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June 8 2013

9:08 PM

Mailbag: Titleist driving irons, more

Titleist's 712U driving irons are forged with a hollow body, which makes them easier to hit. (Courtesy: Titleist)

In this week's edition of the Equipment Report Mailbag, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider Jonathan Wall discusses Titleist's 712U driving iron, PING's 2013/14 lineup and TaylorMade's R1 Black driver.

Have a question about the latest golf equipment or what the pros are playing? Send a tweet to @jonathanrwall.

Question: Any idea if/when the Titleist 712U Driving Irons will be available to the public? More specifically Canadian public?!

Answer: I actually wrote something up on Titleist's 712U back in April when the company officially announced it was coming to retail. For those of you unfamiliar with the club, it's a forged utility iron that boasts a forged, hollow-body 1025 steel construction with a high-speed 455 carpenter steel face insert; a deep center of gravity that's positioned for a higher MOI that delivers increased stability and playability when compared to a traditional long iron; and a wider, camber sole design that promotes clean turf interaction.

Adam Scott had a 712U 2-iron in the bag when he won the Masters, and I've seen Geoff Ogilvy and Tim Clark using it as well. The club is a great option if you're looking for an easy-to-hit long iron.

As far as the release date, the 712U is currently available via custom order and comes in three lofts (18, 21 and 24 degrees). You can also order one if you live in Canada, so have at it, Kyle!

Question: Typically PING follows a 2 year rotation on equipment. Any news on the 2013/2014 iron line up?

Answer: Great question, Jason. There are a couple equipment manufacturers out there that usually don't release new equipment on a yearly basis. PING happens to be one of them, releasing a new lineup about every 18 to 24 months.

I had a chance to talk to Pete Samuels, PING's Director of Communications, and he said the company doesn't normally comment on the timing of new products. So while I'd love to give you a timeframe, you'll just have to keep watching this space for information in the future.

However, if I was a betting man, I'd guess you may see something from them later this year. The Anser and G25 lines came out recently, so your best bet is probably the new i25 lineup.

PING's i20 line was unveiled on January 1, 2011, which means we could see something in the not too distant future. Again, that's pure conjecture on my part, but it would make sense if PING was going on the usual release cycle.

Question: Black or white TaylorMade R1?

Answer: To be honest, it all comes down to personal preference. The two drivers have the same specs and features — 168 possible adjustment settings, 12 loft-sleeve settings and 7 face-angle positions — so you're not going to an advantage using one over the other.

I was in Memphis this week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and had the opportunity to watch Dustin Johnson, Boo Weekley, Peter Hanson, Casey Wittenberg and a number of other players try out R1 Black on the range.

Some guys like Dustin and Casey loved the driver from the get-go and put it in play right away. Others tried it out and liked the club's performance but decided to stick with the white R1. Boo Weekley even mentioned the black version looked a little shut to him at address. Mind you, that's Boo's personal opinion.

My answer to your question is to try both and see which one suits your eye.

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