Whether they meant to or not, Titleist has always carried the moniker of being a “player’s” brand, or a club for better, serious golfers. When you thought of forgiveness, rarely was Titleist one of the brands that jumped into your brain. They look to buck that trend with their entry into the hollow-body iron market. The all new T400, which launched at last week’s PGA Merchandise Show, features a wide sole and will be the brand’s highest launching iron ever. You don’t need a lot of speed or have a perfect strike to get the ball airborne and have it carry a substantial distance. 

The split-sole design is made to improve turf interaction and make this oversize iron feel as normal as possible at impact. Each blade length, sole width, and even hosel length progressively changes as you move throughout the set. This helps make each club look attractive and give confidence at address. Titleist still wanted the T400’s to look traditional at address, even though they’re far from it. The center-of-gravity also changes from club to club to ensure the ideal launch angle and spin rate with each loft. So even though the 7-iron is 26°, yes 26°, it still launches like a 7-iron should. 

Being that distance and forgiveness is the order of business here, it’s no surprise that the T400 irons come with a very lightweight stock shaft offering. The True Temper AMT Red steel shafts are high-launch and mid-spin. These shafts are lighter in the longer irons and progressively get heavier (about 3 grams each club) as you make your way to the short irons and wedges. There’s that word again, progressive. Each club is engineered to help the weekend warrior and slow speed player hit the ball as high and as far as possible. There is also a stock graphite shaft option, which is the Mitsubishi MV IR, which weighs 50 grams. 

The Titleist T400 irons will be available near the end of March. Be sure to schedule a fitting at Golf HQ! 

AVX Ball Redesigned for 2020 When it comes to golf balls, Titleist just keeps making a good product better. Every aspect of the popular premium AVX ball has been revamped and improved for 2020. The AVX has been a proven high-performance ball that is ideal for amateurs. That was once a market Bridgestone had a hold on with its B330 RX and RS line. The new model has increased ball speed and short-game spin with a urethane cover. But how can a 3-piece ball be considered high-end or top-tier performance? I’m glad you just mumbled that to yourself. Titleist has reformulated and enlarged the size of the core. This provides more ball speed and less spin on full swings, but enhanced the soft feel at impact that most players yearn for. The next layer, often called the mantle or casing layer, is more flexible. That means more energy is built up, which also is a factor for more speed. With a larger core, they decided to make the urethane cover even thinner to increase greenside spin. The AVX will still boast the aerodynamic dimple pattern that produces the low, piercing trajectory that made the ball popular in the first place. Only question is how durable will the new thinner cover be? 

Confused as to which high-performance Titleist ball you should play? What design characteristics would benefit your game the most? Would you like to hit your long irons higher? Need more spin around the greens? Or maybe exceptional feel is all that matters to you. Without doing an in-depth ball fitting, let me simply break it down for you. Use this as your guide next time you buy a dozen Titleist golf balls on GolfHQ.com!

Titleist Pro V1 – Optimal mid-flight and mid range spin with soft feel.

Titleist Pro V1X – Flies higher, spins more, firm feel

Titleist AVX – Flies lower, spins less, softest feel

Titleist Left Dash Pro V1X – Flies higher, spins less, firm feel

Pic of the Week

Close-up of Tiger’s Scotty Cameron German Steel Newport 2. That perfectly center wear spot is #golfgoals. Do you know how many putts you have to hit to get a wear pattern on your putter? But the real question is, how many record-breaking, historical putts has this putter made? It has got to be the most expensive piece of golf memorabilia of all time. 

In memoriam 

Sunday afternoon the sports world lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter crash just outside Los Angeles. Among the nine dead was Kobe’s 13 year old daughter, Gianna, two of her basketball teammates also age 13, their parents, and the pilot. Kobe was one of my favorite players, and as a diehard Cleveland and Lebron James fan, I always felt Kobe was more comparable to Michael Jordan. Bryant and Jordan are of similar size, height, and have identical shooting form and move-sets. Lebron may be the greatest athlete the NBA has ever seen, but Kobe had that killer instinct and similar mentality to MJ. He called it the Mamba Mentality. That “first in the gym and last one to leave” work ethic that all the great ones have. The tragedy of Sunday is just another example of how tomorrow is not guaranteed. Hell, the next hour isn’t even promised. Live life with no regrets. Do your absolute best at everything, every day. You owe it to yourself, your family, your colleagues, and your friends. Laugh a little louder, hug a little tighter, and be a little kinder. Don’t go to bed angry and never leave the house without saying I love you. 

Waste Management Open Picks

After the 3rd round I was sitting pretty with all 3 of my picks at the Farmers in the top-5 heading into Sunday. The odds of picking a winner were in my favor, especially after Ryan Palmer shot 62 on Friday. But he shot 15 strokes worse on Sunday and finished tied for 21st. Rory tied for 3rd and Finau finished t-6. All in all a good week. Next we head to wild and wonderful Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Winner John Rahm “Rahmbo” has been one of the game’s hottest players over the last 12 months and was runner-up in San Diego. He is also an ASU alum. Will contend Bubba Watson Coming off a not-so-great 2019, but finished 4th last year.  Bubba seems to be showing some signs of a return to form. Good course for him where he can make some fireworks on the par 5’s and the driveable par 4 17th. Sleeper Bud Cauley Cauley plays the desert courses well with a tie for 4th two weeks ago at PGA West. He has five top-25 finishes in his last ten starts and is inside the top-40 in par 5 scoring and strokes gained putting. 

Enjoy the game and each other,

Written by Seth Zipay, Head Golf Professional
Design and Published by Craig Walton

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