Posts Tagged ‘Mike Stachura’

Are golfers finally improving - and if so why?

Are golfers finally improving – and if so why?

Are golfers finally improving – and if so why?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Back in the mid-’90s, I read an article that said golfers were not getting better, despite the advances in equipment design, instruction, and course condition.  Well, that data has either been wrong all along or has changed dramatically over the last 25 years.  Recent studies answer the age-old questions “Are golfers finally improving?” Thanks to  of Golf Digest for providing this significant insight!

Golfers are better than they were 25 years go.

It’s not just theory, it’s fact. Forgetting for a moment who among you is sandbagging and who’s toting around a vanity handicap, the data on handicaps from the US Golf Association makes one thing clear: Golfers not only are getting better, they may be getting better at their sport than any other group of athletes are getting at theirs.

This bold statement isn’t originally mine. I was having an email exchange with former USGA Senior Technical Director Dick Rugge, when listening to the recent Hot List podcast. When there was a suggestion that golfers really haven’t improved despite all the advances in technology.  Rugge, who often talked about the subject of handicap trends during his tenure at the USGA, told me about some handicap data that suggested just the opposite.

A quick call to the USGA confirmed that very fact. In the last 25 years, the average USGA handicap for a man has improved nearly two full strokes, from 16.3 to 14.4. For women, the improvement is no less impressive, dropping from 29.7 in 1991 to 26.1 in 2016.

Are golfers finally improving and if so, why?

Access to great golf courses has helped bring more golfers into the game.

Pictures: Golf Digest   Chun Xia
 
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Can sound make a big difference in a putter? Odyssey thinks so!

Can sound make a big difference in a putter? Odyssey thinks so!

Can sound make a big difference in a putter? Odyssey thinks so.
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!
A number of years ago I toured the Mizuno factory and R&D department in Atlanta, GA.  What fascinated me the most was how they were trying to strive for the exact pitch (or sound) the club made at impact.  It was explained to me that when people were asked to describe the feel, they usually describe what they are hearing rather than what they are feeling.  So this article by  Mike Stachura of Golf Digest Stix makes perfect sense to me.  Check it out!
Can sound make a big difference in a putter?  Odyssey thinks so!

6 New Models

The company’s new RSX line of putters is inspired by a Japanese model from 2008.

Odyssey Brings Science to Sound in New Line

It’s easy, especially when you’re talking about the often more-art-than-science business of putter design, to believe sound is something ephemeral and, for lack of a better word, non-engineerable. It’s something you might arrive at, but not something that can be orchestrated.

The team at Odyssey seriously put that belief to rest by taking a decidedly scientific approach to achieve the right sound, with its latest series of milled putters.  The new Milled Collection RSX. According to Odyssey’s chief designer, Austie Rollinson, the sound his team sought, they took from a successful putter model originally introduced by Odyssey in Japan from 2008, the Tour Authentic Prototype #1.

 Can sound make a big difference in a putter? Odyssey thinks so

Tour Authentic Prototype #1

 The challenge was to capture the slightly higher pitched sound of that solid-faced, single-piece milled design in a two-piece milled insert putter. The original was milled from a single billet of 303 stainless steel, and the new RSX is milled from 1025 carbon steel with a 17-4 stainless-steel face insert.

“We went to our computer modelers to do some finite element analysis and actually took that old model and saw how it vibrates, what parts of that putter moved, what sort of frequencies did it generate,” Rollinson says. “Then we created a new design with an insert to try to make the same sound.”

Source: Mike Stachura of Golf Digest Stix

Pictures: Odyssey Golf

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If you think the golf ball does not make a difference - think again!

If you think the golf ball does not make a difference – think again!

 
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!
 
If you think the golf ball does not make a difference - think again!

Try different brands before you settle on a favorite.

 

A recent essay on GolfWRX.com from veteran golf ball designer Dean Snell (27 years with Titleist, TaylorMade and now his own company Snell Golf) makes the case that modern golf ball technology has endeavored to make the differences between all kinds of balls not that great—on the tee shot.

Related: Check out our golf ball Hot List

We think there can be subtle differences in distance, but the real differences in spin and performance.

(read: your ability to get the ball to land closer to your target) These subtle differences start to show up the closer you get to the green. The multilayer urethane cover balls (generally, the most expensive) provide more spin and control so shots get closer to the hole. Snell also notes that modern technology in the less expensive balls has made them softer, even softer feeling than the most expensive balls.

But feel is one thing and spin is another. During our Hot List process, the balls that continually received the highest marks from our player panelists were those that were the most expensive, specifically because of their performance around the greens.

We tested this idea out with some player testing of 50-yard pitch shots. The goal was to hit shots that flew most of the way to the hole and stopped quickly after a few bounces. Using a Foresight Sports GC2 launch monitor, we saw clear differences in launch and spin, as shown in this chart here. Generally, the expensive tour-type balls launched lower (29 degrees or less) and spun more (7,000 rpm or more), while the less expensive balls launched higher (30 degrees or more) and spun less (5,500 rpm or less).

To read just how important ball selection is for your game, go here!

Source :   Golf Digest

Pictures : Golf Digest   루미넌스

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How Serious is the Counterfeiting Problem in the US - HUGE!

How Serious is the Counterfeiting Problem in the US – HUGE!

How Serious is the Counterfeiting Problem in the US – HUGE!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

We all know the saying “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!”  If you see a set of New top brand clubs on-line at a ridiculously low price, it’s probably fake.  Counterfeiting is a huge problem, not only in the USA but throughout the world.  China is the biggest culprit, where people produce clubs that look like the real thing but are made up of inferior materials. It is a very lucrative business because they pay very little for the materials, produce the ‘copy’ in small shops, and sell them to an unsuspecting public.

The problem for the consumers is that, after purchase, when the clubs break, shafts shatter or heads tear, there is no recourse.  

You are out of pocket and out of luck!  Above is a screenshot of a website that is tracking down and closing counterfeit websites.  The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group is an organization dedicated to stopping the production, distribution, and sale of counterfeit or “fake” golf equipment across the globe.

Formed in 2004, the group is made of five of the most well-known golf manufacturers in the world –Callaway-Odyssey; TaylorMade-Adidas Golf whose brands include TaylorMade, Adidas Golf, Adams and Ashworth; PING; Srixon, Cleveland Golf and XXIO; and Acushnet Company whose brands are Titleist, FootJoy, and Scotty Cameron. These manufacturers came together to protect the integrity of the game and to protect the consumers they’ve served for so many years.

Source: http://www.keepgolfreal.com/

The bottom line here is – buy your golf equipment from legitimate sources, either on-line or at a golf store.  Stay informed!

Thanks to Mike Stachura of Golf Digest Stix for printing such an important story!  Read on!

How Serious is the Counterfeiting Problem in the US - HUGE!

There’s good news about the problem of counterfeit golf clubs: Progress is happening. Steve Gingrich, vice president of global legal enforcement for Srixon/Cleveland Golf/XXIO, notes that fewer instances of counterfeit clubs being harder to find in stores and golf shops in the past couple of years.

“However,” he said, “investigations have revealed that many shops have access to counterfeit products and will try to accommodate a sale if the customer presses for a copy product.” Of course, the market still thrives below the surface, especially through direct-to-consumer websites.

The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group has worked with international law enforcement to seize more than a million fake clubs since 2004 and shut down dozens of websites dealing in counterfeit products. According to Jason Rocker, the group’s spokesman, 90 percent of the more than two million fake products sold each year are made in China and sold online and in small shops there.

To read the rest of this important story, plus a link to The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group, go here!

Source: Golf Digest Stix  Mike Stachura  The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group

Pictures: Golf Digest Stix  The U.S. Golf Manufacturers Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group

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Do Non-Conforming Clubs have a Place in your Golf Game?

Do Non-Conforming Clubs have a Place in your Golf Game?

Do Non-Conforming Clubs have a Place in your Golf Game?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Is it OK to play non-conforming clubs?  

Of course, it is.  As long as you don’t use them in a competition you can use anything you like.  Non-conforming clubs are any clubs that do not conform to the R&A and USGA club specifications.  They are currently gaining in popularity as golfers seek out equipment to make the game more fun while still staying close to the original game.  Illegal wedges that give you more spin or illegal balls that go 20 yards farther make golf fun for the amateur golfer, and if this trend is going to help grow the game, I’m all for it!  Thanks to  of Golf Digest for giving us this interesting perspective!

Do Non-Conforming Clubs have a Place in your Golf Game?

Calloway’s ERC Driver did cause a stir when it had an early release with a non-conforming spring-like effect in the face!

Devices from drivers to carts all seem to offer game-changing—or even life-changing—improvement. But in an era where generating excitement seems to be at the core of every company’s mission statement, Dono Kim simply, quietly thinks the game needs more fun, and he doesn’t really care if that means his latest club is “illegal.”

“My business is to do something radically different from conventional.”  Somewhere mixed within all of that is his passion for inventing golf clubs. Kim said he developed the patent for the square driver a decade or so ago. “It doesn’t matter if people accept the idea, I love developing things that will change the game.”

Do Non-Conforming Clubs have a Place in your Golf Game?

Kim’s latest effort, however, is a far bolder step than a four-sided driver.

His company, Amazing Cre LLC, is debuting the RVS9, an otherwise conventional-looking driver—save for the gaping hole that swirls down from the crown all the way through to the grass below. Kim is standing next to his spartan tent during the PGA Merchandise Show’s annual Demo Day, where about a dozen golfers are flailing away at ball after ball using his latest invention. The sound is decidedly more softball bat than a shotgun blast.

Holding a support pole tightly as the wind nearly blows over his rickety tent, Kim says that nonconforming drivers in the Asian market fetch big money today. “They don’t care about that sort of thing,” he said of clubs that aren’t in compliance with The Rules of Golf. “It’s a totally different mind.”

To be sure, in a convention where “odd” often is the preferred currency, Kim’s product is the only one on the entire 42-acre driving range that is overtly nonconforming. And while he doesn’t trumpet that feature on the simple card he hands out touting the RSV9’s “aerodynamic” and “perimeter-weighting” benefits, he doesn’t hide from it, either. In fact, Kim says he isn’t planning to submit the club to the USGA for conformance testing.

“I’ve had products where I’ve had to wait so long to hear [from the USGA] that I was already in the market before I found out it was nonconforming,” Kim said.

“If the general public likes the club, then I don’t care if it’s nonconforming. It’s OK. I think a lot of people are waiting for something new, something really strange.”

But do golfers have an interest in breaking the rules? Kim’s attitude may come across as subversive at worst or cockamamie at best, but viewed in a larger context his philosophy is one that cycles through the golf business about as often as reports of flattening club sales or free-spirited, serial entrepreneurs buying their way into the equipment game.

There is always grumbling about decisions from the ruling bodies that limit performance or restrict innovation.

A 2014 Golf World study showed that nearly 1 in 4 golfers would be interested in a nonconforming driver that promised an additional 15-20 yards. Of course, the research isn’t clear from physics that such a club or result could be produced. Even so, what is clear from a Golf Digest study in 2015 that the average golfer already is leaving 23 yards on the table simply because he hasn’t had his swing and specs dialed in on a conforming driver.

In fact, in the case of Nike’s Sumo2 SQ, golf shops routinely continued to sell the club because customers had come in asking for the “hot” Nike driver. Nike officials admitted that a return program for the nonconforming driver generated little response from those who had originally, unintentionally purchased the non-conforming version.

The market in Asia has been somewhat schizophrenic over the last decade.

Most manufacturers decided to move away from nonconforming or high-COR drivers in the early 2000s after the USGA and the R&A agreed to adopt the same standard. But within the last five years, the interest from manufacturers in the East in hotter drivers has increased. A section of the tourspecgolf.com website, which deals in clubs issued originally only for the Asian market, is devoted exclusively to high-COR drivers from Japan. And they don’t come cheap. Several are in the $1,000 range. Those are the kind of numbers that have caught Kim’s attention.

Kim believes golf should change because society is changing. “Everything is changing so fast, and in my opinion golf should be changing, too. Maybe two sets of rules. Insisting on keeping the traditions of the game doesn’t make sense to me. If you watch how average golfers actually play, I don’t even know what those traditions mean anymore.”

Although he seems that way, Kim isn’t necessarily a voice crying in the wilderness.

The Japan Golf Goods Association’s statement from a year ago at the Japan Golf Fair read in part, “JGGA believes that it is desirable for the stimulation of the golf market to have a wide variety of golf equipment available in the market from which all types of golfers may choose in order to find one that really fits their respective purposes and needs, hoping that more and more golfers will enjoy playing golf as a result of such improvement in the golf equipment market.”

Do Non-Conforming Clubs have a Place in your Golf Game?

 

The JGGA responded to questions from GolfDigest.com in part this way: “JGGA recognizes that there is a clear desire or preference among amateur golfers in general for more distance from a driver shot or more backspin from an iron shot that makes a ball stopping or coming back on a green as professional players do. JGGA believes that it will contribute to the healthy growth and revitalization of the Japanese golf market to create an environment in which each golfer may choose and use golf equipment that matches his or her unique goals and needs.”

The JGGA stressed subsequently that it did not wish to recommend amateurs use nonconforming equipment.

To read the rest of this interesting article on non-conforming clubs in the marketplace, go here!

Source:   Golf Digest

Pictures: Blend Images – Picturenet/Brand X Images/Getty Images

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Cobra Golf's new wedge designs claim much more feel!

Cobra Golf’s new wedge designs claim much more feel!

Cobra Golf’s new wedge designs claim much more feel!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Cobra Golf has approached their new wedge design with what most golfers are looking for in a wedge, feel!  So many companies talk about loft, bounce and groove depth, but in the end feel is what we are all looking for.  What is feel?  It certainly is a perplexing question. Feel comes from the sound and also the solidness of the hit.  Those two things combined equal feel for us.  It looks like Cobra Golf has done a good job here.  Thanks to   of Golf Digest for bringing us this great equipment review!

Cobra unveiled its latest family of King wedges today.

Cobra Golf's new wedge designs claim much more feel!

While there is much to talk about with regard to groove design and loft/bounce options, sometimes lost in all that minutiae is the simple but elusive idea of feel. That’s why the team at Cobra refocused its efforts by studying the best way to make its new wedges properly resonate in the golfer’s hands and ears.

The key came from understanding through modal analysis the way the head vibrates, and the way its tour players like Rickie Fowler and Jonas Blixt want the club to feel. Engineers isolated the ideal feel by subtly thickening the face and raising the height of the muscle in back. The King wedge face thickness is 11 percent thicker than its Tour Trusty predecessor, and the rear muscle is 5 percent taller. Those two changes result in higher vibration frequency for better feel.

To read the rest of this wedge review, go here!

Source:   Golf Digest

Pictures: Independent Golf Reviews   Cobra Golf

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Callaway and Boeing Team up for Improved Technology!

Callaway and Boeing Team up for Improved Technology!

Callaway and Boeing Team up for Improved Technology!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

In a previous post, I spoke of Ping’s innovation in using “anti drag” technology on their Driver’s heads.  Now Callaway and Boeing have teamed up.  Boeing, who is obviously the ultimate expert on moving things efficiently through the air, has taken the technology game to another level.  Where is this all going to lead and when will enough be enough?  That is a question that has been asked since the days of Old Tom Morris when gutta-percha balls replaced featheries!  

Don’t eliminate our great golf courses!

But I think there has to be a limit or all our great courses like St. Andrews Old Course, Ballybunion, Royal County Down, and Augusta National will no longer be able to host PGA Tour events, and only 7700 plus yard courses will be relevant.  That being said, I’m all for technology to help the amateur golfer have more fun on the course.  The subject of Pros being required to use different equipment from amateurs, as in other sports, will one day rear its ugly head.

Thanks to  for writing another interesting piece for Golf Digest

It seems fair to say golf club innovation has reached a stage where the concept of making things “better” requires more effort than ever before. And perhaps nowhere is that complexity more apparent than in the area of aerodynamics.

Callaway and Boeing Team up for Improved Technology!

XR 16

 

It seems fair to say golf club innovation has reached a stage where the concept of making things “better” requires more effort than ever before. And perhaps nowhere is that complexity more apparent than in the area of aerodynamics.

Manufacturers have been studying how to make drivers move through the air more efficiently for over a decade.

The forgiveness you can get from a large driver can be compromised by how its bulk negatively affects the way the club moves through the air. Trying to understand how to balance these factors has led manufacturers to seek partnerships with various independent and non-golf outlets. Adams Golf worked with Texas A&M a half-dozen years ago on its Speedline drivers. TaylorMade has gleaned knowledge from the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel to improve its AeroBurner and M1 drivers.

And, of course, Ping has championed the aerodynamics technology behind its successful G30 and recently introduced G driver, understanding fueled by a partnership with the Arizona State University.

Now, Callaway is breaking new ground in identifying the effect of aerodynamic drag on driver performance by partnering with a company whose primary function is getting big things moving through the air extremely efficiently. Boeing, the largest airline manufacturer in the world, helped Callaway’s new XR16 drivers combine a large clubhead with aerodynamic efficiency. It was not a simple exercise.

Read what Jeffrey Crouch, senior technical fellow for flight sciences at Boeing has to say on the subject right here!

Source:    Golf Digest

Pictures: Callaway Golf

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Ping's reputation in technology has been outstanding!

Ping’s reputation in technology has been outstanding!

Ping’s reputation in technology has been outstanding!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Is equipment from Ping better than Mizuno?  Is Callaway better than TaylorMade?  Can Bridgestone outperform Titleist?  

These are the questions going through a golfer’s head when trying to decide which new set of clubs to purchase.  Ping claims that their new G series will improve drag by a staggering 37%, so says Marty Jertson, Ping director of product development.  But is that 37% for a tour pro or for the 24 handicap lady golfer with a swing speed of 70 mph with her driver?  I cannot answer all of these questions, so I post this article from  of Golf Digest and let the reader make the final call!  Here is some info on Ping’s latest offering to help make the decision a little easier.

Ping's reputation in technology has been outstanding!

Ping’s reputation in equipment technology has long been driven by the idea of forgiveness, and whether it be its oversized titanium drivers or its cavity back cast stainless steel irons, the goal is to mitigate the downside of all your missed shots and maybe make your results a little better than you believe your actual game might deserve.

Its new line of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and irons continues that trend in relatively historic and complex ways.

“That’s our challenge,” says Ping director of product development Marty Jertson. “It’s a simple concept, but it’s not easy to do, how we get there is very challenging.”

It’s why the new line—which will go by the name G—employs a diverse array of technologies, including unique-to-Ping elements that borrow from transportation aerodynamics, biomimicry and materials science. The end result are drivers, metalwoods and irons that break new ground for the company.

G metalwoods Like its G30 predecessor, the new G drivers utilize a large, forgiving footprint to create a more stable head on off-center hits. The G drivers feature the lowest center of gravity and the farthest back inside the head of any driver in the history of the G-series. While the G drivers feature a similar lightweight Ti 8-1-1 body and T9S titanium that was used in the G30, they incorporate the idea of a dragonfly photograph that was sent to the design team by company president John A. Solheim.

The Dragonfly!

“He asked us to understand the wings of a dragonfly to see if we could use that create real performance benefits,” Jertson said. The point was the thin structure of the dragonfly’s wings is supported by the veins. That same structure appears in the crown of the new G drivers, allowing the crown to get as thin as .43 millimeters. That saves weight allowing for the center of gravity to be lower and farther back than any Ping driver in history.

It also creates a higher moment of inertia measurement than any driver in Ping history and likely the highest of any major driver currently in the market. (A driver with a high MOI number means that it is more stable on off-center hits across a wider area of the face, both left to right and up and down. That yields both more consistent ballspeeds and more consistent spin rates both across and up and down the face.

“The big difference was in wall thickness capability.  We now can go thinner and thinner in casting the titanium,” Jertson said.  Noting that the wall thickness on the G is 20 percent thinner than the G30 to save eight grams of weight.

Thinner is better!

Ping’s reputation in technology has been outstanding!

The thin structure supports the G’s larger footprint.  But that also means engineers had to take the next step in improving one of the key elements of the G30: aerodynamics. Made famous by the G30, the crown turbulators had an update in the G drivers.  This improves the club’s air resistance, or drag, as it moves through the downswing. The turbulators’ benefit also was enhanced by a small rear cavity feature.  Aimed at stabilizing the club’s movement when it reaches its highest speeds right before impact. That idea was to borrow from the aerodynamic panel skirts on an 18-wheeler.  This increased a truck’s efficiency to help save gas.

According to Jertson, the G driver has 37 percent less drag than the G30.  Meaning all things being equal the G driver moves through the air similar to if an oversized driver like Ping’s G25 was brought down to a 3-wood size.

Ping's reputation in technology has been outstanding!

“All these aerodynamic benefits are additive,” Jertson said.

“Certainly, there’s a lot of variation in how different players with different swings benefit from these features, but everybody gains.”

Like the G30, the G line also features a slice-fighting SF Tec version and a spin-reducing LS Tec version. The SF Tec features more weight shifted toward the heel.  To help slicers close the face at impact.  While the LS Tec features a lower CG that is slightly forward of the standard G driver.

The G (9, 10.5 degrees), G SF Tec (10, 12 degrees) and G LS Tec (9, 10.5 degrees) all feature Ping’s adjustable hosel.  This alters loft by plus/minus 1 degree across five settings. They are available for preorder starting today ($400).

To read the rest of the story behind this new Ping line, go here!

Source:   Golf Digest

Pictures: Ping Equipment

Thanks for reading Ping’s reputation in technology has been outstanding!

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