January 27, 2020
By GolfWRX, PGATOUR.COM
- Callaway launched their Mavrik line, including new fairway woods, at the 2020 PGA Show. (GolfWRX)
The 2020 PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, wrapped last week. After scouring every aisle and booth, we're here to bring you the highlights from the golf merchandise world’s winter extravaganza.
First, let’s take a look at what the major equipment manufacturers brought with them to Florida. Photos below are courtesy of GolfWRX unless otherwise noted.
The four big-ticket items Titleist brought to the show were the T100S and T400 irons, Vokey SM8 Wedges, and Scotty Cameron Special Select putters.
When Titleist launched its T-Series line, the hot item was the T100. It gained instant popularity on the big tours and bumped into the must-try category for all fitters. There was one catch: A good portion of the feedback coming back from players and fitters was the need for an option for the players who wanted slightly stronger lofts
- For set blending with other T models
- To bring the flight down a bit for players that tend to add dynamic loft at impact
- To have the ability to have strong lofts without bending them strong which decreases bounce and add offset
Enter the T100S irons.
This iron is really easy to explain: It's fast, fun, forgiving and will allow anyone with a heartbeat to get it up in the air and have a blast doing it. The T400 is hot across the face, and for a beefed-up distance iron, it looks fairly pleasing. Titleist is known as a "better player" company, especially in the irons. This is its answer to please the masses
Vokey Design SM8 wedges
With the SM8, it’s all about spin and lowering the launch. These are shot characteristics that can help all players. Regardless of your swing speed, launch angle etc., every player needs a wedge that spins and helps keep the golf ball down for control. Vokey and his team achieved this by continuing with their variable CG (center of gravity) placement—adjusting it to increase MOI (moment of intertia) by seven percent and adding a tungsten weight out towards the toe in the 58 to 62-degree models. This helps to create a bit more stability on open-faced shots.
Scotty Cameron Special Select putters
With the 2020 edition, Scotty Cameron goes back to what made him famous from the beginning: classic shapes with fun details, all while adding the stability tech players these days are chasing. With titanium weighting in the blade models and stainless steel in the mallets, the Special Select is everything we need to keep it online and enjoy looking at a putter while we are doing it.
Although absent from the show for the second year in a row, talk about TaylorMade's SIM driver and metalwoods was everywhere. It's not uncommon for a company to waive its right to the PGA Show, but TM's physical absence is felt. They are big, disruptive, popular and have the tour staff to justify it all. Even without a physical presence, SIM, Tiger, and Rory made it into almost every conversation we heard on the floor.
Callaway came to the show having just launched a bevy of new wares: Mavrik metalwoods, Mavrik irons, new Odyssey putters, and a new line of Chrome Soft golf balls.
With the help of artificial intelligence, as well as design inspiration from the nuances of previous lines, Callaway recently launched its Mavrik line, which has three editions. Mavrik, Mavrik Max and Mavrik Sub Zero. In simple terms its the standard version (Mavrik), forgiving version (Max), and low launch/low spin version (Sub Zero). Like with any Callaway PGA Show effort, this one was big, robust and a must-see for all who attended.
Once again, artificial intelligence is a key factor in this line of Callaway irons, and with the introduction of Flash Face for the first time in a set of irons, Callaway is offering a Mavrik iron for every player. Mavrik, Mavrik Max, and Mavrik Pro.
Odyssey Triple Track putters
Although sightlines and alignment have been offered, upgraded, and tweaked over the years, Callaway went all-in on the Triple Track idea, and in this case, it's something that could actually help. The idea is simple: line up the lines on the putter with the lines on the ball. The ball will hopefully "track" your intended start line and find the bottom of the cup.
Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X golf balls
Callaway is fully committed to establishing itself as a contender in the golf ball market. With the ball plant and R&D located in Chicopee, Massachusetts and over $50 million in renovations to that facility, Callaway has elevated itself in the ball category year over year. With a beefed-up internal system, the new Chrome Soft will add even more spin, higher peak heights and overall distance than the previous version. The Chrome Soft X went under the same upgrades and will catch the eye of the player looking for a flatter ball flight.
Besides the John Deere Ping Anser rolling balls across the lawn, the big news from Ping was the introduction of its new G710 irons.
Like many irons in this distance category, the Ping G710 is an easy-to-hit, good-looking party of a golf club. Although it is a distance iron, I wouldn't be surprised to see these land in the bags of lower handicappers due to their overall ease of use and surprising versatility—you can work them a bit, which is saying a lot in this class.
For 2020, Ping is bringing back an updated version of one of its most iconic golf bag designs: the L8. The L8 offers a four-way top divider with spacious pockets—and a single carry strap for those looking to enjoy carrying the old fashioned way. To keep it accurate to the previous version, Ping is using very heavy-duty materials to make the bag last well into the future.
Its been a few months now since Cobra offered up its follow up to the sleeper hit of 2019, the F9. The Speed Zone and Speed Zone Xtreme drivers are everything the F9 was but they are actually a bit easier to hit. With the incorporation of the "Infinity Face," Cobra is now able to fine-tune all parts of the hitting area, all while adding much-needed optic improvements to the address position (i.e. the driver looks a bit easier to maneuver), which is always a good thing.
In the golf ball category, the buzz of the show was the new Bridgestone Tour B series of golf balls. Whenever Tiger Woods' name is involved in a launch, there is always a buzz, but in this case, the golf ball's early testing superseded even the Big Cat's influence. With its revolutionary Reactiv cover technology, Bridgestone has created a three-piece ball with max distance and serious spin around the greens. Especially the Tiger ball (Tour B XS).
Bridgestone Tour B Series golf balls
Tour B X
Low Launch, Low spin off driver with control around the greens. Designed for swing speeds of 105 mph and above.
Tour B XS
Tiger's ball. Lower spin on driver and a ton of spin through the rest of the bag. Designed for swing speeds of 105 mph and above.
Tour B RX
Same idea as the X but for swing speeds sub-105.
Tour B RXS
More spin then the RX. For swing speeds under 105.
Honma: TR20 driver
Like the irons, Honma relies on the long-earned expertise of the Takumis in Japan to create, shape and execute golf clubs that will definitely get attention. The TR20 is a serious piece of craftsmanship, and from the early opinions overall, it has surprisingly high ball speeds, a hammerhead feel at impact and plenty of playability. I believe the curiosity around Honma is still high after only a year into this North American push, but there's no better way to grab equipment headlines than a hot driver. The TR20 is offered in 460 and 440 models.
Flightscope specializes in radar launch monitors to help golfers, fitters, and teachers better understand the dynamics of the golf swing and ball flight. The Mevo+ is an all-new unit that offers more data than ever seen before in the sub-$2,500 category—the premium Flightscope x3 unit offers a full spectrum of data parameters but is more than $12,000. The Mevo+ also comes with E6 Simulator integration to allow you to quickly and easily play indoor golf for no extra fees on 5 built-in golf courses.
Dormie Workshop: Head covers
This Canadian Company continues to push the boundaries of what's possible when you combine imagination and creativity with the tradition of well-crafted leather goods. From custom headcovers designed to look just like your favorite dog, to offering you the opportunity to represent your favorite sports team, Dormie Workshop does it all.
True Linkswear: Shoes
True Linkswear has built its reputation on creating some of the most comfortable shoes for on and off the golf course. At the PGA Show, True introduced several new models including a shoe that uses recycled plastic to not just make the shoe but help reduce unnecessary waste.
Puma Golf: Ignite PWRADAPT Caged
Puma Golf makes the shoe of choice for Rickie Fowler. The new Ignite PWRADAPT Caged provides 360-degree support inside and out, with an internal sock bootie to keep your feet dry, paired with an outer PWRCage saddle to fully support the midfoot and prevent slipping.
Links & Kings: Assorted accessories
Links and Kings products range from belts and scorecard holders to luggage and golf carry bags. It's their mission to create products that pay homage to the heritage of the game of golf while meeting the needs of the modern player. Each item is handcrafted with meticulous attention to deal using the finest exotics leathers.
MacKenzie: Golf bags
MacKenzie bags can be found at golf clubs around the world or custom ordered exactly to your requested design specs direct from the company. The bags are made from your choice of ballistic nylon, waxed canvas, or leather and are heirloom quality crafted one by one.
Vega Golf: Adjustable bounce wedge
Bounce is an important part of selecting the right wedge, and thanks to Vega Golf's Alcor Tour adjustable bounce wedge you can change on the fly depending on course condition or your swing needs. Vega gives you the option to purchase the wedge with just a single sole or all three soles for an additional cost.