New golf product releases in review

By Anthony Barkley
NZPGA Professional

February, 2016 is the release of a number of new models from the big brands and with them come a lot of hype and promises and the odd bit of new jargon. PING for example 2 years ago released the very successful G30 driver and irons. The driver featured what was called Turbulators on top to help with air flow over the head making it more aerodynamic. The technology worked and the driver went on to be the number one selling driver in the US for almost its entire life cycle. Why? Because it was forgiving and accurate.
Before I go too much further, and this is not a sales pitch, if you have a driver two cycles old and you want more length and consistency, you need to look at some of the new models coming out. If you are wondering what a cycle is exactly, it’s the frequency a company brings out new models. PING is two years, Taylormade is one year etc and they all seem to vary.
This month brings new models from PING (Gseries), Taylormade (M2) and Callaway (XR16) that are all game improvement models. The Taylormade M1 driver would be our biggest seller currently as testing with the model produces some great results. On the FlightScope I even got one swing up to 114MPH with the M1 driver which is insane for me. The M2 is even more forgiving. Im waiting to test all three against each other once the M2 arrives but so far the G Series and XR16 models test very well.
The day the PING G Series driver arrived in store I took out the demo to test through the FlightScope Launch monitor. So they have added their new dragonfly and Vortec technology to decrease drag at impact by up to 37%. They have also decreased the weight of the crown by 8grams (other companies are doing similar) but they maintain a very stable structure. The result from these changes is a lower and deeper centre of gravity the maximised distance and accuracy which sounds all good.  I hit five shots through the FlightScope and hit almost identical shots. Each had a little fade and started slightly left of target finishing close to middle. This is likely swing and shaft related but contact was great. Club head speed was up around the 2mph faster than my norm and it felt stable.
If you currently have a G30 model try the G Series as it may give you some positive gains. If you have a G25 model or earlier definitely look to upgrade to the new model.
On the same day I took out the Callaway XR16 driver designed by Boeing. For me the XR driver didn’t really perform well but testing of the XR16 model was a different story. Club head speeds reached 109mph averaging around 107mph. This for me was an increase of 3-4mph which was impressive. The timing of each shot was equal to the PING G Series but there was a slight gain in distance with the XR16 but the club wasn’t as straight as the PING.
If you are a Callaway fan you have two great models (XR16 and Great Big Bertha) that are producing high club and ball speeds. They are both very forgiving so it’s worth testing against your current model or other brands.
I can’t go into too much detail in this article but I will emphasise, the new products are good and with a properly fitted club you will see positive gains. New products can also give you back some distance loss due to injury and dare say it, age related distance loss.
It will be interesting how the M2 goes against these two models but that could be another article.
Feel free to have a look at my YouTube channel (100% Golf New Zealand) that will feature reviews and golf tips or check them out at my website

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