Thursday, January 20, 2022
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TRUE Releases All-Day Ripstop

Just prior to the PGA Show in Orlando at the end of the month, TRUE linkswear has released its “All Day Ripstop,” a versatile all-weather golf shoe designed to enhance golfers’ on- and off-course lifestyles. The All Day Ripstop is offered in men’s and women’s sizes and retails for $150.

All Day Ripstop is TRUE’s most sustainable golf shoe yet, with thoughtfully curated components utilizing recycled and renewable materials including a 100% recycled ripstop shell, recycled EVA midsole and premium wool liner.

Featuring a highly wind- and water-resistant shell made from 100% recycled polyester, the All Day Ripstop cuts a minimalist profile while offering generous support via a TOUR player-approved outsole. Its temperature regulating premium wool liner keeps golfers warm and dry on cold days while remaining enjoyable on warmer days thanks to its all-season design.

“The All Day Ripstop is the perfect weather-ready complement to our best-selling All Day Knit [TKII] and we’re excited to roll it out so golfers can continue to enjoy the walk with TRUE comfort in more weather conditions,” says TRUE President Jason Moore.

“Sustainability is a major focus of TRUE and we are continuing to push even further into environmentally friendly materials and sustainable business practices in 2022, and the All Day Ripstop is a testament to that.”

TRUE’s direct-to-consumer business model is augmented by strategic retail partnerships with select golf courses and destinations such as Pebble Beach Resorts, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Streamsong Resort and Chambers Bay.

In keeping with its Pacific Northwest ethos, TRUE’s current footwear portfolio includes five core designs focused on sustainability, performance and comfort with modern, minimalist aesthetic appealing to TOUR players and new golfers alike. Several TRUE models, like the All Day Ripstop, are crafted almost entirely from recycled materials. For more information: www.truelinkswear.com; @truelinkswear.

TRUE crafts naturally comfortable gear ready to perform from the links to the streets. Born amid the rugged golf landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, TRUE uses only the finest and responsibly-sourced materials to protect golfers from the elements and help them #enjoythewalk. Learn more at www.truelinkswear.com. 

King LTDx Drivers, Fairways & Hybrids by Cobra

With the center of gravity on the neutral axis the new Cobra King LTDx driver produces low spin with lots of forgiveness. There are also two other members of the family, the LTDx LS weighted for very low spin and the LTDx MAX with draw bias weighting.

Fast Facts Cobra King LTDx Drivers
Multi-material clubhead
Carbon fiber crown
H.O.T. Face
PWR-COR weighting
Redesign T-bar chassis
Adjustable hosel
Stock grip: Crossline Black/Silver
Available Feb. 11, 2022 each version priced at $499
King LTDx
Game-improvement category
CG on head’s neutral axis
14g internal weight MIM, 5g CNC sole weight
15g back weight
Stock shafts: Tensei AV Raw White 65, HZRDUS RDX Blue 60, HZRDUS Smoke iM10 60, UST Helium Nanocore
King LTDx MAX
Super game-improvement category
Draw bias
Interchangeable sole weights rear and heel
Stock shafts: Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue 60, HZRDUS Smoke iM10 60, UST Helium Nanocore
King LTDx LS
Better-player category
Low spin
Interchangeable 10g & 3g sole weights
Stock shafts: Tensei AV Raw White 65, Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue 60, Project X HZRDUS Smoke iM1060

WYNTK:
Cobra’s new King LTDx family has something for every skill level starting with the King LTDx featuring placement of the head’s center of gravity on the neutral axis which along with an MOI value of 5200 makes it very forgiving. The E9 variable thickness face construction used for several years is gone and replaced with Hot Optimized Topology. This H.O.T. design adjusts face thickness in each of 15 zones that were found by testing thousands of simulated impacts.

PWR-COR Technology is Cobra’s new way to get as much weight forward and low in the head using internal and external multi-material weights.

Commenting on the drivers Tom Olsavsky, Vice President of R&D said, “The LTDx driver lineup reflects our team’s continued dedication to innovation and improved performance. With the introduction of PWR-COR and H.O.T FACE technology, our engineers have, yet again, developed innovation that improves CG and MOI while making the face hotter and more forgiving. The resulting LTDx family of drivers are the best we have ever produced, and the three distinct driver models ensure that every golfer can achieve optimized performance for their game. We look forward to seeing the LTDx on TOUR and also in the hands of amateurs and weekend warriors at courses globally.”

The LTDx LS model has its weight forward close to the face which is an aid for producing the low spin flight wanted by high swing speed players and the anti-slice designed LTDx MAX can be a big help to for straightening out ball flight for those with predominately left to right.

Also introduced were fairway woods ($299) the same PWR-COR and H.O.T. FACE design as the drivers in LTDx, LTDx MAX and LTDx LS versions. King LTDx hybrids are $249 feature an L-cup stainless steel face and the effective hollow split rails on the sole.

Cobra King LTDx Irons

As part of the new KING LTDx family Cobra Golf has announced the King LTDx line of irons featuring a variable thickness L-cup face insert and multi-material head incorporating a floating steel core.

Fast Facts Cobra KING LTDx Irons
Game-improvement category
Milled L-cup face insert
Weighting screw in toe
PWR-COR interior weighting
Variable Men’s or Women’s or ONE Length Men’s
Stock shafts: Tour 80, KBS PGI
Stock grip: Lamkin Crossline 58R+
Available Feb. 11, 2022
Price: set of seven irons variable or ONE Length steel shafts $899

WYNTK:
The LTDx iron’s PWR-COR Weighting system combined with the PWRSHELL Face Cobra says added together “are the superior choice for the perfect blend of forgiveness, high launch, excellent feel and longest total distance.” PWR-COR is a steel weight bar inside but separate from the head and wrapped in a polymer coating to suspend it in place. This so-called “floating” interior weight is behind the face positioned low in the head to give the face a greater amount of flexing at impact for more distance while the polymer acts as a vibration dampener and to a degree improves face rebound.

The PWRSHELL face is the L-cup shape that wraps around to the sole similar to others used in the past by Cobra. This latest version used in the LTDx has an improved variable thickness design offering 23% larger sweet spot and Cobra says overall these new irons have 5% more face deflection than last year’s Radspeed model. We also like the addition of a toe weighting screw which the custom-build department at Cobra can vary to fit an individual golfer’s need.

LTDx irons are offered in traditional variable length sets for men or women and in ONE Length for men.

Tennessee River Golf Club – Come For the Day, Stay For the Weekend!

Golf courses in Tennessee have a lot to offer: Mild winter weather, a variety of grass surfaces, and lots of elevation changes. The Tennessee River Golf Club is an embodiment of that.

Tennessee River Golf Club is an 18-hole championship golf course located next to the Tennessee River in the rolling hills of Decaturville, in Decatur County TN. The course was originally named the Fisherdale Golf Resort. General Manager and Superintendent Chad Smith’s parents Clare and Dianne Smith purchased the course in 1997 and over the years they have rebuilt and revamped the golf course. In fact, if it wasn’t for his parents working every day and investing in the property, there probably would not be a course. As Smith tells it, “The course was established in 1993, as a 9-hole layout. The other nine had been planned out but never built. The back nine was added in 1998, and holes were redesigned and rerouted; in fact, only 3 of the original holes are part of the current layout.

The Tennessee River Golf Club offers golfers four sets of tees. From the back tees, the course plays to 6,455 yards with a course rating of 69.7 and a slope of 119. I found that the White tees (6,035/68.1/117) provided a good challenge a let me leave with a little dignity still intact. Seniors typically play from the Yellows (5,328/64.6/105) and ladies from the Reds (4,792/68.4/108). Par for everyone is 72.

As you play your way around the course, you’ll encounter is 18 uniquely different holes; each with a character and flavor all its own. Lush Bermuda fairways lead to pristine bent grass greens, the only bent grass greens in the area. Some holes are wide open, with a minimal amount of trouble, several have tree-lined fairways; there are uphill and downhill elevation changes, and water hazards that come into play on at least 10 holes. What I’m getting at is that there is a lot here to keep your interest.

Number 1 is an interesting and challenging par 4 that plays 370 yards from the White tees. Climbing up to the elevated tee box, you’ll see a pond in front of you and seemingly nowhere to hit the golf ball. Upon further inspection, you’ll find that there’s a lot of room in the fairway left of the pond. A good drive will still leave a mid to long iron uphill into a large green that slopes back to front. Par is a great way to get started.

Number 2 is ranked the easiest par 4 on the course. This 330-yard, dogleg right requires a blind tee shot (aim at the grey house in the distance). A good tee shot down the left side will leave a short pitch shot extremely downhill into a very small green with a bunker front right. Short, but by no means a pushover.

Number 3 is another blind tee shot that plays downhill. It’s a short hole – 275 yards – and favoring the right side will leave the best angle into another small green.

At 422 yards from the White tees, Number 4 is handicapped the hardest hole on the entire layout. It’s long and dead straight; there’s a pond on the left side that can catch an errant drive. A good drive followed by a well-struck approach shot will go a long way in taming this beast. Bunkers guard either side of the green. The green is big enough that it could be a two-club difference between a front and back pin placement.

The next 4 holes provide a little bit of a break. Number 5 is a 186-yard par-three that plays over water into a green protected on either side by large bunkers. Number 6 is a dogleg left par 4 that plays 359 yards. A good drive will leave a short pitch shot into a large green surrounded by sand.

Number 7 plays 500 yards from the White Tees and is the only par 5 on the front nine. This dogleg right starts from an elevated tee box and plays downhill with a pond on the left at the bottom that should not come into play. Number 8 is a scenic 152-yard par-three that plays over water with woods on the right if you shank it.

Number 9 requires a well-struck tee shot to make it to the corner of the dogleg. Do that and the hole gets a lot easier. Anything short of the dogleg will force you to play a big fade if you want to find the green.

The back nine starts with a good-looking par 4. The 10th hole once again starts from an elevated tee box and features a lake down the entire left side. It presents somewhat of a risk/reward scenario from the tee; the more of the lake you cut off with your drive, the shorter your approach shot will be. At 390 yards, it will take two well-struck shots to find the green.

Number 11 is a straightaway par 4 that plays 363 yards. Do your best to avoid the tree on the left side along the cart path. There’s also a small pond on the left side that has seen its share of errant tee shots. Avoid these pitfalls and things get a lot easier!

Number 15 is a fun little par 3 that plays considerably downhill and far less than its stated yardage of 100 yards. The woods on either side of the green provide the only hazards on this hole. It’s a great chance to boost your ego.

Number 17 is probably Tennessee River Golf Club’s signature hole. It’s a picturesque par 3 that plays 155 yards over water into a very wide, shallow green.

Tennessee River Golf Club ends with a good-looking and challenging par 5 that plays 486 yards. You start from an elevated tee box and play around the lake on the left. The hole is best played down the right side as much as possible. The green slopes subtly from back right to front left towards the water. Par is a great way to end your round.

Are you part of a group that likes to get out of town for the weekend and go play golf? Tennessee River Golf Club has a 2-story, 3-bedroom home that comfortably sleeps up to 12 people. There’s a fully equipped kitchen, so bring food and beverages, upstairs and downstairs living room areas with large, flat-screen TVs, a screened-in patio area, and a gas grill. Rentals are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Call the pro shop for the latest rental deals!

The Tennessee River Golf Club offers golfers a little bit of everything: weekly golf games, golf leagues, tournaments, stay and play rates, public play, memberships, private golf instruction, and a full practice facility.  Give them a call at (731) 852-2582 or visit their website at www.tennesseerivergolfclub.com

TaylorMade Stealth Fairway Woods & Rescues

TaylorMade Golf is promoting the use of carbon fiber in the new multi-material Stealth fairway woods and Rescues to help provide more ball speed, forgiveness, and control.

Fast Facts
Stealth Fairway Wood
Game-improvement category
190cc clubhead
3D Carbon crown
V Steel sole
Speed Pocket in sole
C300 steel Twist Face
Stock shafts: Fujikura Ventus Red 5, Red 6
Stock grip: Lamkin Crossline 360 Black/Red
At retail Feb. 4, 2022, $329.99
Stealth Plus Fairway Wood
Better-players category
175cc clubhead
80-gram V Steel sole
Speed Pocket in sole
ZATECH titanium Twist Face
Carbon fiber Infinity crown
Project X Hzrdus Smoke Red RDX 65 FW, 75 FW
At retail Feb. 4, 2022, $429.99
Stealth Rescue
Game-improvement category
V steel sole
Speed Pocket in sole
Carbon fiber crown
C300 steel Twist Face
High launch
Stock shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red
Stock grip: Lamkin Crossline 360 Black/Red Reminder
At retail Feb. 4, 2022, $279.99
Stealth Plus Rescue
Better-players category
V steel sole
C300 steel Twist Face
Carbon fiber crown
Speed pocket in sole
Adjustable hosel
Mid launch
Stock shaft: Project X Hzrdus Smoke RDX Red
Stock grip: Lamkin Crossline 360 Black/Red
At retail April 1, 2022, $299.99

WYNTK
TaylorMade Golf is making additional use of carbon fiber in the new Stealth family of fairway woods and Rescues (their name for hybrids) to help weight placement for improved performance. The Stealth Plus fairway wood has a face using their Twist Face design made from a very strong titanium alloy from ZATECH plus a new 80V steel sole to make this better-players club easier to hit. The crown is a wraparound or “Infinity” design 12% larger than the SIM 2 of last year.

“For most golfers, the fairway wood doesn’t get used on every hole. But when those moments arise, it needs to deliver,” Tomo Bystedt, Senior Director Product Creation, Metalwoods. “No matter what the shot requires, whether it’s forgiveness, distance, or playability, you need to know your club can produce the desired results. That’s why we designed the family of Stealth fairway woods with increased MOI for added forgiveness without sacrificing the high launch and low spin results that produce the marquee distance golfers have come to expect from TaylorMade fairways. The new advanced laser alignment system and refined profile, especially on the Stealth Plus model, help inspire shot-shaping confidence with optimal control at every level of the game.”

The Rescues TaylorMade says have been refined with the Stealth Plus model having a smaller footprint and a higher toe, more like an iron while the higher launch Stealth Rescue has the center of gravity lower in the head.

Harbor Shores Resort – A One-of-a-Kind Michigan Golf Experience

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a country club or a municipal golf course, whether it’s open to the public or a private country club, every golf course has a story. Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor Michigan is no different.

Benton Harbor was once a thriving manufacturing area with such notable companies as Whirlpool having its world headquarters here. However, with the economic downturn in the mid-1980s, jobs were lost, buildings were abandoned and the soil became contaminated. The area became a dumping ground for garbage, oil sludge, and just about anything else you could think of. With the nearby town of St. Joseph thriving with tourism, something had to be done to ensure the growth of the area’s economy.

Several community groups got together including Cornerstone Alliance, and the Consortium for Community Development, and plans were put on the table for a 530-acre mixed-use development with residential homes, hotels, a lakefront park, and a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. Mr. Nicklaus visited the property and after serious deliberation, accepted the challenge.

To get the site ready to build a golf course, over 100,000 cubic feet of solid waste, contaminated soil, and trash were removed. Once that project was complete, the golf course could move forward and according to Jack, very few changes were made to the original routing plans.

Harbor Shores Golf Club plays 6,734 yards from the Black Tees with a course rating of 73.6 and a slope of 146. Unless you’re out to prove something, move up to the Gold Tees  (6,159/70.2/139) and you’ll still be challenged yet able to leave with a certain amount of dignity.

A quick look at the scorecard and you will notice that the course is split into four unique areas. Holes 1 – 6 are designated the “Inland” holes because of their inland terrain. Holes 7 – 9 feature great views of Lake Michigan and are referred to as the “Dunes” holes. The “Woodland” holes (10-13) wind through rolling hills, ravines, and a hardwood forest, while the finishing holes (14-18) border the Paw Paw River and are hence known as the “River” holes. At Harbor Shores, you can experience several facets of Michigan golf all in the same round.

The 3rd hole (Sunflower) is a great risk/reward opportunity. It plays 305 yards from the Gold Tees and the Paw Paw River on the left side can be an ominous obstacle.  Should you opt for a driver off the tee, the bunkers on the left side require a carry of about 215 yards. Clear them and you’ll have a short pitch shot in. Choose a longer approach shot and you’ll have to deal with the river guarding the left side and two bunkers on the right. The green has three distinct levels, so distance control is important. Low numbers can be had here.

Number 6 (Cattail) is a challenging par 4 that is Harbor Shores’ #1 handicapped hole. From the Gold Tees the hole plays 389 yards and requires a semi-blind tee shot to a fairway that ends about 230 yards; hit it any further and you’re in trouble. A drive down the right side will leave a slightly shorter approach shot. A good drive will leave an approach shot of about 140 yards, over water into the green. Should you not feel up to the challenge, there’s a large bailout area to the left.

Hole #7 (Arrow Arum) is the course’s signature hole. Not only does it feature a significant uphill elevation change, but once you get up to the green the views of Jean Klock Park and Lake Michigan are incredible. Seven is a dogleg right that requires a long drive from an island tee box, over wetlands, a lake on the right, and bunkers. Your approach shot is to an elevated green – that’s an understatement – that sits 25 yards above the fairway on the top of a dune. The green is surrounded by long, wavy dune grass. Hit it over the green and you could very well find the beach – literally! Come up short on your approach shot and you can easily roll back down the hill or worse yet, find the deep bunker about halfway down. Forget your score and look around…all is good!

If you’re a Jack Nicklaus fan, Number 10 (Red Oak) may well be your favorite hole or at least green! It’s where Jack Nicklaus showed Johnny Miller how to hole a 102-foot putt during the club’s grand opening exhibition match. Number 10 is a 475-yard par 5 with woods on the right. Left is best off the tee, and helps to avoid all kinds of hazards. Continue with your layup shot down the left side to have the best angle into a notorious 4-tiered green. Being on the correct tier is everything here if you want to avoid a potential 3-putt – or worse. At over 10,000 sq. ft., this green is recognized as one of Jack’s most famous.

Number 15 (Primrose) is another risk/reward hole. This 487-yard par 5 has several options for longball hitters if you can avoid the fairway bunkers 275 yards off the tee. Mere mortals will layup short of the trap, play their layup shot left and short of the Paw Paw River that crosses in front of the green. It also gives you the best angle to approach the two-tiered green which is very wide and not real deep. A large, deep bunker sits between the river and the green.

Number 16 (Black-Eyed Susan) is another good test of golf. From the Gold Tees, it plays 380 yards and requires an accurate drive off the tee that avoids the lake on the left. Push your tee shot right or hit it too long and you’ll have trees and branches to deal with. A good drive will leave a short iron approach shot into the kidney-shaped green which is protected by water on the left and sand on the right.

Harbor Shores Resort is centrally located between three large, metropolitan cities: 90 minutes east of Chicago, 3 hours west of Detroit and 3 hours north of Indianapolis and is a popular weekend getaway destination for couples, weddings, team-building events, and just about any other reason you can think of that might involve a golf course. The restaurant is a popular waterside spot for boaters from all over the area.

The majority of guests seem to be here for the golf: after all, it’s a highly sought-after destination for golfers all over the Midwest. Harbor Shores will be hosting The Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship in 2022 and 2024. This is the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Course on Lake Michigan and the first beach, golf, and residential community in Southwest Michigan.

The Grille inside the clubhouse has one of the most diverse menus I’ve seen at a golf course. Not only do they take the staples such as wings, burgers, and fries to a new level, but they have such non-traditional plates as PEI mussels, fried chicken, baked mac & cheese, and a pimento cheese dip that is not to be missed.

The Inn offers guests king, queen, and family accommodations, which have three queen size beds in one suite with a view of either the golf course or one of Michigan’s oldest deep-water harbors. All are equipped with safes, coffeemakers, refrigerators, and balconies where you can enjoy the cool evening breezes. Planks Tavern on the Water is the premier waterfront dining spot in St. Joseph Planks offers some great food for both big and small appetites. They open at 9 in the morning – 8 on Friday and the weekend – and also offer some unique dishes. My favorite breakfast entrée is the Banana Bread French toast with chocolate chunks, whip cream, porter caramel sauce, and white chocolate sauce. For lunch or dinner, I highly recommend the Fjord Sea Trout. It’s pan-seared and served with mushroom rice pilaf, sauteed spinach, and pearl onions, and accompanied with tarragon honey butter.

For more information on everything that Harbor Shores Resort and Golf Club have to offer, visit them online at www.harborshoresresort.com.

XXIO 12 Family of Clubs

XXIO believes for many recreational players, those with slow to moderate swing speeds, lighter is better and with the new XXIO 12 woods, hybrids and irons for men and women has constructed clubs following that maxim.

Fast Facts XXIO 12 Family of clubs
Available Feb. 11, 2022
Stock grip: XXIO 12 Weight Plus counterbalanced
XXIO 12 Driver
Rebound Frame
ActivWing aerodynamic design
Flat Cup Face Super-TIX-51AF Titanium to improve COR
Face Bulge and Roll in six segments
Stock shaft: TORAYCA T1100G
$699.99
XXIO 12 Fairway Woods
Rebound Frame with HT1770M stainless steel face
ActivWing aerodynamic design
Cannon Sole with floating weight pad
Stepped crown
Stock shaft: MP-1200
$399.99
XXIO 12 Hybrids
Rebound Frame
ActivWing aerodynamic design
Cannon Sole with floating weight pad
Flat Cup Face HT770M stainless steel
Stock shaft: MP-1200
$299.99
XXIO 12 Irons
Titanium Iron face
Rebound Frame
Tungsten-Nickel sole weight
Lofts: 5-iron 22°, pitching wedge 42°
Stock shaft: MP-1200
$219.99 each, set of seven irons $1,539.93

WYNTK
XXIO continues to target those with slower swing speeds such as seniors and women with the lightweight XXIO 12 family of clubs. The woods have what the company calls ActivWing which a descriptive way to label the head shape designed so that air passing over in the downswing helps to stabilize the head for more consistent impact.

The bigger story though is the use of very lightweight materials in all the XXIO 12 family to help players swing them faster for more distance.

“Having a 20-year head start in lightweight technology has been a real plus for us. It has allowed our engineers to focus on incremental improvements and on technologies that best accompany that performance,” said Chuck Thiry, Vice President at XXIO. “We are certain that our players will continue to see big advancements in performance and distance as soon as they hit XXIO 12.”

With a 41-gram shaft and 31-gram counterbalanced grip the XXIO 12 driver weighs just 282 grams, significantly less than most other drivers. Fairway woods have similar weight and XXXIO 12 irons tip the scale between 351-grams and 384-grams.

For OnCore, Golf Balls are Just the Beginning

It all started in 2011 with a hollow metal core golf ball that shook the very foundations of the golf ball industry. Fast-forward a decade, and its four-piece Tour ball, the VERO X1, outdueled the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x in independent testing, proving to be longer and straighter with the driver and irons.

Looking ahead at 2022 and beyond, its continued evolution will include a menu of golf innovations including high-performance, perimeter-weighted golf balls, off-course golf entertainment, data science and more. The company? Well, it’s OnCore Golf, proudly based in Buffalo, N.Y. – not a city traditionally associated with the golf industry.

But OnCore is proud of its Upstate N.Y. heritage and has never been shy about disrupting the monolithic golf ball category. Along the way, it’s assembled a team of investors and ambassadors ranging from Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, legendary investor Charles Schwab and PGA / Korn Ferry TOUR golfer Erik Compton.

Keith and Bret Blakely. Photo by Craig Melvin.

The group has been affectionately dubbed “Team OnCore.”

“Team OnCore is an eclectic mix of golf professionals, professional athletes, investors, and influencers who understand and appreciate the way we’re disrupting the golf ball market through our proprietary designs and direct-to-consumer business model,” says OnCore Co-Founder Steve Coulton. “It’s all about coming together over a common cause and belief system.”

Coulton, along with long-time friend and business partner Bret Blakely founded OnCore during a period when investment dollars were running away from the golf industry, not toward it. Coulton and Blakely are big fans of the “Blue Ocean” business concept of pushing toward the open, unexplored waters rather than swimming around with the sharks.

OnCore Co-Founder Steve Coulton

“My father likes to say OnCore is an overnight success story that’s been ten years in the making,” says Bret Blakely. “But building something special takes time, and we like to think we’ve done it the right way.”

And it just so happens that Bret Blakely’s father is OnCore CEO Keith Blakely, a self-described serial entrepreneur, investor and specialist in advanced materials and nanotechnology. It was the elder Blakely who led the design of the aforementioned hollow metal core ball that led the USGA to re-write its allowable golf ball technology rules for only the second time in 100 years.

“I’ve always viewed OnCore in three verticals,” Keith Blakely says. “The is first golf ball design, the second is golf-focused technology and the third is experiential golf facility development. These are not disparate things. They’re an interrelated solar system of tech and products to help propel the game forward exponentially.”

Engineering Pedigree

OnCore doesn’t hesitate to leverage its inherent technological advantages when it comes to golf ball design and engineering. Its biggest innovation trump card is its proprietary perimeter weighting, which creates an increased moment of inertia and centrifugal forces.

This in turn results in lower driver spin rates, tighter dispersion, extended aerodynamic lift, and more consistent and stable flight. In other words, OnCore helps golfers hit it longer and straighter while providing more control around the greens. What golfer doesn’t want that?

Keith Blakely and senior technical advisor John Calabria are the driving force behind the development of the company’s current three-tier line: the two-piece, super-soft, low-compression AVANT 55, the three-piece mid-compression ELIXR and the VERO X1. All three have racked up numerous awards and accolades including Gold and Silver medals on Golf Digest’s vaunted Hot List.

OnCore’s VERO X1

As for Calabria, the South Carolina-based golf ball pioneer’s name is on no less than a dozen patents for golf balls and clubs including Titleist, TaylorMade and Maxfli. He and Keith Blakely are evangelical about leading-edge technology and new materials being the driving forces behind golf ball innovation.

Pushing the Envelope

Golf ball sales drive the majority of OnCore’s revenue and fuel the fire of invention. For example, the company is developing the “iRoll” ball aimed at mini-golf facilities and putting courses. iRoll is a “smart ball” that delivers unprecedented data about golfers’ putting strokes.

And innovation doesn’t stop on the putting green. The next iteration of the iRoll ball is a “GENiUS” ball golfers can take out on the course to measure ball speed, spin rate, distance and more. Think launch monitor, but infinitely more affordable and accurate in terms of actual playing conditions.

Earlier this year, OnCore acquired Golf Boost AI, an artificial intelligence-powered swing analysis app that generates personalized lessons and drills using a universal golf swing algorithm. The GENiUS ball and Golf Boost AI will integrate to create an affordable, accessible game improvement solution for all levels of players.

Helping golfers get better, fast, is part of OnCore’s recipe for growing the game. The other element is ensuring they enjoy the journey. In partnership with experts and investors in adjacent industries, OnCore is helping to pioneer numerous other golf-focused innovations. OnCore leadership is prone to saying, “stay tuned to find out what OnCore will do next.”

“From day one we’ve been not only committed to growing OnCore, but to growing the game of golf as well,” Bret Blakely says. “For us, the key is helping golfers play better and lower their scores. If they’re loving the game, they’ll stick with it. That’s been our mission for the past ten years and we’re excited to have it continue for the next ten.”

Callaway Chrome Soft 2022—3 New Models

Since Callaway made a major investment to upgrade their ball making facility, they are better able to control manufacture from start to finish and this shows in the new Chrome Soft ball series each of which also has a new core formulation and cover pattern.

Fast Facts Callaway Chrome Soft balls
Chrome Soft 3-piece recreational players
Chrome Soft X 4-piece high swing speed players
Chrome Soft X LS 4-piece low spin high swing speed players
Available in white, yellow and Triple Track
At retail Jan. 28, 2022, $49.99 per dozen

WYNTK
Callaway Golf has improved its position in the golf ball market over the past few years becoming a solid number two behind Titleist. To help close the gap further and tackle the fact their top-of-the-line model lacked consistency Callaway made a $50 million dollar investment in the Chicopee, Mass. ball plant.

The outlay seems to have paid off in addressing the problem.

The latest Chrome Soft trio have a very low “concentricity offset,” a fancy way to say the ball’s core and outer layers are perfectly centered to improve their ability to deliver the performance for which they were designed with the highest level of consistency. An off-center core, even one just slightly off, can exaggerate the curvature of a hook or slice to the extent making a controlled trajectory unlikely accompanied by the possibility of less distance. Callaway’s new more precise process control during manufacture includes a digital high-definition 3D X-ray of each ball to ensure all layers are the proper thickness and exactly centered.

The three new Chrome Softs also have the benefits of a new core material Callaway says is both softer with high rebound plus the cover uses a lower drag dimple configuration. Company testing shows the Chrome Soft is five yards longer with lower spin than the previous model, Chrome Soft X two yards longer (same spin profile) and Chrome Soft X LS four yards longer (same long club spin higher short club spin).

Of interest and as an expression of the position Callaway balls have gained on the PGA Tour. The winner of last year’s U.S. Open Jon Rahm, winner of the PGA Championship Phil Mickelson and Olympic Gold Medalist Xander Schauffele all played Callaway’s Chrome Soft X model. We aren’t saying this has monumental significance only that these are the type of wins Titleist’s Pro V1 could usually point to. In fact, it is said world number one Jon Rahm switched from playing TaylorMade Golf clubs and balls to Callaway primarily because of being able to play the Chrome Soft X ball.

Lacoste LIVE and Lacoste Sport – Two Collections with an Edge!

Lacoste’s golf apparel lineup for the fall includes several pieces from the Lacoste LIVE Collection, which combines trendy, loose-fitting garments with modern slim fits and edgy, playful urban designs. A leading piece of the urban wardrobe, the iconic Men’s Regular Fit Movement polo is sewn from ultra-lightweight organic cotton and recycled polyester that is both breathable and moisture-wicking. It features a two-button placket with a ribbed polo collar and a small practical pocket on the side seam. For branding, there’s a tone-on-tone silicone crocodile on the chest and a Lacoste badge behind the collar. The Regular Fit Movement Polo is available in sizes S – 4XL and in Gray Chine, Black, Navy Blue, Purple, and Blue.

Lacoste’s original authentic polo has made its return in a unisex version and features a colorblock design crafted in two-ply cotton petit piqué.  What makes this version unique is the distinctive embroidered lettering on the chest and a trendy loose fit. The two-rubber button placket and ribbed polo collar are truly -Lacoste. The iconic embroidered green crocodile is on the back collar. This new unisex garment is available in sizes XXS – 3XL and two color combinations:   Beige/Grey Chine/Beige or Green/Yellow/Purple

When you’re looking for a garment to keep you warm on those cool fall mornings, look no further than Lacoste’s Men’s Wool Trucker Sweater. It’s soft, warm, and sure to enhance any guy’s golf wardrobe. This eco-friendly 100% wool jersey outer piece features a trucker style zippered stand-up collar and a ribbed finish at the wristbands and hem of the garment. There’s an embroidered green croc on the chest. The Wool Trucker Sweater is available in sizes S – 4XL and in Green, Gray Chine, Black, Navy Blue, 2“and Red.

Another great-looking cool weather garment is Lacoste’s Concealed Hood Water-Resistant Colorblock Jacket. It’s sewn in a taffeta fabric and is water-resistant and features a stand-up collar, an adjustable drawstring bottom, and a concealed hood. The recycled polyester fabric is very smooth and lightweight with a slightly shiny finish. There are front zip pockets and a snap pocket on the inside. An embroidered green crocodile on the chest identifies the brand. This Colorblock Jacket is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in either Navy Blue/Blue/Yellow or Light Pink/Blue/Yellow.

The Cropped Cotton Fleece Sweatshirt has been reborn in the Lacoste Live Collection. It features a loose, cropped fit and is sewn from solid cotton fleece. It’s a stylish, comfortable piece with raglan sleeves and tone-on-tone ribbed finishes. Stay on top of the trends when you wear it with high-waisted flared pants. There’s a metal crocodile appliqué on the chest. It’s available in sizes XS – 2XL and in a beautiful Purple color.

The Embroidered Two-Tone Fleece Trackpants are another Unisex piece from Lacoste’s LIVE Collection and has their graphic colorblock and streetwear look, they are made from an unbrushed soft cotton fleece with an elasticized waistband with a concealed drawstring and elasticized finishes on ankles. With two side pockets and one back pocket, these track pants are both comfortable and totally functional. The Lacoste signature is embroidered on the right thigh and the iconic green croc logo graces the back pocket. They are available in sizes XXS – 3XL and in a Green/Purple color combination.

With its signature athletic design, the Women’s Contrast Collar Stretch Cotton Piqué Polo Dress is crafted in stretch cotton mini piqué features a fitted cut and mid-length sleeves. There’s a three-button placket and a ribbed two-tone contrasting polo collar and a tone-on-tone crocodile on the chest. The Women’s Contrast Collar Stretch Cotton Piqué Polo Dress is available in sizes 32 – 44 and in either Light Blue/Navy/Green or Navy/White/Light Blue.

You may not have the perfect swing but you’ll have a lot of style with the Women’s SPORT Regular Fit Stretch Piqué Golf Polo. This signature Lacoste Sport polo is crafted in stretchy cotton piqué and flows with your movements as you play. The contrasting ribbed open collar and striped ribbed finishes at the sleeve ends make this a next must-have for any ladies’ golf wardrobe. There’s a green crocodile transfer on the chest and is available in sizes XS – 2XL and in 2 color combinations.

Lacoste’s Women’s SPORT Technical Gabardine Golf Bermuda Shorts feature zippered fastening and slits at the leg bottoms. There’s ample storage space as well, with three pockets including one invisible back pocket. They are incredibly comfortable and feature a green crocodile transfer to identify the brand. These exquisite Gabardine Shorts are available in sizes XS – 2XL and in Navy.

Show off your edgy side with the new LIVE Crew Neck Contrast Accent Ribbed T-Shirt. The lightweight, stretchy ribbed fabric provides a comfortable fit and the contrasting neck and sleeve end give this t-shirt a crisp edgy look. There’s a green metal crocodile appliqué on the chest. This trendy t-shirt is available in sizes XS -2XL and in White/Black.

These are just a few of the pieces available from the new Lacoste LIVE and Spot Collections. See them all at www.lacoste.com.

River Greens Golf Course – 27 Holes of Pure Golf Enjoyment

Bob Gallagher is a good friend of mine and your typical weekend golfer. We worked together, golfed together, played hockey together, and hung around each other a lot when I lived in Columbus.

Bob has a group of buddies – 4, sometimes as many as 12 – that try to play together each week, usually on a Sunday. He lives in Columbus, OH where daily greens fees can get rather expensive. I recently took Bob with me to River Greens when my wife and I went to play and photograph the course. Although he has lived in the area his whole life, BG was not familiar with River Greens Golf Course or what they have to offer.

“I was thoroughly impressed that a golf course of this caliber has been right in my back yard the entire time,” Gallagher said. “I could see making this one of our regular stops. And with the accommodations they offer, we will be doing some overnight trips out here.”

Doug Davis has been around the River Greens Golf Course his entire life. Doug’s family owned a couple of small farms in rural Ohio, dating back to his great, great grandparents. Doug’s father George served in the Navy during the Korean war and upon returning to the farm in 1955 and farming the land for another 10 years, realized that the days of making it on a small farm were probably over. George had always thought about converting one of them into a golf course, after all, the sport was surging and with Ohio’s native son Jack Nicklaus leading the way, many other farmers were converting their land into golf courses.

As it turns out, there was a golf course designer named Jack Kidwell who lived in Columbus, OH. George went into town one day to buy a part for a piece of broken farm equipment. He knew Kidwell lived in the area and on his way home he had a decision to make; should he pay a visit to Mr. Kidwell and learn more about this golf opportunity or should he go straight home and fix the tractor. According to Doug, his father literally sat at the crossroads for several minutes debating the merits of each. Fortunately for golfers, he went to Jack Kidwell’s office.

Jack Kidwell did more for golf in the State of Ohio than most golf historians give him credit for. After his family purchased a small 9-hole golf course on land contract in the middle of the depression, Kidwell learned all aspects of golf course ownership out of necessity. He became one of the most revered professionals in golf by freely sharing his knowledge and time; in fact, many of the golf courses he is credited with building were built by farmers like George who had little or no money, knew nothing about turfgrasses or golf, but wanted to get into the golf business. Kidwell was once quoted as saying “I am happy to help people get into the golf business who have no money or experience because if those were a prerequisite, I would never have enjoyed the life that golf has given me.” Kidwell also worked with Doug’s uncle, Rodney Davis, and helped him design the River Greens Golf Course in Avon Park, Florida, just north of Sebring.

River Greens Golf Course is a semi-private facility located in West Lafayette, OH. The original 18 holes – the River and Greens nines – were designed by Kidwell, with the first 9 holes opening in 1966 and the second nine opening a year later.  Another 9 – the Pines Course – was added in 1994. The result is three 18-hole layouts that will challenge and delight golfers of all levels and abilities.  The River/Greens combination is the most popular and measures 6588 yards from the longest tees with a course rating of 71.1 and a slope rating of 120. The course features 4 sets of tees with bent grass greens and bluegrass fairways.

The River Course (1 – 9) derives its name from the Tuscarawas River that borders several holes. You first see the river on the 4th green. Hit it long and right over the green and you’ll have a close-up view of what I’m talking about. Holes 6, 7, and 8 are a good trio, and playing them well will probably result in a good score. Number 6 is a nice tree-lined par 4 that plays 348 yards from the Blue tees. This dogleg right plays along the Tuscarawas River which provides a good backdrop for photos. It’s a narrow driving hole with trees on either side at the dogleg. Play your tee shot out to the left but be mindful of the river over there. The left side of the fairway provides the best angle into this relatively flat green. Number 7 is a 170-yard par 3 with the river on the left. Anything pulled left is likely wet. Number 8 is a challenging par 5 that plays 490 yards. This dogleg left has two bunkers on the right in the landing area that catch a lot of errant shots, so keep your tee shot left. A good layup shot down the left side will leave the best angle into this elevated green and take the two pot bunkers on the right front of the green out of play.

The Greens Course (10 – 18) also ends with three challenging holes. Number 16 is the first hole with water directly in play. It’s a par 3 that plays 214 yards from the back tees into a green fronted by a pond on the right side. Check the wind, choose your club wisely and swing away; you can bail out to the left if need be. Number 17 is a 358-yard par 4 with a pretty significant dogleg to the right. There’s a bunker straight away off the tee on the left side of the fairway and trees to the right if you try and cut it. A good drive right of the bunker will leave a short iron into the green. Number 18 is a 537-yard par 5 that requires a good drive and then a layup shot out to the right to avoid the small pond on the left. Two solid shots will leave a short pitch into a fairly flat green.

The Pines Course (19 – 27) got its name from the pine trees that framed the fairways although many have been lost since the course was built. Pines features three par 3s, three par 4s, and three par 5s, so scoring can be at a premium, as long as you play the par 3s well. Pines also has the longest hole on the course. Number 21 is a 605-yard par 5 with a slight dogleg left. Bunkers come into play on both your drive and layup shots and the bunker in the front right of the green needs to be avoided if you want to score well on this monster of a golf hole. Remember that pond on the par 3, 16th hole? Well, you’re about to experience it again. The 326-yard par 4 27th hole requires a well-calibrated drive followed by an accurate approach shot over said water into a green protected on the left by trees. Par (or better) is a great way to finish.

Last Word: River Greens Golf Course features well-manicured fairways, hazards, and greens, almost to a private country club level. The three-9-hole courses can be conformed into 3 18-hole layouts, each with its own character. No combination is overtly long and choosing the right set of tees regardless of your course combinations is always going to result in the most fun. Although you’ll find a lot of mature pine and oak trees as you make your way around the golf course, what you see is what you get at River Greens Golf Course. Flags are visible from most tee boxes and there aren’t a lot of surprises along the way. You won’t see much water out here either; the Tuscarawas River can be seen on a few holes but then you don’t see any more until the 16th, 18th, and 27th holes.

River Greens offers some great Stay and Play packages, especially for larger groups. The Farmhouse is located next to the 1st tee and Is perfect for 8 people. It features 4 bedrooms with 3 queen beds and 5 twin beds. Linens and towels are provided and there is a washer and dryer as well. It has a fully equipped kitchen, WiFi, DirecTV, and a deck with a gas grill. If that’s not big enough, River Greens Guest House sleeps 16 with 6 bedrooms and 16 beds. It’s located near the 19th tee and comes with all the same amenities. Either house requires two nights minimum per person. Rates are cheap and you get a great discount on golf. Just bring your own food and your favorite beverages and have yourself a good ole time!

For more information on the golf course or to book your next round or golf package, visit them online at www.rivergreens.com.

TaylorMade Stealth Irons

The hollow-body Stealth irons from TaylorMade Golf make use of the Cap Back feature from the 2021 model SIM2 Max with an area added that wraps around on to the toe to redistribute weight lower in the head.

Fast Facts TaylorMade Stealth Irons
Game-improvement category
Hollow body with polymer cap wrapping onto toe
450 stainless steel face with Inverted Cone interior
Interior vibration dampening
Fluted hosel with bending notch
Sole slot
Lofts: 5-iron 21°, pitching wedge 43°
Stock shafts: KBS Max MT 85, Fujikura’s Ventus Red
Stock grip: Lamkin Crossline 360 Black/Red Reminder
Available April, 1, 2022
Set of seven irons $999 steel or $1,099 graphite

WYNTK
Many hollow irons have a metal back however the new Stealth model from TaylorMade makes use of a polymer composite cap (Cap Back) first seen in their SIM2 Max and Sim2 Max OS that replaces the usual metal. This provides the face with better flex characteristics for added ball speed but as importantly weight can be repositioned lower improve launch. Not to be overlooked though is the portion of the Cap Back that wraps around from the back to the toe which also removes mass from in that area for redistribution towards the sole.

In the announcement to the media Matt Bovee, Product Creation, Irons said, “When we were thinking of the next level of Cap Back Design, we centered our thinking around the fact that the majority of golf shots happen at center face or lower. In order to drive performance lower in the club face, we needed to drive the center of gravity lower in the club face because where CG goes, the sweet spot follows. With the addition of toe wrap construction and the ability to move weight lower in the club, Stealth irons provide a perfect harmony of technology and design for the golfer who is looking for a performance advantage on the course.”

Since weight in the hosel is essentially lost as far as club performance is concerned TaylorMade again has designed a hosel with fluting to reduce the hosel’s mass without compromising strength and performance.

Stealth Carbonwood Drivers by TaylorMade

TaylorMade Golf has announced the Stealth Carbonwood driver family with a totally new and unique face, one made of carbon fiber rather than titanium as other drivers and offering what the company says are significant performance advantages.

Fast Facts TaylorMade Stealth Drivers
60X carbon fiber face
Polyurethane face covering
Twist Face
Sole slot
Carbon fiber crown
Asymmetrical sole aerodynamics
Adjustable hosel
Available Feb. 4, 2022
Stealth Game-improvement category
Stock shafts: Fujikura Ventus Red 5, Aldila Ascent Red 60
Stock grip: Lamkin Crossline 360 Black/Red
$579.99
Stealth HD  Draw bias game-improvement category
Stock shaft: Fujikura Air Speeder 45
Stock grip: Lamkin Crossline 360 Black/Red
$579.99
Stealth Plus Low spin better-player category
Stock shafts: Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Red 60, Mitsubishi’s Kai’li White 60
Stock grip: Lamkin Crossline 360 Black/Red
$599.99

WYNTK
TaylorMade Golf, a longtime leader in club technology, says their research has shown driver faces using titanium have reached its performance limit and a new approach was needed. Now as a result of some 20 years of research by their scientists and engineers a material previous thought to be unsuitable, carbon fiber, is the replacement.

The company is calling it the dawn of the age of the Carbonwood.

Brian Bazzel, Vice President Product Creation was quoted, “In the mid-2000’s, our Research team developed an understanding that the weight of the face can affect impact efficiency, more specifically, the lighter the face, the more efficient the impact and the better the ball speed. We realized Titanium faces could only take us so far and carbon would be the face material of the future. This breakthrough design of a lightweight carbon face in Stealth, has created a whole new starting line, a new era of drivers, a new threshold of performance and a new platform for more innovation.”

Because usually carbon fiber will not hold up when used in a driver the new face is composed of 60 layers of fiber so it will withstand the forces generated by the impact of a driver and ball. To create a texture on the face a layer of polyurethane is applied which also has score lines to control spin when conditions are wet. And even though they were able to increase the face size because carbon fiber weighs less than titanium the saved weight was repositioned to improve Stealth performance.

The Stealth’s carbon fiber face is a distinctive red color, so it won’t be mistaken for any other company’s driver, but the white crown of the past few TaylorMade models is now a conventional black.

Of note the Stealth Plus for professionals and low handicap amateurs has a sliding 10-gram weight in the sole to adjust ball flight for those with higher swing speed.

Rogue ST MAX Irons from Callaway Golf

Callaway Golf is bringing out four new iron models in the Rogue ST MAX family: the regular MAX, MAX OS, MAX OS Lite and MAX Pro along with a new line of hybrids under the Rogue brand.

Fast Facts Rogue ST MAX Irons
Rogue ST MAX game-improvement category
Rogue ST MAX OS super game-improvement category
Rogue ST MAX OS Lite super game-improvement women and seniors
Rogue ST MAX Pro better players
450-alloy A.I.-designed face cup
Tungsten weighting
Urethane microsphere-filled interior
Stock lofts:
MAX: 5-iron 21.5°, pitching wedge 41ׄ°
MAX OS: 5-iron 22.5°, pitching wedge 41ׄ°
MAX OS Lite: 5-iron 25°, pitching wedge 44ׄ°
MAX Pro: 5-iron 23.5°, pitching wedge 43ׄ°
Stock shafts:
MAX and MAX OS: True Temper Elevate MPH, Tensei AV Series Blue– MAX OS Lite: Project X Cypher Black– MAX Pro: Project X Rifle, Tensei AV Series White
Stock grips:
MAX and MAX OS: Callaway Universal, MAX OS Lite: Winn Dri Tac 2.0, MAX Pro: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360
At retail Feb. 18, 2022
Rogue ST MAX & MAX OS–$999.99 steel, $1099.99 graphite
Rogue ST MAX OS Lite–$1,099 graphite only
Rogue ST MAX Pro–$1199 steel, $1299 graphite

WYNTK
Callaway, the largest iron manufacturer, has brought to market the new Rogue ST MAX line and according to the company is the result of upgrading existing technology from the Mavrik family plus adding features not seen before in any of their previous models.

The story begins with a high strength 450-alloy face cup configured using the results from their now familiar artificial intelligence supercomputer design process. Company tests show the new face provides more consistent ball speeds, impact to impact, with 13.2% less dispersion. Each face design is unique for each loft of each of the four models.

Weighting has been changed with the use of more tungsten near the sole matched up with the face to lower ball spin, improve trajectory, and add speed without making lofts stronger. Callaway points out in the MAX model the weighting is up to 260% more than the comparable Mavrik model and in the MAX Pro and MAX OS 188% more. Internally the head contains their patented urethane microspheres occupying more space than in previous irons. At impact the microspheres collapse upon themselves, and this means more effective vibration dampening plus a more solid feel.

The game-improvement MAX is the model best suited for most recreational players with lofts slightly weaker than the old Mavrik models from 2020. The MAX OS super game-improvement irons have a larger amount of offset and wider soles while the MAX OS Lite is for slower swing speed players such as seniors and women with lower swing weight and higher lofts for more carry. In the better-player category, the hollow body MAX Pro Callaway points out is almost a derivative of the popular Apex Pro 21 and the semi-muscle back head has a thin topline with little offset. Low handicappers still wanting some game-improvement help should try the MAX Pro.

Rogue ST MAX Hybrids have relatively tall face with squared off toe. The internal Jailbreak ST structure is new and has been moved away from face cup but positioned so it still provides stiffness to the head at impact. Tungsten is loaded into the toe area and balances the weight of hosel since hybrid hosels are comparatively long and thus weight more. The tungsten lowers the hybrid’s center of gravity compared to older Mavriks which had no such weighting.  MAX, MAX OS and MAX OS Lite hybrids have an iron shape with comparatively stronger lofts while the MAX Pro is more of a fairway wood shape in a smaller head. Each carries a price of $279.99.

Callaway Launches Four Rogue ST MAX Drivers

Callaway’s Rogue ST MAX drivers make use of a fixed tungsten weight, a first for them in drivers, plus there are changes to the A.I. face and modifications to the internal Jailbreak titanium rods to achieve higher ball speed, lower spin with added forgiveness.

Fast Facts Rogue ST MAX Drivers
Rogue ST MAX game-improvement category—slight draw bias
Rogue ST MAX D super game-improvement category—draw bias
Rogue ST MAX LS better-player category—low spin
Rogue ST MAX LS Triple Diamond better-player category—low spin
Tungsten Speed Cartridge rear perimeter of head
A.I.-designed Flash Face
Jailbreak Speed Frame
Titanium body
Carbon fiber crown, sole panels
Adjustable hosel
Stock shafts: Project X Cypher, Mitsubishi Tejse9 AV Blue, Mitsubishi Tensei AV White
Stock grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360, Winn Dri-Tac 2.0
At retail Feb.18, 2022 $549.99 each

WYNTK
It never ceases to amaze me how much knowledge of physics coupled with an intimate understanding of materials and intensive computer modeling go into the modern golf club. Callaway, the world’s largest club company is putting their top-of-the-heap status on display with the Rogue ST MAX family that includes drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons.

As with all members of the family the distinctions between the four Rogue ST MAX drivers relate to the category of player their design is targeted but all four share several characteristics. Callaway says their goal regardless of the model was to enhance and preserve ball speed (more distance) plus provide more control (straighter drives) while improving the club’s forgiveness (easier to hit).

Gone is the sliding sole weight of the 2021 Epic model and for the first time a Callaway driver makes use of a stationary tungsten weight located along the skirt. In the case of the new Rogues the machined tungsten, which is urethane-covered, fits into an aluminum assembly with screws to hold everything in place at the head’s perimeter. This extra rear weight fits in a “tail” extension from the sole and the company says this gives a large Improvement to MOI reducing the loss in ball speed when impact is not in the center of the face.

Horizontal stability and tortional direction are provided by a refined Jailbreak Speed Frame in the interior with more mass concentrated towards the bottom of the frame near the sole. Callaway makes the point this gives more stiffening of the head with lower weight in the frame. The new A.I.-designed face is a different than last year’s Epic Max and has a shape that helps to lower ball spin for better flight characteristics while providing additional forgiveness on mishits.

Also new in the Rogue is the Unibody construction with the head’s titanium structure formed as much as possible in one piece compared to the more usual method of welding metal head components together. The crown and two areas of the sole remain carbon fiber as they were in the Epic but the head shape of the MAX is stretched so the center of gravity is more to the rear thanks to the low tail section of the skirt containing the tungsten weight assembly.

The Rogue ST MAX game-improvement model is the one most will choose, and it has the highest MOI of the family with a slight draw bias while the MAX D is a super game-improvement driver with lots of right to left bias and a closed face. The MAX LS targets those better players wanting a low spin driver and has a neutral CG while the smaller head (450cc) of the Triple Diamond LS meant for professionals and low handicap amateurs is biased for a straight to fade ball flight.

The Rogues ST MAX fairway woods have a new Jailbreak design, the ST, which includes thickening the body in a vertical direction and moving the stiffening towards the perimeter rather than behind the face as in the driver. A 28-gram tungsten weight is placed in the sole to move the CG low and forward with a face cup that was A.I. optimized. Three models are offered: the MAX, MAX D and MAX LS. Each carries a price of $349.99.