By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Callaway has produced a number of influential products, but if there's one club that put the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company on the map as a leader in design and innovation, it was the Big Bertha driver.
Launched in 1991, the original Big Bertha, which was named after a World War I German cannon called the "Big Bertha" howitzer, featured a stainless steel body, neckless head and an oversized sweet spot that made the driver a game-changer in the equipment world at that time.
In the years that followed, Callaway built on the success of the Big Bertha name, releasing titanium versions of the club called "Great Big Bertha" and "Biggest Big Bertha," before rolling out the last Big Bertha model — called Big Bertha Diablo — in 2009.
After four of waiting, Callaway announced the return of the Big Bertha on Monday. Only this time around Callaway decided to go back to its roots, unveiling a new line that will carry the original Big Bertha name.
Big Bertha will come in two models — a standard Big Bertha and Big Bertha Alpha; it will also come in a fairway wood. The standard model is being touted as a "total performance driver" with Callaway's new adjustable perimeter weighting in the rear portion of the head.
The 8g weight runs along a 5-inch track that allows golfers to put the weight in a number of positions to produce a draw or fade. In fact, Dr. Alan Hocknell, Callaway's senior vice president of R&D, said golfers will be able to do everything from making wholesale changes, by moving the weight to the extreme heel or toe, to incremental adjustments.
"By making a sliding weight that goes around the perimeter of the head, we can have intermediate positions," said Dr. Hocknell. "Technically, there are an infinite number of positions in which you can put that sliding weight, giving players the finest control possible of the CG position — allowing them to tune ball flight left and right."
The position of the sliding weight channel along the perimeter boosts the club's Moment of Inertia (MOI) — especially on off-center hits.
In addition to the ability to adjust the weight via the sliding channel in the perimeter of the head, golfers will be able to independently adjust the loft and lie via Callaway's OptiFit adjustable hosel. The loft can be moved up as much as 2 degrees or down 1 degree, while the independent lie settings offer a "neutral" and "draw" option.
Big Bertha also features a new Hyper Speed Face Cup — similar to the face on the X2 Hot driver — that's extremely lightweight and helps deliver increased ball speeds and forgiveness across the entire face.
In an effort to keep the total head weight down, Callaway's R&D team added a forged composite crown that kept the total weight under 200g at a D2 swing weight.
Along with the standard version, Callaway will roll out Big Berth Alpha — a driver model that will likely be one of the most talked-about clubs in 2014.
The buzz surrounding Big Berth Alpha is due in large part to the "Gravity Core" in the sole of the club that allows golfers to adjust spin independently of launch angle (also known as CG height).
The Gravity Core sits inside the club head in a carbon tube that connects the crown and sole. It has a tungsten end that weighs 10.5g, and a glass fiber reinforced body, weighing just 1.5g. When the tungsten end is closest to the sole, the driver will have a lower CG with lower backspin — producing a flatter, more penetrating ball flight.
However, when the tungsten weight end is inserted first into the Gravity Core, closer to the crown, the driver will have a mid-CG that produces a high ball flight with less rollout. According to Callaway, player testing revealed as much as a 600rpm spin differential between the two settings without a change in loft.
"It's a logical extension of offering adjustable loft," said Dr. Hocknell. "So now we can separate the relationship of launch angle and backspin for the first time ever. Usually when you change loft in a driver, the backspin and launch angle will change. Here to a greater degree we're giving golfers the ability to increase their launch angle and keep spin down at the same time. This is going to create launch conditions people have never seen before."
Golfers will also have the ability to make adjustments to the CG bias, via weight ports in the heel and toe. The driver comes with four interchangeable weights — 1g, 3g, 5g and 7g — that can be moved around to produce a draw or a fade. The 7g and 1g screws are installed as standard.
The four interchangeable screws also allow the swing weight to be adjusted from D0 to D5.
To compliment to CG height and CG bias adjustability options, Big Bertha Alpha comes with Callaway's adjustable OptiFit hosel — the loft and lie can be altered — giving it four independent forms of adjustability.
Similar to the standard model, Big Berth Alpha features a lightweight Hyper Speed Face Cup and forged composite crown that keeps the driver at a D3 swing weight.
Callaway's standard Big Bertha will be available Feb. 14 in three lofts (9, 10.5 and 13.5HT degrees) for $399 and comes with Mitusbishi Rayon's Fubuki Z shaft. Big Bertha Alpha will come in two lofts (9 and 10.5 degrees) for $499 with Mitsubishi Rayon's Fubuki ZT shaft.
PGA TOUR Superstore: Get Callaway equipment
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
If the 2012 PGA TOUR season belonged to PING staffer Bubba Watson and his dramatic playoff victory at the Masters, then 2013 was the year of the first-time winner for PING.
All four PGA TOUR winners on PING's staff picked up their maiden title in 2013, with Billy Horschel — a winner at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans — leading the way with a 16th-place finish in the season-long FedExCup competition.
Along the way, PING unveiled new products that made a splash on TOUR in 2013, including a new S55 iron, Rapture driving iron and Scottsdale TR putter line.
Equipment released on TOUR: G25 (irons, driver, fairway woods, hybrids); Anser (irons, driver, fairway woods, hybrids); S55 (irons); Scottsdale TR (putters); Tour Gorge (wedges); Rapture (driving iron)
PGA TOUR winners (2013): Michael Thompson (The Honda Classic); Billy Horschel (Zurich Classic of New Orleans); Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship); Harris English (FedEx St. Jude Classic)
S55 makes a splash: After more than three years of waiting, PING unveiled its new S55 iron line at The Barclays and saw four PING staffers put the clubs in play the very first week.
Horschel, Bubba Watson, Derek Ernst and Hunter Mahan were just a few of the PING staffers that transitioned to the new model this year. The iron features a 17-4 stainless steel body and a tungsten toe weight that provides a higher moment of inertia (MOI) for greater forgiveness and an improved CG.
S55 also has a larger Custom Tuning Port (CTP) in the cavity -- the CTP helped distribute weight to the perimeter of the club for improved forgiveness and feel -- and a stabilizing bar that helps with improved feel at impact, and distance control in the longer and shorter irons.
Former PING staffer Ryan Moore became the first to win with S55 last month at the CIMB Classic.
Mahan's gold putter: Mahan was 36 holes away from winning the RBC Canadian Open when he received a call from his wife, Kandi, that she was going into labor. Mahan immediately withdrew and flew home for the birth of their daughter, Zoe Olivia Mahan.
While PING normally gives gold-plated putters to tournament winners using one of the company's models, PING Chairman & CEO John Solheim decided to make an exception following Mahan's decision to withdraw from the tournament.
The five-time PGA TOUR winner was given a gold-plated Scottsdale TR Anser2 -- Mahan's current putter model -- at The Barclays in honor of his daughter, Zoe Olivia.
PING had two gold-plated putters made to celebrate her birth (the putter has her name, birthday and vital stats inscribed on the True Roll insert). One went home with Mahan, while the other will stayed in PING's Gold Putter Vault.
Rapture driving iron a reality: In preparation for the firm fairways and blustery conditions at Muirfield, PING released a TOUR-only prototype driving iron called "Rapture" at the Open Championship.
The company's first driving iron was immediately put in play by several staffers, including Horschel and Louis Oosthuizen. The iron featured a 17-4 stainless steel body and high-strength 455 Carpenter stainless steel face that was thinned out to move weight low in the club to drive up the MOI and increase forgiveness.
High-density tungsten weights were also placed low and back on the perimeter of the sole to boost inertia and keep the CG low for a penetrating ball flight. PING recently announced the club is coming to retail in December.
Scottsdale TR gets groovy: Ernst used one of PING's latest creations to win the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this year. The Scottsdale TR Grayhawk had been in Ernst's bag for one week before he used it to capture his first PGA TOUR title at Quail Hollow.
What made the Scottsdale TR putter — the "TR" stands for True Roll — Ernst used so unique was the grooved, aluminum face insert. The grooves on the face were deepest in the center and got gradually shallower toward the perimeter to equalize ball speed. Varying the groove depth allowed engineers to improve distance control on center-hit and mis-hit putts off the heel or toe.
Along with Ernst, Mahan, Angel Cabrera, Lee Westwood and Horschel all used a Scottsdale TR putter — the company released additional models throughout the year — at some point during the 2013 season.
Watson gets a driver upgrade: Keeping with the pink driver theme, Watson switched from G20 to G25 at the beginning of the season. Watson's custom G25 driver included a hot pink crown with "Made Exclusively for Bubba" inscribed on the toe, and a hot pink Grafalloy BiMatrx prototype shaft.
Major win for PING: PING staffers went winless at the majors in 2013, but that didn't stop Phil Mickelson from using a PING club during his win at the Open Championship. Mickelson carried a 17-degree Anser hybrid at Muirfield en route to his dramatic victory.
Mickelson started using the Anser hybrid at the European Tour's Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open — a tournament he won — and kept it in the bag for his fifth major championship title.
PGA TOUR Superstore: Buy PING equipment
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
LAS VEGAS -- Coming off the best season of his career, Rory McIlroy shocked the golf world when he decided to part ways with Titleist at the end of 2012 and join Tiger Woods at Nike Golf.
While his move to Nike was without question the biggest equipment story of the season, it reached a fever pitch when McIlroy struggled early in the year — he went winless and only posted one top-five finish on the PGA TOUR — leading many to assume the new clubs and ball were to blame for his struggles on the course.
"It had nothing to do with equipment or a club change," McIlroy said during a Q&A session with a select group of journalists at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. "For people that don't know, it's easy for someone to say, this is why you're struggling. The only people that know is yourself and the people closest to you."
With nearly a full season under his belt as a Nike athlete, McIlroy took time to discuss a number of equipment topics, including the state of the clubs in his bag, critics, Nike's new VRS Covert 2.0 driver and his equipment testing process.
Where are you at with the state of the Nike clubs in your bag?
"My (Nike) clubs were one of the most talked about things in golf this season, but overall, I feel great. It's been a year where I've learned a lot. The great thing is, is I've been a part of the whole process the entire way. That's what I really appreciate about Nike is the feedback they allow me to make on everything in my bag. I feel like my game is in a place where I want it to be, and I couldn't be happier with my current equipment.
What did you think of all the naysayers saying your new equipment was the reason you struggled at times last season?
For me, all I was thinking was if someone knows the golf swing and had looked at my swing at the start of the year and compared it to now, they'd see why I wasn't playing the way I wanted to.
It had nothing to do with equipment or a club change. For people that don't know, it's easy for someone to say, this is why you're struggling. The only people that know is yourself and the people closest to you.
Out of all the clubs in your bag, is there one that takes more time to test and switch into?
I'd say fairway woods because they're very individual. You see guys on TOUR playing fairway woods that are six or seven years old, and it's something that if you have one you like, you usually stick with it for longer than most other clubs in the bag. For me, fairway woods need to be versatile off the tee so you can maximize your distance, or if you're going into par 5's, one that can also come in soft. I feel like this Covert 3-wood does both of those things for me. It took some time, but I'm very confident with the fairway woods I have in the bag at the moment.
Why did you go back and forth between the Nike Method putter and your old Scotty Cameron this year?
The Method technology was just a little different than what I was used to because the ball just rolled so much quicker off the face. Sometimes I'd struggle with speed a little bit, so I had to tinker with head weights to get the feeling I wanted to. Once you get it dialed in, it's great. I think once I found the head weight, I really saw the benefits of a ball that rolled quicker off the club face. It rolls truer and you can be a little more feel-oriented.
You recently added Nike's new RZN ball to the bag. What's your testing process like when it comes to a new ball?
For me, I look for certain things when I'm testing a new ball. I'm used to seeing the ball go out in a certain window, and I want to see that right away. I don't want the ball launching too low or too high. Then I usually check to see how it spins. Does it climb, flatten out or dip. The ball flight is obviously very important.
Of course, I also look at numbers on TrackMan to see how it performs with my current clubs in the bag. Is the speed up or down and do the numbers match what I'm seeing.
I think I hit more wedges and short irons into par 4s than most guys do, so I usually check out how the ball performs with those clubs first to see if (the ball) is going to work for me. You've gotta find a balance. We always talk about spin slope, where you want less spin with the driver and more spin with the wedges. It's about finding that perfect spin slope as well.
Was there a particular shot you hit with the new ball that made you believe it was the right fit for your game?
The 20XI was a great ball, but I think this new SpeedLock technology just makes the ball more efficient. For example, you've got 250 yards to the pin and 230 yards to clear the bunker. For me, I'd normally have to bust a 4-iron to get it over the bunker. With the new ball, I know that if I put a good swing on it, it's going to get there. I've gained about half a club with this new ball. I think that just proves it's a more efficient ball
Aside from the new pear-shaped head, what else did you really like about the VRS Covert 2.0 driver?
The larger face has given me more forgiveness on misses. When you're swinging a driver at 120 mph, you're not going to hit it out of the center every time — or at least I'm not. Even if you look there are tee marks on my driver face that are more towards the toe and heel.
With this new face, I know that if I hit one off center it's not going to get away from me. My ball flight has also tightened up a bit, which makes you more confident so you can go after it a little more. That's been big for me, just having that confidence to go after it a little more and know that even if I don't put a good swing on it, it's still going to go in that general direction.
BUY HERE: Nike Golf equipment
Garmin Approach S4 GPS Watch
Golfers usually head to the course to escape the office grind. However, if you're in the market for a GPS watch that allows you to keep tabs on the office, and get the correct yardage to the back pin, you may want to take a look at the Garmin Approach S4. Pre-loaded with 30,000 courses and weighing in 2.06 ounces, the watch not only gives yardages to front, back and middle of greens — as well as layup and dogleg distances — it also connects wirelessly to your smartphone, allowing you to receive emails, texts and alerts on the watch. (Price: $349.99)
Ashworth Cardiff ADC Golf Shoes
Worn by 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, the Cardiff ADC is the latest version in Ashworth's spikeless shoe line. Designed to be worn on and off the course, the shoe features a new Comfort Last and spikeless outsole that delivers more traction, comfort and flexibility. It also comes with a 2-year waterproof warranty. (Price: $119.99)
Under Armour Long Sleeve ColdGear Infrared Quarter Zip Jacket
Under Armour doesn't mess around when it comes to its ColdGear line. Worn by PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth, the ColdGear Infared jacked uses a soft thermo-conductive inner coating to retain your own body heat — which could come in handy on cold days. The 4-way stretch fabrication allows you to swing freely and take a rip at the ball. (Price: $84.99)
Bushnell Tour V3 Rangefinder
One of the most recognizable names in the rangefinder market, Bushnell's Tour V3 comes with PinSeeker technology that makes it accurate to within one yard; it also boasts 5-1,000 yards ranging performance, including 300-plus yards to the flag. To further reinforce the rangefinder's PinSeeker technology, Bushnell added JOLT technology that provides short vibrating bursts when it locks onto the flag. (Price: $299.99)
Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls
Titleist's Pro V1 enjoyed another memorable year on the PGA TOUR, as Adam Scott and Jason Dufner used the ball to win the Masters and PGA Championship. Even if you don't have a major championship resume, the Pro V1 offers more than enough performance benefits for a wide range of playing abilities. The latest version has a softer compression ZG process core technology, and an improved high-performance Urethane Elastomer cover system. (Price: $41.99)
TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver
Introduced in mid-November, TaylorMade's JetSpeed driver is the first to feature the company's Speed Pocket technology in the sole of a metal wood that boosts ball speeds across the face. The shallower head and low, forward CG -- similar to the CG characteristics of SLDR -- gives JetSpeed a sweet spot that's 25 percent larger and extends lower on the face than RBZ Stage 2. (Price: $299.99)
|PING S55 Irons
PING is incredibly particular and precise when it comes to its irons. Case in point: S55, which debuted earlier this year at The Barclays. After the company released S56 in 2010, engineers spent the next three years working on the current design. The new iron has a number similar traits to S56, including a 17-4 stainless steel body and a tungsten toe weight increases the club's MOI for greater forgiveness and an improved CG. New additions include a larger Custom Tuning Port and stabilizing bar that helps with improved feel at impact and distance control. (Price: $874.99)
Odyssey Versa Putter
Odyssey's Versa line was one the biggest equipment stories on the PGA TOUR in 2013 — and it was all thanks to a black and white contrast design on the putter head that accentuated the face angle at impact for proper alignment. Everyone from Phil Mickelson — he used a Versa #9 to win the British Open — to Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson used a Versa putter at some point last season. If it's good enough for some of the best players in the world, it's probably good enough for your game. (Price: $169.99)
Izzo Alignment Stix
There's nothing worse than putting a good swing on the ball with your feet pointed in the wrong direction. To help improve your alignment, grab a set of Izzo alignment sticks and head for the practice range. After spending time with these sticks in front of your feet, you'll feel more confident with your alignment, which should translate to lower scores on the course. (Price: $9.99)
PING L8 Stand Bag
PING's original carry bag is getting a makeover. Released in 1988, the L8 bag, made from durable 600 denier polyester, weighs 4 pounds and features three pockets (apparel, balls, water bottle) and two full-length dividers. PING's proprietary Enhanced Ergonomics offers a wider 24-inch leg span for added stability, dual shoulder straps and a reinforced bracket with leg stop. (Price: $139.99)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
The PING Rapture driving iron Billy Horschel and Louis Oosthuizen used at the 2013 British Open is coming to retail in December.
Back in July at Muirfield, PING made a TOUR-only prototype version of the driving iron available to players that were looking for a long-iron or hybrid alternative that provided maximum distance off the tee and could flight through the wind.
The head of the driving iron is made from 17-4 stainless steel with a high-strength 455 Carpenter stainless steel face that was purposely thinned out to allow designers to repurpose discretionary mass low and back on the clubhead for a low center of gravity.
The face was also designed extremely thin to increase ball speed and flat to improve shotmaking and promote a square look at address.
To boost the club's MOI, high-density tungsten weights — which account for 20 percent of the entire head and make the club more forgiving on heel and toe mishits — were placed low and back on the perimeter of the sole to boost inertia and keep the center of gravity extremely low for a penetrating ball flight.
A tungsten polymer blend soleweight was also added to the bottom of the sole to decrease spin and allow PING reps to alter swingweight. The driving iron measures 39.75 inches with a D1 swingweight.
Driving irons have become a popular long-iron and hybrid alternative this year, as players have gravitated towards clubs that have a more traditional long-iron look and ball flight with the added forgiveness benefits of a hybrid.
Similar to the TOUR-only prototype that debuted at Muirfield, the Rapture driving iron will come in only one loft option (18 degrees). The prototype version on TOUR was slightly stronger at 17 degrees.
PING's Rapture driving iron will be available in December and comes stock with PING's TFC 949 shaft for $220.
PGA TOUR Superstore: Shop for PING equipment
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Phil Mickelson made 2013 a year to remember for Callaway Golf — and that was before he won The Open Championship in dramatic fashion with four birdies over the last six holes at Muirfield.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open was where the buzz started for Callaway's 2013 product line. Mickelson played a major role in putting the RAZR Fit Xtreme driver on the map, coming within a shot of becoming the sixth player in PGA TOUR history — Callaway staffer Jim Furyk would later become sixth with an 11-under 59 at the BMW Championship — to shoot 59 with the new club.
Following the round, Mickelson called the driver, which went in the bag for the first time that week, a "revolutionary club." The equipment buzz continued shortly thereafter at the Shell Houston Open, where Mickelson used a taller-faced X Hot 3Deep fairway wood, followed by a one-of-a-kind X Hot Phrankenwood fairway wood the very next week at the Masters.
A few months later at The Open Championship, Mickelson would hit 3Deep off the tee and from the fairway — considered to be the shot of the tournament — on the 17th hole to secure the Claret Jug. While the major win capped an impressive year for Callaway, it was the buzz Mickelson continually generated with each new product that made 2013 such a memorable one for Callaway.
Equipment released on TOUR: X Hot and X Hot Pro (irons, drivers, fairway woods, hybrids); RAZR Fit Xtreme (driver, fairway wood); X Forged (irons); X Hot 3Deep (fairway wood); X Hot Phrankenwood (fairway wood); FT Optiforce (driver, fairway wood); Mack Daddy 2 (wedges); HEX Chrome + ball
PGA TOUR winners (2013): Phil Mickelson (Waste Management Phoenix Open, British Open); Sang Moon Bae (HP Byron Nelson Championship); Gary Woodland (Reno-Tahoe Open); Patrick Reed (Wyndham Championship)
Phil Mickelson nearly shoots 59 with RAZR Fit Xtreme: Phil Mickelson came within a shot of the elusive 59 during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open with a new RAZR Fit Xtreme driver in the bag. The driver featured a forged composite crown that lowered the center of the gravity, and a Speed Frame Face for increased ball speeds. Mickelson averaged 298 yards with the driver the first week and won by four shots.
“This driver spins so low that I can have more loft on the club, making it easier to hit," Mickelson said. "This has got to be good for every player I would think, but it sure as heck is good for me."
Callaway unveils X Hot 3Deep fairway wood: In preparation for the Masters, Mickelson pulled his RAZR Fit Xtreme driver at the Shell Houston Open and used a new X Hot 3Deep fairway wood as his "driver" for the week.
Callaway unveiled X Hot 3Deep at the beginning of the tournament week — a taller-faced version of the X Hot Pro fairway wood that, for Mickelson, was almost as long as his driver and gave him the ability to work the ball both ways with ease.
Callaway pulls back curtain on X Hot Phrankenwood: Arguably one of the most anticipated clubs in company history made its debut at the 2013 Masters. After hinting that he had a "special club" in the works, Mickelson discussed his new X Hot Phrankenwood during his Tuesday press conference.
"I asked the engineers to take the technology from that club and put it on steroids," Mickelson said. "I wanted to make it more like a driver. It looks like a 3-wood, but it's bigger than our 3-wood. It's almost like a small driver but it's the 3-wood technology of our X Hot in a driver."
Looking for a club that gave him the workability of the X Hot fairway wood in a driver, what Callaway engineers came up with was Phrankenwood, an 8.5 degree driver that acted more like a fairway wood and allowed Mickelson to get more rollout on his drives — something he mentioned gave him an extra club or two less into some of the holes at Augusta National.
Mickelson kept the club in play for several events following the Masters before using 3Deep as his driver on an almost regular basis.
Mack Daddy 2: Building on the success of the Mack Daddy groove, Callaway chief club designer Roger Cleveland released an updated version of the groove called Mack Daddy 2 that was conforming to USGA and R&A rules.
Phil Mickelson started using a 60-degree U-Grind Mack Daddy 2 wedge right before the Masters and moved to a full bag of MD2 wedges in the coming months.
The wedge, which comes in three different grinds, was a throwback to the X Forged wedge that featured a teardrop shape and big, aggressive "Mack Daddy" grooves that provided additional bite.
Cleveland's wedge was so popular in 2013, in fact, that non-Callaway staffers started using the wedge, including PING staffer Harris English. English had three MD2 wedges in the bag for his win OHL Classic at Mayakoba victory.
Distance leaders use Callaway drivers: Three of the top 5 in driving distance on the PGA TOUR used Callaway drivers in 2013, including leader Luke List (RAZR Fit Xtreme), No. 3 Nicolas Colsaerts (Callaway RAZR Hawk Tour) and No. 4 Gary Woodland (RAZR Fit Xtreme and RAZR Hawk Proto).
FT Optiforce: With two different driver models already on TOUR, Callaway made a late-season addition to the line with FT Optiforce at the Greenbrier Classic. The new model featured an aerodynamic profile — the head shape reduced drag by 20 percent during the swing — lightweight, forged composite crown, and variable face thickness technology.
At 290 grams, FT Optiforce was the lightest driver Callaway Golf had ever produced in the United States. To achieve the lightweight package, Callaway used the same forged composite crown found in RAZR Fit Xtreme to keep the head weight down.
It didn't take long for players to take notice of FT Optiforce. The driver quickly became Callaway's most used model, with everyone from Wyndham Championship winner Patrick Reed to Jim Furyk, who shot 59 with the driver, putting it in play late in the season.
Patrick Reed's memorable 7-iron shot: Callaway staffer Patrick Reed hit one of the best shots of the season at the Wyndham Championship with a RAZR X MB 7-iron. With Jordan Spieth already on the green, Reed flighted a shot under the trees from an awkward lie in the pine straw to within 10 feet from the cup. Reed made the putt to secure his first PGA TOUR title.
PGA TOUR Superstore: Get Callaway equipment
Driver: PING G25 (Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki Tour 63x shaft),
3-wood: PING G5 (Aldila RIP 80x shaft), 15 degrees
5-wood: PING G20 (UST Mamiya VTS Pro Force 8x Black shaft), 18 degrees
Irons (3-9): PING S56 (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts)
Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (47, 52, 58 degrees; True Temper Dyanmic Gold X100 shafts)
Putter: PING Scottsdale Ho-Hum
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
PGA SUPERSTORE: Buy PING equipment
Cobra's new BiO Cell and Bio Cell+ drivers aim to build on the success of last season's AMP Cell line that was not only colorful, but packed with adjustability and the company's new Advanced Material Placement and CELL technology that freed up discretionary weight by redistributing mass around the crown for a 12 percent larger E9 face shape and higher ball speeds on mis-hits.
With the new driver line, Cobra engineers took the AMP Cell technology even further with the help of internal BiO Cells — a honeycomb pattern on the inside of the head — that removed weight from the crown and positioned it low and back in the head to deliver a lower center of gravity and higher moment of inertia for increased distance and greater ball speeds on mis-hits.
The 460cc driver also features an E9 face shape — the same shape as AMP Cell — and BiO Cell pockets that move weight away from the face and towards the back of the head. The resulting weight adjustment makes the face more responsive on off-center hits, and increases the effective sweet spot for added forgiveness.
“Our Research and Development team focused on developing a driver that would deliver distance, provide consistency, keep adjustability simple yet effective and offer a great feel,” said Jose Miraflor, Cobra Golf's director of product marketing. “The BiO CELL Driver delivers on all of the above through COBRA’s proprietary technology and goes a step further by offering personalization in five different color options.”
BiO Cell also has Cobra's new MyFly8 adjustable loft hosel that allows golfers to put the driver in five different loft settings (9, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 12 degrees), and three draw settings (9.5D, 10.5D and 11.5D degrees). For those looking to keep the face square at address when adjusting the loft setting, Cobra added a Smartpad strip to the sole that ensures the face is in a square position when it sits on the ground.
Cobra also has a low-spinning BiO Cell+ model that has a number of the same features as the standard BiO Cell. Where the drivers differ is in head size (440cc for BiO Cell+ vs. 460cc for BiO Cell), shaft length (45.25 inches for BiO Cell+ vs. 45.75 inches for BiO Cell) and a lightweight Venollum alloy crown.
The lightweight crown in BiO Cell+, according to Cobra, "reduces weight vs 'all titanium' drivers to deliver a lower CG for a higher ball flight with lower back spin for longer distance." The weight saved in the crown was then positioned low in the head to give the driver its low spin, low launch characteristics.
Cobra's BiO Cell and BiO Cell+ drivers will be available Jan. 15 in five different colors (silver, blue, red, black and orange). The standard BiO Cell driver has a Project X-PXv shaft and will retail for $299. The BiO Cell+ comes with a Matrix Red-Tie 6Q3 shaft for $399.
That's not a typo. According to Callaway's senior vice president of R&D, Dr. Alan Hocknell, a few significant technological improvements to X2 Hot allowed engineers to design an iron that's arguably the company's most consistent iron ever produced.
The increase in consistency is due in large part to a Chevron-shaped stabilizing arch in the cavity that was cast into the face of the 17-4 stainless steel iron. The multi-material badge helps stabilize the upper portion of the face, improving sound, feel, ball speed and consistency.