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Category: Prototype Equipment

November 01, 2012

Nike offers glimpse of new driver on Facebook and Twitter

Posted at 10:03 AM by David Dusek

On Tuesday, Nike Golf published two images of its yet-to-be-released driver on the company's Facebook and Twitter feeds, giving its followers a glimpse of the red-crowned club. Nike is unveiling the driver on Monday, Nov. 5.


RELATED: Nike Homepage | See-Try-Buy: 3 Steps to Your Perfect Set

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April 15, 2012

Winner's Bag: Carl Pettersson at the RBC Heritage

Posted at 7:48 PM by David Dusek

DRIVER: Nike VR Pro STR8-FIT (11.5°) with a Mitsubishi Fubuki Alpha shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade Burner (14.5°) with a Mitsubishi Fubuki Alpa 70 X shaft
HYBRIDS:  Nike VR Pro (21°) with a UST Mamiya ATTAS 85 Hyrbid shaft
IRONS: Nike VR_S Forged (4), VR Pro Combo (5-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
WEDGES: Nike VR Pro Forged (49°, 55°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue shafts
PUTTER: Nike Method prototype belly putter
BALL: Nike 20XI S

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Nike and TaylorMade clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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(Photo by David Dusek)

November 09, 2011

Tiger Woods using Nike VR-S Forged iron in Australia

Posted at 2:22 PM by David Dusek

During practice rounds before the start of the Emirates Australian Open in Sydney this week, Tiger Woods was spotted using a yet-to-be released Nike VR-S Forged long iron. For several seasons, Woods has been using Nike Victory Red Blades (3-PW), occasionally adding a 2-iron and removing his Nike VR Pro 5-wood.

As you can see in the photo below, the VR-S Forged is a perimeter-weighted cavity back iron that has an undercut behind the face. It should help Woods hit the ball higher and land it on a more vertical trajectory, which should help Tiger stop the ball faster on the quick Australian greens.


Woods also appears to have switched to a new Nike VR Pro Limited 3-wood. On the greens in Sydney, Woods putted with a Nike Method 001 putter

Interestingly, when I was at Nike Golf's club-testing facility in Ft. Worth, Texas, last week, one of the club-builders told me that Tiger's specs (lofts, lie angles, shaft lengths, etc.) have not changed since the company started building clubs for him. Whether he was working with Hank Haney to flatten his swing plane, or Sean Foley to make it more vertical, he never adjusted his equipment.


You'll be able to learn much more about the Nike VR-S Forged irons soon in Golf Magazine's annual ClubTest Irons issue.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Nike clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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(Top Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images; Lower Photo: Torsten Blackwood/Getty Images)

August 24, 2011

A new Adams Idea a12 hybrid appears at the Barclays

Posted at 9:23 PM by David Dusek

EDISON, N.J. – Adams Golf tour reps made a new, 17° Idea a12 hybrid for James Driscoll on Monday at Plainfield Country Club. Like the Adams Idea Pro a12 and Idea Pro Black hybrids, there is a place in the sole for a weighted screw to be added to lower the club's center of gravity, but gearheads will notice in the photos below that unlike other hybrids, this one features a channel in both the sole and the crown. Adams has only featured channels like these in the Speedline F11 and Speedline LP fairway woods.



Adams calls these channels duel velocity slots, and according to Christen Cervantes, an Adams tour rep, they allow a larger area of the face to flex back as the club hits the ball. "That expands the hot spot farther across the face," Cervantes says.

Does the technology actually work? During GOLF Magazine's most recent ClubTest, golfers who tried the Speedline F11 fairway woods said the clubs, "sacrificed little in terms of direction or distance on off-center hits."

Plenty of golfers would like to say that about their hybrids, too. As we learn more about the club, we'll be sure to let you know.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Adams clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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June 21, 2011

Inside look at Rory McIlroy's U.S. Open putter

Posted at 12:13 PM by David Dusek

RoryMcIlroyPutter-1 Gear heads probably recognized the putter Rory McIlroy used during the U.S. Open as a Scotty Cameron for Titleist Studio Select Newport, but the new champ's flatstick has a few special features that make it unique.

The obvious feature is the finish. While the Studio Select putters available in stores are finished in a brushed chrome, McIlroy's prototype has a darker, chromatic bronze finish with black paint fill in the back instead of the standard red.

The "CAMICO" stamped into the heel portion of the flange stands for "Cameron & Company." The "GSS" on the toe stands for German Stainless Steel. 

The standard Studio Select putters are made from 303 stainless steel. According to Cameron, German stainless steel is one of the best materials to use for making putters because it has such good feel, but it's too expensive to use for mass-produced putters. He makes "GSS" putters only for tour pros like McIlroy, Nick Watney and Dustin Johnson.

RoryMcIlroyPutter-2 While he has experimented with several different putters over the past few seasons, McIlroy's go-to putter has been a Scotty Cameron Newport Fastback. However, according to the Team Titleist blog, "After a recent session with his putting instructor, Rory decided that the toe flow of the Newport GSS style was working better with his putting stroke."

Also from the blog: "The Scotty Cameron team built Rory the Newport GSS Prototype last season at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He's put it into play in a few times over the last year and has always kept it in his travel bag."

After his record-setting performance at Congressional, it's hard to imagine McIlroy benching this putter any time soon.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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June 07, 2011

Adams Speedline 9088 UL Driver

Posted at 10:50 AM by David Dusek

The allure of super-lightweight drivers is based on the idea that a lighter club is easier to swing faster, and that increased clubhead speed should translate into more distance off the tee. Think of them as Sugar Ray Leonard drivers instead of George Foreman drivers.

Later this summer Adams Golf plans to enter the market in sub-300 gram drivers with the Speedline 9088 UL.


According to a company source, the Adams 9088 UL’s unique swing weight will separate it from other drivers in its category. The 9088 UL will have a swing weight of D0, which is slightly lower than a typical iron (D2-D4) and significantly lighter than other extremely light drivers. By comparison, Cleveland's 270-gram Launcher UltraLite XL270 has a swing weight of D6 and TaylorMade's Burner SuperFast 2.0 has a swing weight of D9.



The clubmaker hopes that golfers will be able to release the head of the 9088 UL more effectively and reduce slicing because of that lighter swing weight.

Look for the 9088 UL driver to come standard with a Matrix Radix HD shaft and start appearing in pro shops in August, with a draw version of the club coming later in the fall.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Adams clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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May 09, 2011

Callaway releases the RAZR X Muscleback irons

Posted at 6:42 PM by David Dusek

Callaway RAZR Muscleback Irons Callaway has been making some of the best-selling irons for years, featuring clubs that help a lot of golfers hit the ball higher and farther more easily. Several offerings in the X Series and Big Bertha family of irons had big heads, massive sweet spots and low centers of gravity to make that possible.

The new RAZR Muscleback irons give you none of that. The first hint that these clubs are only for serious players is that the photo samples distributed by Callaway (right) show a 2-iron.

"If you aren't good enough to get your clubs for free, this might not be the best club for you," says Luke Williams, Callaway's director of product design. "I mean, really good amateur players and college players could play this club. There's a market for it, but it's small."

What the RAZR Muscleback, which is forged from carbon steel, does give players with an efficient and repeatable swing is the ultimate in feel and control.

Today's RAZR Muscleback irons started as prototype clubs built with tour players in mind. With small heads, short blades, anorexically-thin toplines and narrow soles, they first appeared in the bags of players like Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson with "X Prototype" stamped on their backs. After a while, Callaway made a few sets available to the public, calling the clubs the Tour Authentic X Protoype irons.

As Callaway considered its 2011 iron offerings, Williams says the company started thinking that it might be a good idea to bring the X Prototype irons out to the masses.

"When we thought about including an iron like this in our current line, we went out and got some feedback from players," Williams says. "We told them, 'Okay, if we're going to make a new version of this iron, what should we do differently?' And what we commonly heard back was, 'Well, change the name on the back. Don't change anything.' The players told us the size is perfect, the sole is just what we want, all of that. After hearing that often enough, that's what we decided to do."

The RAZR X Muscleback is, in fact, the X Prototype with some subtle cosmetic alterations made to the back of the club.

"While this iron may not include some of the latest technologies or come with a lot of bells and whistles, there are some things about it that are very important to get right," Williams says. "It's not just, 'Make a small forged blade and the players are going to love it.' You've got to get the offset right, you've got to get the blade length right, the toe shape, the topline width and angle. You've got to get the transition from the offset into the leading edge right. Those are the things that Tour players and better players are really concerned with."

The RAZR Muscleback are available now for $999 and come standard with Project X Flighted shafts, however, Callaway will change them to any steel shaft it carries for no additional charge. You can get more product specifications about the clubs on Callaway's Web site.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook

May 18, 2010

Titleist 910 Drivers Spotted on USGA Conforming Club List

Posted at 1:47 PM by David Dusek

I did not receive a press release yesterday from Titleist announcing the release of any new clubs, but golf equipment message boards were buzzing about Titleist's new 910 D2 and 910 D3 drivers.

Bloggers and gearheads got some basic information about the clubs after noticing the drivers had been added to the United States Golf Association's list of conforming equipment.

Titleist 910 Drivers USGA Listing

Months before equipment is available to the pros or the public, manufacturers have to submit woods, irons and balls to the USGA for testing to ensure they conform to the Rules of Golf.

According to the USGA's Web site:

"The Research and Test Center receives nearly 3,000 equipment submissions each year. This includes nearly 900 different models of golf balls and more than 2,000 other pieces of golf equipment such as clubs, clubheads, shafts, gloves, tees and other devices. While the golf balls are submitted by a relatively small number of manufacturers from around the world, the other pieces of equipment may come from a major equipment manufacturer or a golf enthusiast tinkering in his/her garage. Regardless of the source, each submission is handled with the same diligence, care and confidentiality."

For serious equipment junkies, the USGA's searchable database of conforming clubs, which is updated every Monday, is the place to go to learn what equipment might be coming out before press releases are mailed and ad campaigns begin.

I wrote "might" in that last sentence for a very good reason—clubs that are tested and added to the top of the list of conforming clubs do not always get produced or made available to the public.

However, if you ever get your hands on a Titleist 910 D2 and 910 D3 driver, you can now rest assured that it is legal for play.

Titleist 901 Drivers

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

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April 29, 2010

Odyssey to Offer Limited Edition Phil Mickelson Blade Putter

Posted at 3:41 PM by David Dusek

On the night that Phil Mickelson won the 2010 Masters, I wrote in detail about his custom-made Odyssey blade putter. As I noted that evening, Phil's putter is not currently in Odyssey's lineup. But Odyssey recently announced that 82 right-handed and 82 left-handed models of the Mickelson-inspired ProType 82 blade putter will be made available to the public.

Beginning May 10 at 11:00 AM ET (8:00 AM PT), those interested in owning one of these limited edition putters can sign up to be eligible for purchase on a first-come basis at Each of these 164 individually numbered, limited-edition putters features a green highlight on the sole, a nod to Mickelson’s win at Augusta earlier this month.


According to a release, the ProType 82 features a face insert that is identical to the insert in the White Ice family of putters, a tungsten weight in the rear section and a single white alignment line—just like Mickelson's. The putters will come with special headcover and a Black Series grip that is identical to the one Phil used at Augusta.

Each of the putters will be numbered and sold for $500.

"I'm very excited that the designers at Odyssey have produced this limited edition putter with the same design as my gamer," Mickelson said in the release.

Austie Rollinson, Principle Designer for Odyssey Golf, said in the release, "Phil came to us a few years back to develop this particular model and he’s obviously had great success with it on the PGA Tour. The ProType 82 Putter was developed due to the large number of requests we receive from people interested in the product that Phil uses on the game’s biggest stage."

Don't be surprised to see more ProType putters released from Odyssey in the future.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Odyssey and Callaway, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | ClubTest 2010: Putters

February 16, 2010

TaylorMade Prototype Hybrid at WGC-Accenture Match Play

Posted at 9:46 AM by David Dusek

MARANA, Ariz. — Last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, TaylorMade tour reps showed a new prototype rescue club to a few PGA Tour players in hopes of getting some feedback. Jim Furyk, Charles Howell, Rory Sabbatini and Dustin Johnson all tried it.

The new club has not officially been named, but will likely be called the Rescue TP '10. Cosmetically it is very similar to the current Rescue TP and features TaylorMade's adjustable face angle technology, but it has a smaller head and deeper face in the toe area. The club also features an area in the rear of the sole that houses a weight plug.

Here are three photos of the club:




See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMade clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

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(Photos by David Dusek)

September 15, 2009

Paul Casey Tweets About Nike's Victory Red Driver

Posted at 4:54 PM by David Dusek

At this time of year, many of the major golf equipment manufacturers hold their annual sales meetings. Numbers are crunched, plans are discussed and new products are often shown for the first time to people outside the R&D department.

Many companies also bring in their tour pros to speak to the troops, hit a few shots, sign autographs and mingle. Paul Casey, a Nike staff player, has been taking it a step further, Tweeting from The Oven, Nike's facility in Ft. Worth, Texas. Here are two from earlier today:

11:29AM At the Oven today. Checking out 2010 product with the sales team.

1:05PM  Pics coming after lunch. Food always comes first.

Casey sent several images of Nike Method putters. At 3:25pm, he Tweeted some shots of the yet-to-be released Nike Victory Red driver.

Casey's Victory Red Driver

The orange area behind the face, according to Casey's Tweets, is the Compression Channel. He wrote that it expands the sweet spot of the driver. The driver appears to have STR8-Fit, Nike's adjustable clubhead system that is currently available in the SQ Dymo STR8-Fit driver.

Casey's Victory Red Driver 2

As learns more about this and other yet-to-be released equipment, we'll write about it here.

(Photos by Paul Casey)

July 21, 2009

Video: This Week in Gear - July 21, 2009

Posted at 10:27 AM by David Dusek

In this eisode of This Week in Gear, learn all about the clubs that Stewart Cink used to win the 2009 British Open, as well as Mark Calcavecchia's new Ping driver, the Ping G15.

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July 19, 2009

Stewart Cink's 2009 British Open Winning Clubs

Posted at 4:32 PM by David Dusek

Stewart-Cink-Sun-Brit Stewart Cink, winner of the 2009 British Open, has been using Nike's CCi Forged irons for several seasons. When I spoke to him earlier this season and asked if he was planning to switch to a newer model, Cink explained that finding time to make changes can be challenging.

"After I won in Hartford [June, 2008], I didn't want to change anything up," he said. Then, after the FedEx Cup playoffs in September, when the Nike Victory Red irons were released, Cink was busy testing new golf balls with Nike's Rock Ishii.

"I ended up using a new ball for about five months. I didn't want to use a new ball, and then change irons or my driver, because if you change everything you don't know what's happening," he said. "Or what's giving you the benefit."

Although Cink is now using Nike Victory Red wedges—he used to play the Nike SV wedges—the most significant equipment change he has made this season happened in Texas at the Crowne Plaza Colonial. As reported, having played a Never Compromise Sub 30 M3 belly putter for more than six seasons, Cink switched to a traditional-length Nike prototype putter.

Stewart Cink Putt Close Up Featuring a traditional Anser-style look, and heel-toe weighting, the milled face of the putter has a series of red ribs. The ribs are designed to reduce skidding and help get the ball rolling faster.

Cink's Nike prototype has more cosmetic details than the early Nike prototype putters seen on the PGA Tour (like Paul Casey's). There is a waffle pattern on the heel and toe, similar to the pattern on the back of the Nike Victory Red Half-Cavity irons. There is a sight line on the back flange of Cink's putter, and where Casey's putter has red paint-fill, Cink's is trimmed in black. Finally, on the bottom of Cink's putter there is a reference to The Oven, Nike's club building and testing facility in Ft. Worth, Texas.

I've seen five different versions of Nike's prototype putter with similar cosmetics to Cink's. Although nothing has been officially announced by Nike Golf, with this much detailing—and now two major wins by Cink and Lucas Glover—it would be surprising not to see these putters made available fairly soon. 

Here is a list of the clubs Stewart Cink used to win the 2009 British Open at Turnberry:

DRIVER: Nike SQ Sumo² Tour (9.5°) with UST ProForce AxivCore Tour Red 79 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS:  Nike SQ 2 (15°) with UST ProForce AxivCore Tour Red 79 shaft
IRONS: Nike Pro Combo OS (2, 4), CCi Forged (5-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
WEDGES:  Victory Red (52˚, 56˚, 60˚)
PUTTER: Nike prototype
BALL:  Nike One Tour D

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(Top photo: Robert Beck/SI; Putter:Jon Super/AP Photos)

June 28, 2009

Kenny Perry's Travelers Championship Winning Clubs

Posted at 6:58 PM by David Dusek

Kenny-Perry-Hartford During last week's U.S. Open at Bethpage Bloack, Kenny Perry removed his 3-iron and put a 19° prototype TaylorMade Raylor rescue club in its place. According to TaylorMade, Perry used the club successfully out of the rough from 220 yards out on the 10th hole to reach the green and make a birdie. Company reps said that because Perry's angle of attack is shallow, he often has trouble hitting longer clubs from deep rough, but the Raylor's V-shape sole design helped him a lot.

At the TPC River Highlands outside Hartford, where the rough was less severe than at Bethpage Black, Perry put his 3-iron back in the bag, but used a 22° Raylor instead of his 5-wood.

Here is a complete list of the club's Perry used to win his 14th career PGA Tour event:

DRVIER: TaylorMade R9 460 (9.5°) with Fujikura Matore F1 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade Burner (14.5°) with Fujikura Re AX TP75 shaft
HYBRID: TaylorMade Raylor prototpye (18°) with Fujikura Rombax TP 75 shaft
IRONS: TaylorMade r7 (4-PW) with FST KB Tour shafts
WEDGES: TaylorMade rac (54°, 64°), Cleveland CG14 (60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts
PUTTER: Ping G2i Craz-E
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

Take a look inside more PGA Tour winners' bags

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(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

June 21, 2009

Phil Mickelson's clubs for 2009 U.S. Open

Posted at 1:21 PM by David Dusek

Phil Mickelson Hybrid Bethpage 2 I had a chance to speak with Callaway Golf club designer Roger Cleveland in the company's massive tour truck this week. Cleveland mentioned that Phil Mickelson is using a new hybrid this week. Still in the prototype phase, the club was designed and conceived with significant input from Mickelson himself.

Mickelson has previously used a Callaway FT hybrid in some tournaments.

Cleveland would not go into detail about the club or specific technologies used in its creation, but Mickelson himself told reporters, "This is a special club I actually made, taking the back part of the hybrid out so that I can open it way up and get through that thick rough." (Click on the image for a better look at the club.)

Like all prototype clubs, there is no guarantee Phil's new hybrid will ever make it to the pro shop. Here is a complete list of the clubs he is using at Bethpage:

DRIVER: Callaway FT-9 (7.5°) Tour hosel with Mitsubishi Fubuki 73 X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD:  Callaway Big Bertha Diablo (15°) with Mitsubishi Fubuki 83 X shaft
HYBRID: Callaway PM prototype (18°) with Mitsubishi Diamana Thump X shaft
IRONS: Callaway X Forged (3-4), Callaway X Proto (5-9) with Rifle Project X 7.0 shafts
WEDGES: Callaway X Tour Forged (56°, 60°, 64°) with Rifle Project X 7.0 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot XG #9 Blade
BALL: Callaway Tour ix

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(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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