January 23, 2018
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- The MC-501 is Muira's longest blade length and widest sole the company has ever designed on a muscleback. (Jonathan Wall/PGA TOUR)
ORLANDO, Fla. — The blade profile leads you to believe Miura's MC-501 offers unrivaled feel but little forgiveness due to the thin topline and sole that greets you at address.
But there's more to Miura's latest offering than simply being another wall-hanger blade for the better player. With the longest blade length and widest sole the company has ever designed on a muscleback, designers were able to remove roughly 15 grams of discretionary mass via a channel in the back of the head.
The weight was then positioned around the impact area and low in the sole to generate a higher launch with a significant bump in forgiveness. The slightly wider sole also improves turf interaction.
Bushnell Hybrid Rangefinder
Bushnell has gone to great lengths to improve the accuracy of its rangefinders in recent years. That's meant dialing-in the exact yardage to a specific target or pin, but with the new Hybrid rangefinder, it will be possible to not only laser a number to the flag but the front and back of the green as well.
The front and back numbers, which are displayed on the rangefinder screen and a digital LED panel on the side of the unit, are made possible thanks to an incorporated GPS unit that allows the device to give an even more detailed yaradage picture during the course of a round.
To support the power necessary to run GPS and laser technology at the same time, Bushnell introduced the use of Dual Power Technology. The CR2 battery powers the laser while the USB rechargeable lithium ion battery powers the GPS. Because two batteries are being utilized, the laser can still be used even with the GPS unit is not charged.
Bushnell's Hybrid ($400) features the company's PinSeeker with JOLT Technology that provides short vibrating bursts to confirm the target. It's accurate up to 1 yard with 400 yards of range to the flag.
TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedge
TaylorMade's Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedge has been a popular option for the company's Tour staff in recent months, with Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Jon Rahm all adding it to the bag.
With the validation process out of the way, the wedge is making its way to retail. Engineered from 8620 carbon steel, the wedge boasts a higher, more centrally-located center of gravity location, producing a lower launch while generating more spin and control from a variety of lies.
The end result is a versatile wedge that can execute everything from full shots to chips, bump-and-runs, flop shots and controlled pitches.
Instead of leaving the grooves short of the toe, TaylorMade extended the lines all the way from the sole to the top of the face. With grooves positioned higher on the face, flop shots will still spin and check even if the ball catches the toe at impact.
A high bounce leading edge and channel cut midsole provides clean turf interaction without the club digging at impact. Three trapezoid-shaped pockets were also added to the back of the head that optimize weight distribution and improve feel.
The wedge is offered in three lofts (58, 60 and 64 degrees) and retails for $170.
Odyssey O-Works EXO putters
The first thing that catches your eye about Odyssey's new O-Works EXO putters is the futuristic wireframe design. With a heavier material used to create the rest of the putter head, the centrally-located frame is used as an alignment aid while helping push mass to the perimeter for increased stability and performance.
Of course, there's more to O-Works EXO than simply having a futuristic look that's stable and makes more putts.
Hoping to utilize some of Odyssey's popular insert technology, the new insert takes a page from the O-Works line with stainless steel microhinges that protrude from a redesigned White Hot polymer insert. When the stainless steel hinges and polymer are combined, the insert produces a soft feel that players, especially those on TOUR, are accustomed to with the benefits of the company's roll-enhancing technology.
Odyssey O-Works EXO retails for $400 and will be available in May in seven different head styles, including the popular Rossie and No. 7.
Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align grip
Golf Pride's Tour Velvet is far and away the most popular grip on the PGA TOUR, with roughly half of the field using the model. About one-third of that number uses a Tour Velvet with a "reminder" on the back — also known as a raised internal ridge that runs along the length of the grip to promote consistent hand placement with every shot.
Hoping to highlight the importance of having a reminder on the back of the grip, Golf Pride released an MCC grip last year that included the company's new Align technology running down the back of the grip. The micro-diamond texture used to create the built-in ridge is 50 percent firmer, when compared to the surrounding area, to amplify feel.
Based on the success and feedback of Align with MCC, Golf Pride will now offer the same built-in Align grip design with Tour Velvet. While the grip looks nearly identical to Tour Velvet — save for the red cap on top of the grip — it's actually 8 percent softer than the standard Tour Velvet.
Align can be found on the back side of the grip and has a white "flex channel" that separates the technology ridge from the grip body to maximize elevation lift and lock the grip into the fingers, while conforming to the Rules of Golf at the same time.