to be in utter denial to think that the problem lies with my driver and not my swing. Still, I can’t change my swing overnight and I certainly can’t change it mid-round, so I need a viable option off the tee that’s going to keep my ball in play. My backup option is usually my 3W, but it’s significantly shallower than my driver which can cause issues sometimes if I start to miss the ball high or low. With this in mind, I started to look into Callaway’s Bertha Mini 1.5.
One can point to Phil Mickelson’s Phrankenwood and say that club started the mini driver craze, but that’s not really the whole story. Club designers have been increasing the head sizes or offering deeper versions of their 3W as a better option off the tee for a while. Designed to be even more forgiving and longer than a 3W, the Bertha Mini 1.5 is Callaway’s first official mini driver. Is it the club I’ve been looking for? Read on to find out more.
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Callaway released their follow up to the extremely popular X2 Hot Pro driver with the XR Pro model. How does it match up? I take it for a spin and find out.
Physics tells us velocity multiplied by time equals distance. Distance is something that all golfers are looking for. We all want it; frankly we can’t get enough of it. But just telling golfers that you are going to give them more distance just doesn’t work anymore. We are tired of hearing it. Heck, if it were true I would be hitting 320 yard drives last season. We just won’t believe you anymore.
So Callaway has come up with a creative strategy for telling us their XR line of drivers are going to help us hit it father. They don’t simply tell us we are going to get more yardage, they tell us we are going to get more speed. Speed is really a simplified version of the velocity ingredient in our physics lesson above. The XR line of drivers is designed and built for outrageous speed. I for one appreciate the creativity from their marketing department and after getting to try their XR Pro driver I also appreciate their engineering department as well.
For this review I was given a 10.5 degree Callaway XR Pro driver with a stiff Project X shaft. Let’s see how it performed.
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Can a hidden-cavity iron (from a company better known for golf balls) perform like the best players cavity backs?
It’s been some four years since Bridgestone released the J40 line of irons. I had always admired the good looks of the J40 Cavity Backs. So when I heard that Bridgestone had a new line out, I had to take a look.
With Bridgestone and Tourstage, the company has owned two of the most popular brands in Japan for some time. In the U.S. Bridgestone sells a lot of golf balls, but you can hang out at a bag drop for the better part of a morning before a set of Bridgestones comes through. Maybe that should change.
Bridgestone’s 2015 product line is their most extensive for the U.S. market in some time. (The entire J40 line featured just a Cavity Back set, a Dual Cavity Back set, and a Combo set that mixed the two. The J15 lineup includes, from most workable to most forgiving, the J15 Muscle Back, J15 Cavity Back, J15 Driving Forged (J15DF), J15 Dual Pocket Forged, and J15 Cast.
I typically play cavity-back irons on the more workable end of the spectrum (though I suffer from that choice at times). So initially it was the J15CBs that caught my eye with their sleek lines and no frills good looks. Not to mention that when I heard the words “dual forged” I pictured those older hollow-bodied, thick-soled driving irons that came out about a decade ago. But as I learned more about the Driving Forged irons, I became quite interested in finding out how they perform.
And then I saw them.
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TaylorMade’s newest innovation is Face Slot Technology and promises that you’ll love your mis-hits. Do they deliver?
Mis-hits happen. TaylorMade’s marketing strategy for their RSi lineup is to focus on the forgiveness of their irons as opposed to how long they claim the clubs will hit the ball. If you’re like me, you’re probably a little skeptical of TaylorMade’s marketing claims. Year after year they have claimed to have created the longest clubs ever. I can only absorb so much hyperbolic marketing before I basically become immune to it and tune it out.
So now they have shifted the direction to forgiveness. Their studies have shown that 76% of shots hit by golfers are mis-hits, so they say that their engineers have set out to design the ultimate irons to help golfers have better mis-hits. They claim that you’re going to shoot lower scores and hit more greens because of these clubs. While I’d love for that to be true, I just don’t believe that I’ll score better simply by switching a set of irons.
I know that sounds a bit negative, but I just don’t buy into marketing hype. The more aggressive the campaign, the less I tend to pay attention to it, which is a shame because TaylorMade does make excellent irons. I’ve played with a set of TaylorMade irons for years: a set I never even wanted to try at first because I was turned off by the marketing. I didn’t want to make the same mistake with the RSi 2 irons.
Yes, there’s a lot of hype, but there’s also a lot of technology and engineering that went into making them. Do they really make mis-hits better? Let’s find out.
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