This week in golf: Everything you need to know about the new equipment launched by PXG, TaylorMade and Callaway, and the latest club equipment deals and switches on Tour
It’s only the first week of January and already it’s hard for the everyday golfer to keep up with all the gear news this week, let alone those of us who work in the industry.
By our count, over 25 new products have been released this week alone, at least five players have signed with new brands and there’s plenty of other rumours floating around.
Here, we give you a snippet of each of the headlines, and the latest equipment launched with links to info and our reviews.
GEAR NEWS: GEAR SIGNINGS & GOSSIP
(jump to: new gear launches)
It wasn’t exactly a well-kept secret, but on the first of January World No.2 Justin Rose confirmed that he was signing a deal with Honma Golf.
The contract between HONMA and the 2018 FedEx Cup Champion is said to be a multi-year, 10-club deal (including the driver), but does not include the golf ball, which will remain a TaylorMade. The financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining HONMA.” said Rose, “Coming off one of my best years professionally, I wanted to make it a point to get better. I believe HONMA equipment and the legendary HONMA craftsmanship can help make me better.”
Rose also announced that as well as his career-long partnership with TaylorMade ending, he's also moving away from Adidas and will instead be wearing Bonobos clothing this year.
• Gary Woodland signs with Wilson Golf
The three-time PGA Tour winner has signed a multi-year deal with Wilson Golf, and is using the new prototype Staff Model blades in addition to the V4 utility iron at The Sentry Tournament of Champions this week. It's still yet to be seen if he'll be using the Driver vs Driver competiton winning 'Cortex' in his bag this year, but Wilson have confirmed that he's been testing it.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining Wilson after working with them extensively the last few months," said Woodland, who was first spotted testing out Wilson protoypes at the Hero World Challenge. "Their premium line of clubs and high-quality equipment will be integral as I continue to elevate my game.”
Kevin Na signs with Callaway
Kevin Na became Callaway's latest signing at the start of the year, confirming his new deal with Callaway in Hawaii after winning The Greenbrier Classic with a mix of TaylorMade, Callaway and Titleist clubs. Unfortunately though, Na WD due from this week's tournament due to an injury to his finger.
Troy Merritt and Fabian Gomez move to Titleist
Another player to debut new equipment at the Sentry Tournament of Champions this week is Troy Merritt, who looks to have left Wilson Golf to join Titleist.
Fabian Gomez, a former Callaway player, took to social media to announce his swap to the same brand.
Paul Casey was spotted using at least one HONMA iron during the practice rounds at Kapalua, and given there are rumours HONMA are set to sign more than one player this year, could he be one of them? Casey has been a free-agent since Nike left the industry, and until this week has been using Mizuno Irons, Titleist wedges and TaylorMade woods.
Fellow free-agent Francesco Molinari - who won the Open with a bag almost completely full of TaylorMade clubs - has put a full bag of Callaway's (including Odyssey putter) into play at the first event of the year.
“I’m just testing and don’t have a deal so far,” Molinari said after his first round at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. “But we’ll see what happens.”
"I'm really happy with [the Callaway equipment]. I hit the ball well even in the wind, but I was a bit rusty scoring-wise."
PXG started the week with the first new club launch of the year, introducing their second generation X and XF drivers, X Fairway wood and X Gen 2 hybrid.
TaylorMade quickly followed suit and introduced the M5 and M6 metalwoods, featuring a brand new speed-injected twist face technology in the drivers, while putting twist face into the fairways and M6 rescue for the first time. They also introduced the second edition of TP5/TP5x golf balls for 2019 following the success of their previous 2017 launched Tour ball.
Not to be outdone, Callaway unveiled a huge amount of products for 2019 on Friday, and a brand new technology of their own. ‘Flash Face’ technology was developed by their new $5million super computer and is present in their new Epic Flash and Epic Flash Sub Zero Drivers and Fairways, but that was just a small part of their launch this week.
Below is a list of the products launched this week, click the names of the products to find out more, or to read our latest reviews.
• Callaway Epic Flash Driver
• Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero Driver
• Callaway Epic Flash Fairway
• Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero Fairway
• Callaway Apex 19 Irons
• Callaway Apex Pro 19 Irons
• Callaway Apex 19 Hybrid
• Callaway PM Grind 2019 Wedge
• Callaway ERC Soft Golf Ball
• Callaway Supersoft 19
• Callaway Supersoft Magna
• Odyssey StrokeLab Putters