In 2000 a new type of solid core golf ball was attracting the attention of virtually every golfer for a simple reason. From touring professionals to average players, the advent of softer cover solid core balls that gave the distance of the old solid core “distance balls” off the tee and but still had spin and control around the green seemed almost too good to be true.
That year at the 90-hole Invensys Classic 47 of Titleist’s endorsement staff pros put the company’s new entry in this category into play and Billy Andrade used it to beat Phil Mickelson by a stroke to win. It was the beginning of the dominance for Pro V1 (joined three years later by the Pro V1x) in professional and elite player tournaments while becoming by far the best-selling golf ball with recreational players.
Up until that Las Vegas event 18 years ago the most popular ball had also been a Titleist, the Professional, which had a liquid-filled core surrounded by rubber band-like windings and a cover made from a tree sap called balata.
Many don’t remember but Pro V1 was not the first solid-core ball with a urethane cover. Ten months earlier at the January 2000 PGA Merchandise Show the Rule 35 ball was introduced by Callaway Golf but more significantly in May Tiger Woods, then at the height of his powers, began to use the Tour Accuracy ball made by his sponsor Nike.
At this year’s Las Vegas tournament, the Shriner’s Hospital for Children Open (now 72 holes) Titleist again began what it calls the “seeding” process of introducing the latest Pro V1 and Pro V1x the 2019 model to their endorsement staff professionals.
DeChambeau Wins in Las Vegas with Cobra
Bryson DeChambeau is the hottest player in the world rallying with an eagle on the 16th hole Sunday to take the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open for his fifth career win and the fourth since taking the Memorial Tournament last June. Since his win in September at the Dell Technologies Championship he has changed to a new driver, the recently introduced Cobra King F9 Speedback and dropping the old Cobra King F8+.
DeChambeau’s winning clubs:
Driver: Cobra King F9 Speedback (9°) – TPT Model 14 MKP LT shaft
Fairway Woods: Cobra King LTD Black (14.5°); Cobra King F8+ (17.5°) – Project X HZRDUS Black 85X shafts
Irons: Cobra One Length Utility (4, 5); Cobra King Forged One Length (6-PW) – True Temper X7 shafts
Wedges: Cobra King V Grind (50°, 55°, 60°) – True Temper X7 shafts
Putter: SIK Kinematics Proto
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X
In Case Anyone Should Ask:
Equipment on Tour this Week:
Titleist’s Pro V1 and Pro V1x were played by 99 in the 132-man Shriners field in Las Vegas while 15 teed up either the Callaway’s Chrome Soft or Chrome Soft X. The most played hybrids (26) and sets of irons (35) were also from Titleist. Vokey Design Wedges topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (182) category and Scotty Cameron putters are the choice of more players than any other brand with 52 in play.
SOFT from Cleveland: The newest putter line from Cleveland Golf is the Huntington Beach SOFT – Speed Optimized Face Technology — priced at $129.99. Because of the face milling pattern, whether impact is towards the toe or heel the design was created to produce the same roll as if impact was in the center. SOFTs produce confidence-building feel and sound from the milled 304 stainless steel head with the center of gravity lower and closer to the height of the center of the ball. They are available in six shapes, four mallets and two blades.
Wise Rookie of the Year: Aaron Wise continued a run for Callaway Golf becoming the fourth member in a row of their endorsement staff to win PGA Tour Rookie of the Year following Daniel Berger (2015), Emiliano Grillo (2016) and Sander Schauffele (2017). Wise was a winner in his first campaign year at the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic.
His bag is all Callaway except for his Titleist Vokey wedges:
Driver: Callaway Rogue (10.5°) – Fujikura Speeder shaft
Fairway wood: Callaway GBB Epic (13.5°) – Fujikura Atmos shaft
Irons: Callaway X-Forged UT (2) – KBS Tour Prototype Hybrid shaft; Callaway Apex 16 (4) – True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shaft; Callaway Apex Pro 16 (5) – True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shaft; Callaway Apex MB 18 Irons (6-PW) – True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50°, 56°, 60°) – True Temper Dynamic Golf Tour Issue S400 shafts
Putter: Odyssey Metal-X Milled 2-Ball Putter
Ball: Chrome Soft X
New Bettinardi: Two updated putter lines from Bob Bettinardi are now available. The Queen B series has re-engineered QB5 and QB6 models with the all-new QB10. All make use of Bettinardi’s Micro Honeycomb face milling and are priced at $400. The new Studio Stock series SS2, SS28 Slot Back and SS38 are priced at $450. Each of the new putters is at retail now.
HL3 “To Go”: The HL3 line from Tour Edge Golf has been a smashing success since introduction at the PGA Merchandise Show in January. The combination of super game-improvement design and prices at the low end of the spectrum made HL3 “…some of the fastest movers this year in market share growth” according to president David Glod. Now for men, seniors and ladies they have put together “To-Go” HL3 sets with driver, fairway woods, combo irons/hybrids/iron-woods, sand wedge, mallet putter and cart bag for the package price of $999.99. They will be in stores November 15.
Duo Pro: Wilson Staff was early promoting low compression golf balls and the latest, the Duo Professional which replaces the Duo Urethane introduced back in January 2016. The Duo Pro has a thinner by 35 to 40% cast urethane cover with produces 6 to 10% more spin on irons done by making the mantle from Surlyn. It remains 60 compression and is in the upper level of the recreational-player category urethane 3-piece golf balls at $34.99 per dozen. Wilson says they will be at retail on December 3.
Rose Back as Number One: Justin Rose took over the top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings when after winning the FedExCup last September and after two weeks lost it first to the previous number one Dustin Johnson and the Brooks Koepka. This past weekend he successfully defending his Turkish Airlines Open and is back on top. Rose plays TaylorMade Golf clubs and balls exclusively:
Driver: TaylorMade M3 460 (8.5°) – Mitsubishi Tensei CK 60TX shaft
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M4 (15°) – Mitsubishi Tensei CK 80TX shaft; TaylorMade M3 (19°) – Mitsubishi Tensei CK 80TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (4) – KBS Tour C-Taper 125 S+; TaylorMade P730 Rose Proto (5-9) – KBS Tour C-Taper 125 S+ shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48°, 52° & 56°); TaylorMade Hi-Toe Grind (60°) – all | KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 135X shafts
Ball: TaylorMade TP Red Ardmore 2 Putter
Ball: TaylorMade TP5 Golf Ball